Darth Vader’s Professional Diagnosis Is Not Good

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 10:37 am,

Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader Star Wars Darth Vaders Professional Diagnosis Is Not Good

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.

Anakin Skywalker Darth Vader Star Wars Darth Vaders Professional Diagnosis Is Not Good

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.

Darth Vader Star Wars Darth Vaders Professional Diagnosis Is Not Good

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

TAGS: Star wars
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  1. I don’t think many people, much less the Psych Doc’s, have seen The Clone Wars cartoon series, but both the 2003 animated and 2008 CGI give greater depth into the fictional character of Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader.

    Needless to say, it all lends to a distorted view of reality and ultimately leads to an internal conflict any human can relate to in choosing right from wrong and what is good or evil. I guess, we all can aim for being “in the middle” as we are all subject to the experiences and wisdom life has to offer in forming who we turn out to be.

    Yes, Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” but we hope we choose the path in life that leads to the Death Star’s destruction. Also taking out a Super Star Destroyer along the way adds for good measure.

  2. What the bloody hell is the matter with you people?


    You dingdongs are worse than the trekkies, and they were really lame.

    There’s a world out there, space cadets. Jump in.

    On second thought, never mind. Forget I mentioned it. Stay where you are. We’re all better off.

    • OMG! Let’s see…you visited the sight…you read the article AND the comments…That makes you lame AND a hypocrite!

    • haha!

      • and to think those guy got PAID to analyze a fictional character

  3. * warning nerd alert *

    The power a Dark jedi uses stems from anger

    anger is an aspect of a personality that can be seen in every person at a young age. if a person could have supernatural powers and all they had to do is get angry, they would be angry as much as possible. once a person becomes angry it is easy find more things to be angry about

    a trusted mentor continued to bring up things that would cause Anakin to see the situation from a negative point of view throughout his life then eventually showed him how to become powerful so he could save his wife and then later keep himself alive

    his actions once named Darth Vader were a means to an end, power. if he did not do what his master wanted he would not gain the power he so wanted

    it all would have turned out different had Qui-gon not died. a strong moral mentor would have been a better influence, obi wan was not the mentor he needed

    • his real descent began with the death of his mother

  4. aaahhh hha hhaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha omg!! hhaaaa hhaaaaaaaa. bbbaaaaa haaaaa haaaa haaaa. bbbaaaaaa haaaa haaaa. LMAO!!!!!!!

    • The psychology doesn’t change the films or kill the mythology of it all. It is simply an interesting observation and fun to play on. You could argue the same psychological issues (different diagnoses, though) for hundreds of movie villains and even heroes.

  5. DERRRRRR!!!!!

  6. Villains or heroes, there are usually some psychological problems. Batman, Robin, DareDevil, Elektra, Cat Woman, Joker, Penguin,etc., to name a few.

  7. Dark Jedi? Or Sith?
    They are different…
    Anakin was a Sith…

    But, Anakin was unstable throughout his childhood, also without a father figure, so naturally, he would cling to Palpatines’ guidance, as Palpatine was his only “father figure” in his life. Anakin’s judgements became clouded with his devotion to his “father,” Palpatine, and his “family”, the Jedi. However, the Jedi never showed him the same compassion or love that Palpatine showed him. Palpatine knew how to pull all the right strings to play off Anakin’s hurt of a feeling of abandonment.

    In the end, Darth Vader redeemed his fallen self by saving Luke, and…
    Wait a minute… It’s not friggen’ real!

  8. I am more worried that psychiatrits did studies on a fictional character…how much do they get paid becasue I want their job haha :)

  9. I don’t think they were paid for a study. They talk in their article about how much they love Star Wars and how closely he resembles the qualities of those mental issues. They then brought it into the classroom as a focus point for teaching and studying. Darth Vader and Star Wars is a fantastic way to get across a certain complexity without bringing in real people.

  10. I love Star Wars. All of them. Every time I watch Episode III, at the end, all I feel is saddness. And sorry for Anakin, who is such a tragic figure. Like so many other tragic figures in film. WITH THAT BEING SAID, LET ME NOW SAY…ITS JUST A MOVIE!!!!!! and those French look down at us and mumble “STUPID AMERICANS”. Analyzing DARTH VADER?!?!?! ARE YOU
    F%#!ing KIDDING ME!?!?!?

  11. What the f is going on here!!!!

  12. This is from a review I wrote when the film came out. Warning: I am a Christian and my worldview comes from that perspective. Read with caution:

    I think that the biggest message in this movie is that you cannot hold onto anything, or anyone, in this world. Possession is not love. As C. S. Lewis said, “Love anything, even a dog, your heart will be rent and surely broken.” Anakin, tries to hold onto what is his so desperately that he loses everything. He fails to realize that nothing was ever really his to begin with. He does not comprehend the many uses of the word “my.” “My” as in “my wife” has quite a different connotation than the “my” in “my book.” In the first, he refers to another who has freely given her consent to spend a life him. In the second, he refers to that thing he can rip to shreds if he so desires. From “my book” to “my wife” to finally “my God!” the word takes on a less possessive quality but a more important meaning. In that order, the claim “my” has less and less to ability to “keep.” He may as well think of the stars his chattel. The message of the movie, is a profoundly metaphysical one, but I know more than a few people who miss out on the message and that’s sad because it is an important one.

  13. I for one love the prequels for expanding on who really is beneath the evil shell that is Darth Vader. When you really sit down and think about it, the life of Anakin Skywalker really is one of the best tragedies ever put into movies. The whole six part story of his life is a brilliant look into a truly tragic character. An innocent and selfless slave becomes a powerful Jedi who starts as an honest and thoughtful warrior. His life slowly becomes filled with heartbreak as he loses a mentor (Qui-Gon), a mother (Shmi), and finally the love of his life (Padme). He is twisted by a corrupt and evil man (Palpatine) and eventually becomes a heatless machine.

    I will always love the prequels for adding more to Vader’s story. The six-part Star Wars series will always be amazing to me.

  14. I agree John, Anakin reminds me of any self indulged figure placed in a situation of responsibility they can’t handle.


  15. Well said, Link…
    I enjoyed all the Star Wars films as well

  16. Maybe it had something to do with a strange looking people calling him Annie… duh, hey shrinks hes not a real person, he can’t hurt anyone. Seriously did you get paid to analyze a fictional character?

  17. I found it very interesting to see that some high dollar psychiatrists have nothing better to do then to analyze a movie character all be it one of the most recognized and greatest villains of all time in movie history. He is just a movie character.

  18. GL’s reasoning behind Vader is to show how even the most innocent of people when held by attachments to places, things, ideas can fall to the “darkside.” Each of us has the ability to do good or evil. The Jedi foresaw the that something was wrong with Anakin, and didn’t want him in the order, but Yoda realized that to bring balance to the Force, Anakin would need to fall and be redeemed at some point in time. They say the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions. Anakin gave in to his anger, instead of talking to Kenobi or one of the other masters about it, or even realizing that he should control his anger instead of it blinding and controlling him. He really loved Padme, who of us wouldn’t try to do anything and everything in our power or to gain power to save and protect those we love the most?

  19. Yoda knew that he was a basket case and told everyone that. As we do now with NBA and NFL players, you go with where the talent is no matter the nightmare the personality is

    • most of the council was against training him in the beginning anyway. but you’re right, they knew the sith were coming back and decided they needed all the troops they could get to fight the darkside and so what if the “chosen one” was a mental case. Yoda did try talking to him several times though.

    • hahaha

  20. WOW… in 2005 I was required to do a project for grad school class which included a full psychological analysis of a fictional character… being the Star Wars geek I am… I chose Anakin… after extensive research… I had concluded that he suffered from “reactive attachment disorder” and “intermittent explosive disorder” although i did flirt with the “borderline personality” diagnosis… but felt he just didn’t meet enough criteria… but i guess these frenchie foo foos know more about star wars than I do… pfffft yah right…

  21. The jedi counsel? i guess they never thought of a Clinical team. …….i wannna speak to his case manager. lol

  22. That would have been Obi-Wan :D

    @Luke, I agree Anakin didn’t have a borderline personality, he was an emotionally repressed teen, that belonged to a group that wouldn’t express emotions.

  23. yeah… of course… psychotherapy will solve anything… complete and utter tosh.

  24. No one said psychotherapy will solve it, it gives insight to what’s going on in the pysche, and it’s still better than scientology :D

  25. I don’t know…this whole article just gives me a bad feeling about this.

    • Jamie I was wondering when someone was going to use that line lol

  26. I’m sure these guys used thier governmet’s grant money to discuss this. Way to go france. Front runner on FICTIONAL PSYCHOTHERAPY!!!!! You guys are a waste of a country. How about y’all stick to catering, and leave the thinking to everyone else.