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Saga A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth Palpadious, May 31, 2013.

  1. Darth Palpadious

    Darth Palpadious Jedi Knight star 3

    May 31, 2013
    Hello everyone, this is my first post! Life-long enormous fan, former member of forums - lovely to meet you all. I had a look round to see if there was a similar thread to this - I'm aware there's a very in-depth discussion about how the prophecy is interpreted in the story, but it's such a huge discussion that I thought it was worth explaining my more simple view in a separate thread.

    Basically, what if the prophecy is self-fulfilling? By which I mean, what if the prophecy wasn't really a reliable prophecy, and in fact only came true because of the way people reacted to it? Which leads to the question - what if the only thing special about Anakin was the way people treated him?

    Okay then, let me lay this out properly. Think about what we actually know, the indisputable facts:
    1) The prophecy said that someone strong in the Force will bring balance to the force - George has clarified this means simply "destroy the Sith".
    2) Pretty much everyone in the PT decided this person was Anakin (although some questioned it at points).
    3) Anakin did indeed destroy the Sith (including himself) in ROTJ, fulfilling the prophecy.

    The rest is just stuff that we assume or speculate. Most importantly, it is never made clear whether or not the prophecy is actually true. Anakin does destroy the Sith, but the reason he is able to do that is, when it comes right down to it, because of the prophecy itself.

    Qui-Gon immediately puts two and two together when he meets Anakin, and for that reason the Council take Anakin very, very seriously and bend the rules on multiple occasions to allow him to be trained. He is allowed to join the Order many years after the apparent cut-off age for everyone else (a few months old), gets away with unbelievably rash acts (including blowing up an entire space station when his Jedi mentor told him to do nothing, and then as a Padawan, leaping hundreds of feet onto a moving vehicle for no reason), and has a thoroughly bad attitude during AOTC and isn't reprimanded for it, with Mace stating outright that they're willing to give Anakin the benefit of the doubt due to his Chosen One status.

    It's entirely because of this holier-than-thou status that Anakin goes off the rails. He develops his god complex - specifically believing he has the power to control life and death - because he's basically been told he's the most important Jedi of them all. He also lashes out and breaks the rules partly because of the pressure to achieve all these goals in life as quickly as possible in order to prove his worth.

    These behavioural/psychological difficulties are what Palpatine takes advantage of in order to turn Anakin to the dark side, by suggesting to Anakin that he can indeed prove that he really is the real deal and the most powerful force user ever by joining the Sith. Anakin does so, the Jedi fall, and the original trilogy happens.

    Then, due to the very small nature of the Sith Order, Anakin and Sidious then spend 20 years in a constant situation where, theoretically, either one of them could destroy the Sith Order there and then - they both have unlimited access to both Sith; oneself, and the other Sith. After 23 long years, Anakin finally has the courage to take advantage of this, with this desire burning in him due to the ordeal his son is going through, and very, very easily destroys the Sith, by merely throwing the Emperor over a railing, and then allowing himself to die. Sidious could have just as easily done this himself if he really wanted to.

    And all of that happened because the force-using authorities throughout the prequel trilogy were convinced Anakin was the Chosen One.

    If there had been no prophecy, maybe Anakin would never have gone through the problems he did, he would never have turned to the dark side, and he would never have had the opportunity to destroy the Sith. Maybe it's only because the prophecy was spoken that Anakin was able to fulfill it at all.

    So... does anyone agree? :)
    darth ladnar likes this.
  2. Thefinalhack

    Thefinalhack Jedi Knight star 1

    Mar 11, 2013
    Sure enough if the prophecy had never existed Anakin would probably have remained a slave and certainly not become a figure of such power but Palpatine could have still risen to power, wiped out the Jedi order with clones and formed a galactic empire. Anakin was a tool to him, a weapon used to create fear and any force sensitive powerful enough could have filled that role

    Sent via my astromech droid
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  3. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013
    Darth Palpadious, welcome to the fourm, and thanks for the interesting post.

    Personally, I think it's too complicated for a simple I agree/disagree answer, but I do think you're making some interesting points and that there is some truth to what you're saying.

    It's certainly true that Palpatine uses his knowledge of the Chosen One prophecy to manipulate Anakin. Palpatine's basic idea seems to be that by making the Chosen One a Sith, the Chosen One won't be able to fulfill the prophecy because it sort of makes a paradox. If Palpatine kills him later on, then one Sith survives, but even if Vader kills Palpatine, then apparently one Sith would live on because Palpatine believes that once you turn to the dark side, then you'll never turn back. For this reason, either way, one Sith will live on once Anakin is turned. Sith not turning back is pretty much accepted wisdom both among the Sith and the Jedi, so it makes sense that Palpatine comes to this conclusion. This is also what protects Palpatine. So, if Palpatine had chosen to kill Vader, that wouldn't kill off the Sith. Palpatine was the sole Sith for a little while after Dooku's death. Palpatine could've found another apprentice or he might have perfected the way to cheat death and lived forever. Also, a powerful enough Vader might have been able to kill off Palpatine and continue the Sith line in the same way. What Palpatine didn't count on was that a less powerful Vader would make the life-ending decision to kill Palpatine because Vader, unlike other Sith, does return to the light side. If Luke hadn't redeemed Vader, then in a sense it seems likely that Palpatine would've succeeded in thwarting the prophecy.

    At the same time, by turning Anakin to the dark side to thwart the prophecy, that places the "former" Chosen One in close proximity to Palpatine. In this way, Palpatine's actions both protect himself from the prophecy and, at the same time, make it possible for it to be fulfilled. Also, Palpatine doesn't have that much of a choice after ROTS is over. He wants the Sith to live on after he dies, and there aren't many powerful Force-sensitives left after ROTS since he killed them all in the Jedi purge, so he's sort of stuck with Vader as his apprentice.

    So, I would say that Palpatine's knowledge of the prophecy clearly helps to lead him to act in a way that blocks the fulfillment of the prophecy for 23 years but also a way that ultimately leads to its fulfillment. However, it's hard to say what Palpatine would have done if he didn't know about the prophecy. He would still sense that Anakin has incredible potential, so that potential would still encourage Palpatine to make Anakin his ally.

    Also, it's hard to say what would've happened if Qui-Gon hadn't plucked Anakin off of Tatooine. He has such strong Force potential that he probably would have developed at least some Force abilities without any training. (Palpatine had mastered some Force abilities without training when he was young.) So, without Jedi training, it's hard to say what would have happened with Anakin. He may have been able to fulfill the prophecy in some other way.

    What also makes it hard to say is that there are really 3 different fate storylines going on at once. The Jedi are hoping to train Anakin as a Jedi so that he will fulfill the Chosen One prophecy, Palpatine is trying to befriend Anakin and sow his distrust with the Jedi to thwart the prophecy, and Anakin is trying to prevent his premonitions of Padme's death from coming true while Palpatine is trying to use those premonitions to turn Anakin into his ally ("You must choose. I have the power to save the one you love."). The Jedi and Palpatine are trying to sway Anakin to their sides because both believe he is important, and Anakin has his own agenda as well.

    There's also another aspect that makes this scenario even more complicated. If the Chosen prophecy is a true prophecy, then it's going to be fulfilled one way or another anyway. That's the weird thing about true prophecies. It's like the past in reverse. You can't change the past. Well, with a prophecy you can't change the future. It's going to be fulfilled one way or another. Oedipus tries his best to avoid fulfilling his prophecy, but in the end, the actions he takes to avoid it actually cause him to fulfill it. Anakin also tries his best to prevent his premonitions about Padme from coming true, but in the end, his attempts to prevent them cause them to come true. So, one can argue, no matter what you do, the prophecy is going to be fulfilled. You can help it along (like the Jedi do). You can try to prevent it (like Palpatine does.) However, ultimately fate finds a way to fulfill it one way or another.

    Yoda seems to be the only one who is smart enough to get this. Before Obi-Wan reveals that he has promised Qui-Gon that he will train Anakin, Yoda rejects Obi-Wan's request to train him. He says: "The Chosen One the boy may be, nevertheless grave danger I see in his training." So, Yoda is basically saying, "Yes, this kid may fulfill the prophecy, but whether we train him or not doesn't really matter. If he is the Chosen One, he will fulfill the prophecy one way or another, but nothing we do will change that. What's importance to me is that this kid is too old and too angry, so for those reasons, he might flunk out and fail as a Jedi." (And he does flunk out and fail as a Jedi.) Yoda only relents when Obi-Wan says he will train him anyway because of his promise to a dying Qui-Gon, and Yoda doesn't seem to think training him has much to do with Anakin being able to fulfill the prophecy. If he is the Chosen One, things will end up working out regardless. (For instance, if the Jedi didn't train Anakin, then Palpatine probably would have trained him. At some point, Anakin would have thought he exceeded Palpatine in power, but being arrogant, Anakin might have exaggerated his own abilities. As a consequence, when Anakin tries to kill Palpatine, they are equally matched and end up killing each other. So, Anakin, though never being good, would have fulfilled the prophecy anyway. And this is just one of many examples of how fate could bring about the prophecy without the involvement of the Jedi.)

    Of course, the Chosen One prophecy may also be a false prophecy even though it is fulfilled. The only real proof that a prophecy is real is that it ends up being fulfilled. For instance, perhaps Oedipus's prophecy is false. He's prophesized to kill his father and marry his mother, and maybe it's just a coincidence that he ends up doing exactly what the prophecy predicted. So, the same could certainly be true for Anakin as well. Since the only proof that a prophecy is real is that it ends up being fulfilled in the way it was predicted to be fulfilled, it could be the case that the fulfillment of all prophecies come down to nothing more than luck.
  4. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Sep 2, 2012
    In the novelization, it's made clear that the Council has already agreed that Anakin will be trained, when Yoda's telling Obi-wan that: "Disagree with that decision, I must".

    JEDI-RISING Force Ghost star 6

    Apr 15, 2005
    I kind of wonder what it is that makes Anakin "The Chosen One". Just because he has the most Force potential? If he hadn't stopped Windu, Sidious would have died in ep III
    then again, it is Because he has so much potential that Sidious chooses him, and reveals himself to him.
  6. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Sep 2, 2012
    "Being conceived by the midi-chlorians" was what Qui-Gon brought up in TPM-

    which had Mace immediately say "You're referring to the prophesy of The One Who Will Bring Balance To The Force- you believe that it's this boy."
    darklordoftech likes this.
  7. Darth_Arapsis

    Darth_Arapsis Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 21, 2013
    Everything would be better without the prophecy.
  8. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    Interesting points. I found the prophecy to be a bit confounding really. It created a situation in which everyone seemed to be hedging their bets, just in case Anakin was the Chosen One. I didn't find this to be the best of motivations for these characters. Made them seem a bit wishy-washy.
  9. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    In a galaxy that was slowly slipping into darkness, Anakin was the last hope of the Jedi and whom they placed their hope and faith in. Windu states in Shatterpoint "If Anakin is the Chosen One then he is the most important person in the galaxy."
  10. Darth_Arapsis

    Darth_Arapsis Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 21, 2013
    Or the Order 66 survivors could teamed up and the whole thing could had happened when the Gentis coup went down.

    Anakin is not that special. There are other things that could had prevented Emperor Palpy's rule.
  11. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2007
    Yeah and Gentis's coup failed horribly for him and nearly everyone involved.

    I wrote a fic where the Sith nearly completely wipe out a Order of people that use the Force. The Sith did this because they foresaw that someone with the blood of a member of the Order would prevent the Sith from destroying the Jedi. There are only two survivors and one of them in a fit of rage asks the Force to let their descendant destroy the Sith for the murders for their family and friends; the last name of the only male survivor: Skywalker
  12. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Even better without midichlorians!
    Darth_Arapsis likes this.
  13. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012
    From what we knew of the Jedi in the OT, their following a prophecy, imo, make no sense. Prophecies are generally a load of guph anyway. Take the 2012 Mayan end of the World, or the Biblically prophecised end of the world. In both cases they are astronomical references to the end of an age, as in the precession of the sun from the constellation of Pisces to the constellation of Aquarius (the word in the Greek version of the bible translated into English 'world' is Aeon, age.) So, an ancient prophecy that 'misread might have been' - in what way does that make sense for the Jedi who are grounded in the here, in the now?

    It doesn't even make sense from Qui-Gon's own words.

    "But Master Yoda told me to be mindful of the future"
    "Yes, but not at the expense of the present"

    ...and then he goes on a crusade to have Anakin made a Jedi on the basis of some of ancient, babbling prophecy.
  14. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    Qui-Gon is a religious nut if you ask me.
    Especially in light of the ST.

    Revanfan1, I'd love it if you posted in this thread.
  15. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    I find this a very interesting thread; and I think you may be right. If Qui-Gon hadn't said he was the Chosen One, Anakin never would've been accepted probably, and then he probably never would have gotten into the position to destroy the Sith. Kind of ironic, eh?
    darklordoftech likes this.
  16. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I prefer the self-fulfilling prophecies from Greek mythology myself.

    Oedipus is probably the most well-known in existence, because it just works perfectly. The timeline is much greater as is the ignorance, the former making it more believable and the latter making it more tragic and forgivable.

    The prophecy of the Chosen One may have worked better if Anakin specifically set out to destroy the Sith (or even the Jedi?) instead of saving his wife, and then achieved the opposite. Then ROTJ happens.

    Or no prophecy at all may have been best. Who knows.