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"A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored."
―A Jedi prophecy

Master & Apprentice

Now I know that the new novelisation for Return of the Jedi reads

In the end, Anakin did what no Jedi—not Luke, not Obi-Wan, not even Yoda—could do. In killing his master—the mighty Sith Lord Darth Sidious, known to the galaxy as Emperor Palpatine—Anakin fulfilled his destiny and restored balance to the Force.

But as we learn in The Rise of Skywalker, he did not actually kill the Emperor. However,

Rey does.

And while ultimately Rey's parents are known, they are as good as absent and of little consequence.

So did Rey fulfill the prophecy?


I realise that the new novelisation for Return of the Jedi is canon, but it was written before The Rise of Skywalker was completed.

  • Are there other Jedi or even Sith prophecies that have came true? Asking in the grounds that prophecies can be more based on the realms of hope than any possibility of coming true. – Seamusthedog Jan 8 at 16:24
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    Anakin DID bring balance to the force: two Sith (Palpatine/Vader), two Jedi (Yoda/Obi-wan). Balance! – Ghotir Jan 9 at 15:23
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    I made a video discussing this youtube.com/watch?v=RcZLTBLaixY – RedCaio Jan 17 at 7:46
  • @Ghotir that's not what balance means in Star Wars scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/8720/… – RedCaio Jan 17 at 7:47
  • @RedCaio interesting. May I invite you to add an answer? – SQB Jan 17 at 7:56
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In-Universe Answer

Who fulfilled the prophecy?
Anakin did.
Who brought balance to the Force?
Anakin did and later Rey did with help from Anakin and the Jedi of the past

  • As explained here, "balance in the Force" simply means no powerful Dark Side users perverting the natural flow of the Force.
  • Balance in the Force can be achieved, lost, restored, then lost again etc.
  • Anakin is the Chosen One spoken of in the prophecy, but balance isn't a permanent thing.
  • One need not be the Chosen One of prophecy in order to defeat the darkness and bring balance.

So both Anakin and Rey brought balance to the Force.

Regarding the overall big picture, there does seem to be some room for interpretation. There's kind of two ways to look at it.

  1. You could say

    • Anakin brought balance in Return of the Jedi when he defeated Palpatine.
    • But the balance was lost as the Dark Side grew strong in Palpatine and his followers.
    • Balance was restored again when Rey defeated Palpatine.
  2. You could also say

    • It's all about Anakin being the Chosen One eventually restoring full balance.
    • He ultimately brought balance in The Rise of Skywalker when he helped vanquish Palpatine once and for all.

Out-of-Universe Answer

This whole "chosen one prophesied to bring balance to the Force" idea is sort of a retcon. When George Lucas started making the prequels he wanted to justify their existence, so he started saying the prequels and the originals would all eventually form one big story about centering around Anakin Skywalker falling to and then being redeemed from the Dark Side. He wanted Anakin Skywalker to seem super important, going as far as calling him “the chosen one” prophesied to bring balance to the force.

The original trilogy however is not really Vader's story; it's the story of Luke Skywalker becoming the hero of the Rebellion and saving the Galaxy. Luke defeats the empire and the way he does so happens to involve redeeming Vader. Although he was an important part, it was never all about Darth Vader.

Even though each trilogy centers on a new protagonist, the overall Star Wars saga is still closely tied to the Skywalker family (which of course includes the Solo family as well). Whether on not "Skywalker" is literally their last name - Anakin, Padme, Leia, Han, Ben Solo, and Rey are all Skywalkers and the series is about their struggle to resist the Dark Side and bringing balance to the Force.

I elaborate on all this a bit more in this video:

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The prophecy referred to Anakin bringing balance to the Force and he did do just that depending on your interpretation of what balance means. Looking at the prophecy it is clearly referring to Anakin as he was the one "born of no father" whereas we know Rey had one. Anakin himself also seems to believe he brought balance to the Force as we hear when he is one of the Jedi that talks to Rey:

Anakin Skywalker: Rey.
Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did.
The Force surrounds you, Rey.
Let it lift you.

The Rise of Skywalker

At the end of Return of the Jedi we have only one known Force user left alive: Luke Skywalker. However, we also know that Snoke and Palpatine were around at some point after that. I'm not sure if it is clear if Palpatine survived or was a clone, if he survived then there were two Force users, one light and one dark. If he was a clone he was made sometime after the final battle.

This then means that, in some aspects, both of the Jedi interpretations of the prophecy were correct:

  • Only light side: Only Luke was left so it was "balanaced".
  • One of each: Luke and Palpatine were alive so the Force was balanced with one dark and one light side user.

At the end of The Rise of Skywalker as far as we know there is only one Force user, who willingly uses it, left alive: Rey. This would mean the Force is "balanced" to the light side. However, I think the ending was left to interpretation and it isn't entirely clear if she was going to go ahead as a light side only user or if she'd become some middle ground between the Jedi and the Sith. If the latter then of course she was a middle, balanced ground.

So in short, they both brought balance to the Force but the prophecy was referring to Anakin.

  • "only one known Force user left alive" How about Maz Kanata? Also, Leia was shown in TLJ and TRoS to be Force sensitive. – Rebel-Scum Jan 8 at 9:53
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    Not that it matters too much of course under the assumption that balance = only light side users. For the other case it's a bit different but I think the Jedi interpretation is only light side users. – TheLethalCarrot Jan 8 at 9:57
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    I mean, the most obvious interpretation to me is that the Force is perfectly balanced at the end of Revenge of the Sith. There are two major force users on each side: Palpatine and Vader on the dark side and Yoda and Obi-wan on the light side. – Harabeck Jan 8 at 19:03
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    @Harabeck - Except that isn't true. Darth Maul, Kanan, Ahsoka, and many others were alive at that point. Not to mention the fact that Vader/Palpatine employ several Inquisitors that are clear force users albeit not Sith Lords. – TheIronCheek Jan 8 at 22:34
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    @Harabeck - I'm not sure even at the time of the movie that ALL Jedi were meant to have been dead. Afterall, why would Yoda and Kenobi leave a message for remaining Jedi to go into hiding if they were supposed to be all dead at this point? – TheIronCheek Jan 8 at 22:43

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