The Younglings

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You so often hear that Revenge of the Sith is superior to the other prequels because of its more serious and dark subject matter. I've always found that to be rather shallow. Darker doesn't mean quality, it's just a description for tone. I suppose, in a sense, my point is moot as I do think Sith is the best of the three Prequels regardless. However, I do think some of those edgy scenes are actually quite questionable..but especially one people seem to rather like.

Probably the most infamous moment in perhaps all of SW is, well, Anakin killing the younglings. It seems a lot of people enjoyed this rather morbid moment, the general opinion being "Yeah! He's super DARK now!" It's as if this moment truly solidified his turn.

Personally, I hate this scene. I despise it for a number of reasons, but first and foremost; Isn't the point of the overarching franchise to be Anakin's redemption? To create an empathetic and identifiable villain? Well the last person I'm going to identify with and sympathize for is a child murderer. I understand he has become corrupted, but if the intent is to still have him retain a level of humanity...isn't this all a bit counterintuitive? So what...am I just supposed to forget he murdered them by Return of the Jedi? Seems rather selfish to me, apparently only his kid matters. He's quite literally gone from "What have I done?" with Mace Windu to suddenly pledging his allegiance to Palpatine to...slaughtering toddlers....in the span of what? Hour, maybe two? It's just all moving way too fast to feel natural, not to mention I just don't think Anakin would have ended the lives of the younglings himself anyway. I feel like it was done more in a sort of overtly dimwitted and shock-value "SEE! He's bad now!" way than it having ever actually made any progressive sense. It's almost a fast-forward on character development; rather that putting in the time to make it flow, just have him kill children! They'll get it! He's evil now, see? Dead kids!

I much prefer my idea: Instead of never directly showing Anakin kill adult and competent Jedi, that's all you show! Besides, it's far more visually interesting anyway. We know he did it and I'd rather witness him wiping out actual competition. Then you show him walk into a room and quickly realize the younglings have taken refuge inside. Explicitly show him conflicted with this, this...is too much. It's too far, walks out, and show clones walk into the room...camera never entering the room...and you just see the flashing of their blaster fire. Anakin not capable of the act, directly, but still sullenly allowing it to happen vicariously.

I find that not only a much more believable character growth, but also retains that Anakin is...deep down...a figure to be mildly sympathized with. He still has light in him, no matter how much of a shadow is cast over it.

Am I the only one who hates that scene? Do you love it? Hate my idea? Love it? What do you think?
 
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it's no coincidence that the little kid who says, "Master Skywalker.. There's too many of them..", he sort of looks like Jake Lloyd (but younger / more innocent).

Anakin is "killing" his own innocence in this scene -- he, himself, was once an innocent-child-padawan, exactly like this kid -- they even LOOK alike.

this scene is a sort of symbolic visual expression of Old Ben's dialog from IV where he tells Luke that a guy called "Darth Vader" had betrayed and murdered a kid named "Anakin Skywalker"

at this point in ROTS, Anakin has already taken the name "Darth Vader" -- even though he hasn't yet received The Suit -- this is not Anakin, this is Vader.

SO : here we have "(pre-Suit) Vader" killing a little kid who looks exactly like "(pre-TPM) Anakin" -- it's symbolic.

it evokes the image of Jake Lloyd as Anakin from TPM (an image which GL felt was essential to the arc -- he insisted on showing Vader as this innocent young child in TPM -- that image has now become sort of iconic, in the SW lexicon).

--> this scene shows Vader symbolically "killing" that same iconic image -- a visual representation of the innocent young 'sandy-haired Jedi-kid', who Anakin HIMSELF once WAS, before the events of the saga even started.

(I would probably like this scene a little better if they had hit that nail a little harder on the head: "Master Skywalker.. There's too many of them.."; anakin looks at the kid, and the kid's face morphs briefly into the image of Jake Lloyd; a tear rolls down anakin's cheek; cut back to the frightened kid (not Jake Lloyd anymore) and anakin ignites his saber).


-===-


also, as I've mentioned in the past, qui-gon's arc showed us that a Jedi who uses-the-force-to-enact-the-will-of-the-force, brings balance to the force.

by the time of ROTS, the Jedi Order has been following the "will of the senate" for 1000 generations already... so when a Sith Lord finally takes over the senate, he takes over the entire Jedi Order. and this "government-institution" called "Jedi Order" can't do ANYTHING about it -- they just follow along blindly, and do, whatever the Sith-led government TELLS them to do.

which means: the Jedi Order are acting AGAINST the will of the force -- they are bringing IMbalance to the force.

--> what's a force to do? it spawns a "chosen one" to wipe out the Jedi Order -- to wipe out ALL force users, who are NOT 'using-the-force-to-enact-the-will-of-the-force' (according to qui-gon's mantra).

this includes everybody -- the ENTIRE institution called "Jedi Order" (INCLUDING the younglings in the temple) they were ALL taught to "follow the will of the Senate" for over a thousand generations -- they were ALL taught to "Use The Force Against Its Will" -->(therefore)--> they were ALL destroyed by the chosen one.
 
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Lucas is not the greatest storyteller, Vader is never developed in a way that the viewer understands the switch. Certain parts were nurtured & never felt organic

but the kid scene is the point where it stops becoming wispy washy & see who Darth Vader really is. There was always a chance of turning him into an antihero which honestly would have destroyed what we knew about Vader at that point.

Vader crosses the line, it wasn’t years of hunting down Jedi that gave him his rep, there had been enough redshirts that already died, someone meaningful had to go. This also closes a plot whole of why there wasn’t an entire generation of Jedi to rise up & destroy Vader.
 
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Don't mind that scene. In fact, I'd have made the whole trilogy a lot darker, with a more protracted slide into oblivion for Anakin Skywalker.

It's supposed to be about a man's descent into a mass murdering psychopath, who subjugated and killed many trillions over the course of 20 years.

The way it plays out in the PT makes Anakin look like a numpty, who gets fooled by the most obvious bad guy in the room and who all of a sudden decides to become a p rick, because his missus died and Dr. Evil whispered a few bits and pieces into his ear. He comes off looking retarded and nothing like the Darth Vader we knew in the original films.

It's just impossible to take seriously.
 
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I would have preferred if they had NOT shown Anakin in "The Suit" at the end of ROTS, nor even used the words "Darth Vader" in that movie at all. just have palpatine pick him up off the lava beach and stick him in the same bacta tank that we saw in RO (or something similar) and just leave it at that. Palpatine could say something like "he will survive" and/or "we still have much work to do, my young apprentice" (or something similar) just to let the audience know that Anakin is still alive.... but within the context of the ROTS movie, his fate would be ambiguous (like a cliffhanger between III and V).

so... from the POV of a "first-time-Audience" (watching the saga in numerical order), all we would REALLY know, at the end of ROTS, is Anakin was severely injured (but he WILL survive) and his fate is now in the hands of the PT's Big Bad. we can imagine that it took many MORE years for Anakin to actually turn into a "Full Blown Vader".

this approach would: (a) preserve the Suit Reveal for IV (the Tantive IV scene); and (b) preserve the Big Reveal in V (the "I Am Your Father" scene) -- meaning -- when Vader finally reveals "I Am Your Father" this would be the first time it is actually confirmed to the First-time-Audience what anakins true fate actually was, after ROTS.*

and yes. of course the audience would suspect/know that Vader was actually Anakin in IV, but it just wouldn't be confirmed yet within the story itself until V -- (just like we all knew that the noble senator from TPM was actually the PT's Big Bad all along, but it wasn't confirmed yet within the story itself until III).... so.... it's not MUCH of a reveal... (in either case).... but at least the "I Am Your Father" scene would be intact.

* when it comes to IV, the word "sith" is never mentioned. as far as the first-time-audience is concerned, this "Vader" guy could be a new villain (like Grievous) who just has some kind of a history with obi-wan -- this first-time-audience would suspect that vader is anakin, but it wouldn't be confirmed "out loud" until V.
 
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