Was Palpatine Anakin's Father? Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker Stirs Up Canon Debate

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Palpatine's visage looms in space

Warning: spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, be warned that there’s content in this article that some would consider to be… spoilerific.

In the world of Star Wars canon, there’s a lot of wild developments that have made for some fantastic twists and turns. With the series building its bones on revelations like Darth Vader really being Anakin Skywalker, and having a pair of Force sensitive twins hidden from him across the galaxy, you never know where the next surprise is going to come from.

And in the modern era of tie-in comics, novels, and other media influencing the path of any particular saga’s story, there’s a moment in one of the comics connected to the Skywalker Saga that makes for an interesting implication or two in director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It all comes down to a recent debate over whether or not Darth Vader, known to the world as Anakin Skywalker, was truly a virgin birth.

Darth Vader Palpatine stands behind Shmi Skywalker, in spirit form

The Big Palpatine Twist, In A Nutshell

In issue 25 of the Marvel Comics series Darth Vader, it was revealed to Anakin that Sheev Palpatine, his mentor in The Force, was the supposed “creator” behind his virgin birth. A panel of the comic shows a demonic looking Palpatine manipulating The Force, in a swirling red cloud of energy, implying that Palpatine crafted Anakin out of sheer will and energy.

This has led to fans believing that this is the true course of events, and that the man who was once known as Darth Sidious was actually the granddaddy of all Skywalkers. Of course, should this be upheld as true, and depending on who you talk to it totally is, there’s further disturbing implications that could be made about some of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s story beats.

Return of the Jedi Emperor Palpatine smiles on the bridge of the Second Death Star

What The Lucasfilm Story Group Says About The Palpatine Twist

Apparently, the implication that Emperor Palpatine created Anakin Skywalker’s virgin birth is one that Matt Martin, a Creative Executive at the Lucasfilm Story Group, swears is false. Through some responses to fans on social media, which were reported on via CBR, Martin debunked this plot point with the following statement:

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.

Martin later went on to say that, surprise surprise, The Dark Side of The Force isn’t exactly the most forthcoming when it comes to telling people the truth about anything really. But even if Anakin Skywalker wasn’t created by Sheev Palpatine, does that mean he couldn’t create life at all?

Revenge of the Sith Senator Palpatine smiles at Anakin Skywalker

Was Palpatine’s Son Conceived In A Similar Manner?

We also learn that as far as Emperor Palpatine’s family line goes, he had a son that was eventually the father to Daisy Ridley’s Rey. Now, this revelation has fans wondering just how Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker could claim this family history without any further development or backup in the new trilogy of films.

Now the validity of Darth Vader #25 aside, there’s a chance that Palpatine did create his own child, presumably around the time Anakin had turned to The Dark Side of The Force. The purpose of this child, naturally, being to be part of the next generation of Sith.

It kind of makes sense, as there’s always two Sith in operation at any given moment, and as it was probably planned for Darth Vader to kill his master and take the spirits of all the Sith into his own body, the new Palpatine child would be the perfect choice for his apprentice.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Rey and Kylo Ren in the ruins of the Second Death Star bridge

What That Could Mean About Reylo

Here’s where things get potentially weird, as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker delivered on a promise that some fans had been waiting for across the entire modern trilogy: we see Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) kiss after the latter has redeemed himself and reclaimed the name Ben Solo. A moment that delighted, but then soured, the fans who wanted “Reylo” to be the one true pairing in the Star Wars galaxy.

Now, should you keep Darth Vader #25 as canon in your mind, that leads to a familiar problem in the Star Wars galaxy. Rey’s direct lineage to Emperor Palpatine, and Ben Solo’s relation to Anakin Skywalker would have two separate family lines of Palpatine blood meeting with a kiss at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

So for that reason alone, the Lucasfilm Story Group probably wants to make sure the whole issue about Anakin being created by Palpatine is tidily tucked away in the back corners of dream theory and unreliable Sith narrators. And who could blame them, as this universe can only hide family members from each other so many times before it becomes ridiculous.

As with any good story canon, the meaning behind the Darth Vader creation myth will probably be debated for quite some time, as even the immediate response to Matt Martin’s rebuttal has questioned whether or not the final word on this particular story was spoken as early as Martin says it was.

For now though, we’re dealing with a plot point that the public feels adamant about being true, and that could continue to color Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for fans who return to watch said film with this debate in mind. While official word has squashed the idea of Palpatine’s creation myth as false, that’s certainly not going to stop those who really bought into said story.

Which leads us to asking you, the audience, to rank in and tell us if you think the creation of Anakin Skywalker is a true act of random Midichlorians, or if Darth Sidious bent the universe to his will and made a Force baby. Vote in our poll below, and don’t forget to state your case in the comments below, as this sounds like it’s going to be quite the spirited debate.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now, ready for the world to watch it again with new eyes. But if you’ve already had your fill, and want to see something new, the 2020 release schedule will be quite handy for your movie-going needs in the near future.

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Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.