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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 189: ‘Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith’

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of pop culture, including Batman: The Animated Series, Steven Universe, the MCU, Star Wars, and Doom Patrol. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight and more!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 189 – Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith

The final film of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), shows us the tragic and rapid deterioration of Jedi Anakin Skywalker and his fall to the Dark Side. While the seasoned, self-righteous Jedi are busy handling political conflicts, the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who’s secretly Sith Lord Darth Sidious, begins working on recruiting Anakin to the evil side of the Force.

The Chancellor uses psychological tactics similar to cult leaders to win Anakin’s trust, including love-bombing, favoritism, ego-stroking, and isolation. Anakin is vulnerable to manipulation for several reasons–he’s feeling frustrated, unseen, and insignificant. He even says, “I know I shouldn’t, but I want more.” Moreover, the Jedi consistently shut him out, reject him, and question his abilities (creating another risk factor–a failure of surveillance). But most of all, Anakin is a target for cult indoctrination because of his fragile identity formation. He hasn’t yet developed a strong sense of self, values, and attachments. These personal and social factors create the perfect “recipe” for creating a destructive young man willing to do whatever it takes to receive unlimited love.



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