Star Wars will finally clarify how Anakin Skywalker became a Force Ghost following his death in Return of the Jedi. Thanks to an upcoming book release, readers will soon be able to delve into the particulars of Darth Vader’s death and what it looked like when he became one with the Force as Anakin. Given what’s known about life after death in the Star Wars galaxy, Skywalker’s ability to become a Force Ghost has always been something of a conundrum.
StarWars.com has officially announced From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi. This upcoming anthology book, third in a series inspired by the original trilogy, will feature 40 tales set during the events of Return of the Jedi, just like the first two which covered A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back and were similarly released on their 40th anniversaries. As such, it’s confirmed one story will cover how Anakin appeared before Luke, seen next to Obi-Wan and Yoda as a Force Ghost:
From a Certain Point of View features contributions by bestselling authors:
- Olivie Blake gives us a chilling glimpse into the mind of Emperor Palpatine.
- Saladin Ahmed recounts the tragic history of the rancor keeper.
- Charlie Jane Anders explores the life and times of the Sarlacc.
- Fran Wilde reveals Mon Mothma’s secret mission to save the Rebel Alliance.
- Mary Kenney chronicles Wicket the Ewok’s quest for one quiet day on the forest moon of Endor.
- And Anakin Skywalker becomes one with the Force in a gripping tale by Mike Chen.
While it will be exciting to learn the history of the Sarlacc and Emperor Palpatine’s ruminations prior to his demise, Mike Chen’s Anakin Skywalker story will hopefully solve one of the biggest original trilogy mysteries.
Anakin’s Force Ghost Return Has Always Been Confusing (Both Versions)
Thanks to Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, it’s confirmed in the established Star Wars canon that not every Jedi could become a Force Ghost. The ability to retain one’s consciousness and corporeal form after death required special training few were able to learn and master. While Qui-Gon Jinn was the first known Jedi in the Skywalker saga to maintain his identity, he could only speak to Yoda during the Clone Wars as he hadn’t yet fully mastered the ability to become a visible Force Ghost (at least not until Jinn’s appearance at the end of Obi-Wan Kenobi).
Qui-Gon Jinn showed Yoda the way during the Clone Wars, and the Grand Master was able to set Kenobi on the path to learning how to become a Force Ghost as well during his exile on Tatooine ahead of the original trilogy. To that end, the extent of specialized training needed to become a Force Ghost means Anakin Skywalker instantly becoming a Force Ghost is quite odd, especially considering he had just spent nearly half his life as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Whether it was the original cut’s Sebastian Shaw or the remaster edition’s Hayden Christensen playing Anakin Skywalker, showing up at all following his death is currently confusing.
This is why Mike Chen’s Anakin story will likely be the standout story from the upcoming From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi (releasing September 5th). As in the old (now non-canon) Star Wars Expanded Universe, it’s possible Anakin will receive quick mentoring from his old master Obi-Wan Kenobi at the moment of his death. Alternatively, it’s possible the process was easier for Anakin due to his status as the powerful Chosen One, having brought balance to the Force according to the existing Jedi prophecies. Either way, this Return of the Jedi anthology will clearly resolve the issue.
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