The Case for Episode I Anakin

The year is 1999. Episode I: The Phantom Menace has just come out. Firefighters, lawyers, police officers, and every other person/profession on the planet is going to see the new installment of the Star Wars saga.

Many. Many people I tell you. Left that movie disappointed, as I am constantly reminded of in conversations regarding to what people refer to as the “worst film in the franchise.”

Sad really because there was a group of people who were slapped, dragged, and strapped down to see the movie, who thought the movie was “super awesome dude!”

They were none other than the SIX-NINE YEAR OLDS!… Yeah!

The cool ass kids. The ones winning races at school, crushing on their baby sitters, and living life carefree. I was one of them. I was six when the movie came out.

Yes. Us youngins. We went and saw that movie and saw something much different than the adults that took us.

What we saw was a cool sci-fi movie with one amazing character…

Not Qui Gon. Not Obi Wan. Not the badass Mace Windu, the fierce Darth Maul, or good ole Jar Jar Binks… who was quite funny through the lens of a six-year old.

No. The character was the true hero… THE COOLEST ASS NINE YEAR OLD OF ALL TIME!

Two things:

  1. When you’re that age, no ones cooler than the nine year olds. It’s the coolest baddest age in the land at the time. 3rd/4th graders. Nobody’s better.
  2. There’s never been a cooler nine year old than Anakin Skywalker.

Nine-and-unders everywhere saw that film and felt like they had just witnessed the coolest hero ever.

Think about it. Think of all kids you know for a second.

What are their inspirations? What are their dreams? What are their goals?

I’ll tell you.

They would love to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and beat their whole town in a race of some sort… Which Anakin does in the radically awesome podracer that he built himself.

They would love for their babysitter to see them for the man inside of themselves and not just their kid body… Anakin with his uber confidence razzle and dazzles Padmé into falling for him despite their age gap.

They would love to lose the shackles being placed on their life and break out of their “slavery”… Which Anakin literally breaks out of. No metaphor here. He breaks out of true slavery.

And of course, they would love to be a Jedi. Every kid wants to be one just because the name sounds cool… Anakin gets the ball rolling on being a Jedi three times over with all the mini deloreans he has in his garage.

Little Any Walker. He did all those things and then some.

Anakin was the embodiment of cool and every kid around the age of six-nine wanted to be him. Every nineties-kid saw him and thought “I wish I could be that fella.”

He goes in front of Yoda and the Samuel L. Jackson-Jedi and gets them to agree to allow him to become a Jedi. He blows up the trade federation’s (very Death Star esque) ship. And he closes the movie with winking at Padme.

Not to mention, he builds C3PO! He shits on all the Star Wars fanatics, by being the one who built C3PO. Anakin truly does it all.

It’s for those reasons that kids who were Anakin’s age when Episode I came out view the movie in a special lighting.

The adults who saw the original Star Wars trilogy, went and saw Episode I and thought it was tragic that the greatest villian ever, Darth Vader, turned out to be this little genius mechanic.

In the eyes of us little kids, the true tragedy was that Anakin, the nine-year old badass, turns out to be the big black robot guy with the breathing problem… and not the other way around.

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