Anakin is ClutchPosted on November 9th, 2005 1 comment
So, I picked up a snazzy Star Wars Episode I watch from Booger King (still feeling somewhat queasy from all the BK food I bought when they were giving away the chibi Star Wars toys). I got to thinking about how much Jake Lloyd bugged, and this led me to think about how Episode III hints that Emperor Palpatine (or maybe his master, Darth Plagueis) was responsible for using the Force to create Anakin. But why? Why did the Emperor need Anakin before taking over the galaxy? What purpose does he serve, besides typical Sith shenanigans of killing Jedi, spreading fear, oppressing innocent people, and such?
Then, I got to thinking, we could look at this question in the sense of football quarterbacks. A lot of people used to say (unfairly, IMHO) that Tom Brady isn’t that great of a QB, he’s just a regular guy that is in the middle of a great system in New England under Belichek. The argument being that you could put almost ANY quarterback on that New England team and win 3 out of the last 4 Super Bowls.
Which brings me to Anakin. Was he merely placed in a really good system with a really good coach (Darth Sidious)? I say yes. There is no doubt that Anakin was talented, and probably the most powerful Jedi ever born… er… hatched, er… whatever. However, couldn’t Palpatine taken any young and upcoming Jedi and used him to perform key tasks such as cleaning out the Jedi Temple and killing the Separtist leaders? Yes. Did he really need Anakin to go into the Jedi Temple at all? No, that’s why he had legions and legions of Clone Troopers.
I will say this, though. Anakin, like Tom Brady, was big in clutch situations (both to the advantage and ultimate detriment of Emperor Palpatine.) The one point where Palpatine faced certain defeat was at the hands of Mace Windu. The Emperor had no problem handling Yoda, especially once they got into an open field, but in the close quarters of the Chancellor’s Office, Mace bottled him up and was ready to lay down the Jedi smacktitude… until Anakin showed up and knocked Master Windu out of the park. Fast forward 20 years and he was also reponsible for saving the galaxy when at his son’s request, chucked the Emperor over the railing.
Beyond these key plays, Anakin did very little. He got his arm chopped off by Dooku, then Yoda had to bail him out. Obi-wan had the “high ground.” He choked Natalie Portman (moron!) He let the Millenium Falcon escape how many times?
On the other hand, he did build C-3PO. Oh, wait… that might be a point against him.
Anakin is like Michael Vick. He’s got horrible numbers, but somehow he wins games.
Surely some mistake… an entertaining post about the Star Wars prequels. Are you sure you didn’t mean to just attack them blindly? What a fashion faux pas!
I love your take on Anakin’s value as being good in the clutch (US sporting metaphor is so colourful!), but I think you’ve mis-tallied some of his actions. Letting the Millenium Falcon escape is only a mark against him if you assume he really is on the side of the Empire. But we can see Vader not as fully committed to the Empire, but rather venting his pain through his job. Like the tired bureaucrat who turns a blind eye once in a while, Vader doesn’t really want to capture Luke (whom he obviously loves dearly as the last remaining symbol of his love for Padme, Leia not withstanding) but he cannot see any way that he can get his son back other than converting him to the dark side. And he’s right, of course, because Vader lacks the luxury of defecting to the other side. After all, would you accept a renegade Vader into your organisation?
“Let me see, Mr. Vader is it?”
*Heavy breathing* “*Darth* Vader.”
“Darth… yes… Well I see from your resume that you were responsible for the fall of the Republic and the murder of hundreds of innocent jedi. I’m not entirely certain you’re right for the position of Walmart store manager.”
Ah, the opportunity to engage in a little harmless geekery. I usually don’t indulge, but it’s a special time of the year for me.