A Star Wars comic series caused some debate among franchise fans this year for suggesting that Palpatine may have created Anakin Skywalker. The final issue of the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith series contains a panel where Palpatine is shown behind a pregnant Shmi Skywalker, implying that he had some Force-related influence over Anakin’s birth. If taken at face value, Palpatine could be interpreted as the power behind Anakin’s apparent “virgin birth” in the series.
However, the Lucasfilm Story Group has finally moved to officially shoot down these rumors, and it seems that the theory was a case of fans over-analyzing a particular panel. Lucasfilm Story Group Creative Executive Matt Martin took to Twitter to comment on the theory as so:
“This is all in Anakin’s head… I can tell you definitively, as someone who worked on the comic, that is 100% not the intended implication.”
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Martin goes on to emphasize how he wouldn’t have approved the panel if it had such a significant impact on Star Wars continuity, remarking:
“It’s part of my job to ensure the stories are aligned with the overall vision of Star Wars. If the intention was to make a direct connection between Palps and Anakin’s birth, I would have had it removed.”
In addition, the comic issue’s writer Charles Soule weighed in to back up Smith’s interpretation, commenting as follows:
“I am, in fact, the writer. Matt and I worked closely on this series and this point in particular. I hate explaining stuff in my work in too much detail, but you need to understand the scenario happening here. The Dark Side is not a reliable narrator.”
Fair enough, then, with Martin also ruling out any suggestion that Palpatine dropped a hint to Anakin that he was his “son” during their conversation about Darth Plagueis in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. George Lucas has long held onto the mystery of Anakin’s birth, which in a franchise that has recently gone to great lengths to flesh out its mythology, is a fairly commendable strategy.
What is clear, though, is how easy it is for a seemingly throwaway panel to get Star Wars fans carried away. Given the not-always-successful ways that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker deals with the history of the series, it’s perhaps not surprising that people would jump on any sources that may add more meaning and consistency to the overall story. But in any case, it looks like this particular theory can be taken off the table.