‘Star Wars’: These Are the Questions We Still Need Answered

Star Wars is one of the most popular media franchises of all time. Even though the series has had 11 theatrically-released films, a few TV movies (including the infamous disaster known as The Star Wars Holiday Special), and some animated shows through which to expand its fictional universe, there are still some daunting unanswered questions regarding the saga. From Anakin’s unknown parentage to Darth Vader’s ignorance of his own daughter, let’s look at some of the mysteries that have yet to be solved in a galaxy far, far away.

Chewbacca – Getty Images

Anakin’s father

Anakin Skywalker - The Phantom Menace
Anakin Skywalker | Lucasfilm

If there is one recurring theme in the Star Wars saga, it’s family. From the infamous revelation that Darth Vader is Luke’s father to Rey’s fixation on her own parents in the sequel trilogy, what would the series be without daddy issues? While J. J. Abrams and company have promised the world that The Rise of Skywalker will reveal the identity of Rey’s parents, Lucasfilm has yet to bother to let us know the identity of Anakin Skywalker’s father. In The Phantom Menace, the audience learns that Anakin is the product of a virgin birth where his mother was impregnated by the Force. That seems straightforward enough (if a touch sacrilegious), however, this explanation is complicated by Revenge of the Sith.

In that film, Anakin has a lengthy discussion about the Force with Palpatine. Palpatine tells him that Sith Lords can manipulate the Force to create life. Given the odd look that he gives Anakin during this conversation, some have speculated that Palpatine was implying that he caused the Force to impregnate Anakin’s mother, Shmi  Skywalker. This is an intriguing idea, yet none of the subsequent Star Wars films have bothered to tell the audience that Palpatine is responsible for Anakin’s birth or even explore that possibility. Maybe that would be a good plot line for the inevitable Star Wars Episode XIII.

Darth Vader’s relationship with his daughter

Princess Leia in Star Wars: A New Hope
Princess Leia in Star Wars: A New Hope | Lucasfilm

 Jedi Knights and Sith Lords are known to have telepathic abilities. When Darth Vader is close to his old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is able to sense his presence. Despite that, Lord Vader doesn’t seem to notice when his own daughter, Princess Leia, is standing right in front of him. In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader was able to communicate to his son telepathically from across a vast distance and in Return of the Jedi, he was able to read Luke’s thoughts. Yet, he was unable to sense his own daughter.

There are probably a thousand different ways that this apparent discrepancy could have been plausibly addressed in the Star Wars films or the Expanded Universe. The most realistic explanation for this error is that George Lucas only decided that Leia was Vader’s daughter at the last minute and couldn’t go back and change a previous film.

How did the second Death Star get built so quickly?

Source: Lucasfilm

At the end of Revenge of the Sith, the Death Star is just beginning to be constructed. It is completed in A New Hope, which takes place nineteen years after the previous film. This wouldn’t be a problem if not for the fact that the Empire manages to build a second Death Star in between the events of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi;  there is only a two-year gap between those films. Why did the Empire suddenly get so much more productive? Clearly, it was because Return of the Jedi needed a finale.