Palpatine Is NOT Anakin’s Father.

Since the release of Episode IX there has been incorrect assumptions and information passed around the internet. (Shocking…I KNOW!)

The misunderstanding comes from an important aspect of the movie and has to do with the lineage of two of the main characters.

In 2017 a comic series was released diving into the history of Darth Vader and his adventures during the time between Episode III and Episode IV. It is within this series many people have found themselves confused or down right lost on where Darth Vader comes from. So lets take a closer look… shall we?

What I am going to discuss could contain SPOILERS for The Rise of Skywalker as well as Marvel Comics Darth Vader #25. Enter at your own risk.

The Complaint

It just so happens that in a moment towards the end of The Rise of Skywalker. Rey, who we find out is the grandchild of Emperor Palpatine, and Ben Solo, the grandson of Darth Vader, Kiss.

People have been up in arms about this saying that since Palpatine is Anakin’s father and also had a separate offspring who went on to create Rey. That Ben and Rey are related and the kiss is another mistake of Lucasfilm and Disney.

The problem with this complaint is that it is incorrect…. At least the part where people say that Palpatine is Anakin’s father.

It seems that many have misinterpreted Marvel Comics Darth Vader series, specifically issue #25 where Vader has sort of a spiritual journey through the Darkside of the Force.

Understanding Darth Vader #25

In this issue Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker has sort of a spiritual awakening when he passes through a gateway or portal. He begins to see his life and the manipulation that took place even from when he was in his mother’s womb.

Walking through the Portal his Journey begins

As he continues walking he first sees a vision of his mother, Shmi, pregnant with him. The Darkside of the Force, speaking to him, reinforces that there was No Father.

The comic RIGHT HERE reminds us all that there was No Father

But this is where most people misinterpret what is being shown in this comic. Palpatine is seen hovering over Shmi his hands pointed towards the unborn child within her womb. However, the Darkside of the Force speaks to Vader and is explaining how Unnatural this was. Really pushing home the reality that Anakin was/is the Chosen one.

As we can see Shmi is already VERY pregnant at this point. Sidious had nothing to do with that.

What we are beginning to see is the Darkside’s attempt in revealing to Darth Vader how he has been manipulated and corrupted from the very beginning. Anakin’s journey was always decided for him. From the time THE FORCE created him to Darth Sidious corrupting his mind. Anakin was always part of someone’s plan. He never had a chance to be his own person.

We see him now as a child, having a nightmare and then reliving moments of his childhood.

His journey continues from childhood to becoming an adult. Memories of all that affected his life. His Highest of highs.

And his lowest of lows.

We then come to an all too familiar sentiment within Star Wars. Understanding that the truth is all dependent on your Point of View.

He continues forward and we see a vision of the old Jedi Temple from Coruscant. “Ghosts” of Jedi past appear, many of them Masters whom Anakin at one point looked up to.

The Darkside now telling him.

“Let the Past Die. Kill it if you have to.”

He lunges and kills all the Jedi standing in his way to his

He comes to the opening of the Temple and standing atop of the stairs within are Palpatine (Not Darth Sidious) and his old Master Obi Wan Kenobi.

Notice how the caption is directly between the two of them.

The Darkside stating ‘I am you father’ with the two men Anakin most respected and trusted standing there. The men that he so admired and would consider his father figures.

This moment is all about understanding those who manipulated him most were those he most looked up to.

Both so different yet equally at fault for the fall and tragedy of Anakin Skywalker.

Finally after the two, Kenobi & Palpatine, fight. Sidious comes out victorious showing a representation of the fall of the Jedi.

Vader killing the vision of Sidious and continues his journey. This time though he comes upon his wife, Padme. Transitioning from Vader back to Anakin.

He truly believed this journey would lead him to Padme so he could save her. But just as all things on this journey this was just another corrupted take on his past.

This gives those cringey lines from Episode 1 some weight now.

Unwilling to let her go again Anakin pleads with Padme. However, she tells Anakin the unfortunate truth.

As she falls over the railing he once again must live through the agony of losing the person he loved most.

The beauty in the art. Anakin’s eyes turning yellow as he transitions back.

Transitioning back to Darth Vader. A man succumbed to the Dark a man who has been manipulated his entire life. As he stands, now in his Castle, a beam of light appears before him. But what is it?

It’s his future…. His redemption.

Just then he is blasted back into his body.

He reaches out to his Master, Darth Sidious, on Coruscant.

The final two pages sum up this issue perfectly. It is everything you need to understand about the journey that you the reader and Vader just went on.

No longer is Darth Vader going to simply play the puppet that he has always been.

From the time he was conceived until this moment he was always used. He was never able to fulfill his dreams… his life.

He now understands his place in this story and for his own sake he must take back control of his own Destiny.

The Tormented Soul of Anakin

As you can see this comic delves into the tormented soul of Darth Vader. This is the moment he finally realizes that he never had control of his life. It was The Force, the Jedi, Obi-Wan, Palpatine and all the others in his life that caused him to endure so much pain.

The men he respected. The Force he trusted so much in. All of it. He was used, manipulated and corrupted to their will.

This issue captures everything that makes the story of Anakin a tragedy. Now, go back and watch Return of the Jedi and try to no think about this comic when he sees his son being killed by the Emperor.

Author: Robert Slavinsky

Robert Hosts Shootin' The Sith a Star Wars podcast and is a passionate fan of comics books and movies.

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