#they really wasted an opportunity with the Larses in the PT #imo #anakin has almost no connection to them #not they to him #and i mean yeah they knew shmi #but still… [via @flaminganakin]
Personally, I love what the PT did precisely because they have no connection. The trip to Tatooine is of course a major moment of the Prequels, and I think it’s so much more poignant with this lack of connection made between Anakin and the Larses. And it’s sad, but understandable in-verse:
In that gif set (thank you @padawanlost for making so much of them), we see Owen talking, moving his hands, fidgeting, and Anakin not opening his mouth, just standing there, listening, not liking what he hears, and he is just taller and seems to be looking down on them. It all does not look like a good family meeting, and it’s exactly what’s going on. It’s not the PT who missed an occasion, it’s Anakin who wasted it. As I interpret it, he just doesn’t want to have any connection. When he’s here with them, he keeps repeating “mother”, because he’s really only there for her, not for her new family (thus also his) that he didn’t know she had found. And the Larses explain how it’s too late and she’s dead, but he does not let it go, and says again that he is going after his mother and he leaves them. And he probably doesn’t like how they give up on her while they call themselves her family.
It must be really hard for Anakin to accept them. He was Shmi’s only son, without a father, without anyone else in their lives, her and him against the world for 9 years, and when he comes back, suddenly he has a stepfather, a stepbrother and soon a sister-in-law, meaning Shmi has a husband, a new son, a new home, soon a new daughter-in-law, and, who knows, grandchildren (that he himself won’t give her). He realizes she has built a life without him, and even if it’s better for her, that’s a lot to take. They might be family now, but he came here for her, not them. And when they tell him to let her go, he lets them go.
Not that I don’t understand what you mean. I too would have liked to see them chatting and stuff, but I think it was really well made that they did not. It might be a little surprising, when we listen to Owen in ANH, how he talks about Anakin, as if he knew him well, for better or for worse, but that’s part of the thing I love: there is something one-sided in their relationship. Owen wanted to bond, Anakin did not (I thank @redrikki and Nothing To Write Home About for that interpretation, idea comes from there).
And I like that it makes a surprising contrast. Owen lived on Tatooine, in the desert, his whole life; Anakin went away on Coruscant, capital of the galaxy. Yet, the result is that Anakin lost his mother, and Owen found one. It’s another illustration of the tragedy of the Prequels, and the ‘absurdity’ of the Jedi life: Anakin might be escaping slavery and leaving the desert to go on a big and populated active and important planet, what we get is that, from Tatooine, you can see twin suns and plenty stars in the sky, and from Coruscant, nothing — too much pollution and people and lights for that. Both the planet and the Jedi have something of an aberration. Anakin went with Qui-Gon to have a life full of possibilities, and he got so much “No.”. And I think we can feel all of that when he just doesn’t step forward to get to know the Larses, while Owen is much more open and hopeful, and disappointed. Anakin says they are good people, but he stays outside of their circle.
The Prequels didn’t waste anything, it was just too hard for Anakin to bond with the Larses. He couldn’t make the connection, as inviting as they were. He was only there for Shmi.
There is also Anakin’s obviously very complicated relationship with father figures. I mean, his most famous line that you don’t even need to have watched Star Wars to know is “I am your father”, and yet he is a father who never raised his kids and only learned of their existence when they were like 20, then there is the fact that in AotC he blatantly says to Padmé and Obi-Wan himself that his mentor is like a father to him, and then he tries to kill him in RotS, and also it’s impossible for a human woman to conceive a child without male thingies but yes Anakin was born without a father because Anakin just has issues with fathers. That’s why I think the Prequels painted it well when nothing happened during that family reunion. If Shmi married Cliegg Lars, then he was his stepfather, and that was too much for him. And that’s why we see him calling them good, but ignoring or on the brink of blaming them.
This is a good point. I just want to add that Anakin’s hostility toward the Larses (in addition to stemming from latent only child syndrome) may have also had something to do with Cliegg having bought Shmi. As a child, Anakin must have seen plenty of slaves bought to serve as brides (or grooms) to their new owners. In Anakin’s mind, the Larses may seem nice enough and they obviously care for his mother a great deal, but that doesn’t mean Shmi went to them willingly. She didn’t have a choice in becoming apart of this family.
Plus, Cliegg co-opted Anakin’s dream. He was supposed to come home, save his mother, and re-create their family. Instead, Cliegg freed Shmi and they went to create a family without him. Anakin never felt a part of the Jedi family he was won and freed into and he never moved on from loving his mom. Shmi continued to love Anakin too, but it’s easy to see how Anakin could think she had forgotten and replaced him. It’s equally easy to se that the Lars think the same thing about him.