Reader Dave Comments:
I have a question — what do you think Anakin would be like as an alpha had he chosen the light side. Would there be a way for him to achieve alphaness? Did he need to embrace his anger and tenacity and was he too opposed to the order of things to really be an alpha in that environment?
He never had the same quiet demeanor and witty tact that Obi-Wan had, nor the calm steadfastness and clarity of Qui-Gon. His alphaness lay partly in his innate and practiced talents and tenacity, but he wouldn’t receive recognition for them by being a subservient member of the current order. Unlike Obi-Wan, those traits didn’t grant him positive favor and influence.
Alpha is a state of mind, but as you’ve said before it’s strongly influenced by an individual’s power. It’s what makes guys like (the character) Mark Zuckerberg come across as alpha — because they have skill and power. What are your thoughts?
This was a perfect analysis of social dynamics and you are correct in your conclusion. More than likely, he never would’ve become Alpha and his tantrums would’ve been interpreted as a show for attention. If you’ll notice, his entire demeanor changes following his transgression to the Dark Side. The easiest comparison I think would be to see how he handles problems. Problem-solving, which translates into how “capable” a man is, is largely indicative of his social adaptivity. When Anakin saw a problem, he responded with frustration (when he wasn’t elected to become a master). When Vader sees a problem, he goes about solving it with efficiency (when their ship came out of orbit too soon, he immediately killed the captain who disobeyed him, and executed a plan to neutralize their mistake). While the realm of star wars seems so far away from relationships just think about how both of these characters would solve a financial collapse within their family. Anakin would freak out and threaten to kill the creditor if they didn’t lower his debts; Vader would remain calm and figure out a way to solve the problem.
Anger is not inherently a beta trait, Alphas are often known for their short fuses. Frustration however, is invariably a beta trait. Anger can be a sign of power and a way for leaders to incite fear. Frustration is simply an acknowledgment of your defeat and a way to dwell in your failure rather than trying to get past it. If you fail at something in life, use your anger as a way to focus your energy. Frustration will only lead to wasted time. Anger is motivating, frustration is paralyzing.