And though fan support for the reveal is split, to this writer it makes perfect sense …

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The current issue of Marvel’s Darth Vader comic book (#25), has settled an ages-old mystery that, quite frankly, very few had asked for. In so doing, however, the overall storyline of the saga has been, surprisingly, improved upon.

Sheev Palpatine, the future Emporer, is Anakin’s father.

“The Phantom Menace” was released in 1999 to generally miserable reviews. I was one of those fans who stood on line at the then-Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, with a group of friends, for 25 and a half hours awaiting the opening of ticket sales. Not a misprint, unfortunately.

We attained tickets for the opening day’s screening — the midnight show, all that was left by the time we arrived at the window—and weeks later, during the breathlessly-awaited 27th debate scene about trade disputes, I … fell asleep.

I did catch the scene where Shmi, Anakin’s mother, said her son had no father, though. Anakin was the Christ, and The Force was suddenly biological.

The world scratched its head and said, “Huh?”

Over the years I’ve rewatched the film on multiple occasions. It’s never gotten any easier.


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I’ve been a “Star Wars” fan since 1977, when I first saw the (original) film on a subpar screen, with subpar sound, in Monticello, New York. At the completion of the medal ceremony, my parents and two brothers stood from their seats and walked into the lobby.

I stuck around for 5 more minutes following the end credits, unsure of what I had just experienced. My legs were completely numb; I couldn’t stand.

I was 13 years old. I had no religious beliefs then as now, and yet I felt like others seem to feel when they say they’ve seen Jesus (Anakin didn’t exist yet). Or, how they’ve expressed their feelings in print and afternoon talk shows when telling the world they’ve seen Jesus.

You get the picture.

“The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” enhanced my obsession; 15 years following “Jedi,” when “The Phantom Menace” was finally set for release … I was veritably mad with anticipation.


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I certainly wasn’t the only excited (okay, “tortured”) fan who purchased a ticket for “Meet Joe Black” and then walked out following the trailers. The world’s first glimpse at the first new “Star Wars” film in 16 years was unveiled in a trailer preceding that poorly-reviewed film. See here, for what drove many of us crazy back in ’98:


I pretty much loathed “Attack of the Clones” but I consider “Revenge of the Sith” to be among “Star Wars’” finest hours. I may be in the minority, there, but I’m honest.

I enjoyed “The Force Awakens,” LOVED “Rogue One” and “The Last Jedi” (my words and I’m sticking to it), and found “Solo” little more than fair. As I write this, “Episode Nine” is a year away, and at nearly 55 years old I’m already counting the days.

This morning (December 22, 2018), over coffee and Facebook, I found this article, which broke the latest news and explained the Anakin-Palpatine storyline:

So Palpatine “utilized his dark influence” to impregnate Shmi. She would give birth to the child, and the arc of the “Chosen One” would begin in earnest. Anakin would grow to suffer, turn on the Jedi, and become one with the Dark Side, forever serving his master’s — his father’s — bidding.

That was the plan, anyway.


It is said that “Episode Nine” will “correct” many of the scenarios that hardcore fans have taken issue with in “The Last Jedi.” Whether those fans represent a vocal minority or a loud majority remains to be seen. Regardless, following the hugely disappointing performance of “Solo” (over $300 mil worldwide, which in modern times, especially for a film of this brand, is considered a “flop”), Disney listened.

Today, with this new bit of canon, expect more twists in the final chapter of the so-called “Skywalker Saga.” Perhaps my own opinion on the matter will prove correct: Rey is the living embodiment of The Force, “chosen” to rid the “energy field that surrounds all living things” of its darkness.

Only she can save the universe, you see.

Regarding why I believe the reveal of Palpatine being the father of Anakin is a positive, consider this: Everything was pre-planned from the beginning. The future Emperer Palpatine, he of the outsized ambition to rule the cosmos, required an apprentice to set his plan in motion.

And we continue our familial epic. “The Godfather” in space.

In his final moments, Anakin (as Vader) would turn back to the light and destroy Palpatine in the process. But the inspiration of both men reside in the tormented soul of Kylo Ren, despite his anger-fueled helmet-destroying moment.

Will Palpatine return? Will Kylo lose his inner battle and once and for all physically assume Vader’s costume?

Will Rey indeed prove to be the saga’s savior?

In all matters so related, time will tell.

Written by

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.

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