By: Bryan Ricardo Marini Quintana
Anakin Skywalker’s Arc
Alongside, The 12 Stages of The Hero’s Journey are manifested as well in the First Chapter of The Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace, through the story of Anakin Skywalker. A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away, the hero finds himself in The Ordinary World, living subjugated to slavery and comforted by his mother, Shmi Skywalker, on the desert planet of Tatooine. Suddenly, Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn alongside his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, find themselves stranded on a mission to escort Queen Amidala safely to the planet Coruscant, capital of The Galactic Republic. Looking to repair their ship, the Jedi Knight enters a shop where he meets Anakin, sensing that the child is powerful with the Force. Through their bond, Qui-Gon uncovers that Anakin was born by will of the Force, believing him to be the chosen one that the Jedi prophecy foretells will defeat the Sith. Realizing the predicament of the Jedi Knight and encouraged by him, the hero receives a Call to Adventure, feeling compelled to aid these strangers get off planet. Enlisting in a pod race, the child wins the prize money needed to fix their ship and is freed from slavery after Qui-Gon wins a gamble against his master Watto, who bet wrongly that Anakin would lose. Tragically, Shmi Skywalker isn’t freed from slavery, leaving her son to choose whether to leave with his new mentor or to stay behind with his mother. Even though the hero is keen on becoming a Jedi and Shmi pleads him to go with Qui-Gon, in the Refusal To The Call, the child wavers because he doesn’t want to abandon his mother. Only after Shmi reassures Anakin that she will find happiness knowing he is free to choose his Destiny, does the child let go of his mother. Turning his back on Shmi, Anakin faces Qui-Gon, deciding to train in the ways of the Force, with the Jedi Knight swearing to take care of the child, being not only a mentor but a father figure that gifts wisdom for the journey ahead in Meeting With The Mentor. Thereafter, the hero leaves Tatooine by mounting a ship in Crossing The Threshold, traveling to Coruscant and entering The Extraordinary World.
At the stage of Test, Allies and Enemies, Anakin’s abilities are tested in the Jedi Temple, with the council disapproving of his training. Prominently, Master Yoda expresses concern over the child’s attachment to his mother, foreseeing that Anakin’s fear of losing her will lead to anger, then hatred and ultimately suffering, being the hero’s undoing. However, Qui-Gon protests this decision and vouches for Anakin by recommending Obi-Wan to be promoted as Jedi Knight while offering to take the child as his new apprentice, convinced he’s the chosen one. After much deliberation, Anakin’s fate is left unresolved due to Queen Amidala failing to convince the senate to act against the invasion of her planet and opting to liberate Naboo with help from Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Joining them in this endeavor is the hero, as he enters The Approach To The Inmost Cave, going into the occupied planet to liberate it from The Trade Federation, with a battle ensuing as the heroes scramble to shut down the droid army. Approaching the hangar bay, pilots mount their starfighters to destroy the battleship, entering The Ordeal as Sith apprentice Darth Maul emerges. Threatening to end the heroes, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan fight off against this foe, allowing Queen Amidala and Anakin to escape. However, the Jedi Knight is slain whilst his apprentice defeats Darth Maul. Simultaneously, the hero finds a safe hiding spot inside an N-1 starfighter, with R2-D2 hopping on board, as the engine accidentally starts and takes him off to battle in space. Without his mentor figure, the child must rely on his newfound friends and abilities to confront the peril ahead. Consequently, in The Reward, Anakin joins the struggle to liberate Naboo by using his skills as a pilot. Upon arriving at the fight on the battleship, in The Road Back, R2-D2 warns the hero that they are in danger and must return to the planet, but Anakin refuses to abandon his friends, choosing to bravely face Destiny. This leads to The Resurrection, where the hero destroys the battleship, deactivating the droid army and saving the inhabitants of Naboo. Thereafter, in The Return With The Elixir, the heroes celebrate in a parade, with Anakin being rewarded by Obi-Wan, who vouches for him to be trained under his guidance, as the slave turned ace pilot completes his journey and takes the first steps towards becoming a Jedi.