Did Palpatine create Anakin Skywalker?

In Star Wars Legends material, the story goes that Anakin Skywalker was inadvertently created by Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious.  Plagueis attempted to develop a mastery over life and death through his prowess in the Force, but as he did so the Force rebelled against him and created the chosen one, Anakin Skywalker.

Now that the old EU has been rendered non-canon, however, we don’t know whether that’s still true.  However, many people have assumed that it still is.  We know that Anakin was conceived without a father, and we do know that Palpatine tells Anakin that, “Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life.”  So what we do know is that Plagueis learned (or at least Palpatine claims he learned) how to have power over life and death.  That’s consistent with what we knew in the EU.  But while that leaves open the implication that Plagueis and Palpatine (inadvertently) created Anakin, there’s nothing confirmed.

The strongest implication yet that it is canon, however, showed up in the final issue of Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith.  In Darth Vader #25, author Charles Soule and illustrator Giuseppe Camuncoli take Vader through a journey in a vision through the Force, and it’s quite remarkable.  There’s a ton there that I absolutely love, and I tried to unpack a little bit just how awesome the issue really is here.

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But in this article, I want to focus on something a little more specific, stemming from one panel from this issue, Darth Vader #25.  As Vader begins his vision through the Force, we read lines from other Star Wars media: Shmi’s words to Qui-Gon that “there was no father,” Palpatine’s word about Plagueis “unnatural,” and the words uttered by many in calling Anakin “the chosen one.”  Strikingly, in these panels, as these words are being written, we see Shmi Skywalker with Palpatine standing behind her using the Force (while the word “unnatural” is written), and in the next panel (while the phrase “the chosen one” is written) we see a swirling in Shmi’s stomach, signifying Anakin’s conception.

In other words, this issue is strongly implying that it was Palpatine who created Anakin Skywalker.  He is standing behind Shmi using the Force, and then Shmi conceives.  It’s obviously a vision (and so of course Palpatine wasn’t literally standing behind Shmi), but the imagery here is implying (and I imagine is intending to imply) that Palpatine created Anakin.  This is a pretty significant revelation, and it does fit with our previous understanding of what happened from the EU.  So what this seems to be doing is re-canonizing the explanation of Anakin’s conception, at least somewhat.  We still don’t know how involved Darth Plagueis was (though again, given Palpatine’s words in ROTS, it’s very likely Plagueis was the mastermind), nor do we know whether it was intentional or accidental to create this life.

Regardless of those details, though, what seems to be obvious is that Sheev Palpatine (Darth Sidious) had a role in creating Anakin Skywalker, the chosen one, through the Force.  This obviously adds another layer to their relationship, and based on this vision it seems that Vader realizes (or at least guesses) that Palpatine had a role in it, too.  Again, our interpretations of these things shouldn’t be taken as 100% fact given the nature of Vader’s vision, but I think the imagery used here is far, far too strong and obvious to lead anywhere else.

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