The Skywalker saga, a sprawling epic comprising nine movies spanning more than four decades, concluded its run last year. Disney brought fans the Star Wars sequel trilogy beginning with 2015's The Force Awakens, continuing in 2017 with The Last Jedi and wrapping up last year with The Rise of Skywalker. Yet, in all of those movies, Anakin Skywalker, arguably the most important Skywalker of all, is not mentioned by name one time.
This is something of a surprising revelation, especially considering that The Rise of Skywalker was billed so heavily as the conclusion of the Skywalker saga in the marketing. But it's true. All of it. Starting with The Force Awakens, we learn that Darth Vader is still a looming presence in the series, as Kylo Ren's grandfather has managed to become something of an inspiration to him after he fell to the Dark Side. Han even mentions to Leia later in the movie that Kylo, aka Ben Solo, has "too much Vader in him." But no mention of Anakin.
Maz Kanata also refers to the lightsaber that Rey finds as "Luke's father's" but that's it. Not going so far as to say the name Anakin Skywalker. This trend continues in The Last Jedi, with Snoke bringing up the name Vader a few times, suggesting that Kylo could be a "new Vader." But only Vader. Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity comes when Luke and Rey are at odds with one another and Rey points out that Vader had been redeemed. Perhaps she could have mentioned Anakin as part of the redemption, or Luke in response could have invoked his father's true name. But they didn't.
Vader has a presence in The Rise of Skywalker as well, but the biggest thing here is that Palpatine is back. Palpatine is the one largely responsible for turning Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. This is the one who took the supposed Chose One and turned him to the Dark Side. Palpatine surely could have used the name Anakin. Or it could have been used by someone speaking to him. Another major point in this movie is that Hayden Christensen makes a voice cameo at the end when the Jedi all speak to Rey, saying the following.
"Rey. Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did. The Force surrounds you, Rey. Let it lift you."
Anakin Skywalker started off as that little boy on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace who was thought to be the Chosen One, the one who would bring balance to the Force. The father of Luke and Leia. The man who became Darth Vader. But not even a name drop across three movies that are heavily tied to him thematically. Granted, the Star Wars sequels gave us a lot to talk about, for better or for worse, so it was easy for this to slip through the cracks somewhat unnoticed. This was previously reported by Screen Rant.