Before 1980, the biggest spoiler in all of Star Wars was the fact that Luke Skywalker’s dad was really a guy named Anakin Skywalker who went goth and started calling himself Darth Vader. But who was Darth/Anakin’s daddy? A new in-canon Star Wars comic book reveals that father-figure, and if you follow this stuff, it’s exactly who you think it is. And, with the impending release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hinting at the return of a certain someone long-presumed dead, this twist is a pretty big deal.
Spoilers for Marvel’s ongoing Darth Vader comic book series, specifically issue #25.
In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August as Luke and Leia’s grandmother) told Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) that “there was no father,” suggesting Anakin was the product of a virgin birth that just came out of the Force. In that movie, Qui-Gon controversially said that he believed Anakin was “conceived by the midichlorians,” which basically means the silly micro-organisms that live in the Force made Anakin. But then, in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine said that the dark side could “influence the midichlorians to create…life.” This happens in a scene where Anakin and Palps are watching a weird opera. Turns out — as many have suspected — this was a low-key revelation that Palps is Anakin’s daddy. And the new comic book proves it.
The new-ish comic book issue, Darth Vader #25, features a flashback scene in which Anakin is able to relive certain parts of his life, including his birth. And yeah, you guessed it, soon-to-be Emperor Palpatine uses the Dark Side of the Force to make a baby in Shim Skywalker. True to Star Wars tradition, there is no sex involved, only magic.
Is this a game-changer? Maybe. Previously, because this idea was left vague in Episode III, it allowed fans to mostly forget about the idea of Anakin’s specialness. But now that it’s 100 percent confirmed that his “dad” was Palps via dark magic, it begs a bigger question: Why didn’t Palpatine just do this several times? Why put all your dark side eggs in one basket?
Did Star Wars really need to do this? Not really. But, with Palpatine set to return in the next big Star Wars movie, this small change could have even bigger ramifications than we thought…