Between Anakin’s inability to accept the change he cannot control and a powerful mentor in his life telling him that he can (and should) bend others to his will, his decision to switch sides and join Team Sith starts to make more sense, once you drill down to the essence of his arc in the prequel trilogy. But there’s another vital piece to the puzzle which is Anakin’s downfall and that’s where the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” comes in. It’s here that we’re shown just how Anakin’s legacy as a war hero came to be and the ways he was mythologized throughout the galaxy, inflating his sense of ego and self-importance.
He wouldn’t be the last Skywalker to fall for his own hype, of course. Decades later, Anakin’s son Luke would make a similar mistake, in his hubris believing he could “pass on [his] strengths” to his nephew Ben and curb his own internal conflict. “Because I was Luke Skywalker. Jedi Master. A legend,” he bitterly tells his pupil Rey in “The Last Jedi.” He even recognizes the very same darkness in Rey that he saw in Ben — and Anakin before him — when Rey is drawn to a spot on Ahch-To where a powerful dark presence resides.
“It offered something you needed. And you didn’t even try to stop yourself,” Luke points out to Rey. Those same words could almost apply to Anakin, as often as we see him visibly struggle against that desire during the quieter and more intimate moments from the “Star Wars” films and TV shows. But in the end, Luke’s words cut right to the heart of the matter: Anakin joined the dark side because he needed it, convinced only he could wield it properly.
Because he was Anakin Skywalker. Jedi
Master Knight. A legend.