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4 thoughts on “Behind the Mask:
An Enneagram Analysis of the Star Wars Saga

  1. I believe that Anakin is a 2 with a strong 3 wing. He would disintegrate to a type 8 in stress which is exactly what happens when he goes to the dark side as Vader. They should be typed together and this link counters your thoughts on the poor character transition to Vader.

    Rey is more likely a 9w8. 9s fear of separation can look a lot like a 4s fear of abandonment. The difference is that as a 9, she lines up perfectly with her growth and stress points. Going to a 6 (clinging to her past) under stress and to a 3 (action) in growth.

    Hans Solo is more of a 7. 7s can be boastful like 3s, but their drive is different. I believe he seeks adventure and pleasure more than the desire to be the best like a 3 would.

    1. I agree with these assessments! Rey’s tendency to attach to parent figures mirrors a 9’s tendency to define themselves by other people. The 8 wing also exemplifies her lack of allowing people in, due to her past betrayal. She’s got armor now.

    2. I think what needs to be recognized is that Anakin and Vader are not two different people with different Enneatypes. Vader seems 8ish but he’s not an 8. He does resemble an 8 because Anakin is a sexual 4 (which are known to resemble 8s). Anakin’s vice is envy and his insecurity is belief in his inner deficiency. Like 4s he believes that he is missing something. Palpatine turns him to the darkside by preying on this trait. He constantly isolates anakin from others by emphasizing his “uniqueness” – for example, “ever since I’ve known you, you’ve long for a life greater than that of the ordinary Jedi.” Like a 4 Anakin struggles with the ordinary because he believes that he is missing something internally that everyone else has. Anakin is marked by his emotional self-absorption (4s), and struggles as a jedi because his feelings are too intense. Most 3s aren’t very aware of their own feelings, and 2s are other-referencing (meaning that they focus on other people first). Anakin like a 4 is self-referencing and like 4s his primary defense is introjection. He is constantly internalizing his own fears of rejection and he is quick to believe what is said about him espiif it validates his own fears. Vader/Anakin later seems more 8ish and domineering because sexual 4s can be more volatile, dramatic and can align more with anger than shame (like social 4s do). Unlike an 8 however Vader isn’t driven by instinct but by feeling. The sexual subtype is primarily about the desire to merge with another. Anakin Skywalker does this constantly. Trying to merge with an idealized/romanticized other is both 4ish and sexual/one-to-one. In ep 1 he attaches to Qui-Gon quickly and Padme, by ep 3 he is merged to Obi-Wan and Padme. Over the course of the prequels Palpatine works to turn Anakin not only by emphasizing his “uniqueness” and right to separate himself from the ordinary but by also trying to become Anakin’s primary attachment figure. In the prequels we mostly watch Anakin decompensating to a less healthy 4 over time. We also see anakin embody traits of the 4 lines to 1 and to type 2. At his healthiest (like a 2) he can be less self absorped and even appear selfless, in very unhealthy moments he can become rigid (likes 1s), “if you’re not with me you’re my enemy” or “from my point of view the jedi are evil.” Like an unhealthy one, he only sees the world in dichotomies when he first becomes Vader, there is only one right way. By the time we see Vader in the original films he is a very unhealthy sexual 4 and like an unhealthy sexual 4 he lashes out at others in anger, trying to punish everyone because of what has happened to him, while taking no responsibility for his role in his own life.

      1. Hey, Steven! Thanks for the comment!

        I think if Anakin were a real human being then your point about him having only one type would be an excellent one. But, as amazing as the Star Wars saga is, it definitely has its share of flaws, and I think one of them is inconsistent character writing for Anakin/Vader. As a type Four myself, it’s hard for me to see much of anything in common with Anakin except for his emotional intensity, which, while it definitely is a central quality of Fours, is far from the only one. I do not see any hint in Anakin of a feeling of missing something or of being defective, which I think is a much more quintessential Four trait. If anything, the opposite is true. He sees and appreciates his power and ability and resents others for not acknowledging it and promoting him for it (his obsession with becoming a master in Revenge), which feels like more of a Three need for recognition. While Threes aren’t typically in touch with their true feelings, it doesn’t mean they don’t have any or don’t feel them. Especially if you watch The Clone Wars, Anakin consistently shows a concern for proving himself, both to his friends and allies as well as to his enemies, which Fours, being more withdrawn, aren’t typically as interested in doing. While it’s true that Palpatine plays on Anakin’s uniqueness, he doesn’t just say Anakin is unique—he says Anakin is the most powerful, the best. This would play more into a Three’s vanity than it would into a Four’s desire for uniqueness. I think a Four would see through that kind of flattery; they would know very well that they’re too defective (so they believe) to be the best at anything, even if it were actually true.

        As for the type One qualities you point to, I think those are much more in line with type Eight than One. Eights tend to be very black and white, so Vader’s “with me or against me” quote fits very well with an Eight typing. Even more telling, I think, is the “Jedi are evil” part. Eights tend to be amoral (not immoral) while Ones are hyper-moral.

        Lastly, while many teachers now say that all types have access to both the high levels and low levels of both their stress and growth points, it’s much more likely that we reach for the low levels of our stress points and vice versa. For Fours, Two is the stress point and One is the growth point. If Anakin were a Four, wouldn’t he be more likely to resemble Twos in disintegration and Ones in his integration? This typically looks like being clingy, needy, and insecure in their connections (Two), while becoming less self-absorbed, more invested in the plight of others, and more social justice minded (One). It’s hard to imagine Vader being clingy and insecure!

        Of course, there’s room for disagreement and multiple interpretations here. That’s what’s so fun about stories. I appreciate the comment and the careful thought that went into it!

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