QUI-GON JINN: You should be very proud of your son. He gives without any thought of reward.
SHMI SKYWALKER: Well, he knows nothing of greed. He has a—
QUI-GON JINN: He has special powers.
SHMI SKYWALKER: Yes.
QUI-GON JINN: He can see things before they happen. That’s why he appears to have such quick reflexes.
SHMI SKYWALKER: He deserves better than a slave’s life.
QUI-GON JINN: Had he been born in the Republic we would have identified him early. The force is unusually strong with him, that much is clear. Who was his father?
SHMI SKYWALKER: …There was no father. I carried him, I gave birth, I raised him… I can’t explain what happened.
Watto is Anakin Skywalker’s father.
I just had to come out and say it as so much evidence points to it. In fact, I argue that the evidence is so overwhelming that it needs to be considered accepted fact until any further evidence comes forth. With the recently announced Star Wars Episode VII on the way and an apparent desire by Lucasfilm and new director J.J. Abrams to move the franchise forward, it is likely that future films in the franchise may have no further exploration on the topic.
Before I get into how I arrived at this theory, I would first like to pick apart the commonly accepted one.
Shmi’s Testimony – “I swear I did not have sex with any men prior to becoming pregnant. Particularly disgusting flying blue alien men.”
Let’s review the evidence for the case that Anakin was immaculately conceived:
- Shmi Skywalker told Qui-Gon Jinn so.
- Qui-Gon Jinn tells the Jedi Council he believes a strong concentration of midi-chlorians impregnated Shmi Skywalker (instead of a man).
- Star Wars is a science fiction movie franchise where the rules are whatever George Lucas says they are.
And that’s it. Shmi Skywalker said so and Qui-Gon Jinn believed it.
George Lucas’ films have never been big on subtext and this is especially true with the Star Wars prequels. Typically in these movies, what you see is what you get. If we are told something and there is nothing in the film to contradict or cast doubt on it then the filmmaker probably intended for the audience to accept it as fact.
When we are introduced to Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace we are told (in the above exchange between Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker) that he has almost superhumanly “quick reflexes.” This is offered as proof that he is able to use the force well beyond a normal person and maybe even some Jedi. Of course, this is told to us instead of shown to us, but it’s to be accepted as truth because we all know this kid will grow up to be Darth Vader.
The problem is the “it’s a work of fiction so don’t read between the lines” defense doesn’t hold up when the work of fiction contradicts itself and fails to be a convincing work on an emotional or intellectual level like The Phantom Menace.
Or in other words, this movie is horrible all over. The Immaculate Conception boy Jedi is just one example of this film’s disregard for the intelligence of its audience. The “it’s a work of fiction” argument is only allowed from good movies.
Why Watto is Anakin’s father and hence Luke and Leia’s grandfather
The earliest progenitor of the Skywalker family we see in the movies is Shmi Skywalker who when we first meet her is owned by a local Tattooine businessman dealing in mechanical parts named Watto. Watto identifies himself as being a “Toydarian,” a race whose only description in the movies is they are resistant to Jedi Mind Tricks. Whether they are sexually compatible or incompatible with humans is never explained.
Why Watto even owns slaves is never explained. Perhaps it helps illustrate how greedy he is that he is willing to subjugate a human woman and child and make them property, but they have little use in his line of work.
Anakin helps clean up around Watto’s shop, but that’s a function any of the numerous droids he owns could perform. Shmi Skywalker appears to have even less use for Watto. She’s not strong; she doesn’t seem to possess any valuable skills. What kind of slaves are they?
Oddly enough, it seems that they don’t live with Watto or near him. They have an entire multiple-room house to themselves that is fully furnished and full of expensive equipment like C-3PO and a pod racer, both built by Anakin. They seem to be living pretty well for slaves. But yet in every scene we see Watto we are supposed to think of him as a money-grubbing miser motivated only by greed. For a greedy slave master, he seems to treat his slaves pretty well.
Typically, slave masters would want to discourage their slaves from the simplest things such as learning to read so as to prevent any thoughts of self-reliance and rebelliousness from arising. But Anakin is multi-lingual, clearly literate enough to build a sophisticated artificial intelligence robot, allowed to pilot extremely fast pod racer vehicles capable of carrying him away to freedom, and even well versed in matters outside of his planet evidenced by his “Are you an angel?” question to Natalie Portman’s character (I never was clear what her name was. Is it Amidala or Padme or both?).
Speaking of which, he also is very confident for a slave. He spits game to a girl twice his age with that angel line, and later when she asks if he is a slave he adamantly corrects her by stressing “I am a person, and my name is Anakin.”
When Qui-Gon Jinn approaches Watto about gambling a pod racer against Anakin and Shmi, Watto becomes uncharacteristically cautious for the only time in the movies. He says he can’t risk losing the both of them but is willing to gamble for one of them by rolling his “chance cube” to determine if it will be Anakin or his mother. This chance cube is a six-sided dice with five red faces and one blue face that is weighted to come up red every time it is rolled. If it comes up blue (much like Watto’s own blue face), he says, then he will gamble Anakin, otherwise red will indicate Shmi. Qui-Gon uses the force to cheat so that blue comes up, making Watto furious over the prospect of perhaps losing the presumably more useless of the two slaves.
After Anakin wins the pod race and his freedom, Watto is furious at Qui-Gon Jinn. Under the terms of their bet Watto just won the entirety of the first prize purse for the race minus the cost of the ship parts Qui-Gon wanted plus Anakin. Still, Watto insists to Qui-Gon “I lost everything!” and tries to back out of giving Anakin over to this strange man from space. Eventually, he finally acquiesces to the terms of their deal and allows Anakin to go but not without a heartbroken sigh of paternal loss…
You will not find a harsh word from Watto towards Anakin in the two movies he appears in. He seems not only generous towards this slave but also personally fond of him. When Anakin returns in Attack of the Clones, now all grown up, Watto is ecstatic. To see a former child slave return all grown up, free, and with a weapon on his side would normally instill fear in a slave master, but not Watto who affectionately still calls him “Ani.” When Anakin asks to know where his mother is after all these years, Watto strangely enough doesn’t even use the opportunity to squeeze some personal gain out of him.
This brings us to Shmi, the alleged Space Madonna. As I covered earlier, Shmi Skywalker would seem to make for a bad slave. In the absence of any other possible use for her, she must be a concubine or “pleasure” slave, and Anakin was the byproduct of her service to Watto. Think about her reaction when Qui-Gon Jinn asked her who the boy’s father was.
That is not the face of someone telling the truth. But who could blame her? Would you admit to someone you just met that you had given birth to Watto’s child? Imagine the poor woman’s trauma. I mean, we only assume that thing on his face is his nose…
If a woman tells you she became pregnant by human parthenogenesis, you must ask yourself which is more likely: that the laws of biology were momentarily suspended for this one instance in the entire universe or a woman just lied about who she had sex with?
Still don’t believe she was a sex slave? In Attack of the Clones when Anakin goes to the Tusken Raider camp to rescue her after being abducted how does he find her?
Tied to a rack, face down, ass up. Remember, this is over a month into her captivity, too. Why would these marauding bandits keep her around for that long? In a PG-rated movie, it can’t be spelled out any more than that, but you be the judge.
And more importantly, when Anakin returned to Tattooine to look for his mother, where did he find her? Watto had apparently sold her between movies to some guy in the desert. And what did this guy do with his new slave? He married her.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury who stumbled upon this long nerdy rant on the paternity of the main character of three of the worst movies made in the 21st century, I rest my case. Whether the filmmakers intended it or not, the Star Wars prequels heavily hint that Watto is Anakin Skywalker’s father. That would also make him Luke and Leia’s grandfather.
One last thing for anyone still in denial… It was common in America back when slavery was legal for slaves to be renamed with the same surname as that of their owner. Where does the Skywalker name come from anyway? Take a look at Watto.
Notice anything about how he gets around? He doesn’t walk on the ground, he flies shortly above it. He travels through the air, or some would even say sky?
Disclaimer: Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and all associated characters, concepts, and likenesses are property of Lucasfilm Limited. Watto image courtesy of Hasbro. Maury footage courtesy of MoPo Productions and Universal Television. No consideration in the above argument is given to the Star Wars Expanded Universe of the video games, books, Christmas specials, etc. Also, shout out to my Trojan brother George Lucas.