While Palpatine somehow survived, it means Anakin Skywalker never bought balance to the Force (Rey Palpatine actually did)

Jun 24, 2022
Anakin's shadow of Darth Vader
The Chosen One

Does Anakin Skywalker fulfill the Prophecy as the Chosen One?

... and if he 'did' plot-wise in Return of the Jedi, did it really happen if Emperor Palpatine is still alive?

It was The Phantom Menace that introduced the concept of there being a 'chosen one' who would bring balance to the Force.

Whether this was a necessary addition to the Star Wars canon is a moot point, it happened.

Anakin was considered to be The Chosen One as he was considered by Qui-Gon Ginn as a 'vergence' in the Force - his Midicholrian count was higher ever measured before.

Perhaps grudgingly, Anakin was accepted to be a Jedi in training by the Jedi Council - on the promise that he was indeed the Chosen One.

But was he?

He left things pretty badly at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

He betrayed the Jedi, killed a few more of them, massacred some Younglings at the Jedi Temple, force choked the woman he loved and he engaged Obi-Wan Kenobi in the most awesome lightsaber duel Star Wars has ever witnessed.

He became wretched and Obi-Wan lamented that Anakin was supposed to be the Chosen One.
  • How could such a betrayal mean Anakin was the Chosen One?
  • So does this mean Vader's son, Luke Skywalker was the Chosen One?
  • After all, he saved the day in a Return of the Jedi?

You better back the horses up Billy - let's have a think about what happened in Jedi.

Luke Skywalker beat his father in the duel, mortally wounding him as he did so. He then turned down the opportunity to join the dark side with the Emperor.

This led to the Emperor Palpatine raining Force lightning down upon Luke "So be it, Jedi" - to which Vader then betrayed The Emperor by throwing him down the pit, killing him.

This act is considered the moment when Vader brings balance to the Force.

So even though Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and killed all thousands of people and Jedi and other Force users including his friend Obi-Wan Kenobi, he actually was the Chosen One who fulfilled the Prophecy.

It just came about in an extremely roundabout way - it showed the cleverness of the prequels - taking the existing ending of ROTJ and fashioning a grand story around Vader.

It really was good writing by Lucas and Hales.

Don't believe me?

George Lucas has stated unequivocally Anakin was the chosen one:

However, if you want to run a cheeky argument that Anakin didn't fulfill the prophecy you could argue that when he became Darth Vader Anakin ceased to exist (as Obi-Wan put it in Jedi).

Thus Vader was the chosen one.

But you could then argue the moment Vader decided to kill the Emperor he was again Anakin so it's a moot point really... and consider this - when Vader throws Emperor Palpatine down the pit, listen carefully - the Jedi motif is briefly played - signaling that yes, Vader is now Anakin.

At the end of the day, you could argue that Luke helps Vader bring balance to the Force - it was his belief in his Father that drove him after all...


The new Rise of Skywalker however muddies the waters on this one. If Palpatine didn't die, then Anakin didn't bring back the balance to the Force when he threw him in the pit.

Could it be then that if Rey is the one that finally ends the reign of Darth Sidious that she is the one how finally brings balance to the Force?

Update: Since the publication of this article, The Rise of Skywalker Scriptwriter,  Chris Terrio has actually acknowledge the issue of Darth Vader settling things in Jedi:

“Of course, the sacrifice of Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi and bringing balance to the Force, we still had to honor that and I think we do honor that in the film. We don’t take the end of Return of the Jedi lightly at all, because it is one of the most beautiful moments in any film, really — in seeing what Vader does for his son. Return of the Jedi was the first movie I ever saw in a theater, and I remember just being rocked by what I saw in that moment. Because it almost never had occurred to me as a kid that the bad guy could cease being a bad guy and be a good guy. That moment when Vader lifts Palpatine was a genuine shock to me and it’s full of truth and beauty. We had to be careful about that, but if you look at some of the lore of Palpatine and the Sith and the way that George has embedded ideas about the Sith into the mythology of Star Wars, there are ways the presence of that character can still cast its shadow in the future. I guess I’ll leave it at that"
Doesn't convincingly say whether what they've done will fix this issue of the Prophecy being resolved. Time will till! Pretty sure they've over looked this key point in the Star Wars mythology given the wording involved here.

It is actually the Rise of Skywalker film that settles it. It is 'Rey Palpatine', Shiv's own grandaughter that settles it. She is one that kills Palpatine once and for all by using the will of all the assembled Force ghosts and her double lightsaber move, ending the Sith reign and restoring peace to the galaxy. 


  1. You mention on another article that there is a possibility Darth Plagueis actually created the Chosen One. I don't know enough about the EU to know any different, but it seems possible from what we know. Also fits within the Dark Side that the Chosen One Plagueis created, would go on to kill (revenge) his former apprentice, Sidious.

  2. Based off what is being teased for the "The Last Jedi" it could be argued that Anakin did restore the balance, first in killing off the Jedi then in killing the Emperor. Balance means each side is equal. You could argue that when the Jedi were in power, the scales tipped too far to the light. Anakin killed the Jedi and they tipped too far to the dark under the Emperor. Killing the Emperor brings things back to the balance where neither side is dominate.

  3. I've heard this before about Vader fulfilling the prophesy, but something occurred to me when reading your article. Destroying the Jedi may have also been part of the prophesy because balance isn't only having a light side. They had also grown out of touch from the people and controlled by a corrupt republic that had many senators and companies/planets with their own agendas. In a way he restarted the Jedi. Of course if you read the EU there are many many other Force using beings but thats beyond the point lol

  4. What bugs me is that Hayden Christensen appears as a force ghost in the remastered Episode VI.


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