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Reasons Anakin Skywalker is actually a good father

Anakin Skywalker is famous mainly for two things: being evil, and being Luke Skywalker's father. And while he's pretty good at being evil, as a father he leaves something to be desired...or does he? Being present is a good place to start when you become a father, and Anakin definitely fails at that. But if he had been around, here are a few reasons why he would have made a pretty good father. Probably.

The Clothes Make The Man

As any executive knows, appearances are important. If you want people to take you seriously you should take yourself seriously, and dress to impress. And if there is one thing that Anakin Skywalker has nailed, it's the outfit. You can't be a Sith Lord if people don't fear you, and so as Darth Vader he chose a set of duds that expresses utterly cruel and impersonal evil. How to dress appropriately is a valuable skill that few men learn until too late, and something Luke apparently never learned.

He's In Touch With His Emotions

You would think that a megalomaniac would be a stiff male stereotype that can't say sorry, or "I love you." But with Anakin we know that isn't so. Obi-Wan Kenobi is constantly encouraging Luke to be aware of what he's feeling, because that's how he connects to the Force. Since Anakin/Vader is the most powerful Sith Lord of his time, he must be very in touch with his feelings. And that's an example more boys should definitely have.

He Stands Up For What He Believes

In Star Wars IV: A New Hope, Darth Vader is mocked several times for his continued belief in the Force. It's derided as an old religion. But Anakin stays true to his beliefs and doesn't bow to peer pressure. Instead he confronts the doubters. During his training Luke is constantly expressing his doubts about the Force. Anakin's example would have been very useful.

He Sees Things Through

Once Anakin's made up his mind to do something, he sees it through to the end. Despite the loss of the Death Star in the original Star Wars, he never gives up his mission. The Rebels escape into the galaxy with a gazillion hiding places to choose from, but instead of giving up, Darth Vader launches thousands of probe droids to search—a search that could very well have taken forever. Perhaps if Anakin had been around, there wouldn't have been quite so many unfinished Starfighter models on young Luke's bedroom floor.

He Succeeds Despite Physical Disabilities

After he turns to the Dark Side, Anakin is severely wounded in a duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, losing limbs and getting severely burned. But Anakin perseveres despite his injuries and goes on to lead the forces of the Galactic Empire as Darth Vader. While Luke doesn't do too badly after getting his hand cut off, perhaps if Anakin had been around more there might have been a slightly more subtle way to pass on that particular life lesson.

He's Confident

If you want to get ahead you have to believe in yourself, and boy does Anakin believe in himself. Self confidence is important, especially for a young adult, and having Anakin as an example would have done the young Luke a world of good. Of course there is such a thing as overconfidence, but let's not split hairs.

He Wants His Son To Join The Family Business

Throughout the original trilogy, Anakin repeatedly expresses his desire for Luke to join him on the Dark Side of the Force. His desire to enter "business" with his son would be touching if it weren't, you know, totally evil. "Vader and Son: Purveyors of the Dark Side" has yet to take off. But you know what they say: it's the thought that counts.

He Has Broad Life Experience

One of the roles of a father is to guide his children through life's ups and downs. That job is made easier if the father has actually experienced a few ups and downs—and we know Anakin has. From podracing to droid construction, and touring the galaxy fighting for both sides of the Force, he's got a few stories to tell. He has a lot of experience working with different kinds of people and aliens, experience which Luke could have benefitted from. Like, the first time Luke meets Yoda, he could have treated him like an actual person instead of assuming he was just some kind of talking swamp rat.

He Believes In Luke's Potential

No matter that Anakin and Luke are locked in mortal combat, Anakin never doubts Luke's potential. In a situation that you would think would inspire resentment, trash talking, and efforts to undermine his enemy, Anakin never stoops, but remains steadfast in his belief in his son. That kind of fatherly support is incredibly valuable in childhood development, support that Uncle Owen struggled to supply in between worrying about the harvest.

He Gives His Life For His Son

When it finally comes down to it, despite years spent locked in conflict, Anakin couldn't let his son die. On the second Death Star, while the battle of Endor rages beneath them, Luke faces death at the hands of the Emperor. Having rejected Palpatine's attempts to draw him to the Dark Side, Luke is on the verge of death when Anakin steps in. Despite having been seriously wounded by Luke, he fills the Emperor, fulfilling his destiny as a Jedi, and as a father in the process. If saving your son from a man in a ratty bathrobe shooting lightning out of his fingers isn't enough to qualify you as a pretty okay dad, nothing will.