Did Palpatine Create Anakin? (Was He His “Father”?)
Ever since Anakin Skywalker’s beginnings were revealed during the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, fans have been wondering how he came to be because he never had a conventional father. Then Palpatine told him the story of Darth Plagueis in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, implying that he was created through their manipulation of the Force. So, is it true that Palpatine did indeed create Anakin?
Palpatine did not create Anakin. When Palpatine said that he and Plagueis influenced the Force to create life, that was not a reliable story because the dark side was never a reliable source. As such, the real story behind Anakin’s origins and birth is still unknown as far as the official canon is concerned.
It is important to note that George Lucas never said that it was Palpatine who created Anakin, but it was only implied. Nevertheless, the Lucasfilm Story Group confirmed that this was not the case, and that means that Palpatine was merely someone who influenced Anakin to the dark side. With that said, let’s look at how Anakin was created and how Palpatine could be part of his origin.
Did Palpatine Cause Anakin To Be Born?
George Lucas introduced a new concept to Star Wars fans back in 1999 when Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released because that was when Qui-Gon Jinn met Anakin Skywalker and theorized that he was the Chosen One that was supposed to bring balance to the Force. He came up with this conclusion when he felt that the young boy was strong with the Force and that he had the highest Midi-chlorian count in history.
But what really surprised Qui-Gon was the fact that, when he asked Shmi who the father was, she said that there was never a father and that she just became pregnant with him and was there to carry and raise him all on her own. This seems to be inspired by the Christian stories of the Virgin Mary becoming pregnant and giving birth to Jesus Christ through the grace of God without a father ever being involved in her pregnancy. As such, Qui-Gon concluded that Anakin could be the one that could bring balance to the Force, and that prompted him to convince the Jedi Council to train the boy.
Since Episode I, fans of Star Wars have been wondering how Anakin came to be and why he didn’t have a father. But the interesting part came in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith when Anakin became close to Chancellor Palpatine, who had already sensed his potential as early as Episode I. Palpatine told Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise, a Sith Lord who happened to be his master.
Anakin had been having dreams of Padme dying and was desperate to save her. That was when Palpatine, who was secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, told him the story of Darth Plagueis in an attempt to seduce him to the dark side. He said that the dark side is powerful enough that the Sith are able to manipulate the Force and influence the Midi-chlorians to create life.
Of course, there is also a part where the canon Darth Vader comics allowed us to see Palpatine seemingly creating Anakin. In a vision, Vader saw his mother being overshadowed by Emperor Palpatine, who was seemingly manipulating her womb to create Anakin. The natural conclusion that fans would come up with is that Palpatine and Plagueis were the ones responsible for Anakin’s creation and that Darth Sidious could have been the one who created Anakin and caused him to be born.
For many years, this was the conclusion that fans had, especially with the non-canon story regarding the master and apprentice duo of Plagueis and Palpatine. However, it appears that Palpatine and his master were never involved in Anakin’s creation at all.
Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, there has been a council called the Lucasfilm Story Group, which is responsible for setting the limits of the different forms of Star Wars literature to make sure that they don’t encroach upon what has already been established as part of the canon. All Star Wars movies, series, games, and books have to go through the Lucasfilm Story Group when it comes to their storylines.
Matt Martin, a member of the said group and was also someone who worked on the Darth Vader comics, said that the vision that Vader saw was not something that happened in real life but was merely how Anakin perceived Palpatine. When he saw Darth Sidious overshadowing his mother in a vision, that was merely how he saw the Emperor as a father figure instead of actually his father. That means that this vision did not confirm that Palpatine was indeed the one responsible for his creation.
Did Palpatine Use The Force To Create Anakin?
But what about the story that Palpatine told Anakin about Darth Plageuis the Wise influencing the Force to create life? What did he mean when he implied that he and his master were the ones who used the Force to create Anakin?
Well, for starters, the Lucasfilm Story Group also went on to say that those who are on the dark side of the Force were never reliable storytellers. The Sith are, after all, masters of lies, deceit, and manipulation. And that means that they are willing to do whatever it takes to influence someone over to the dark side.
One of the reasons why Anakin fell to the dark side was in relation to Palpatine’s story about how they could save Padme from certain death because the Emperor told him that the dark side had the power to use the Force to save lives. While that may be true to some extent (as seen from the fact that Palpatine was able to revive himself), saving a life and creating life are entirely different from one another.
That could mean that Palpatine was merely fabricating a story about how powerful he and his master were so that he could pull Anakin over to the dark side. He knew what Anakin’s weakness was and was quick to pounce on it using a story that may or may not be reliable in terms of its truthfulness. As such, we could never tell whether or not it was truly Palpatine that used the Force to create Anakin.
Did Palpatine Know About Anakin?
It was never really confirmed whether or not Palpatine had already known about Anakin’s birth when Shmi gave life to him. The only time he learned of the young boy was when Anakin arrived on Coruscant when Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi brought him back from their quick detour on Tatooine.
However, it is possible that Palpatine had already sensed his potential the moment that he learned that he existed. That was why he told Anakin in Episode I that he would watch his career with great interest, as he already sensed that the young boy had the potential to be the Chosen One that had been prophesized by the Jedi.
Who “Created” Anakin?
Now that we know that Palpatine was not the one who was responsible for Anakin’s creation and was just merely the father figure that led him to the dark side, what does that mean for Anakin’s creation? We still know that Shmi became pregnant without a husband. So, who created Anakin?
At this point, Anakin’s creation is still unclear and left unaddressed. That’s because Matt Martin said that he and the other members of the Lucasfilm Story Group do not want to encroach upon Anakin’s creation story because doing so would mean disrespecting George Lucas, who may no longer have an active hand in the story of Star Wars but still gives limits in relation to what the new literature could say about the stories of the characters.
In that regard, Lucasfilm has left this part of the Star Wars story untold but full of potential. After all, there are a lot of religious and philosophical inspirations behind Anakin’s creation, and this might be something that the Story Group might not want to explore because that would mean ruining the mystique behind the story of the prophesized Chosen One.
Still, if George Lucas were to ever give the go signal for the Lucasfilm Story Group to come up with a new story behind Anakin’s creation, that story is going to be full of potential because of the fact that anything can happen.