PDA

View Full Version : The Psychology of Darth Vader Revealed



PoliCon
06-06-2010, 05:48 AM
By Jeremy Hsu, LiveScience Senior Writer

posted: 04 June 2010 09:57 am ET
Previous Image Next Image

Anakin Skywalker Goes Bad
Did borderline personality disorder help push Anakin Skywalker over to the dark side? Credit: LucasFilm

Anakin Skywalker's eventual transformation into Darth Vader might have more to do with psychological issues than the Force, researchers hint.

The tragic hero of the "Star Wars" prequels displays patterns of instability and impulsivity in the second and third films that make him an obvious candidate for borderline personality disorder (BPD), according to French psychiatrists and psychologists.

The researchers also suspect the traits exhibited by Skywalker might make him more appealing and relatable to teen fans, given that teens may also display certain characteristics of borderline personality disorder.

"I had watched the two prequel movies ["Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith"], and it was during my residency in psychiatry while trying to explain borderline personality disorder to medical students that I thought of Anakin," said Eric Bui, a psychiatrist at Toulouse University Hospital in France.

Bui and his colleagues first presented their diagnosis at the annual convention of the American Psychiatric Association in 2007. Now, their letter to the editor titled "Is Anakin Skywalker suffering from borderline personality disorder?" is slated to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychiatry Research.

Skywalker hit six out of the nine borderline personality disorder criteria as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV). He only needed to meet five criteria to qualify as suffering from the disorder.

A great disturbance in the Force

For instance, the future Darth Vader showed both impulsivity and anger management issues as an overexcited, lovelorn Jedi. He went back and forth between idealizing and devaluing Jedi mentors, such as a humorless young Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Abandonment issues also surfaced. Skywalker had a permanent fear of losing his wife, Padme Amidala, and he went so far as to betray his Jedi mentors and companions to try to prevent her death.

Two displays of dissociative episodes took place when Skywalker tried to distance himself from stressful events. The first episode took place after he slaughtered a local tribe of Tuskens responsible for his mother's death. A second episode occurred following his murderous rampage among young Jedi trainees, as he voiced paranoid thoughts about Obi-Wan Kenobi and his wife.

Lastly, any "Star Wars" fan would recognize Skywalker's identity issues and uncertainty about who he was. His fateful turn to the dark side and change of name to Darth Vader could represent the ultimate sign of such identity disturbance, the researchers said.

The future Darth Vader would also still qualify as a "borderline type" under the revised guidelines of the DSM-V, which will serve as the new bible for psychiatry.

"From what we know of the future DSM-V, Anakin is a "good" to "very good" match to the future BPD," Bui told LiveScience.

Searching for balance

Skywalker's case of borderline personality disorder has proven useful for both Bui and Rachel Rodgers, a researcher at the Center for Studies and Research in Applied Psychology in France. They have used the "Star Wars" example to teach their students for the past few years, and noted that such a famous fictional example could spread awareness.

The researchers also suggested that the success of the "Star Wars" prequel films might partially rely upon how teens can relate to the troubled Anakin Skywalker. Only adults can be diagnosed with to borderline personality disorder under the current DSM-IV guidelines, but Bui and Rodgers pointed to several studies that suggest the disorder is fairly frequent among teens.

Either way, the situation in the "Star Wars" prequels seems clear to Bui. He pointed out that the emperor's dark and destabilizing influence upon a young Skywalker might have even exacerbated the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

But like any good doctor, Bui also has a treatment recommendation.

"I believe that psychotherapy would have helped Anakin and might have prevented him from turning to the dark side," Bui said. "Using the dark side of the Force could be considered as similar to drug use: It feels really good when you use it, it alters your consciousness and you know you shouldn’t do it."

http://www.livescience.com/culture/psychology-darth-vader-revealed-100604.html

djones520
06-06-2010, 05:57 AM
Ummm... no shit? Wonder how much money was spent on something that anyone who watched the movie could have told you.

PoliCon
06-06-2010, 06:01 AM
why the fuck are they wasting money studying FICTIONAL characters????

Sonnabend
06-06-2010, 06:59 AM
why the fuck are they wasting money studying FICTIONAL characters????

For the same reason they get grants to research the fiction of AGW.

Zathras
06-06-2010, 12:17 PM
And here I thought Anakin Skywalker went bad was due to the shitty acting of Hayden Christensen.

noonwitch
06-07-2010, 09:43 AM
And here I thought Anakin Skywalker went bad was due to the shitty acting of Hayden Christensen.


I always think how awesome episodes 2 and 3 would have been with a different actor in the role.


I always see it more of a take on the old greek mythology stories, than a matter of simple modern psychology-the things you do to avoid a bad fate that has been prophecied are always the exact actions that bring that fate onto your head. From Oedipus to Paris and his role in the fall of Troy, it is always the same.
Annakin seeks to save his wife by turning to the dark side, but the acts he commits to show his allegience to the dark side are the very things that cause him to lose her.

NJCardFan
06-07-2010, 11:11 AM
I think Christensen was cast only because he was a pretty boy. I never pictured Anikan was a whiny little bitch but Christensen killed that for me. When Jake Lloyd makes a better actor than you, you know you're bad.

PoliCon
06-07-2010, 11:22 AM
I think Christensen was cast only because he was a pretty boy. I never pictured Anikan was a whiny little bitch but Christensen killed that for me. When Jake Lloyd makes a better actor than you, you know you're bad.

half of their being bad is Lucas's writing. The man sucks as a writer. He's a great idea man - but his dialogues are trite.

Rebel Yell
06-07-2010, 11:36 AM
half of their being bad is Lucas's writing. The man sucks as a writer. He's a great idea man - but his dialogues are trite.

Christensen wasn't nearly as bad in Jumper. Lucas's dialogue is horrible. He's really not the genius nerds think he is.

Case in point. Young Annakin in Episode one actually said "WHOOOPEEEEE!!!!".

PoliCon
06-07-2010, 11:43 AM
Christensen wasn't nearly as bad in Jumper. Lucas's dialogue is horrible. He's really not the genius nerds think he is.

Case in point. Young Annakin in Episode one actually said "WHOOOPEEEEE!!!!".

exactly. :D

noonwitch
06-07-2010, 11:48 AM
Christensen wasn't nearly as bad in Jumper. Lucas's dialogue is horrible. He's really not the genius nerds think he is.

Case in point. Young Annakin in Episode one actually said "WHOOOPEEEEE!!!!".


I prefer the original trilogy to the more recent one. The best line in cinema ever is at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, when Leia tells the about to be frozen Han Solo "I love you" and he responds "I know". Of course, Harrison Ford though that line up, not Lucas. But that might be part of why those movies are so much better than the newer ones-better actors who have a good grasp of who their characters are.

The newer films are good in some parts-I particularly like the casting of Ewan McGregor as a young Obi Wan, but they are all about the special effects. I despise Jar Jar Binks-not only is he stupid, he's offensive to the old asian stereotypes (like "ancient chinese secret"). I only paid to see the first one in a theater, and that was only because it was 100 degrees that day and I didn't have a/c.

Zathras
06-07-2010, 11:56 AM
One thing I have been doing is watching the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon series, which takes place between episodes 2 and 3. The Anakin of the cartoon series is nowhere near the whiny little bitch that he is in episodes 2 and 3.

PoliCon
06-07-2010, 12:02 PM
One thing I have been doing is watching the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon series, which takes place between episodes 2 and 3. The Anakin of the cartoon series is nowhere near the whiny little bitch that he is in episodes 2 and 3.

Lucas doesn't write those episodes. Nuff said.

NJCardFan
06-07-2010, 01:18 PM
I prefer the original trilogy to the more recent one. The best line in cinema ever is at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, when Leia tells the about to be frozen Han Solo "I love you" and he responds "I know". Of course, Harrison Ford though that line up, not Lucas. But that might be part of why those movies are so much better than the newer ones-better actors who have a good grasp of who their characters are.

The newer films are good in some parts-I particularly like the casting of Ewan McGregor as a young Obi Wan, but they are all about the special effects. I despise Jar Jar Binks-not only is he stupid, he's offensive to the old asian stereotypes (like "ancient chinese secret"). I only paid to see the first one in a theater, and that was only because it was 100 degrees that day and I didn't have a/c.
I thought the blacks were offended by Jar Jar? It was the Federation that offended the Asians. And Watto was offensive to Jews. I dunno. But Episode 1 sucked out loud. The participants in the pod race were nothing short of cartoons and let's not forget the over the top Howard Cosell-esque announcers of the race. IMO, Lucas lost it by the time he made Jedi when he replaced the battle of Kashyyyk involving Wookies with the Battle of Endor and Ewoks. And don't get me started on the re-worked versions.

Articulate_Ape
06-07-2010, 01:29 PM
half of their being bad is Lucas's writing. The man sucks as a writer. [/b]


QFT




He's a great idea man -

Not really, if you look closely, he is good at exploitation, but almost all of his "ideas" are basically rip-offs that would make the Chinese blush.



but his dialogues are trite.

QFT


Mind you, the movies were fun and the early ones groundbreaking, but in the crucible of time, they have lost a lot of their luster I think.

noonwitch
06-07-2010, 03:42 PM
I thought the blacks were offended by Jar Jar? It was the Federation that offended the Asians. And Watto was offensive to Jews. I dunno. But Episode 1 sucked out loud. The participants in the pod race were nothing short of cartoons and let's not forget the over the top Howard Cosell-esque announcers of the race. IMO, Lucas lost it by the time he made Jedi when he replaced the battle of Kashyyyk involving Wookies with the Battle of Endor and Ewoks. And don't get me started on the re-worked versions.


I'm a girl, I always kind of liked the cute little Ewoks. I saw that one the summer after my freshman year at college-my high school friends and I reunited to go see it.

The best is The Empire Strikes Back. It's fun, the action is good, it doesn't have the standard happy ending, and, of course, it has Han Solo, which makes it better than any of the new ones. He's the character that brings it all together, to make the first trilogy successful. Although, that one was filmed when Carrie Fisher was an active addict, doing coke with Belushi and others in that crowd. If you look at her closely, she looks really messed up in some of the scenes.

Zathras
06-07-2010, 03:52 PM
Lucas doesn't write those episodes. Nuff said.

True. They've also given Anakin a Padawan learner, Ashoka Tano. I'm really curious as to her future and what happens to her as the series progresses and if it has any effect on Anakin's turn towards the dark side.

NJCardFan
06-07-2010, 04:21 PM
I'm a girl, I always kind of liked the cute little Ewoks. I saw that one the summer after my freshman year at college-my high school friends and I reunited to go see it.

The best is The Empire Strikes Back. It's fun, the action is good, it doesn't have the standard happy ending, and, of course, it has Han Solo, which makes it better than any of the new ones. He's the character that brings it all together, to make the first trilogy successful. Although, that one was filmed when Carrie Fisher was an active addict, doing coke with Belushi and others in that crowd. If you look at her closely, she looks really messed up in some of the scenes.

Han Solo was in A New Hope as well. However, I agree that Ford was the talent. He had the best lines. My favorite from Empire was when they're in the giant space slug and the ship lists and Leia falls into his arms and after a brief exchange, he tells her, "I don't have time for anything else" which really pisses her off.