Anakin Skywalker wearing his Clone Wars era armor in cropped Ahsoka Season 1 key art

Was Anakin Really the Chosen One? Star Wars’ Most Important Prophecy, Explained

As heroes go, Star Wars‘ Anakin Skywalker has a pretty dodgy track record. So, was Anakin really the Chosen One, or did the Jedi Order get it wrong?

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Was Anakin Skywalker Really Star Wars’ Chosen One?

star-wars-revenge-of-the-sith-anakin-with-red-eyes

Yes, Anakin Skywalker really is the Star Wars universe’s Chosen One. You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, though. After all, as Darth Vader, Anakin personally killed countless Jedi – including (gasp) Younglings – and helped overthrow both the Order and Galactic Republic itself.

That’s hardly the kind of behavior you expect from a prophesized golden child. What’s more, other Star Wars characters fit the “Chosen One” description better. Notably, Anakin’s son, Luke Skywalker, defeated the Emperor (and, by extension, vanquished the Sith) by redeeming his old man. Indeed, Obi-Wan Kenobi apparently came to believe that Luke was the true Chosen One, according to dialogue in Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Episode 20, “Twin Suns.”

Related: Is Star Wars: The Acolyte Cancelled?

The Emperor’s granddaughter, Rey, also ran at the Chosen One title after she took down Gramps and brought the Force back into balance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Yet neither of these would-be space messiahs is the real deal – Anakin is. The franchise’s creator, George Lucas, said as much in the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith DVD’s special features. Plus, The Rise of Skywalker clearly shows that Anakin (not Luke or Rey) was the first person to fulfill the prophecy. “Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did,” Anakin’s spirit says during the film’s climax. So, don’t believe the naysayers: Tatooine’s most problematic export is the one true Chosen One.

What Does ‘Bringing Balance to the Force’ Mean?

So, Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One – but what does that actually entail? Honestly, it’s a little vague. The prequel trilogy never supplies the specifics of the Chosen One prophecy. All we’re told in The Phantom Menace is that the Force is unbalanced, and the Chosen One will fix it. Revenge of the Sith (and other Star Wars media) subsequently clarifies that this just means “destroy the Sith.” But wouldn’t that unbalance the Force, given there are typically more Jedi than Sith? Only if the Force worked like an equation, and apparently, it doesn’t.

Related: Star Wars: Who Are the Knights of Ren?

As envisioned by Lucas, “balancing the Force” means not allowing the Dark Side to run wild. This suggests that the Light Side is the Force’s natural state, and the Chosen One aims to restore its dominance over its shadowy counterpart. So, by killing the Emperor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Anakin removes a disproportionately large source of Dark Side energy from the cosmic scales. That doesn’t mean the Chosen One’s victory was a permanent success, though. In a 2019 IndieWire interview, Rise of Skywalker screenwriter Chris Terrio confirmed that the Force continually needs rebalancing.

The complete Skywalker Saga (including the Chosen One’s adventures) is streaming now on Disney+, as part of the platform’s Star Wars collection.


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Author
Leon Miller
Leon is a freelance contributor at The Escapist, covering movies, TV, video games, and comics. Active in the industry since 2016, Leon's previous by-lines include articles for Polygon, Popverse, Screen Rant, CBR, Dexerto, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more.