Matt Martin — the executive in charge of overseeing the overarching story of Star Wars at Lucasfilm — is finally clearing up some confusion about Anakin’s creation.
Ever since the Star Wars prequels, it has been almost impossible to view Palpatine as a sort of father figure toward Anakin Skywalker. The young Jedi, taken from his mother and thrust into a life of service to a Republic he had never known, found comfort and guidance in the chancellor in ways he couldn’t receive from his master.
As time has gone on, more fans have been searching for answers to a long-standing question: Where did Anakin really come from? Was Palpatine, his future master, somehow involved?
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So when one story from a Marvel comic seemed to provide an answer, the fandom took its implications and ran with it — maybe a little too hastily, it turns out.
The final issue of Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith sends Vader through a portal into the World Between Worlds — previously seen in both The Clone Wars and Rebels (and now in The Rise of Skywalker).
In the panels that follow, he sees visions that reflect and reinforce his greatest fears. One of those panels features Palpatine standing behind a pregnant Shmi Skywalker, and seems to imply that he was directly involved in the child’s creation.
This caused both confusion and misinterpretation among fans (including myself) when the comic was initially released. We all rightfully assumed this was direct confirmation of something we had suspected all along — that Palpatine was, through the Force, Anakin Skywalker’s “father.”
This, however, is not actually the case. We know this thanks to confirmation from the most reliable source possible (besides George Lucas, of course).
According to Lucasfilm Story Group Creative Executive Matt Martin, Palpatine did not create Anakin. In fact, this is one of several mysteries in Star Wars that George Lucas never wanted to be revealed.
“It’s part of my job to ensure the stories are aligned with the overall vision of Star Wars,” Martin tweeted in response to comments on the original post. “If the intention was to make a direct connection between Palps and Anakin’s birth, I would have had it removed.”
Because this portion of the comic takes place in a location outside space and time, the cosmic Force likely manipulated Vader’s thoughts in a way that could be compared to Rey’s vision in The Last Jedi. He sought the answer to a question he had buried deep inside of him, and even if it wasn’t the right one, a form of an answer was shown to him.
Some fans have pointed back to the scene at the opera in Revenge of the Sith when Palpatine talks with Anakin about Darth Plagueis. It offers possible implications that Palpatine is admitting Anakin is his “son,” but Martin has been clear this wasn’t the intention — at least not in the final film.
“He doesn’t literally say that,” he replied to another tweet. “It can certainly be inferred, but he doesn’t say it. And even if he literally said it: would you believe him in that situation? It was in an early draft of the film but George removed it because he didn’t want Anakin’s story to feel predestined.”
Fans who are hoping for answers regarding Anakin Skywalker’s true origins will be waiting a long time — it’s never going to be revealed, as long as Martin has something to say about it. But he points out that there are some secrets — like the identity of Yoda’s species — worth keeping.
“I personally wouldn’t want to explore such a thing. George was pretty clear in [The Phantom Menace] and I wouldn’t want to mess with that.”
Does Goerge Lucas know how Anakin was truly created and he’s just not telling us? That wouldn’t surprise anyone at this point. He’ll take that secret to his grave. Everything we think we know is really just speculation, and always will be.
Did you misinterpret the implications of this comic like so many in the fandom did? What’s your headcanon about how Anakin was really created?