Why Does Anakin Turn Evil Darth Vader in Star Wars?

Why Does Anakin Turn Evil Darth Vader in Star Wars?

The fiery planet of Mustafar set the stage for one of the most dramatic confrontations in Star Wars history. Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, faced his former Jedi Master and best friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

This clash marked the beginning of Anakin’s transformation into Star Wars Darth Vader, a twist that shocked fans around the world. But fighting with his best friend wasn’t the only key reason that made him choose the dark side and become one the most menacing and feared Sith lords.

After all, the villain with legendary status was once an ordinary farmboy who was supposed to bring balance to the Force. There’s not one or two reasons but a lot of them that speak for why does Anakin becomes Darth Vader. 

Let’s start the story of Anakin Skywalker from the beginning. Shall we?

Anakin’s Early Life and Personality

The Slave Boy, the Chosen One, or Anakin Skywalker, encounters Qui-Gon Jinn in a shop owned by junk dealer Watto. When looking for parts to repair their starship, Jinn realizes Anakin’s potential and that he’s Force-Sensitive. 

His journey truly began on Tatooine, where he was a slave with an exceptional talent for mechanics. Qui-Gon Jinn saw his potential and decided to train him in the ways of the Jedi. However, the Council denied his entry due to his fear, which manifested when he left his mother. It is the first pivotal moment that sets the stage for his internal conflict. 

He was also big enough to remember the separation and grieve over it. Going against the Council’s will, Jinn still trains Anakin with the hope that he’ll bring balance to the Force.

Even as a child, Anakin's humility and compassion were evident. He eagerly helped Qui-Gon Jinn repair his starship and cared deeply for his friends, Kitster and Wald. His dream of freeing all the slaves once he became a Jedi was a testament to his kind heart.

As Anakin grew older, his personality changed. He became prideful and rebellious, struggling with his emotions. He even despised the greed of politicians and distrusted those who made him doubt his abilities. As his fame and powers grew, so did his overconfidence, secretly believing he could defeat any Jedi blindfolded with one lightsaber tied behind his back.

Sidious sensed all of it from afar. But, but! Anakin was never this way—fearful, angry, and insecure. These emotions began to grow in him due to several incidents that took place, gradually shaping his life. 

5 Key Moments Leading to Anakin’s Turn to Evil

Sensing an opportunity in Anakin’s fear and ambitions, Sidious couldn’t resist himself for the chance. He started to manipulate him, especially after the massacre at the Jedi Temple. But you’re wrong if you guessed it as the crucial turning point for Anakin to turn Sith. 

There's no doubt all of his vulnerabilities were exploited by Darth Sidious, disguised as Palpatine. But here are five top reasons why did Anakin turn evil. 

1. The Death of His Mother

One of the most significant turning points for Anakin was the death of his mother, Shmi Skywalker. 

After experiencing visions of her suffering, Anakin returns to Tatooine only to find her captured by Tusken Raiders. 

Despite his efforts to save her, she dies in his arms, leading Anakin into a fit of rage. He massacres the entire Tusken Raider camp, an act that marked his first step toward the dark side.

2. Forbidden Love with Padmé Amidala

Anakin's secret marriage to Padmé Amidala added another layer of complexity to his life. The Jedi Code forbade attachment, but Anakin’s love for Padmé was too strong for the code. 

This love became a source of immense fear and anxiety, particularly when he began to have visions of her dying in childbirth. His desperation to save her at any cost made him easy to manipulate by those who sought to turn him to the dark side.

3. The Influence of Palpatine

Well, Chancellor Palpatine played a major role in his transformation. Palpatine was secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, after all. 

He knew Vader was insecure and full of fear, and this led Palpatine to play with Anakin’s mind by offering him immense power to save Padmé through the dark side of the Force. His mentorship and manipulation gradually eroded Anakin’s trust in the Jedi Council and shifted his allegiance.

4. Distrust of the Jedi Council

Anakin's growing mistrust of the Jedi Council is another reason for his turning to the dark side. 

In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, season 5, the Jedi Council suspends Ahsoka, which profoundly disturbs Anakin and leads him to doubt their judgment and leadership. 

On the other hand, despite his impressive skills and achievements, the Council hesitated to grant him the rank of Jedi Master. This perceived slight, combined with their suspicions and secretive behavior, fueled Anakin’s feelings of alienation and betrayal.

5. The Betrayal of Mace Windu

The final game-changer arrives and confirms Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader to his truest essence when he intervenes in the confrontation between Mace Windu and Palpatine. 

Believing that Palpatine holds the secret to saving Padmé, Anakin ultimately chooses to align with him, leading to Windu’s death. This act solidified his commitment to the dark side, and he fully embraced his new identity as Darth Vader.

Anakin Skywalker as The Darth Vader

We all have seen how brutal Darth Vader is, haven’t we? He lost his master Qui-Gon Jinn, which bred fear of losing his loved ones, killed Count Dooku under Palpatine’s influence, and was a major figure in the execution of Order 66.

He led the assault on the Jedi Temple, slaughtering younglings and fellow Jedi without hesitation. This merciless act cemented the grave of his former self and solidified his place as Palpatine’s apprentice.

However, the final stages of Anakin’s transformation occurred in Mustafar, where he was sent to eliminate the Separatist leaders. Here, he had his fateful duel, popularly known as ‘The Duel on Mustafar,’ with Obi-Wan Kenobi (still gave goosebumps).

He was ultimately defeated and left for dead, but Palpatine rescued him and transformed him into the iconic cyborg Sith Lord Darth Vader.