Is there a legitimate canon (or even Legends) explanation as to why GL decided to switch out the appearance of Anakin's Force Ghost at the end of ROTJ from this: (please log in to view the image)
(The man he died as, who Luke had actually seen)
To this: (please log in to view the image)
(The man he was decades earlier, who Luke had never seen)
Luke never saw Anakin looking like that (healthy Sebastian Shaw). He only saw burned Anakin.
In fact, Anakin never looked like that in his entire life. Anakin actually looked like Hayden at some point in his life so it makes more sense lore wise.
The other option would have been to have force ghost Anakin look like he did before he died (burned and deformed), but that would have looked terrible IMO.
I was never a fan of this unnecessary change, but the obvious 'fan service' aside, I think Lucas was going for more of a meta route with it.
Kenobi: "Your father was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker, and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed."
And several other sources also paint the picture that "Anakin" and "Vader" were, in essence, two completely separate characters.
So even though the older/Sebastian iteration of Anakin had been fully redeemed upon his death, GL opted to have him appear as the man he was before his fall to the dark side. Before he was "destroyed" by the Vader persona.
"I am tired of Earth. These people.
I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives."
Last edited by Galan007 on Jan 26th, 2022 at 04:01 PM
Right. I'm just saying that old man Anakin had been completely redeemed after his sacrifice in ROTJ. He was good again. He was a Jedi again. That's also the last version of him that Luke saw, so why de-age him by decades into a version that Luke was unfamiliar with?
Just like how Kenobi only appeared as an old man, and Yoda only appeared in his decrepit ROTJ form.
One possible reason I can think of is that a Force ghost can choose how they appear. I mean, there's not exactly hard rules about how someone who exists in the Force presents themselves. If I'm not mistaken, Luke appears as a younger version of himself to Cade Skywalker instead of showing up as an old man as well.
Anakin probably chose to manifest himself how he last remembered himself as "Anakin." The redeemed Vader never really saw himself, with his ruined body in the suit, as "Anakin," and he never got to see what a fully healed version of his older body would look like. To Vader, whenever he thought of Anakin, he would have been remembering how he looked in RotS. So that's probably how he chose to manifest.
Luke was going to be unfamiliar with Anakin's appearance either way. Sebastian Shaw looks radically different with and without the scarred Vader make-up. Borderline unrecognizable. So as long as he was showing up in a healed body anyway, it might as well be as the more recognizable version of Anakin, both for fans and for Anakin himself.
The explanation for all changes to the OT post theatrical release is the same. Lucas is a hack.
"The Daemon lied with every breath. It could not help itself but to deceive and dismay, to riddle and ruin. The more we conversed, the closer I drew to one singularly ineluctable fact: I would gain no wisdom here."