It’s all Obi-Wan’s fault. He’s jealous. He’s holding me back.

On the way home from Brasa Saturday night Laura said, “You know who would have made a good Anakin Skywalker? Nick Stahl.”

Nick Stahl portrays young Ben Hawkins on Carnivàle. He also played John Connor in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Both roles, I realized right then, have facets that are similar to the pre-Vader Anakin.

First, both Hawkins and Connor are unhappy with their current situation. In fact, they’re often downright pissed about it. Hawkins has powers he doesn’t understand or want, and he’s walking a path he’d rather avoid. Connor just wants to be left alone. Anakin, likewise, broods over the fact that the Jedi code prevents him from being with Amidala, and feels that his true potential is being stifled by Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Second, Ben and John are both pivotal figures in a battle of epic proportions. The big difference between these two guys and Anakin Skywalker seems to be that Ben and John don’t want to be as important as they are, while Anakin embraces his power.

And they’re all being manipulated in some way or another. Ben Hawkins’ strings are being pulled and plucked by the mysterious being known as Management (and, by extension, Samson). John Connor’s puppeteers were his mother and his future self (by way of the T-101 Terminator). Anakin Skywalker is being similarly “guided” by Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine.

Nick Stahl does a damn fine job portraying this type of character, and he brings real depth and personality to the roles (especially Ben Hawkins). He can be angry and frustrated and confused without drifting into whiny. Yeah, he would have made a good Anakin Skywalker.

If wishes were T-16 Skyhoppers…