Tuesday, January 3, 2012
4072. Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker (nicknamed Ani by his mother and wife) was a legendary Force-sensitive Human male who served the Galactic Republic as a Jedi Knight and later served the Galactic Empire as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Born to Shmi Skywalker, later in life he became the secret husband of Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo and the father of the Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker and Jedi Knight Leia Organa Solo. He was also the grandfather of Ben Skywalker, Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo, as well as the great-grandfather of Allana and an ancestor of Nat, Kol, and Cade Skywalker.
Although he would later become a crucial figure in the galaxy, Skywalker came from humble origins. He spent the first years of his life on Tatooine as a slave along with his mother. In 32 BBY, Skywalker met Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. After obtaining his freedom by having been bet on by Jinn and winning the Boonta Eve Classic, Skywalker went with Jinn and departed from Tatooine, though troubled by leaving behind his mother. Skywalker took part in the Battle of Naboo, destroying the Droid Control Station despite his young age. Soon after, he joined the Jedi Order, becoming a Padawan to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Skywalker was believed to be (and indeed was) the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy, one who would bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith, which was why the Jedi Council chose to bend the Jedi Code and permit his training.
Skywalker and Kenobi traveled together on many missions in the ensuing decade. In 22 BBY, Skywalker was reunited with Padmé Amidala, the former queen of Naboo and new Senator of the Chommell Sector. He escorted her to Naboo due to the rising violence of the Separatist Crisis, and the two fought at the Battle of Geonosis, the beginning of the Clone Wars. In the midst of these events, Skywalker also endured the violent death of his mother. Skywalker and Amidala married soon after the battle, despite the Jedi Order's restrictions of Jedi marriages, which kept them from making their marriage public.
Skywalker fought in the Clone Wars with his master and became a Jedi Knight in 22 BBY, taking Ahsoka Tano as his own apprentice. Throughout the conflict, Skywalker became an icon to the public, known as the "Hero With No Fear". Skywalker and Kenobi, despite not being master and apprentice anymore, gained recognition as a formidable pair. Despite this, he carried with him a great sense of loss in addition to great anger. This was shown in 19 BBY at the Battle of Coruscant, when he decapitated an unarmed Count Dooku. He also learned that Amidala would soon have a child and experiences agonizing visions of her death. His inability to control these traits led to his downfall when, soon after, he turned to the dark side, believing that it was the only way to save his wife from death.
Apprenticed to Darth Sidious, better known as his friend Chancellor Palpatine, he became Darth Vader. The Galactic Empire was founded with Palpatine at the helm as Emperor, and after Vader led an attack on the Jedi Temple, the Jedi were exterminated by Order 66, with fewer than a hundred surviving. Two of the survivors were Grand Master Yoda and Skywalker's old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vader dueled his old master on the fiery world of Mustafar, and despite the Sith Lord's new abilities, he was defeated by his old master, and his body was so damaged by the lava that Sidious encased him in a dark life-sustaining suit that he would wear for the rest of his life. His children, Luke and Leia, were born at this time, though Vader remained unaware of their existence.
As a master of the dark side, Vader became the scourge of the Jedi, continuing the Great Jedi Purge which would last until 1 BBY. An extension of the Emperor's will, the Dark Lord was constantly on the move, traveling throughout the galaxy to defeat rebel uprisings or arrest corrupt Imperials. When Vader began planning to impress his Master before overthrowing him, he found, manipulated, and trained a "secret" Sith apprentice named Galen Marek to not only to help hunt down remaining Jedi, but also to expose the Emperor's enemies and have them destroyed. However, Vader's betrayal lead Marek to turn to the light side and sacrifice his life for the leaders of the Alliance to Restore the Republic to escape, thus starting the Galactic Civil War. Vader continued to train apprentices, this time, under Sidious's notice, including Flint, and the future Sith Lady Lumiya.
In 0 BBY, the Empire's great superweapon, the first Death Star was destroyed by a young Rebel pilot. Vader became obsessed with discovering the identity of this pilot and spent the next several years searching. Vader eventually learned that the pilot's name was Luke Skywalker and deduced that the boy was his son, born before the death of Amidala. Vader fought the Rebel Alliance while concocting a plan to turn his son to the dark side. Soon after the Battle of Hoth, Vader dueled his son and revealed to him that he was his father, which Luke refused to believe.
Darth Sidious, however, was aware of Vader's plans and initiated his own plot to make young Luke his apprentice. In 4 ABY, the two sides came together at Endor for one great battle to decide the fate of the galaxy. Luke surrendered to Vader and, in the throne room of the second Death Star, Sidious attempted to turn the young Jedi to the dark side by having him duel Vader. Luke defeated Vader, but refused to give himself to the darkness, proclaiming himself a Jedi like his father before him. When Sidious attempted to kill Luke using Force lightning, Anakin Skywalker emerged from Darth Vader and came to his son's rescue, saving him and killing the Emperor by throwing him down the main reactor core. Mortally wounded by the Force lightning, he died soon afterward, but he died as a Jedi once more, having redeemed himself by saving his son and fulfilling the prophecy of the Chosen One.