Who Is Anakin Skywalker’s Father? Darth Vader’s Parents Revealed (2024)

We know that according to Star Wars canon and a 2007 interview with George Lucas, Anakin Skywalker’s father is the Force. In an earlier StarShips post, we explored the religious and mythological roots of a virgin birth brought about by a deity or spiritual entity.

Although Anakin was conceived by midi-chlorians, other clues linger that other candidates might have participated in his mysterious origins. When canon and non-canon sources are considered, there’s an interesting array of possibilities about not just who Anakin’s father was, but who might have known about the circ*mstances of his birth. Let’s look at a few theories about who Darth Vader’s other parent is—and who’s aware of it.

Anakin’s Father and Human Possibilities

Anakin’s mother was Shmi Skywalker, a slave who lived on Tatooine. In The Phantom Menace, when Qui-Gon Jinn realized Anakin’s strong Force connection asked Shmi about who Anakin’s father was, she answered, “There was no father. I carried him, I gave birth, I raised him—I can’t explain what happened.” Did Anakin have a father?

There’s a lot to unpack here.

Some fans propose that Shmi, as a slave in the outer reaches of the galaxy, might have been victim of an assault. As a coping mechanism, she told herself—and later Qui-Gon– the lie that “there was no father.”

She also may have mentally blocked the trauma, and can therefore truthfully claim that “I can’t explain what happened.” In the Star Wars universe, drugs and devices are available to blank out certain memories; Shmi’s attacker or someone else might have administered one of these to her.

There’s also a theory that Qui-Gon himself is the father and wiped Shmi’s memory with the Force. That means the Anakin-related events of The Phantom Menace are an elaborate ruse on Qui-Gon’s part to see to it that his boy is raised as a Jedi, but that doesn’t explain the supposed “necessity” of JarJar in anyone’s life, including ours.

Anakin’s Father and the Force

In the non-canon Expanded Universe, a backstory novel called Darth Plagueis tells us that Plagueis the Wise experimented with controlling midi-cholrians to bring about life. If Plagueis the Wise sounds familiar to you, that’s because you heard his name in the prequel trilogies.

Plagueis thought his experiments always failed until just before his death, when he realized he’d somehow succeeded with Anakin. This suggests that Darth Plagueis “accidentally” used the Force to bring about Anakin, and that his apprentice, Darth Sidious, knew precisely how Anakin came to be.

Supreme Chancellor Palpatine—the public face of Sidious—told Anakin at the end of The Phantom Menace that he would “watch his career with great interest.” It wasn’t just a throwaway fan-servicey line: Palpatine was well aware of the youngster’s immense potential.

Here’s the basis for that theory. It comes from Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin and Palpatine attended the opera. Palpatine said:

Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith who lived many years ago. He was so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create (big pause and stare at Anakin) life. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, and then one night, his apprentice killed him in his sleep.

Palpatine knew the details of this story because he was that apprentice. This seems to have sailed right over Anakin’s head, but it might have lodged in his subconscious. As Palpatine was a Sith, however, even this apparent moment of “the truth” is as likely to be a lie as the truth.

Who Is Anakin Skywalker’s Father? Darth Vader’s Parents Revealed (1)

Certain Force visions Anakin experiences in canon Darth Vader comics are also part of the debate about his paternity. Some fans have interpreted Anakin’s visions as suggesting that Palpatine somehow manipulated Shmi Skywalker’s womb to result in his pregnancy.

However, Matt Martin, who was involved with the comic, said on Twitter that these panels weren’t meant to suggest this as a plot development. The writer of the comic, Charles Soule, had Martin’s back on this one: “The Dark Side is not a reliable narrator,” he tweeted.

Non-canon sources and fan theories also suggest that Darth Maul was sent to assassinate Qui-Gon to prevent him from training Anakin, because a Jedi armed with so much Force sensitivity would likely destroy the Sith. The fallout from this had profound consequences for the galaxy. While Anakin was indeed raised as a Jedi, he lost the elder father figure that Dave Filoni insists he so desperately needed. Instead, he was given a “brother” in Obi-Wan.

An alternate fan theory inspired by Darth Plagueis proposes that Anakin’s conception was enabled by the Force via the midi-chlorians to combat the rise of Plagueis and Palpatine. It suggests that while Plagueis tried to artificially create the ultimate Sith apprentice, the Force would not allow it, and preserved the light in Anakin. In this sense, then, Anakin “brings balance” simply by coming into existence as an embryo.

Future Knowledge of Anakin’s Father

The answer to who Anakin Skywalker dad is might lay in how you interpret the term “father.” Technically, in the EU as well as in canon, his “father” is indeed the midi-chlorians. And although both canon as well as non-canon sources mention that Sith Lords use the Force unnaturally to bring about Shmi’s pregnancy, Anakin is not carrying their DNA. His “father” is still the Force.

Darth Vadars Father

Another take: The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch have a great deal to say about cloning. The sequel films also indicate that Palpatine is a clone-carrier for his Force essence, and that the Empire undertook many failed programs in an attempt to achieve Sith cloning. Who, then, is the father of a clone—the original template or the enabler of the cloning?

Who Is Anakin Skywalker’s Father? Darth Vader’s Parents Revealed (2)

Whatever else we learn from these clone “fathers” will likely spring from these new series. We do know from Attack of the Clones that Jango Fett asked to raise an unmanipulated infant clone as his son, Boba, who refers to him as his father. But how that might connect to Anakin and his origins remains to be seen.

Who Is Anakin Skywalker’s Father? Darth Vader’s Parents Revealed (2024)


Who Is Anakin Skywalker’s Father? Darth Vader’s Parents Revealed? ›

Anakin Skywalker's birth mystery is solved - his mother, Shmi Skywalker, reveals that there was no father and she can't explain what happened. Qui-Gon Jinn believed that the Force itself created Anakin in Shmi's womb, making him the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force.

Who is Anakin's father revealed? ›

Midichlorians and Palpatine's influence

Despite everything, Anakin's creation has always been kept a mystery; until now. The new Darth Vader comic reveals that Midiclorians, microscopic Force-sensitive beings, were influenced by Palpatine inside Shmi Skywalker's womb, all to create Anakin in a very special way.

Did Yoda know Anakin was the father? ›

Master Yoda knew that Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker - the boy he sensed too much fear in to train way back in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

How is Rey related to Anakin? ›

Parents debate. Some fans have speculated Rey to be either the daughter of Luke Skywalker and another woman or daughter of Han Solo and Leia Organa, therefore the sister of Kylo Ren. She would also be the granddaughter of Anakin SKywalker and Padme Amidala.

Does Leia know Anakin is her father? ›

Leia may have initially trained as a Jedi, but she never desired a relationship with Anakin Skywalker's Force ghost. Claudia Gray's novel Bloodline established that Leia struggled with the knowledge that Darth Vader was her father, as her memories of the Dark Lord of the Sith were the stuff of nightmares.

How did Darth Vader know Leia was his daughter? ›

As noted in the comments below, Vader was able to use the Force to discern that Luke did have a sister, but Vader never mentioned her by name. So he knew he had a daughter in the last few minutes of his life, but it seems certain he didn't know it was Leia. If he found out, it was after he came back as a force ghost.

Did Yoda know Luke was Anakin's son? ›

Yoda. Yoda's knowledge of Luke Skywalker's true parentage was also confirmed in Return of the Jedi.

How many kids does Darth Vader have? ›

Darth Vader
FamilyPadmé Amidala (wife) Luke Skywalker (son) Leia Organa Solo (daughter) Ben Solo (grandson) Shmi Skywalker (mother)
MasterObi-Wan Kenobi (as a Jedi) Darth Sidious (as a Sith)
ApprenticeAhsoka Tano
10 more rows

Are Kylo Ren and Rey related? ›

Finally, Rey is Kylo Ren's aunt through Anakin Skywalker. This means that Kylo and Rey's romance is just as genetically awkward as Luke and Leia's kiss on Hoth was. Granted, neither pair knew they were related at the time, but that's no excuse.

Who killed Darth Vader? ›

During the battle, Anakin, who had been known as the Sith Lord Darth Vader, was redeemed by Luke and brought balance to the Force. However, the redemption cost Anakin his life, having been mortally wounded by the Emperor, Darth Sidious, while killing his former Master.

Who did Palpatine have a child with? ›

Rumor had it that his mother was Palpatine's Umbaran aide Sly Moore, who had impregnated herself using DNA from an undisclosed source. Regardless of the veracity of that report, Triclops was regarded as the true son of Palpatine, both by himself and the few high-ranking officials who were aware of his existence.

Does R2D2 know Vader is Anakin? ›

R2-D2 was present when Padmé gave birth to Leia and Luke, so he knew Luke was Anakin's son – but what he didn't know was that Anakin became Darth Vader. In addition to that, Anakin's fall was surely a painful event in R2-D2's life, one that he definitely wouldn't like to remember or even talk about.

Who is technically Anakin's father? ›

Qui-Gon Jinn believed that the Force itself created Anakin in Shmi's womb, making him the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force. The revelation confirms that Emperor Palpatine personally manipulated the Dark Side of the Force to create Anakin, making him Anakin's true 'father'.

Who knew Vader was Anakin? ›

Very few people knew that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker were the same person up to his death in 5 ABY. Imperials who knew in the current canon: Sidious (emperor), Grand Moff Tarkin, all or most of the Inquisitors, Grand Admiral Thrawn, various clones in the early empire.

Who is Anakin the father of? ›

In Return of the Jedi, a dying Yoda confirms to Luke, that Darth Vader (formerly Anakin Skywalker) is actually his father, despite Luke's belief that Vader's claim to fatherhood in The Empire Strikes Back was a ruse to pull Luke to the dark side.

Did Luke know Anakin was his father? ›

During Star Wars' Original Trilogy, Luke felt attachment toward Darth Vader after realizing he's the Sith Lord's son. But beyond sharing the same blood, he seemed to know very little about who his father once was. Even up to his death in the Star Wars Sequels, Luke barely mentions Vader and his past.

How did Shmi Skywalker get pregnant? ›

Shmi holding her baby son Anakin. At some point, perhaps by the will of the Force, the very energy created by all living things that binds the universe together, Shmi mysteriously became pregnant. Without a man having fathering her child, it is believed to have been conceived within her by the midi-chlorians.

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