One of the basic things in the Star Wars franchise is that Rebels and Jedi are the good guys and the Sith and the Empire are the evil. This is brought to us by lessons of the force and how good vs evil will decide which side of the force you belong to. I personally always thought that if I had a choice I would join the dark side.
Maybe this is why I feel empathy toward Anakin Skywalker. It may be some sort of affinity toward villains, I don't know, but hear me out.
Now we all know Anakin Skywalker was a slave. This is the main premise of the Phantom Menace Episode 1 . Even at this age, Anakin has already had to suffer more than most of us know by being a slave. He spent long days in scrap yards and even had to witness his Mother being put through the same thing. Anakin clearly displays, in all 3 Episodes, that he feels guilty about his Mother's enslavement.
The above picture shows how little he was while dealing with this huge burden. Yet despite this still manages to construct his droids and pod-racers etc
Now Anakin gets the chance to join the Jedi and free himself- but only without his mother.. This must have been a heart wrenching decision, and he is only 9. I don't think many other people could have endured this as well as he did.
Fast forward a few years and our young Anakin has grown up into a rather handsome young man. Even now, his life is in turmoil. He loves Padme, but has to keep it a secret. Anakin truly dotes on this woman and despite the 5 year age gap, secrecy they get married.
Anakin returned to find his mother but arrived too late. This would be another devastating blow. We know by this point how much he wishes to secure his mother's freedom and he was too late. The only thing holding our Anakin together is the love of Padme and his place amongst the Jedi.
Even with Padme is not all plain sailing. He has to keep quiet about marrying the woman he loves. Who he has always loved. She understands better than him that secrecy is essential or shewould lose her career.
And with all that already going, we also have Anakin's battle with the dark side.
Anakin had a vision that his mother needed him and as we know, he arrived too late. So, when he has another vision surrounding Padme he is utterly determined to do better. He won't fail her. Unable to confide in the Jedi council surrounding the nature of the vision, he keeps his thoughts to himself.
Secretly trying to find away to prevent the outcome of the vision in which Padme dies, the Jedi are frustrating him by essentially holding him back. He wishes to progress up the ranks to learn more of the Jedi way-so he can save Padme, but the council won't allow it.
This leads to him hating some of the council members, but not his mentor Obi-Wan. Although unable to confide with him on all things, he maintains his attachment to Obi-Wan. And just when Anakin's mental turmoil is about to completely break him, a senator gives him a little insight into the things he knows exist, such as saving someone from death.
Anakin can only see one outcome in which he can save Padme. He must listen to this senator and learn his ways, do his bidding-and figure out how to stop his vision becoming a reality.
Anakin does not see that Palpatine is not to be trusted, but if this were you or I then I doubt we would have chosen differently. He is set on preventing her death and a void becomes apparent between the Jedi and the senate. So, Anakin thinking he is doing the best he can tries to learn the senators ways.
It is now that Anakin finds out that the senator is actually the Sith Lord he has been fighting against, and that he is on the dark side of the force. The senator convinces him to choose the dark side. Anakin does, but you can see just how torn Anakin is over this - but Padme is priority.
This alone would explain why it came to be that Anakin joined the dark side. He was beaten and broken by this point and was clearly taken advantage of. But it's not the case that he wanted more power, he was trying to do what he thought was right. Yes he did things which are inexcusable. Killing younglings is unforgivable, but he did it because he thought it was how he would save Padme.
By this point, Anakin is having a very bad time as his powers, just as the prophecy predicted, were being used against the Jedi
Anakin comes to believe that the Jedi are evil and the senator is not, leading to an epic showdown between Anakin and Obi-Wan. And here, in my opinion, is when one of the greatest, most heart wrenching speeches is given.
*Wipes away tears at this heart breaking, soul crushing, geeky speech*
After this final battle against his mentor, he is left with no legs and is badly burned. The senator finds him and makes him Lord Vader. And the rest- they say-is history.
So if we were put in Anakin's situation, how many people would turn to the Dark Side if you thought it could save the one you love? We should empathise with Anakin, not hate him. He was the hero and finished as the villain.
And it was for nothing...