Many have issues with the Star Wars prequels. The writing was weaker than it could have been, and certain character choices might not have been the best. However, don’t put them too far to the side because there are plenty of great moments among them, especially when it comes to the last chapters before Darth Vader is born. Anakin Skywalker, played by Hayden Christensen, was stoic and hated sand, but he had a lot of pretty good moments too.
Now, these scenes on our list aren’t all good; some of them show the Dark Side in Ani and his path towards becoming Darth Vader. But that’s okay. They’re all examples of the depth that Anakin did have in the prequels, despite all the criticism he received. Could he have been written better? Of course. Case in point: Matt Lanter’s Anakin in The Clone Wars. But a lot of that is thanks to Dave Filoni’s direction, not Christensen’s lack of acting ability (if you disagree, watch Shattered Glass).
1. When Anakin kept losing his lightsaber
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin is young, despite being more grown-up than in Episode I. He’s reckless with his fighting and his actions, and he gives in to his love for Padmé. But he’s also playful and still learning from Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. After their chase with the bounty hunter going after Senator Amidala, Kenobi chastises Anakin for losing his lightsaber. Again. The back and forth of, “I know Master,” “Sorry Master,” and “Yes Master,” is too funny.
2. Anakin and R2-D2’s friendship
R2-D2 was originally Padmé’s, but has since become a cornerstone for all Star Wars fans as the most beloved droid in the galaxy. He also became Anakin’s right-hand partner in flying and missions, one of his closest companions. This little moment from Revenge of the Sith is just pure fun. “No loose wire jokes… he’s trying,” followed by Kenobi’s “I didn’t say anything!” is comedic gold.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin’s bond
There are many great moments to show this, but Anakin’s introduction in Attack of the Clones is an excellent example of Kenobi and Skywalker’s bond. They’re comfortable with each other, and Obi-Wan makes sure to instruct his Padawan from the get-go. But there are still tense moments when Anakin needs a firmer lesson.
4. Anakin’s devotion to his wife, Padmé
Even though you could argue that Anakin’s love and dedication to Padmé clouded his judgment and interfered with his devotion to the Jedi, it wasn’t what turned him to the Dark Side. Yes, it was out of line with Jedi principles, but ultimately it was the hate and fear he held that did it. It did, however, become tied to Padmé once he had visions of her death. This scene shows just how crazy they are for each other, which adds to his fear of loss over her. It also hints at his blindness to Palpatine and the Dark Side later on.
5. Anakin kills Count Dooku
Okay, this one might seem a bit odd to place here, but remember, these “best moments” include best plot moments, regardless of good or bad. It’s not one of Anakin’s finest moments. However, it’s not the worst. But despite that, the reason it’s here is that it shows his inner conflict bubbling more to the surface. He murders Dooku when he’s defenseless, without a trial, at the insistence of Chancellor Palpatine. It’s “not the Jedi way,” he notes. He knows it’s wrong, yet does it anyway, leaving a bigger door open for the Dark Side than before. While not a “best” moment for him morally, it, of course, adds to his story.
6. Anakin’s final scenes on Mustafar
A lot of fans find Anakin’s last moments on Mustafar to be the most tragic, but best, in all of the prequels. It shows the progression of the Dark Side in him so fully take control, that he hurts his one true love. Also, Anakin’s aggression towards Obi-Wan is in stark contrast to the beginning of Episode III. And that lightsaber duel to the soundtrack of “Battle of the Heroes”? Magnificent. Say what you want about the prequels, but they do an excellent job of hitting home just how tragic Anakin’s story truly is.