The identity of the Chosen One is one of the most hotly debated topics among Star Wars fans. Anakin Skywalker fulfilling his destiny as the Chosen One through his final actions in Return of the Jedi satisfied audiences for a while, but Obi-Wan's words in Star Wars Rebels, comments Mark Hamill has made about Kylo Ren and the mystery surrounding Rey's future destiny has largely thrown out the neatly packaged idea that Anakin was the Chosen One. Now an excerpt from the upcoming book, From A Certain Point Of View, provides yet another crucial perspective on this matter. The book is told from an array of characters' perspectives in celebration of Star Wars: A New Hope's fortieth anniversary. The recently released (audio) excerpt brings readers to an imperative conversation between Yoda and Obi-Wan shortly after Obi-Wan's death. Obi-Wan encourages and convinces Yoda to take on Luke Skywalker as his Padawan, during which Yoda hints that he believes Leia is the true Chosen One.
Why Yoda Believed In Leia Over Luke
The Empire Strikes Back created precedence for Yoda's belief in Leia rather than Luke. Yoda expresses many doubts about training Luke based on young Skywalker's impatience, recklessness and even his age. He only agrees to train Luke after coaxing from the voice of Obi-Wan's Force ghost, but the doubts still persist. When Luke leaves Dagobah to save Leia and Han, Obi-Wan says "That boy is our last hope." Yoda replies, "No. There is another." The second chapter of the original trilogy thus laid the groundwork for Yoda's belief in Leia over Luke, furthered by the prequel trilogy and content in the new canon.
In the prequel trilogy all the Jedi seemed to believe Anakin was the Chosen One, regardless of how they felt about him. Following Anakin becoming Darth Vader and joining the Dark Side, playing an integral role in destroying the Jedi and creating the oppressive Empire, clearly Yoda and Obi-Wan no longer believed Anakin was the individual in the prophecy. Naturally they'd look to Anakin's innocent, yet powerful children. Despite exile on Dagobah, through the Force, Yoda was able to observe what was going on throughout the galaxy and even interact with certain individuals as witnessed by his conversation with Ezra in #StarWarsRebels.
Watching the Skywalker children grow up, Yoda could see that Luke mirrored Anakin in many ways. The description of a young man with great power and potential, but whiny and impatient with mixed priorities not only characterizes Anakin for much of the prequel trilogy, it characterizes Luke when audiences first meet him in A New Hope. This is what Yoda would've seen, a young man strikingly similar to the one who destroyed everything.
On the other hand, Leia was already braving great danger for the Rebellion while also serving in the sham Senate in order to protect her family and Alderaan. In Star Wars Rebels, Leia successfully led a mission to provide the Rebellion with Hammerhead Corvettes, ships that played an essential role during the Battle of Scarif. Leia was the one to escape with the Death Star plans, store them in R2-D2 along with a message to Obi-Wan when Vader boarded her ship, and then boldly lie to his face that she never had the plans to begin with. As a captive of the Empire, she underwent torture and watched her home planet get blown to bits. Meanwhile, Luke complained about not getting to go to Tosche Station to pick up power converters and having to stay with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru for another harvest season.
It's not difficult to imagine what Yoda initially saw in Leia that he didn't see in Luke, leading him to tell Obi-Wan in the excerpt that Leia is ready for training. In Luke, he saw the same traits that played a role in Anakin's downfall. In Leia, he saw not her father, but her mother Padme Amidala. Yoda always had great respect for Padme, a woman who not only survived, but thrived in politics through her unique commitment to upholding democracy and helping the common people. Leia had the political and personal strengths of her mother and the Force-sensitive abilities of her father, thereby making her seem like the true Chosen One.
Will This Revelation Influence The Sequel Trilogy?
It is unlikely, but not impossible, that Yoda's belief that Leia was the Chosen One will influence The Last Jedi and Episode IX. Kathleen Kennedy has previously stated that prior to the #Episode9 rewrites following Carrie Fisher's tragic death, the conclusion to the sequel trilogy featured Leia at the core of the story. It would've been fascinating for Leia to ultimately be the Chosen One and hero of the sequel trilogy, her importance even transcending her role as leader of the Resistance. Now that is unlikely to happen given that Leia will not be in Episode IX.
Unless the Force ghosts of Yoda and Obi-Wan have told Luke about their conversation or they show up to talk about it in The Last Jedi, none of the characters in these films would know about Yoda's belief in Leia. The only way the revelation can be incorporated at this point is if they've told Luke about it and he cites it as yet another instance of the Jedi being wrong, as Leia never received any formal Jedi training, let alone follow the path to becoming the Chosen One. Luke's belief that "It's time for the Jedi to end" is a hard sell, so he'll need all the evidence he can work with in #TheLastJedi. Yoda's mistaken belief is certainly not the worst thing that's come from Jedi errors, but can still serve as fuel for Luke's fire.
What do you think about Yoda wanting to train Leia instead of Luke? Share your thoughts in the comments below!