The Prophecy of the Chosen One who will Bring Balance to the Force is an important part of the Star Wars saga, especially the Prequel Trilogy, and fundamental to understanding Anakin Skywalker’s role from the Jedi perspective. Did Anakin Skywalker fulfil this prophecy?
What is the prophecy?
The entirety of the prophecy is not detailed in the official story line yet. From the movies and the other media we are able to get a good idea of what it is though. Essentially, a chosen one (presumably strong with the force) will appear and bring balance to the force. But even Yoda says, “A prophecy that misread could have been.”
What is “balance”?
This one is a tough question, and not one everyone agreed on.
1. The Jedi believed that this person would “settle” the war between the Jedi and the Sith. Some Sith had this same opinion, but also believed that the Chosen One could be bent to the Dark side and that balance would be achieved by the destruction of the Jedi. Basically, balance would then be when only one party of force users exists. But this doesn’t seem very balanced.
2. Many people look at the movies and say “Well, after Anakin destroys the Jedi and becomes Darth Vader there are only two Sith and Two Jedi… Balance achieved!”
3. What if Anakin himself is “balance”? The Jedi had become so rigid and dogmatic that they were not always the strong beacons of goodness they should have been. Could it be that a (former) Jedi embracing the Dark Side with “good intentions” (protect his family, stop war) is finally a “balanced” force user?
4. We see in the Mortis story arc of The Clone Wars that Anakin is challenged to control the physical embodiments of the Light Side and the Dark Side. Could balance only be achieved by him taking on this role?
5. Could it be the misunderstanding that instead of the Chosen One themselves bringing balance that they will just bring the people who will bring balance into the picture, ie, Anakin fathering Luke and Leia?
6. Could balance just be peace, rest, entropy…?
How was this achieved? (Numbered list below correlates to numbered list above.)
1. Yes, and no (IMO). I think that balance was achieved by the destruction of the Sith by Anakin (killing Emperor Palpatine and then himself by proxy) after having destroyed the Jedi (for all intents and purposes the Order was no more). But it wasn’t just accomplishing those tasks that equaled balance.
2. I was never a fan of this opinion, the Expanded Universe always had other force users around, and officially Star Wars: Rebels is showing us that there were other Jedi that survived Order 66 and Dark Side force users who were not Sith Lords also continued to exist.
3. To oversimplify, the existence of a “grey Jedi” or “force sensitive person who was neither 100% Light Side nor 100% Dark Side, would have been too easy and had already existed many times over. But what if someone was 100% Dark Side and 100% Light Side… That is very interesting, and feeds right into the Mortis story arc.
4. In the Mortis story arc (three fantastic episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 3) the Father keeps his twin children, the physical embodiments of the Light Side of the Force and the Dark Side of the Force, “in balance” by preventing either from leaving, getting to powerful, or destroying him. By the end of the story Anakin is confirmed as the Chosen One, all three Force users have died, and the Force has continued to exist. The Father wanted Anakin to take on his role and keep his children in check. This did not happen, but Anakin did have twins of his own… also one boy and one girl… Unfortunately that storyline is not repeated by the Skywalker family giving us a clear “Yes, that’s it”, so this one is a “No”.
5. I used to really like this theory – maybe Anakin brought balance to the Force by having his children, specifically Luke, who would fight the Empire and destroy the Emperor. But that just doesn’t line up with everything that happens – it may be Luke who helps Vader redeem himself, but Vader is the one to kill Emperor Palpatine.
6. Ah, the best for last! I like this one. And I think that the title to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is very telling. I believe that after Anakin/Vader is redeemed and destroys the Sith through his self-sacrificing kill of Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine the Force is settled. I think that Luke has gone into seclusion, and for the past 30ish years the Force has been more or less “at peace”. The pendulum had swung so far to the Light Side, then so drastically and quickly to the Dark Side, and now neither side has an advantage. By normalizing the effects of the Force and the users of the Force (a Jedi order, Galactic Empire led by the Sith… for an autonomous Force that seeks equality both would have been bad), the Force itself was able to rest, not disappear, but sleep until someone began fighting for control once again…