By now, there are probably very few people that exist in the world who don’t already know Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader. If you’re one of them, we send our deepest apologies for spoiling that big whopper of a reveal. But, for those that do know, it’s also obvious that The Clone Wars does a great job of foreshadowing his turn to the Dark Side.
In preparation for the final season premiering on Feb. 21, here’s a rundown of major moments where Anakin’s Dark Side came through. And, unsurprisingly, it happens quite a lot.
1. Anakin absolutely bludgeons Poggle the Lesser in Season 2
In Season 2, Episode 8 “Brain Invaders,” Anakin’s Padawan Ahsoka and another Jedi student, Barriss Offee, are trapped on a ship infested with mind-controlling Geonosian worms. Anakin is already very attached to his Padawan and is desperate to help and protect her, even though he’s not on the vessel. Poggle the Lesser, the Geonosian leader they have in custody, knows how to defeat the worms, but won’t tell Anakin. That is until Anakin brutally beats him. While this is very early on in the series, that unbridled anger in Anakin is very visible.
2. The vision the Son gives Anakin on Mortis
The Mortis arc is the epitome of The Clone Wars’ amazing writing. It shows ancient Force powers and beings that are vital in Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, and Anakin’s fates. The Son, who represents the Dark Side, shows Anakin a vision of his tragic future (aka, basically everything that happens in Revenge of the Sith). Later on, the memory is erased from Anakin which is why Episode III still happens but this scene and arc show the inevitable future.
3. The Zygerrian slavers reminded Anakin of his horrible past
Anakin absolutely hates slavers, as everyone should, but he obviously has an unfortunate personal connection to the trade. So it’s no surprise that when he, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka are brought in to rescue a ton of Togruta that were taken into slavery, Anakin is ready to cut somebody’s head off. Just hearing his vicious, “Zygerrian scum” makes the skin crawl. It even gets the attention of Ahsoka, who promises to keep an eye on him because he’s so bent up over the situation.
4. Anakin’s devastation and rage at Obi-Wan’s “death”
The arc in Season 4 where Obi-Wan fakes his own death to go undercover as bounty hunter Rako Hardeen has a lot of Dark Anakin moments to pick from. Losing his best friend and brother, Anakin only wants revenge which isn’t the Jedi way. So he sticks to finding Rako Hardeen, who he thinks killed Obi-Wan, when really it’s Obi-Wan. The scene where he beats him up shows the rage that leads to the Sith.
Also, this isn’t the first or last time on this list that Anakin Force chokes someone. Just a heads up that Force choking isn’t a tactic used by Jedi, for obviously brutal reasons. The fact that Anakin frequented the maneuver is also a sign of his Dark Side tendencies.
5. Anakin’s fight with Ventress
The arc about Ahsoka being framed for bombing a Jedi Temple in Season 5 also shows a lot of Anakin’s anger and hatred. But one fight in particular that showcases it is with Ventress. She’s one of the last people to talk to Ahsoka and even works alongside her, so he goes looking for answers. She’s not really a match without her lightsabers, but Anakin does not take it any easier on her. He doesn’t even just Force choke her, but does it with his own hands.
6. Anakin’s intense anger during Ahsoka’s trial
Going back to Ahsoka’s trial, this is one of the times you can really see Anakin’s frustration and disillusionment with the Jedi Council. He can see that the Council made up their minds even before she pled her case, and she was banned anyway. This whole debacle is a part of his turn to the Dark Side, and one scene that really shows Anakin’s anger (yet again) is when he can’t get into the cell to visit Ahsoka. Imagine being on the other end of that death stare? No thank you.
7. Nearly killing Clovis in Season 6
Last on this list is the final arc about Clovis, in Season 6’s Lost Missions season. Clovis has always been a sore spot for Anakin because he was once close with Padmé when he was a senator in the Republic. He’s since proven he’s a lying traitor, which is another reason why Anakin doesn’t trust him. In Season 6, Clovis and Padmé have to work closely together, and Anakin walks in on Clovis forcing a kiss on his wife. He loses control and nearly kills the man with his bare hands. Padmé tells Anakin later on that they have to take a break because she’s no longer happy. This is a major low point for Skywalker.
There are other nuanced moments throughout The Clone Wars where Anakin’s Dark Side comes out. A lot of it has to do with the suppression of his intense emotions and the Jedi Council’s distrust in him. The final season will show the concluding link to Revenge of the Sith, so this isn’t the last we’ll see of Anakin’s turn.