“I am your father.” It’s easily the most famous line in the entire “Star Wars” saga, spoken by Darth Vader (aka Anakin Skywalker) to Luke Skywalker in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back.” But there’s a deeper lineage question in the “Star Wars” universe that has remained, at best, murky: Who is Darth Vader’s father?
Fans learned in the prequels, namely 1999’s “The Phantom Menace,” that Anakin’s mother was a slave on Tatooine named Shmi and his father was … the Force? Midi-chlorians? It’s not clearly stated in the film, only that “there was no father.”
Another virgin birth just in time for Christmas! However, as we learn in Marvel’s finale of the stand-alone “Darth Vader” comic series, this one is a bit more insidious. Pun intended.
In “Darth Vader” No. 25, Anakin unlocks a portal to the afterlife, in the hopes of resurrecting his dead wife, Padmé. What he finds are glimpses of his journey toward the dark side and the identity of his parents. He sees Shmi and the ghostly figure of Darth Sidious (aka Emperor Palpatine) behind her, using the dark side of the Force to impregnate her.
Darth Sidious orchestrated Anakin’s existence so that Anakin could one day wipe out the Jedi and tip the balance toward the dark side.
So, Sidious is kind of, like, the Force donor? Seems that’s as close to a Vader-dad as we’re gonna get.
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