This one time, my brother made a “great” mistake as he rented out and brought home the 4th film in a particular film series. What were we supposed to do? We convinced ourselves that the fourth film had probably already lost its plot chronology and there would be no harm in watching the fourth film first and seeing the first three later. Indeed, we did watch the first three films later… much later…
Sometimes, people are just fated to make mistakes – this was the case with my brother and this was the case with Anakin Skywalker – a slave boy who was ready to partake in a death race to gain freedom. This was probably the last moment when Anakin was not afraid of anything; he believed that he would be victorious and finally be able to leave the abhorrent sand-filled planet once and for all with his mother. And that’s pretty much what happened – he defeated the all-time champion Sebulba and gained freedom, but only for himself.
… The wise Yoda told him in their very first meeting: “fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering”. Having heard this in his childhood, the great hero of the galaxy, the chosen one, the last hope of achieving balance of power, constantly repeated this quote like a mantra, but as I said, he was fated to make a mistake and this mistake was called love.
Fear cast a eternal shadow over Anakin: he was afraid that he would never see his mother again, that he wouldn’t be able to save Padmé, that he would lose the trust of the Jedi, that he couldn’t properly teach Asoka and that he himself, as the chosen one, couldn’t fulfill the expectations bestowed on him. Despite his best efforts, everyone that he loved, he lost, one by one: his mother, Asoka, faith, confidence and then, when the only thing he had left to lose was Padmé, he realized the mistakes he had made, and traded his blue light-saber for a red one.
This decision turned out to be an even more fateful one, although only for himself and his universe – us earthlings got a lot more than we bargained for: one of the most impeccable villains of all time, with his unmistakable grotesque appearance, the iconic breathing, and of course, the grand music, each chord of which tells of one episode of this black knight’s life; this movie also gave us one of the most emotional scenes in cinematic history, when the dying Darth Vader asks his son to remove his mask, so he could see him with his own eyes just once, and he finally tells him that Luke was right about everything all along…
Darth Vader dies precisely in this scene – he dies with all his fear, anger and hate still bottled up; he dies because of the mistakes he made after donning the black mask, and returns as Anakin Skywalker – the chosen one, a hero, the best flyer in the galaxy, savior of races and planets, friend of Obi Wan Kenobi, lover of Padmé and Yoda’s chosen follower, who teaches his son in one sentence to learn from his mistakes, and to stake out his own path.
Yes, mistakes really do happen – on Earth and in galaxies far, far away. Anakin’s decision turned out to be a necessary mistake; this was a good mistake. Honestly, we can’t even really call it a mistake – maybe a mistake that could have been rectified with one simple action, and frankly leaving it unresolved probably wouldn’t have caused any harm either – you all probably know what I mean.