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How Old Is Anakin In Episode One?

Anakin Skywalker is one of the most famous and influential characters in and out of the Star Wars universe.

His story is the very start of the franchise’s media and it is the fate of him and his descendants that is a common thread through all the main movies.

Anakin Skywalker
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

However, these movies and TV shows all span over decades of the Star Wars timeline which makes following characters and keeping track of their ages pretty tricky.

So – just how old was Anakin when his story starts in Episode One: The Phantom Menace?

AgeMovie
9Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
19Episode Two: The Attack Of The Clones
22 Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith
41Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Anakin’s Age

Here, we are going to find out how old Anakin Skywalker was during each of the movies, starting with his earliest appearance in The Phantom Menace!

How Old Is Anakin Skywalker In Episode One?

The first chronological Star Wars movie is currently Episode One: The Phantom Menace.

Although it was the fourth of the main series films to be released, it is currently the earliest as it is set in the year 32 BBY (Before Battle of Yavin).

This means that it takes place 32 years before A New Hope – the first Star Movie ever released.

During The Phantom Menace, we meet a young boy named Anakin Skywalker. Anakin is a slave on Tatooine who lives with his mother, works in Toydarian Watto’s scrapyard and junk shop, and loves pod-racing.

He is soon revealed to be extremely force sensitive and is later freed and taken by Qui-Gon Jinn to the Jedi Council. However, the Jedi Council refused to allow Anakin to train to be a Jedi because he was too old – so how old was he?

Anakin Skywalker was born in the year 41 BBY, so he was only nine years old when he left Tatooine.

This means that throughout The Phantom Menace, Anakin is nine years old.

However, his age isn’t the actual reason why Anakin cannot start training as a Jedi.

The reason why the Jedi Council dismisses him is that he has lived for too long with family and friends, forming material and emotional connections.

Although some Jedi do start their training around nine years old, just like Anakin, they would have spent the earlier part of their life living in a Jedi temple and indoctrinated not to have any form of connections.

Because Anakin has lived nine whole years outside this lifestyle with friends and family, he is too old to be indoctrinated into the lifestyle of the Jedi.

If he was to be trained as a Jedi, he would struggle with his emotions and attachments – which later turns out to be true.

How Old Is Anakin In Episode One?

Despite this, Qui-Gon Jinn and later Obi Wan Kenobi promise to train Anakin in the ways of the force so he can become a Jedi.

As Anakin grows, he breaks many Jedi codes by forming a romantic relationship with Padmé Amidala, fathering two children with her, how fear over losing Padme causes him to turn to the dark side and eventually be manipulated by Emperor Palpatine, turning him into Darth Vader.

How Old Is Anakin In The Other Movies?

The next time we see Anakin in the movies is when he is between nineteen and twenty years old.

How Old Is Anakin In The Other Movies?

He appears in Episode Two: The Attack Of The Clones and begins his romantic relationship with Padme, who is either twenty-four or twenty-five years of age at the time.

The ambiguity between the ages is because although it is stated that Anakin was nine at the time of The Phantom Menace, he is also stated to be twenty in Attack of the Clones.

However, Attack of the Clones takes place ten years after The Phantom Menace so Anakin should be nineteen years old.

A possible explanation for this could be that Anakin turned ten right after the events of The Phantom Menace.

In Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith Anakin is twenty-two years old when he becomes Darth Sidious’s apprentice and becomes Darth Vader.

By now, he has also fathered the twins Luke and Leia Skywalker although he is not aware of their presence until much later.

Anakin, who now goes by the title Darth Vader, goes on to live many years after the fall of the Order and the rise of the Empire.

We next see Darth Vader in the spin-off movie Rogue One which takes place right before the start of Episode Four: A New Hope. In these movies, Darth Vader is forty-one years old.

In Episode Five: The Empire Strikes Back, he is forty-four years old and then is forty-five in Episode Six: Return of the Jedi.

So, this means that Anakin Skywalker was only forty-five years old when he finally died in Return of the Jedi.

Is The Age Difference Between Anakin And Padme Weird?

One of the many reasons why people are so interested in Anakin’s age in The Phantom Menace is because of the implied relationship between himself and Padme.

It was clear from the start that Padme was to be Anakin’s future love interest and the mother to his children, Luke and Leia Skywalker.

When the two first met, young Anakin mistook Padme for an angel and the two were shown to grow close over the course of The Phantom Menace.

However, nothing explicitly romantic was to happen until Attack of the Clones when both characters are much older – but this has not stopped many fans from mentioning how weird it is to think of young Anakin marrying the clearly much older Padme.

The age difference between the two seemed very drastic at the time, partly because the age difference between the two actors was much bigger and more visible.

Anakin’s actor Jake Lloyd was eight at the time of filming The Phantom Menace, and Padme’s actor Natalie Portman was sixteen when she played the then fourteen-year-old Padmé Amidala.

So, although the age difference between the characters is canonically only five years old, visually the age gap looked much larger because one actor was younger than the role he was playing, and the other was older than the role she was playing.

However, by Attack of the Clones, both characters were aged up so it would be more appropriate for a romantic relationship to bloom between the two.

Jake Lloyd was replaced with the much older Hayden Christensen, who was nineteen at the time and pretty much the exact age as Anakin.

However, Natalie Portman remained in the role of Padme and was also nineteen by the time Attack of the Clones was released, making her now much younger than the actual age of her character.

Conclusion

So, Anakin Skywalker is canonically nine years old in The Phantom Menace although his actor, Jake Lloyd, was eight at the time of filming.

This age means that Anakin is five years younger than his future wife Padme, which is not an unusual age gap between two love interests.

Also, Anakin’s age was not too old to start his Jedi training, but the other Jedi masters were concerned that he had spent too long living a lifestyle that allowed for emotional and material connections, which is why they first refused to allow his training.

As the films go on, Anakin gets older and older with each installment up until his death at 41 years of age in A New Hope.

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