Star Wars Prophecy Explained: How Anakin Brings Balance to the Force Fan Theory | Fanboys Anonymous

Star Wars Prophecy Explained: How Anakin Brings Balance to the Force Fan Theory

Posted by Anthony Mango Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Over the years, the Star Wars story has changed many times. Once, it was a tale from the Journal of the Whills about characters like The Starkiller family (Kane, Deak and Annikin) along with General Luke Skywalker, Clieg Whitsun, Governor Crispin Hoedaack and more. Eventually, it became what it is today. But even when the first film came out, it was clear that the audience was being dropped into a world that had already been lived in, but we weren't privy to all the details. What were the Clone Wars? How did the Jedi go extinct? What the hell got into those Tusken Raiders to make them so grumpy? (We would later find out it's likely because they're Sand People and sand gets everywhere.)

Claim as much as he wants that he's had plans all along, obviously George Lucas has made some things up along the way, as evidenced by the kiss between Luke and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back despite being brother and sister. Either they weren't siblings until Episode VI or Lucas has some weird issues to work out. But when the prequel films came out, some big twists were thrown into the mix. The story suddenly shifted massively with the inclusion of a plot device: the prophecy.

Star Wars balance to the force explained theory prophecy


In The Phantom Menace, we're introduced to Anakin Skywalker and quickly, Qui-Gon Jinn can tell that he's sensitive to The Force. Upon testing his midi-chlorian count, it was apparently "off the charts" and measured at over 20,000—whatever that's supposed to mean. Currently in the official canon, midi-chlorians are microscopic lifeforms that act as symbiotic carriers of sorts for The Force that connect sentient beings together. They originated on a planet in the center of the galaxy which was also the source of life itself. Anakin was theorized to have been conceived by the midi-chlorians, resulting in his mother Shmi's virgin birth a la Jesus Christ parable.

Star Wars Force Planet Mortis Clone Wars
Looks pretty barren, but it's still a better sight than Alderaan. What, too soon?

When the topic is brought up, Qui-Gon speculates that Anakin is "The Chosen One." Mace Windu helps clarify things to the audience by stating: "You refer to the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to The Force. You believe it's this boy?"

Suddenly, Star Wars is a drastically different story. Sure, nothing changes about what we've seen before like Greedo shooting first and then with an edit, the events that transpired are different, but an undercurrent of a story was added that we never knew existed before. Originally, Anakin Skywalker was good, turned bad, and then turned good. Now, it was actually the story of how The Chosen One fell from grace, but was able to turn things around and fulfill his destiny. Anakin didn't just so happen to destroy Emperor Palpatine, it was his literal reason for existence and what he was created to do. He was meant to do this and just took a detour. Heavy stuff.

Anakin fulfills prophecy killing Darth Sidious Return of the Jedi
Mission accomplished.

However, this is all very vague. Just how exactly does someone "bring balance" to this universal consciousness by destroying all of the heroes along the way? To many fans, they interpret this as a numbers game where at one point, Darth Vader and Darth Sidious were the only two users of the Dark Side (due to the Rule of Two—go look it up if you need more info on that) while Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda were the only two Jedi left on the Light Side. To those people, balance is a 2-vs-2 scenario.

To me, the numbers theory never made any sense, as Luke and Leia are clearly at least marginally using The Force at this time, making it 4-on-2. Then, when Kenobi and Yoda die, it goes back to 2-on-2, only for the scale to be tipped in the wrong direction again with the deaths of the Darths. At the end of Return of the Jedi, we're left with two Jedi on the Light Side. That's not a balance.

George Lucas has gone on record in saying that the prophecy is that Anakin will defeat the Dark Side. That simple. In the Expanded Universe / Legends telling—which exists in a limbo state now that all of these stories have been decreed as not officially canon nor not-canon until proven or disproven—it is described as such:

In the "may or may not be canon until something proves or disproves it" stories of the Expanded Universe, now dubbed Legends, the prophecy states the following:

In the time of greatest despair, a child shall be born who will destroy the Sith and bring balance to The Force.

Again, that's still pretty vague, and now that the stories are continuing, we're left questioning how this could be true if there are still Dark Side users as villains going forward.

You've sat through a lot to get to this point, but we're finally here. This is my proposal for what the prophecy really means.


The prophecy revolves around Anakin being born with the sole purpose of destroying the Dark Side. All of the miscellaneous details that people attribute to this are left up to interpretation, but not necessarily fact. Despite how there's a chance the Jedi were wrong and there really is no prophecy, which would retcon six films, if we assume that this is the most basic foundation, that's where we'll work from as our starting point.

Birthright is the central theme. Anakin had no father and the biggest twist in movie history was the revelation that he was Luke's father. Vader tells Luke that it is his destiny to rule the galaxy with him as father and son. Palpatine was a father figure to Anakin. Jedi Masters and their Padawan learners are like parents to children (or in some cases just as in real life, if the parent is killed, a big brother has to step in to raise his little brother, like what happened to Obi-Wan and Anakin) and every living being is a child of The Force. Even Dwayne Johnson, since Yoda explains that it exists between "the tree, The Rock, everywhere!"

Qui-Gon Jinn The Rock actor Star Wars
Trust your instincts. Don't think, just smelllllll what Qui-Gon is cooking. (insert funeral pyre joke)

In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis, who was able to create life and learn how to prevent death. Palpatine doesn't know this power, but he dangles it in front of Anakin to lure him to the Dark Side, as Anakin has had traumatic visions of Padme's death. The last time these prophetic dreams happened, it was his mother Shmi's death, and it came true. Now, it's the mother of his children. Obviously, I don't need to explain how parentage comes into play here.

However, it's interesting to note that the main villain of the series is the man who killed his father figure who could create life and is destroyed by his surrogate son (with the help of his surrogate grandson) who was created to kill him.

Plagueis did something abominable by messing with The Force and manipulating it in a way it shouldn't have been manipulated and unlocked the ultimate secret of life that no being other than The Force itself has control over, by being able to set off a Big Bang in so many words. That's way too dangerous to be in the wrong hands, so The Force directly involved itself to create an equal and opposite reaction to put a stop to it: Anakin.

Think of Plagueis and Palpatine as a virus that gets introduced to a host body and starts taking over. The course of action to fix that problem is to send in an antivirus to wipe it out.

Phantom Menace wipe them out all of them quote gif
Slow down, Palpatine. Wrong idea here.

But if the Dark Side continues after Palpatine's death, how is the prophecy fulfilled? Well, it isn't so much that Anakin has to stab the Dark Side in the heart and kill it, but that he sets off a chain of events that will ultimately work out in the end.


Shmi is a vessel—a test tube in which Anakin is born as an anomaly. Therefore, Anakin is the first true starting point in the Skywalker lineage that has an asterisk on it. All members of the family that come after him are direct descendants of not just Shmi, but The Force itself. Basically, if The Force is God and Anakin is Jesus Christ, then Luke Skywalker is Jesus Christ Jr. and the same applies to Leia. If either Luke or Leia have a son or daughter, they're following in the same footsteps.

Anakin is too old to begin the training, as are Luke and Leia, but that doesn't stop them from being extremely powerful, because it's in their genes. The Skywalker family is working with a genetic gold mine of Force potential to the point where not even the most powerful evil in the galaxy can match them.

The Jedi Order was dissolved because it was getting in the way of itself and had its head up its own ass. One of their rules is that you can't form attachments because emotions are easy to be manipulated, which makes it easier to succumb to the Dark Side. That is true, but there's something to be said about how a life without love is no life worth living. Anakin even says to Padme that from his perspective, they are "encouraged to love" despite what the rulebook says. You know why he can go offbook like that? Because he's Anakin f'n Skywalker—manifestation of The Force. Qui-Gon says that the midi-chlorians talk to them and this is The Force telling Anakin to ignore the bureaucracy of the Jedi Order and go with his gut and listen to what they have to say.

Padme's potential death being ignored by the Jedi Order leads to Anakin making a rash decision to defy them and turn against them, which sets Padme down the path of her demise. All things considered, an alternate universe could have seen the events unfold differently, where Yoda and company ensure that Padme is safe during childbirth, they take down Palpatine, the Jedi Order survives and the love between Anakin and Padme proves to be a lesson. They learn by Anakin's example and open up to the idea of love.

Since that didn't happen, the responsibility fell on Luke's shoulders. Luke's love for Leia and his friends propels much of the plot. Anakin's love of Luke saves the day. Qui-Gon is the first Force-user to come back from the dead as a ghost and that's because he defied the council and went with his heart. Obi-Wan Kenobi loves Anakin and that's why he's such a prominent role. Qui-Gon's father figure is Count Dooku, who was trained by Yoda. It all connects and boils down to love. The Jedi Order neglected this and needed to be rebooted. Now that Luke is the one responsible for dictating how things go, he's someone who knows more than anybody how powerful love can be and in the Expanded Universe, he eliminated this doctrine and allowed Jedi to marry.

The movies are now going to be broken up in two ways with Anthology films and Saga films. The former will be spin-off titles such as the upcoming Rogue One while it's been stated that the Episode ___ movies will continually focus on the Skywalker family. That's because the lineage is the most important thing.

Anakin is the Chosen One because he is the one to create the bloodline that will forever right the wrongs of the universe.

If the Dark Side is parasitic, then the midi-chlorians are white blood cells. If someone like Palpatine was a virus, then Anakin was the antivirus. Luke and Leia are the current holders of the mantle of Chosen One and when the Dark Side amasses enough power to become a threat to the galaxy (which we'll see in Episode VII on December 18th), then they and their surrounding friends they are connected to via love will correct the errors in play.

Whenever things get too dirty, a Skywalker will be there to act as the soap to clean it up. Anakin's removal of the Palpatine virus was the first bath and a new evil rises in the First Order. That is why The Force Awakens and decides to take a shower again to cleanse the galaxy of the Dark Side. Luke, Leia, and I'm assuming Rey if not Finn as well are the white blood cells now that Anakin is gone.

Star Wars Force midi-chlorians under microscope
White blood cells, eh? Look familiar?
This way, the stories will continue and don't have a definitive end unless the Dark Side is completely and utterly eradicated for good. If there is ever an evil in power, a Skywalker will keep it in check, and it all started with Anakin—the boy who was created out of an absence of love, became the man whose actions were dictated by love, brought about some tough love to teach the Jedi what they were doing wrong, and was able to keep his love going on for generations through his children.

TL;DR = Anakin brings balance to The Force by being the first in a bloodline of guardians of the collective consciousness, all in the name of the one thing that joins us together, love.

What do you think of this interpretation? Am I completely insane and will be proven wrong in a few weeks when Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens comes out? Am I thinking way too hard and this is just a plot hole that Kathleen Kennedy is hoping we'll ignore so Disney can keep on making lots of money?

Tell us what you think and if you have any other theories on the prophecy in the comments below!

Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer and podcast host of Fanboys Anonymous as well as all other A Mango Tree branches including Smark Out Moment. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, fiction writer and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.