So many articles out there wonder about what would happen if Anakin Skywalker never turned to the dark side of the Force, but what if he was never a part of the story? What if he’d remained on Tatooine? What if Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi had never discovered him? That’s a lot to think about, to be honest since the idea is something that people don’t often take into consideration. It’s also a tough path to think of since if Anakin had never been a part of the story there’s a huge chunk missing that would change everything. This means that Darth Vader wouldn’t have been free to terrorize the galaxy, and it’s very possible that Luke and Leia might not have been born. In a sense, the Star Wars universe would have been entirely different since this key character has more to do with just about everything than many people realize. But for the fun of it, let’s try to guess what might happen to the Star Wars universe if Anakin had never been a part of it.
For one thing, the run to Tatooine might have been far different since Qui-Gonn, Padme, and Jar Jar Binks wouldn’t have had an easy time finding the parts they needed, and things could have gone very differently. It might have even come down to Qui-Gonn having to tangle with Darth Maul, alone, simply because they had no place to go. Assuming they would have found the parts they needed and a way to get them, it’s very possible that the return to Coruscant would have been just as contentious, but there wouldn’t have been any spat with the Jedi Council concerning Anakin, and it’s also possible that Palpatine wouldn’t have known about Skywalker either. Assuming Qui-Gon had survived, he and Obi-Wan might have been able to convince the Jedi Council that there was a Sith at large, but it feels as though the masters would have been just as dim to this idea as they proved to be in the actual story.
Maybe though, just maybe Qui-Gon would have been the deciding factor if it came to determining the presence of the Sith. It feels like a stretch, but without Anakin there, Qui-Gon wouldn’t have been quite as distracted, and he and Obi-Wan wouldn’t have been at odds with each other over the tutelage of the young boy. There was a great deal of trouble over Anakin’s presence and the desire that Qui-Gon had to see Anakin trained. Without that stress point to deal with, it might have been far more possible to sniff Palpatine out and remove him. But then one has to think if this would have caused a rift between the queen of Naboo and the Jedi Order had they managed to find out about Palpatine. From that point on, Anakin didn’t have as much influence on what happened since the Trade Federation was still acting in accordance with the plan that had been laid out by Darth Sidious, aka Palpatine, and his presence didn’t make much of a difference. Once the battle started, however, that was when things really started to happen, and Anakin came into play once again.
As much as I like Star Wars, and feel more inclined to say ‘okay’ and go with it, the destruction of the Trade Federation control ship in such a technological era feels like extremely lazy writing, especially since a child, even a gifted child, was able to accomplish something that a squad of seasoned fighters couldn’t. But if Anakin hadn’t been there, the Trade Federation might have dominated the space battle, and by extension the battle against the Gungans. This would have made the battle of Naboo far more dangerous and a lot harder to win, unless capturing the Viceroy would call for a cease. In any case, Anakin’s presence did make a difference from there on, since his training as a padawan would eventually lead to his knighthood and everything that came after. But had he never been a part of the story, it’s fair to think that Padme would still be alive, Luke and Lei might never have been born, and things would have been extremely different.
Maybe Palpatine would have never risen to power, or maybe the Jedi Order would have been eradicated sooner. Maybe Padme would have spearheaded the Rebel Alliance along with Bail Organa, and perhaps the Empire would have been put on their heels long before the Battle of Yavin. There are so many different roads that this story could go down without the presence of Anakin Skywalker, and many appear to indicate that those he wronged would rise against the Empire to keep it from dominating the galaxy. Or maybe things would have been worse, it’s hard to know, especially since at some point Anakin became a huge part of the story.