Welcome to this brand-new initiative at TumblingSaber! Endless Star Wars is an assembly of different voices from the Star Wars fandom, sharing their views on the unanswerable. At the same a light will be shone on each of the panel member’s work, including links to their social profiles and latest podcasts. I HIGHLY suggest you connect with these people and check out their work!
Each week, we’ll ask a “what if” style question, and our panel of creative minds will sink their teeth in to it, bringing insight, humor, sarcasm, or just flat out crazy takes on what could have happened along a different timeline in the galaxy far, far away.
Got a Star Wars blog or podcast? Aching to connect with other fans and share some of your opinions on some unanswerable questions? If you want to be a part of Endless Star Wars, we’d love to feature you! Drop me a line on twitter, facebook, or email email@example.com and we’ll get you in the rotation asap!
So without further delay, our first question is:
“What if Anakin had left with Padmé to raise their kids in peace?”
The Jedi Order has been destroyed. Sheev Palpatine, now Emperor, rules supreme over the Galaxy. After the fall of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the new Empire is united under one banner. Padmé Amidala, having convinced Anakin to abandon his dark crusade to prevent her death, becomes the voice that is needed to unite those that oppose the tyranny of Palpatine. Along with her husband and good friend Obi-Wan Kenobi, they form a Rebel Collective of surviving Jedi, Clone Troopers loyal to the Old Republic, and the Hutts who have found their activities restricted in the grasp of the Empire.
In just ten years the Empire is undermined, with entire systems standing to oppose the Galactic Empire. Loyalty is something Palpatine struggles to maintain. His mobile battle station had never reached completion before the Collective destroyed it. And with an army that matches his own in numbers (if not in technological power) and Jedi generals leading Collective forces his power dwindles. Finally, an uprising on Coruscant sees him executed by his own citizens.
Luke and Leia Skywalker have only known war. At age 19 the Galactic Confederacy has been the ruling body in the Galaxy for nine years. Their mother, Supreme Minister of the Confederacy, and father, no longer a Jedi but owner of Skywalker Droid & Ship Repair™ (which is franchised throughout the Galaxy), try to raise Luke and Leia to be responsible citizens. Leia spends her time with her nose in a datapad studying for and Academy exam. Luke goes on pub crawls with his Uncle Ben, gets arrested for spice possession, and pays child support on twelve systems.
The way I looked at this weeks What if? is how much would history change in the complete or temporary absence of Vader?
On a galactic scale, the rise of the Empire and creation of the 1st Death Star is well in motion before the fall of Anakin to the dark side. It is clear that Palpatine would have taken another apprentice to continue the Jedi purge and champion the inquisitor program.
The seeds of the Rebellion had been planted but in this scenario, the core of the rebellion would likely contain the last remnants of the Jedi Order (Obi-Wan, Yoda, Ashoka, and Kanan) as well as Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Padmé.
The galactic political climate remains relatively intact as Vader is a result/casualty of the execution of Palpatine’s grand plan.
But, in the absence of a an immediate threat from Vader/Emperor is it likely that instead of being separated and hidden away, Luke and Leia would be trained by the small group of surviving Jedi (potentially including Anakin, but lets face it, his turn to the darkside at this point is inevitable; he murdered younglings, contributed to the fall of the Jedi Order, and does not have the temperament to resist the temptation of the darkside).
So, the Skywalker twins would become powerful Jedi but the temptation to the dark side (whether by Anakin or Palpatine) remains a very real threat. Luke showed that he could resist the temptation but could Leia?
Anakin leaving Mustafar has the most profound effect on Leia, her destiny is completely altered. She would trade politics for a light saber, no longer carry the name Organa and either be part of the galaxy’s last remaining Hope or one of its greatest threats.
My bet would be on Hope.
The implications of the galaxy lacking its mystic enforcer, Vader, seem apparent. We’re missing another vital piece on the Dejarik board, though. Breha and Bail Organa never adopt their little princess Leia.
Bail would still be one of the founders and funders of the Rebel Alliance. In our scenario though, he has to make do without Leia’s help in the Senate. More importantly, every time he fudges the books (to obtain the U-Wings) or lets ships get stolen (as Leia does in A Princess on Lothal), all Imperial eyes are focused squarely on him. He is outed as a traitor to the Empire and promptly executed.
Depending on when exactly this happens, the Rebellion could be in big trouble. Losing one of its leaders would be bad enough… But a Battle of Scarif without Hammerhead Corvettes to save the day would be disastrous. The Alliance would keep throwing everything it had at the Shield Gate in hopes of obtaining the Death Star plans. Their entire force would be swatted like flies, yet their objective would still fail.
With the Rebel Alliance effectively wiped out at Scarif, the Death Star’s reign of terror is unchallenged. Chandrila, Mon Cala, and other rebellious planets all fall to the fearsome station’s superlaser. It’s game over, and Emperor Palpatine has won.
Thanks a lot, Anakin.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Anakin Skywalker should be considered the perennial Father-of-the-Year – the epitome of what all men should strive to become. While many husbands and fathers think “sacrifice” is missing the latest episode of [insert favorite TV show here] in order to attend a lousy school performance, Anakin quite literally sacrificed his own life so that his wife and kid(s) would live. The fact that she didn’t is not Anakin’s fault.
However, had the two lovebirds left the non-asthma-friendly confines of Mustafar together, it wouldn’t have lasted long. Remember, Anakin foresaw Padmé’s death, and his mood was more fragile than the EU lover who wept upon Disney’s canonization of Star Wars material. So, ultimately, he would’ve been the galaxy’s most unstable individual left alone to raise two kids – something much more scary than the contents of the cave on Dagobah. Truth be told, perhaps it was Anakin’s genius in succumbing to the Dark Side and becoming Vader and avoiding the pains of single parenthood. Brilliant.
Sorry, hopeless romantics. This wasn’t going to end well from the get-go. The fairy tale of Anakin and Padmé becoming the galactic equivalent of Sleepless in Seattle wasn’t meant to be. It was all about Anakin choosing the least of two tragic scenarios…at least from a certain point of view…
We hope you enjoyed the maiden voyage of Endless Star Wars! Tune in again next week when we tumble down more rabbit holes!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave your take in the comments below, or reach out to the authors on twitter!