Study Guide

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Fear (of Loss)

Fear (of Loss)

COUNT DOOKU: I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate, you have anger, but you don't use them.

That's because he's not supposed to, dingbat. Those are tools of the dark side, and he's trying to be a good Jedi, remember?

PADMÉ: Tell me.

ANAKIN: It was only a dream.

Padmé gives him a long, worried look. Anakin takes a deep breath.

ANAKIN: (continuing) You die in childbirth. …

PADMÉ: And the baby?

ANAKIN: I don't know.

PADMÉ: It was only a dream.

Anakin takes Padmé in his arms.

ANAKIN: I won't let this one become real, Padmé.

This marks the beginning of Anakin's obsessive fear about losing Padmé. He's not being entirely unreasonable, though; the last time he had these terrible dreams was when his mother was being tortured by the Sand People, and he got there too late to rescue her.

YODA: Careful you must be when sensing the future, Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.

ANAKIN: I won't let these visions come true, Master Yoda.

YODA: Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is.

ANAKIN: What must I do, Master Yoda?

YODA: Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

The fear of loss is a path to the dark side because you become willing to do just about anything to prevent yourself from feeling that pain. That's why Jedi aren't supposed to fall in love or get married—love will make you do crazy stuff. That being said, though, how exactly do you train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose?

PALPATINE: Remember back to your early teachings, Anakin: "All those who gain power are afraid to lose it." Even Jedi.

This is one of the main recurring motifs throughout Revenge. It's especially true for those who embrace the dark sidelike Palpatine and Anakinbut it's also less obviously true for people like Mace Windu and Yoda. They fear losing their power, but it's more because they're afraid of what other power will take its place, and they consider themselves the Republic's benevolent guardians.

PALPATINE: [Darth Plagueis] became so powerful … the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. (smiles) Plagueis never saw it coming. It's ironic he could save others from death but not himself.

We're pretty sure that George Lucas is hinting at the fact that Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, was the apprentice who killed his own master. What a convenient story to tell the man who so desperately fears the loss of his wife.

[INTERCUT]

PALPATINE: (voice-over) You do know, don't you, if the Jedi destroy me, any chance of saving her will be lost.

PADMÉ: I truly, deeply love you. Before I die, I want you to know.

C-3PO: My lady, are you … are you all right?

ANAKIN: I can't do this … I can't let her die.

Whether this is Anakin torturing himself with his prophetic dreams or Palpatine somehow manipulating what he sees, it's pretty effective motivation to make the young Skywalker take action. He can only handle watching Padmé's death so many times before he finally cracks.

ANAKIN: Just help me save Padmé's life. I can't live without her. I won't let her die. I want the power to stop death.

Are you noticing the pattern yet? Anakin is desperate. He "can't let her die"—a phrase that indicates he thinks he has a modicum of control over such a thing.

PADMÉ: So, this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.

Here, we have a totally different facet of fear. Padmé knows she's effectively powerless to prevent the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire, and she is forced to watch in dismay as the government she's worked so hard for crumbles under tyranny.

ANAKIN: Is Obi-Wan going to protect you? He can't … he can't help you. He's not strong enough.

PADMÉ: Anakin, all I want is your love.

ANAKIN: Love won't save you, Padmé. Only my new powers can do that.

PADMÉ: At what cost? You are a good person. Don't do this.

ANAKIN: I won't lose you the way I lost my mother! I've become more powerful than any Jedi has ever dreamed of, and I've done it for you. To protect you.

Oof. Anakin is so worried about letting his wife die, he doesn't stop to think whether or not she'll like the person he's become with his shiny new powers.

DARTH VADER: Where is Padmé? Is she safe, is she all right?

DARTH SIDIOUS: I'm afraid she died … it seems in your anger, you killed her.

DARTH VADER: I couldn't have! She was alive! I felt her! She was alive! It's impossible! No!

Alanis Morissette should add a verse in her song to talk about how ironic this is. Anakin joined forces with the dark side to protect Padmé, but once he achieves his full power, she's dead anyway. Womp womp.