Anakin Skywalker grew up with a single mother. There was no father there to shield him from all the feminine attention and coddling that he got from her; and perhaps to teach him through his presence that one will, in life, always have competition over a woman’s affection and, often, lose.
Be it as it was, he was her one and only object of love, lacking siblings as well. He was parentized in another way, too, in that he was, at an age of, what, 8?, the one working and making sure that there’s food on the table; at least that is my impression. Granted, they were slaves, but we do get to meet him through the work he does for that flying insect thing. He developed considerable skills and got praise for that – but he also got used for it.
All this developed in him a superiority complex. As a young boy, he already shouldered the emotional and wordly responsibilities of an adult male. One can only wonder how much his own emotional needs got neglected for this. In his own eyes, he must have been quite a superhuman being. Taking care of his mother, the big love in his life, and getting all her praise.
When he meets Amidala at a later stage in life, having long been separated from his mother, he got infatuated with Amidala. Surely the fact that she reminded him of that time back on Tatooine was an important factor to him. He wanted to be to her what he had been to his mother: The one and only recipient of her love and attention and praise. Her hero.
This is apparent when he first meets her again. She is polite, but does not display anything he wants her to. He complains to Obi-Wan about this and Obi-Wan says something like: You are blinded by your feelings. She was happy to see us.
To be anything but the sole focus in a woman’s eyes is an insult to mommy-whipped Anakin.
I am not sure whether this is a good thing or not, but Anakin, through never having been broken by a father, also has no respect for authority. As he was in his mother’s eyes, he thinks he alone has all the answers. This surely has some positive side effects on his confidence, but it also blinds him to the fact that he is defeatable and not almighty, because his need to be great is compulsive. He does not merely follow his own gut – no, he actually needs to be superior in others’ eyes.
We can only blame it on Hollywood that Anakin actually gets the girl despite his obvious self-centered, co-dependent and supplicating form of love that he confesses to Amidala a few times. This is very unrealistic. In fact, in the construed story, he is actually under her command; a diminishing situation for a man to find himself in. That she would still love him is beyond unbelievable, although she may be attracted to his obvious skill and handsomeness. As for her being protected by him, I am not sure whether to interpret it as white-knight fantasy or feminine submission. Meh. But then, she is a career politician, so she may be fucked up in many ways herself, allowing for this weird turn of events.
An interesting mention here is also the dialogue between Anakin and Padme, where Padme asks him whether Jedi aren’t supposed to have no attachments and Anakin manipulates his infatuative attachment to his mother and her into love, thus making it appear as if his feeling is perfectly in accordance with the Jedi Code. I personally despise rules, but this is still worth mentioning.
When Anakin’s mother dies, he rages. He kills all those thingies, including children and women. I guess fair enough. But then he goes on to blame himself. He can’t allow for the fact that he couldn’t save her. He used to be her hero. He used to shoulder all the superhuman responsibilities and manage to do it. And now he failed.
This fear of failure as an all-powerful white knight haunts him intensely, right into his dreams, where he sees Padme die. He is blinded by his fear and completely fails to see through the vision as a phantom of exactly this fear. To once more fail the one important woman in his life.
Aand, we all know where this leads. In his so-called good intention to save the girl, he actually turns into the most vile and disturbed creature we can imagine. The shining white knight, as he sees himself, actually becomes a dark vengeful monster full of hatred, non-hesitant to kill innocent children even, so strong his fear of not living up to the standards that he adapted at an early stage in life just to be able to survive emotionally.
Of course, there are two sides to the whole thing. The Jedi Council does indeed shame away the darker sides of the force and calls them evil. They’re all about the shining light force. This leaves Anakin in a lonely misunderstood place he can talk to no one to, aside from the Senator who obviously abuses him for his own cause. Anakin’s own fear of not being a good white-knight opens him wide up for being manipulated by the Senator.
And think of it, the main authoritative figure of the whole story is a female. It fits nicely with the whole light side of the force thing. Even in the last moments, when Anakin kills her, she is presented as a caring thing full of love that is destroyed by his dark badness.
It almost seems as if the writer of the script did vaguely acknowledge the emotional dynamics of the whole situation and the rageful feelings of Anakin, yet fail to respect them as shades of grey, as manifestations of a non-dual universe. Instead, while he let Anakin live out those feelings, he also, in an almost self-loathing manner, vilified them and proclaimed: This is how Anakin turned evil.
The author made all the Jedi and women look good and noble, but Anakin, alone with his fears and doubts, consumed by fear, is made into the villain.
You could almost interpret this like this, from Anakin’s perspective: I failed. I failed to be the hero for those women. I am a bad piece of shit. I am a villain. Everyone hates me.
In that sense, we can almost see the whole saga as distorted through the lens of Anakin, with the good Jedi and the bad Sith. Let’s not forget, it’s just a story. Maybe in the “real” Star Wars galaxy that this story is based on, there were indeed shades of grey. Maybe in that real galaxy, the Jedi were indeed manipulative assholes, at least some of them.
But Anakin’s self-loathing, weird as it sounds, made him actually accept the angle that he is the evil one and that the Jedi are good. This was how Anakin felt and that is what he paradoxically protested against. In a way, his acts against the Jedi were acts against a conviction in his own mind: That he is bad, and that the Jedi are good.
So you could say, Anakin became evil precisely because he wanted to protest against his delusional idea of good. Because the good implied that he was bad and unlovable. He believed he was bad, but he still wanted to be who he was, more than he wanted to actually be good. What a weird paradox, ain’t it.
And surely we can blame the Jedi at least for this delusion of goodness that they fostered in his mind. It is very ironic that before their final fight, Obi-Wan says to Anakin: Only a sith deals in absolutes. While this very statement defines Sith as an absolute.
To protest against good, he deliberately chose to became the opposite reflection of good: bad. He became the opposite kind of delusional hero. He turned his superiority complex around 180 degrees, so that he could keep the superiority, while changing the semantics.
In that sense, he is a good showcase of modern white knights and SJWs. They are vile, but while being vile, they still think they’re doing it for a good cause. The delusion of good creates bad as a perfect reflection of itself, justifying – or, rather, compelling – cruelty and horror.
We may fathom a parallel reality where Anakin meditated a lot and realized that good and bad are really both aspects of his whole self.
The pain in and around Anakin’s life is a direct result of his single mother, one-itis, white-knighting – attempting to save the women in his life – and an intergalactic society that failed to acknowledge his feelings and fears and help him integrate and understand them.