It's pretty clear that Anakin has precognitive abilities. Qui-gon says as much as the only explanation for how Anakin is able to be the only human capable of racing. He also very clearly saw his mother suffering before she actually was suffering, which intensified once her suffering actually began.
It seems that the dream and eventual and unstoppable death of Shmi was foreshadowing of Padme's, literally linked for the audience via Anakin's dream. Side-by-side, they are almost identical, except Anakin turns to the dark side to prevent Padme's death, whereas he actually goes to save Shmi, though he was too late.
What doesn't make sense is that a long series of events unfold that lead to Padme's death, only because Anakin has a dream about her death. This is a paradox. And when it finally comes to pass, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Anakin would have never turned to the dark side if he never had the dreams. And Padme would never have died if she did not witness Anakin turn evil.
How can Anakin's dream have been prophetic, in light of the paradoxical nature of the events that unfold because of it? I only see a few options:
- The dreams were not prophetic. This doesn't make sense however, as Anakin himself describes them as "like the ones [he] used to have about his mother."
- The dreams only appeared prophetic and were a deception to produce a desired outcome. One theory is that Sideous planted the dreams to lead Anakin closer to the dark side. Padme actually dying was a coincidence.
- The dreams were prophetic, and intentionally self-fulfilling. Some unknown force (midiclorians maybe) produced the dreams to affect the future.
Considering I think the argument is strong that the the dreams were prophetic, how is their paradoxical nature explained?