Star Wars Theory About Who Created Anakin Is All Wrong

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

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Star Wars lore can get confusing sometimes. With all the supplemental material like novels and comics as well as two separate continuities—Legends and the current Disney Canon—it can be difficult to keep things straight. One thing that has never really been up for debate, however, in both Legends and Canon is the role Sheev Palpatine played in Anakin Skywalker’s creation—none.

The fan theory that in Star Wars, Palpatine created Anakin Skywalker is definitively and objectively wrong.

Or rather, depending on how you look at it, his role could be considered that of background extra. However, thanks to a couple of very misleading comic panels and an early draft of the Revenge of the Sith screenplay, several Star Wars fans have convinced themselves otherwise. Lucky for you, we’re here to clear up the confusion once and for all.

Starting with The Phantom Menace, George Lucas introduced Star Wars fans to the idea that Anakin Skywalker was two things: a virgin birth and “the chosen one,” an old Jedi prophecy about a being destined to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the force. The fact that Anakin had both no father and the highest midi-chlorian count in the galaxy led many fans to assume that Anakin was literally willed into existence through the Force.

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Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace

It wasn’t until the third prequel, Revenge of the Sith, that fans started incorrectly theorizing that Palpatine was the one that manipulated a bunch of midi-chlorians—tiny organisms that live in the cells of all living creatures and connect them to the Force—to make them produce a powerful child he could corrupt.

With one line, “Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life,” Palpatine seems to imply that if not himself, at least his master Darth Plagueis was responsible for Anakin’s creation, something that just isn’t true no matter how much some fans cling to the idea.

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Palpatine and Anakin in Revenge of the Sith

First of all, Palpatine is lying. He’s laying the groundwork for Anakin’s fall to the dark side, so of course he’s going to attempt to trick him into a false allegiance, and what better way than by telling Anakin, “Suprise, I’m your dad! You have to become a Sith now, it’s your destiny!”

The reason we know he’s lying is simple: an earlier draft of Star Wars: Episode III flat out had Palpatine say, “I arranged for your conception. I used the power of the Force to will the midi-chlorians to start the cell divisions that created you.”

So wait, wouldn’t that actually confirm that Palpatine is Shmi’s baby daddy? Nope. There’s a reason the scene was cut from the next draft of the screenplay, and that’s because George Lucas decided he didn’t want that to be Anakin’s origin. The whole point of rough drafts is to work through concepts you aren’t sure about and find out if they work or not.

George Lucas decided emphatically that Anakin being created by Palpatine, or even by Darth Plagueis with Palpatine in an Igor role, was a concept that didn’t work for him. Especially because it would put Anakin’s creation at odds with the prophecy of the Chosen One. But then that silly comic book came out.

When Disney bought Star Wars and wiped out all continuity except for the movies—many fans forget, even The Clone Wars wasn’t definitively considered Canon until a little while after Disney acquired the franchise—they announced that everything released from that moment on, whether it be a movie, comic book, or video game would be considered canon.

So when a 2018 issue of the Darth Vader comic book series came out featuring a picture that clearly showed Darth Sidious interfering with Anakin’s birth, fans lost their minds.

The comic seemed to be a smoking gun that proved once and for all that Anakin’s birth was the result of tinkering from Palpatine. Except that’s not what the pictures show at all.

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From Darth Vader #25, Marvel Comics 2018

The comic seemed to be a smoking gun that proved once and for all that Anakin’s birth was the result of tinkering from Palpatine. Except that’s not what the pictures show at all. The panel in question occurs during a sort of Dark Side of the Force version of This is Your Life, where events from Anakin’s past are presented to him in visions generated by the Dark Side itself. The picture shows Palpatine creeping on Shmi alright, but a Shmi that’s visibly pregnant already.

In fact, the panel right before shows Shmi Skywalker alone, clutching her visibly pregnant belly. If the Star Wars comic was indicating anything it’s that Palpatine started manipulating Anakin Skywalker from an early age—something every fan can agree on. However, from an early age and causing Anakin’s conception are two different things.

Lucasfilm Denies The Marvel Comic Connected Palpatine And Anakin

If that’s not proof enough, Lucasfilm exec Matt Martin who worked on the book, came out and said Palps being Ani’s dad was “100 percent not the intended implication” of the comic and that if the panel were intended to make a direct connection between Palpatine and Anakin’s birth he would “have had it removed.”

So who created Anakin, then? While it’s Lucasfilm’s intention to keep the truth vague, the prevailing theory among Star Wars fans is that it was the Force itself. Basically, the theory goes that Palpatine and Plagueis were trying to create life unnaturally, and the Force reacted defensively by creating a child that would ultimately destroy the Sith. Since the Force is connected to and made up of energy from every living being technically we’re all Anakin’s dad…from a certain point of view.

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