We've been getting lots of e-mails from people about the unfortunate death of Ken Annakin on Wednesday, a British director and supposed inspiration for George Lucas to use his name for our fallen hero in Star Wars.
However, see the excerpt from the LA Times article referenced above:
"Contrary to previous reports that George Lucas named the "Star Wars" character Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) after Annakin, Lucas said via his publicist Thursday that he did not."
After a little web digging, I came across this article (actually formatted as a PDF) that has Alex Simon of Venice Magazine conducting an interview with Mr. Annakin back in June 2006. In the interview, Simon discusses this very topic with Mr. Annakin. See the excerpt from the interview below:
"Speaking of George Lucas, how did you feel when he named the character of Anakin Skywalker after you?
Well, I asked him about that, but Iíll tell you: he never asked me. He never invited me to the first showing (of Episode One). Apparently happened through Alec Guinness, who was working at Pinewood Studios on the first Star Wars, and every day would pass by my office door, which had my name on it. So it was Alec who suggested it to George. They dropped oneĎní from the spelling, and there it is. I didnít mind it so much when Anakin was a good character, but now that heís a bad character, Iím not so keen on it!"
Sooo.... what's the deal? Is Mr. Annakin the inspiration behind Lucas naming "The Chosen One" or not?