If only the Jedi Council had thought to provide psychiatric analysis of its prospective Jedi, they may have been able to prevent the ultimate disturbance in the force – Darth Vader. A panel of French psychiatrists spent some time studying Anakin Skywalker’s life, including his turn as Darth Vader and concluded he suffers from “borderline personality disorder.”
I won’t pretend to understand the inner workings of psychology, but nothing about Darth Vader seems borderline to me. The guy is a full-on sociopath with serious issues. But every lunatic needs a good diagnosis.
The psychiatrists noted Darth Vader possessed “six of the nine borderline personality disorder criteria as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition.”
Eric Bui, a French psychiatrist, believes Emperor Palpatine’s influence on the highly unstable Anakin Skywalker was a crucial component to his disorder.
“…the Emperor’s dark and destabilizing influence upon a young Skywalker might have even exacerbated the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.”
This is all pretty obvious information, but hearing it from a trained psychologist makes it even more legitimate. Honestly, Anakin was doomed from the start. His mother claimed he was immaculately conceived. Come on, people. That should be sign number one you live in a psychologically unstable household.
When that same mother is killed and you believe everybody is out to get you, complexes begin to develop. Episodes II and III reveal quite a lot about the borderline personality disorder these doctors so clearly diagnose. But if it was so easy for them to call out Anakin on his issues, why were Yoda and the Jedi Council so blind to the mental handicap? It just seem like a glaring oversight by a collection of the most powerful minds in the galaxy.
But again, it all comes back to the slimy Emperor Palpatine. His unethical influence is the true root of it all. Everything that happened before him simply planted the seeds to allow him to push the unstable Skywalker into darkness. Dr. Bui believes it all could have been prevented.
“I believe that psychotherapy would have helped Anakin and might have prevented him from turning to the dark side. Using the dark side of the Force could be considered as similar to drug use: It feels really good when you use it, it alters your consciousness and you know you shouldn’t do it.”
So George Lucas’ character of Anakin Skywalker, later known as Darth Vader, was really a subliminal commentary on the teenage struggle with identity and the end result of surrounding yourself with the wrong people. It makes perfect sense. Throw in a serious trust issue with not only himself, but the people around him and the relationship with Padme was just as dangerous to his psyche.
It doesn’t change much along the lines of how we perceive Darth Vader. I think we can all agree he is more mentally unstable than pure evil. [SPOILER ALERT!] Based on his pre-death moment of enlightenment and personal freedom, in his son’s arms no less, it would appear the real reason for his disorder was Emperor Palpatine’s initial brainwashing. Yet, was that so obscure?
What do you think about the new diagnosis? Are Darth Vader’s psychological issues to blame for his ways or was he simply pure evil, even as a little boy on Tatooine? Discuss int he comments section below.
Source: Yahoo! News via Gamma Squad