The “chosen one” story trope isn’t new by any means, but Star Wars was one of the film franchises that pioneered this type of narrative. However, as Star Wars grew and more films were made, more characters took on the role of protagonist.
While Anakin Skywalker was the original character who was prophesied to bring balance to the Force, his son Luke Skywalker had a big hand in actually bringing that prophecy to fruition.
In many ways, the first three Star Wars films portrayed them both as chosen ones, while the prequels focused more so on Anakin.
However, in the new trilogy, Rey is shown as a new character who would continue the work of both Anakin and Luke Skywalker. Though fans debate this, many see her as the final fulfillment of the prophecy.
This begs the question, who really brings balance to the Force? Is it Anakin, Luke, or Rey?
To give a quick answer, Anakin is the Chosen One who brought balance to the Force. He is the one who was prophesied by the Jedi, and he fulfilled his prophecy by destroying the Emperor in the original Star Wars trilogy.
If you’re still not convinced, keep reading for more details on the Force, the prophecy, and the Skywalker legacy in the Star Wars films.
Table of Contents
Did Anakin Really Kill The Emperor?
In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Anakin Skywalker threw Emperor Palpatine down a shaft on the second Death Star in order to save Luke from the emperor’s Force lightning. In doing so, he ended the reign of the Sith.
This seemed like a fitting end to the Emperor, and it fulfilled the prophecy that Anakin Skywalker would bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith.
Many fans assumed that the Emperor was dead, and for good reason. It seems improbable that anyone would ever survive a fall like that, and the story seemed to imply that Palpatine was dead.
However, in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, Emperor Palpatine returns.
This filled the new trilogy with questionable canon and made some fans wonder whether Anakin was the chosen one after all. If Palpatine returned, did he even really die in the first place?
Palpatine’s return wasn’t explained much in the sequels. In fact, Poe Dameron famously said, “somehow, Palpatine returned.”
Some fans viewed Palpatine’s return as lazy writing, while others viewed it as a new turn in the Star Wars Skywalker saga. However, some questioned whether Disney had broken their own canon.
All that being said, according to the current Star Wars canon, Anakin still brought balance to the Force and succeeded in killing Palpatine.
Even though Palpatine returned in the sequels, that doesn’t mean he didn’t die on the second Death Star.
When he returned, he was in a semi-physical state. This means his spirit endured and came back through unnatural means.
Since this is the case, it could be argued that Anakin did kill the Emperor in the original trilogy and Palpatine’s return doesn’t negate Anakin’s status as the Chosen One.
Anakin put an end to the reign of the Sith and brought balance to the Force. It just so happens that Rey picked up where he left off.
Are the New Star Wars Movies Canon?
This is an important question because according to the original trilogy Anakin brought balance to the Force, but according to the newest one, Rey continued to fight the Sith. If the new films aren’t canon, that would make Rey’s contribution void.
However, the new Star Wars trilogy is officially canon, despite frustration from many fans. All nine Star Wars movies are considered legitimate in the Disney universe.
That doesn’t mean that they will always be canon, though. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have taken many liberties with The Mandalorian, and some fans think they may erase the canon of the last three Star Wars films.
This is all speculation currently, but it makes sense that the canon would continue to change as time goes on. Star Wars has been branching off from the Skywalker storyline and producers have continued to recruit new directors to give their vision to the films.
Although all the films are currently canon, they might not always be. Depending on what stays and what gets cut from Star Wars canon, it could change who the real chosen one is.
How Did Luke Help Bring Balance to The Force?
The new films raise some questions about Luke Skywalker’s contribution to balancing the Force, both before and after his father’s prophecy.
In the initial trilogy, we saw that Luke helped Vader come to his senses and reclaim his true self by killing the Emperor and fulfilling his destiny. It’s possible that without Luke Skywalker, Anakin may not have brought balance to the Force.
Luke constantly pleaded with his father to search his feelings and rid himself of the darkness within.
Luke never gave up hope that there was still some good in Vader, and it turns out he was right. Even though Anakin was the one who brought balance to the Force, Luke played a major role in bringing him back to the light.
However, Luke also tried to kill his nephew Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren) when he sensed darkness within him. Even though he didn’t go through with it and viewed it only as a moment of weakness, it’s possible that without his interference Kylo wouldn’t have turned to the dark side.
Kylo Ren also plays a major role in fighting the Emperor and helping Rey defeat the Sith. Without Luke’s attempt to kill Kylo he wouldn’t have turned to the dark side, and in turn, he wouldn’t have been in the position to help Rey defeat the Emperor.
In a way, Luke’s actions pushed the balance of the Force in different directions. However, he was never the one who brought balance to the Force like his father.
Did Rey Bring Balance to The Force After Episode 9?
When Rey killed Palpatine in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, it created a new set of questions for Star Wars fans.
If Anakin Skywalker killed Palpatine in the original trilogy and brought balance to the Force, does that mean that the Force became re-balanced after Rey killed Palpatine?
This is hard to answer since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the last movie in the Skywalker storyline. We don’t get to see any future movies for clarification.
Also, Palpatine returned once, so what’s to stop him from returning again? It’s hard to know if the Sith are really gone after Rey destroyed Palpatine or if they could return for another trilogy of movies.
However, given the current state of the Star Wars franchise, it’s safe to assume that the Force is now balanced in the Skywalker storyline, and unless Disney decides to change it, the Sith are eradicated.
Even though many fans have their problems with the inconsistencies of the newest Star Wars trilogy, it still remains a crucial piece of Star Wars canon in the eyes of Disney. Even so, it doesn’t change the fact that Anakin is the one who brought balance to the Force.
Anakin was always the Chosen One of the Skywalker saga, and George Lucas even admitted it.
However, Rey’s accomplishment is an extension of the life that Anakin Skywalker lived, much like Luke’s was an extension of his father’s.
Regardless of who you think the chosen one is, Anakin, Rey, and Luke all played important roles in the Star Wars universe. Without all three of them, it’s possible the Force never would have been balanced.
Mitchell Layton is a freelance writer and touring musician living in Philadelphia. When he’s not playing guitar or writing for clients, he enjoys rewatching cult classics like Star Wars, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and more. Mitchell has been published by sites like HM Magazine, Glassworks Literary Magazine, GameRevolution, Pif Magazine, and others.