In addition to revealing the originally planned villain of the sequel trilogy, a new book about the making of the Star Wars prequel trilogy confirms George Lucas's original plans for Anakin's parentage lined up with a longstanding fan theory. In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine tells Anakin Skywalker the story of Darth Plagueis, a powerful Sith lord said to have been capable of creating life using the Force. Remembering that Shmi Skywalker told Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that Anakin had no father, many fans took the telling of this tale to mean that Palpatine used Plagueis' power to create Anakin in Shmi's womb. The Star Wars Archives 1999-2005 confirms this was George Lucas' intent but that he ultimately decided not to spell it out and make it undeniable canon. According to the book, Lucas originally wrote that scene to include Palpatine saying to Anakin, "I have waited all these years for you to fulfill your destiny" and revealing that he had "used the power of the Force to will the midi-chlorians to start the cell division" that led to Anakin's conception.
There's been some debate and conflict around this theory in recent years after Disney took over the franchise and rebooted its expanded universe canon. In 2018, Marvel concluded its second Darth Vader ongoing comic book series with a story that saw Darth Vader returning to Mustafar in an attempt to resurrect Padme Amidala. Vader instead has a Force vision that seems to suggest Palpatine orchestrated Anakin's birth in order that he could fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One.
Star Wars Story Group member Matt Martin stated on social media in 2019 that this is not the correct interpretation of the comic's scene. He tweeted, "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… It's part of my job to ensure the stories are aligned with the overall vision of Star Wars. If the intention was to make a direct connection between Palps and Anakin's birth, I would have had it removed."
After someone questioned Martin's authority on the matter on the basis that Martin did not write the comic, Charles Soule, who did write the issue, chimed in as well. "I am, in fact, the writer," Soule tweeted. "Matt and I worked closely on this series and this point in particular. I hate explaining stuff in my work in too much detail, but you need to understand the scenario happening here. The Dark Side is not a reliable narrator."
What do you think of this ever-persistent theory about Anakin and Palpatine? Let us know in the comments.