- "The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And my sister has it."
- ―Luke Skywalker, to Leia Organa
The Skywalker family, also known as the Skywalker clan or the Skywalker dynasty, was a legendary human family that played a prominent role in galactic history, with several generations achieving fame as generals, senators, and Jedi from the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, to the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance. The family's origins dated back to Shmi Skywalker, who, as a young girl, was captured by pirates and forced into slavery. In 41 BBY she conceived a son, Anakin Skywalker, who was born without a father. Anakin was the Chosen One destined to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. Posessing the highest concentration of midi-chlorians in his blood, Anakin had the potential to become the most powerful Force-sensitive being in the galaxy. The Force was strong in Anakin's bloodline, passing down to his progeny, the twin siblings Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, as well as Ben Solo, Organa's son and the last Skywalker in the direct line.
The Skywalkers were living on the desert planet Tatooine as slaves of the Toydarian junk dealer Watto when they encountered Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in 32 BBY. Intrigued by Anakin's origins and raw connection to the Force, Jinn sought to have him trained in the Jedi arts. After gaining his freedom, Anakin left his homeworld in the Outer Rim Territories to begin his new life at the Jedi Temple on the Core World Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Republic. As a Jedi Knight, he gained the reputation of a war hero while fighting in the Clone Wars. Although he became one of the strongest members of the Jedi Order, his fear of loss left him susceptible to the dark side of the Force. After his mother's death in 22 BBY, he vowed to not lose another loved one. In 19 BBY, Anakin foresaw that his secret wife, Senator Padmé Amidala, would die in childbirth. Determined to learn the power of immortality, Anakin pledged his life to the teachings of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. The newly christened Darth Vader spearheaded the Great Jedi Purge. While most Jedi were executed under Order 66, Vader was defeated by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi who left his former Padawan for dead on Mustafar. Sidious had his Sith apprentice reconstructed as a cyborg, but Amidala died of a broken heart caused by her husband's deeds. The New Order rose to power across the galaxy, and Vader embraced his role as a Sith Lord during his Sith Master's reign as Emperor of the Galactic Empire.
Unknown to Vader, his children survived their mother's death. They were hidden from their father and his master, with Luke sent to live with his relatives on Tatooine while Leia was adopted by the House of Organa, making her a princess of Alderaan. During the Galactic Civil War, the Skywalker twins emerged as members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Vader attempted to turn Luke to the dark side by revealing the secret of his parentage to him. Luke, however, believed that his father could be turned back to the light side of the Force. During the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Vader sacrificed his life in order to save his son from Sidious. His death as the last Dark Lord of the Sith ended the thousand year Sith tradition that began with Darth Bane. Having fulfilled his destiny to restore balance, the Chosen One returned to the Force as Anakin Skywalker.
As the last Jedi, Luke sought to restore the Jedi Order by training a new generation in the arts of the Force. Though he hoped to train his sister as his first student, Organa ended her Jedi training and returned to politics as a member of the New Republic Senate. She also married Han Solo and gave birth to a son, Ben Solo, in 5 ABY. During the New Republic Era, Ben was trained as a Jedi by his uncle, but like his grandfather, the dark side seduced him from the light. Adopting the persona of Kylo Ren, he assassinated his new master, Supreme Leader Snoke, subsequent to killing his father in 34 ABY. Though disillusioned with the Jedi, Luke passed on their teachings to a final student, the scavenger Rey, before sacrificing his life for the Resistance in 34 ABY. As Ren stood poised to rule the galaxy as Supreme Leader of the First Order, Organa died while calling her son back to the light. The persona of Kylo Ren was destroyed, and Ben Solo stood with Rey against her grandfather, the resurrected Darth Sidious, during the Battle of Exegol. The Emperor was destroyed again, but Solo also died in order to save Rey with whom he shared a unique Force-bond, making them a dyad in the Force. The Skywalker bloodline consequently died out in 35 ABY, but Rey adopted their family name as a way to honor their memory.
The Skywalker family achieved notoriety through their involvement in many historic events, including the fall of the Jedi Order, the return of the Sith, and the rise and fall of the Empire. The actions of Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Leia Skywalker Organa Solo, and Ben Solo defined their legacy as a family, and the name of Skywalker became a byword for greatness.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origins
- 1.2 The Chosen One
- 1.3 The Skywalker twins
- 1.4 Heir to the Skywalker bloodline
- 1.5 Legacy
- 2 Family tree
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
- 7 External links
- "I can't believe there's still slavery in the galaxy. The Republic's anti-slavery laws—"
"The Republic doesn't exist out here. We must survive on our own."
- ―Padmé Amidala and Shmi Skywalker
The Skywalker family that played a prominent role in galactic history originated from Shmi Skywalker, a human female who lived during the last years of the Republic Era. As a child, she and her parents were captured by pirates who had no interest in the Skywalker family except for their value on the slave market. Removed from her homeworld, Shmi was sold in a marketplace similar to the Zygerrian slave market. From there, she was moved from one star system to the next, serving several masters before ending up on the barren planet of Tatooine. By then, Shmi's parents were no longer part of her life. She was alone by the time she was sold to the Hutt gangster Gardulla Besadii the Elder. Shmi never disclosed the fate of her parents to anyone, although it was also suspected that she herself was unaware of what happened to them.
Although slavery was outlawed by the Galactic Republic, Shmi observed that the Republic's laws were unenforceable in the Outer Rim Territories where people had to survive on their own. Nevertheless, Shmi possessed certain qualities such as kindness and compassion, and she believed that much of the galaxy's problems stemmed from too much self-interest at the expense of empathy. Industrious and diligent, her hard work was rewarded with a repulsor-powered generator from her owner Watto.
The Chosen One
By the will of the Force
- "The Force is unusually strong with him. That much is clear. Who was his father?"
"There was no father. I carried him. I gave birth. I raised him. I can't explain what happened."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker, about Anakin Skywalker
The Force was a mystical energy field created by all living things throughout the universe. The Jedi Order was a religious order of Force-sensitive protectors who followed the light side of the Force, unlike the Sith who harnessed the dark side of the Force. The Jedi and the Sith warred against each other for centuries, culminating in the fall of the Old Republic and the near extinction of the ancient Sith. An ancient Jedi mystic foresaw that the Sith would be destroyed by the Chosen One, a being born of no father, whose destiny was to bring ultimate balance to the Force.
Shmi's son, Anakin Skywalker, was the prophesied Chosen One. Born on Tatooine in 41 BBY, Anakin's cells contained over twenty-thousand midi-chlorians. As a result, he possessed a higher midi-chlorian count than any other life form in the galaxy, including Grand Master Yoda which, combined with his "inexplicable birth," led Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn to consider the possibility that Anakin was conceived by the microscopic organisms. During the Imperial Era, the Sith Lord Darth Vader experienced a Force vision of Shmi standing in the shadow of his Sith Master, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, while she was pregnant with Anakin. Vader also heard his master's voice, describing the dark side as a pathway to unnatural Force powers.
Shmi and Anakin were originally the property of Gardulla until the Hutt crime lord wagered them against Watto. As Gardula's slaves, they shared close communal quarters with other slaves and families that Anakin regarded with compassion, treating strangers like family due to his upbringing by Shmi. By Shmi's estimation, the Skywalker family's living conditions improved significantly when Watto became their new owner. As the Skywalkers were his only slaves, the Toydarian junk dealer allowed Shmi and Anakin to live in Slave Quarters Row, a section of Mos Espa located on the city's outskirts. After enduring Gardula's communal quarters while raising a son in slavery, the Skywalker home felt like a "palace" to Shmi when it was, in fact, a "meager hovel."
Despite the impoverished conditions that came with living in a densely packed district, Shmi strived to create a good environment for her son whom she raised to be kind-hearted and helpful to others in need. One such person that he sought to help was his mother; to that end, Anakin secretly built a protocol droid, C-3PO, using scrap parts that he collected from a junkyard. The droid's purpose was to lighten Shmi's burden by performing the household chores.
Anakin was bereft of greed during his childhood due to his mother's influence, and he readily gave assistance without even considering a reward for his efforts. These qualities made Shmi proud of her son, although she worried about his fascination with podracing, which was known as a fast and dangerous sport. In addition to being a gifted engineer, Anakin's raw strength with the Force allowed him to "see things before they happened," granting him heightened reflexes despite his lack of Jedi training. As a result, he was the only human on Tatooine who was capable of competing in a podrace in which the other contestants were aliens. Recognizing Anakin's skills as a pilot, Watto would sponsor his slave in the racing contests despite Shmi's objections. However, he never gambled on Anakin due to the winning streak of the Dug racer Sebulba.
Anakin learned about the greater galaxy through stories that he overheard while working in Watto's junkshop. He once recalled hearing about the "angels" from the moons of Iego, and how they were said to be "the most beautiful creatures in the universe." He was curious about the stars, many of which he saw at night, which caused him to wonder if they each had a system of planets and if anyone had explored all of them. Despite his inability to leave Tatooine due to his status as a slave, Anakin once declared that he would be the first person to see every star system in the galaxy. Longing for freedom, he dreamed about becoming a Jedi and liberating the slaves of his homeworld. Anakin possessed very limited information about the Jedi during his early childhood, and what little he knew about them came from bedtime stories told by his mother. Her "fantastical" depiction of the Order led Anakin to believe that the lightsaber-wielding Jedi Knights were invincible, and therefore unable to be killed.
A fateful encounter
- Shmi Skywalker: "Will you take him with you? Is he to become a Jedi?"
- Qui-Gon Jinn: "Yes. Our meeting was not a coincidence. Nothing happens by accident."
- Anakin Skywalker: "You mean I get to come with you in your starship?"
- Qui-Gon Jinn: "Anakin, training to become a Jedi is not an easy challenge, and even if you succeed, it's a hard life."
- ―Shmi Skywalker, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Anakin Skywalker[src]
A fateful encounter with Qui-Jinn changed Anakin's life; during the Invasion of Naboo in 32 BBY, Queen Padmé Amidala was evacuated from her world after it was occupied by the Trade Federation. Forced to hide on Tatooine while making repairs to the Naboo Royal Starship, Jinn traveled to Mos Espa where he met Watto and Anakin. Though he failed to barter Republic credits for the replacement parts that he needed from Watto's junkyard, Jinn and his companions—Amidala, Jar Jar Binks, and R2-D2—were invited by Anakin to take shelter in his mother's home during a dangerous sandstorm. Learning about Jinn's situation, Anakin vowed to help his new friends. He suggested entering his custom-built podracer in the Boonta Eve Classic, knowing that the winnings would be more than adequate to purchase the spare starship parts that Jinn's group required. While his mother initially opposed the idea out of concern for Anakin's safety, Anakin reminded her about her belief in helping others. Though she still worried about Anakin, she allowed him to pursue his plan, believing that her son was meant to help Jinn.
Jinn set the plan in motion, but he was also intrigued by Anakin's connection to the Force. He questioned Shmi about the identity of her son's father, given how powerfully attuned he was to the Force, and discovered that Anakin never had a father. An analysis of Anakin's blood sample revealed the unprecedented quantity of midi-chlorians in his DNA, leading Jinn to suspect that he had discovered the Jedi's prophesied Chosen One. Jinn did not believe in accidents or coincidence; as such, he believed that the Force meant for him to find Anakin so that he could be trained in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He used the Boonta Eve Classic as an opportunity to free Anakin by convincing Watto to wager his slave against the podracer that Anakin would pilot in the race. Jinn tried to free Shmi as well, but Watto dismissed the Jedi's offer, refusing to bet two slaves for a single repulsorcraft.
Anakin succeeded in winning the competition, unaware that he had also gained his liberty as a result of the terms between Jinn and Watto. Shmi had been anxious during the race, but after it ended she expressed pride in her son for giving hope to others who needed his help. Anakin then sold his podracer and gave the money to Shmi, at which point he learned that he was free to leave Tatooine and become a Jedi. Anakin readily agreed, but his decision forced him to leave behind his mother whom he missed. Bearing an attachment to Shmi, Anakin vowed to return and free his mother, but Shmi encouraged him to go with Jinn and never look back. Although she loved her son, Shmi did not want to hold Anakin back from pursuing his dreams. She believed it was his destiny to become a Jedi. She remained on Tatooine as Watto's slave until she was sold to Cliegg Lars, a moisture farmer who freed and married Shmi.
Jinn presented Anakin to the Jedi High Council who examined his connection to the Force as well as his state of mind. While they recognized his inherent potential, the Jedi elders sensed Anakin's connection to his mother and found his emotional attachments concerning. Ultimately, the High Council denied Jinn's request to train Anakin, deeming him too old and emotionally compromised to commit to a life of adhering to the Jedi Code, but Jinn continued to believe that Anakin would become a Jedi nonetheless. Mortally wounded in a lightsaber duel against the Sith Lord Darth Maul during the Battle of Naboo, Jinn's dying wish was for Anakin to be trained so that he could fulfill his destiny as the Chosen One. Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi vowed to fulfill his master's final request and, having gained the rank of Jedi Knight, he took Anakin as his apprentice with the approval of the High Council. Although Jinn was not a Skywalker by blood, it was noted by Anakin's son, Luke Skywalker, that he shared a deep connection with the family's history through the Order.
Queen Amidala, having learned that slavery was still practiced in the galaxy despite its prohibition by the Republic, sought to liberate Shmi along with any other person who was enslaved on Tatooine. After completing his second and final term as the elected ruler of the Naboo, she intended to establish a humanitarian program on Tatooine with the goal of liberating slaves. She was prevented from personally overseeing this project when the opportunity to represent the Royal House of Naboo in the Galactic Senate offered her the chance to further her political career. Faced with new responsibilities as a senator, Amidala chose to send Sabé, a member of the Naboo Royal Handmaidens, to Tatooine in her place, entrusting her former bodyguard with the task of freeing Shmi as well as other slaves.
Tragedy and forbidden love
- "I wasn't strong enough to save you, Mom. I wasn't strong enough. But I promise I won't fail again."
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Anakin went on to become one of the greatest Jedi during his time in the Order. However, Kenobi was concerned that his apprentice had grown prideful as a result of his Force abilities. In addition, his fear of loss and tendency to form strong emotional attachments continued to trouble the High Council. Though he had not seen his mother in a decade, Anakin experienced a series of dreams about Shmi during the Separatist Crisis. Knowing neither why he dreamed of her nor the meaning behind them, Anakin grew tired with fatigue. He confided his dreams about his mother to Kenobi who told him that they would fade in time. By then, the High Council had given them an assignment to protect Senator Amidala in the wake of an assassination attempt against her in 22 BBY. Serving as the senator's bodyguard gave Anakin the opportunity to focus on something other than his dreams as well as to reunite with Amidala whom he met just prior to joining the Order.
Anakin accompanied Amidala on her return to Naboo at the behest of the High Council, while Kenobi was tasked with investigating the assassin who was targeting the senator. Notwithstanding his personal doubts about Anakin's ability to complete a mission without his master's guidance, Kenobi obliged the High Council's decision but also left his apprentice with implicit instructions to not leave the senator alone on her homeworld until the investigation was over. However, Anakin continued to dream about his mother. He interpreted them as premonitions upon sensing that Shmi was in pain, compelling him to return to Tatooine in spite of his mandate. Accompanied by Amidala, Anakin learned about Shmi's emancipation and marriage to Cliegg Lars after encountering Watto in Mos Espa.
Anakin and Amidala traveled to the Lars Homestead, a moisture farm in the Tatooine desert, where he met the members of the Lars family, including his mother's stepson Owen Lars, who had wondered if he would ever meet his stepbrother. They informed Anakin that Shmi had been abducted by Tusken Raiders, and though they were certain that she was dead, the Jedi Padawan searched for their village alone, determined to save his mother. Shmi's captors had tortured her almost to death by the time Anakin found her. She died in her son's arms, causing Anakin to give into his anger. The village was consequently massacred by the young Jedi, who killed women and children in addition to the adult male inhabitants.
Anakin returned to the Lars farm where he buried his mother's body. The loss of Shmi caused her son to desire the power to conquer death. As such, Anakin vowed on Shmi's grave to save the people that he loved by growing stronger with the Force, determined to become the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. By making this promise to his late mother, Anakin made himself more susceptible to the influence of the dark side of the Force.
Meanwhile, Anakin and Amidala grew closer during their time together, with the two sharing a kiss on Naboo. Amidala, however, was aware of the consequences of pursuing a relationship with each other. Whereas it would force Amidala to resign from the Senate, personal attachment was forbidden by the Jedi Code, and therefore, punishable by exile from the Jedi Order. Though she counseled Anakin to control his emotions, and to not jeopardize his future as a Jedi, she ultimately reversed her decision during the First Battle of Geonosis in 22 BBY. After recovering from his lightsaber duel with Count Dooku, Anakin escorted Amidala back to Naboo where they were married in a secret ceremony.
For Anakin, it was the culmination of a relationship that began with adolescent infatuation that grew into admiration of Amidala for her nobility and compassion for the downtrodden peoples of the galaxy. Despite her resolve to keep their relationship professional, the galaxy's plunge into war caused Amidala to seek comfort through her connection with Anakin. Like Anakin, though, she remained cautious about exposing their relationship to the public, knowing the consequences that their marriage would have on their respective careers with the Jedi and the Senate.
A time of war
- "This marriage is not a marriage, Anakin, if there isn't any trust. We said at the beginning that this could be a terrible mistake."
"What exactly are you saying?"
"That other people who are married have everything that we don't, everything that we won't. We live in secret, Anakin. Like it or not, our relationship is built on lies and deception. No relationship can survive that."
- ―Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker
Anakin and Amidala kept their marriage a secret from both the Jedi and the Senate while serving the Republic throughout the Clone Wars. On Coruscant, the Naboo senator was a strong advocate for diplomacy, working toward a peaceful resolution to the pan-galactic war between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Anakin was elevated to the status of Jedi Knight and Jedi General, making him a high-ranking officer in the newly formed Grand Army of the Republic. He served on the front line leading the clone troopers of the elite 501st Legion, often alongside his former master, General Kenobi, who commanded the 212th Attack Battalion. Despite Anakin's reservations about his wife getting involved in dangerous situations, Amidala played a crucial role in establishing an alliance between the Hutt Clan and the Republic.
Anakin would visit Amidala when he had the opportunity to return to Coruscant. He tried to help Amidala, who was preparing a banquet for Senator Aang, a member of the Military Oversight Committee, by sending C-3PO and R2-D2 on an errand to procure jogan fruit for the dessert cake. Unknown to Anakin and Amidala, their droids were abducted by the bounty hunter Cad Bane. As the astromech droid of a Republic senator, R2-D2 possessed knowledge of the Senate Building's layout which was essential to Bane's plan for breaking the Hutt gangster Ziro Desilijic Tiure out of prison. He then erased the incident from the droids' minds before releasing them in order to avoid raising suspicions. Having no memory of their ordeal, R2-D2 and C-3PO returned to their owners with the fruit that Amidala required.
Anakin was with Amidala when the Senate hostage crisis occurred; wanting to spend more time together, he gave his lightsaber to her as a sign of his commitment to their relationship. As a result, he was unarmed when a group of mercenaries infiltrated the Senate Building, executing Bane's plan to free Ziro. Amidala and several politicians were taken as hostages by Bane to pressure Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine to release the Hutt prisoner. Amidala was eventually able to return the lightsaber to Anakin, who used it to save his wife and the other senators from the bombs that Bane planted in the Senate Building.
Following the Battle of Malastare, Amidala implored Anakin to protect the captured Zillo Beast from an experiment that would lead to its death, resulting in the potential extinction of its species. The Zillo Beast broke free from its containment, however, and proceeded on a rampage across Coruscant's Senate District. Anakin succeded in saving both Amidala and Chancellor Palpatine, while the Republic Military deployed gunships that ultimately killed the creature.
Amidala was enlisted by the High Council who grew to suspect that the InterGalactic Banking Clan was secretly working with the Separatists. She agreed to investigate her colleague, Senator Rush Clovis of Scipio, despite Anakin's objections which she countered by quoting his views on the importance of their duties to the Republic. Anakin volunteered to join her on the mission to Cato Neimoidia, and was made uncomfortable by the knowledge that Amidala once had a close relationship with Clovis. Their investigation revealed that the Separatists were secretly constructing more battle droids on Geonosis in an effort to retake their former stronghold.
A vision of Shmi appeared to Anakin while he was stranded in the ethereal realm of Mortis. The memory of her death continued to haunt Anakin, who was determined to protect his wife Amidala at any cost, making him vulnerable to the machinations of Sidious. Anakin sensed that the apparition before him was not truly his dead mother, but he allowed himself to believe for a moment that he was speaking to the spirt of Shmi, and as such expressed his insecurities and self-doubt, both as a son and a Jedi. Additionally, he confessed to having a secret wife. The vision then morphed into the Son, a Force wielder who personified the dark side of the Force. In his efforts to escape from Mortis, the Son turned Anakin to the dark side by revealing the Jedi Knight's future to him through a series of visions, such as his attack on Amidala and his ultimate fate as Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith. This knowledge was erased from Anakin's mind by the Father, another Force wielder who sought to stop the Son from interfering with the Chosen One's destiny. In a spiritual sense, the dark and light aspects of Anakin's nature were embodied respectively by the Son and his sister, the Daughter, whereas the Father represented the wisdom that Anakin required in order to bring balance to the opposing forces in his mind.
The death of his mother and his marriage to Amidala made Anakin more unwilling to let go of the people that he feared to lose. He regularly bent and broke the Jedi Code throughout the Clone Wars, whether to save the life of someone close to him, such as his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, or by maintaining his secret marriage in defiance of the Code. As with Anakin, Amidala also found herself in a situation where she felt compelled to compromise her principles due to a personal attachment. Count Dooku captured Anakin subsequent to the capture of General Grievous by the Gungan Grand Army of Naboo. Torn between keeping the Supreme Martial Commander of the Separatist Droid Armies in Republic custody and releasing Grievous to the Separatists in exchange for Anakin, Amidala chose to save her secret husband at the expense of her belief in serving the greater good.
Anakin and Amidala faced a crisis in their marriage when Clovis resurfaced, asking for his former colleague's help to reform the Banking Clan. As they worked together, Clovis sought to resume their relationship. His attempt to kiss Amidala was witnessed by Anakin, who accosted the former senator. Their fight ended with Anakin almost killing Clovis despite Amidala pleading with him to stop. The altercation led Amidala to re-examine her decision to marry Anakin. She warned him that their marriage was difficult enough because of its secret nature, but that it would not last without trust, a quality that she found lacking in Anakin. She also considered that they had made an error of judgment by starting a relationship maintained through deception. Acknowledging her fear and unhappiness, they decided to separate for the time being. They later reconciled during the invasion of Scipio, where Anakin rescued Amidala while also trying to save the life of Clovis.
The Outer Rim Sieges was a prolonged campaign that separated Anakin and Amidala during the final months of the Clone Wars. As a general, Anakin continued to lead the 501st Legion on the battlefront while his wife remained on Coruscant as a member of the Senate. Nevertheless they maintained regular contact with each other, secretly communicating through holographic transmissions. Prior to the mission to Skako Minor, Anakin contacted Amidala in the privacy of an empty clone barracks while his subordinate, Clone Captain CT-7567 "Rex," kept watch to prevent the general's secret meeting from being discovered. Rex was determined to find one of his clone troopers, CT-1409 "Echo," who was believed to have been killed in action on Lola Sayu. This made Anakin concerned about his first officer, though Amidala advised him to trust Rex. They were forced to end their conversation when Rex signaled that Kenobi was searching for Anakin. Despite Anakin's efforts to maintain the secrecy of his relationship with Amidala, Kenobi told his former Padawan that he hoped Anakin said hello to the senator for him.
A hero falls
- "Twisted by the dark side, young Skywalker has become. The boy you trained, gone he is. Consumed by Darth Vader."
- ―Yoda, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
As a general, Anakin became a hero and his powers grew exponentially, but his fear of loss ultimately led to his seduction by the dark side. In the aftermath of the Battle of Coruscant, Anakin reunited with Amidala who informed him that she was pregnant. Although Amidala was concerned about how this would affect their respective careers in the Senate and the Jedi Order, Anakin welcomed the news, calling it the "happiest day of his life." Amidala hoped to raise their child on her homeworld of Naboo, but the Force showed Anakin that she would die in childbirth. Recalling the dreams that warned him of his mother's death, Anakin grew desperate to save the lives of his wife and their unborn child.
Anakin sought Yoda's counsel but was careful to keep Amidala's identity and his relationship with her a secret. The Grand Master advised Anakin to be cautious of premonitions, warning him that the fear of loss led to the dark side of the Force. Aware of Anakin's tendency to form emotional bonds, Yoda had tried to teach Anakin to overcome his attachments, which he saw as the root cause of jealousy and, by extension, greed. He also counseled Anakin to accept death as a natural part of life, and to rejoice when others became one with the Force instead of mourning for them. Ultimately, Yoda's advise to the young Jedi was to learn to let go of everything that he was afraid of losing. Anakin, however, was incapable of severing his attachment to Amidala, and in his state of heightened anxiety and confusion, he became more susceptible to the influence of Chancellor Palpatine.
Unknown to Anakin at the time, Palpatine was the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, who used the Clone Wars to ensure his rise to power. Having long groomed Anakin for his future role as a Sith Lord, Sidious used Anakin's fear to draw him closer to the dark side. By retelling the history of his Sith Master, Darth Plagueis, he led Anakin to believe that the Sith could save others from death through manipulation of the mid-chlorians. He forced Anakin to choose between his commitment to the Jedi and his attachment to Amidala by revealing his true identity as a Sith. Convinced that the dark side was the key to saving Amidala, Anakin prevented the Jedi from destroying Sidious and became Darth Vader, the Dark Lord's Sith apprentice. Vader complied with his new master's instructions to oversee the execution of Order 66 on Coruscant, believing that he needed to strengthen his connection to the dark side in order to save Amidala.
With the Clone Wars over and the Great Jedi Purge underway, Sidious issued a decree proclaiming him Galactic Emperor. The widespread support for the Emperor's New Order disturbed Amidala, who lamented the Repubic's transformation into the Galactic Empire. At the time, she was unaware of her husband's new allegiance as well as his actions during the siege of the Jedi Temple where he killed many Jedi, including Jedi younglings. However, while Vader was away from Coruscant, Obi-Wan Kenobi informed Amidala that Anakin had turned to the dark side. This revelation caused her to travel to Mustafar where she confronted Vader who, after killing the members of the Separatist Council, came to believe that they should rule the galaxy together by overthrowing the Emperor. Amidala was repulsed by his actions as well as his future plans, but she begged him to turn back from the dark side before it was too late, professing her love for him. Vader accused her of lying to him when he realized that Kenobi was with her and, convinced that they intended to kill him, he attacked Amidala with the Force, gravely wounding her in the process.
Kenobi left Vader to burn on the bank of a lava river after defeating his former apprentice in a battle to the death. Kenobi tried to save Amidala, but Anakin's deeds as a Sith Lord broke his wife's will to live, and she consequently died after giving birth to their children, the twins Luke Skywalker and Leia Amidala Skywalker. Amidala's final thoughts were about Anakin and how she still believed that there was good in him. Her body was returned to Naboo for burial, while on Coruscant, Vader was rebuilt as a cyborg in order to remain alive. Upon his reconstruction, Vader was told by the Emperor that he had killed Amidala in anger. This information drove Anakin to despair; combined with the trauma of his surgery, he renounced the name of Skywalker and truly became Vader.
Rise of the Dark Lord
- "Padmé… is dead, my friend. Even the power of the dark side cannot bring her back. But in her death, she has given you a gift. Pain. Now… you must choose. Will you accept that gift? Will you use it… or will you die?"
"I… will live."
- ―Darth Sidious and Darth Vader
Vader reacted to Amidala's death by attacking his master with the Force, reminding Sidious that he had promised to save her. Despite his anger, Vader was overpowered by the Emperor who told him to accept his fate or die, as not even the dark side could bring Amidala back to life. Vader chose to live, and the Emperor advised him to use the pain of his wife's death to grow stronger with the dark side. However, the Emperor also warned Vader to guard against future outbursts, threatening to kill his apprentice if he ever attacked his master with the Force again.
Vader undertook the dark side ritual of bleeding a kyber crystal during his early trials as a Sith Lord. He claimed the lightsaber that belonged to Jedi Master Kirak Infil'a, and then returned to Mustafar where he harnessed that world's connection to the dark side in order to make the crystal bleed. His efforts ultimately succeeded, changing the crystal's color from green to red, thereby completing the creation of Darth Vader's lightsaber.
Having aided the Emperor's efforts to consolidate the Empire and eliminate the remaining Jedi, Vader was granted a planet of his chooising to rule. Rejecting his homeworld and that of his master, respectively Tatooine and Naboo, Vader chose Mustafar due to the planet's strength with the dark side. Under the guidance of Darth Momin's essence, the Dark Lord built an obsidian castle—Fortress Vader—atop the Sith cave where he bled his kyber crystal with the dark side. Following the Battle of Fortress Vader and Momin's betrayal, Vader entered a portal but only his essence passed through as his cybernetic body remained behind.
Vader's mind was flooded by memories of his past after crossing over to the other side of the portal. He also saw visions of his mother, his Sith Master, and his younger self. His path led him to an illusion of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant where he was confronted by apparitions of the Jedi he once served with, including Yoda, Mace Windu and other members of the Jedi High Council. After defeating the Jedi specters, Vader proceeded into the Temple where he encountered Obi-Wan Kenobi and Sheev Palpatine, both of whom had a strong influence on Anakin Skywalker. Kenobi was struck down by Sidious who, in turn, was attacked by a barrage of Force lightning from Vader. He then found his wife, Amidala, who he approached in the guise of Anakin. He urged her to come with him, but the vision of Amidala rejected the Sith Lord and committed suicide, declaring that her husband was already dead. The vision ended with Vader returning to his body after briefly perceiving a Jedi in the distance, wielding a blue-bladed lightsaber and obscured by the light.
Vader remained fixated on finding a way to resurrect his dead wife. He devised a plan for bringing Amidala back to life, using the power of the Bright Star to achieve his goal. He obtained the artifact with the help of a Force-sensitive smuggler whose ancestor, Lady Corvax had tried to revive her husband, Dorwin Corvax. However, the smuggler turned against Vader by destroying the Bright Star along with the Aeon Engine which, in turn, initiated the gradual healing process of the desolate world of Mustafar. Vader held the smuggler responsible for preventing his efforts to be reunited with Amidala.
The Skywalker twins
A new hope
- "We have a new enemy, the young Rebel who destroyed the Death Star. I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader, about Luke Skywalker
Following Amidala's death, her children were separated and sent into hiding in order to protect them from the Sith. Leia was adopted into the House of Organa by Senator Bail Prestor Organa and his wife, Queen Breha Organa, and was henceforth known as "Leia Organa," Princess of Alderaan. Her brother, Luke was given to his relatives, Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun Lars, who raised him as a moisture farmer on Tatooine. Though Owen opposed his nephew's ambition to explore the greater galaxy by leaving Tatooine, Beru saw that Luke was too similar to his father to settle for the life of a farmer. While Luke yearned for a more interesting life, one filled with adventure and excitement, Leia succeeded her adoptive father as the senator of Alderaan.
Though a member of the Imperial Senate, Organa secretly worked to undermine the Empire by supporting the Alliance to Restore the Republic, a rebellion founded with the aim of overthrowing the Empire and restoring democracy. Following Organa's capture by Darth Vader, Luke's uncle and aunt were killed by Imperial stormtroopers who were searching for the stolen Death Star plans. With the loss of both his guardians, Luke resolved to join the Alliance and learn the ways of the Force from Obi-Wan Kenobi, who revealed to Luke that his father had once been a Jedi Knight.
The Skywalker twins were reunited When Luke and his new companions, Han Solo and Chewbacca, rescued Princess Leia after she had been captured by the Empire while attempting to recruit Kenobi to the Rebel cause. During her captivity, Vader forced the princess to watch as Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin field tested the full power of the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station on Organa's homeworld of Alderaan, destroying the entire planet in order to discourage other worlds from opposing the Empire. Although Organa escaped from the battle station with Luke's help, Luke witnessed Kenobi's death at Vader's hand. Tracking the princess to Yavin 4, the Empire intended to use its superweapon to destroy the Alliance headquarters along with the entire jungle-covered moon of Yavin Prime. In the Battle of Yavin, however, Luke succeeded in destroying the Death Star after he was saved from Vader by Solo's interference. Organa subsequently honored Luke and Solo for their bravery.
Vader survived the Battle of Yavin and sought to discover the identity of the Rebel pilot who destroyed the Death Star. He confronted Luke on Cymoon 1, unaware of the boy's identity except that he had been the Jedi apprentice of the late Kenobi. Unimpressed by Luke's skills, Vader moved to kill him with Luke's own lightsaber until he recognized it as the weapon he once used as Anakin Skywalker. Luke ultimately escaped from Vader, who sent the bounty hunter Boba Fett after him. Although Fett was unsuccessful in capturing Luke, he discovered his surname, Skywalker, and reported it to Vader. The revelation of Luke's identity led Vader to realize that he had a son, and with that knowledge he vowed to turn Luke to the dark side.
A haunting heritage
- "If you only knew the power of the dark side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father."
"He told me enough! He told me you killed him!"
"No. I am your father."
- ―Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker
Guided by the Force spirit of Kenobi, Luke journeyed to Dagobah shortly after the Battle of Hoth, seeking to finish his Jedi training under Grand Master Yoda. The ancient Jedi Master was reluctant to take on Anakin's son as an apprentice, however. Sensing Luke's anger and impatience reminded Yoda of Anakin, which, combined with Luke's advanced age, reinforced his belief that Luke was unfit to be a Jedi. Moreover, having watched over Luke from afar for a long time, Yoda concluded that Luke was reckless and driven by the desire for excitement and adventure, neither of which were things that a Jedi craved. However, Kenobi communed with Yoda through the Force and implored his old mentor to teach Luke, assuring him that their student would learn to temper his anger through patience.
Following the battle, Vader was contacted by the Emperor, who was aware of the identity of the Rebel pilot responsible for the Death Star's destruction. Knowing that Luke was Anakin's son, Sidious calculated his potential to destroy the Sith and all that they had built if he became a Jedi. At Vader's suggestion, Sidious approved his apprentice's plan to turn Luke to the dark side, knowing that, as a Skywalker, he would become a powerful asset to the Sith.
Meanwhile, Organa was forced to evacuate Hoth with the crew of the Millennium Falcon, keeping her and Solo together despite the latter's intention to leave the Alliance. They eventually fell in love, but were captured by Vader while seeking shelter on Bespin with Solo's friend, Landonis Balthazar Calrissian, the administrator of Cloud City. Organa manged to escape with Calrissian's help and was determined to rescue Solo, who had been frozen in carbonite for transportation to Tatooine.
During Luke's training, he found a cave where the dark side was strong and was confronted by Vader in a Force vision. They dueled until Luke succeeded in decapitating the Sith Lord. Before the vision ended, Vader's mask exploded and, to Luke's surprise, the face within was his own. Under Yoda's instruction, Luke honed his skills in meditation, giving him the ability to see visions of the future, one of which revealed to him that his friends were in danger. He was determined to save them despite having to leave Dagobah without completing his training. Neither Yoda nor Kenobi supported his decision, knowing that it would bring Luke in direct contact with Vader. They both implored Luke to remain and become a fully-trained Jedi, warning him that he was not ready to confront a Sith Lord.
Luke's departure against his mentors' warnings reinforced Yoda's belief that Luke was too reckless, jeopardizing the Jedi's plans to overthrow the Sith. When Kenobi referred to Luke as their last hope, Yoda disagreed and reminded him that there was another who could take his place. Cloud City had been occupied by an Imperial garrison by the time of Luke's arrival. Knowing that the Jedi apprentice would risk all if his friends were in peril, Vader lured Luke into a confrontation with the aim of bringing him to Sidious. Though his progress impressed Vader, Luke was ultimately bested by the Sith Lord, who disarmed him of his father's lightsaber along with the hand that wielded it. It was at this moment that Vader revealed his former identity as Luke's father. The revelation that Vader and Anakin were the same person drove Luke into a state of shock and denial. Vader told Luke the truth because he wanted to overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy with his son by his side, but Luke refused his father's entreaty and returned to the Rebellion.
The past returns
Padmé Amidala's decoy
- "I am Padmé Amidala…Queen…Senator…Daughter of Naboo…back from the dead to haunt you to your grave."
- ―Sabé, to Darth Vader
Amidala was mourned by the people of Naboo, humans and Gungans alike. Following the Emperor's rise to power, a group of the late senator's closest followers secretly gathered in Padmé's Apartment where they formed a pact to find and punish Amidala's killer. As such, they called themselves the "Amidalans." Captain Gregar Typho was an Amidalan; as Amidala's personal bodyguard, he tried to follow her to Mustafar but the senator refused an escort. In the years following her death, the Amidalans learned that Mustafar was the domain of Darth Vader and, therefore, concluded that the late senator had been killed by the Dark Lord of the Sith. In addition, they knew through Typho that Amidala's reason for traveling to Mustafar was to find Anakin and, as such, the Amidalans believed that he was also killed by Vader.
In 3 ABY, Vader conducted an independent investigation into his son's past, intending to hunt and destroy everyone who was involved in hiding Luke from his father. The Dark Lord believed that the people who hid his son were responsible for making Luke too weak to accept the Dark Lord's offer of ruling the galaxy as father and son. With the assistance of an Imperial forensics droid, ZED-6-7, Vader tracked his son's childhood home to his family's moisture farm. There he learned that Luke was adopted by Owen and Beru, respectively Anakin's stepbrother and Owen's wife. He also learned that his son shared his father's affinity for piloting starships.
Returning to his mother's home unearthed certain memories of Anakin's life in Vader's mind. He remembered the grief that he experienced in the aftermath of Shmi's death, and the way Amidala tried to console him. Thinking about his late wife reminded Vader about their final conversation that took place when she confronted him on Mustafar. When he thought back to his encounter with Luke in Cloud City, Vader's imagination caused him to see not only Luke falling into an abyss, but also his mother and his wife when she was pregnant. The memories of his past filled the Dark Lord with anger that was apparent to ZED-6-7, manifesting through the Force when the droid found the gravesite of Shmi and her husband Cliegg. Shmi's burial site caused Vader to remember the vow that Anakin made to not lose another loved one the way he lost his mother.
Escorted by a squad of death troopers, Vader returned to Coruscant where he unsealed the apartment that once belonged to Amidala. Like the Lars moisture farm, his wife's chambers made Vader remember moments of intimacy between Anakin and Amidala. ZED-6-7 learned about their association during the Clone Wars, having accessed Anakin's record in his databank after Vader revealed that Amidala was Luke's mother. The droid deduced that the relationship between Anakin and Amidala had been more intimate than what was publicly known.
Vader's next destination was Vendaxa where, to his surprise, he encountered Sabé whom he initially mistook for Amidala in disbelief due to the physical resemblance between the handmaiden and his dead wife. Recalling the handmaidens who served Amidala during the Invasion of Naboo, Vader realized that the woman was not Amidala but one of her decoys. ZED-6-7 noted the similar features of Sabé and Amidala, as well as the subtle differences that allowed the forensics droid to tell them apart. Sabé was initially uncooperative with Vader who demanded to know her identity. The Dark Lord proceeded to strangle Sabé with the Force after she claimed to be the resurrected Amidala, but he refrained from killing her upon remembering how he attacked his wife in anger.
Vader recruited Sabé after his forensics droid confirmed her identity as a former handmaiden of the late queen. He used Sabé's loyalty to Amidala to persuade her to join him, arguing that the former Naboo queen would have supported the Galactic Empire if she she had lived to experience its reign. During their discussion about Amidala, Sabé's appearance and personality continued to remind of the Dark Lord of his deceased wife. After fighting alongside each other to defeat the local Vendaxan land squids, Vader and Sabé traveled to Naboo to retrieve the data that she took from Amidala's apartment on Coruscant. The Dark Lord's investigation of his son's childhood became a "hunt for the truth" of Amidala's death.
More of Vader's memories resurfaced as a result of his return to Naboo, where he remembered the time that Anakin and Amidala spent together in the final days before the Clone Wars. Their destination was Varykino, a villa that belonged to Amidala's family, the Naberrie family. The lake retreat was abandoned; nevertheless, Vader remembered the time that Anakin spent there with Amidala as well. While reminiscing Vader on his past, was attacked by Gregar Typho and Tonra who assumed that Sabé was the Sith Lord's captive. They were both subdued by Vader, forcing Sabé to intercede for their lives. The handmaiden convinced Vader to spare her allies' lives, revealing that they hid the security recording on Naboo.
The Sith Lord's forensics and analysis droid inquired about the relationship between Amidala and the former officers of the Royal Naboo Security Forces. Vader listened as Typho revealed that Amidala had chosen to travel to Mustafar alone despite his protests as her bodyguard. Additionally, he discovered that Amidala had sent Tonra and Sabé to Tatooine in order to free Shmi Skywalker, having remembered Anakin's mother who remained in slavery after her son's emancipation.
Attack of the Amidalans
- "Lord Vader… I'm Captain Ric Olié… and we are the Amidalans. We sentence you to death for the murder of Padmé, queen and senator of Naboo… and General Anakin Skywalker, her Jedi protector."
- ―Ric Olié, to Darth Vader
Ultimately, Sabé deceived Vader in order to lure him to Naboo where the Amidalans intended to execute the Sith, believing he murdered Amidala and Anakin. Vader did not deny the Amidalans' accusations against him, but rather claimed responsibility for the deaths of the senator and her Jedi protector. Sabé, Tonra, and Typho tried to kill Vader by using a rare sando aqua monster to attack the Dark Lord, risking their lives in the process. After killing the creature, Vader and his death troopers proceeded to the Tomb of Padmé Amidala where they were ambushed by the Amidalans. Their attack did not go as planned, however. Deeming them useless to his investigation, Vader killed all but one of the insurgents, the pilot Ric Olié whom Anakin met during his first voyage to Coruscant.
Amidala's tomb contained not only her remains, but also a japor snippet that had been given to her by Anakin when he was a child. As Vader approached the tomb, he was confronted by the handmaidens of Amidala—Dormé, Eirtaé, Rabé, Sabé, and Saché—who vowed not to permit the desecration of the queen's grave. Vader recognized the women due to their past association with his wife, and implored them to leave if they wished to live. The handmaidens rejected his advice and attacked the Sith Lord in unison. Despite their efforts to kill him, Vader fought defensively by using his lightsaber skills to deflect their attacks, and his Force abilities to incapacitate the handmaidens. He then entered the tomb and unsealed Amidala's sarcophagus despite Sabé pleading with him to leave the grave in peace. ZED-6-7 scanned Amidala's corpse, and discovered that Polis Massa was her last location before her death. Vader chose to spare the lives of Sabé and her followers, allowing them to regroup at the next destination in Vader's journey.
Sorrow and fear
- "The Sith know that fear leads to anger… Anger leads to hate… and hate leads to strength. But you, my friend… have just wallowed in grief. You need to start all over again… with fear."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader
The Polis Massa Base had been reduced to ruins years before Vader's arrival, the Empire having bombarded the facility after it became a center for Rebel activity. Following another battle with the Amidalans, Vader directed his droid to analyze the base's mainframe. Despite the damage to the facility and its technology, ZED-6-7 discovered a few holographic recordings about Amidala's final moments, from her arrival on Polis Massa to her last words that she spoke to Obi-Wan Kenobi, professing her faith in Anakin with her last breath. Vader observed the footage in silence until ZED-6-7 began to speculate on the connection between Kenobi and Amidala. The forensics droid ventured a guess that Amidala had cared a great deal for Kenobi, causing Vader to cut the forensics droid in half.
Vader returned to Coruscant by the end of his search, reporting directly to the Emperor at the Imperial Palace. What began as a hunt for the people who hid Vader's son became an investigation of his wife's death, causing Vader to experience memories and emotions that he had not felt in years. Before leaving Polis Massa, he thought back to his duel with Luke in Cloud City, and imagined several versions of himself—the Sith Lord, the Jedi Padawan, and the slave child from Tatooine—falling into the darkness instead of Luke. Darth Sidious sensed the conflict in his apprentice; in spite of the Sith teachings that Vader came to embody, turning his fear into anger, hate and power, confronting his past left him "wallowing in grief." As a result, the Emperor decided to take Vader back to the start of his Sith trials by teaching him a lesson in fear.
The agony of Darth Vader
- "How does it feel, Lord Vader… To be so weak? To feel such pain? To know such fear?"
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader
Displeased with Vader's rebellious streak, the Emperor unleashed a torrent of Force lightning against his apprentice who blocked the attack with his lightsaber. Although Sidious commended Vader for defending himself, he admonished Vader for his recent conduct while investigating his son's origins. Speaking on the Emperor's behalf, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda accused Vader of several failures that bordered on treason, such as allowing Luke to escape from Bespin and failing to heed his master's summons. In addition, Amedda reproached Vader for allowing Sabé to escape in spite of her affiliation with a Rebel cell.
The Emperor's Royal Guards were ordered to attack Vader who was disarmed by Sidious, leaving the Sith apprentice unarmed against his master's elite bodyguards. Vader continued to fight back, resorting to his Force powers which he used to choke the Royal Guards as well as Amedda. After observing the fight for a short while, the Emperor overpowered Vader with his own command of the Force, utilizing the same attack that his apprentice often favored as a method of punishment. Vader struggled in vain against the Emperor's power; having used the Force choke technique on numerous occasions, it caused him to think about the people whom he attacked with the dark side's power, including Amidala, Sabé, Orson Callan Krennic, Conan Antonio Motti, Lorth Needa, and Kendal Ozzel.
Vader accused Sidious of lying about his wife's death, to which the Emperor reminded his disciple that it was Vader who joined the dark side out of fear of Amidala's death. He considered Vader's attachment to the late senator a weakness, but one that he used to create a Sith apprentice with immeasurable power. Believing Vader to be at risk of regressing back into weakness, Sidious told Vader to forget about Amidala, his past as Anakin Skywalker, and everything except for his his allegiance to the Emperor. At the same time, Sidious used the Force to cripple Vader, destroying the Sith Lord's cybernetic legs and left arm.
Sidious wished for Vader to relearn the "primacy of power." Therefore, he brought Vader back to Mustafar. Vader was left in the same place where the Emperor saved him; this time, however, he required Vader to save himself, but without relying on the Force.
Journey to Exegol
- "There is no escape."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader
Vader survived his trials on Mustafar without using the Force; using various battle droid parts to replace his destroyed cybernetic limbs, the Sith Lord defeated the Droid Crush Pirates of Bestoon and captured the Emperor's Sith assassin, Ochi of Bestoon. With Ochi as his prisoner, Vader sought to discover his master's secrets. After obtaining a Sith wayfinder from the Eye of Webbish Bog, Vader salvaged his old Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor and departed from Mustafar to find the hidden Sith world of Exegol.
The wayfinder guided Vader to the Galactic Barrier where he encountered a subspecies of the summa-verminoth residing in the Red Honeycomb Zone. Though related to "the galaxy's greatest predator," according to the Umbaran official Sly Moore, the creature's presence did not deter Vader from taking the only path to Exegol. Unlike other members of its species, this creature evolved to attack the minds of its prey. It induced Vader to remember his duels with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, respectively on Mustafar and Bespin. The creature's influence altered these events in Vader's mind, forcing him to see his younger self at the mercy of his son instead of Kenobi who defeated Vader on Mustafar. The duel on Bespin was changed to show Vader disarmed by Luke; as before, he implored Luke to join him in ruling the galaxy. Instead, Luke killed Vader with Anakin's lightsaber before walking away as Darth Sidious' new apprentice.
Vader endured the visions long enough to emerge through the Red Honeycomb Zone, arriving in the Unknown Regions. The creature followed them to Exegol, but Vader used the Force to subdue it, no longer concerned with his master's threats. The Emperor was on Exegol by the time of the arrival of Vader, who declared that he was no longer Sidious' apprentice. The two Sith Lords battled each other through the Force, though ultimately Sidious succeeded in influencing the summa-verminoth variant to kill itself, overcoming Vader's efforts to keep the creature under his control. Vader pursued the Emperor into the Sith Citadel where he discovered a number of his master's secrets, including the construction of a fleet of Xyston-class Star Destroyers, genetically engineered specimens, and Sith cultists. He also learned that the citadel was built on a mountain of kyber crystals that Sidious intended to use as the source of the axial superlaser attached to every Star Destroyer in his Sith fleet. While sensing the pain of the crystals through the Force, Vader beheld another vision of his son telling him that it was his destiny to destroy the Emperor.
- "You could still be strong, my son. I know there is power in you. But I have seen the true might and purpose of the Sith. And there is no room for another. So this time… you will die."
- ―Darth Vader
Vader reaffirmed his allegiance to Sidious, having discovered the depths of his master's power during his mission to Exegol. Accompanied by Mas Amedda, Sly Moore and Ochi, the Sith Lords returned to the Imperial capital of Coruscant, where the Emperor had Vader reconstructed at the medcenter that had been known as the Grand Republic Medical Facility during the Clone Wars. Vader instructed the medical droids to keep him awake during his surgery, causing him extreme pain in the process. The pain of his reconstruction reminded Vader of the pain that he inflicted on his son during their duel on Bespin. Luke's refusal to join his father led Vader to believe that his son was weak in spite of his potential to be powerful. Determined to keep his place by the Emperor's side, Vader decided that his son would have to die as there was no room in the ranks of the Sith for a third ruler in the galaxy.
Return of the Jedi
- "I'll not leave you here. I've got to save you."
"You already have, Luke. You were right… you were right about me. Tell your sister… you were right."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker
In the days leading up to the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Luke returned to Dagobah after rescuing Solo with the help of his companions. Yoda was gravely ill by the time of Luke's return, weakened by sickness and old age. He assured Luke that he required no further lessons, but could not yet call himself a Jedi until he confronted Vader once more. When Luke asked the dying Grand Master if Vader was truly his father, Yoda confirmed that he was indeed. Yoda spoke his last words to Luke before he passed into the Force, revealing that there was another Skywalker, whom Kenobi later confirmed to be Leia, Luke's twin sister. Luke confronted his first Jedi Master about his account of his father's fate, recalling when Kenobi told him that Vader betrayed and murdered Anakin. Kenobi clarified that Anakin had been seduced by the dark side and ceased to exist when he became Vader.
Luke joined General Solo's strike team after returning to the Alliance, which had made plans to destroy Sidious' new battle station, the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station. However, he soon left the group after sensing Vader's presence, as he believed that there was still good within his father. After telling Leia the truth about their relationship as the offspring of Vader, thereby making them siblings, Luke confronted his father in person, but to talk rather than fight in the hope that the former Anakin Skywalker would turn back to the light side with his son's help. Vader rejected his son's entreaty, believing it was too late for him. Realizing Vader's resolve to take him to the Emperor, Luke told the Sith Lord that his father was truly dead.
Luke accompanied his father to the Emperor's Throne Room on the new battle station, while Solo and Organa carried on with their plan to destroy the Death Star's shield generator. Sidious goaded Luke into a duel with Vader, but the would-be Jedi still refused to turn to the dark side. Sensing his son's thoughts, Vader realized that he had a daughter in addition to a son, Luke's twin sister. He threatened to turn his attentions to Leia by converting her to the dark side if Luke would not, causing his son to embrace his rage as he relentlessly pummeled Vader into submission. It was exactly what the Emperor wanted, and as such, Sidious urged Luke to kill Vader and become his new apprentice. However, Luke restrained himself from delivering the killing blow, remembering his teachings under Kenobi and Yoda. Casting his lightsaber aside, he declared that the Emperor had failed as he had become a Jedi, like his father before him.
Sidious, confounded by Luke's actions, unleashed the power of the dark side against the young Jedi, torturing him with torrents of Force lightning. As Luke writhed in agony, Vader seized his Sith Master and threw him down a deep shaft, his former self reawakened by his son's love. Though his actions killed Sidious, they ultimately proved fatal as Vader took the brunt of the lightning in order to save Luke. Knowing his end was near, Anakin shared a vital moment with Luke, who removed his father's mask so that he could look upon his son with his own eyes. Anakin assured Luke that he had been saved by him, and he wanted Leia to know that Luke had been right about him as well. He slipped peacefully into the Force, and was reunited in death with his old Jedi mentors, Kenobi and Yoda. The deaths of Sidious and Vader ended the lineage of Sith Lords, fulfilling Anakin Skywalker's destiny as the prophesied Chosen One. The three deceased Jedi watched over Luke and his friends as the celebrated their victory on Endor.
Heir to the Skywalker bloodline
Birth of Ben Solo
- "When I found you, I saw what all masters live to see: raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special—The potential of your bloodline. A new Vader."
- ―Snoke, to Kylo Ren
After the Battle of Endor, Leia Organa married Han Solo and gave birth to their son, Ben Solo, on the day the Empire capitulated to the New Republic in 5 ABY, ending the Galactic Civil War. As a scion of the Skywalker bloodline, Ben was inherently strong with the Force, possessing raw, untamed power that attracted the attention of his uncle Luke as well as Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order. Unbeknownst to Ben, he had a twin in the Force—the Force-sensitive scavenger Rey. Unlike his mother and uncle, Solo's relationship with Rey was not based on blood, but rather their bond as a rare and powerful dyad in the Force.
With the war over and the New Republic working to restore peace to the galaxy, Ben's parents hoped to provide him with a stable childhood. However, the Force manifested within Ben, awakening his dormant powers that he inherited from Organa's bloodline. As a toddler, Ben was prone to emotional outburts. His mother witnessed the first time he instinctively used telekinesis to throw one of his toys across the room, and it was soon clear to both of his parents that Ben required guidance in order to control his Force abilities.
Organa and Han were also aware that Ben's nature was similar to that of his grandfather; as such, they were concerned about their son's potential for turning to the dark side that transformed Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. Organa ultimately decided that Ben would be trained as a Jedi despite Han's reaction to her decision. At the time, having briefly trained in the Jedi arts before returning to politics, Organa thought that the Jedi path would keep Ben grounded in the light. As such, she trusted her brother Luke to teach Ben the ways of the Force while he rebuilt the Jedi Order. However, she later came to regret her decision to send Ben away from her and Han, believing it was the catalyst that caused her to lose their son to the dark side, consequently breaking the family apart.
The last Jedi
- "Luke… when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be. The Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned. Luke… there is… another… Sk… Sky…walker."
- ―Yoda's last words
Following the monastic ways of the Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker abstained romantic pursuits and devoted most of his remaining years to rediscovering the lost knowledge of the Jedi Order. As a result, Luke did not continue the Skywalker family bloodline as he never managed to sire any children. However, Luke once dreamed of a different life in which he never learned the ways of the Force. Instead, he remained on his homeworld of Tatooine, marrying his childhood friend Camie Marstrap. He also never left the moisture farming business, having chosen to continue supporting his uncle and aunt as a farmer. In this version of his life though, Luke dreamed of a more exciting life for himself, causing Camie to suspect that her husband regretted their marriage despite Luke's assurance to the contrary.
As a young man, Luke was fascinated by several women that he encountered as an aspiring Jedi, including his twin sister Leia Organa. The Skywalker twins developed a bond without knowing about their biological connection to each other. Luke and Organa had both lost their adoptive families, making them orphans in the civil war between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance. In addition to their personal losses, the Skywalkers found themselves devoted to the same cause, fighting for the galaxy's freedom which strengthened the connection between them.
Another woman whom Luke developed an interest in was Warba Calip; an orphan from Jedha, Calip was Force-sensitive like Luke, however her connection to the Force was never honed through formal training. Whereas Luke's enlightenment came from the perspective of the Jedi, Calip gained her understanding of the Force from the Guardians of the Whills, another monastic order that was devoted to the all-encompassing energy field. Calip was a thief and a gambler who used her natural talent for profit. However, she also taught Luke the mantra of the Jedha priests whose faith in the Force influenced Luke's spirituality and tempered his youthful impatience.
Luke briefly experienced a romantic relationship with Tula Markona, a member of the self-sufficient Clan Markona. Tula's clan was similar to both the Rebel Alliance and the Jedi Order in the sense that its members were "united by their shared beliefs" instead of a genealogical connection. As with Luke, Tula and her father, Thane Markona, traced their lineage to a former Jedi who chose personal attachment over the Order. During Luke's courtship of Tula, Markona became a mentor to the young Jedi apprentice. His death left Tula grief-stricken, ending her relationship with Luke whom she considered indirectly responsible for her father's demise.
As Luke neared his ascendancy to Jedi Knighthood, Yoda implored Luke to preserve the ways of the Jedi Order, its Grand Master having entered the last minutes of his centuries-long life. Aware that the Force flowed strongly within the bloodline of the Skywalker family, Yoda revealed to Luke the existence of another Skywalker before passing from the Living Force to the Cosmic Force. The Grand Master's final words were confirmed by the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi; realizing his familial connection to Organa, Luke believed that his sister would eventually follow her brother and father on the Jedi path. But unlike Luke, Organa was never preoccupied with the ways of the Force. Although her adoptive father praised the Jedi Knights who served the Galactic Republic, their defeat in the Clone Wars undermined Organa's belief in the Force, leading the princess to place her faith in more tangiable weapons such as a blaster.
Organa ultimately explored her own connection to the Force with Luke serving as her mentor. She developed her Force abilities and lightsaber skills while training on the planet Ajan Kloss. At one point, she bested her fully-trained brother in a lightsaber duel; however, Organa experienced a premonition warning her that the Jedi path would lead to the death of her unborn son. Although Organa did not share Luke's forgiveness of their father, Darth Vader, the love that she felt for her child was unconditional. She chose to resume her political career, surrendering her blue-bladed lightsaber to Luke and ending her stint as a Jedi apprentice.
Luke Skywalker's Padawan
- "For many years, there was balance and then I saw Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him, I could pass on my strengths."
- ―Luke Skywalker
The Jedi training of Ben Solo began in 15 ABY, the year that Rey was born as his other half in the Force dyad. Solo was Luke's first apprentice since Leia's brief introduction to the Jedi arts. Though the Jedi Code forbade a master from training more than one apprentice at any given time, Luke's training temple grew to include a small number of students, making his nephew the archetype of a new generation of Jedi. While Luke was able to teach multiple students by dividing his time among them, he was unable to give his full attention to any single apprentice, including Solo. As a result, Solo began searching for guidance elsewhere, making him more susceptible to Snoke's influence and the knowledge of the dark side.
Fascinated by the raw strength of the Skywalker bloodline, Snoke cultivated a friendship with Solo whom he saw as a potential successor to Darth Vader. They communicated with each other telepathically, allowing Snoke to sow doubt within the conflicted apprentice about his master and the Jedi legacy. Despite the dark side rising in Solo, he was nonetheless an exceptional student with a promising future in the restored Jedi Order. He had crafted his own lightsaber by the time he accompanied Luke and Lor San Tekka to Elphrona; he studied the ways of the Jedi and recorded his insights on parchment scrolls that were part of his calligraphy set; and he was more powerfully attuned to the Force than his peers. While Solo dismissed the other students as a non-threat, confident in his powers which eclipsed theirs, he felt insecure when being compared to the generations of Jedi Knights that preceded him. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, both of whom trained Solo's uncle, had died as the last of the Jedi Order's "old guard" before Solo was born. Nevertheless trying to live up to the legacy of the wisest and most revered Jedi Masters was, from Solo's perspective, like playing sabacc with "ghosts."
As the only other Skywalker in the reconstituted Jedi Order, Solo felt alienated from the other Padawans during his training with Luke. He was the only apprentice who was related to the Jedi Master who took on the responsibility of training an entire class of Force-sensitive students, and as such Solo could not help but feel as though his classmates regarded him as an example of nepotism, benefitting from his birth as a Skywalker instead of his raw strength with the Force. As a Jedi, Solo felt that his only competition came from the generations of Jedi who preceded him rather than the other apprentices who were training alongside him. He especially felt as though he was being compared to the late Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, both of whom died as the last of the Jedi Order's "old guard," but even so their legacy maintained a strong influence on the Skywalker family as well as Solo's own life. Solo respected the Jedi from the past as "legendary warriors" and Force-wielders whom he sought to emulate and, as his ambition grew, surpass by becoming a fully-trained Jedi in his own right.
Despite feeling more like an "outcast" than a member of a new generation of Jedi, Solo became friends with the other apprentices, in particular Hennix, Tai, and Voe. He appreciated Hennix for his scholarly approach to the ways of the Force as well as his humor, being one of the few people who could make Solo laugh. Tai was able to gain insight into Solo's conflicted mind, possessing wisdom that was considered unusual for a young Padawan, and he tried to encourage the Skywalker heir to accept all aspects of his nature which Solo guarded. With Voe, Solo found an opponent who could never succeed in besting him at anything, whether in lightsaber sparring matches or simple Force techniques like levitation.
While Luke believed that all Jedi were capable of achieving the Force potential through concentration, Solo surpassed all of Luke's other apprentices both in Force abilities and lightsaber combat. His power fueled his desire to prove himself as a Jedi, but the pressure of his heritage—the son of legends, nephew to the last Jedi, and grandson of the prophesied Chosen One—was a burden that Solo tried to carry by meeting the expectations that came with being a Skywalker. Luke recognized his nephew's prodigious strength with the Force and tried to manage Solo's progress by making him exercise a level of restraint. While Solo respected his uncle as a teacher and idolized him as a legend, he harbored doubts about the point of his power as Luke kept him in check. Snoke, in turn, used Solo's insecurities to foster his uncertainty about his master. Despite Luke's concern about his nephew's raw power, Solo's potential gave him hope that the Jedi would rise again after Luke successfully passed his strengths to his prized pupil.
Solo remained in the dark about his grandfather's Sith persona, his mother having made the conscious decision to withhold the secret of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader from his grandson. However, the information that Solo did possess about his lineage fed his desire to prove himself as a Skywalker, but it also heightened his anxiety and fear of failing to meet the expectations of his legacy. In addition to his Skywalker heritage, the Jedi Order's legacy was a source of motivation that fueled Solo's goal of growing stronger with the Force in order to prove his worthiness of inheriting the mantle of the Jedi.
A dark family secret revealed
- "Yes, you must have thought I was a fool. Because I trusted you so quickly. Because I told you the most personal and painful stories of my life, never guessing that they revolved around your father."
"Only my birth father. My real father—the only father I ever knew or wanted—was Bail Organa of Alderaan."
- ―Ransolm Casterfo and Leia Organa
The absence of Solo's parents from his life created a feeling of loneliness within him. Despite their busy schedules—Han with his traveling, and Organa with her senatorial duties— they sought to protect Ben by keeping his grandfather's Sith legacy a closely guarded family secret. For much of his life, Solo was unaware of his own heritage as Vader's grandson. Luke had only ever referred to Solo's grandfather as the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker; Organa hoped that they could eventually tell him the truth about Vader which the galaxy at large was also unaware of until the final years of the New Republic. While Solo continued his training with Luke, his mother maintained a successful career as a senator and leading member of the Populists, a faction of the New Republic Senate that advocated greater planetary independence. As such, she was a political opponent of the Centrists, including Ransolm Casterfo and Lady Carise Sindian, who admired some aspects of the former Galactic Empire.
Organa was more concerned with the politics of the Senate than her aristocratic duties as a member of the Elder Houses. With the passing of her relative, Lord Mellowyn who died without issue, his ceremonial governorship of the Inner Rim world of Birren would have transferred, in turn, to Organa and her son as his closest living kin. By then, Organa was not particularly concerned with hereditary rights, which had largely fallen out of style in the modern galaxy. However, Sindian held the nobility and its traditions in the highest regard. Organa declined to take Mellowyn's title as her birthright and, believing that Solo had no interest in it either, allowed it to pass to Sindian.
By claiming Mellowyn's title, Sindian came into possession of items that were intended for Organa, one of which was a keepsake chest that contained a music box. The music box contained a secret recording created by Bail Organa, Leia's adoptive father who revealed the identities of her biological mother and father, Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker. Furthermore, Bail revealed the secret of Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader. This discovery presented Sindian with an opportunity to destroy her political rival's career along with Organa's prospects of winning the election for the proposed office of First Senator. She shared the message with Casterfo who, in turn, played it before the members of the Senate. Though Organa confirmed the recording's authenticity, the other senators rebuked her for hiding her heritage as Vader's daughter.
The revelation of the Skywalker's family's darkest secret caused irreparable damage to Organa's standing in the Senate. Her closest allies soon disavowed their connection to her, including Tai-Lin Garr, and Organa ultimately canceled her campaign for the election of First Senator. Sindian attempted to generate greater controversy around the Skywalker name by calling both Organa and Luke's character into question, but Organa was concerned with how her son would react to the news that his grandfather was the Sith Lord that the galaxy had come to fear and despise.
Shame and consequence
- "He would bring destruction, and pain, and death, and the end of everything I love because of what he will become. And for the briefest moment of pure instinct, I thought I could stop it… It passed like a fleeting shadow. And I was left with shame, and with consequence. And the last thing I saw were the eyes of a frightened boy whose master had failed him."
- ―Luke Skywalker, about Ben Solo
Luke Skywalker suspected that his nephew was susceptible to the temptations of the dark side, having sensed its presence within Ben Solo. After seeing signs of its influence in moments of Solo's training, Luke was determined to discover the full extent of its hold over his apprentice. He went into Ben Solo's hut and used the Force to look inside Solo's mind while he was asleep. Through the Force, Luke beheld visions of Solo heralding "death, destruction, and the end" of everything that Luke cared about. Convinced that Snoke had influenced Solo from the Jedi path, Luke believed that his nephew was already lost to the dark side.
Luke was aware of Solo's potential to be dangerous because of their shared bloodline; he recognized that Solo was already powerful as a Skywalker, and was only growing stronger through the Jedi arts. Overcome by his instincts, Luke unsheathed his lightsaber only to be unsettled by how far he was prepared to go to prevent his premonitions from coming to pass. He refrained from acting on his instinct to protect the ones he loved, realizing that he could not kill his sister's son, but even so he was ashamed of himself for being tempted to kill Solo in his sleep. However, the ignition of Luke's lightsaber had consequently awoken Solo who saw his master standing above him with his weapon drawn. Though he saw the hesitation in his uncle, Solo fell to the conclusion that Luke resolved to kill him, having gone too far by drawing his lightsaber against his nephew.
Using the Force, Solo summoned his lightsaber to defend himself. In contrast to the combined power of Luke's other students, Solo considered his strength with the Force less than that of his master and therefore tried to end the confontation before Luke had time to overpower him. Using the Force, Solo caused the roof of his hut to fall on Luke, burying both of them. Luke's temple was subsequently destroyed shortly after Solo emerged from the rubble of his hut. Convinced his master was dead, Solo fled to Snoke who encouraged the disillusioned Jedi apprentice to seek a new path by joining the Knights of Ren.
Contrary to Solo's belief that his uncle had died, Luke was alive. By the time he recovered from his nephew's attack, the temple was in flames and his students were dead. He vanished from the known galaxy in the aftermath of his temple's destruction, having given up on his efforts to restore the Jedi Order. He settled on the planet Ahch-To where the first Jedi Temple was built. Although he was aware that his sister blamed Snoke for turning her son to the dark side, Luke felt that he had failed his nephew and, by extension, the Skywalker family. He also became disillusioned with the Jedi Order which he held responsible for not stopping Darth Sidious' rise to power as Emperor of the Galactic Empire. In addition, he held Obi-Wan Kenobi personally responsible for the "training and creation" of Darth Vader. As a result, Luke decided to spend his remaining years as a hermit living in a state of self-imposed exile, intending to die as the last Jedi.
- "Whether it's Luke Skywalker or Snoke, neither one sees me as a person. I'm just a…legacy. Just a set of expectations."
- ―Ben Solo
With Snoke's recommendation and Solo's potential as a Skywalker, the Knights of Ren allowed the fallen Jedi to join their ranks on a trial basis. In order to permanently join the Knights, Solo had to offer a sacrifice by killing someone. Although he claimed personal responsibility for the death of Hennix, one of Luke's surviving students who tracked Solo to the Elphrona Outpost, he had not intended for it to happen. Solo had also saved the life of another Jedi, the apprentice Voe, after almost killing her in anger. As the Knights raided the Minemoon, their leader "Ren" sensed that Solo was resisting the pressure to kill the Mimbanese miners and, therefore, the pull to the dark side.
Solo dropped his restraint upon the arrival of the Jedi Voe and Tai. Although Tai was defeated by Solo in single combat, it was Ren who killed him. The Padawan had been a friend to Solo; following Tai's death, Solo turned against Ren. No longer resisting the dark side, he claimed to be the dark side. Fueled by Solo's anger, the power of the dark side coursed through him. The transition in his alignment from light to darkness reverberated through the Force, creating shockwaves sensed by Leia Organa, Snoke, and a resurrected Darth Sidious. Rey, who was living on Jakku as a scavenger by the time Solo turned to the dark side, could also feel its presence through her dyad with Solo. It made her feel cold, though at the time she was unaware of her connection to the Force.
Solo killed Voe soon after killing Ren. With their leader's death, the Knights submitted to Solo whom they acknowledged as Ren's successor. Aboard the Knights' personal transport, the Night Buzzard, Solo adapted the lightsaber that he forged as a Jedi to reflect his alignment with the dark side. He turned his attachment to his family and friends—his parents, his uncle, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and Tai—into a source of pain and anger, resulting in dark side energy that he poured into his kyber crystal. The bleeding of Solo's kyber crystal changed its blue color to a crimson shade of red; however, it was damaged in the process, making his lightsaber unstable. As a result, Solo modified his new Sith lightsaber by adding quillons on either side of the hilt, creating a crossguard lightsaber that could contain the unstable energy of his cracked crystal. A voice in his mind encouraged Solo to discard his old identity by adopting a new name to reflect his true self in the dark side. Ultimately, Ben Solo became Kylo Ren and, with his new identity, he claimed the title of master of the Knights of Ren.
Ren also began his formal instruction in the ways of the dark side as Snoke's apprentice, unaware that his new teacher was a proxy for Sidious, who was the true dark side master of Ren. As the Supreme Leader's apprentice and enforcer, Ren held the status of warlord in the First Order. The marriage between Han Solo and Leia Organa broke down as a result of their son turning to the dark side. Ren's mother was distraught to hear of it, and his father—seeing himself as a reminder of the son they lost—returned to a life of smuggling. By then, the secret of Organa's parentage had been made public to the galaxy at large. As the daughter of Darth Vader, her political career was over; however, she was still committed to protecting the New Republic as the First Order rose to power. Therefore, Organa assumed the rank of general in the Resistance, a small private military that she formed to monitor the First Order.
Disdaining the memory of Anakin Skywalker, Ren considered Darth Vader the true persona of his legendary grandfather. He was also convinced that he was no longer Ben Solo, and insisted that his former self was dead. The light side of the Force remained within him, however, creating an inner conflict that unbalanced the dark side warrior. Ren struggled to overcome the light's influence through Snoke's training; while the anger he felt towards his uncle fueled his desire to kill Luke Skywalker, Ren found himself unwilling to harm his parents. During a trial in the Cave of Evil on Dagobah, he was confronted by the apparitions of Han Solo and Leia Organa who implored their son to return to them. Ren lashed out at Snoke's urging, succumbing to his rage yet the vision of his parents remained intact; he did not cut them down, and his connection to the light remained.
Killing the past
- "I'll show you the dark side."
"You may try, but you cannot deny the truth that is your family."
- ―Kylo Ren and Lor San Tekka
During the final days of the Cold War, Kylo Ren spearheaded the hunt for Lor San Tekka as part of his overall mission to find and kill Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi. His stormtroopers captured the old traveler while raiding a village on the desert planet of Jakku. Rather than cooperate with the fallen Jedi, whom he once knew when Ben Solo was Luke's apprentice, San Tekka reminded Ren of his origins and how he was unable to escape it. He was then executed by the dark side warrior, who ordered Captain Phasma's troops to kill all of the remaining villagers.
Determined to grow stronger with the dark side, Ren found inspiration in the legacy of Darth Vader whose mask—a relic of the Sith Order—he kept as a trophy and a reminder of the power of the dark side. As the search for the last Jedi continued, Snoke informed Ren that the map to Skywalker had fallen into the possession of Han Solo. Estranged from his family, Ren denied feeling any sentiment toward Solo, but he also struggled to resist the light within him. Attempting to focus on his connection to the dark side through meditation, Ren vowed to fulfill his destiny by destroying the last remnant of the Jedi Order in his grandfather's name.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Takodana, Han Solo infiltrated Starkiller Base to save the Resistance from the destruction that befell the New Republic capital of Hosnian Prime. He would also attempt to reconcile with his son; despite his belief that Ben was lost within the persona of Kylo Ren, and was too much like Vader to be saved, his wife Organa remained adamant in her faith that there was still a remnant of the light within Ren. Ren was conflicted when Solo confronted him. Though he found Solo to be a disappointment as a father, Ren nonetheless felt an emotional attachment to him.
Deciding to commit himself fully to the dark side, Ren killed his father. At the time, he was convinced that Solo's death was the key to freeing himself from the past, which he regarded as an obstacle to completing his destiny. His dark side training involved a Sith trial in which he was required to sacrifice the life of someone that he loved. Instead of making him more powerful, though, the act of patricide weakened Ren on a spiritual level, and he became haunted by what he had done. Snoke summoned Ren after the Battle of Starkiller Base and proceeded to chastise him, calling his apprentice a "child in a mask" and an unworthy heir to Vader's legacy. Ren initially led the attack on the Resistance fleet as a way to regain his lost status, but was unwilling to kill his mother in spite of his continued efforts to destroy his past as Ben Solo.
As the galaxy became engulfed in the First Order/Resistance War, Ren discovered a mysterious connection between him and the scavenger Rey, whose raw strength in the Force rivaled his own. Intrigued by their Force-bond which connected their minds across a distance of light-years, Ren sought to understand its nature, despite how Rey abhored him as a monster after killing his father, and ultimately discovered that they were a rare and powerful dyad in the Force. Although Rey considered Ren her enemy, she grew to feel sympathy for him as a result of being bonded with each other. Their connection gave Rey insight in Ren's mind, which was in turmoil due to the conflict of the dark side and the light within him, but it convinced her that the former Ben Solo could be redeemed like his grandfather before him.
Peace and purpose
- "Luke is gone. I felt it. But it was not sadness or pain. It was peace and purpose."
"I felt it too."
- ―Rey and Leia Organa
Luke contemplated burning the library, a uneti tree, that contained the sacred Jedi texts by the time Rey found him on Ahch-To. She had returned his father's lightsaber to him as a gesture imploring Luke to return to the greater galaxy as the First Order rose to dominance, but the Jedi Master threw the weapon away. He rejected the scavenger's entreaty, and remained emotionally weighed down by Ben Solo's fall to the dark side, believing he failed his nephew as a mentor. Rey's determination eventually wore Luke down and he agreed to teach her the Jedi ways, though only to highlight his reasons for wanting to end the Order.
Rey's progress only reminded Luke of the potential that he saw in Ben; as Luke retreated deeper into his isolation, Rey turned to Ren through their bond. Luke tried unsuccessfully to dissuade Rey from confronting Ben, but the scavenger believed that she could guide him back to the light as Luke did for Anakin. Once again Luke considered destroying the sacred Jedi texts, burning away the last relics of the ancient Jedi religion, but the spirit of Yoda convinced him to let go of his guilt over Ben's fate.
His sense of purpose renewed, Luke used his powers to create a Force projection of himself on Crait where the remnants of the Resistance took shelter from the First Order army, now controlled by Ren who had claimed the mantle of Supreme Leader by assassinating his master. Luke and Organa had a brief reunion while the First Order stood poised to end the Battle of Crait with the Resistance's destruction. Luke then confronted his nephew; he acknowledged to his sister that he could not bring Ben back from the dark side, but he apologized to his former Padawan for failing as a Jedi Master nonetheless. Luke's illusion bought the Resistance time to escape from the First Order, but the effort of maintaining the illusion that distracted Ren proved fatal. Having fulfilled his last goal in life, Luke died peacefully on Ahch-To, becoming one with the Force.
The rise of Skywalker
- "As once I fell, so falls the last Skywalker."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Ben Solo
As the war continued between the First Order and the Resistance, now led by the last two members of the Skywalker family, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and General Leia Organa, a mysterious message was broadcasted across the galaxy, announcing the return of Darth Sidious in 35 ABY. Unwilling to tolerate any threat to his reign, Ren tracked the message's source to the hidden Sith world of Exegol, where he confronted the phantom Emperor. Despite Ren's determination to destroy Sidious, the Sith Lord offered to help him gain control over the entire galaxy and become what Ren's grandfather never was—the new Emperor. He therefore offered Ren command of the Final Order, the fleet of Xyston-class Star Destroyers armed with cannons capable of destroying planets. However, Sidious told Ren that in order to gain control of the fleet, he had to bring an end to the Jedi Order's legacy by killing Rey.
Ren accepted the mandate, realizing he was heir to the new Sith Empire that had been developed in secret by the Sith Eternal cult. He did not, however, give his allegiance to the Sith Eternal despite their role in his dark side ascendancy, having gone to great lengths to escape from a life of servitude. He also had no desire to hurt Rey, whom he learned was the Emperor's granddaughter. Before this revelation, he had believed that the scavenger did not possess a famous lineage, unlike Ren's pedigree as the Skywalker heir. He had learned that Rey's parents were junk traders, and therefore he dismissed them as nonentities. As the grandson of Darth Vader, Ren believed he had the hereditary right to rule the galaxy.
Although he maintained that Rey's parents were still insignificant, her blood connection to Darth Sidious convinced Ren that Rey also had a dynastic claim to the galaxy. He had once believed that she needed him, a Skywalker by blood, to validate her existence, and as such he proposed that they rule together. Although she rejected his offer, Ren was convinced that they were destined to rule the new Empire due to their similar ancestries and the dark side within their nature. By then, Ren was also aware that his bond with Rey was the result of their shared existence as a dyad in the Force. With their combined power, Ren believed that they could destroy Sidious and assume the Throne of the Sith together.
Ren revealed the full truth of Rey's heritage to her, again seeking to turn the young Jedi to the dark side which, in his mind, was part of their nature as a Skywalker and a Palpatine, respectively. He succeeded in pushing Rey to embrace her feelings of rage and anger, resulting in a duel between the dyad amidst the Death Star ruins on Kef Bir. Rey's powers increased in strength due to her heightened emotions, but Ren held the advantage in strength and experience. He was prevented from killing her upon sensing his mother's impending demise, which broke his concentration as Organa reached out through the Force, sacrificing her life in a final attempt to bring her son back from the dark side.
As Organa lay dying in the Resistance base on Ajan Kloss, her thoughts drifted to her father, Anakin Skywalker, whom she still remembered as Darth Vader. Organa never forgave Anakin for the deeds he committed as Vader, regardless Luke's faith in him. Nevertheless, Anakin came to her during Organa's final moments, apologizing and asking for her pardon. Organa accepted Anakin's apology and, for the first time, acknowledged his love for her. Having made peace with her father, Organa took a moment to remember her late husband, Han Solo, before becoming one with the Force, her final thoughts centering on their son, Ben Solo, whom she missed and loved.
Rey capitalized on Ren's hesitation, unaware of the cause of his distraction, and gravely wounded him with his own lightsaber. By then, Rey felt Organa pass into the Force and realized that she had tried to kill her mentor's son in an act of rage. Regretting her actions, Rey used the Force to repair the damage she had inflicted on Ren, healing his injuries as well as the facial scar that she had given him in their first duel. Ren, who was plagued by self-doubt throughout his life, wondered if the Palpatine bloodline was stronger than the Skywalker bloodline, given that Rey had struck down Ren while he was distracted by his mother's death. However, she had also saved his life by transferring some of her Force energy to Ren, which, in turn, rendered her vulnerable. Her actions confounded Ren, and he sought to make sense of Rey's compassion for him.
Ren also thought about his grandfather, Vader, whom he had admired but had never been able to contact. As he dwelled on the emptiness of his existence, Ren experienced a vision of his dead father, his last memory of Han Solo brought to life through the Force. Ultimately, his connection with Rey, his parents' forgiveness, and the light within him caused Ben Solo to return to the light side of the Force, destroying the persona of Kylo Ren.
Rey felt as though she had, by attacking Ren in anger, betrayed the Jedi teachings and personally failed as Organa's apprentice. She returned to Ahch-To as a result, following Luke Skywalker's example of self-exile. Luke's stance on the fate of the Jedi Order had changed, however, and he regained his faith in the Jedi way. As a spirit, he contacted Rey to advise her against giving into her despair as he did. Rey also learned that both of the Skywalker twins had been aware of the Rey's Palpatine lineage; nevertheless, they believed that her spirit mattered more than her bloodline. With Luke's support, Rey overcame her fear of confronting Sidious. In order for Rey to reach Exegol, Luke provided her with his old X-wing starfighter as well as Leia's lightsaber.
Solo returned to Sidious' sanctuary in time for the Battle of Exegol, determined to save Rey from her grandfather. Encouraged by a visit from Luke's spirit on Ahch-To, Rey arrived on Exegol ahead of Solo, leading a fleet of Resistance vessels to the location of the Sith fleet. As the battle ensued in the planet's atmosphere, Solo ran into the Sith Citadel alone, armed with a blaster and his strength in the Force. His arrival prevented Rey from succumbing to her grandfather's temptations. Sensing Solo's presence nearby, Rey passed the Skywalker lightsaber to her counterpart through their bond. Unlike Ren who despised the lightsaber, viewing it as a relic of his hated past, Solo welcomed the chance to use the weapon that belonged, in turn, to Anakin and Luke. Claiming the lightsaber as his own, Solo swiftly defeated the Knights of Ren before joining Rey in the Sith Citadel throne room.
Their combined presence revealed the true nature of their bond to Sidious, who realized that his granddaughter and Vader's grandson formed a dyad in the Force. He drained the dyad of their combined energy, using the life force of their bond to rejuvenate the cloned vessel that his spirit inhabited. His return to full power left both Solo and Rey severely weakened. Remembering his first demise, the Emperor attempted to end the Skywalker lineage by casting Anakin's last descendant into the abyss of a chasm. Although Solo survived the fall, Rey died after destroying the Emperor with the help of Jedi spirits. Solo, in turn, transferred his remaining energy to Rey, reviving her at the cost of his own life. Solo's death marked the end of the Skywalker bloodline; during his final moments, he shared a kiss with Rey, who acknowledged their bond as a dyad for the first time. Solo then joined his mother in death, their corporeal forms vanishing as they passed into the Force.
The legacy of Anakin Skywalker
- "He was Anakin Skywalker when he fell in love with our mother. And he became Anakin Skywalker again in the last hour of his life. He came back from the dark side, Leia. They said it could never be done, but our father did it. He made that journey because of his love for us."
- ―Luke Skywalker, to Leia Organa
During its reign, the Galactic Empire nearly wiped out every trace of the Jedi Order's existence. The histories of many Jedi Knights were all but forgotten, including Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker. As a result, Anakin's children knew little about his past. Records of his life as Darth Vader were better preserved, although the stories about him essentially portrayed the Sith Lord as a subject of folklore. With the exception of Ben Solo, only the members of the Skywalker family were aware that Anakin and Vader were the same person until the truth was revealed to the galaxy. The revelation that Vader was a father gave rise to speculation about his relationship with the mother of Luke and Organa. Joph Seastriker even wondered if Amidala had been assaulted by Vader, however he revised his views upon learning that there was no recorded mention of Vader until after Amidala's death. Regardless, Seastriker did not understand how Anakin could have become Vader despite achieving the rank of Jedi Knight, winning the love of a former queen-turned-senator, and becoming a father to twins.
Luke chose to remember Anakin not as a Sith Lord but as the Jedi Knight who inspired him to become a Jedi as well. Unlike her brother, Organa remembered their father for his deeds as Vader. Luke refused to use Vader's name when recalling his redemption, preferring to think of him as Anakin, but Organa never forgot that Vader tortured her during an interrogation. She especially remembered him for forcing her to watch as the Death Star destroyed Alderaan, killing her adoptive parents. She also resented Vader for freezing Solo in carbonite and selling him to Jabba the Hutt, and for nearly killing Luke when he tried to rescue her on Bespin. Ultimately, Organa's memories of Vader prevented her from reconciling with her father or accepting the side of him that was Anakin until her deathbed. Though she now knew her true parentage, Leia continued to think of Bail Organa as her "true father," whereas Anakin or Vader was only a "birth father" to her.
Vader was reviled throughout the galaxy during the New Republic Era; by Rey's estimation, the Sith Lord was "the most hated man in the galaxy." On Mustafar, however, Vader was worshiped as the "father and true ruler" of the galaxy by a group of Sith cultists known as the Alazmec of Winsit. After Vader's death, the Alazmec colonized the Gahenn Plains where they guarded the ruins of his citadel.
The legend of Luke Skywalker
- "It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader."
"And a Jedi who saved him. Yes, the most hated man in the galaxy. But you saw there was conflict in him. You believed that he wasn't gone. That he could be turned."
"And I became a legend."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Rey
Luke Skywalker achieved legendary status throughout the galaxy due to his exploits as a Rebel freedom fighter and a Jedi. The tales that formed his legend began with the Battle of Yavin where Luke, the last of his X-wing squadron, fired the proton torpedos that destroyed the first Death Star. United with his sister Leia Organa, the Skywalker twins became a symbol of hope to the downtrodden and the oppressed, inspiring many beings to support the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire. As a legend, Luke became even more famous when it was learned that he had set out to redeem Darth Vader, the Sith Lord who was considered the most hated man across the galaxy.
During the restoration of the Jedi Order, Ben Solo recognized his uncle Luke as a wise and powerful Jedi Master. When the Knights of Ren confronted Luke in a High Republic Jedi outpost on Elphrona, Solo introduced his famous master to the dark marauders, proclaiming that they were standing in the presence of a "legend." While Solo held Luke in high esteem, he was also driven to prove himself worthy of being the nephew of the last Jedi as well as the grandson of the prophesied Chosen One. By the time he was twenty-three, however, Solo felt that he had achieved comparatively little whereas Luke had already destroyed a Death Star when he was that age.
Luke became disillusioned with himself as a result of his role in Solo's turn to the dark side. He saw his efforts to pass the Jedi ways to the next generation of the Skywalker family as an act of hubris, and as such rejected his status as a legend in favor of returning to his humble origins. In exile, Luke embraced the lifestyle that, as an adolescent, he longed to escape from while living in the care of his uncle and aunt on Tatooine. Nevertheless, the galaxy remained fixated on Luke because of the hope that his legend inspired. During the last days of the New Republic, the Resistance and the First Order raced to find the missing Jedi Master. Organa was determined to bring her brother back from exile, knowing that Luke could rally support for the Resistance as a symbol of hope, whereas the First Order sought to destroy that symbol along with any possibility of the Jedi Order's revival.
As time passed, Luke made peace with himself after accepting that his failure did not have to define his legacy. It was defined by his final act instead; using the Force to project his appearance across the galaxy, Luke sacrificed his life in order to save his sister and the Resistance. Following the Battle of Crait, Luke's legend grew as word spread that the Jedi Master stood alone against the First Order army led by Supreme Leader Kylo Ren. His final act of defiance and self-sacrifice inspired a new generation of freedom fighters to rise against the First Order even as large sections of the galaxy were conquered by Ren's forces.
Ben Solo, the last Skywalker
- "I know what I have to do, but I don't know if I have the strength to do it."
- ―Ben Solo and his memory of Han Solo
The redemption of Ben Solo came at the price of his life and, by extension, the Skywalker bloodline. With his mother's death, Solo became the last Skywalker by blood. His lineage as a Skywalker was a burden that Solo carried throughout his life. Though his blood flowed with the raw power of the Skywalkers, he struggled to find his own place in a family of legends, and became resentful of the heritage that had been thrust upon him at birth, believing that fate had taken away his choice. Solo acknowledged his mentors for their power and knowledge, but was also aware of their fascination with his potential for limitless power and as such he believed that neither Luke Skywalker nor Snoke saw him as anything more than a set of expectations due to his legacy.
Ren had tried to emulate Vader by following the path of the dark side; but in the end, Solo returned to the light side and died like Anakin, sacrificing himself for "the love of another." 
The Skywalker lightsaber
- "That lightsaber was Luke's. And his father's before him. And now it calls to you."
- ―Maz Kanata, to Rey
The Skywalker lightsaber was constructed by Anakin as a replacement for his first lightsaber, which was destroyed on Geonosis. Like all lightsabers, it was powered by a kyber crystal and, therefore, connected to the Force. This "blue-bladed Jedi weapon" was carried by Anakin during the Clone Wars; for a time, it served as the weapon of a Sith Lord when Anakin became Vader. He used the Skywalker lightsaber to kill Jedi and Separatists alike before dueling with his former friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi took Anakin's lightsaber after defeating Vader on Mustafar. It remained in Kenobi's possession—hidden in Ben Kenobi's home on Tatooine—for two decades. Luke inherited his father's lightsaber when Kenobi decided to reveal Luke's Jedi heritage to him. However, the Skywalker lightsaber was lost along with Luke's hand after he lost a duel against Vader in Cloud City.
Luke tried to find the Skywalker lightsaber, but ultimately created his own green-bladed lightsaber by the time he returned to Tatooine. Maz Kanata came into posession of Luke's old lightsaber which she stored in her castle on Takodana. Rey felt the lightsaber calling to her through the Force, though she declined to claim it despite Kanata's encouragement. As a result, the Jedi weapon was carried into battle by Rey's friend, Finn, a rogue stormtrooper who used it against other troopers of the First Order. Kylo Ren tried to take the Skywalker lightsaber on Starkiller Base, declaring that it belonged to him. With the exception of Vader, Ren had renounced his connection to the Skywalker family. Nevertheless, he saw the Skywalker lightsaber as part of his birthright, given that it was his grandfather who forged it. Although he defeated Finn in a duel, the lightsaber ended up in the Rey's hand instead.
Rey's scavenger instincts compelled her to keep the Skywalker lightsaber after Luke threw it away on Ahch-To. She later struggled to reclaim it from Ren, who still maintained that his family's lightsaber was rightfully his to take, after the demise of Snoke. The lightsaber was sheared in half due to the strain of being pulled on opposite sides by two opposing Force users. Despite its destruction, Rey managed to repair both the hilt and its kyber crystal, having learned rare healing techniques by studying the Jedi texts. She later tried to destroy it again after giving into her anger with Ren, but the lightsaber was saved by the spirit of its former owner. Luke, having changed his views about the Jedi, stated that a Jedi's weapon "deserved more respect."
During the Battle of Exegol, the Skywalker lightsaber had found its way into Solo's hand. Until then, Rey had wielded the Jedi weapon, forged by Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars, although she never felt that she had earned the right to call it her own, a sentiment she expressed to Organa. Ren had sought to claim Anakin's lightsaber as his birthright, yet it was ultimately Solo who wielded it as the last of the Skywalkers.
Following the extinction of the Skywalker bloodline, Rey traveled to the abandoned Lars moisture farm where she buried the Skywalker lightsaber in the sand along with Leia Organa's lightsaber.
A new chapter
- "I'm Rey. […] Rey Skywalker."
- ―Rey, taking the Skywalker name
Sometime after the Resistance's victory on Exegol and the subsequent celebration on Ajan Kloss, Rey and BB-8 journeyed to the Skywalker homeworld of Tatooine. By then a yellow-bladed lightsaber had come to serve as her Jedi weapon, replacing the lightsabers of her masters. Despite her kinship with Darth Sidious, Rey had chosen the Skywalkers over her lineage as a Palpatine. Though the Skywalkers were gone, their bloodline ending with Ben Solo, Rey considered them her chosen family. As such, she renamed herself "Rey Skywalker" out of respect for the Skywalker twins who mentored her in the ways of the Force. Having achieved a state of peace through her newfound purpose, Rey carried on as a Jedi Master fighting to restore peace to the galaxy. The spirits of Luke and Organa were proud to know that their memory endured through Rey, who embraced her future as guardian of the Skywalker legacy.
A lasting influence
The Skywalker family was arguably the most influential family in galactic history due to their involvement in many significant events relating to the Jedi Order, the resurgent Sith, and galactic governments. Although Anakin became one of the most powerful Jedi in existence, the consequences borne of his fear of loss impacted both the Jedi Order and the galaxy. A lifetime of desiring acceptance, but feeling rejected by those he loved, was at the root of Vader's fixation on Luke, his son by Amidala whom he wanted to rule the galaxy with prior to her demise. He believed that their combined power was sufficient to destroy Darth Sidious, whom he wished to supplant with a dynasty of Skywalkers hailing from the bloodline of the Chosen One that was naturally strong in the Force. Though Vader never achieved this, Kylo Ren shared his grandfather's ambition of ruling the galaxy as the head of an Empire.
The Skywalker name was considered a mark of prestige as well as a byword for great power and respect, but it also represented chaos as the family's members took leadership roles in opposing sides of more than one pan-galactic war. In the end, though, the Skywalkers were credited with restoring the galaxy to a state of peace. They became legendary across the galaxy, leaving behind a legacy of strength, sacrifice and valor as well as hope, tragedy and renewal.
Behind the scenes
Notes and references