Emotional Maturity -- A Defense of Anakin
I watched Attack of the Clones last night in a light I had not seen previously. I've seen the movie many times before, but I had always seen the scene (boy that sounds bad) between Anakin and Amidala (when they are alone together on her planet, with the fire blazing in the background) with a certain uncomfortableness. As most astute viewers, I attributed Anakin's awkward emotive speech to his youth and inexperience. You, as the viewer, are meant to feel the same trepidation as Padme does; he does not know how to tame nor express his feelings, and she naturally shies away from it.
I grew up in a loving family, but I've always felt apart, whether it is from my own shyness or the English-type upbringing. For me, it was always the hug-and-kiss for my mother, and the handshake for my father. We hardly ever discussed personal problems or any kind of intimacy within the family. I don't blame my parents for this, nor do I think it's bizarre; I've always been a rather elusive person, and would prefer to spend many an evening in my room writing or reading or listen to music as opposed to joining my parents in the 'family room' watching TV. This is not to say that I don't have a bond with my parents, but I've always felt uncomfortable sharing feelings with someone I'm not deep friends or intimate with (yes, I'm ending that sentence with a preposition, so sue me).
Watching that scene, where Anakin just pulls out his feelings and hands them over to Padme in the most basic way he can, I can't help but sympathize with his actions, and have admiration for the writing that has gone, for the most part, maligned. He's done what I would have in that situation (minus ten years or so and some wicked cool powers). Anakin is overwhelmed with emotion, and his is very inexperienced of how to feel, and very ignorant of how to deal with it. I, myself, have felt the strong pull of that fervor, and it is such that I can empathize and understand how he is dealing with it. I'm not saying that he is being rational (which he admits he cannot) or correct; I'm saying that I've been there, where logic and reason mean nothing in the face of raw emotion and hormones. I've been in that frame of mind. In retrospect it is scary to me that all that I know, all that I have learned in all my years could be rendered impotent by the swaying of chemicals and lovelorn thoughts. Hormones and emotions are truly powerful things, as I'm sure we'll see when they take a dark turn in Episode III.
I probably could have been better prepared for this growing up, but I don't second-guess my upbringing for a second. I'm happy with who I am and who I want to be still. However, I'm still uncomfortable with people getting close to me, and I guess I will be until I meet the person who can break down the walls that hurdle my insecurities that I've had since I can remember.
One day, when I got good and drunk, I gave my dad a hug, and I felt him physically recoil, embarrassed. There is a line I can't cross, but I don't want to be that reclusive, bottled-up person forever. I hope, unlike Anakin, that I won't turn it to anger, fear, agression. I hope.
Have a great weekend, y'all.