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How Does Anakin Become a Jedi Ghost in RotJ? (Ep. 3 spoilers)

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How Does Anakin Become a Jedi Ghost in RotJ? (Ep. 3 spoilers)

Old 05-19-05, 08:43 PM
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How Does Anakin Become a Jedi Ghost in RotJ? (Ep. 3 spoilers)

I asked the question in another thread, but it's being ignored, so I thought I'd create my own thread.

I have dozens of nit-picky issues with the prequels. But having now seen all 6 films (and seeing Episode III twice), I now find myself focusing on the fact that one of the greatest, most moving images in all the films -- the 3 Jedi ghosts together at the end of Jedi -- makes no freaking sense at all.

And, actually, it doesn't matter which one you consider 'official' -- the original Sebastian Shaw ghost, or the new Lucas-ized Hayden Ghost of '04.


Episode III makes it clear that the Sith have no clue how to stop death. And that Qui-Gon is the only one who learned the skill, and he teaches Yoda and Obi-Wan. Great.

How the fuck does Anakin turn into a ghost? Even if he is the 'chosen one', even if he does embrace the 'light side' at the end -- he lacks the knowledge to do this. No one has taught him.

Lucas seems to have spent 30 years on a film cycle that ends with a scene that makes no logical sense. I'd love for someone to explain...
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Old 05-19-05, 09:01 PM
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Any answer is just going to be a retcon.

Based on the movies, I gather that the secret is complete surrender to the Force at the time of death, which wouldn't be something the Sith would ever attempt, since they are only interested in manipulating the Force and bending it to their own will. I guess it's conceivable that when Anakin was dying, he finally surrendered to the Force, or something. Or maybe Obi-Wan interceded before he died. Who knows.
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Old 05-19-05, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
Who knows.
And there -- in two words -- is probably my biggest problem with the prequels.

Anakin in Episode II has to deal with his mother's violent death, declares that he's going to learn how to stop people from dying.

Anakin in Episode III has premonitions of Padme dying, tries to find the secret to stop death -- in fact, ultimate joins the Sith to do so.

... and then, the audience is given no further info about this until the end when we see him as a Jedi ghost (inexplicably, now in his Hayden form, no less...)

A good filmmaker (and a want to believe that Lucas is one) wouldn't have a 6-film cycle that ends with an image that has his viewers thinking "huh? Who knows."
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Old 05-19-05, 09:54 PM
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Well, Anakin is the "Chosen One"

Face it, he gets a free pass for everything he's done. As I've said in another thread the guy's just privileged. He becomes a powerful Jedi and he beds Padme. He chooses the Dark Side because he's well... emotionally weak (Did he learn absolutely nothing in his Jedi trials?) but he still gets the privilege of eternal life. Okay, so he gets his arms and legs cut off and is nearly burned to a crisp but still, what a bastard considering all the damage he's done.

Anakin's the character I love to hate. Even more than Jar Jar. Phony bastard. I hate that guy!

Last edited by IanH; 05-19-05 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 05-19-05, 10:02 PM
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maybe he learns it in the 40 years between ep3 and ep6

or maybe like in the darth vader blog qui gon visits "Ani" off and on like obi wan does with luke
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Old 05-19-05, 10:07 PM
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I didn't think that preventing death meant becoming a ghost. Because well that's not preventing death.
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Old 05-19-05, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
Interesting read. Sometimes the language betrays the author but it is a pretty convincing and moving personal account of Anakin/Vader during the OT. Its very well done.

But I still hate that Anakin guy from the Prequels.

Last edited by IanH; 05-19-05 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 05-19-05, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
maybe he learns it in the 40 years between ep3 and ep6
There's only about 21+ years between 3 and 6.

18 from 3-4
3 from 4-5
6 months from 5-6

But, even, then... Vader clearly doesn't know about the ghost thing in Episode IV. Obi-Wan says that he couldn't 'possibly imagine' what would happen if he struck him down. And Vader seems confused by the disappearance, tapping the cloak with his foot.

Even if Lucas's answer to this is that Vader learns how to do this between Episodes IV and VI... is that really something that should happen off-screen? With absolutely *zero* hint as to what's going on?

Again, I love Star Wars. I respect Lucas. But he really dropped the ball on this supposed 'important' theme of the films. I've been following this shit for the past 28 years. And I have no way of explaining what happens at the end now.
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Old 05-20-05, 03:16 AM
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When the whole Jedi Ghost replacement controversy happened, didn't Lucas say Ep III would "explain" the reason Annie showed up at the end of Jedi instead of Charred Anakin..?
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Old 05-20-05, 07:42 AM
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The only answer that I can think of is that Anakin is stronger within the force than any jedi. The Force, after all, was basically his father. A weak answer but all I could think of, really.
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Old 05-20-05, 08:13 AM
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Yeah - I was thinking the same exact thing.

Yoda tells ObiWan that he has some "training" for him to do as he rots away in the desert. Therefore - I would assume that transgressing into everlasting life takes a great deal of training (many many years) of dedication - kind of like a monk at one of those temples.

But over all - there is no reason Anakin should be standing there at the end of ROTJ
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Old 05-20-05, 09:34 AM
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So I guess the reason Qui-Gon didn't disappear in Episode I is because they cremated him alive.
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Old 05-20-05, 10:24 AM
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My take (and it might be totally wrong) was that Obi-Wan, Yoda, and eventually Luke learn how to speak to and see the ghosts of the dead Jedi instead of the Jedi learning how to become a ghost.
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Old 05-20-05, 10:42 AM
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The Emperor talked about a Sith Lord having the same ability to live forever (presumably like the Jedi ghost immortality) and that Sith Lord was permanently killed by his apprentice which I took to be the Emperor himself (who would have learned the trick from his master). So, wouldn't the Emperor teach his apprentice (Vader) the same trick and thus also create the symmetry of Vader killing his master being a parallel to the Emperor killing his master.
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Old 05-20-05, 10:42 AM
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I do believe Borst is on the right track. In Ep III Yoda tells Obi Wan that Qui Gon had discovered a way for Jedi to commune with Jedi who had passed on. It seems that he discovered this AFTER HE DIED (indicating that for Jedi Masters, some form of spirit with an intellectual cohesiveness remaining after death is pretty much the norm). Yoda, being the force guru that he is, was able to perceive Qui Gon's communications, and can teach Obi Wan the same skill. So IMHO, it's a two way street. Those powerful in the force can communicate back, and obviously with each other, once dead. Those powerful in the force that are still alive can receive even without training in the specific skill(note Luke receiving Obi Wan while attacking the Death Star, long before serious force training began) but it probably helps.

All due respect to you Kevin, but I fell that the Sith self-centeredness would imply that immortality to them must be complete and include the physical as well as the spiritual self.

Last edited by AGuyNamedMike; 05-20-05 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 05-20-05, 10:46 AM
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Well how did Qui Gon learn it? maybe he and Anakin discovered it the same way.
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Old 05-20-05, 10:48 AM
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Didn't Yoda say that Qui Gon learned it from beyond the grave? Vader/Anakin could've learned it after he died. Maybe Qui Gon showed him after Vader died.
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Old 05-20-05, 11:05 AM
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Do you guys think that Lucas will add in Qui Gon to the final scene of ROTJ at some point? Luke would have no idea who he is but maybe if he appeared with Anakin at the same time it would help some people answer this question (Qui Gon taught him after death).

Last edited by Mrs.Nesbit; 05-20-05 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 05-20-05, 11:22 AM
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I think Anakin gets a free pass on being a Force ghost simply by being the Chosen One.
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Old 05-20-05, 01:55 PM
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There is no logical explanation. I always assumed becoming a Force ghost involved a willingness to die when your time comes. That's what we see with Ben and Yoda, and to a lesser extent Anakin/Vader. But ROTS actually complicates the issue with Yoda telling Obi-Wan he needs to train him on how to do this. That means Anakin had no way of ever knowing(unless Palpatine somehow knew and I doubt that).

Ultimately it's lazy filmmaking on Lucas' part which is apparent throughout the prequels and especially ROTS. He did a good job connecting most of the dots, but he dropped the ball bigtime on the major ones(Anakin's turn being the most blatent).
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Old 05-20-05, 02:24 PM
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Forgive me if I am incorrect, but I am moving so I have packed up my DVDs...doesn't Anakin's ghost appear later than Yoda's and Ben's in ROTJ. So maybe Ben and Yoda told Anakin how to do it after he died. Just a guess. I think the force ghost thing is the weakest part of ROTS, it needed more than a one line explanation.
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Old 05-20-05, 02:29 PM
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Whenever there's a question like this, the wizard did it.
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Old 05-20-05, 07:10 PM
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Qui-Gon learned it in the after-life, hence why he didn't disappear. Obi-Wan and Yoda got to learn it before death, hence they disappeared. Anakin didn't disappear.

My guess is that the ability to come back as a spirit has to do with those you knew in life. It is their lifeforce that you're tapping into, coming back through them. They probably also have to be tapped into the Force. This would explain why we never see Qui-Gon with the others in Jedi (Other than the obvious there was no Qui-Gon in the 80's). Luke and Qui-Gon never met, so he couldn't come back.

When Vader was unmasked, he became Anakin again, and died as Anakin. His time as a Sith is forgotten (Perhaps the Jedi faith is like being a Catholic, and he was forgiven for his sins by repenting), and as he passes his spirit form is how he was before the Sith disease infected him.

In the spirit world, he reunites wth Yoda, Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan, who manage to teach him how to return through Luke.
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Old 05-20-05, 07:24 PM
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ROTS: Vader kills Jedi - their bodies remains.

ANH: Vader kills Kenobi - his body dissapears. WTF? That never happened before.

So he either figures it out over the next several years, or maybe he tosses it around with the Emperor. Whatever the case, he knows from the point he kills Kenobi, that something very different happened there.
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Old 05-20-05, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
There's only about 21+ years between 3 and 6.

18 from 3-4
3 from 4-5
6 months from 5-6
those 18 years really took their tole on obi wan... he ages like 30 years in that time.. I guess I could believe he was as old as 35 in the movie (they even call him 'young jedi' in ep 3) but I think he is in his 60's in episode 4
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