Anakin Skywalker, portrayed in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the one from Star Wars: Episode III. Revenge of the Sith” are very different characters, and one bold theory of the “Star Wars” prequel explains why. Although George Lucas had plans for Anakin’s backstory before Return of the Jedi, it was only during the Star Wars prequel trilogy that viewers learned more about the man who tragically became Darth Vader. However, Anakin’s character and story, presented in the prequels, were met with great criticism after the release — a problem that the Clone Wars tried to solve.
While “Clone Wars” was supposed to fill in the gaps between “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” through serialized adventures, the series also helped improve many elements of the prequel trilogy. This includes a better overview of what the Clone Wars really meant to the galaxy, how the Jedi were slowly losing their fighting spirit, and how strong the bond between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi was before everything fell apart. Despite the fact that “Clone Wars” was aimed at a younger audience and was initially limited to a very narrow audience, “Clone Wars” eventually became one of the main reasons why the “Star Wars” franchise moved forward for a long time without live action films. an important part of the knowledge about “Star Wars” even after the final season.
Chronologically, the Clone Wars occurred when Anakin went from the irritable padawan from Attack of the Clones to the fearless and cunning Jedi knight who later became Darth Vader. Nevertheless, viewers see Anakin in “Revenge of the Sith” as still too similar to what was in “Attack of the Clones”, as if this character development in “Clone Wars” never happened. Obviously, the Clone Wars show appeared only after Revenge of the Sith and was developed by another creative team, which in itself excuses any inconsistencies between the two versions. Nevertheless, as is the case with every hole in the plot of “Star Wars” or inconsistency with the canon, this can be explained in the universes. To better explain why Anakin’s Clone Wars and Anakin’s Revenge of the Sith are so different, one wild fan theory (via Reddit) suggests that the latter is a clone created by Palpatine to replace the former.
Clone Wars Anakin is very different from Hayden Christensen
Obi-Wan describes Luke’s father in New Hope as the best starship pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior and a good friend. However, none of these elements were given much attention during the prequel trilogy — mainly because of how much George Lucas tried to convey in just three films. “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace” follows a young Anakin who is found by Qui-Gon Jinn, which means viewers only got two films to learn more about the Jedi knight Obi-Wan loved so much. Considering that in the second half of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin becomes Darth Vader, there have actually been fewer than two films depicting an adult Anakin.
However, in the Clone Wars, viewers had to follow Anakin through several adventures across the galaxy over the course of seven seasons. The show did more than just offer more of Anakin—it also made the character completely different. Clone Wars Anakin seems much more mature than Hayden Christensen from the start, replacing the often annoying attitude with something more paired with the Republic’s Jedi general during the war. Although this can be attributed to the fact that Anakin from the Clone Wars is voiced by another actor, guided by other principles, the differences between the two characters are not limited to how they sound. Anakin is much more confident during the Clone Wars, serving as the strong leader of his clone battalion and his padawan Ahsoka. Anakin’s relationship with Obi-Wan also seems stronger and more positive than those depicted in the films, and the duo really feels like brothers.
Theory: Palpatine replaced Anakin with a clone
Considering how heroic and kind Anakin was in the Clone Wars, presenting this character as the same character from Revenge of the Sith is both more tragic and more difficult. However, according to this fan theory, Anakin from the Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith should never have been the same character. Considering that cloning technology is especially prevalent in the Star Wars universe, as well as how Star Wars: Skywalker.
Thus, the real Anakin Skywalker never crossed over to the dark side—he was either killed or captured somewhere between the reunion with Ahsoka and the opening scene of Revenge of the Sith.