Rey Is The "Chosen One" That The Prophecy Foretold
There's More To This
After a lot of personal soul searching and a very overdue deadline, I have to confess something. I appreciate the final Star Wars trilogy more than I initially thought.
Though George Lucas has always maintained that Star Wars was not religious, it does draw upon many of the world's faiths. The first three films definitely had roots in Buddhism. The Force itself can be seen as another expression of the Asian notion that man is part of nature, not its master. As Lucas started to revamp the next sets of films around Anakin Skywalker, he added a more Messianic component to the storyline via prophecies inspired by the Abrahamic faiths.
The Jedi Order possessed volumes of ancient divinations, some predate the Order itself. Master Qui-Gon Jinn took an interest in them, studying closely those related to the Chosen One. Master Yoda felt that to give them more than a passing read kept the Jedi from being present. He saw them as an attempt to control the future, which was a path to the dark side.
The Skywalker saga begins because of one such prophecy. Claudia Gray's 2019 novel, Master & Apprentice, finally unveiled its exact wording of the text. An ancient Force-user prophesied, "A Chosen One shall come born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored."
When Qui-Gon Jinn met Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, he knew he was in the presence of a very special young boy with an extraordinary destiny. Qui-Gon was right. Anakin was the Chosen One, just not in the way he imagined it to be. Rey fulfilled Anakin Skywalker's fate as the Chosen One, as his Avatar.
Every single word of the prophecy is important. If one takes a literal definition of the first part of the prediction, then only Anakin was potentially born without a natural father. Though Rey is a descendent of a clone of Palpatine, which is not strictly natural either.
When I look back upon the scene where Qui-Gon and Shmi talk about Anakin's father, I do not sense divinity. Though I can see how others may interpret it and the visions in the Darth Vader comic series by Charles Soule. Instead, I see her explanation as coming from someone who was not a willing participant in the act that got her pregnant, regardless of whether it was done via midi-chlorians. Yet she loved her child just the same. However, they came to be, both Anakin and Rey did not have fathers nor father figures in the traditional sense.
The most important word in that prophecy is "balance." Anakin brought equilibrium to the Force by redeeming himself in his son's eyes and killing Emperor Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious. His death and the ensuing stability should have been permanent. However, Darth Sidious found a way to master death via Essence Transfer, a forgotten dark side power. This power allowed one to possess another body at the moment of death. For Essence Transfer to succeed, Palpatine's murder needed to be carried out in anger, ensuring the murderer was in touch with their dark side. In both Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, Darth Sidious/Palpatine taunts Luke and then Rey into killing him in anger to achieve this.
I have previously written about Force Balance. It is a distinct and separate aspect of the Force, more critical than either Light or Dark Side. We can look at The Rise of Skywalker, and the encouragement Anakin's Force Ghost gives to Rey as she attempts to defeat her grandfather, the Emperor, to understand why. He says, "Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did." He does not mention Light or Dark, but Balance.
There is a particular meditation explicitly regarding the importance of Force Balance, which illustrates this. Nartun Trecim, an Ascendant of Mau, wrote, "The moment between breaths, is the Balance of the Force. Between life and death. Rest and action. Serenity and passion. Hope and despair." Balance is the desired state of the Force, even if it can only be achieved temporarily.
The Sith were enamored with the Dark Side of the Force for all of the obvious reasons. The Dark Side lured them with promises of eternal life; they could control their destiny. No one doubts their villainy or desire to breed imbalance in the Force.
The Jedi can be equally blamed for causing imbalance too. They were so wrapped up in the Light Side of the Force, they ignored the Balance the Force needed. Their own hubris led them to incorrectly believe the Sith were extinct. They were caught off-guard when Anakin turned on them. While the Jedi cared about their Clone Army, they did not seem to value them as much as other citizens of the Republic. They also ignored the slavery which plagued the galaxy. In Episode I, Anakin is disappointed when he learns Qui-Gon is not there to free slaves like his mother and him.
Only Anakin, who has experienced both the Dark and Light side of the Force, can bring it back to Balance. He is undoubtedly the Chosen One. However, the universe returned to imbalance because Emperor Palpatine and the Sith do not play fair. Someone else needed to pick up the cause and return everything to Balance, even if it is only temporary. Thus the Force found another Chosen One to take on the mantle. Of course, Anakin was there too in more ways than one.
I already mentioned the presence of Anakin's Force Ghost when Palpatine was finally defeated. His lightsaber was there too. Lightsabers and their lore is a fascinating subject on its own. There is a deep spiritual connection between a Jedi and a lightsaber of their own construction. For those who are exceptionally in sync with the Force, the bond is incredibly strong. A Jedi's thoughts and actions become one with the blade's energy flow, directed via the kyber crystal within.
Anakin's lightsaber was bonded with him, the Chosen One, the Jedi, who the highest midi-chlorian count ever seen. His Force spirit could also flow through it even in death. His lightsaber propels Rey forward on her journey to fulfill her part in the prophecy. When she first picks up the blade, she is the recipient of potent Forcebacks, Force-directed visions of the past. It is entirely possible Anakin was responsible for these revelations.
Kylo Ren/Ben Solo laid claim to the lightsaber too. Though initially, he does not know Darth Vader is his grandfather. In the duel between Rey and Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi, the two fight a frantic battle for this lightsaber. Their struggle destroys the lightsaber. Kylo wants to return the lightsaber to the Dark side of its legacy reminiscent of Darth Vader. Rey is determined to defend Anakin's legacy in terms of the Light side. Both are incorrect in their interpretation. Anakin and, therefore, his lightsaber, was an agent of Balance. Rey eventually repaired Anakin's lightsaber. She uses it to deflect Palpatine's Force lightning. Thus, she brings Anakin to the final battle. They work together to defeat him.
The Skywalker Name
The Rise of Skywalker ends with Rey returning to Tatooine, inspired to restore the Jedi Order. Rey will focus on the Balance aspect of the Force rather than Light versus Dark. This can be seen in the lightsaber she builds. It is powered by the rare yellow kyber crystal most associated with Balance.
As the twin suns rise, Rey, a Palpatine descendent chooses to become a Skywalker in name as well. She has undoubtedly earned the right to do so. The nine films, a trilogy of trilogies, was really about the legacy of Anakin Skywalker. Anakin sacrificed his life to bring Balance to the universe. Rey becomes his Avatar to complete his mission.
I still think Episodes IV-VI are the best films of the Star Wars Skywalker saga. However, this reflection of the full cycle has given me a new appreciation for Episodes VII-IX, the final trilogy.
Written By Leana Ahmed
Syndicated From Culture Slate