So, some minor spoilers below to Star Wars episodes 3 and 5, though I really don't think anyone should not know about this.

Anyway, I got to reading this question about why Anakin thought he could save Padme when she was so close to giving birth, and the (currently) top-voted answer raised even more questions about how long Padme had actually been pregnant when she died. Either Lucas didn't give her enough of a belly or her newborns were much too old when they came out. From this, I began wondering why Padme hadn't been visibly pregnant at the start of Episode III, since as far as I could tell the movie took place over at most a few weeks.

So that got me wondering, is there anything in the EU (either still canon or canon until Disney took over) about when Anakin and Padme 'did the deed'? And, from this event, could it be estimated how far along Padme was in her pregnancy when she gave birth?

  • 69
    Pretty much the same time as Leia
    – Peter
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 18:31
  • 10
    well....when a queen and a jedi love each other very much.... ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 18:58
  • 7
    @Dave Johnson: True, but Padme is on the short side (Natalie Portman is 5' 3"), of slender build, and carrying healthy twins. If anywhere near full term, it would have been very obvious indeed. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 19:24
  • 24
    "A long time ago" seems the obvious answer.
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 22:19
  • 8
    I have to point out that these characters are not human. They are aliens living in another galaxy. We are assuming that because they look and behave like us, that their gestation period must also be 9 months. Maybe they have a shorter gestation period?
    – Brandon
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 22:23

4 Answers 4


Disney Continuity

Luke was born almost immediately after the Palpatine declared that the Republic was being reformed into the Galactic Empire (in 19 BBY). As DVK notes, this is celebrated on the 23rd day of the 5th month. Assuming that humans in the Galaxy Far, Far Away have a gestation period of 9 months (and that Luke and Leia were not premature, as they don't appear to be), then they were conceived around month 7 or 8 of 20 BBY.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Seasons 3-5 take place during 20 BBY, but it's not clear which episodes take place during these months, and there are no further clues as to when they were conceived.

Legends Continuity

In Chapter 22 of Star Wars: Clone Wars (the Tartakovsky's 2D cartoon, not to be confused with Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the 3D show), Padmé and Anakin spent a night together at Varykino, the Naberrie family's retreat house on Naboo.

The creators of this show, as well as Randy Stradley of Dark Horse comics, told fans that this was when Luke and Leia were conceived.

The scene that the creators said was when Luke and Leia were conceived

(Note that there is a bit of a timeline gap because the creators said this scene takes place five months before the Battle of Coruscant, but they were operating under the assumption that the events of the then-unreleased Revenge of the Sith took place over a longer period of time).


Disney canon:

  • Rebels Recon: Inside "The Siege of Lothal" on StarWars.com listed in the interview with Star Wars: Rebels creators that Luke was born 2 days after the proclamation of the Galactic Empire.

  • Empire Day (which commemorates the proclamation) is known to be 23rd day of the 5th month of the Great ReSynchronization (Wookieepedia doesn't cite that but presumably it's from Empire Day article of The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia ).

  • Luke was concieved sometime between 8 and 9 months before 5th month of 19BBY (not earlier, as they couldn't just give the premature babies to Bail Organa and Obi-Wan to transport).

    Realistically, 8.5 months-9 months.

    This places it in the end of month 8 through start of month 7, 20BBY.

  • This is quite difficult to date, as 20 BBT encompassed most of Season 3, Season 4 and Season 5 of Clone Wars cartoons, with very little precise dating available. (src)

  • If you're willing to add in Legends canon, we have a different (somewhat conflicting!) timeline here: http://www.starwarstimeline.net/Originalclonewars.htm

    • Battle of Geonosis is 5th month of 22ABY

    • That makes Luke's birth to be month 27-28 of Clone Wars

    • That places it squarely in the middle of a big timeline hole, between Dark Horse's comic "Republic #68: Armor" and MedStar DelRay books (Month 24 ABG) and "Secrets of the Jedi" Part Two: chapters 21 to 33 (Month 29 of Clone wars).

      Ironically, we know that in "Secrets of the Jedi", Anakin and Padme travel together:

      Old tensions rise once more—as well as new conflicts and secrets. Obi-Wan's apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, has many things to hide, and when his secret wife, Padmé Amidala, joins the Jedi mission, the risks become even greater than before.

  • Great answer, but just a few questions: "Battle of Geonosis is 5th month of 22ABY" do you mean BBY here? And "That makes Luke's birth to be month 27-28 of Clone Wars", do you mean "conception" rather than "birth", or are you saying old canon has the Clone Wars lasting longer than new canon? Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 19:00
  • 5
    Keep in mind that twins are typically carried to a shorter term than single births. At least in humans - we honestly can't know if the human-looking people in the Star Wars universe share the same physiology as we do. They're in a galaxy far, far away, after all. Why do we assume they're the same species as us just because they look the same? Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 22:11
  • This entire answer is based on the premise that the gestation period for "humans" in the Star Wars universe is same as our universe. There is zero evidence that it is the same (although there is no evidence that it is different either) Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 1:27
  • 1
    @psubsee2003 - ya gotta make sensible assumptions Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 3:22
  • @psubsee2003 - Humans in the Star Wars universe are anatomically "identical" to you Earth humans; scifi.stackexchange.com/a/189439/20774
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 1:00

At the end of Episode II, we see a wedding ceremony between Anakin and Padmé on Naboo, at the lakeside palace where they stayed earlier in the film. They would have had the privacy and opportunity to consummate their marriage here. It's possible they "did the deed" earlier (as the question puts it), but we can assume their sexual relationship started no later than this.

The Clone Wars lasted for some years, and Anakin spent most of them fighting in the Outer Rim. At the beginning of Episode III, Anakin tells Pamdé the Jedi Council would "never have brought them back from the Outer Rim" if not for the Chancellor's kidnapping. At that time, Pamdé is already pregnant, although not yet visibly so. So we can assume that Anakin was able to meet with Padmé a month or two earlier, most likely on Coruscant, shortly before his most recent trip to the Outer Rim.

Some months must have passed between the beginning and end of Episode III, to allow for the progress of Padmé's pregnancy, but the Star Wars films always have been somewhat vague on exact timescales.

We can allow for some dramatic license in the age of the baby "actors" in the movie; but the infant Luke and Leia were at least able to survive without artificial support. So in the context of the story, Padmé must have been no more than a month or two from full term (size of Natalie Portman's bump notwithstanding).


Well from the fact the babies were nearly "ready" when went into early labor, she had to be at least 7-8-9 months ish along. Anaking and Padame were married at the end of Episode 2 in 22 BBY and then she is forced into early labor at the end of episode 3 in 19 BBY. So from this it is clear that luke/Leia were not conceived behind the scenes in episode 2.

As far as I know, there is no canon info about the exact time of conception, but it had to be some time after episode 2 during the clone wars. It is implied a couple times in the Clone Wars TV show that they have some 1v1 time but beyond that I got nothing for an exact date.

TLDR: Some time after episode 2 during the Clone Wars.

  • For "at least" a three month window? Well, which do you believe it is?
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 18:42

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