Anakin in the prequels is presented as the character who allows himself to feel the most, and keeps getting told he shouldn’t do that. It’s a true tragedy, of being swallowed whole by the world around you. He’s always trying to do the right thing, but no one really cares about his best interests after Qui-Gon’s death. Qui-Gon saw potential in him. The other guy who sees potential in him is a manipulative bastard named Palpatine. And guess who’s still around for the second and third movies? When we first meet him Anakin is defensive about being a slave, preferring that he not be seen as one. And to reach his potential he has to leave his mother behind. Then fast-forward a decade and he’s a Jedi acting more as a peer to Obi-Wan than a pupil. The Obi-Wan we meet on Tatooine has become far more like Qui-Gon, a pragmatist, but the younger Obi-Wan is a true believer whose only shortcoming is his inability to rein Anakin in (we learn he also sees Anakin as his brother). And then Anakin reunites with Padme, who at first refuses to see him as anything but the little boy she once knew. To Anakin it’s a nightmare; he never wants to be seen as what he actually is. Inside the head of Darth Vader? Someone who absolutely loathes what he has become, and that self-loathing creates a permanently volatile personality, who utterly lacks the compassion that once defined Anakin. He has lost hope. (Heh.) He reunites with his mother but only after she’s been kidnapped and pretty much tortured to death, and she dies in front of him, and he slaughters the whole Tusken Raider village. He confesses to Padme and this exposure to his vulnerability confirms the sincerity of his love for her. She stops seeing him as a little boy. Then they secretly get married. He’s disobeyed the Jedi edict against strong emotions one too many times, made one too many lasting relationships. (Likely potential Jedi were recruited young mostly so they didn’t formed familial attachments.) Then Palpatine creates a new fear of loss within him, and shows him the way to overcome it, but of course all he wants is to draft him into the Sith. This leads to a final confrontation with his Jedi counterpart, Obi-Wan, and once completely severed from his old life, Anakin is free to become Darth Vader, the perfect manifestation of the Force, at least as the Sith see it. And of course ironically his son Luke brings balance to the Force (for a time, anyway) because of his devotion to his father, something that the Jedi in their prime would’ve strongly discouraged. The sequels have his grandson find his greatest rival in someone who has no link at all to the old ways, and her greatest stumbling block is yearning for a family that abandoned her. But she has far more Jedi in her than Sith. The Sith are above all defined by selfish pursuits. Were Anakin’s original goals selfish? Or could he have found a balance? Did his son? Will Rey?