Anakin Skywalker
Source: Lucasfilm

Who Is Anakin's Father in 'Star Wars'? Fans Think They Know the Answer, but They're Wrong

Meg Dowell - Author
By

Jan. 23 2023, Published 3:59 p.m. ET

The Skywalker family almost makes Star Wars feel like a soap opera instead of a space opera. From secret twins reunited to disgruntled sons joining evil corporations to spite their parents' legacies, a galaxy far, far away is filled with drama — and Anakin Skywalker is at the heart of so much of the chaos.

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One Anakin fact, or lack thereof, still puzzles the Star Wars fandom to this day. No one seems to know who Anakin's father is. Not even his mother.

Who is Anakin's father in 'Star Wars'? The answer is ... complicated.

Anakin Skywalker
Source: Lucasfilm
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When we first meet young Anakin Skywalker in 1999's The Phantom Menace, his mother Shmi Skywalker revealed to the Jedi that her son didn't have a father. Not that she didn't know the guy or pretended to forget about him — he literally did not have one.

In the real world, this wouldn't make sense. But this is Star Wars, where tiny living organisms can spontaneously band together to create a whole person all by themselves. Sorry — what?

Behold the midi-chlorian! In the Star Wars universe, a Jedi's power is determined by the number of midi-chlorians in their blood. Anakin's midi-chlorian count is off the charts, which led the Jedi to believe he was actually conceived by them.

Who needs a dad when you have the Force, right?

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Is Palpatine Anakin's father? Some 'Star Wars' fans still believe it.

There's a widespread belief among Star Wars fans that Palpatine, the franchise's main villain, actually influenced the creation of Anakin Skywalker. This theory largely comes from one internet-breaking page in a recent comic book.

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In a 2019 issue of Charles Soule's Darth Vader (2017) comic series, a scene where Vader looks back on his past seems to imply that Palpatine somehow used the Force to influence Anakin's conception. Fans took this to mean the writer was confirming this to be true, even though it turned out not to be the case.

Matt Martin, who works for Lucasfilm as part of its Story Group, confirmed in a tweet that the scene had been widely misinterpreted.

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The consensus among fans following the "this is not canon" tweet has been that the scene played off Vader's fear that Palpatine, simultaneously his master and greatest enemy, was responsible for his existence.

Palpatine may not actually be his father, but he did treat Anakin like a son ... just enough to convince him to turn to the dark side. Gross.

If the answer you were looking for is "Anakin was made by space bacteria," congratulations! You win. May the Force be with you.

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