Nov 23, 2015

Red vs Blue lightsabers in the duality of Anakin Skywalker

In what may or not be case of over reading into things, Dan Zehr has provided some pretty cool insight into some of the themes that revolve around Anakin Sykywalker in Revenge of the Sith.

His article on the official Star Wars site features a consideration of modern 'man or machine' discussion and the ability of evil to 'subvert the natural order' and the two faces of Palpatine.

What really got my attention however was the duality drawn by Anakin's use of two sabers to behead the quite surprised Count Dooku in Revenge of the Sith. If you recall at the beginning of the movie, Obi-Wan and Anakin are on a mission to rescue the conniving Palpatine which ends with Anakin being encouraged by the Chancellor to end Dooku's life and thus ending the Clone War (at face value anyway).

While this scene is obviously a deliberate signal to the viewer that Anakin has dipped his toes into the Dark Side of the Force, the message of the double saber may not have been have been picked up by all viewers (certainly not this author who has seen Revenge of the Sith 11 times by his reckoning).

So what is this duality Dan wrote of?

"On General Grievous’ flagship, Anakin captures Dooku’s lightsaber in dramatic fashion, thereby crossing both blades at the neck of the Sith Lord. 

The symbolism here is strong: the blue blade represents Anakin’s optimism, hope, and rationality, while the red blade (which Anakin will soon wield in another form) represents his anger, despair, and inherent violence. 

Both blades work in tandem, further demonstrating the conflict and dichotomy of the tragic hero."

Pretty heavy stuff but it turns our Dan is a school teacher who takes English classes so he's probably read enough Shakespeare to have enough authority to make such connections ;)

This is a great example of the talent of George Lucas. He's a wonderful story teller and this small moment of visually representing the duality of Anakin's journey is a nice small moment that reinforces the character's journey to the dark side. 

As an aside, our favourite 'small thing' in this movie occurs later when Anakin is covered by shadow, whereas in front of him Obi-Wan Kenobi is lit up, foreshadowing where each character's destiny ultimately lies in the movie. 

While this movie came after Jedi, in terms of story telling,  Luke Skywalker also followed his father's footsteps in terms of duality and his struggle to keep the dark side at bay - however this was explored in terms of Luke realising he was becoming his father when he severed Vader's arm, mirroring himself in the process. 

While at face value the Star Wars franchise is a kid's set of movies, look for the hidden depths as an adult you may just enjoy all six films all the more...

We really suggest you read Dan's full article and check out his Star Wars site, Coffee With Kenobi.

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