Star Wars Fans Missed the Point of Palpatine Being Anakin’s Father
A popular Star Wars fan theory that Palpatine is Darth Vader’s father has been debunked, but whether it’s true or not isn’t really that important.
One Star Wars comic hinted that the popular theory of Emperor Palpatine being the true father of Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader is in fact true, but fans entirely missed the point of the “reveal.” Stories exist for more than providing answers to lore questions, and Darth Vader’s parentage is a better example than most of how to misinterpret stories.
The question of Anakin Skywalker’s true parentage has been a hot topic of debate among Star Wars fans for decades now. With his mother stating he has no father, it’s often been theorized that either Dark Plagueis or the future Emperor Palpatine were responsible for Anakin’s conception via the Force. One Darth Vader comic from 2019 did seemingly reveal that Palpatine was responsible. In the issue, Darth Vader sees Palpatine creating him via the Force during a dark side Force vision. However, this was later clarified to not be reality, but rather a vision and view of the past filtered through both Vader’s own psyche and the dark side itself. This hasn’t stopped many fans however, from taking this moment as “proof” that Palpatine was definitively behind Anakin’s conception.
controlling Anakin’s entire destiny and has, seemingly without prompting, internalized the idea that Palpatine literally made him. It’s a reflection of Vader’s own beliefs and the end result of Palpatine’s hold over him, not of reality.What’s often missed by fans when discussing this “reveal” from Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s Darth Vader Vol 2 #25 is how it’s more important as a character beat than as a plot reveal. It doesn’t matter if Palpatine is literally Vader’s creator, because what matters in the scene in question is that Vader believes that Palpatine is. Vader has entirely bought into the idea of Palpatine as master planner
Star Wars Fan Theories Erase All Ambiguity
The reaction to the initial “reveal” from Darth Vader #25 is also indicative of issues with how fandoms consume stories. There’s a tendency for some fans to simply want “lore” when reading their stories, prioritizing explanations over character building. Some of the reaction to Vader’s vision is not it being viewed as a tragic character moment, but as lore, a puzzle piece to help “solve” a question that fans want answered. This goes doubly for moments of ambiguity in a story. Vader’s vision exists as a point of ambiguity, and there are some fans who simply don’t know how to interpret moments like this, especially in a landscape where stories are often written to explain everything in Star Wars 100 percent, with no room for ambiguity in plot or emotion.
This is especially true for questions concerning Anakin’s parentage. There is very little value to be gained in knowing if Anakin has a father, or who that father may be. If Sidious or Plagueis were responsible for his birth, how much could it matter? With so much of his life already filled in, it becomes difficult to imagine how a narrative reveal such as this would even impact Anakin. Perhaps it might deepen his resentment of Palpatine, but as Darth Vader #25 shows, he already believes this to be true. Knowing the definitive truth wouldn’t change anything for him beyond confirmation. Such a reveal would likely only exist to excite Star Wars fans. These same fans missed the whole point of Darth Vader’s relationship to Emperor Palpatine the last time a Star Wars story “revealed” the truth of Anakin Skywalker‘s parentage.
Next: Star Wars: How Palpatine First Connected With Anakin As A Padawan
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