What if Anakin Skywalker and his son Luke had met as boys on Tatooine before Star Wars? Back when Dark Horse Comics still had the license for Star Wars, they had a successful ongoing series known as Star Wars Tales, and each issue featured an anthology of short stories. One story was not unlike an issue from Marvel Comics’ “What If…?” series, exploring what it would look like if Anakin and Luke had met before either of them even knew what the Force was, let alone their shared power and destiny within it.
This short story is featured in Star Wars Tales #15, published by Dark Horse Comics in 2003. Titled “Sandstorm” from writer Jason Hall with art by Sunny Lee, the tale begins with a young Luke Skywalker attempting to run away from his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s homestead, having grown frustrated with his strict uncle’s refusal to tell him anything about his father. However, Luke soon gets caught in one of the worst sandstorms the region has ever seen. Amidst the swirling sands, Luke sees a vision of a figure he doesn’t yet recognize, helmeted and clad in black. However, the intimidating figure fades away to reveal a fellow boy caught in the storm, introducing himself to young Luke as Annie.
The two boys end up finding shelter in a cave, and Luke gets the opportunity to get to know the boy who will eventually grow up to be his father (as well as a Dark Lord of the Sith). Likewise, Luke and Anakin discover that they both carry the same dream as well: a desire to become more than they currently are, and to leave the desert world of Tatooine far behind. Furthermore, Luke and Anakin also share their love for podracers.
While a moment like this can really only happen in a non-canonical story such as this, it’s still incredibly dynamic and significant nonetheless, making the point to readers how much Luke was like his father, and how similar their dreams were. Before their destinies diverted respectively to the light and dark sides of the Force, Luke and Anakin were just boys from Tatooine who wanted to fly and see the galaxy. Furthermore, they’re both equally gifted as the story continues, as Anakin saves them from a pack of womp rats while also creating a signal flare with a buried droid they find. Likewise, Luke defeats a krayt dragon with a perfectly thrown Tusken Raider gaffi stick, using his instincts to determine the right time to strike before passing out in the sand.
When Luke eventually wakes up after being rescued by his Uncle Owen and a search party, it’s revealed that it was all a dream Luke had due to “dust fever.” However, it’s more than likely it was the Force itself granting a window of time for Luke to get to know his father, even if he himself didn’t know the boy’s true identity. While this story is non-canon and didn’t actually occur within the official Star Wars timeline, it’s still an entertaining and fun comic all the same, while also communicating a dynamic message about both Luke and Anakin’s shared beginning.