On Anakin Skywalker's Parentage

My gut feeling, ever since 1999, is that Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn is Anakin Skywalker’s father.

It’s based on two things–Lucas’s long-ago declaration that the six-film Star Wars saga would be about “a father, son, and twins.” The twins are Luke and Leia, the son is Anakin, so who is the father? What pointed me in the direction of Qui-Gon is the chemistry between Qui-Gon and Anakin’s mother Shmi in Phantom Menace (which is about the only character chemistry in the whole damn film), and the oddity of Qui-Gon’s and Anakin’s eyes glowing blue at various times, something I noticed with no other character.

It could be, of course, that Qui-Gon and Anakin are both replicants nearing their expiry date. But that’s for another time.

Shmi was knocked up in the conventional sense. I think, based on the weird glances in The Phantom Menace, as a one-night stand on the part of Qui-Gon.

But Sidious had a role in Anakin’s creation as well.

What if Darth Sidious found the pregnant Shmi and pumped her bloodstream full of super-concentrated midiclorians? It’s an experiment, you see–Sidious wants to see if he can create a super–powered Force user, and why not see what effect drowning the fetus in midiclorians will have? How the pregnant Shmi finds her way into Sidious’ orbit I don’t know–that’s a story yet to be told.

But something happens. Sidious needs to dispose of the evidence. Maybe someone on the Jedi Council is sniffing around. Mother and the child were dumped on Tatooine, to hide the child from prying eyes. On Tatooine the boy’s native Force talents would be overlooked. He wouldn’t fall under the sway of the Jedi until later in life. And he wouldn’t be as controllable as other Jedi children are.

Why Tatooine? Why not?

First, Tatooine is the “ass end of space.” No one goes there willingly, except for scum and villainy. That makes it an ideal place to hide something, because no one is likely to go there looking for something.

Second, we know of the Emperor’s foresight. He may have known that placing Shmi, pregnant and alone, on Tatooine that his project would find its way back to his orbit.

Third, Tatooine is a hard planet. Anakin would have to fight to survive. He’s not a coddled child, not like other Force-sensitives who follow the Jedi path. Allowing Anakin to live his first decade on Tatooine will ensure a taint creeps into Anakin’s Force balance.

Sidious would have had his reasons for abandoning his project on Tatooine. Keeping Anakin on Tatooine would have been better for his purposes than raising Anakin on, say, Couruscant or Alderaan or Corellia, someplace where Anakin’s powers would have been identified much earlier and a firmer grip of the Jedi way put in place.

Sidious needed a “sleeper” Jedi, someone who could destroy the Jedi from within. Sidious and Maul could only attack at the edges of the Jedi Order, but if Sidious could manipulate a single Jedi, secure in the Order, and convince him to turn his allegiance, he could achieve his ultimate goal–the extermination of the Jedi.

But if Qui-Gon is Anakin’s father, I think it’s clear that he didn’t realize he had a son. So, a one-night stand? Jedi aren’t celibate; they just can’t form attachments. Finding Anakin years later was really one of those improbable chances that dog Han Solo and Captain Kirk every step of the way, yet seem to be the engines of fiction.

We can only wonder at what kind of Jedi Anakin would have become had Qui-Gon lived instead of died on Naboo.

Whether or not Anakin being a creation of evil somehow diminishes his struggle against his own personal demons, I don’t think it does if we assume that he has the capacity for good in him, which I think he does. And it’s clear that a lot of people think he does. It’s in the final act of Anakin’s arc–his defeat of Luke and then his betrayal of the Emperor–where he finally sees the good in himself.

Anakin Skywalker, son of Qui-Gon and experiment of Sidious. There’s a certain poetry to that because his very existence from conception stands on the precipice between Lightside and Darkside.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

40 thoughts on “On Anakin Skywalker's Parentage

  1. I read the line in Revenge of the Sith as meaning Sideous had created Anakin – surely if Shmi had had sex at all before she knew she was carrying Anakin she wouldn’t have said “there was no father”? I watched Phantom Menace again last night and they have been “there” since Anakin was “about 3” – but we don’t know if they were shipped there or went into hiding. Of course the latter makes you wonder why everyone thinks Tatooine is the place to hide.

    It’s clear in the Republic trilogy* that Anakin sees Qui-Gon as a father substitute and that he can’t accept Obi-Wan as his replacement, instead turning to Palpatine. If Palpatine is effectively his father, then this makes sense. Of course, it makes you wonder why Lucas has fathers who are either evil or prone to dying just when they start teaching their ‘sons’.

  2. I forgot my starred footnote…:smile:

    *there’s the problem of how to indentify the two trilogies now they are complete: the “first trilogy” could mean the first three released or the first three in story order. Lawrence Miles has suggested “the Republic” for PM, AotC and RotS and “the Empire” for NH, ESB and RotJ.

  3. Interesting theory. Could definitely be, although I read the dialogue in Ep 3 as Mags did.

    You say that “Jedi aren’t celibate” – but I don’t think there’s anything in any of the films that confirms it. I could certainly believe that we’re meant to think that the Jedi ARE supposed to be celibate.

    That leads to another question, though:

    It’s stated in some of the novels, and I think you can assume it from the films, that Jedi children are identified and found out in the galaxy, and not produced by mating known Jedis to get Force-sensitive offspring. That sort of fits in with the whole “will of the Force” and pseudo-buddhism that the Jedi believe in. But then to counteract that, we see that Anakin has Force-sensitive children, and (in the novels) his daughter has more Force-sentitive kids of her own, so apparently Force-sensitivity is an inheritable trait.

    Is it all very subtle and clever writing, or did George Lucas just not bother to think things through? Or are we just thinking too much about it? 🙂

  4. Lucas didn’t think things through.

    In the 90’s it was decided that Jedi’s don’t love….which makes no sense as if the dark side is hate, the light side is love, but Jedi’s became monks, rather than, you know..KNIGHTS…who would shag anything that moved.

  5. My thoughts are along the lines of the dialogue in Episode III. Palpatine talks of Darth Plagueis who could manipulate the force to create life. This makes me wonder if Plagueis had anything to do with the conception of Anakin. Palpatine had recognised the Skywalker name and knew of the past of Plagueis and Shmi Skywalker and knew immediatley of his possible powers. Sideuos destroyed Palgueis so that he would never be replaced as an apprentice, and that HE would be the master of the Skywalker offspring.

    If Qui-Gon was the father ( which I hugely doubt) wouldn’t he have recognised Shmi, or her recognise him? I don’t think that’s what the idea of the story was.

    I believe that only the Emperor knows of Anakin’s Lineage. ( and maybe George Lucas)

  6. Qui Gon, like any good knight..liked the sauce…he can’t remember all the space port doxies he’s encountered over the years

  7. Obviously, proving Qui-Gon’s paternity would be a damned difficult thing to do. The only evidence we have is Shmi’s “He has no father,” which can be taken to mean any number of things. Jedi aren’t supposed to form attachments–Yoda warned Anakin about that very thing in Revenge of the Sith. Anakin’s marriage to Padme and his desire for children presented the very emotional chinks in a Jedi’s armor that Yoda warned of. Had Shmi acknowledged Qui-Gon as Anakin’s father, Qui-Gon may have taken an entirely different interest in Anakin, one that could have had profoundly negative consequences for Qui-Gon and the Jedi Order.

    (Of course, one could argue that, given the events of Revenge of the Sith, that things can’t get worse. It’s a philosophical conundrum–do we live in the best of all possible worlds? Do Jedi?)

  8. I think Anakin is the Chosen One and he has no father. I hate what George Lucus did in Episode VI–why couldn’t he let Anakin/Darth Vader live and like get his face the way it was in Episode 3? They could make a replica of a hand, why can’t they do the same to his face? But it’s still a happy ending.

  9. Hayden hansome, cute, hot and georgeous!!!!!! But I THINK HE IS NOT THE CHOSEN ONE.
    ¿Why? ¿Why he become to Darth Vader ? snif, snif Anakin you’re breaking my heart!!!

  10. I think Anakin is the Chosen One. If you think about it, in Episode 6 he destroys the Emperor, and dies himself (the apprentice). There can only be 2 Sith at any given time. So in a way the prophecy was fulfilled. As for his parentage, I think Matt’s theory in Note 6 is much more probably than Qui-Gon. There is no evidence to suggest Qui-Gon was the father. So either the Sith inserted the Mittecloreons (not sure of spelling) or they got inserted as a freak of nature. This part could also be motivated by the story of the Virgin Mary and the conception of Jesus. It is explained in the movies that the Mittecloreons (spelling?) are a life force, which reminds me of God..


  12. In Attack of the clones, when Anakin is fighting Count Dukoo, the Count cuts off Anakins arm and you can see a look of remorse on his face. He looks sad for an instant. Count Dukoo (the father) cuts off Anakin’s (the son) arm. Anakin (the son) kills Count Dukoo (the father) in the next movie ( Revenge of the Sith). The similarities are uncanney. Darth Vadar (the Father) cuts off Luke’s (the son) arm, then Luke (the son) kills Darth Vadar (the Father) in the following movie. It’s history repeating itself. Count Dukoo is Anikin’s father.

  13. well shmi says there is no father… I think darth plagisis did infact create ankin skywalker. it makes sense that a sith creation would lead to the total destruction of the sith. it seems the sith are always plotting against each other.

  14. Ok, here’s the thing. I’m not so much a SW fan, but my sister is and that means that I’ve learned a lot about it over the years. We’ve had discussions about the prophecy and how all six movies tie together. Our thoughts are this: The prophecy was that there would be one born who would bring balance to the force. It didn’t specify what type of balance. At the time Anakin was born, was found by Qui Gon, and began his training, there was no balance in the force. There were hundreds of thousands of Jedi, but only two Sith. This would mean that to restore balance, there would have to be more Sith, which is exactly what happened, thanks to Anakin destroying the Jedi and joining the Emperor. As to the question, “Who is Anakin’s father?”, the answer is that he has none. He was created inside Shmi by the midichlorians, a story similarly parallel to the story of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. While I, myself, find this a bit over-the-top on George Lucas’ part, that is nonetheless how the story goes. If you have any more ‘interesting’ discussions you’d like to have about SW, you should really pay more attention to the movies. 🙄

  15. but didnt shmi say that anakins father is evil therefore his father was either darth sidious, darth maul, or count dooku not qui gon.:mad:

  16. I think that either darth plegus, or darth sidious had a hand in the creation of Anakin. There is just too much coincidence in the fact that Plegus had “discovered the secret of life itself” and that he “found a way to manipulate the midacloreuns that produce life” (or something like that, I cant remeber the quotes exactly.)
    And not to mention, that Plegus “taught his aprentice (sidious) everything he knew”
    It is beleived that Sidious, with his ability to preserve/create life may have been as old as Yoda or older. (back 1000 years or so, since the Sith ‘dropped off of the radar’ so to speak.)
    George Lucus has admitted that he intentionally left it up to the audience to decide if the Sith had a hand in the creation of Anakin, but it has been made apparent that the Sith DID have the abilities to do unnatural things such as to artificially ‘create’ life. (regardless of how much it offends our sensibilities to admit that the Sith are truly THAT evil. The light side-side-of-the-force’s eternal weakness is to underestimate just how powerful the dark side really is.)
    One of my leading theories is that Anakin was not DIRECTLY created by the Sith. He was sort of a back-lash by the Light the was the counter-balance of 1000 or so years of experimentation by the Sith with life creation. However, with Sidious’ strongest ability (how he was able to defeat Plegus) was his ability to see into the future, and probably forsaw that his Dark-force experiments would lead to the creation of Anakin, so in a way he DID create Anakin, either directly, or indirectly.
    Unfortunately for Sidious, Anakin was TOO powerful… Anakin had all the power in a moment that Sidious was able to create accumulatively over the course of 1000 years. He locked Anakin into a robotic body and made him dependant on him for survival, but Anakins sheer power proved to be too much for him. Sidious was never able to penetrate ALL of Anakins mind. SIdious probably could have lived for another 1000 years, but his lust for power (which was won on the coat-tails of Anakin and Vader) proved to be his downfall. In creating Darth Vader, he created his own demise.

  17. your theory is sound but for the ideal that Qui-Gon has fathered Anakin. By the looks from Phantom Meanace the father was definately of Sith origin

    the journal of the whills states:”and in a time of darkness shall arise a savior and he shall be known as the son of sons”
    i have proof
    do not mess with me im a geek!!!!!

  19. If you remember in Ep 3, Sidious said that his master could manipulate midiclorians to create life. He learned this ability shortly before killing Plageous… think about it…

  20. 1.What the Chosen One is: The Chosen is said to be born from the force and a VIRGIN MOTHER, no father.

    2.The Chosen One: The prophecy of the Chosen One was an ancient Jedi legend that foretold the coming of a being who would restore balance to the Force. The presence of the dark side corrupts and destroys this natural balance, and the Jedi viewed it as their duty to restore it, to destroy them the chosen one was to do this. It was fulfilled when Palpatine unleashed deadly Force lightning upon the Luke, Anakin Skywalker returned to destroy Vader from within and turn against his Sith Master by a violent overthrow to save Luke’s life. It was this conscious choice that fulfilled the Prophecy and brought balance to the Force. Anakin killed Sidious at the cost of his own life, and in doing so, fulfilled the prophecy by destroying the Sith, his Master and himself, a task done in a way his former Master Obi-Wan and Master Yoda could never have done. Embracing the light side of the Force, Anakin Skywalker passed away, leaving his son to continue the teachings of the Jedi, to maintain the balance that he had restored.

    3.Darth Plagueis: It was speculated that Plagueis initiated his plans before dying, and according to the Sith Lords, it was Plagueis who influenced the midi-chlorians to conceive Anakin Skywalker, however this is just a speculation.

    Everything I have just said is what George Lucas has said:

    1.Anakin is the Chosen One
    2.Chosen One is born from a virgin mother
    3.Anakin fulfilled the prophecy and is shown in Return of the Jedi.

  21. Why is that in episode 4-6, Obiwan’s master is yoda? It doesn’t stated there QuiGon Jinn, in ep.6 the forces(souls) are only yoda, Anakin & ObiWan? QuiGon Jinn has something to do with that because he belived that Ani is the Chosen one. Lastly, Quigon knew how to be immortal after his death in Episode 1(it is mentioned by yoda in Episode 3 when there talking to ObiWan), How come he doesn’t showed up in the last Episode!!! George Lucas shouldn’t the last 3 episodes first showed! Cloudy the movie’s future is!

  22. Well….
    Qui-Gon wasn’t his father… however that doesn’t mean he didn’t want Shmi….
    He wanted her. I’m sure he was planning to come back and save her if he hadn’t been killed.

  23. To HuRL: There was originally only going to be one Star Wars movie, called simply “Star Wars”, but when it was decided that there would eventually be 9 movies in all and 5 and 6 were made with 3 prequels in mind, the movie originally called “Star Wars” was renamed “Episode 4″ : A New Hope”.

  24. Interesting theory – but when Anakin’s mom dies it would have been a good time to gell Anakin that Quai Gon was actually his father – but she did die before she could say much.

    I don’t know if Plageous or Sidious was the father – maybe Plageous found a way to come back from the place that Obi Wan and Yoda went after they died and reincarnated himself in Shmi’s body.

    This would work for the revenge thing of being killed by Sideous.

    I would say that Sideous was the father though – he took such great interest in him.

    He created him to bring the Jedi down in the beginning as part of his sith master plan (Would go along with his ability to see the future and future events – but he couldn’t get past the feelings of being a father that’s why he had such great compassion for him.

    As a Sith Lord he should have been afraid of him overtaking him – but as a father (he forgot to tell Darth Vader to create the same bond) – he had trust in his son and ending up in his demise.

    The theory would complete the circle as Luke found out that Vader was his father but would not go against him – if Vader would have known – would the Return of the Jedi ended the same way.

    Imagine: Luke – I can feel the conflict in you
    Vader: Luke – you don’t understand – he is my father as I am yours……..

    And the Sith rule the galaxy.

    Sorry about the spelling of the names.

  25. I think Qui-Gon is Anakin’s father, i have never really been convinced that he was until this was confirmed by George Lucas and James Luceno the man who is currently working on the Darth Plaguies book. This is what led me to believe Qui-Gon is

    You all know and remember that the Plaguies book was cancelled?
    James Luceno and George Lucas confirmed that around time Plaguies started experimenting with eternal life and ways to create life was around the time Xanatos was killed and Obi-Wan became his apprentice but also around that time it was confirmed that Qui-Gon was also fascinated by the idea of eternal life and creating a being of the force and he started experimenting himself just as Plaguies had. So the book was supposed to be about Plaguies and Qui-Gon both on the path for these eternal life mysteries but seperate paths obviously. It was confirmed it was around the time Obi-Wan was apprenticed which was also around when Anakin was born which is why i think Qui-Gon is the father.
    even look it up on wookieepedia for the Plaguies book and it will say Qui-gon experimented also with life

  26. The prophesy stated that the Chosen One would bring balance to the Force. So there are always two Sith, a Master and Apprentice, and there are thousands of Jedi. Darth Plagueis creates Anakin, because he has the power to. But Darth Sidious kills him. Which is ultimately how the Sith work, deception and betrayal for personal gain. Sidious knows about Anakin and promises to watch over his training as a young Jedi, gradually gaining his trust and getting to know him better, in order to later manipulate him better, because he knows the power that is in Anakin is unmatched. We all know what happens, Anakin and Padme fall in love, have twins, gets manipulated to the Dark side, becomes Darth Vader. Later Darth Vader, reminded by Luke that he was once Anakin, feeling the good in himself kills Darth Sidious, but also dies himself. So there are no more Sith, and there is only one Jedi left. Luke. So In a way he restores balance in the Force.

  27. Why do you think George Lucas approached Sir Christopher Lee to play Count Dooku? His Vader-esque height & voice, of course!

    Dooku’s encounters with Anakin mirror Vader’s with Luke – who are father & son; Dooku cuts off Anakin’s arm / Vader cuts off Luke’s hand. Anakin cuts off Dooku’s hands / Luke cuts off Vader’s hand (both instances in the presence of Palpatine). Anakin beheads Dooku / Luke beheads Vader (during his phantom duel on Dagobah).

    Shmi was a servant to the Count’s family on Serrano. To cut a long story short, the Count takes a fancy to Shmi, they have a brief upstairs / downstairs relationship, she becomes pregnant, the Count wipes her memory of their fling with the mind trick, and is sold to Gardulla the Hutt on Tatooine.

    That’s my theory, anyway!

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