So yesterday, I focused on the anger issues with Star Wars’ Anakin Skywalker. I said that Anakin’s problems seemed to border on a disorder, and named IED as an example of a possible disorder that Anakin had to deal with on the road to the Dark Side of the Force.
On the other end of the scale is Anakin’s son, Luke Skywalker.
Luke is an interesting character. On the one hand, he is his father’s son. From the moment the audience is introduced to Luke, they can see how wide-eyed and bushy-tailed Luke is. He is stuck on an air farm on Tatooine, stuck on the planet despite his desire to become a space fighter. Like his father, an old Jedi—this time Obi-Wan Kenobi—finds Luke and asks him to come with him to help save the world (yes, that’s simplified, I know. Shush.)
However, Luke is not as angry as Anakin. Sure, Luke does have fits of emotion. From the death of Kenobi, to the the loss of his hand, to the eventual beatdown of Vader in Return of the Jedi, we do see Luke lose control of his emotions and show glimpses of his anger and sadness. Unlike Anakin, however, Luke is able to curb his emotions and keep himself in check.
Luke’s problems are more internal as opposed to the external problems that Anakin has. His emotions rarely pop up in explosions of anger. Instead, he has to live with a constant amount of stress, frustration, and pressure of being one of the last Jedi around. Furthermore, he has to keep control even after learning that his father is the reason he’s one of the last Jedi around. That’s a lot of stress.
Yet Luke keeps composed. He doesn’t succumb to his anger. He stays mellow and relaxed.
I think it has something to do with the pain that Anakin has to go through. Through their connection, Luke has seen the evil that comes with being, well, evil. Luke has seen the destruction that comes with evil, and because of this, he’s able to curtail it
The best example of this comes from the last lightsaber fight in Return of the Jedi. To beat Vader, Luke has to tap into his emotions. The attacks Luke throws at Vader are filled with hate. Yet, when asked to join the Dark Side, Luke resists. He’s seen how the Dark Side destroyed his father, and he simply wants no part in that.
Anakin didn’t have an example of the evil of evil, just the stories of the Sith and their reach. For Luke, Anakin was the example.