By Jimmy Mac
I saw headlines like “Darth Vader’s Father Confirmed” and “Marvel's Darth Vader Finale Reveals the Identity of Anakin's Father” show up all over the place recently, and I felt compelled to respond to what I think is a flawed analysis of the story. And unfortunately, the misleading headlines are being accepted as conclusive fact, when in reality, it’s mere opinion. Here’s my certain point of view...
In issue #25 of Marvel’s STAR WARS DARTH VADER, the FORTRESS VADER story line concluded with Vader having a vision on while on Mustafar. An out-of-body experience outside reality. It’s all metaphor and wide open to interpretation. The imagery of The Emperor seemingly manipulating The Force to create life while standing behind Shmi (already pregnant, mind you) is not so cut-and-dry. To jump to the conclusion he is the father of Anakin is only analyzing the image at its surface level. Why did the vision appear to Vader? It originates from Palpatine’s conversation with Anakin in the opera house on Coruscant.
“Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life.”
The revelation that The Sith could control The Force in such a manner weighed heavily on Anakin, and it influenced Vader’s vision on Mustafar. He’s carrying the baggage of what Palpatine told him about creating life, perhaps his very own, when he begins his Force vision. Vader knows Darth Plagueis was his master’s master. Did the apprentice, Darth Sidious, acquire the skill to create life from his master? The Force users perspective on reality will guide their visions, and it affected Vader’s. Remember what Yoda said to Luke before he entered the tree cave on Dagobah…
LUKE: “What’s in there”
YODA: “Only what you take with you”
In the vision, Vader sees the two father figures in his life facing off - Palpatine and Obi-Wan. Palps kills Obi-Wan, thus representing Anakin’s turn to the dark side. Then, Vader kills Palpatine, thus rejecting him as a father figure. Anakin, appearing for the only time in the vision as his former Jedi self, encounters Padmé who proclaims Anakin is dead, then she gets destroyed. It’s over. Anakin will never be reunited with Padme and he knows it. That moment represents the death of Anakin and he never thinks of her or his former life again. He fully becomes Darth Vader, effectively killing Anakin, and never again acknowledging his former life until Luke pulls him back to the light years later.
“Your father was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader.”
“He’s more machine now than man. Twisted and evil.”
So, was Palpatine responsible for the birth of Anakin? Here's my take...Using whatever knowledge he acquired from his master, Palpatine was manipulating The Force in an effort to create life. The Force itself responded to this unnatural perversion of its flow with a counter-reaction by the light side, creating Anakin. The Force chose Shmi Skywalker, a good and incorruptible person who made the perfect vessel to deliver The Chosen One. I think if Palpatine was controlling the dark side to create life, the Force would have chosen someone less pure (and maybe a little evil herself) to serve as it’s surrogate. In conclusion, Palpatine WAS responsible for the creation of Anakin Skywalker, but only indirectly.
When the Emperor asks him at the end of FORTRESS VADER if he found the answers he was looking for, he responds ”Yes”. The truth he found was Anakin Skywalker is truly dead and Darth Vader is who he now is. This is his new reality. No love in his life, no family. And no father. Only darkness. And he embraces it.
That’s my take, let’s hear yours! Record a voice message on your smartphone and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voice mail at 708-363-1RFR (1737).