Are big changes in store for the Star Wars universe? The latest episode of Rebels gives us a long-missing piece to the puzzle of the Chosen One, and might give a clue as to the future of the Force.
In last week’s Star Wars: Rebels, Obi-Wan Kenobi faced off with the Sith Lord Darth Maul, who killed his Jedi Master way back in Star Wars: Episode 1 (before getting sliced in two and tossed into a bottomless pit). For those that don’t know, Rebels takes place a short time before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, the first Skywalker movie. In this episode, Obi-Wan is shown living in hiding in the desert, watching over a certain plucky teenage moisture-farmer who has no idea that the fate of the galaxy is about to come squarely down on his blonde head. Obi-Wan and Maul don’t fight long, but before they do the Sith figures out that his Jedi nemesis is hiding on a back-woods desert planet for a reason… Because he’s protecting someone. “Is he The Chosen One?” Maul asks, and Obi-Wan nods.
I’ll give you a minute if your mind is blown.
If not, scrape the crust from the memories of the George Lucas Star Wars prequels and remember that originally Anakin Skywalker was hyped up to be the Chosen One, a powerful Jedi who would bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith. Instead, life got in the way and Anakin went full-aggro after letting himself be manipulated to the Dark Side by the Evil Emperor. Obi-Wan, who felt responsible, gave us the only good lines of dialogue from those movies, “You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them! You were supposed to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness!” and then took off to go watch over Anakin’s children. So either Anakin/Darth Vadar was the Chosen One and the prophecy was crap, or he wasn’t, and all that immaculate conception stuff was just crap his mom made up… Hmmm.
We were never told either way who the Chosen One was, and many believed after The Force Awakens that it might be Rey the Force-powered heroine of the new trilogy… Until the latest episode of Rebels that is… Now it’s on record.
Luke is the Chosen One.
Obi-Wan’s revelation got me thinking about the nature of the Jedi and what the Chosen One “bringing balance to the Force“ could mean in the new Disney era of Star Wars. Most of the internet believes the title of the new Star Wars, The Last Jedi is plural (As in, these guys are the last Jedi, not this guy is the last Jedi) But what if the internet is wrong and title is literal? Yoda did tell Luke back in the swamp, “when gone am I, the last of the Jedi, will you be” and the title crawl at the beginning of Episode VII clearly says “…Skywalker, the last jedi…”
But what if the term Last Jedi doesn’t mean, “he’s the last before there were more”? What if the Jedi die with Luke?
The Force Awakens doesn’t tell us much about why Luke has decided to leave it all behind and go stand remorsefully on a rock. We get that he tried to restart the Jedi Order, he tried to train some Force strong students, and that it all went to shit. So obviously, even in a post-Empire world, power corrupts. Luke can’t stop his own nephew from giving in to the dark side and his best laid plans got a bunch of his students killed before he split and turned his back on The Force… Supposedly.
The nature of the Jedi/Sith relationship is very complex. Jedi are the Buddhist warrior monks who swear off attachments and desires in pursuit of a deeper meaning of love and the greater good, while the Sith are the emotion-wielding fear mongers that use their moods like gunpowder. It’s the classic ying and yang, light and dark scenario. One simply cannot exist without the other, and Luke Skywalker keeps learning this the hard way. If you think about it, how did he save Darth Vadar in the first place? With selfless love. In the end, Anakin Skywalker didn’t want to watch his only son die, and his selfish hate was broken by the selfless love of a parent for a child. It would be ironic that two sides of the same whole have battled it out for thousands of years, locked in a battle that neither side can win, destined to repeat the same mistakes again and again while the fate of the galaxy gets dragged along behind them.
In rides the plucky teenager with the lightsaber to save the day.
In this modern era of Star Wars, it makes sense to leave the old schools behind. If Luke Skywalker is the Chosen One, and the Last Jedi, it’s conceivable that going forward there will be a new kind of Jedi. That Luke will be able to train Rey with balance in the Force. Someone able to feel without giving in to the dark side, able to wield parts of the light and the dark. After all, they are two pieces of the whole, one cannot exist without the other…
When the new Star Wars opens this December we will find out what the scoop is.