We here at The ForceCast are always happy to hear about new younglings joining the ranks of the Star Wars fan community, so when we heard the story of Deanna Dixon, we had to share it with our audience. Check out this email that we received from Deanna's mom Tanya.
My husband, Anthony, and I love to listen to the force cast as does our daughter, Deanna. As a girl, she gets teased alot about her love of Star Wars. The guys are just jealous of her vast Star Wars knowledge. She often competes with them in fun as to who knows the most about Star Wars. Of course, no one loves Star Wars as much as Deanna and she inevitably wins hands down! I've been meaning to send this to you forever - or at least since you asked for Star Wars essays.
Deanna wrote this for a public speaking contest when she was in grade 5, she is now 16. She didn't get to advance to the next level but I think it was head and shoulders above anything else that was submitted. (not just because I'm her mom)
Deanna collects Star Wars toys like they were golden. She even spent last Christmas "playing with plastic tontons" with her AT-AT and other toys. I don't know who was more exited, her or Anthony!
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
May the force be with you,
Thanks Tanya! We definitely enjoyed reading Deanna's essay. It's very impressive work for a fifth-grader, and we think our listeners will agree. So without further ado, here is "The Tragic Life of Anakin Skywalker"...
In 1977, a tall, dark figure emerged from the big screen to terrorize the young and old alike. His name was Darth Vader, dark lord of the Sith. People everywhere hated this cyborg. He was the picture of all that is evil. Lord Vader tortured and/or killed everyone who got in the way of his designs. Where did it all begin for this dark shadowy figure? Do you think maybe he could have been someone like you or me? Someone who put his trust in the wrong people and found himself on a path he felt he couldn't change?
Let me introduce to you a small slave boy with a love for life. Born of the "force" without a father, Anakin Skywalker, harnesses the force without knowledge. He knows nothing of greed. In fact, his mother says about him, "He gives without any thought of reward." When others need help Anakin replies with, "We have to help them mom, remember what you said? You said the biggest problem in this universe is that no one helps anyone."
In helping some strangers, he gains his freedom and leaves his home world to train to be a Jedi Knight. The Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn tells Anakin he is "the chosen one" who will bring balance to the force. Anakin grows up to be a headstrong young Jedi knight who feels that he should be all-powerful. He believes he will become the most powerful Jedi ever. Anakin falls in love with Senator Padme Amadalla, a former queen of Naboo. Although he watches Padme work in the senate to help all people he says of democracy, "I don't think the system works," adding that if people don't agree about something "they should be made to."
He begins to suffer nightmares of his mother dying. He finds her taken by the barbaric Tuskan Raiders but he is too late and she dies in his arms. Overwhelmed by anger, Anakin kills every Tuskan in the camp -- including the women and children.
Anakin begins to start living a life of lies. He feels he can't talk about his feelings of anger and fear with the Jedi because they will judge him. He can't live without Padme and marries her in secret even though that is against the rules of the Jedi order. He becomes frustrated with the Jedi council because he feels they are holding him back.
Anakin turns to a man who tells him what he wants to hear, not what he needs to hear, the leader of the Galactic Senate Chancellor Palpatine. No one knows that Chancellor Palpatine is also the leader of the Sith order, a secret group that uses the force not to help others but for their own gain. Palpatine uses his position to begin a war between the Trade Federation and the Galactic Republic so he can create his own dictatorship.
Anakin blindly trusts Palpatine and believes in his heart that what he is doing is right and that the Jedi order only wants power. Palpatine also promises Anakin that his vision of Padme dying in childbirth can be avoided because he will teach Anakin how to beat death.
When Anakin is ordered to kill all the Jedi, even the younglings, because they are now enemies of the Empire, his best friend Obi-wan tries to save him from himself. He and Padme follow Anakin to the volcanic planet Mustafar. Padme begs Anakin to turn away from the darkside but he refuses. In his anger, Anakin uses the force to begin to choke her. Obi-wan and Anakin fight passionately but Anakin's anger blinds his judgement and Obi-wan beats him. Obi-wan can't kill his best friend but leaves him to die in the ashes. Palpatine has him rebuilt with mechanical parts so he can continue to serve as his apprentice.
Although Padme does die in childbirth, she did deliver twins Luke and Leia. The children are hidden to protect them from their father. Lord Vader completed many acts of evil over the next 20 years until he met and fought his own son, Luke Skywalker.
Vader brings Luke before Palpatine but when Luke refuses to join the darkside, Palpatine uses force lightening to try and destroy him. Watching this, Vader finally feels compassion for someone -- for his child. He saves Luke, destroys Palpatine and, finally, brings balance to the force by destroying the Sith.
Movie audiences believed Vader was completely evil without redemption, but through the love of his son who believed that good still existed in him, Vader was redeemed.
May the force be with you!
And with you, Deanna!