PT What are your thoughts on the whole idea of Anakin Skywalker's character to have a prophecy?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by DarthVist, Sep 14, 2020.


Do you think it was a good or bad idea for Anakin Skywalker's character to have a prophecy?

  1. I think it was a good idea for Anakin's character to have a prophecy

    31 vote(s)
  2. I think it was a bad idea for Anakin's character to have a prophecy

    11 vote(s)
  3. I have mixed feelings about the idea of Anakin's character having a prophecy

    17 vote(s)
  1. DarthVist

    DarthVist Jedi Knight star 1

    Mar 20, 2019
    When George Lucas was making the Prequel Trilogy, do you think he should have had Anakin Skywalker stay as an important Soldier or general that Palpatine manipulated and not some prodigy savior that was called so important for the universe? So that would mean that Anakin would've had an actual father instead of being created through the Force. Or are you glad that George Lucas went with the whole prophecy thing?

    Basically, George Lucas tried making Anakin space Jesus when he wrote the whole prophecy thing about him.
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  2. Thena

    Thena Chosen One star 7

    May 10, 2001
    They don't ever say they know for sure if he's the one the prophecy referred to.
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  3. DarthVist

    DarthVist Jedi Knight star 1

    Mar 20, 2019
    I have mixed feelings about it. I think the whole prophecy idea is interesting. But at the same time, it did open up a lot of unanswered questions.
  4. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 28, 2015
    I'm indifferent to it. Did it need to be there? No. Does it ruin SW for existing? No. I do like the subversion of the Chosen One prophecy tho. Star Wars and Dune Messiah are the only two stories that come to mind that do that.
  5. I Are The Internets

    I Are The Internets Shelf of Shame Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 20, 2012
    I'm of the theory that Yoda and Mace wrote it one drunken night
  6. wobbits

    wobbits Force Ghost star 4

    Apr 12, 2017
    I have no issue with it (at least until the ST tried to change it). I like George's story the way he wrote it. Having this prophecy hanging over his head, the expectations, do add to the pressure Anakin must have felt growing up as a padawan. Some say it added to his arrogance but I always felt that it was more along the lines of "I need to be doing this at this stage or I'll never be good enough". His expectations for himself trying to live up to that could have been a constant concern.
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Anakin Skywalker was never going to be just an important general or soldier. He was always going to be a powerful Jedi because that was how he was described by Yoda ("Your father, powerful Jedi was he").

    It's also debatable how much of a savior Anakin is despite the prophecy that he is the Chosen One meant to bring balance to the Force. Anakin is at least as much destroyer--of the Jedi, of the Republic, of Padme--as he is any sort of savior. To me, there is at least as much subversion of the savior of prophecy trope in the PT as there is adherence to it, and I like the fact that the prophecy and what it means is left somewhat open to audience interpretation. What does it mean to bring balance to the Force? How does one bring balance to the Force? Is Anakin truly the Chosen One? Lots of questions that it is up to the viewer to answer.

    Apart from that, I think Anakin really is more the tragic hero than the savior. If anything, I would say Luke in the OT, the classic hero, more closely fits the bill of savior--savior of the Jedi and the galaxy as well as redeemer of his father. So, I'm not sure why people critique Anakin as some sort of savior figure but don't accuse Luke of being that.[face_dunno]

    Prophecy and fate are very much a part of the PT in general and Anakin's story in particular. Anakin is the subject to the speculation that he is the Chosen One of prophecy and has prophetic dreams of first his mother's death in AOTC and then his wife's in ROTS, dreams that tragically come to pass. Prophecy and fate are two major themes in tragedies, and that is what the PT at its heart is: a modern interpretation set in space of classical tragedies.

    Anakin being literally the boy with no father gives him a psychological need for a father, explaining why he latches so quickly onto Qui-Gon as a father figure in TPM, and then when Qui-Gon dies, to Obi-Wan and Palpatine. Anakin is torn between his light and dark father figures, Obi-Wan and Palpatine, throughout AOTC and ROTS, and in that way, a large part of the PT is about the battle of those two father figures for Anakin's soul. Anakin is also especially vulnerable to Palpatine's emotional and psychological manipulations because of his desire for the approval and affection of a father figure. It is hard to understand the depth of that desire without knowing that he is literally the boy with no father.

    The PT draws on myth and a long, tragic tradition and prophecy is a huge part of myth and tragic tradition. Personally, Anakin's story is one of the few versions of the Chosen One trope that I find interesting and original because of the subversive elements. Anakin isn't Aragorn or Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker. He's a far more tragic hero than that and it's debatable whether he is a savior or a destroyer. That's compelling stuff to me.
  8. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Wacky Wednesday Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Sep 2, 2012

    When I first knew him, your father was already a great pilot, but I was amazed how strongly the Force was with him.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  9. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    But my issue is that none of this was IN the films. Anakin never talks about the prophecy, what he is supposed to do or any burden about being the chose one.
    It could certainly explain his arrogance in AotC, he is not just a powerful Jedi, he is their literal savior.
    So then it makes sense that he would think he can do no wrong, that all other Jedi are beneath him.

    This is my biggest gripe with the prophecy, it feels under-cooked. It is just there and does not add much to the story or the characters. It just establishes that Anakin is really super special, better than all other mortals, he is a demi-God really. But then very little and in RotS the prophecy thing is cast in doubt, maybe they got it wrong.

    I think you could have done the same story in the PT with Anakin just being unusually talented and the time wasted on the prophecy could have been used elsewhere.
    I was not against the idea but I find the execution lacking and thus the concept never really came alive.

    Luke was also a powerful Jedi and he was not a divinely created chose one.

    As far as the films go, the answer is easy, kill the sith. Problem solved.
    That is all there is to it, the sith unbalance the Force and to stop that you need to kill them all.
    And that is what Anakin does, he kills Palpatine and then dies. No more sith = Force balanced.
    And that is apparently why the Force created him, to kill Sith or just Palpatine.

    The questions that arise are;
    The sith used to rule the galaxy, was the Force unbalanced then and was there another chose one back then as well? If not, why wasn't the Force unbalanced then but it now?
    What makes the prophecy different from the Jedi seeing the future but with the uncertainty "Always in motion is the future."?
    Why did the Jedi bother with a prophecy that talked about someone that would kill the sith when they thought the sith a millennia dead?
    If the Force want the sith dead, why doesn't it just kill them itself and be done with it? Why create a person whose sole purpose to exist is to kill the bad guys?

    Anakin is more of an overt messianic figure. He has no father, he is created by "God", he is the subject of a prophecy and all that.
    Luke is a pretty standard Hero that had a famous and heroic father. Later subverted by havign that father be the villain.
    And all Luke does at the end is to inspire his father, he shows that the dark side can be resisted, that he still loves his father despite everything. Said father then breaks his chains and kill his evil master.
    The rebels are the ones who blow up the DS2. So Luke's victory is personal, he redeemed his father, his friends saved the galaxy.

    Not sure I agree with this.
    If Anakin had been a normal person just one that never knew his father and wanted a father figure then everything would have played out as is.
    Luke wanted to know about his father and looked up to him. And he was a normal human.

    But as I said above, I find it rather uninteresting because it has little to no impact on Anakin as a character. He never mentions it.
    Harry Potter talked about it and there was talk about what he would have done if he had not been the chose one. And the answer was that he would oppose Voldemort anyway because that was who he was as a person. He didn't need a prophecy for that.
    Luke didn't have a prophecy in the films, there was one in the earlier scripts. The son of the suns thing.
    Aragorn also did not have one.

    To me the Matrix did a more subversive thing in the second film where the whole prophecy was revealed as nothing more than another system of control.

    Lastly, you could remove the whole chosen one thing and the only difference it would make is that the Jedi would now need another reason to change their minds and decide to accept Anakin. Well you migth need to give Qui-Gon another motive for being interested in Anakin.
    But having Anakin be unusually gifted and Qui-Gon being impressed with his abilities, esp in light of not having any training. So he decides to train Anakin. But the council is against it as he is too old and they fear his attachment to his mother. But Obi-Wan, following his promise to Qui-Gon, makes an ultimatum, he will train Anakin, with the consent or not. So they agree. Plus they know that the sith are back and the sith would not hesitate to take and use someone with the power of Anakin.
    All the rest, him worrying about his mother, his bad dreams, him failing to save her, his dangerous promise, all that could be done with a human Anakin and not demi-God Anakin

    In closing, decent idea, not so fond of the end result. Could have worked without it.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  10. Count Yubnub

    Count Yubnub Force Ghost star 4

    Oct 1, 2012
    Basically, George Lucas tried making Anakin space Jesus when he wrote the whole prophecy thing about him.

    No, he didn’t. GL simply complied with the mythological theme of heroes having a human mother and a deity for a father. There’s a whole chapter in “The hero with a thousand faces” about this.
  11. IG Lancer

    IG Lancer Jedi Knight star 3

    Feb 8, 2015
    I loathe the "Chosen One" trope, so yes, I would have liked it better if Anakin were more like Dooku, a powerful Jedi who was tricked into believing that he could use the power of the Dark Side like just another tool, instead of some wonder child of prophecy who should never have been a Jedi but was accepted anyway because he may be the Space Messiah...
  12. lord_sidious_

    lord_sidious_ Jedi Knight star 3

    Feb 19, 2019
    Personally I don't give the prophecy any weight. We don't even know where it came from. The whole thing could have been misread or a hoax of some sort.
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  13. Tonyg

    Tonyg Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 16, 2016
    Without the prophecy most events wouldn't make sense. Qui Gon noticed Anakin because of boy's unusual skills but he insisted that Anakin should become an exception in the Order (about his late training) because of the prophecy. Anakin was seen as the Chosen one by the rest of the Order which put big weight on his very young shoulders. One of the reasons that lead to his falling (while not being the most important one) were those grand expectations and that he should be unusual, the best Jedi. In the end the prophecy was right but misinterpreted as often happens. The same as the prophecy of the Witch king of Angmar in LOTR who couldn't be killed by mortal man: indeed he was killed by woman with a help of a hobbit.
    Anakin did bring balance, but he was not the savior figure in this, he was the vessel in which the prophecy came to life. Much like Frodo of Lord of the rings who is not the savior of Middle Earth but without him there wouldn't be Middle Earth anymore. By the way, Frodo also falls. It is in the end, however he succumbed to the influence of the Ring and the salvation come in the most unexpected way through Gollum who is practically Frodo after 500 years under the ring witchcraft.
    A difference from Frodo, the prodigal son Anakin couldn't survive long after his feat as he has too much sins to pay for, but in the end the prophecy was fulfilled and Anakin did what was considered as impossible: come back from the Dark Side.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
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  14. FightoftheForgotten

    FightoftheForgotten Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2020
    The force is a field of energy. A person can use it for good or bad. The idea of balancing it makes no sense. How did it get unbalanced? The Sith? How does killing all the Sith bring it back into balance? Other people can do what the Sith did. Unlike earthly religions, the force actually exists. Just because you kill all the Sith doesn't mean someone else can't rebuild their way of life. It'd be like burning all the science books and then declaring science dead. It makes no sense.

    The prophecy isn't even all that important. It's not mentioned in the OT or TFA or TLJ. It's mentioned in one line in TROS. It's mentioned once in AOTC. It really only plays a part in TPM and ROTS, and you could easily write it out of those films completely.

    You need Qui-Gon to be impressed with Anakin. How about the fact that he not only survived a podrace as a human, but he won.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
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  15. Talos of Atmora

    Talos of Atmora Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 3, 2016
    It's unfortunate that comparison isn't made too often.
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    DARTH_BELO Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 25, 2003
    I like that the birth of Anakin caused the Jedi to recognize a prophecy coming to fruition. It really kind of adds a level of importance to Anakin and really, the Skywalker line, both internally within the story, and externally to us as the audience. Now that the entire saga has played out the way it did, to me the prophecy still holds up, but instead of specifically just Anakin, it rather is describing the Skywalker line as a whole, beginning with Anakin. I actually prefer it this way, as it really ties together the Skywalker saga in terms of that family line's accomplishments and effect on the galaxy as a whole throughout the episodes.
    Tonyg likes this.
  17. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 11, 2019
    It didn't really matter to me, if I must be honest. But I believe it all worked out in the end, at least by "Return of the Jedi". The prophecy only played out in a way that many had expected.
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  18. Lord Sith Harloxzz

    Lord Sith Harloxzz Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 27, 2016
    A little forced like the idea of Vader destroy the final Sith but i dont like being born with pure force
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  19. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    It all comes out of ANH in the first place where Vader was supposed to be just one of many Sith. At best he was the leader of the Sith serving a political Emperor but the success of the character made Lucas do a complete overhaul whereby now he was one of only two dark side Force users with the other being the Emperor himself. In addition to that he was transformed from being some random evil student of Obi-Wan's to Luke's father.

    Another aspect that was changed was that initially Vader was not a cyborg anymore than the Stormtroopers, TIE pilots or even Rebel pilots were. Vader's chest box was openly just strapped on in ANH but that was covered over in TESB.


    He was like Doctor Doom. The old and worn armor was not special in itself. He had a scarred face from the duel with Kenobi. After the fact of the shooting is when the Vader as a cyborg was created. Lucas had cyborgs in earlier drafts (including Kane Starkiller and Obi-Wan at one point) but left it out of ANH at first. For TESB the worn down look was made machine polished and the chest device more part of the armor with lights along with the robes no longer over the chest piece.


    Now it was a respirator and life support unit not just a regular space suit that pilots wear.

    The point being that Lucas kept making the character more and more important which included his son. Why did the Emperor want the son of Skywalker so much? Because he was a massive improvement on Skywalker himself who was nowhere near what he would have been if he didn't get stuck in the armor. Yet apparently there was no one who was better than Vader was even in the suit.

    Between the Emperor, Vader, Obi-Wan and Yoda all of them looked to Luke to be the "Chosen One" who would either destroy the Sith and bring good back or fall to the Dark side and become an even greater agent of evil than Vader. To Lucas the logical progression of the story was that before Luke was the "New Hope/Chosen One" that Anakin was that to the Jedi and Sith.

    With Luke the story was that he was Arthur Pendragon to Anakin's Uther Pendragon but how to make Anakin an "Arthur" on his own? If he just made it that Anakin's father was some super powerful Jedi then that would be too much of the same thing. Besides that he didn't want Jedi families because that also was intrinsic to the story of why everyone knew that Luke would be special due to his father being that as well.

    This all lead to the prophecy and the conception by midi-chlorians which told the Jedi and Sidious that Anakin was someone who with training would become super powerful and that the balance of the Force could turn on his actions. For the Sith with the Rule of Two then there is no choice but for Sidious to want to have Anakin as his apprentice over anyone else just as in the prior made movies he wanted Luke over Vader.
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  20. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Wacky Wednesday Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Sep 2, 2012
    The first written source to state that Vader was "virtually a walking iron lung" was Star Wars Poster Monthly, and shortly before that, there was an interview in Rolling Stone:

    Rolling Stone: August 25, 1977:

    "It's about Ben and Luke's father and Vader when they are young Jedi knights. But Vader kills Luke's father, then Ben and Vader have a confrontation, just like they have in Star Wars, and Ben almost kills Vader. As a matter of fact, he falls into a volcanic pit and gets fried and is one destroyed being. That's why he has to wear the suit with a mask, because it's a breathing mask. It's like a walking iron lung. His face is all horrible inside. I was going to shoot a close-up of Vader where you could see the inside of his face, but then we said, no, no, it would destroy the mystique of the whole thing."

    Star Wars Poster Monthly

    Published November 1977

    As on earth where we have White and Black Magic, so the Force has its dark side and Vader, for reasons that are unclear, became consumed by it. It led him to that fateful day when, in a fierce battle, he killed Luke Skywalker's father.

    What is less well known is that Vader himself was then almost killed by Ben Kenobi, who was understandably enraged at his disciple's fall from grace. Vader's life might have ended then and there with a quick stab of a light saber; instead, during the fight, Vader stumbled backwards and fell into a volcanic pit where he was nearly fried alive. What remained was dragged out and preserved by encasing it in an outsized black metal suit - virtually a walking iron lung.
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  21. Oissan

    Oissan Chosen One star 7

    Mar 9, 2001
    Of course it makes sense. Why wouldn't it?
    There are quite a few asian religions that deal with this sort of concept. And there is also nature, for which you could apply it as well. Something doesn't lack logic just because you don't understand it.

    "Killing a Sith" doesn't bring the force back into balance. Nor is "killing all the Sith" the requirement for it to be in balance, otherwise it would have been out of balance the entire time (the Sith were in hiding, not gone). What brings the force back into balance is a certain disruptive influence being gone. The force has a natural flow to it, the Jedi don't disturb this flow because they are adhering to its wishes, they go with the flow, not against it. Darksiders, on the other hand, try to twist the force. That isn't an issue when your random darksider does some evil stuff on a minor level, or if they try to hide themselves from the face of the galaxy, but it very well does have an impact when an extremely powerful one does things that wreak havoc on the force. Note how the force gets shrouded by the darkside the more Palpatine works his magic. He was such a great influence on the flow of the force that the force itself reacted to rid itself of this influence.

    Just like an oil-spill has an impact on the environment, large darkside influence disturbs the force. That's why the force can be balanced by removing this influence. It isn't about a Sith or the Sith, it is about the acts of a very specific Sith. Further new Sith don't automatically become an issue, because they are not operating on the same level as Palpatine did. They might not have his power or his influence on things.

    That isn't any different than a dam stopping the natural flow of a river, only for the river being allowed to find its own way again if the dam gets destroyed. Throwing some rocks into the river isn't suddenly going to have the same impact as the dam had.
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  22. Vorax

    Vorax Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 10, 2014
    Well its a mess, but it was about the Sith, at least how the Jedi interpreted it in the PT:

    Ob-Wan: You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the force... not leave it in darkness! - ROTS

    Ob-Wan: With all due respect, Master, is he not the Chosen One? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force? - ROTS

    Mace : So the prophecy says. - ROTS

    The Mortis arc in particular played around with the prophecy bringing Light and Dark into balance, as broader than the Jedi and the Sith. There was also that middle ground, The Father whom Anakin had to replace but never did. Later on Rebels Bendu kinda ocupied that thing in the middle but it never went anywhere. But thats how they played around with the prophecy being meaningless by the time the ST came around, Anakin destroyed the Sith but not the Dark Side kinda thing. TROS destroyed all that once it was known that Darth Sidious and the Sith Eternal were around and have always been. So Anakin never accomplished a thing. Even in Lucas' ST Darth Maul and Darth Talon were a thing. So yeah neither the Sith nor the Dark Side would go away. The Empire never went away either in either the Disney or Lucas ST.

    Anakin's sacrifice didnt really amount to anything . Sidious had preparations in case Vader turned on him, which is also a Sith thing to do anyway.

    A prophecy thing was first explored in Dark Empire, but it had to two with the Skywalker twins .
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  23. Oissan

    Oissan Chosen One star 7

    Mar 9, 2001
    Of course it did. Palpatine was the all-powerful Emperor of the galaxy, and the force was shrouded in darkness. If you just go by what Lucas did and planned to do, the force was brought back into balance when Palpatine died. There being some other Sith afterwards has no bearing on the force being in balance or not, since the balance doesn't hinge on their existance. Again, if the mere presence of darksiders was an issue, then the force would have been out of balance at all times, yet that clearly wasn't the case. The Sith were around the entire millenia the Jedi thought they were extinct, and absolutely nothing happened in regards to the force trying to balance itself. On comes Palpatine's rise, and the force being clouded by the darkside, and suddenly the chosen one appears to bring it back into balance. If the Sith were the issue, then the chosen one would have appeared much earlier, but he didn't. He only arrived when darkness took over.

    And if you go with the entire saga instead, things don't really change. Palpatine still died, and had to cling onto a weak clone to stick around in some form. Instead of being an all-powerful Emperor, he was stuck in a crippled body. His grasp on the force was gone. That - alongside the survival of the Jedi - is absolutely huge for the force and the galaxy. Without Anakin's sacrifice, the Jedi are gone, and the Emperor is still his normal galaxy-controlling self. But even Palpatine's unnatural attempt to cheat death wasn't enough, as the force once again made sure that he would be gone. Him temporarily getting his powers and health back isn't really relevant, as his demise followed right afterwards. The force works on a cosmic scale, it doesn't hinge on what any being might consider a long time.
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  24. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    In terms of Lucas' ST the Disney version is irrelevant anyway but since we don't know the details of how his story worked then we can only guess. I don't think it's much to say that his own ST would be internally consistent with his original saga.

    The Sith as regards the prophecy (meaning Darth Sidious) was destroyed. The very fact that he was fine with having Darth Maul as the overarching villain for his ST indicates that he didn't see it as any problem so there is no reason to presume that it was. Any issue that we might perceive that it creates is one that would have been addressed.

    That the dark side of the Force wasn't going away is a non-issue. It was never going away. The point was that it was out of balance due to the actions of the Sith. The particular Sith Lord being Darth Sidious. Once he was gone anything any other Sith was going to do was something separate from that. Maul and the Sith simply existing doesn't put the Force out of balance. As mentioned before if it was that simple then the Force would have been out of balance the entire time but it wasn't and didn't even really start until they came back on the galactic stage in TPM. It grew and grew from there all the time until ROTJ.
  25. jaimestarr

    jaimestarr AOTC 20th Anniversary Banner Finalist star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Sep 13, 2004
    I really the idea of Anakin as The Chosen One as it is a mythological trope that can fit nicely within the Star Wars universe.

    My issue with it is that it is nowhere to be seen/found/mentioned in the OT. Ergo, this prophecy made the saga less cohesive as it doesn't factor into the OT at all in any meaningful way.

    Instead, the prophecy is a retcon that seemingly goes nowhere as it's kinda/sorta tacked on to ROTJ in a retro fitted kind of way. For all the importance given to this prophecy in the prequels (especially Episode 1), the payoff is very ambiguous and goes by without any attention paid to it onscreen.

    For the prophecy to have any impact I think the entire audience needs to be shown/understand.
    A. That the prophecy is/was real.
    B. What "balance of the Force" means.
    C. Actually realize when it's paid off in the OT/ROTJ without the aide of commentary or some Star Wars fan telling them.

    Question: What changes about the films/story/saga if you were to remove the prophecy?

    Answer: Not much. It doesn't really impact the plot/story in any meaningful way.

    My suspicion is that the prophecy was a shortcut to give Anakin/Vader even more mythic gravitas (which wasn't needed). Side effects were that this new wrinkle made the story/galaxy smaller and more contrived. It also made the OT/ROTJ more inefficient storytelling pieces of the saga as the prophecy isn't a factor in the OT.

    Ultimately, this is why I don't have a problem with the ST "messing with" Anakin's legacy/achievement as The Chose One prophecy.

    It was always a half baked, vague, retcon thrown in later as opposed to a core tenet of the Saga narrative that had always been there.
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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