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Star Wars: Give It Up For Anakin Skywalker, Because We All Hate Sand

6 Minute Read
May 9 2024

Before he was Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker was a child with a weird and tragic past—and he was likely doomed from the start.

Even before his inevitable slide towards the Dark Side, this pod-racing, droid-building, sand-hating Jedi Knight. Love him or hate him, Anakin Skywalker had one of the most interesting histories in the Galaxy. So let’s break down what makes Ani can.

Anakin Skywalker’s Early Years

Born to Shmi Skywalker, Anakin’s father was M.I.A. According to the Darth Vader comics, he was conceived of midi-chlorians that Emperor Palpatine palpatined into Shmi from across the galaxy using the Force. Does this make Palpatine Anakin’s father? Is that too farfetched, even for Star Wars?

We’ll leave those questions up to you to ponder, but regardless, the future Sith Lord came from a galactic Virgin Mary beginning–and never stopped being the most-over-the-top thing in the room.

Being traded around from Hutts to Wattos didn’t stop Anakin from learning to be an exceptional pilot. He also grew to be pretty good at building droids, mostly by messing around with scraps he found in Watto’s junkyard. He would go on to build C-3PO and his own podracer, and he repaired power cells for a local hospital. You know, normal kid stuff.

Anakin Joins the Jedi Order

And now, for the story we know all too well. After leaving Tatooine with Obi-Wan Kenobi, he began his apprenticeship. Anakin would go on to train as a Jedi and face numerous tests and temptations. Both he and Kenobi would feel as if they had been forced together by circumstance. But this lack of control would cause Anakin to consider walking away from his training to experience a life without the Jedi Order.

In the end, Anakin chose to continue down the path of a Jedi. He would eventually go on to protect Senator Amidala–but the seeds of doubt and discontent were already sewn.

Next, he became a general in the Clone Wars and master to his own Padawan, fan favorite and star of her own upcoming show, Ahsoka Tano. The two came to have a close, sibling-like relationship until Ahsoka was framed for crimes against the Order. Eventually, she left the Jedi Order–something her master had considered himself. Their trust was fractured. But years later, Ahsoka would still be devastated to discover that Anakin had become Darth Vader in her absence.

Who Played Anakin Skywalker?

With numerous appearances over the years, portraying drastically different ages throughout live-action and animation, Anakin has been played by quite a few actors. In 1999’s The Phantom Menace, child Anakin was played by Jake Lloyd who has since walked away from acting as well as the Star Wars fandom permanently.

Hayden Christensen portrayed Anakin in the next two movies, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In addition, Christensen has returned to this character a few times since these movies. We saw him in 2022’s Obi-Wan Kenobi streaming series, and he is supposed to appear when Ahsoka premieres later this month.


Matt Lanter provided the voice for Anakin Skywalker in the animated series The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Forces of Destiny alongside Ashely Eckstein’s Ahsoka Tano.

Perhaps most famously, James Earl Jones was the long-time voice of Darth Vader throughout almost all of Star Wars’ live-action history.

In addition to these actors, a number of other people have played Anakin or Vader, either hidden under the robes, as stunt doubles, or as voices in Star Wars side projects and spoofs. For example, Seth Green and Abraham Benrubi have brought the character to life in Robot Chicken, while Matt Sloan, Phil LaMarr, and Kirby Morror have played him in Lego Star Wars projects.

Who is Anakin Skywalker’s Father?

The question of who Anakin’s father is has been a common one in Star Wars fandom for more than twenty years. In Darth Vader comic #25, it is revealed that Emperor Palpatine used the Force to manipulate midi-clorians within Shmi Skywalker’s womb. Anakin’s birth is effectively the product of long-distance and not-consented-to artificial insemination.

It would be equally fair to say that Anakin doesn’t have a father, that Palpatine is his father, or that the Force itself is his father—or all at the same time.


The Sordid History of Anakin’s Lightsaber

Anakin’s first lightsaber was a blue-bladed weapon that he built in 29 BBY and lost in the battle droid foundries on Geonosis in 22 BBY. It has a short and relatively uninteresting history.

Shortly after, in 22 BBY, he built his second lightsaber, another silver and black hilted blue saber. This was the weapon Anakin would carry with him through the remainder of his time as a Jedi and the saber he used in his first days as a Sith.

The newly minted Darth Vader lost this saber on Mustafar while battling his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. In the aftermath of the fight, Kenobi retrieved the lightsaber and kept it on Tatooine as the old Jedi master lived in hiding. Years later, Kenobi would give the lightsaber to Anakin’s son, Luke Skywalker, with a true-from-a-certain-point-of-view retelling of how Anakin had been killed by Vader.

Luke then wielded this saber, using it as his training weapon until he encountered Vader in the cloud city of Bespin. Here, Luke lost his hand as well as his family weapon.

Years later, the lightsaber showed up in the possession of Maz Kanata, who gave the weapon to Finn, who eventually saw that Rey had it. Once again, it became the weapon Rey used to train until she built her own yellow lightsaber and buried Anakin’s old saber, along with Leia Organa’s on Tatooine.

Why is Darth Vader Anakin?

Y’know. Sometimes your job or a manipulative friend gets under your skin and really makes you go off the deep end. Just with you and me that results in listening to the bad-mood music in your car on repeat. For Anakin, it’s joining the Sith.

Who is Anakin’s Dad?

While Shmi Skywalker didn’t have Anakin with anybody physically, he was conceived when Palpatine used the Force to impregnate her from across the galaxy. Is Palpatine Anakin’s father? Is the Force? It’s left somewhat vague on purpose, but it’s one of those things many of us just agree not to scrutinize too hard.


Why Does Vader Say That He Killed Anakin?

It’s symbolism. When Anakin joined the Dark Side, he left his previous life behind, effectively ‘killing’ everything that Anakin Skywalker was. Killing part of yourself or ‘the past’ is commonly said in Star Wars. It primarily refers to being reborn or reinventing yourself in some way—usually in a pretty Sithy way.

What’s your favorite piece of Anakin’s backstory? How do you think we will be seeing him in the upcoming shows? What character should we do a breakdown for next time? Let us know in the comments.

May the Force be with you, adventurers!

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