I've been thinking about the roots of the bad writing in the Lucas prequels; I've concluded that one prime suspect of this is the fact that Anakin was raised by a single mother in an environment that we are told is harsh and deadly, but really isn't.
My idea of Anakin's upbringing in an alternate prequel setting begins with the death of his mother in childbirth. The spice mining world of Kessel does not have the kind of medical tech available to residents of the Core Worlds. Anakin's mother was a musical entertainer in one of Kessel's spaceport cantinas. Anakin's father was a spice mine laborer named Fenrir, no last name. As a result Anakin did not have a last name either. Conditions in the spice mines are brutal to the point of complete dehumanization. After a long day in the mines, Fenrir would come home and take out his violent impulses on his son.
Anakin wanted desperately to escape his homeworld of Kessel. He watched with fascination as spice freighters docked and undocked from the spaceport, dealing in thousands of tons of precious cargo. At some point in his late teen years, Anakin decided to sneak on-board one of these freighters in order escape his abusive father forever. He always wanted to be a star pilot, if only to escape from this miserable rock.
As for the name "Skywalker", well that has to do with what Anakin does after his escape from Kessel. He would routinely land on an Outer Rim world and compete in the local swoop bike races with the aid of his Force sensitivity. Anakin adopted a variety of stage names in this process such as Anakin Sunrider, Anakin Farlander, and Anakin Starkiller. Then when he became too successful in his endeavors and refused to throw a match for back-room profit (his victory streak was more important to him than money), the local crime lord would send assassins after Anakin. Then Anakin would hop a freighter, land on another racing world, adopt a new name, and get right back into it.
All of this changes when he meets a Jedi Knight and is subsequently wrapped up in the Clone Wars.