The prophecy of the “Chosen One” first appeared in “The Phantom Menace,” 16 years after “Return of the Jedi,” in which it is supposedly fulfilled. Right? The prophecy of the “Chosen One” is one of the most confusing aspects of the Star Wars series. Original trilogy exclusive fans may not encounter this issue; they simply see Darth Vader turned soft by his suffering son. Yet, those who take the series as a whole, with all of its Ewoks, Gungan’s and midichlorians, are forced to ask the question: “How did Anakin/Darth Vader bring balance to the force?”
The prophecy of the Chosen One essentially predicts the coming of a powerful force sensitive being that will bring “balance to the force.” The word “balance” being the key ingredient, something any Star Wars viewer knows Vader is lacking. In fact, Anakin turned Dark Lord appears to be the complete antithesis of balance.
Before we can understand how Anakin fulfilled the prophecy, let’s make sure we have a comprehensive perspective. Here is the shortest explanation I can muster without losing my Star Wars Fanboy Card. The Force is the mystical energy . . . er, you know what? I’ll let the master explain it:
“Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. (-Yoda, “Empire Strikes Back”)
I know that’s a pretty cryptic explanation, and honestly, I prefer it that way, but Lucas, for the sake of new generation of more literal minds, decided to offer a more scientific explanation in his prequel content. We learn that the force (or the energy field) can only be manipulated by those with a high amount of microscopic cells in their blood stream called midichlorians. Thus, those with the highest amount have the potential to be more powerful than their peers.
Another element added by Lucas was the physical embodiment of the force. Now, this is an abstract concept, one that was explored in a few episodes in the animated “Clone Wars” TV series. There are three physical embodiments of the force; a father, a daughter and a son. The father is supposed to keep his daughter, Selflessness (the Light Side of the force), and his son, Selfishness (the Dark Side of the force), from fighting. The episode reveals that power shifts from the daughter to the son based what goes on in the physical world, and the father attempts to make sure one never fully overtakes the other. Like I said, abstract. Now, the father explicitly states that one day the “Chosen One” will take his place. Essentially stating that when the “Chosen One” brings balance, there will be no need for the father to keep his children from quarreling because they will be at peace.
However, the problem is the Sith and the Jedi Order both have their own versions of what this prophecy looks like.
The Force fluctuates between the Dark and Light side. This fluctuation presents itself in the real world with the rise and fall of Sith and Jedi empires. The Sith, those who draw their power from the Dark Side, have had their fair share of time being top dog. However, “The Phantom Menace” occurs at the height of Jedi Oder’s influence over the galaxy, and also at the eve of its fall.
The fall of the Jedi Order is the fulfillment of the Sith’s version of the prophecy. The Sith’s version is that one day the most powerful Sith Lord will emerge and utterly desecrate the Jedi, wiping out every single one bringing “balance.” Except you can’t have balance when there is only one side of the scale, but the Sith don’t get that. Now, many Sith Lords have thought of themselves as the fulfillment of this prophecy, but none more so than Lord Sidious, or Emperor Palpatine. He came the closest of all of them to whipping out the Jedi. However, he only did because he used Anakin Skywalker, who was far more powerful than him.
That is where this whole explanation comes full circle. Anakin Skywalker simultaneously fulfills both the Jedi and Sith versions of the Chosen One. This is how…
Come back and read how tomorrow!