Like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, the Star Wars universe is filled with more names than one’s brain is fit to remember. Whether or not you’re a dedicated fan of Luke Skywalker & co. we can’t blame you if you can’t remember all of them by heart.
Like any large nerdy franchise, this universe is also filled with more families than we can count, and connecting the dots between so and so can sometimes be arduous (especially when movies aren’t released in chronological order and last names sound like they were randomly put together on a scrabble board!).
Just to clear things up, we’ve put together an infographic and effective explanation of the Skywalker family tree, from the characters you know so well, to the ones you had no idea about yesterday.
If it weren’t for this beloved character, perhaps there would be no Star Wars or at least, Skywalker saga, at all!
Let’s start with Shmi Skywalker, Anakin’s loving and caring mother. Shmi was a slave but later bought then freed by Cliegg Lars who ended up marrying her.
Unfortunately, Shmi’s happy ending was short-lived as she was captured and killed by Tusken Raiders, a tragedy that partly fuelled Anakin’s descent into madness.
Was Cliegg Lars Anakin’s Father?
Cliegg Lars was not Anakin’s real father. Anakin’s ‘father’ was in fact… the Force.
Yes you’ve read that well – Anakin was conceived by his mother and a disembodied entity that provided him with his abilities.
So, yes, the Jesus allegory is a bit obvious, and the saga doesn’t shy away from calling Anakin ‘the Chosen One’. Except we all know that Anakin doesn’t exactly grow up to become a saint. Far from it, in fact…
Anakin’s step-father, a farmer from Tatooine, was clearly a good man as he bought then freed Shmi, giving her the opportunity of a happy life on Tatooine.
Now, this is where it gets slightly trickier – Cliegg had already married once before meeting Shmi, and though it isn’t clear what happened to his first spouse, it is known that he had a son with her – Owen Lars, who went on to raise Luke Skywalker.
More on him later…
Anakin Skywalker AKA Darth Vader
And now, for the most controversial, yet favorite character of the Star Wars saga.
A character that we no longer need to introduce, Anakin Skywalker is the protagonist-later-turned-antagonist of the Star Wars franchise. Born the son of Shmi Skywalker and gifted with ‘The Force’, Anakin was meant to defeat the Sith and was destined to a glorious life as a Jedi.
Sadly, not long after becoming the father of Luke and Leia with his wife, Padme Amidala, the young man pulled a ‘Voldemort’ halfway through his journey and eventually became the infamous villain, Darth Vader.
Padme Amidala is one of the most important characters in Star Wars lore, being a senator and all-around badass, but also Anakin’s love interest and eventual wife. Padme is from Naboo, a planet of which she was Queen, and she has shown to have mental as well as physical strength in the early 2000 prequels.
Unfortunately, she passed away after giving birth to her twins, Luke and Leia because of Anakin’s efforts to save her with The Force. Seeing poor Padme strangled? Yeah, we’re not quite over that either…
So, who are Padme’s parents?
Jobal Naberrie, mother of Padme Amidala, is rarely seen throughout the franchise, but she does appear on the day of her daughter’s funeral in Revenge of the Sith. Unfortunately, very little is known about the mother of Anakin’s beloved, but we can only imagine how she felt experiencing her daughter’s death, then her son-in-law’s demise…
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Padme’s father is also a mysterious character that we don’t see much of in the saga, but important still, as he played a part in building the future Skywalker family tree.
We do know that he got hitched to Jobal in 51 BBY. His death is also a mystery, so let your imagination run free.
And now, we move on to more familiar territory. Let’s take it back to Anakin and Padme…and the birth of their children…
Arguably, Luke is the most important figure in the Star Wars universe. Born the son of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, he grew up on Tatooine where he was raised by his uncle, Owen Lars and aunt, Beru.
Just as gifted as his father, Luke soon became a Jedi himself and saved the Galaxy from the evil grasp of the Empire with the help of his sister, Leia and friend, Han Solo.
So, who raised Luke Skywalker?
A character mentioned earlier and one that casual viewers never got a chance to know in the movies. Owen Lars was the son of Anakin’s step-father, Cliegg Lars and product of his marriage with his mysterious first wife – ultimately making him Luke Skywalker’s uncle.
This pretty much explains why he raised Luke on Tatooine all of those years, before meeting an untimely end with his wife when the Empire came searching for C-3PO and R2-D2 in A New Hope.
Beru Whitesun Lars
Beru was Owen’s wife, making her Luke’s aunt through marriage. She basically acted as Luke’s mother and was always encouraging his hopes of getting into the Rebellion. Beru unfortunately lost her life with her husband on that fateful day when the Empire came knocking on their door.
We know what happened to Luke, but what about his sister, Leia?
Leia Organa Solo AKA Princess Leia
Daughter of Anakin and Padme, hence sister to Luke, Leia was not only a gifted Jedi, but also a determined warrior who helped find the Rebellion and take down the Empire. After falling for Han Solo, the two had a son together, Kylo Ren, born Ben Solo. But more on *him*, later…
And who raised Princess Leia?
After Padme’s death and seeing as Anakin wasn’t exactly fit to be a dad, her friend, Bail Organa, husband to the Queen of Alderaan, adopted Leia and raised her as his own. He unfortunately died when the Death Star destroyed his planet, along with his family.
Breha was the Queen of Alderaan and friend of Padme’s. After Padme’s untimely death, Breha raised Leia with her husband as if she was always part of their family, making the young girl a Princess. Breha also died with her husband and their entire family on Alderaan when the latter was pulverised by the Death Star.
Moving on to more current (and well-known) Star Wars characters…
Originally a smuggler born on the planet Corellia, the sarcastic and solitary Han reluctantly joined the Rebellion after his help was sought by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. He eventually became a willing participant in the takedown of the Empire and became besties with Leia and Luke through their perilous shared journey.
Throughout their adventures, he fell in love with Leia Organa and had a son with her. Which, as you will learn in a second, didn’t turn out so great.
Ben Solo AKA Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren, also known as Ben Solo, is Han and Leia’s son who unfortunately turned to the Dark Side, after his uncle Luke, thinking he was already walking in his grandfather Anakin’s footsteps, attempted to kill him.
Kylo has not exactly been a saint as he’s killed many folks as part of the First Order’s big evil plan. In his kill list was his father, Han, which upset and shocked fans during The Force Awakens.
It wasn’t until The Rise of Skywalker when he found redemption, renounced his role as Supreme Leader and reclaimed his identity of Ben Solo. Unlike his grandfather, Ben was able to refuse the Dark Side and died saving the last Jedi, Rey.
A Force-Sensitive scavenger from Jakku who learned the Jedi ways thanks to Luke Skywalker, Rey’s character remained quite mysterious until now. Several theories ran wild online, with many believing she was either the hidden daughter of Luke or that of Leia and Han’s, hence Kylo Ren’s sister.
But it wasn’t until Episode IX when we learned just how Rey fitted into this Star Wars family tree. So, does she even fit in at all?
It turns out Rey is indeed a descendant of a powerful lineage, but not that of Skywalker. In The Rise of Skywalker, it was revealed that Rey was in fact granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine. Although it ran in her blood, Rey was able to reject the Dark Side, and instead claim herself a “Skywalker”, in honor of her late mentors, Luke and Leia.
With all members of the Skywalker lineage now dead, Rey is the only one surviving and carrying on the family legacy, just not in genealogical terms, that is.
What about the Expanded Universe?
The most famous Star Wars movies didn’t delve deeper into its Expanded Universe. It’s believed that parts of it are actually non-canonical to the franchise – namely a few of its characters.
In the Star Wars Expanded Universe (also known as Star Wars Legends) several more family members are attached to the Skywalker genealogy tree. These include:
- Mara Jade Skywalker – Luke Skywalker’s wife and mother of their child.
- Ben Skywalker – Son to Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker.
- Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus – First son of Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo and twin brother of Jaina Solo.
- Jaina Solo Fel – Only daughter of Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo and twin sister to Jacen Solo.
- Anakin Solo – Final child of Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo.
That’s right! Leia and Han had 3 children in the Expanded Universe and Kylo Ren didn’t exist at all (although many have drawn similarities to Jacen Solo)!
Worlds like Star Wars are immersive, precisely because they have enough lore to feel real, and although this is something we nerds love best, it can still be daunting to remember the 6,667 complex names of its many characters. Hopefully, our Star Wars family tree helped you get a better understanding of what the Skywalkers are all about!
If there’s anyone we might have forgotten, feel free to let us know in the comments, and that includes your craziest theories!