ByIan M. Simpson, writer at
I love superheroes and villains alike! I'm also a big fan of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Gaming! Follow me on Twitter! @The_Simpsonian
Ian M. Simpson

I am a loyal part of many major fandoms. I can wear Hogwarts robes while brandishing a sonic screwdriver in one hand and a replica of Bilbo Baggin's sword Sting in the other. While I could rattle off a list of fandoms that could frankly form an article all on their own, there are two fandoms that I support with as much pride as my heart will allow, Marvel and Star Wars.

Now sheathe your batarangs loyal citizens of DC, and hold thy phasers kind Star Trek loyalists, for I have great respect for Bruce Wayne and Jim Kirk alike, but my entire childhood was built off the backs of Peter Parker and Luke Skywalker.

Now there are many apparent similarities between Parker and Skywalker. They both were raised with their aunts and uncles, they both made it their sole purpose to save the world, and so on and so forth. However, in comparison, I find Anakin Skywalker has more similarities with Peter than Luke ever had.

Tragic Origins

We've seen enough Spider-Man origin stories to know all about Peter growing up without his parents. They left him with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben when he was very young, and that was that.

Anakin's childhood situation was the opposite, yet very much the same. Instead of being left behind by his parents, he left his only familial connection (his loving mother, Shmi) to join Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Jedi Order.

Both he and Peter were removed from their parents at a very young age. They both adopted new parental figures. Peter went on to live with his Aunt May and his Uncle Ben, and they raised him all throughout his childhood. Anakin saw his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi as a father figure, as he addressed at the beginning of Attack of the Clones. Both of these parental figures taught these characters a lot of moral guidelines that affected the way they lived their lives.

Forbidden Love...

Despite his villainous actions in the original Star Wars trilogy, Anakin Skywalker is the main protagonist throughout the prequel, as we see his rise as a Jedi Knight. And of course in films called "Spider-Man", Spider-Man himself is the protagonist. And in any good story, the hero always gets the girl. Westley got Buttercup, Aladdin got Jasmine, and Jon Snow got Ygritte (at least for a while).

However, when the two protagonists in question ultimately fell in love, they did so to the protest of others. Peter fell in love with Gwen Stacy in high school, and they had an instant connection. The connection was so strong that Peter revealed his Spidey secret to her, and her alone. Unfortunately for him, when Gwen's father died in combat with the Lizard at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man, he made Peter promise to stay from Gwen. Well did he? No, he most certainly did not.

If you think Peter had it rough, just think about Anakin. Not only was he forbidden to be in love with Padme, he was forbidden from love in general. Much like Peter though, Anakin threw customs out the window in favor for his feelings for Padme. He went on to marry her, and father her two twin children.

Sadly enough, as is true with most hero stories, breaking the rules often comes with consequences.

...And Broken Hearts

The good times for both Peter Parker and Anakin Skywalker were quickly shortened when the loves of their lives met premature ends. At the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Gwen Stacy had an unfortunate fall during the climactic battle with the sinister Green Goblin. Despite all of Peter's attempts to rescue her, he was unsuccessful.

Anakin wasn't quite as noble when it came time for Padme to meet her fate. In fact, it was more Anakin's fault than anything. Enraged after Obi-Wan's intrusive appearance, he used the dark side of the Force to choke the life out of her. While many fans claimed that she died of a broken heart, it was Anakin's fault nonetheless, as it was Peter's fault that Gwen died. If Peter had only stayed away like he promised Captain Stacy, she would probably still be alive.

Turning To The Dark Side

While the term "turning to the dark side" was ultimately coined by Star Wars, it very much applies to Peter Parker and his run in with a very special alien symbiote. After the symbiote clung to Peter in Spider-Man 3, both his physical appearance and his demeanor took a turn to the dark side. His traditional blue and red suit turned black and he became a lot less noble than usual.

And we all know the story of Anakin, how he abandoned the Jedi Order to turn to the dark side of the Force. He donned a black suit as Peter did and started a new reign of tyranny as the face of the Galactic Empire. But of course, they wouldn't be very good protagonists if their stories ended there would they?

Return to the Light

Just as we were sure that Darth Vader was going to let evil Emperor Palpatine electrocute his son to death with Sith lightning, we got to see Vader have a change of heart. He reverted to Anakin Skywalker, his former Jedi self, in order to save Luke and bring about an end to Palpatine's dictatorship. By doing so, he ensured his own fate, though he died happy, back on the side of the good guys.

Peter's story also had a happy ending, though far less dramatic. He saw the evil in himself and was able to identify the symbiote as the cause for the whole ordeal. He then shed the suit and disposed of the symbiote, returning to his normal heroic self.

You see? One of the of the most loved superheroes is actually identical to one of the most revered villains of all time. It's up to you to pick a favorite though. Did Vader's quest for power and peace throughout the galaxy appeal to your inner warrior, or did Peter's sense of nobility and responsibility align with your own philosophy?


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