Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side of the Force is one of the greatest tragedies in the storyline of Star Wars. Of course, we know that it was important for Anakin to fall to the dark side because this led to the eventual downfall of the Empire and the Sith. But the events that led to Anakin’s fall to the dark side were incredibly tragic regardless of whether or not his fall was necessary. So, what happened to Anakin Skywalker, and why did he turn into Darth Vader?
Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader because of his attachment to Padmé Amidala. Anakin was always someone who couldn’t let go of his attachments in life, and his fear of losing them eventually forced him to seek the power of the dark side to save them from death.
Of course, let’s not forget that Palpatine’s manipulative nature was the trigger that forced Anakin down the path of the dark side. Palpatine understood what kind of a person Anakin was, and he used that to his advantage in tempting the promising Jedi Knight to become his new apprentice. So, with that said, let’s look at the things that went into Anakin’s eventual downfall.
What caused Anakin to become Darth Vader?
Introduced as the Chosen One during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’ because of his innate potential in the Force, Anakin Skywalker was supposed to be the greatest of all of the Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi trained him to become a Jedi because that was what his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, wanted. As such, Kenobi took Anakin as an apprentice and eventually trained him to become a strong Jedi Knight.
The problem was that Anakin Skywalker couldn’t separate his personal life from his role as a Jedi. At that time, the Jedi were taught to let go of their attachments in life. They weren’t prohibited from making friends or becoming close to other people. But they were taught to learn to let go of their attachments when they knew it was time for them to let go.
Of course, the reason why the Jedi were prohibited from forming attachments was the fact that loving people would make them fear losing their loved ones. Fear is the path to the dark side because a person who fears losing the ones they love would do desperate things to ensure they don’t lose them. As such, the more fearful a person was, the more likely they would turn to the dark side.
Anakin, however, had a problem with letting go of his attachments. First, he couldn’t let go of his mother, the only family he knew. Anakin had foreseen his mother’s death in his dreams, so he was afraid during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.’ When he saw his mother dying in his arms, Anakin gave in his despair and rage as he massacred the Tusken Raiders responsible for his death.
Afterward, Anakin formed another attachment when he secretly married Padmé Amidala. He had always loved Padmé from the first moment he met her. However, he could never forget his feelings for her even though Obi-Wan always told him to mind his feelings because Jedi weren’t allowed to fall in love.
During the Clone Wars, Anakin also experienced his fair share of disagreements with the members of the Jedi Council. He disagreed with some of the inefficient methods of the Jedi and went on to form a close relationship with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Anakin also got angry at the Jedi Council for ousting Ahsoka from the Jedi Order for a crime she didn’t commit. On top of that, he didn’t like that the Jedi Council didn’t trust him well enough to grant him the rank of Jedi Master.
In that regard, there was also a falling out between Anakin and the Jedi Order. Soon after, he started having dreams of Padmé Amidala’s death, which made him more fearful of losing the one person he loved most. That was when Palpatine entered the picture.
Chancellor Palpatine, who was secretly Darth Sidious the entire time, tempted Anakin to the dark side of the Force by telling him that the dark side had powers that the Jedi never tried to learn because of how “unnatural” they were. This included preventing people from dying, as Palpatine sensed in Anakin’s heart that he feared losing Padmé to death.
Anakin was conflicted upon discovering that Palpatine was a Sith Lord the entire time. He decided to tell Mace Windu of this as the Jedi Master tried to arrest the Chancellor. Windu and Palpatine fought, only for the Jedi Master to get the advantage.
Windu was about to deal the killing blow even though Anakin pleaded with him to spare Palpatine because “it was not the Jedi way.” But the truth was that Anakin only wanted to keep Palpatine alive because he needed to learn how to prevent Padmé’s death. Anakin betrays Windu by cutting his arms off and allowing Palpatine to finish the Jedi Master with his Force Lightning.
Anakin’s decision to betray the Jedi Order completed his downfall to the dark side as he pledged his allegiance to Darth Sidious and the Sith Order. That was when Sidious rechristened him into the Sith Lord known as Darth Vader.
Did Anakin regret turning to the dark side?
Not everything turned out well for Anakin after he fell to the dark side. He lost Padmé to death when she died of a broken heart. But, of course, Sidious said that Vader accidentally killed her out of rage. Despite that, Vader continued to work for the Empire by rounding up any remaining Jedi and killing anyone who rebelled against the new order.
Vader remained with the Empire because he also believed that this was the only way he could bring order to the galaxy. He understood that the recent war was so devastating that it led to the deaths of some people he cared about. Vader thought that the Empire was the only thing that could maintain order in the galaxy, which was why he believed in the ideals of the Empire and what it stood for.
For nearly 20 years, Vader remained loyal to the cause of the Empire and was willing to kill anyone that stood in the way of the emperor’s visions. He didn’t regret betraying and destroying the Jedi Order because he understood there was no turning back from what he did during the Clone Wars. Vader was so loyal to the cause of the Empire that he was willing to kill Obi-Wan and Ahsoka even though he used to care so much about them.
However, when he found out that Luke was his son, that was when he started to regret his decisions. Vader became conflicted about the fact that he had a son. This was the first time he regretted his decision to turn to the dark side in many years.
But, at the same time, he was also conflicted about what he wanted to do with the knowledge that he had a son. That was why he wanted to recruit Luke over to the dark side to overthrow the emperor and take his place instead of joining the good guys to defeat the tyrannical rule of the Empire.
Only when Luke showed mercy toward his father after defeating him in their duel did Anakin finally regret his decision to betray his beliefs as a Jedi.
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