New Star Wars Novel Confirms Some Tragic Anakin Skywalker Details

Two very important steps in the evolution of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) happen in 2002's "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones": he massacres an entire village of Sand People — including women and children — in retaliation for the murder of his mother Shmi (Pernilla August), and later weds Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in secret. These two opposite poles of his character do not happen in a vacuum, as Padmé is aware of the rage murder incident that has happened, so she knows what Anakin is capable of before she decides to fatefully tie that knot. 

Now author E.K. Johnston is coming out with a new Star Wars novel titled "Queen's Hope" scheduled to arrive in stores on April 5, 2022, the second of a planned trilogy centered around Amidala following "Queen's Shadow." The official Star Wars website has published an extended excerpt from the book which details the before and after of the brief moment of wedlock we saw at the end of the 2002 film, which Johnston was excited to bring to life for readers:

"It was SO NICE to write them when they're happy. Obviously, the spectre of death hangs over their entire relationship, and it turns toxic because they never talk about their feelings, but these early days are light and optimistic, and I deeply enjoyed ushering them through it. Also there's a thing at the end. That I like. A lot."

"He hadn't listened."

Here is an important passage from the "Queen's Hope" in which Anakin visits the shrine to his former master Qui-Gon Jinn on Naboo, where he nobly gave his life while battling Darth Maul:

"There was a shrine to Qui-Gon Jinn's memory on Naboo. Ten years had passed, but it was still a popular pilgrimage site. It wasn't the right time of year for memorials, so when Anakin commandeered the house speeder and went out to see it that morning, it was mostly deserted... He'd heard Qui-Gon's voice in the desert, begging him to listen to his better nature, not to give in to his hatred. He hadn't listened. At the time, he'd told himself he was imagining it, but he knew he was lying. If Qui-Gon was out there, somehow, Anakin owed him an apology. And he would always appreciate the Master's advice. But he found nothing. Anakin looked deeper. There was so much fighting in his future, but it was all for the good of the Republic, for order. Maybe that was what Qui-Gon wanted him to see. There was always a way for him to make it right."

The "voice" of Qui-Gon that Anakin is referring to is seen immediately following the implied slaughter of the village, when Yoda is meditating in his chambers on Coruscant and feeling the event as it happens. We hear the lightsabers whooshing and Qui-Gon's afterlife voice crying out "Anakin! Anakin!" from the Force. Up until this book, it was uncertain whether or not the voice reached Anakin or only Yoda, and makes the whole incident that much more painful for the young Padawan. 

While the voice of Qui-Gon used in the film is Liam Neeson's, it is merely archive sound from "The Phantom Menace." Neeson had planned to shoot a cameo in-the-flesh but was prevented from doing so by a motorcycle accident. He also supposedly shot a cameo for "Revenge of the Sith" that went unused, although he did get to lend his voice to new dialogue for "The Rise of Skywalker."