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.