Star Wars: What if Anakin Never Turned to the Dark Side?

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One of the many things that we know about Star Wars is that the downfall of the Republic stemmed from the fact that Darth Sidious manipulated the events of the Clone Wars as Chancellor Palpatine and even lured Anakin Skywalker over to the dark side of the Force to become his disciple named Darth Vader. As such, the Jedi Order was destroyed when Anakin fell to the dark side. The Empire was born from the Republic as Palpatine was allowed to rule the galaxy as a dictator. But what if Anakin never turned to the dark side?

This can be a loaded question with a lot of different possibilities. That’s because anything would have still happened if Anakin never turned to the dark side and decided to stay true to his beliefs as a Jedi. Then again, we have some theories about what would have happened if Anakin never fell to the dark side. Now, let’s look at some of these theories.

What If Anakin Never Turned?

Darth Vader, the first true antagonist in the Star Wars continuity, was born from the remnants of Anakin Skywalker after falling back to the dark side after the Clone Wars. Right then and there, the Jedi Order also fell courtesy of Order 66, as Palpatine was allowed to rise in power as the emperor of the Galactic Empire. But what if Anakin never fell to the dark side? Well, here are some possibilities:

Order 66 Would Not Have Happened

Remember that Order 66 was initiated after Anakin fell to the dark side. That was when Palpatine was already confident enough to find a good reason to order the clones to attack and kill the Jedi. He told the senate that he ordered the clones to kill the Jedi because the Jedi Order, specifically Mace Windu, tried to kill him to consolidate power onto themselves.

But we all know that Mace Windu was about to kill Darth Sidious before Anakin intervened to disarm the Jedi Master and allow Palpatine to kill the champion of the Jedi. After that, Anakin’s fall to the dark side was completed. He was given the name Darth Vader.

anakin cuting vindu

So, if Anakin didn’t betray Windu right then and there and allowed the Jedi Master to strike down Palpatine, Order 66 would not have happened. That’s because there would be no one to initiate Order 66, as only Palpatine had to authority to issue that order. As such, the Jedi Order would have been spared from immediate destruction had Anakin been loyal to the Jedi.

Padme Would Have Lived

The very reason why Anakin turned to the dark side was his fear of losing Padme, whose death he saw in his dreams. As Yoda once said, attachments to people are the gateways to the dark side because it is what causes fear to build up within a Jedi. And a Jedi that has attachments in life would fear losing the people they love.

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Of course, we all know that the only reason that Padme died was that she simply gave up on life after her heart broke when Anakin turned to the dark side. As such, Padme wouldn’t die if Anakin never betrayed the Jedi. So, if Anakin never pledged his allegiance to the Sith, Padme wouldn’t have died from a broken heart and would have been able to give birth to her children without dying soon after.

Luke and Leia Would Have Lived Normal Lives

After Padme died from heartbreak, Luke and Leia were left without their parents. That was when Luke was sent off to live with Owen Lars on Tatooine, while Bail Organa adopted Leia to live on Alderaan. Both of them were oblivious to the fact that they were the children of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala.

But if Anakin never turned to the dark side, Padme wouldn’t have died soon after giving birth to her twins. That means that she would have been able to raise her children as their mother and allow the twins to live normal lives. Of course, the questions regarding the paternity of the children would still be raised because we all know that the Jedi are not allowed to father any children.

luke and leia

Still, even if Anakin’s identity as the father of Padme’s children had been kept a secret, Luke and Leia would have been allowed to live normal lives away from war and hardships on Naboo. But the chances of Luke becoming a Jedi and Leia becoming a politician would have still been there because they both inherited the strength and spirits of their parents. 

The Jedi Order Would Have Fallen Eventually

Even though Anakin’s downfall as a Jedi was one of the reasons why the Jedi Order fell during the events of Order 66, there would still be a good chance that the Jedi Order would have fallen eventually, even if Anakin never turned to the dark side. And that’s because the Jedi Order was fundamentally flawed.

Many Jedi were already questioning the Jedi Order and the decisions of the Jedi Council even before Anakin fell to the dark side. Chief among them was Count Dooku, who saw how corrupt officials were using the Jedi and how the Jedi never even tried to fix any of the problems regarding the corruption within the Republic. Barriss Offee was also one of the Jedi who saw the Order’s fundamental flaw. And even Ahsoka Tano, who never betrayed the Jedi Order or fell to the dark side, saw the flaws within the Jedi Order.

dooku and qui gon

So, even if Anakin had never betrayed the Jedi and caused the Order’s destruction, there would still be a good chance that the Jedi Order would have been destroyed elsewhere. That’s because it was possible that there would have been other Jedi that would have seen the fundamental flaw within the Jedi Order. 

It is possible that an internal conflict would have arisen from the differing opinions among the Jedi. As such, even if Anakin never turned to the dark side, he still wouldn’t have brought complete balance to the Force, especially if the Jedi themselves conflicted with one another.

Anakin’s Downfall Was Necessary

With all that said, we all know that Anakin’s downfall was one of the major turning points in the history of the Star Wars galaxy. Though it led to more than two decades of darkness in the galaxy, Anakin’s betrayal was necessary in the grander scheme of things because it allowed the flaws of both the Jedi Order and the Republic to come to light.

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The deaths of thousands of Jedi and millions of innocent people weren’t entirely necessary. Still, the fact is that Anakin had to turn to the dark side to change the status quo in the galaxy and allow those who truly care about democracy and peace to fight for what they believed in. Had Anakin stayed loyal to the Jedi, the status quo wouldn’t have changed because the Jedi Order would have still been flawed, and the Republic would have still been corrupt and unable to solve internal problems and conflicts without all the politickings.

In that regard, Anakin’s downfall to the dark side of the Force allowed everything to restart, especially after he redeemed himself by bringing balance back to the Force when he killed Emperor Palpatine. As much as millions didn’t need to die, nothing in the order of things would have changed if Anakin had never turned to the dark side. And change was necessary to bring true peace and democracy back to the galaxy.

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