Lots of good discussion as of late in some other threads that seem to be asking this question: Are Vader and Anakin the same person? So let's have at it, shall we? I'm guessing there are three lines of thinking here:
- They are separate entities.
- They are the same entity.
- They are a little of both.
That third one doesn't make much sense to me, but I anticipate that someone will straddle the fence anyway and take that position, so I may as well knock it out now.
I have to go with "the same entity" point of view. Who you were is always going to be a part of who you are, just as who you could be is a part of who you are right now. Prior to the suit/mask visage, I'm of the opinion that Vader is always just under the surface of the troubled Anakin we see in ATOC and ROTS, very much the same way the "good man who was your father" is right below the surface of the Vader we see in the OT. I don't necessarily agree with how the portrayal of the Anakin character was executed, but I kinda get the gist of what they were going for (just barely sometimes).
This discussion will probably lead back to some of the items brought up in other threads, but I think for the sake of efficiency, it's best that we hash everything out here.
Let's get it on!