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. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    What exactly does "Legend" have to do with the SW prequels? I have seen it several times and it deals with Darkness trying to destroy all that is good in the world and he uses innocence as bait. But I rather doubt that either of the two heroes are born from "virgin birth."
    I like the film but it is not without problems. The soundtrack on the US version doesn't really fit that well.

    In the case of the PT, I found the whole prophecy thing rather underdeveloped and thus not very relevant. Anakin is a moving force and has enough going on with his character and his life that he did not need this as well. If the films had done something interesting with it then good but as it it, the prophecy is just there and very little comes of it. The jedi don't talk much about what they think Anakin should do, nor do they give him any special training or special instructions. Then after RotS the whole thing is just forgotten.

    Anakin is a gifted Jedi and a good but flawed person that, due to his own fears and flaws, is seduced by evil and turns against all those he had ever loved. Doomed to darkness he thinks he can never escape from this life but then his own son's bravery, resolve and faith in his father shows him to be wrong and he breaks his own chains and comes back into the light. That is an epic enough story, to me it does not need a prophecy to be epic or interesting.

    An interesting twist they could have done is that the Jedi think that the chosen one is Anakin but later realize it is Luke, so they had the right idea but the wrong Skywalker.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
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  2. Jcuk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    HALF of it was an epic story. The latter half
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    "Born of the midichlorians" and "born of the Force" are the same theory, which assumes the Force acted through the midichlorians in accordance with what we were told about them in TPM. Yoda wasn't teaching about the mechanism of Force sensitivity in TESB. Everything said about the Force in TESB is still true in the PT, which declines even to define the Force in light of the fact that the Force was already defined in another trilogy. Also, Yoda's audience is a specific person, representing the last hope for the galaxy for reasons that we discover to be guaranteed by biology in the same film and its successor. The very existence of the etheric shell does not mean that just anyone can be a Jedi or Sith; the role of midichlorians coexists with it.
  4. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
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    Personally, I agree with you. However, I'm also not surprised that many would not. Hell, I suspect that even Lucas might not agree with you. I believe the main reason so many are more inclined to reject your suggestion is that the idea of a balance between good and evil is repellent to them. Such an idea smacks of moral ambiguity. Many people might claim they accept the idea of moral ambiguity, but I have a suspicion that deep down, they would rather reject it. Such an idea is too ambiguous . . . too vague and even worse, it smacks of uncertainty. People do not want life to be uncertain. They want life to be quickly identified with neat labels and with as little confusion as possible. Also, the idea of a balance of good and evil could lead to the possibility that all living beings have positive and negative within. And that is something I suspect very few people are willing to admit . . . even when they pay lip service to the idea.
  5. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    I can see where you are coming from with the first part of your post. I could almost agree with it, and from a certain point of view it may be true. But I think it telling that Qui-Gon suggests that it is the midiclorians rather than the Force that may have produced Anakin. Telling in that it demonstrates an idea of Lucas' to incorporate a 'scientific' basis for the Force - for reasons that will probably only ever be known by Lucas himself.

    But what this change in emphasis does is to alter the way the Force is portrayed, but then it would. The basis of the Force in the OT was spiritual (faith, belief) and a side plate of pre-destination (its in the blood). The thing is, midiclorians don't add up to Force sensitivity passed from generation to generation. It is not in the blood. If it were then a number of questions are raised. The most glaring one being; Why did Sidious take the long and tenuous route of cloning a non-Force sensitive army to take down the Jedi when he could have simply cloned an army of Mauls, or even himself and done the whole thing in double quick time. If the Jedi Order could keep peace within the Republic for a thousand generations then there is no reason an army of obedient Force sensitives could not keep Palpatine's sort of peace for as long. So, the midiclorians do nothing to explain why "The Force is strong in my family".

    Anyway, to the part that I least agree with. You say that the existence of the etheric shell does not mean just anyone can be a Jedi or a Sith....that is what the prophecy (among other changes) have altered about the saga. From the OT anybody could be a Jedi or a Sith. Not in the sense of having the full powers of a Jedi or a Sith (and we should be aware that these are particularly capable Force sensitives we are introduced to; the survivors of the Jedi purges, the Dark Lord who built the Empire, the young powerful Jedi seduced to the darkside and his son - so we don't know what were normative skills for the Jedi Order) but rather in what distinguished a Jedi from a Sith.

    Much is made of Lucas re-writing old myths in a new setting but, the real genius of the OT was that Lucas subverted those old mythologies. The hero (Luke in the OT) does not produce the mythical finale (defeating the monster), instead he sacrifices himself in order to remain pure of heart and is himself saved. In doing so he releases his father from his own enslavement, allows him to redeem himself. The end of the saga is, in fact, a stunning departure from mythology.

    By recasting the story from Luke's arc into the story of the 'tragic-hero' Anakin, a being born of the midiclorians or the Force, pre-ordained by powers outside of his will to his ultimate destiny, the whole emphasis of what matters from the OT gets lost in the noise.
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  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Qui-Gon also says that midichlorians convey the will of the Force, so it's not much of a leap to infer that the conception of Anakin was due to the will of the Force.

    It is in the case of the Skywalker bloodline. For others we do not have the evidence required to prove that it is not.

    In other words, don't make prequels? The moment TESB became Episode V, making ANH Episode IV, it was evident that episodes I-III would not be about Luke's arc, whether or not they were ever filmed.

    It depends on what mythology you're referring to. All of mythology is not represented by the phrase "hero slays monster". It is actually quite close to certain elements from Hindu mythology.

    The number of reasons is as large as the number of problems with the above. The films do not guarantee that cloning would preserve Force-sensitivity or that cloning of Force-sensitives would be as simple as some might assume. ( Vader, for one, had a great deal of trouble with it. ) There is also the issue of controlling all those darksiders. The rule of two exists for a reason. "Obedient" isn't happening. Also, Palpatine's plan involves getting the Republic to accept a seemingly legitimate clone army, which doesn't really work in the case of an army of Mauls. Regular clones worked just fine, there was no need for Palpatine to deliberately lower his life expectancy.

    That's why we see both concepts - the etheric shell and the implication that not just anyone can be a Force adept - in the same OT film. Because they are not in conflict. Unsurprisingly, taking things out of context can lead to problems.

    Wrong. Nothing of the sort was ever said in the OT even once. In fact, the OT creates exactly the opposite impression when it treats Anakin's offspring as the last hope out of a galaxy of uncounted trillions, while showing that any living child of Anakin would be considered a threat to Palpatine and that Leia would be guaranteed strength in the Force by virtue of parentage. These statements become meaningless and fully divorced from their intent if everyone has equal Force potential. What distinguishes a Jedi from a Sith is irrelevant in this context. Neither group's membership is shown to be open to everyone.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Apr 8, 2013
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  7. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
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    Hmmm...where to begin. I'll begin at the end. I don't think many people have a problem accepting that their own actions/feelings/motivations are not always of the purest bent. I think you may have a point in terms of how far some might go with analysing themselves but, generally most people are aware they have a darker side. The thing is there is a difference between acknowledging and accepting that. Carl Jung introduced the concept of the Shadow self - the true nature of oneself that the individual projects onto others because of the constricted view of the self-identified persona - a social mask that denies the darker aspects of oneself. But the idea of establishing that one has this darker nature is not to embrace it but to accept that it is within oneself and not in others. It is in order to come to terms with one's own faults and not believing them to be others'. And its not that new an idea. Buddhist philosophy is based around the the idea of letting go of the ego - that one's personal desires are the cause of one's own suffering, again all to do with self-identification. In the bible we have Jesus ask "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye", and then exhort "You hypocrite remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye"

    And what is this moral ambiguity that, seemingly, should be striven for? Moral ambiguity does exactly what it says on the tin, it is undecided; more it is equivocal. And in terms of morality what does that mean? Well, morality is the set of standards that one lives by. To be morally ambiguous is to be without standards. Introducing moral ambiguity into a story is succesful within a story in which there is no right or wrong side - and in fact will usually highlight the actual moral ambivalence of the characters, despite their claims to moral rectitude.

    And, in a way, that Lucas seemingly tries to incorporate that into the saga - within the PT - is to miss the point that the story is ultimately about moral choices. How can one be redeemed if one did nothing wrong - after all if there is no moral right or wrong then one cannot have done wrong.

    And, again this idea that there must be a balance between good and evil.....what do people mean by evil? There is a tendency to see yin-yang as representing such but the nearest term to evil in the structures of these systems is 'the way of man'. I've asked this before and I have to ask again; is the suggestion here that there must be war, torture, slavery or some other form of evil in order for there to be balance? Because if that is the suggestion then, you are right on one thing, I find that conception repelent.
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  8. Jcuk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    Palpatine was very concerned when he learned that the offspring of Anakin was strong with the force (strong enough to be detected as a threat to his dominance over Vader) He knew full well Anakin/Vader was a being who fed of his emotions. Anakin wasn't trained to be a Sith from his beginning. He was a fallen Jedi. So wether he wanted to admit it, he knew good still dwelled within Vaders soul somewhere and that Luke (if he became a powerful Jedi) would be infinitely MORE of a threat than some stranger who was a Jedi.
  9. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Communicate, not act out. They are what allow living beings to communicate with the Force and vice versa. The midiclorians represent, in so many ways, meaningless bio-babble.

    Again, this highlights the bio-babble nature of midiclorians. If it were true that it were in the blood, then people could be 'infected' with Force sensitivity by a simple blood transfusion. So, it is not in the blood. As for genetics....

    You are right, the films don't guarantee that, but that's the problem. The thing is that, while I have no recollection of Vader attempting to clone anybody or anything, it is his progeny that is expected to be Force sensitive (because the Force is strong in that family). Now....to all intents and purposes having children is semi-cloning. The genetic coding from each parent is copied and split/shared producing offspring. Cloning (to keep it simple) simply removes one half of the coding input. If one has the technology to clone as the Kaminoans do then there is no scientific reason why, if Force sensitivity is genetic, Force sensitivity should not be passed on through cloning any less than it would through the semi-cloning of parent-parent reproduction - in fact it should ensure it to a greater degree as there would be no chance of non Force sensitive genetics getting mixed up in there.

    You offer no explanation as to why it is conceivable to make non sensitive clones 'less independent' but not Force sensitives, simply saying it does not count as explanation. The reason Palpatine got the Republic to accept an army of clones is so that he could thin out his enemies and then unleash his army upon them. With an army of Mauls he simply would not need to do that.

    The prequels did not have to be about Anakin Skywalker. That there are prequels does not automatically equate with it now being the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker. Of course the tragedy of the character of Anakin would , by the nature of the OT, be an aspect of the prequels, but it needn't have been the focus. It certainly didn't need to be the subject of a prophecy, nor did it require the mythology of a virgin birth (which is never noted by anybody again, by the way). In fact the tale of how Palpatine came to power is a far more compelling one, as is the destruction of the Jedi Order. But, because Lucas decided it was to become a six part tragedy of Anakin Skywalker then the Jedi had to become , in some way, architects of their own downfall - simply in order to force Anakin's 'choices' (he can't choose between love and duty....get me the bucket). Anakin isn't so much "seduced" to the darkside, he is rather 'forced' into a set of choices he continually gets wrong.

    I was referring to Joseph Campbell's take on the heroic archetype. I am aware that Campbell tends to generalise and see similarities and not see differentiation. But, I am truly interested in the Hindu mythology you talk of because I got the impression that the Hindu heroic figures followed a similar patter to other Indo-European mythologies (which do tend toward the archetype referred to here)



    Indeed, which leads nicely onto this next...

    Perhaps you might like to address the point that I actually made. A good starting point would be to quote the whole of what you are responding to. If you don't get what I am saying then fair enough. If I haven't explained it well enough then that fault is mine. But, at least address what I said rather than taking all the context out of it.
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Apr 8, 2013
  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    As I said, not much of a leap, and it's not exactly portrayed as a common occurrence. It certainly makes no less sense to assume the conception was willed by the Force than to assume it was willed by the midichlorians themselves for reasons unknown.

    "Ultimately, I would say the Force itself created Anakin." - George Lucas

    Since the first of the two sentences in the above contains substantive meaning, the second is unable to render it meaningless.

    This does not follow. In the EU midichlorian transfusion has been found to not work because the midichlorians seem to "know" ( for lack of a better word ) that they are not in the right host. Yet we see in the films that midichlorian count is determined by a test of the blood, since they exist in all living cells, including blood cells. Cronal refers to the source of Luke and Leia's power as "an accident of genetics". The fact remains that they were said to be automatically a potential threat to the Emperor due to their parentage. On what basis would characters such as Obi-Wan and Palpatine ( and EU Vader ) have believed such a thing to be true, if not related to biology? In other words, if these characters, starting only with Anakin, believed that Force strength would be automatically granted to a hypothetical Skywalker line of Anakin descendants for some other reason, what reason did they have for this belief?

    He wouldn't be likely to survive an army of Mauls, which would be a gigantic rule of two violation. It also seems doubtful that the training of such an army would even be feasible, that the Kaminoans would necessarily have anything to do with the process, and especially that it would escape the notice of the Jedi for long enough. We see in the OT that the training of Force-sensitives is capable of producing disturbances in the Force.

    That is a somewhat ridiculous statement.

    That there are prequels automatically equates with it no longer being "The Adventures of Luke Skywalker", a tagline only appearing on books. Thus, the popular slant that it changed from "The Adventures of Luke Skywalker" to "The Tragedy of Darth Vader" is of a disingenuous nature.

    If "fallen hero" doesn't fit that archetype ( which would seem to be an artificially narrow characterization of mythology in general ) then the backstory implied by the OT does not fit the archetype.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Apr 8, 2013
  11. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Its a huge leap. I can communicate with you on these boards. It is a pretty big leap to suggest that I can contyrol you. The midiclorians reside (as Qui-Gon explains it) within our cells. It is, it is shown, a matter of the number of midiclorians which grant the greater ability to communicate with them. So....how did the midiclorians conceive Anakin within Schmi? Was Schmi, then, Force sensitive to a great degree? She must have been, surely, for the midiclorians to have been able to act so upon her. Bio-babble.

    As to the last part of this, the quote; that links to the final part of your post, so hold that thought.

    You seem to be missing the point. The only explanation for the truth of midiclorians is that...the logic of the story dictates that the 'logic' of them is correct. That misses the point of the phrase bio-babble. Lucas said he introduced midiclorians as a scientific explanation of how the Force interacts with beings. But in terms of any sort of scientific questioning of them they fail dismally. As a biological entity they make zero sense. Hence bio-babble.


    No it isn't. Just because that is what we have, there is no reason other than Lucas' desire to do so that it had to be. It could be a whole host of stories that lead up to the OT - in fact pretty much as Lucas seems to have intended when first he considered prequels. And the problem of it being the "tragedy" of Anakin Skywalker is what dislocates it from the OT.

    Strawman. This is nothing to do with the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. That the OT is the arc of Luke is clear. Vader appears for, what, nine minutes in ANH. It does not follow that adding prequels has to incorporate them into a larger arc, other than an explanation of how everyone ended up where they were at the beginning of the OT.

    And here we can link up the strands of what is wrong with the prophecy/virgin birth - born of the Force 'Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker'. You use the term here 'fallen hero', but that is not the archetype we are dealing with. We are dealing with the tragic hero, and that is a very different beast. In that archetype the protagonist is destined to his fate. No matter the choices he makes, his fate is sealed. When you watch the movies you can see Lucas struggle to incorporate responsibility into this tale, but it cannot properly be done. That is why the PT dislocates from the OT. Far from being seduced to the darkside, as we are lead to believe from the OT, Anakin instead signs a last minute.com deal. He is tricked to the darkside. But more than that, he is ultimately doomed to it. He is driven down an increasingly narrow alley of choices. The very fact that Lucas decided to make the saga about the tragic hero Anakin Skywalker, in the world of archetypes, with all of its mythical baggage, he dislocated the values of the OT (where choosing was the key) from the PT (where predestiny reigns)
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Apr 9, 2013
  12. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
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    ["Arawn_Fenn, post: 50628322, member: 1132907"]
    Several comments/questions about this.
    1) If the midis can change their numbers depending which person they are inside of, then a very simple way exist for the Force to deal with the Sith. Simply tell the midis in Palpatines body to lower their number. This would weaken Palpatine and sever his connection to the Force. They could all die which would in turn mean that Palpatine would die as well.

    2) How can the midis be passed on? They are not a part of the DNA/Genes of the host so they wont be passed down. They are a separate lifeform, with it's own reproduction and DNA/Genes.
    The growing child shares blood with the mother so if anything it would get the same midi count as the mother.
    But then that would make the fathers midi count largely irrelevant.

    3) Why would Yoda/Obi-Wan think that Luke/Leia would be strong in the Force to the point that they are "their only hope."? Well if we for a moment ignore the PT and move away from biology and more into the realm of the religious. The Force is used in ways that mirrors God. "May the Force be with us." is used in a very similar way as "May God be with us." Even regular people say this.
    So if the Force = GOD, then perhaps some families are "blessed" by God. The Skywalker line could be a line of very powerfull Force users that stretch back many generations and the reason is that they are "favored" by God. So their Force ability is passed down but not due to any scientific/biological factors but that they are "special".
    Say that some Jedi did have children but their children did not inherit their parents Force ability but with the Skywalker line this was always so. Yes very overt religious/spiritual stuff but given how the Force is used, not a totally unreasonable alternative.
    In many myths, the Hero is often of a famous line or family. Their father/grandfather was a great hero so their name alone carries weight. Say that the Skywalker line in SW was very well known and respected. Thus a rebel with that name could be a far bigger problem than just anybody. Such a rebel could rally more people to his cause simply due to his legacy.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor.[/quote]
    Last edited by Samuel Vimes, Apr 10, 2013
  13. Dasan Jedi Master

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    Jul 7, 2013
    star 1
    I wonder if the reason the "Light Side" is never mentioned in the saga is because what we refer to as the Light Side is already a balance between the light and the dark, and the Dark Side is therefore an imbalance, since it contains none of the Light. By calling it "the Light Side" we incorrectly assume it is simply the other half of a dualism, where in fact it transcends the dualism and contains everything within it, unlike the Dark Side, which acts on a purely dichotomous level. In other words, by insisting on pitting them against each other we muddle the distinction between the two. The so-called Light Side is not simply another side of the a coin, as the Dark Side is. It is the whole coin, all the other coins, and the pouch they are kept in.
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  14. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Going back to the main point of this thread and disagreeing with some who have posted on this thread, I think there is a genuis to how the Chosen One prophecy story develops, and I think it adds a great deal to the overall Saga. It is true that Anakin could have just been a Jedi who fell to the dark side and then is brought back to the light by his son, and if it were done that way, I think his story wouldn't have been affected that much by the change, though making him the Chosen One does give him greater importance.

    Where I think the genuis comes in is with Palpatine. There are tons of stories about people trying to thwart their destined downfall (Oedipus, MacBeth, etc.), but Palpatine's approach to thwarting the prophecy is unique. The EU makes it clear that the Palpatine is aware of the prophecy, but with all that Palpatine can foresee (even that Padme is pregnant and Anakin dreams she'll die in child birth), his knowledge of Jedi lore, his close relationship with Anakin, and his reaction when Anakin is turned, pretty much guarantees that Palpatine knows of the Chosen One prophecy, and this is a pretty big thing for him since part of the prophecy apparently involves his death.

    So, to me, this is what makes the Chosen One prophecy its importance: it gives Palpatine adversity that he can he can only overcome by being incredibly clever. Palpatine knows that this young, powerful Jedi is destined to kill him, so what does Palpatine try to do? Just the opposite of what you would expect. He doesn't try to kill him but instead tries to befriend him, and why does he does this? He does this because he realizes that if he can turn Anakin into a Sith, then he would have apparently thwarted the prophecy. It's accepted wisdom that once you become a Sith you never turn back. Yoda thinks this, Obi-Wan thinks this, even Vader thinks this: "It is too late for me, Son." So, if Palpatine can turn Anakin into a Sith, either one of two possibilities will occur. Later on, Vader will challenge Palpatine and Palpatine will defeat him. This would obviously thwart the prophecy because Palpatine would survive. However, and this is a "big however," even if Vader defeats Palpatine, then Palpatine still would have won. Here's the reason: even with Palpatine's death, the Sith lineage will continue on. This is what the Rule of 2 is all about, and Palpatine is an adherent of it. The rule of 2 guarantees that sooner or later the apprentice usurps the Master and continues on his legacy. Palpatine's master rejected the Rule of Two, but Palpatine embraced it, and what he says to Yoda in ROTS shows this to be true: "You will not defeat me. Darth Vader will become more powerful than either of us." This clearly shows Palpatine's mindset. He's basically admitting, "Yoda, even if you kill me, it doesn't matter because killing me doesn't equal my defeat. Defeating me means ending the Sith line, and Vader will continue it after my death."

    So, in a nutshell, the Chosen One prophecy doesn't add that much to Anakin's storyline but it adds a ton to Palpatine's storyline. Apart from coming to power, Palpatine's main storyline in the PT is trying the thwart the prophecy, and he goes to great lengths to do accomplish this goal and he does so very cleverly. The confrontation with Mace is the best example of this. Palpatine sets up and instigates that confrontation with a skilled Jedi duelist. He places himself in a situation in which he appears helpless and momentarily is truly helpless because standing right beside them with light saber in hand is Anakin: the guy who is supposed to kill Palpatine! However, Palpatine, by placing himself in momentary jeopardy with his ostensible killer right beside him, actually thwarts the prophecy in the process. Palpatine knows (or at least think he knows) that Anakin will intervene on his behalf because he has sown so much distrust of the Jedi in Anakin's mind and because Palpatine might be able to save Padme's life. Consequently, the guy who is supposed to kill Palpatine becomes his savior, and by attacking Mace, Anakin is placed in a position where he can't turn back and he must align himself with the Sith. One instant, Palpatine is helpless with the Chosen One armed right beside him. The next instant, by his clever manipulation of Anakin, Palpatine has been freed from any threat of the Chosen One prophecy being fulfilled.

    That, my friends, is one brilliantly evil plan! And while it doesn't save Palpatine in the end, his devious machinations clearly adds 23 extra years to Palpatine's rule.


    In regards to a few other comments on this thread, I respectfully disagree that the films don't explain what the Chosen One prophecy is all about. As Arawn has pointed out, it is implied that the Chosen One is thought to have incredibly high levels of midichlorians. It is also clearly stated that the Chosen One will bring the balance to the Force. We as viewers already have a good idea of what that means since we know that Anakin will toss Palpatine to his death. However, it is also stated in the films what being the Chosen One means. First, Obi-Wan's conversation with Yoda pretty much establishes that Anakin is the Chosen One.

    Obi-Won: "Is he not the Chosen One? Is he not to bring balance to the Force?"
    Yoda: "The Chosen One the boy may be, but grave danger I sense in his training."

    Then Obi-Won's conversation with Mace confirms what bringing balance to the Force means:

    Obi-Won: With all due respect, Master, is he not the Chosen One? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force?
    Mace: So the prophecy says.
    Yoda: A prophecy misread may have been.

    Mace's reaction is actually the most important thing here. He may be somewhat skeptical of the prophecy, but he completely agrees with Obi-Wan that, according to the prophecy, the Chosen One will bring balance to the Force by killing the Sith off. So, Mace's comment confirms the conventional Jedi interpretation of the prophecy. Finally, what Yoda says also makes perfect sense. He says the prophecy may have been misread, and it clearly is misinterpreted given that I doubt any of the Jedi believe that fulfilling the prophecy would occur only after the Chosen One has joined the Sith and helped the Sith wipe out the Jedi.

    Finally, Obi-Won's words after he has defeated Anakin re-iterates what the prophecy and bringing balance to the Force really means.

    Obi-Won: You were the Chosen One! It was said you would destroy the Sith not join! Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!

    So, to me, it seems that films do make it very clear what the prophecy is meant to mean, and Anakin's fulfillment of the stated meaning of the prophecy makes it clear that Obi-Won, Mace, and the rest were correct in their understanding of the prophecy's meaning after all is said and done.
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