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Anakin Skywalker was a Force-sensitive Human male who served the Galactic Republic as a Jedi Knight and later served the Galactic Empire as the Sith Lord Darth Vader.

As a young man his ability to use the force was discovered by Jedi Master Yoda, and was brought to Coruscant to be trained alongside a number of other Jedi in training including Obi-Wan Kenobi. Through their decade of being trained as Jedi's, Skywalker and Kenobi had a number of adventures together, becoming great friends and allies.

Anakin was heavily involved, like Kenobi, in the Clone Wars, where both he and Kenobi received the rank of Jedi Knight. During this long conflict, he would meet and befriend Palpatine, who began a rapid acquisition of further powers over the Republic. Throughout the Clone Wars, Skywalker's anger and sense of loss pushed him ever closer to the dark side of the Force, with him believing the Jedi were evil and corrupt. Around this time, his wife Padme discovered that she was pregnant with their child. However, knowing that Anakin was slowly being consumed by hatred and anger, she fled to Alderaan, eventually giving birth to two children, Luke and Leia.

After being fully consumed by the dark side, Anakin would join Palpatine, who was in fact the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, and scoured the Galaxy for Jedi Temples and any Jedi they could find. Together with their armies, they almost completely eradicated the Jedi Order as well as turning the Republic into the Galactic Empire. Knowing his former friend Obi-Wan had fled to the planet of Mustafar. Anakin and Obi-Wan engaged in a final duel, Obi-Wan gained the upper hand, leaving Skywalker with no limbs and ravaged by fire, leaving him to die on the planet. Anakin's hatred of Obi-Wan kept him alive, and he was eventually found by Palpatine.

Over the next few days, Skywalker was encased in a suit of life-sustaining black armor, and believing his wife to be dead, Skywalker assumed the name Darth Vader, and embraced his role as the Emperor's right hand and enforcer, hunting down Jedi survivors and enforcing the will of the Empire for years to come.

The Sith Lord trained a number of secret apprentices and Dark Jedi, though his plans to overthrow his master had not advanced far when the Galactic Civil War erupted between the Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic in 2 BBY. In 0 BBY, the Death Star—the Empire's greatest superweapon—was destroyed by a young Rebel pilot despite Vader's efforts, and Vader became obsessed with discovering the pilot's identity, only to learn that it was Luke Skywalker: his own son, born before Amidala's death.

Vader continued to pursue both Skywalker and the Alliance over the next three years, finally luring his son into a trap on the mining colony of Cloud City in 3 ABY where the two dueled. Vader revealed his identity to Skywalker, though his son refused to join him and escaped. When Darth Sidious learned of Skywalker's existence, he set in motion his own plans to recruit Skywalker and thereby replace Vader, but Skywalker surrendered himself to Imperial forces on the forest moon of Endor in 4 ABY in hopes of redeeming his father and turning him back to the light side. In a final duel on the second Death Star as the Battle of Endor raged around them, Skywalker and Vader fought each other, and Vader refused his son's attempts to redeem him, learning that Skywalker had a twin sister named Leia in the process. Skywalker defeated his father but refused to kill him, and when Sidious attempted to kill the young man, Vader—moved by his son's love—abandoned the dark side and sacrificed himself to destroy the Emperor, fulfilling the prophecy of the Chosen One. Mortally wounded, Anakin made peace with his son and became one with the Force, though his reputation, his legacy, and his family endured for decades afterwards.

Notes

Rise and fall to the dark side

  1. Firstly, Anakin should have been a really good man, instead of this moaning, angry kid. For me, he should have been incredibly ambitious and wanting to be the most powerful Jedi of all time, and was willing to work every hour of every day to become that. However, in a fight with a Sith lord, Anakin is about to defeat his opponent when unexpectedly the Sith lord force chokes him and he only just survives thanks to intervention by Obi-Wan.
    1. Anakin realises that with just Jedi powers he will always be limited in the ways of the force, so behind Obi-Wan's back he studies things like force choke, keeping it secret from the rest of the Jedi. However, the dark side of the force twists his mind into becoming a more angry and hateful person.
      1. In a battle with a Sith lord, Obi-Wan and Anakin are about to be defeated when Anakin calls on his Sith powers to save them both. Obi-Wan realises what he has done and how the dark side has corrupted him, and thus their relationship starts to break down until Anakin has been completely seduced by the dark side of the force and becomes Obi-Wan and the Jedi's enemy.
        1. On a side note, Sith do not carry lightsabers. Twice the Emperor in the OT refer to lightsabers as a "jedi's weapon", and Vader only carries one because he was a Jedi. Can you imagine the emotional and cinematic impact after so much build-up when there is finally a lightsaber battle, right at the end of the prequel trilogy, between Obi-Wan and Anakin?
  1. I think there could be some smaller changes that would improve the character.
    1. In Episode I: Make Anakin's connection to the force more painful. He is a weird kid that freaks people out by knowing what is about to happen, knowing more than he should, etc. People don't like him, he only cares for his mom and droids. Pod racing is an almost self destructive behavior. If you want to ham this up, add the "some times bad things happen when Anakin gets mad."
      1. The key here is that Anakin is introduced as lonely. The other characters in Episode I then become Anakin's only friends. He is particularly attracted to Padme, as she is/was also something of a child prodigy. I think it should be clear that the Jedi can't just ignore Anakin, that they would need to either train him, or otherwise contain/watch him.
        1. Episode II: Anakin is strong and is considerably ahead of his peers. He often has disagreements with the Jedi leaderships strategies, but he tries hard to be like Obi Wan. When he bends a rule, or does something out of turn, he truly apologizes. At some point, Anakin sees that some plan will fail (involving Padme), he does something to prevent it and save her. This results in a lot of tension between Mace/Jedi Leadership, Anakin, and the Republic. Palpatine rewards Anakin for his actions publicly.
          1. I love scenes etc. are replaced with Padme doing something that isn't quite legal for a senator, and convinces Anakin to follow. It should clearly be the correct and heroic thing to do, but obviously outside the rules for both of their positions. I like the idea that they start on the path together.
            1. Anakin's mother still dies, and it could have been prevented etc. Anakin has learned that the Jedi are not always right, he no longer feels bad or sorry when he breaks rules. His attack on the sand people is much more brutal. He uses the force to make everything heavy, (think of the famous 'noooo' scene,) his enemies are basically frozen and he kills with no lightsaber flourishes.
              1. Later in the fight with Darth Maul (or Dooku if we must) he ends up using this method again. Anakin's power shocks Obi-wan and the Sith. Obi-wan tells Anakin to stop, darkside bla bla bla. In this distraction the Sith uses force lightening, which Anakin has no counter. I would rather his arm be burned off by the lightening, he tried to stop it like Yoda but failed.
                1. Anakin and Padme have decided that they know better, they are a pair united against the world. They are accomplices. Love doesn't need to be forced here, they get married between episode 2 and 3.
                  1. Episode III: Anakin is keeping up appearances, but Palpatine and others know that he can be counted on for results. Anakin is especially upset about what happened to his apprentice Ahsoka. Padme is pregnant. She has also been involved in increasingly extreme politics against the direction she feels the senate is going.
                    1. In order to do something important, the Jedi and Obi-wan enlist Padme's help in secret, very much against what Anakin would have wanted. Anakin's visions are coming true again. Palpatine manipulates. Only he and the darkside can keep Padme alive. I like the idea that Palpatine was not 100% lying, he reveals some 'experiment' where he is keeping something alive in a unnatural state. Anakin still runs to the Jedi. Padme gets severely injured. Mace etc. seem to only care about attacking Palpatine. Fight with Mace goes similarly, with extra bits said about Padme. This callous disregard for personal attachments, it can't be what the Jedi are supposed to be. Anakin decides that he alone is the true Jedi. He defends Palpatine, and is more active in Mace's death.
                      1. Anakin hates the Jedi. They killed his mom, they took his apprentice, they have mortally wounded his wife, and have tried to kill him and his mentor. His attack on the academy is like the attack on the sand people.
                        1. Padme chooses risky procedure to at least save the kids. Anakin goes to Mustafar. Obi-wan confronts him. Any chance of Obi-wan convincing Anakin to change is removed as Padme dies. "Anakin is dead." Obi-wan eventually defeats Vader.
                          1. Ending: Palpatine's voodoo and some technology build the new Vader. Obi-wan finds out that the twins survived. Yoda to Exile. Obi-wan to watch Luke (in part for atonement for his failure with Anakin.) Yoda notes that the failure was deeper than just Anakin turning. Maybe something about a different path or living force for the Quigon reveal.
                            1. Vader wakes up. "The Jedi Executed Padme for your crimes. If only they wouldn't have prevented me from saving her, as I have saved you."
                              1. When it later becomes clear that his son survived. It is simply another betrayal from the Jedi. However, it does result in a small revival of Anakin. Palpatine is now the one trying to kill his family. Vader notes that his son is the true Jedi, not the callous ones of the past, or the evil that he had become.
                                1. I ended up writing way more than I intended. tl;dr: Anakin turns because the Jedi suck. The rigid rules don't account for humanity. Everyone did what they think was right. I feel the ending should have left you feeling, as Chris Rock says, "I'm not saying he should have killed them, but I understand."
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