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 STAR WARS -Episodes I & II 

Theme:   Anakin's Story

Insights:

The Fallen Hero

Star Wars-The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones are the first two films in a trilogy that center on the life of Anakin Skywalker.  Having dealt with the life of Luke Skywalker, a hero of mythic proportions in the first Star Wars Trilogy1, George Lucas now goes back to examine the life of Luke's father and foe.  The emphasis in these first two films, which will come to a dramatic conclusion in Episode III, is the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader.

A CONTRAST

The True Hero of Myth2

The Fallen Hero - Anakin Skywalker

The Setting Once upon a time...... A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.....
The Hero The hero is in an obscure place with nothing extraordinary about him. Young Anakin, a slave on Tatooine, has extraordinary abilities.
The Call The call to adventure usually comes through a herald, which requires the hero to separate and begin his journey or quest. Qui-Gon Jinn and Padme Amidala appear in the shop where Anakin works.  Recognizing his extraordinary abilities and believing he may be the one prophesied to return balance to the Force, they help Anakin obtain his freedom.  Separating from his mother, he begins his quest to become a Jedi Knight. 
The Wise Guide The hero is given a wise guide. Anakin becomes the "padawan" of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is to train him for the Jedi Order.  Anakin's arrogance causes him to resent Obi-Wan's authority.
The Powerful Weapon Usually the hero receives a powerful weapon to help him in the battles he must fight. Anakin receives a Jedi Light Saber which he loses and misuses.
Hero Partners The hero is given partners to help him on his quest.  The implication is that Anakin has a secret partnership with Chancellor Palpatine, who he judges to be a good man.
Rescuing the Princess Usually there is a princess being held in a castle or labyrinth that the hero must negotiate in order to set her free. More often than not, Anakin is following Padme's lead, not rescuing her.  He follows her even when it means disobedience to the Jedi Order.
Hero in Battle The hero has to go through many battles usually against terrible beasts and evil forces. Pride and ambition cause Anakin to be overly anxious to rush into battle, which is very costly in the fight with Count Dooku.
Sacred Groves The hero must leave and go to a special place alone to be taught and tested. His first solo assignment places him in a garden-like setting on Naboo with Padme.  Not having been tested, he enters into acts of disobedience.
Mystical Union Usually there is some sort of a mystical union with a woman. Even though they both agree that a union between them is impossible, Anakin and Padme enter into a secret marriage; one that is forbidden by his oath to the Jedi Order.
Sacrifice and Betrayal The hero often is betrayed and must suffer a type of "death". Anakin betrays his calling to the Jedi Order.  He does not suffer a type of death.
Return of the Hero After rescuing the Princess, the hero returns home. After disobeying his mandate to protect Padme, he takes her with him to Tatooine.
Descent to the Underworld The hero usually has to make a visit to the "Underworld". Anakin's decent to the "underworld" occurs when he goes to rescue his mother from the Tusken Raiders.  Walking in disobedience, he is led into something for which he is not prepared; this results in great tragedy.3
Reconciliation with the Father The hero needs to be reconciled with his father. Obi-Wan speaks prophetically to Anakin when he says, "You'll be the death of me."  Anakin's response is, "Please don't say that, Master. You're the closest thing I have to a father."  There is no reconciliation with Obi-Wan, just growing antagonism and disobedience.
Final Victory When the journey is over and the quest has been obtained,  there is a grand celebration. The celebration will come only after being redeemed by his son, Luke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The First Adam

The  fall of Anakin Skywalker resonates within us because it captures a truth that is rooted deeply in our own lives.  We are descendents of the "first" Adam, who like Anakin disobeyed his mandate and followed after Eve.  Never sacrificing himself to redeem her, Adam instead blamed her (Genesis 3:12).  He then lost his dominion and union with his Father (Luke 3:38), and being cast out of Eden, he entered the domain of darkness ruled by the dark lord (Genesis 3:23-24). Since we are all "in Adam", we have all fallen to the dark side.  His story is our own (Romans 5:12).  We are all in need of a "Son" to redeem us; one who by sacrificing Himself would release us from the domain of darkness and reconcile us with the Father (Colossians 1:13-22).

Notes:
1.  See the Movieglimpse on Star Wars - Luke's Story
2.  For more on the hero of myth, see Star Wars - The Power of Myth by Dorling Kindersley
3.  For more on Anakin and his Mother's death, see the Power Clip

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