- Some Star Wars fans view Anakin’s sacrifice as redemption for his evil actions as Darth Vader, but others believe he is irredeemable.
- The theme of redemption is a key aspect of the Star Wars saga, showing that no one is ever too far gone.
- The question of whether Anakin’s final act of sacrifice outweighs his previous misdeeds continues to divide fans.
Some Star Wars fans believe Anakin Skywalker can never be fully redeemed for his evil actions as Darth Vader, even though he sacrificed himself in an attempt to make amends in Return of the Jedi.
Star Wars character Anakin Skywalker, once a heroic Jedi, fell to the dark side of the Force and became the ruthless Sith Lord Darth Vader, serving the evil Emperor Palpatine for over two decades. Though initially conflicted about his turn to evil, he fully embraced it and committed countless atrocities across the galaxy. This included leading a siege on the Jedi Temple and murdering children training there. However, when Palpatine attempted to kill Luke Skywalker during their confrontation on the second Death Star, Vader intervened, killing Palpatine and sacrificing himself in the process.
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Many Star Wars fans believe this final redemptive act fulfills Anakin Skywalker’s prophesied destiny to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. However, on a recent Reddit thread, user eer2323 condemned Anakin as “irredeemable,” arguing that killing Palpatine “doesn’t come close” to atone for his previous misdeeds, including betraying friends. The user went so far as to call Anakin “literally worse than Hitler” for the scale of atrocities committed in service of the totalitarian regime. Nonetheless, other fans believe that no one is beyond redemption, even those who have committed terrible evils.
As user GAR_Figures commented, “It’s fair to think this [that Vader cannot be redeemed], and that’s your right.” But they note that “one of the key themes of Star Wars is that no one is ever too far gone.” Perhaps Anakin Skywalker felt his path was predetermined as a former slave on Tatooine. This may have initially attracted him to becoming a powerful Sith who controls his own destiny through the force. But in the end, he broke those chains of control and made an independent choice to sacrifice himself to save his son and defeat evil.
The last-minute turn from the dark side echoes similar redemptive arcs of other Star Wars characters. Han Solo went from a selfish smuggler to joining the Rebel Alliance and leading daring missions that helped defeat the Empire. Similarly, the character of Asajj Ventress began as a ruthless acolyte of Count Dooku but later rejected the Sith ways and found redemption through self-sacrifice. Both illustrate that those who have strayed morally can still choose to change course and find redemption, even if it comes at great personal cost. Yet whether this final sacrifice outweighs the numerous misdeeds continues to divide fans.
The Star Wars saga can be streamed on Disney Plus.
Star Wars is a multimedia franchise created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd with the 1977 motion picture. The science fiction franchise follows the adventures of characters (both humanoid and alien) in outer space, including those who can wield a mystical power known as the Force. Since the release of the original trilogy movies, the franchise has expanded to include multiple films and branched out to other mediums like comics, video games, TV shows, theme park attractions, and more. The IP and Lucasfilm were sold to Disney in 2012.
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