Qui-Gon theorized that Anakin was conceived by midi-chlorians after Shmi told him there was no father.

Senator Palpatine tells Anakin that his former master, Darth Plagueis, learned how to influence midi-chlorians to create life.

The thought just occurred to me: did Palpatine learn this skill from his master, and create Anakin himself by manipulating the midi-chlorians? He was always very interested in Anakin, and seemed to set up his plans very far in advance. So it makes sense if those assumptions are true.

After I realized this might be a possibility, in my research I found this small article discussing a very similar thing. It goes into further suppositions about this theory, but doesn't definitively answer the question.

Is this theory ever confirmed or denied in any expanded universe canon?

  • 19
    It's simpler to believe the Gregory House Theory of Immaculate Conception... "Everybody lies."
    – Kyle Jones
    Jan 25, 2012 at 17:56
  • 4
    @KyleJones: In most stories, something like this could be explained by lying. But rarely does anyone in the Star Wars Universe straight up lie. Usually malicious intent uses deception and avoidance of the issue, akin to Obi-Wan's "from a certain point of view" worldview. Even the bad guys in the Star Wars universe rarely straight up lie to someone face-to-face.
    – Mufasa
    Jan 25, 2012 at 22:50
  • 9
    @KyleJones "Immaculate Conception" has not to do with "virgin birth", see the Wikipedia entry. May 31, 2013 at 0:46

8 Answers 8


There is a recently published book, Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, that supposedly answer this question. From the Anakin Skywalker Wookieepedia article

In addition, although Darth Plagueis did attempt to influence the midichlorians to create the ultimate Sith weapon alongside Darth Sidious, the experiment was ultimately a failure, and the midichlorians, sensing the Sith's inherent malevolent intention, not only refused to do so, but in retaliation, conceived Anakin Skywalker in order to destroy the Sith once and for all.

So, according to this, Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious caused Anakin's birth ... indirectly.

  • 11
    That is so crazy, I'm hoping you made it up.
    – user1027
    Jan 25, 2012 at 17:22
  • 8
    But, true SW fashion, that doesn't explain why the midichlorians continue to work with Plagueis or Sidious to conduct the Force through them if they're so disturbed by them.
    – Tango
    Jan 25, 2012 at 18:17
  • 5
    @DavRob60: No, I know you aren't. It's what I call a "Lucasism" (I hope that term catches on.) It's when someone (originally Lucas) comes up with an idea that sounds cool and gets used, but creates so much of an inconsistency it takes more effort to explain than it's worth.
    – Tango
    Jan 25, 2012 at 18:49
  • 4
    @TangoOversway yup, except it had to "sounds cool" first, which is not the case here.
    – DavRob60
    Jan 25, 2012 at 19:03
  • 5
    Palpatine turns to Annakin and says "I am your father" thus the circle is complete. May 17, 2013 at 20:46

From the following quote (the moment when Palpatine learns about Anakin for the first time) from the "Darth Plagueis" novel, it looks highly unlikely that Palpatine had anything to do with it:

"I can forgive them that. The blockade has to be broken. But something else has occurred." Dooku chose his next words carefully. "Qui-Gon returned from Tatooine with a former slave boy. According to the boy's mother, the boy had no father."

"A clone?" Palpatine asked uncertainly.

"Not a clone," Dooku said. "Perhaps conceived by the Force. As Qui-Gon believes."

Palpatine's head snapped back. "You don't sit on the Council. How do you know this?"

"I have my ways."

"Does this have something to do with the prophecy you spoke of?"

"Everything. Qui-Gon believes that the boy-Anakin is his name-stands at the center of a vergence in the Force, and believes further that his finding him was the will of the Force. Blood tests were apparently performed, and the boy's concentration of midi-chlorians is unprecedented."

"Do you believe that he is the prophesied one?"

"The Chosen One," Dooku amended. "No. But Qui-Gon accepts it as fact, and the Council is willing to have him tested."

"What is known about this Anakin?"

"Very little, except for the fact that he was born into slavery nine years ago and was, until recently, along with his mother, the property of Gardulla the Hutt, then a Toydarian junk dealer." Dooku smirked. "Also that he won the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace."

Palpatine had stopped listening.

Nine years old... Conceived by the Force... Is it possible...

His thoughts rewound at frantic speed: to the landing platform on which he and Valorum had welcomed Amidala and her group. Actually not Amidala, but one of her look-alikes. But the sandy-haired boy, this Anakin, swathed in filthy clothing, had been there, along with a Gungan and the two Jedi. Anakin had spent the night in a tiny room in his apartment suite.

And I sensed nothing about him.


I think it is true because of Ryder Windham's "The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader" Due to the conversation he and Sidious had talking about the midi chlorians and stuff. It is very clear.

  • 1
    This answer would be improved if you could provide a quote from the novel Mar 20, 2015 at 0:19

In general, that is the implication by the story that Palpatine tells Anakin.

Either the Midi-Chlorians rejected the Sith power because they sensed the dark intentions, or Anakin simply had too much good in him because of his virtuous mother and the plan backfired on them since Anakin eventually destroyed the Sith (thus restoring the Jedi to the galaxy).


Okay, just a thought here but may Palpatine told Plageus that his experiment failed and that Shmi died during child birth, but really he sold her and her unborn baby into slavery like he did with Darth Vader when he told him he killed Padme.

  • 2
    Do you have any evidence at all that this is the case, or are you just guessing?
    – Null
    Aug 31, 2015 at 21:56

Plagueis was all about the 'grand plan' and constantly said the dark side of the force would reveal itself otherwise it would react to those impatient with it for the worse. He tried to force that hand by projecting his "midi-chlorean creation" outwards. In response to tampering with this plan and his tremendous growth in power, the force created a powerful being who was not tainted, nor detectable by Plagueis. Sidious recognized the situation, saw Plagueis' fear of Anakin, and ultimately kills him as a result of Plagueis not adhering to the grand plan. Sidious is patient and knew he could manipulate Anakin as a father figure over time, much like he manipulated Plagueis over time. Anakin was born as a counter balance to the Forces drastic dark side shift.


Anakin was to large a tool of the dark side for his Genesis to be controlled by anyone other than the dark side. Plagueis and Sidious tried to create life to their own end but, Plagueis worried that Sidious' increasing power in the force and lust for control faked the failed conception of life. Then Plagueis alone and without Sidious' knowledge succeeded in the creation of life via force power and manipulation. Sidious, in good Sith tradition, finally kills his master, losing for the period of nine years his master's secret tool, only to be rediscovered by Sidious in the phantom menace.

  • 1
    Pretty good answer. In the future, please try to add quotes directly from canon sources to give us affirmation of your answer.
    – CHEESE
    Feb 10, 2016 at 21:54

Well in a subtle way, Palpatine tells Anakin that he is his father through the story of Darth Plagueis. One odd thing Palpatine says in one point in the movie that he never said before is. . . "I need your help son". However, even the original dialogue Palpatine tells Anakin that he is his father and that he manipulated the medichlorians to create him but was then changed to the story of Plagueis. So yes Palpatine/Sidious is Anakins father.

  • 3
    I don't think "I need your help, son" is conclusive. It is common for an older person to refer to a young man or boy as "son" even if the two are not parent and son.
    – Null
    Oct 12, 2014 at 18:37

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.