“Regret, he saw most plainly. And shame. Memories could be seen flashing across it…memories of rich times. And horrors. And love, too. It was a face that hadn’t touched the world in a lifetime.”
“Regret, he saw most plainly. And shame. Memories could be seen flashing across it…memories of rich times. And horrors. And love, too. It was a face that hadn’t touched the world in a lifetime.”

What is it about me and the endings of series?

Actually, I would like to make a correction here.

What is it about me and Anakin Skywalker?

I could talk about many thing concerning the final novel of the original trilogy. There are new pieces added to the story, such as extended backstories for a few characters (including Emperor Palpatine). There are also differences, the most notable of which is how Leia remembers her and Luke’s mother. Which, as you will know, is impossible because she died shortly after delivering the twins. There is no way they could have solid memories of her beyond simple feelings. There are also poignant and quite detailed descriptions in this book, which I greatly appreciated.

But I do not want to talk about those things. Do you know what I do want to talk about? It should not be hard to guess: Luke and Anakin Skywalker. Specifically, I want to address the final fight and last scene with the two of these characters.

When I was reading the prequel trilogy, there was a thought stuck in my mind. It stayed there through the first two books of this trilogy was well.

When someone goes as far over to the dark as Darth Vader did, is there still good in them? Can someone bring them back from that point, or are they lost forever?

I think this is a question many people struggle with, and this is no different for many characters within the Star Wars universe. Obi-Wan Kenobi, for instance, seems to think that Darth Vader completely decimated Anakin Skywalker. In other words, there is no way to bring him back from the Dark Side. On the other hand, it appears that Luke is conflicted and feels like he can bring his father back into the light.

I like to think that I am like Luke Skywalker in that I do not want to ever give up on someone.

And you know what? Luke Skywalker was right.

Palpatine, Sidious…whatever you want to call him did a number on Anakin. He brought him as far over to the Dark Side as he possibly could. However, I think there were hints throughout the final novel.

“Though the emptiness at his core never left him…”

“Rule with his son at his side.”

I think that Darth Sidious, the Emperor, was blinded. He forgot the driving force behind turning Anakin into Darth Vader: Padmé. One of the things, in my opinion, that sped up the process (it would have happened eventually) was his family. He wanted the power to save his wife and their unborn child(ren). To make a Harry Potter reference, if he was looking into the Mirror of Erised, I think he would have seen himself with his family: whole and complete.

I actually admire that. I mean, I would never want to go over to the “Dark Side” so to speak, nor would I want anyone to do that for me, but that is definitely dedication.

One of the final scenes in this book is, of course, the fight between Luke and Vader. Honestly, the only thing that rivals this scene are moments throughout Revenge of the Sith, also related to Anakin. As I said, what is it about Anakin and myself?

I think we actually see quite a bit of Anakin in Luke, particularly the dedication to family. Luke realizes, as we know, that it is not his father who he hates. It is the darkness inside him. I think that belief, combined with Vader’s dedication to family, was what helped Vader redeem himself. I think, personally, that Luke did kill Vader. It was a delayed reaction, but the one who stands after Vader crawls to Palpatine is not Vader. It is Anakin Skywalker.

I find it interesting that Anakin actually kills Palpatine. The Sith have a Rule, the Rule of Two, which means there can only be two Sith Lords at one time: one master and one apprentice. The tradition here is that the apprentice will kill his master, which is exactly what Anakin manages to do. There is a sort of symmetry in this. I feel like the prequels show the death of Anakin Skywalker, but the original trilogy shows him coming back from what seemed like the impossible. I think the proof of how hard it was for Anakin to return is in the description. You see him do it in the movie, but the description and the words the author chose really enhance Anakin’s feelings in that fateful moment.

Oh, Anakin.

I am so sorry.


Title: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Author: James Kahn

Publisher: Del Rey


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