Anakin Skywalker’s tragic tale is nothing new. His turn from child-slave, to Padawan, to Jedi Knight, then Sith is about as heartbreaking as you can get. As much as it’s full of sadness, it is essentially a story of redemption. Anakin is the heart of Star Wars and the Chosen One, yet the way the prequels show his transition into Darth Vader might make you overlook his time as a Jedi. You can only do so much over the course of three films, and his wins as a Jedi Knight aren’t on full display. That’s another reason why The Clone Wars is an essential viewing for fans of the franchise.
Just because Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good Jedi
Anakin is introduced as an outgoing little kid who is gifted beyond belief. He grows into a ridiculously rebellious teen and cocky young adult. But those are some of his flaws, and even though other vices are what bring him over the edge into darkness, he was truly a good Jedi. Matt Lanter’s take on Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars gives the character new light and makes him a little more fun and playful than what we see in Attack of the Clones and especially Revenge of the Sith.
The prequels show ways he deviated from the Jedi Code, but he also obeyed them. Despite marrying Padmé, he 100 percent respected the Jedi way and the other masters. Whenever Ahsoka would steer away from the teachings, he was always there to remind her of them. Anakin took great pride in being a Jedi, which is why didn’t leave even though he had a relationship.
‘The Clone Wars’ does an amazing job of showcasing his strengths
One aspect of Anakin that viewers don’t get a chance to see a lot of in the prequels is his great leadership. In the original trilogy, Ben Kenobi tells Luke how good of a Jedi his father was. And when Anakin’s on the battlefield with his men, he runs missions like a well-oiled machine.
He’s often seen as cocky, and he can be a bit of a showoff, but he’s a caring, and amazing, teacher. When Ahsoka is captured by the Trandoshans at the end of Season 3, she sincerely thanks Anakin for his training; without it, she fears she would have died. She certainly was the best-prepared Padawan that was taken hostage in that jungle. It, of course, showed how emotionally attached Anakin was to his Padawan and how he looked out for his team as a leader. But it also showed how good he was at mentoring.
Also, when Ahsoka and Rex remember Anakin in Star Wars Rebels, all they can say is that he was one of the best Jedi they had ever seen. Kanan told Ezra that he was “one of the greatest warriors the Jedi had in the Clone Wars” and Ahsoka confirms that he hardly lost a battle. Rex tells Ezra that he was “among the greatest of the Jedi.” Anakin Skywalker instilled awe in many people he met and The Clone Wars showed that at every turn.
The series also proved how much Anakin deserved to be a Master, another one of the Jedi Council’s faults
Anakin’s achievements and skills as a Jedi also show just how much the Jedi Council wronged him. Even though he did all of the aforementioned things and proved his worth as a Jedi Knight, even getting his own Padawan, the Council never granted him the status of being a master.
When taken just in the context of Revenge of the Sith, it makes sense to the audience. Up until that point in the prequels, Anakin had done a lot to show the audience that he was a good Jedi, but not enough to make viewers angry about that decision. However, when you add in The Clone Wars, it becomes clear that they didn’t trust him.
It was never about his Jedi ability or prerequisites; he was one of the best, as proven throughout the series. It was the fact that Yoda, Mace Windu, and maybe some others, were able to detect his passionate emotions. Added with the fact that he was the alleged Chosen One and there was a lot of distrust in the Council when it came to Anakin. They obviously sensed something, yet did nothing to help him deal with his issues and stay on the Light Side. When you watch the series, their mistreatment of Anakin becomes quite obvious and his disillusionment and frustration with them are very clear too.
Like many aspects of the prequels, Anakin’s arc as a Jedi is made clearer by The Clone Wars. He was one of the greatest and fans of the character can really see that in the series.