- "A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored."
- ―A Jedi prophecy
The Chosen One was the central figure in the Jedi prophecy that foretold the coming of the one destined to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. The prophecy also affected the realm of Mortis, as the Father believed—in the event of his death—only the Chosen One had the strength to preserve balance between the Son and the Daughter. During the final years of the Galactic Republic, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn discovered the Chosen One in the form of Anakin Skywalker, a human child enslaved on the planet Tatooine. Skywalker joined the Jedi Order and, during the Clone Wars, became an exceptionally powerful Jedi Knight before falling to the dark side of the Force. Adopting the identity of Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, he participated in the systematic purge that left the Jedi all but extinct.
Vader had a son, Luke Skywalker, however. Having lost the former Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grand Master Yoda spent decades hiding in exile, awaiting the time when Luke was ready to be trained as a Jedi. Kenobi, who considered his fallen apprentice lost to the dark side, came to believe that Luke would fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One. However, Luke endeavored to redeem his father, believing that there was still good within him. Moved by his son's compassion, Vader sacrificed his life to destroy his Sith Master, Emperor Palpatine of the Galactic Empire. The deaths of the last two Sith Lords rendered their order extinct. As a result, the Force was brought back into balance. With his destiny fulfilled, Anakin's spirit was reunited in death with his former mentors, Kenobi and Yoda.
- "If the prophecy is true, your apprentice is the only one who can bring the Force back into balance."
- ―Mace Windu, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
As foretold in a Jedi prophecy, made by an ancient Jedi mystic and recorded via holocron, the Chosen One would bring about the destruction of the Sith and the restoration of balance in the Force. However, the Sith were all but destroyed by themselves, leading the Jedi Order to believe that their ancient rivals no longer posed a threat to the galaxy. But in the aftermath of the Sith's near destruction, Darth Bane emerged as the last survivor and ultimately chose to pass his knowledge to a single apprentice, Darth Zannah, thereby forming the Rule of Two that would limit the Sith ranks to two—a Sith Master and an Sith apprentice—for the next thousand years.
Apart from the Jedi prophecy, the legend of the Chosen One was connected to three ancient Force wielders—the Father, the Son, and the Daughter—who resided in the ethereal realm of Mortis. The Father maintained balance between the Daughter and the Son, who embodied the light and dark side of the Force, respectively. In the event of his death, however, the Father sought to recruit the Chosen One as his successor, believing that only he would have the power to preserve the balance on Mortis.
The rise and fall of Anakin SkywalkerEdit
Qui-Gon Jinn's discoveryEdit
- "You refer to the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to the Force. You believe it's this…boy?"
- ―Mace Windu, to Qui-Gon Jinn about Anakin Skywalker
Forty-one years before the Battle of Yavin, Shmi Skywalker gave birth to a son named Anakin Skywalker. Though she could not explain it, there was no father involved in her child's conception. In the first decade of young Skywalker's life, both he and his mother lived in slavery on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine. Originally the property of Gardulla Besadii the Elder, the Skywalkers traded owners after the Hutt lost them in a Podracing bet with the Toydarian junk dealer Watto. During his service to Watto, Skywalker befriended Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who was known for his fascination with prophecies.
Jinn, having gauged Skywalker's inherent strength in the Force with his own observations, had an analysis made of the boy's exact potential through a blood test. The results confirmed that Skywalker had an unprecedented quantity of midi-chlorians in his cells; his exact count remained unknown as the readings were off the chart. However, the test did confirm that Skywalker had over twenty thousand midi-chlorians, at least, exceeding the count of every Jedi including Grand Master Yoda. In addition, the secret of Skywalker's miraculous birth was revealed to Jinn by Shmi.
Faced with such revelations, Jinn came to the conclusion that Skywalker was in fact a vergence in the Force—the Chosen One destined to bring ultimate balance. As a result, Jinn brought the now former slave with him to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant where he presented his findings to the Jedi High Council. Following a series of initial tests and questioning, the Council declined to authorize Skywalker's training due to his age and the fear within him. Despite the Council's judgment, Jinn remained adamant in his belief that Skywalker was the one foretold in the prophecy. After sustaining a fatal wound during the Battle of Naboo, Jinn implored his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to become Skywalker's mentor. With Jinn's death, the Council reversed its position and confirmed Skywalker's new status as a member of the Jedi Order in 32 BBY.
Path of the JediEdit
- "You are the Chosen One. You have brought balance to this world. Stay on this path and you will do it again… for the galaxy. But beware… your heart…"
- ―The Father's last words, to Anakin Skywalker
As Skywalker ascended the Jedi ranks, the Jedi Council observed his progress with a degree of concern. While the Padawan possessed exceptional skills, as acknowledged by Mace Windu, Skywalker's own Master noted that his apprentice had grown arrogant because of his advanced abilities. Although Windu himself remained skeptical about Skywalker's status as the Chosen One, he affirmed his belief in the prophecy, stating that—if it was true—only Kenobi's apprentice could bring the Force back into balance.
After the Clone Wars began with the First Battle of Geonosis in 22 BBY, Skywalker became a Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic, having achieved the rank of Jedi Knight by the time of the Battle of Christophsis. During the war, he unwittingly undertook a mission to the realm of Mortis alongside his former Master and Padawan, Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano, respectively. Upon their arrival, the Father sought to gauge Skywalker's strength in the Force, ultimately to determine if he truly was the Chosen One. By using his powers to bring the Son and the Daughter to heel, Skywalker convinced the Father that he was indeed the one destined to bring balance to the Force, as only the Chosen One could tame the Father's children.
With his stewardship of Mortis nearing its end, the Father invited Skywalker to remain in order to preserve the balance between his children. Skywalker declined the Father's offer, however. Like the Father, the Son became intrigued by the power of the Chosen One. In his desire to leave Mortis, the Son endeavored to turn Skywalker to the dark side of the Force. His plan succeeded, albeit for a short time, when Skywalker saw his own future through a series of Force visions imparted to him by the Son. After discovering his Son's actions, the Father erased the visions from Skywalker's mind. Following the deaths of all three Force wielders, Skywalker returned to the galaxy alongside Kenobi and Tano, where they discovered that no time had passed in their absence.
Fall of the Chosen OneEdit
- "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!"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Anakin Skywalker
During the waning days of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker was caught in the middle of an increasingly strained relationship between the Jedi Council and Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, leader of the Senate of the Galactic Republic. His friendship with the chancellor, as well as his appointment to the Council's ranks by Palpatine's request, caused the Council to become more wary of Skywalker. Through it all, Kenobi remained confident that his former student would fulfill his destiny as the Chosen One by destroying the Sith and restoring balance to the Force. Yoda began to suspect that the prophecy might have been misinterpreted, however.
By the end of the Clone Wars, Skywalker turned against the Jedi Order and embraced the dark side of the Force as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Though wracked by grief over the fall of his former apprentice, Kenobi confronted Vader on Mustafar and emerged as the victor of their lightsaber duel. Kenobi exclaimed that Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One but instead of bringing balance as foretold, he condemned the Force to darkness by joining the Sith. Having said his piece, which Vader replied with utter hatred for his former master, Kenobi left his fallen apprentice to burn on the edge of a lava bend. Vader managed to survive his grievous injuries and was retrieved by his Sith Master Darth Sidious.
Vader's condition necessitated an extensive cybernetic reconstruction rendering him more machine than man. His damaged body was encased in a life-sustaining suit of armor; Sidious knew that Vader would be weaker than before as a result of his injuries. The Emperor tested his apprentice's connection to the dark side by telling Vader that he had caused the death of his wife, Senator Padmé Amidala. The intensity of Vader's anguish and self-hatred revealed that he still possessed great power. Vader would henceforth serve as his master's right hand, enforcing Sidious' reign as Emperor of the First Galactic Empire.
- "They called you the Chosen One, and you believed it. You believe it still."
- ―Momin, to Darth Vader
With the Emperor's blessing, Darth Vader claimed Mustafar as his own and oversaw the construction of his personal residence, Fortress Vader, with the help of Lord Momin. Although Momin was long dead by the time of the Imperial Era, the ancient Sith communicated with his modern counterpart through a mask imbued with his dark essence. Having manipulated Vader into constructing the fortress as a conduit for the power of the dark side, Momin was able to open a portal in the Force which ultimately facilitated his rebirth. The two Sith Lords battled each other in a cave beneath the fortress, and Momin revealed that he knew about Vader's former persona Anakin Skywalker.
The reborn Sith Lord was aware that the Jedi believed Skywalker to be their prophesied Chosen One, and that Vader still considered himself as such despite his fall to the dark side. Scoffing at how Vader could have been gifted with the greatest power in the galaxy, Momin derided his opponent as a broken shadow of his former self. Furthermore, Momin taunted Vader by reminding him of his late wife and how he failed to save her in spite of his potential as the Chosen One. Vader ultimately defeated Momin, resulting in the ancient Sith Lord's second death.
Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace affected his former master's view of the prophecy. Whereas Kenobi once believed his apprentice to be the Chosen One, he became convinced that Vader was incapable of turning from the dark side. He therefore placed his hopes in Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, whom he watched over during his years in exile and isolation on Tatooine. When confronted by an old nemesis, the former Sith Lord Maul, Kenobi brought an end to decades of rivalry by striking down the Dathomirian. With his last breath, Maul asked Kenobi if he was protecting the Chosen One, to which the Jedi Master said he was, having come to believe that the prophecy would be fulfilled by Luke instead of Anakin. With that, Maul died believing that the victims of the Sith would be avenged.
- "You were right… You were right about me. Tell your sister… You were right."
- ―Anakin Skywalker's last words, to his son Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker's instruction in the Jedi arts began during the Galactic Civil War. By then the Jedi were all but extinct as a result of the Great Jedi Purge that began with Order 66. Kenobi served as Luke's first master but was killed by Vader soon after, cutting short the younger Skywalker's apprenticeship. But in learning the secret to immortality, Kenobi was able to retain his identity in the Force after death. During the Battle of Yavin, he communed with Luke and told him to trust in the Force. Guided by Kenobi's spirit, Luke saved the Alliance to Restore the Republic by destroying the first Death Star.
His next mentor was Grand Master Yoda who, despite deeming the son too reckless and full of anger like the father, agreed to complete Luke's training as a Jedi. But their time as master and apprentice was cut short; sensing that his allies were in danger, Luke raced to rescue them, disregarding Yoda's warning that only a fully-trained Jedi would be able to conquer the Sith. In doing so, Luke was forced to confront Vader on Bespin, where he ultimately learned the truth of his parentage in 3 ABY.
Having narrowly escaped from his dark father, he eventually returned to Dagobah where a dying Yoda confessed that Vader was indeed Luke's father. Knowing who his father was, Luke found himself unable to consider killing Vader now, and held to the belief that good still existed within the former Anakin Skywalker. But neither Kenobi or Yoda shared Luke's sentiment, believing that the dark side would dominate Vader's destiny forever. Although Luke decided to face Vader once more, as his masters told him he must, he remained steadfast in his determination to redeem his father. As the late Jedi Masters predicted, the Emperor used Luke's feelings to his advantage, intending to turn the son to the dark side, as he did with the father, during the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY.
Luke came close to striking down his father in anger but restrained himself at the last moment. Having defeated Vader and resisted the temptation of the dark side, Luke claimed the mantle of Jedi Knight, his actions confounding the Emperor who lashed out with a barrage of Force lightning. Unable to defend himself, Luke begged his father to save him, which ultimately caused Anakin, who was buried deep inside Vader to take over Vader's body and rise up against his dark master at the cost of his own life. In doing so, Anakin fulfilled the prophecy of the Chosen One, restoring balance to the Force by destroying both himself and the Emperor, in order to save his son. With his destiny complete, Anakin passed away but through the Force his spirit lived on, allowing him to rejoin his Jedi mentors in death.
- "My worthy apprentice, son of darkness, heir apparent to Lord Vader. Where there was conflict, I now sense resolve; where there was weakness, strength. Complete your training and fulfill your destiny."
- ―Snoke's final words to Kylo Ren
The Jedi prophecy foretold the destruction of the Sith, but it never predicted the end of darkness. Although Anakin Skywalker brought the Force back into balance, the Jedi Order was decimated by his actions as Darth Vader, leaving Luke Skywalker as the last of the Jedi. Despite the fall of the Sith and the restoration of balance in the Force, the dark side endured as remnants of the former Galactic Empire reorganized into the First Order under Supreme Leader Snoke, a Force-sensitive being who was strong with the dark side.
A new generation of Jedi was trained by Luke, who saw his efforts destroyed by his nephew Ben Solo's fall to the dark side of the Force. Throughout his youth, Solo struggled with the expectations of being Luke's nephew and the grandson of a prophesied Chosen One. As Luke felt, there was a balance in the Force for many years until he saw his nephew. Falling under Snoke's influence, Solo renounced his future as a Jedi and adopted the identity of Kylo Ren, becoming the Supreme Leader's apprentice and a warlord of the First Order. He also became master of the Knights of Ren,—an elite group of Force warriors that followed Snoke and the ways of the dark side. Ren saw himself as the rightful heir to the tradition embodied by his fallen grandfather; as such, he endeavored to be as strong as Vader.
Luke disappeared soon after his nephew fell to the dark side, leaving only fragments of a map that revealed the location of his self-imposed exile. During the cold war, Ren's mother, Princess Leia Organa, endeavored to find her brother and recruit him to fight against the First Order. Lor San Tekka, a member of the Church of the Force, provided Organa's movement, the Resistance, with the last piece of the map to Skywalker. San Tekka was a follower of the Jedi religion, despite his lack of Force-sensitivity, and believed that the Jedi were needed to maintain balance in the Force.
- "Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did."
- ―Anakin Skywalker's spirit, to Rey
Long after his death, Darth Sidious was revealed to have been resurrected and announced his return to a galaxy engulfed in another galactic war, this time between the First Order and the Resistance. Ren, having claimed the position of Supreme Leader by assassinating Snoke, tracked the phantom Sith Lord to the distant world of Exegol. Though he was determined to eliminate Sidious as a threat to his reign, the former Emperor unveiled a powerful military that would allow the Sith to be reborn and Ren to project First Order might across the galaxy, ruling all of it as Sidious' successor. In return, he urged Ren to kill Rey, a Jedi apprentice who was sired from Sidious' own bloodline.
Ren, however, had grown close to Rey by virtue of their unique Force-bond. Having learned that they were each one half of a prophesied dyad in the Force, Ren beseeched the former scavenger to take her place by his side, believing they could kill Rey's grandfather and claim the Throne of the Sith together. But after Ren renounced the dark side, restoring the persona of Ben Solo, Sidious pressed forward by attempting to seduce Rey to the dark side. Using his new fleet to threaten Rey's friends, Sidious almost forced Rey into becoming Empress but for the intervention of Solo, who returned to Exegol to fight at Rey's side.
However, Rey and Solo's coming together revealed their nature as a dyad to Sidious, who drained their combined life force to revitalize his broken body, making the Emperor whole once more. Remembering his own death at the hands of Solo's grandfather, Sidious seized his former apprentice's descendant through the Force before casting the last Skywalker into a dark abyss. Though Rey was weakened by the energy drain, the voices of Jedi from generations past spoke to her, urging the last Jedi to rise up against the Sith Emperor. Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One who brought balance to the Force, also spoke to Rey, urging her to follow in his footsteps by restoring the balance.
Empowered by the spirits of all the Jedi, Rey vanquished her dark ancestor, preventing the rebirth of the Sith to preserve Anakin's balance and sacrificing her life in the process. Climbing his way out of the abyss, Solo found Rey's lifeless body and revived her with his own Force energy. The two embraced and shared a passionate kiss before Solo died peacefully in Rey's arms, joining his family in death as the last of the Skywalkers. Afterward, Rey repudiated her grandfather's legacy by adopting the Skywalker name in an honorary capacity.
Behind the scenesEdit
Though there was some debate that Anakin Skywalker's son, Luke Skywalker, was actually the Chosen One since he caused his father to destroy Darth Sidious, the debate was settled when George Lucas himself confirmed in an interview that Anakin, even after becoming Darth Vader, was still officially the Chosen One and not Luke. Darth Vader: Sith Lord, a canon reference title, also states explicitly that "Anakin had fulfilled the destiny of the Chosen One". The reference book Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary furthermore clarifies that the Chosen One prophecy just foretold the destruction of the Sith, but not of the dark side of the Force itself, explaining the continued existence of dark side users such as Kylo Ren and Snoke.
With the release of the 2019 film Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker and the revelation that Darth Sidious returned from the dead, some fans question whether or not Anakin Skywalker did fulfill the Chosen One prophecy and brought balance to the Force or if the prophecy referred to Rey. While the prophecy predicted the end of the Sith but not of the dark side of the Force, Sidious' return demonstrates that the Sith Order wasn't technically destroyed until Rey kills Sidious with the help of all past Jedi, finally settling the ancient conflict of the Jedi and the Sith. However, in the film, Sidious did confirm his death and the Sith's destruction at Anakin's hands as he wanted the Sith to be reborn. Later, Anakin's spirit himself told Rey that he had already brought balance to the Force before and ultimately, Rey prevented the Sith's rebirth to keep the Force balanced. In The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, art director Rick Carter expressed his opinion that Rey was the one who fulfilled the prophecy rather than Anakin, stating that while that one would be a Skywalker, it didn't necessarily needed to be one by blood.
From an in-universe perspective, however, it can be said that Anakin Skywalker did bring balance to the Force for a while and then Rey restored it. In the 2017 film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker notes that there was a balance in the Force for many years until Ben Solo fell to the dark side. On the other hand, it's indeed stated in The Rise of Skywalker that Anakin brought balance to the Force at least for a time, as he does ask Rey to bring back the balance like he once did. According to Chris Terrio, in George Lucas' words, the balance of the Force means that the dark and the light sides of the Force exist together, and stated that Rey has achieved a balance for the current moment. In the feature-length documentary The Skywalker Legacy, J.J. Abrams affirmed this to be the case, clarifying that the balance in the Force is never permanent and has to be restored from time to time.
The nature of the creation of the Chosen One prophecy was also briefly called into question during the prequel trilogy. The 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace claimed that the Force conceived Anakin Skywalker completely without outside influence. However, Darth Sidious heavily implied in the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith that Anakin may have been the result of Darth Plagueis' experiments to create life by manipulating midi-chlorians. The 2012 Star Wars Legends novel Darth Plagueis previously combined both interpretations by stating that Plagueis was indirectly responsible for Anakin's creation yet the Force conceived Anakin as a way to stop the Sith. However, this explanation is no longer regarded canonical.