Movie Reviews

Star Wars: Anakin's Clone War Victories Hinted At His Sith Future

This article contains spoilers for Obi-Wan #3.

The Jedi should have been concerned by Anakin Skywalker’s military victories in the Star Wars prequel trilogy – because they hinted at his imminent fall to the dark side. Viewers first heard mention of the Clone Wars in the first Star Wars film, and – like Luke Skywalker himself – they imagined them to be glorious battles between heroes and villains. The truth, it transpired, was very different; the Clone Wars were the ultimate Jedi trap, because by fighting at all, the Jedi lost.

Emotions such as fear, hatred, and anger cloud the Force, diminishing the power of a Jedi and their ability to draw upon the light. Meanwhile, in Obi-Wan #3 – by Christopher Cantwell, Alessandro Miracolo, and Frank William – an aged Obi-Wan Kenobi reflected back on the Clone Wars, recognizing the Jedi were forced into a position that was opposed to everything they stood for. “All war — in part, at least — concerns dominion,” he had come to realize. “ As servants of the Force, we learned that it presides over all, like an unseen current. To seek any kind of dominance is to misunderstand the very nature of the Force.

Related: Star Wars May Have Fixed a Huge Return of the Jedi Plot Hole

It’s a fascinating observation, explaining why the Jedi could be so easily outmaneuvered by the Sith in matters of war; because domination is of the dark side, giving the Sith something of a home-field advantage. The comment has major implications for the Jedi who flourished during the Clone Wars, suggesting they were closer to the dark side than they cared to admit. Anakin Skywalker was a true Clone Wars hero; Matt Stover’s novelization of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith revealed he and Obi-Wan Kenobi had become famed across the galaxy for their daring rescues, their bold strategies, and their ability to overcome any odds. With the benefit of hindsight, Anakin’s particular skills should have worried the Jedi – because domination came naturally to him.

Obi-Wan’s thoughts reframe the Clone Wars, adding another layer to Palpatine’s Machiavellian schemes. The battles themselves were a way of forging Anakin Skywalker, transforming Anakin into Darth Vader, for they encouraged him to become an expert in domination. Obi-Wan rejected the experience – he often served as the voice of restraint and reason to his former Padawan, pulling Anakin back from the brink. But the two were not always together, and it is telling that Palpatine’s final strategy divided them across the galaxy while he made his endgame.

The Jedi of the prequel era truly were truly lacking in wisdom. Caught up in the blood and chaos of the Clone Wars, they didn’t realize the hero they were venerating was becoming ever more susceptible to the dark side. By the time they noticed anything, it was too late – and the dark side ascended, bringing the Star Wars prequel trilogy to a shocking conclusion.

More: Star Wars Explains The Crucial Difference Between Jedi & Sith Lightsabers

Obi-Wan #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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