Don't Store Owners Know Anakin Skywalker Killed Children?

Game developer Ross Mills noticed something he found, tongue planted firmly in cheek, appalling: a British retailer specializing in educational toys had the gall to sell Anakin Skywalker stuff.

Mills did what any responsible Padawan would: he wrote an email.

"Now, I didn't really mind," Mills blogged. "I merely thought it amusing that the murderer of 'Younglings' would be thought of as a positive character in other section of the franchise, so, on a whim, I sent them an email."

In it, Mills told the Early Learning Centre, the retailer in question, that it was strange it decided to featured Anakin, Darth Vader to be, in a positive light in a store advertisement as well as carry toys featuring the character.

"Personally, I could not be more shocked," Mills wrote. "I thought the Early Learning Centre was a place for positive reinforcement of positive actions for children, but yet, here it was, actively promoting one of the most evil characters in the Star Wars universe. Anakin Skywalker."

Mills did concede that Anakin was not always evil, but explained in detail why Anakin was such a rotten role-model:

* Consistent and flagrantly ignoring the rules, orders and limits set on him by his Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

* Killing an entire tribe of sand-people on Tatooine

* Killing the unarmed Count Dooku

* Cutting the arm off a Jedi Knight, Mace Windu. (Need I remind you that the Jedi Knights are the PROTECTORS of peace and justice throughout the Star Wars saga?)

* Pledging himself to the Dark Side of the force, an organisation based on the teachings of the Sith, involving Brutality, Fear, Anger, and Hatred, including severe humanistic racism when they came into power forming the Empire

* Acted as the right-hand of the Sith Emperor

* Choked his wife using the power of the Force, nearly killing her and undeniably an act which eventually led to her death.

* Attempted killing of Jedi Knight and Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

And, last of all, and the most important

* The massacre of an entire school of young Jedi Children.

Paul, an Early Learning Centre employee replied. Instead of dismissing Mill's wry email, being a Star Wars fan himself, he addressed the lighthearted concerns:

It's unlikely that children of that age have seen any of the Star Wars films, however if they have I beg to offer the following counterpoints to ‘the sins of Anakin'

* Anakin loved his mother a great deal and always treated her with respect

* Rescued his master several times from assassins, pit monsters, droid troopers etc.

* Rescued Amidalla from assassin snakes, pit monsters, the Trade Federation and even found time to romance her in the fields of Naboo

* Built C3PO

* Won the Podrace

* Killed the evil emperor to save his son

* I would also argue that if a child has seen all the films they'll see Anakin as a hero who went wrong but ultimately paid the supreme sacrifice to atone for his sins.

There may be better role models out there for a child, but for the period our toys are aimed at (the Clone Wars), Anakin remains very much ‘hero material' and is a popular and welcome addition to our range.

Well played — on the part of both gentlemen.

View the full humorous email exchange on Mills' site, Touch Sensitive.

The Early Learning Centre on Anakin Skywalker [Touch Sensitive via Bleeding Cool]


    teaching kids to stick it to the man

    Remember, children a lifetime of evil is perfectly fine if you die doing one good deed. :P

      ... or atone during last rights before your execution? ;)

      Killing the Emperor was no small deed.

        Nor was putting him in power in the first place.

    He didn't kill children!! he killed younglings.

    Not sure 'won a pod race' really counters 'slaughtered children' but meh

      Of course it does! Podracing is serious business!

        yeh, Hutt controlled serious business. Gambling, murder, race fixing...a truly honourable sport :-)

    I have to agree, whilst he has his dark moments, he does eventually redeem himself. Also most kids are probably just fans of the clone wars, in which, he is the hero.

    "* The massacre of an entire school of young Jedi Children."

    "* Built C3PO

    * Won the Podrace"

    Yeah... yeah, they totally even each other out. Dude killed a bunch of kids, but did you see him race when he was little? Wow. Free pass for life!

    I thought the moral of the story was to not cast Hayden Christensen?

    “Killing the unarmed Count Dooku”

    Also establishes a reason for why Optimus Prime (from the Bayverse) is terrible. See the end of the third one for more info, but Optimus kills a Decepticon in cold blood.

    Anyway, this was great!

      That's right, it had none of the heroic desperation the original animated movie had.

      Now you're also imagining the action sequences if they were not robots... the horror!

    Pretty sure you could get children's toys of all the antagonist characters from the original trilogy back in the '80s with Darth Vader and all being pretty evil even without knowing his past deeds.

    But nobody bought him as a 'role model' they bought him because "Hey you got a Darth Vader! That's so cool!"

    I don't believe any of this because Episodes I-III don't exist in my reality.

    What appeals to me about this is a symmetry of events. We have as exhibit A the Ocean Marketing debacle and as exhibit B this piece of genius. In both cases we could hae seen corporate blandishments fed to their customers and both would have been non-stories. Instead, in exhibit A, we have a company that should have had a good gauge on how the internet responds to stimuli getting it very wrong and in exhibit B, a company that is now basking in free and postive publicity because of an intelligent and respectful customer engagement.

    An akin woke up one day as a Jedi, service peace and justice and that night, in order to save his wife be became a sith lord and killed innocent children and colleagues.

    The only poor aspect of his character was the hack of a film maker who wrote the script.

    Technically, the younglings were killed by midi-chlorians

    yeah AND?
    One dark lord manages to kill all the Jedi and take over the republic, if that's not a prime example of how to be the aspire to your best I don't know what is.

    "Killing the unarmed Count Dooku"

    Really though, as a master of the force, I highly doubt Dooku would ever be 'unarmed'.

    If you can collapse a roof and throw the debris at someone with your mind, then having no lightsabr hardly counts as unarmed.

      Count Dooku had both his arms cut off. He was un-armed

    Gotta say with his Master behind him Dooku thought everything was rosy, when Palatine goaded Anakin into it (as part of his path to the Dark Side) Dooku knew he was screwed because Palpatine would be a far worse way to go.

    Anakin's real failing as a character was how easily he was led by Palpatine down the dark side. There's a lot more I could go into here but I won't. Needless to say Anakin is a terrible role model and it's a little absurd to think kids haven't seen the new Star Wars and the Clone Wars cartoon.

    His real crime is wooden acting and woeful dialogue.

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