Star Wars is many things. It's a space opera filled with weird aliens and strange new worlds, a war epic spanning blaster fights on tropical islands and dogfights in the vaccuum of space. But at its heart, George Lucas always saw #StarWars as a fantasy, a futuristic fairy tale with all the required players: Sage mystics, cackling villains, and a heroic knight to save the day. As with any fantasy, there's a prophecy at the center of the tale, predicting the outcome of the war between good and evil — but in vague enough terms that even the good guys trip over themselves trying to understand what it means.
I am speaking, of course, of the Chosen One. Introduced to us in the prequels, this prophecy states that a powerful messiah-like figure will eventually bring balance to Force. This prophecy caused no end of trouble for the Jedi, and we're still not totally sure who the Chosen One is — if there ever really was one. Now, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mark Hamill hinted that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will also deal with this prophecy, but not in the way we'd expect.
Who Is The Chosen One?
Before we get to The Last Jedi, a quick recap. Qui-Gon Jinn believed that Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One, because he had no father and had a high amount of midichlorians (cue eyeroll) in his blood, making him extremely strong in the Force. Of course, Anakin ended up joining the Sith instead, leading many fans to speculate that maybe he was never the Chosen One after all. Earlier this year, Star Wars: Rebels revealed that Obi Wan Kenobi believed Luke Skywalker to be the Chosen One, after Anakin's betrayal proved he wasn't the messianic figure.
This would make sense, as Luke brought balance to the Force in Return Of The Jedi. Yet, as we now know, this wasn't the end of the story, and it seems that Luke never saw himself as the Chosen One, as Mark Hamill told Entertainment Weekly:
"[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character. And he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know? It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late."
Naturally, Hamill's comment confirms our suspicions, that Kylo Ren's betrayal turned Luke from the optimistic Jedi Knight into the disillusioned exile who believes the Jedi "should end." But there's an almost throwaway comment here which has game-changing implications for the saga: Luke thought Ben Solo was the Chosen One. And that's huge.
This begs so many questions. Why did Luke feel like there still wasn't balance in the Force after Return Of The Jedi, to the point where a new Chosen One had to be trained to save the day? How did Luke even learn about the prophecy, considering it wasn't mentioned in the original trilogy? And what relevance does the Chosen One have to Luke's new philosophy?
Fated Figures: The Chosen One And The Last Jedi
Well, I can't answer the first two questions, and it seems like The Last Jedi won't either: Hamill says of the movie that "there’s massive amounts of backstory that is left to your imagination." So it looks like we'll be left to speculate about how Luke learned about the prophecy, and why he thought Ben was the Chosen One. Suffice it to say that Kylo Ren's role is paralleling Darth Vader's more and more, so there might be a dramatic redemption on the horizon.
But let's get back to the Chosen One prophecy. Annoyingly, the actual wording of the prophecy has never been revealed, so fans can't draw their own interpretations of what it might mean. All we know about this mythic figure is that they are very powerful and will eventually bring balance to the Force. It could be that this is an important part of Luke's new philosophy — after all, there can be no balance if either side keeps triumphing over the other, good or evil. Balance means that both sides are equal, or neither exist, which might explain why Luke has set aside his Jedi ways.
However, we do know that he ends up training Rey (or so he seemed to be in the trailer). It's far too early to tell, but perhaps Luke thinks that Rey could be Chosen One. She does possess an impressive level of innate power, using the Force in her battle with Kylo Ren.
Now's the perfect time to remember a fascinating rumor that came out in 2016, which slated Rey to be the Chosen One. More than that, this rumor explained exactly what the Chosen One is: The reincarnation of the very first Jedi, the girl who discovered the Force's power way back in ancient galactic history. And considering how weird and wonderful reincarnation can be, this might solve the mystery of Rey's parents too — maybe she has none.
Granted, this is a pretty wild theory, but it wouldn't be too far out of Star Wars' wheelhouse of spiritual "mumbo jumbo." It would also be very narratively satisfying for the Chosen One to fight alongside the Last Jedi (Luke), finally bringing balance to the Force by erasing the acolytes of the dark side — and those of the light.
Yet there is another solution — perhaps there is no Chosen One, no clear lines between dark and light, and Luke's decision to end the Jedi line is what will finally bring balance.
Who do you think is the Chosen One?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)