Saga The Hidden Genius Behind the Prophecy of "The Chosen One"

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ewoksimon, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. ewoksimon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2009
    star 1
    With all due respect, if this has been discussed previously or is actively being discussed, I'll take down this post.

    So, a hidden genius you say?

    Surely, we know all there is to know about the Prophecy of the Chosen One, which Anakin Skywalker would ultimately come to fulfill by the conclusion of Return of the Jedi. He was found by Qui-Gon Jinn, trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi, fell in love with Padme Amidala, seduced to the Dark Side by Palpatine, and would ultimately be redeemed by his son, and come to destroy the Sith. This is exactly what the Prophecy prescribed, yes? However, there remains a deeply troubling yet fascinating point that may have been overlooked.

    "A Prophecy that misread could have been."

    Now before we get into some deluded idea that the Prophecy was actually referring to Luke, I don't buy that for a second for many reasons which don't bear out describing in this juncture.

    So, what had been misread about the Prophecy? The Jedi believed in the idea that the Prophecy meant that the Chosen One would bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. However, what does "bringing balance to the Force" TRULY mean? To bring balance means to maintain an equivalence between two things, in this case, the light side and dark side of the Force. What the Jedi had not counted on was that the Prophecy's definition of bringing balance to the Force meant the destruction of the Jedi Order, which had grown vast and expansive by the dawn of the Prequel Trilogy, not to mention clouded in its own arrogance. The Jedi are shown to be the heroes of the Republic, but their Order had become so self deluded over the centuries that it was time for some spring cleaning. Likewise, the Sith, although long hidden from the view of the Jedi, also needed to be reformed completely in their ways.

    Ultimately, this sheds an entirely new light on Anakin's actions, especially in Revenge of the Sith. When he is walking up the steps of the Jedi Temple with the legions of clone troopers behind him, he is actually fulfilling the first half of the Prophecy by almost entirely wiping out the Jedi Order. Now, let me be clear, I am in no way shape or form advocating genocide as a viable solution to curing societies of their problems. I am just saying that in the context of the Star Wars Saga, the Prophecy possessed much more depth in it than simply beating the bad guys. Of course, Anakin does just that as Vader by killing Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, thus fulfilling his purpose as the Chosen One.

    In any case, you can disagree if you like or offer up your own theories, but I just found this fascinating because it adds a deeply interesting and objective dimension to a saga which had ostensibly favored the triumph of good over evil.
  2. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    No, it didn't. The Jedi weren't the ones unbalancing the Force. The Force was unbalanced toward the dark, not the light, even with many Jedi active during the PT.
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  3. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    No.

    And regarding the balance: According to Lucas, the Sith were causing unbalance to the Force. The "light side" is the natural state of the Force. The "unnatural" abilities of the dark side (as Palpatine puts it) bring the Force to an unnatural state, thus causing unbalance.
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  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 29, 2000
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    We cannot say what the Prophecy does or does not say, besides that the chosen one brings balance to the Force; it's never been fully described anywhere.
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  5. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    As Terry Brooks indicated in the TPM novel, the prophecy says something about the Chosen One having an abundance of midichlorians. That the prophecy says something about midichlorians can be inferred from Mace's reaction to Qui-Gon's dialogue in the film, which otherwise contains an unexplained logical leap. Another book indicates that it says something about the dark times unfolding, but that doesn't help much.
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Exactly; all we have are bits and pieces. You really can't say what it says with any great certainty, beyond 1) the Chosen One brings balance 2) the Chosen One has a lot of midichlorians and 3) he doesn't need to be a Jedi (ROTS novel). You could almost argue that Palpatine is the Chosen One based on those; he allows the Dark Side to become dominant (the Sith viewpoint of balance, according to the Dark Lord novel); has an abundance of midichlorians; and is most definitely not a Jedi. :p Not that I believe that; I'm just demonstrating that we really have no idea what the prophecy says from an in-universe perspective.

    Happily, we've been told repeatedly from OOU sources that Anakin is the Chosen One and he brought balance by killing Palpatine.
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  7. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    Jul 7, 2009
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    Or was created by them.
  8. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    To bring balance means to maintain an equivalence between two things, in this case, the light side and dark side of the Force.


    I am probably the only one who agrees with your opinion on this matter. I'll go one further. Both the Jedi and the Sith tend to view and utilize the Force in such extremes ways that they were blinded by what really constituted balance. By ridding the galaxy of two bodies of entities that approached the Force in such extreme ways, I believe that Anakin left it open for future Jedi and Sith to consider viewing the Force with a little more balance and with less extremism.
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  9. sith_rhino Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 9, 2007
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    I had always wondered about what "balance" meant and had felt that it was possible that Anakin had helped to bring balance by killing the Jedi, who numbered in the thousands, while the Sith were only two and were in hiding. However, based on what Alexrd says that Lucas said about the light side being the natural, balanced state of the Force, I guess I'll have to go along with that now.
  10. ewoksimon Force Ghost

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    I certainly can agree with the sentiment established by Lucas that the Prophecy describes bringing balance as the destruction of the Sith, but I still find Yoda's "A Prophecy that misread could have been" to be a deeply intriguing statement. I feel like I'm probably reading into it a bit too much, but I nevertheless find the ramifications of that to be interesting in regards to Anakin's destiny.

    Hypothetically, as a pure creation of the Force, Anakin's purpose becomes an ultimately objective one, ensuring a balance by destroying the established orders of the Sith and Jedi, allowing for them to flourish anew by the conclusion of Return of the Jedi. Subjectively, he does take part in the both the Sith and Jedi Orders during his life, but he is subconsciously working on a more objective level. It is as if he is a force of divine intervention created by the Force in order to destroy those establishments that were created to serve it. It would be as if Jesus Christ came back to Earth and literally destroyed all of the factions of Christianity and implored mankind to begin his religious devotion anew.

    Again, I may be biting off more than I can chew, so this is not a definitive theory by any means, just some food for thought.
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  11. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    It's not a balance of Jedi and Sith, it's the balance of the Force. The Jedi are not the source of the imbalance, and are not required by the prophecy to be destroyed. By the conclusion of ROTJ there are no Sith.
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  12. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Exactly. The last two Sith lords annihilate each other at the end of ROTJ. Obi-Wan was reached a premature conclusion in ROTS ("You were the Chosen One!!). It's not that he wasn't - but it just wasn't the time yet to bring balance to the Force.

    Perhaps more importantly, because he sired two highly Force-sensitive children, and keeps one from being killed by Palpatine, Vader has also ensured a strong foundation for a new Jedi Order after the fall of the Empire (I'm just going on what can be concluded by the final events of ROTJ - I don't really know much about the EU).

    So maybe fathering Luke & Leia was also part of what Anakin did to eventually bring balance to the Force. Maybe it was the will of the Force.
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  13. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Bear with me for a moment.

    The Force is out of balance because the Jedi place too much emphasis on the Unifying Force at the expense of the Living Force.

    Qui-Gon is unpopular because he tries to fix this. Obi-Wan buys into the party line.

    They meet Anakin, who is basically an embodiment of the Living Force. Pure emotion.

    Qui-Gon dies, and Obi-Wan (Unifying) has no way of channeling Anakin (Living). Palpatine exploits this and destroys the Jedi.

    Fast forward to Luke. Obi-Wan and Yoda teach Luke about the Unifying Force, but the ultimate victory is achieved by combining their teachings with the "here and now" of the Living.

    Neither Obi-Wan nor Yoda would ever consider putting their faith in the power of love, but Luke defies them and does this very thing, breaking the Dark Side's hold on Anakin and ending the reign of the Sith.

    The circle is now complete. We began with Qui-Gon, the lone balanced Jedi in an order tilted to the Unifying, and we end with Luke, the lone Jedi, balanced in the Force.
  14. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    According to the EU, the Force is out of balance because the Sith made it that way. According to Lucas, dark forces have eroded the balance, not some presumed deficit in Jedi philosophy.

    This may be a popular theory, but it's not necessarily what is promoted by TPM. When Qui-Gon says " ...but not at the expense of the moment", this is often taken as an indication that Qui-Gon differs from Yoda on this point. But it doesn't necessarily mean that; Qui-Gon may be clarifying that Yoda's overall position is the same as his.
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  15. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I actually really like this. Granted, it's not necessarily perfectly in line with what Lucas says, but we don't have to listen to him -- at the end of the day, a work of art has to stand on its own.

    I particularly like the idea that Luke comes full circle from Qui-Gon's teachings because he's always struck me as the most Qui-Gon-like of any of the Jedi (in particular for his faith in Anakin, despite any evidence for his belief).

    I don't know if I'd necessarily say that Luke is the Chosen One, though. Anakin brings balance to the Force, so perhaps Luke could instead be the embodiment of "the Balance." Rather funny, in a sense, since Anakin both biologically created Luke and was, in part, responsible, for Luke's ultimate enlightenment and thus the creation of this balance.

    Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "people are not good or evil they are either in balance or out of balance."

    Anyway, interesting perspective, Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon.
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  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    The balance of the Force is a balance between the light and dark sides. For those unmoved by what Lucas says on the subject, or the fact that the EU and TCW say the same thing, we have Obi-Wan in the work of art itself: Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness.

    Those unwilling to admit the existence of the sides of the Force must by necessity invent "alternative" definitions of balance.
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  17. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Oh, I do think that there's a "Light" and "Dark" side of the Force, but lately, I've been preferring to think of the "Light" side as being the Force in balance while the "Dark" side means being out of balance. In this sense, then the Dark Side inherently puts the Force out of balance. I simply believe that the Jedi, themselves, were not free from the influence of the Dark Side -- they had trouble remaining in balance and it took Luke's arrival to really set them on the correct path again.

    I'm also not a huge fan of using the terms "light" and "dark" as shorthand for "good" and "evil." I find it doesn't lend itself to discussion of subtleties very well, but your mileage may vary.
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  18. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    That's a fair point, and I think one could argue one way or the other about Yoda and the overall Order.

    Obi-Wan, however, clearly has some problems with it. I would argue that Mace Windu also has a big weak spot here, given how completely dense he is when dealing with Anakin - how completely lacking in anything resembling emotional sensitivity.(EDIT: Compare Anakin/Vader's two turns - Mace precisely because he ignores what Luke seizes on - Anakin's emotional state.)

    Even if Yoda does have a good connection to the Living Force, he's letting the Obi-Wans and Maces of the order dominate things. He's like the "cool" high school teacher who is so afraid of being looking like "the man" that he doesn't put his foot down even when he should.

    EDIT:

    That quote isn't as black-and-white as you think.

    Consider the options:
    A. Force completely in balance (in light)
    B. Force somewhat/mostly out of balance
    C. Force completely out of balance (in darkness)

    In other words, Obi-Wan said "You were to [take us from B to A], not [to C]!"

    Perhaps the dark side is when you go completely to one end or the other. So driven by your emotions that they control you (Living/Vader), or so coldly methodical that you have no heart (Unifying/Palpatine).
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  19. Jedsithor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2005
    star 4
    The balance of the Force isn't about how many Jedi and Sith there are. After all, When Vader kills Palpatine and dies as a result, the numbers are out of balance because there are no Sith but still one Jedi - Luke. He can then train Leia. That's two Jedi to no Sith. If balance was about numbers, Luke would have needed to die too so that there could be no more Jedi.

    The light side is simply the Force. The dark side is the corruption of the Force. Balance is about the way the Force is used. Jedi listen to the will of the Force and use their power selflessly. The Sith are selfish and they twist the Force to their own will. Plagueis using the midichlorians to cheat death is creating an imbalance. He is twisting the Force, defying the natural order. Think of the Force as nature. When Palpatine talks about "unnatural" abilities, those abilities are what create the imbalance. Jedi can see the future but they don't try to change it or ensure it happens if it's a future they like. They let go and embrace whatever comes. They understand that the future is always in motion. When a Sith senses the future, he tries to manipulate that future. This is what Palpatine did. This is what Luke risked doing when he flew to Cloud City.

    Because the Jedi are passive, they don't disrupt the balance of the Force. In fact it's impossible to imbalance the Force towards the so-called "light" side, because imbalance involves twisting nature and to do that, even for the right reasons, is a path to the Dark Side. This is why the Sith had to be destroyed. The Sith use the Force as a tool and twist it to suit their desires rather than listening to the will of the Force and letting go, not trying to control everything.

    So when Anakin destroys the Sith, he brings the Force, i.e. nature, back into balance. He destroys the corruption and allows the Force to return to it's natural state. The Living Force and Unifying Force concepts are irrelevant when it comes to the prophecy and balance. Even with the Sith destroyed, people can still fall to the Dark Side. But balance is maintained because those people won't have the knowledge of the Sith. They won't have the knowledge required to twist the Force. The Force has effectively been out of balance since the first Sith Lords discovered how to manipulate the Force. In fact it may not have even been the Sith who did it. It may have been the first Jedi at a time before the concept of the Dark Side even occurred to them.

    In fact I believe that this is precisely how it all came about (putting aside EU, which has the Force go out of balance again pretty quickly after ROTJ when you think about it). The first Jedi explored the Force as a whole. They discovered a way to manipulate the Force by drawing on passion, fear, aggression etc. Some Jedi became consumed by this knowledge, falling to the Dark Side as they sought the power to manipulate the Force for their own purposes. The Force shifted out of balance and the Jedi conceived of rules to prevent themselves from falling to the Dark Side and using that power to twist the Force. But the seeds had already been sewn and the Sith were born from that desire to use the Force as a tool to get what they wanted. When the Jedi finally defeated the Sith and saved the galaxy, the Force stayed out of balance because there were still Sith left...only two...but two were enough. The Sith knowledge was then handed down over the centuries, with generation after generation continuing to use this power to twist the Force, until finally Vader and Palpatine were destroyed, taking that knowledge with them. Thus the Jedi Order under Luke would be free of the temptation that began when the first Jedi, with no knowledge of the Dark Side, discovered a way to effectively manipulate the natural order. Thus the Force was allowed to come back into balance and the prophecy was fulfilled. It could conceivably happen again of course. Some fallen Jedi could discover the secrets of the Sith, twist the Force and bring it out of balance once more, but it's less likely to happen because the new Jedi Orde
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  20. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    That is simply not accurate. The Force has a light side and a dark side, and in the words of Lucas, they both have to be there. Or as the Father in the Mortis arc put it, "too much dark or light would be the undoing of life as you know it". Portraying a balanced Force as nothing but the light side is a questionable use of the term balance, because all light and no dark - all of one thing and none of the other - is in no way a balance.

    I get the idea, but I think that would be a more compelling argument if Mace had ever said anything in the films about either the living or the unifying Force.

    Well, actually it doesn't - meaning that it doesn't mention the condition of the balance of the Force during that period ( though it is commonly inferred that since the Sith eventually come back, so must the imbalance ). Some of this is obviously due to the fact that a lot of the EU in question was written and released well before TPM came out. From more recent EU, specifically the Luceno books, we know that the dark side first started gaining strength around the time of the master of the master of Plagueis. In other words, before that point the Banite Sith were around but the Force was not yet out of balance.
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  21. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    True. But pretty much anything to do with the prophecy involves a lot of extrapolation. Heck, the films don't even specify that the prophecy comes true (or was even legitimate in the first place).
  22. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I agree with Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon's points here.

    Anakin brought balance to the Force, but not in the way that the PT Jedi expected.

    And Palpatine exploited the flaws of the PT Jedi in order to cause their annihilation.
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  23. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    They expected him to destroy the Sith, and he did. They just didn't expect him to turn to the dark side first.
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  24. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

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    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    The Jedi are cruel. They want to wipe out the Sith simply because the two don't agree with the way they use the Force. From my point of view, the Jedi are evil. I'm not just quoting Vader. They were. The prophecy of the Chosen One is about them hurting the Sith.
  25. Anakin Starkiller Force Ghost

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    Jun 13, 1999
    star 1
    Where does Lucas say, "they both have to be there?" (I am not saying he didn't say that, but I would like the source as I am sure the source material would have a lot of juicy stuff for my edification.)

    But here is something to consider, what if the Father was wrong? Keeping the Son and the Daughter in a perpetual stalemate was HIS idea of balance -- but while in the Mortis Monolith the Son and the Daughter were so that neither was dominant did not reflect the reality of that the Force in the Galaxy (universe?) was already out of balance regardless of the state of the Son and the Daughter in Mortis. If Anakin had done what the Father had wanted -- stay in Mortis and ride herd on his children, the Force would have continued to be out of balance, and the prophecy never fulfilled. The three Anchorites were powerful in the Force and they did play out in allegorical relationships, but that is not to say that the events inside the Mortis Monolith affected the Galaxy or the true balance of the Force at all.

    I subscribe to the philosophy that the Force's natural state is one of balance and that the Dark Side arose as a perversion of the Force and caused the imbalance. If the Force is a healthy body, yes there are diseases and the like that are also natural but a body's immune system reacts to these and health (balance) is maintained in the presence of disease. Then there is the Dark Side which acts in a healthy body like a cancer. Using the body's own processes subverted towards malignant growth causes imbalance in an organism and without drastic intervention causes death.

    A state of Balance of the Force is only the Force (the term "light side" is never uttered once in G-canon) there are evils (illness) present but none that the Force is not capable of eliminating through agents of its will (The Jedi / healthy immune system) But the rise of the Dark Side (cancer) which uses the same mechanisms as the Force through it's agency (The sith / malfunctioning immune system) brings the system out of equilibrium. The Jedi are not capable of excising the Dark Side, but to bring balance after the introduction of the Dark Side takes an extraordinary being (The Chosen One / Universal Cure for Cancer).
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