The Real Chosen One: Building the Case for Luke Skywalker

Luke looks to Vader in the Freezing Chamber
Luke’s kinda creeped out you’re so close to him. Back off, man. He needs his space.

Sorry for the delay, child injured, stitches, horror, it’ll probably take me longer to recover from the experience than her. Jar Jar Hater’s heart is completely hardened to my pain, but seriously, the fact that I had to hold down my own child, screaming at a pitch and volume that I’ve never heard come from another human, as they turned her chin into a knitting project is just one of those horrific moments of complete helplessness that will haunt me for years to come.

Speaking of children, let’s get to who I consider to be our final legitimate candidate for Chosen One in the Star Wars galaxy.

I’m speaking, of course, about Luke Skywalker. He was mentioned in the comments when this series first started, and I think for a lot of the same reasons I’ll list here (plus a few others that I’ve collected after obsessively musing the question for the better part of the last 13 years).

But given all the other speculation, what compelling arguments exist that Luke is the one who was prophesied?

As it turns out, a fair number. But it’s not so straightforward in my mind as others might take it, and let me tell you why…

Building the Case for Luke

The prophecy is specifically about one who will “bring balance to the Force.” The tip to the Jedi that it might be Anakin and that the prophecy may be coming true is that Anakin is apparently a directly-conceived child of the Force. Divine conception is a big tip that someone is a wee bit special, traditionally.

But the full text of the prophecy is never stated in the films and honestly, I don’t think it’s ever been spelled out anywhere. Even looking at a source that takes into account the expanded material never has specific text listed. And as with most of my examinations of the text of the films, the EU is discounted from these discussions. It is worth noting, however, that it would provide a fascinating supportive argument for Luke being The Chosen One by the mere existence of light/dark conflict beyond the six films.

And the collective editors of the wikis seem incapable even of acknowledging that the line that tips off the Council about the prophecy is the “conceived by the midichlorians” bit Qui-Gon sneaks in there. And I refuse to get into those discussions, because I gave up on the post-Jedi “Expanded Universe,” or allowing Lucas to be sole arbiter of interpretation for these works, a long time ago. In fact, I dislike it when a filmmaker tries to tell me “what I’m supposed to see” in the story, because that takes all the fun out of it.

But I digress.

So What Arguments Exist for Luke?

Luke and Biggs
“Luke, I know you and the creator of this story are going to be in-the-tank liberals in the future, but every sentence of my dialogue from this scene reads like an Ayn Rand treatise…I’m going to get cut, aren’t I?”

Plainly, he is the expression of balance. He personifies it. He has passion and he has love, but he does not let them rule him. He is part machine, but it does not define him. He wears black but is a hero and spiritual leader.

Like Anakin, the entire fate of the galaxy hinges on his personal decisions. His decision to leave Tatooine to become a Jedi leads to the destruction of the Death Star. His decision to leave his friends after Hoth leads to the death of the Empire.

While it may seem minor, Yoda’s life seems preserved by the Force for the sake of training him. However, couple that with the fact that Obi-Wan is able to commune with him directly after death; if you note, his physical presence as a spirit also becomes more pronounced as Luke grows stronger until he’s sitting next to the young Jedi on a log. The two Sith are moving to master him and by extension replace the other.

Beyond all that he makes the right choices, and with less opportunity, than Anakin. He has the opportunity for vengeance and instead exercises mercy. He does not have a lifetime of training to provide a clear definition of right and wrong, just being raised by loving, murdered “parents” unexpectedly.

He is Batman to Vader’s Bane. (Yeah, I made that connection. Geeksplosion!)

But most importantly, it is important to note that while Vader may be the hammer that smashes the Sith, it’s Luke’s willing self-sacrifice that is the force driving him. Vader, a monster in shape and action, is moved to destroy himself and the master of evil because of it.

In other words, the forgiveness he extends to the fallen redeems the world. Sure sounds like restoring balance to me.

What do you think?

Are these arguments more compelling than the ones for other characters? Less so?

Next Blog: The Real Chosen One: Other Theories and Final Conclusions

Just to give a tease on the last installment, I’ll address why Obi-Wan never enters the discussions, why I don’t focus on Leia in these discussions and what music I use as my writing inspiration for these blogs.

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19 thoughts on “The Real Chosen One: Building the Case for Luke Skywalker

  1. That actually seems like the most compelling argument. Reading this, I think of what ultimately motivates Anakin’s and Luke’s decisive actions. Both are motivated by Love, but it leads them in divergent directions.

    Anakin’s love for Padme, which is forbidden, weighs like a chair around his neck. The idea that love conquers all is not always a good thing to the lover. Anakin completely loses himself in desperately trying to not lose Padme. Ironically, it is exactly his desperation which leads to her demise when his acceptance of reality would have preserved her.

    Luke has compassion for his father, having had some sense of struggle deep within him that even the emperor hadn’t noticed and seems to be oddly confirmed by the resigned sigh, “It is too late for me, son,” as Vader takes him to meet the emperor. Yet, it is the love for Leia, his sister, that makes him powerful. His goal in confronting Vader isn’t to kill him. He rejects Obi-Wan’s assertion that he must kill Vader in order to become a Jedi. He ultimately fights Vader to an effective stalemate and hides until Vader picks up on Leia’s existence and vows to turn her. That is the moment Luke trusts his feelings and becomes strong. He completely overpowers Vader and defies the Emperor to save his sister. It is sacrifice and it is love in its pure form.

    Yet, it is Vader who destroys Palpatine. He does so to save his son. Is he acting out of Love at that point? Regret? Wisdom? There are lots of things that are probably going through his mind at that point and maybe Palpatine should have paid attention. Or maybe it was at that point that Vader reached his highest potential power and shut the Emperor out as he figured out his play. Regardless, his sacrifice was inspired by Luke’s willingness to be the sacrifice.

    So, in the end, I think Luke was the Force’s way or correcting for Vader’s rejection of balance, ultimately leading him to understanding what life and love really are finally making good on it. Without his sacrifice, Luke would have died and Leia would have been hunted down.

    So, who wins?

    1. It’s a complicated question (I think) when we boil it down to a “Luke VERSUS Anakin” scenario like this, for sure. I have a theory, but I don’t want to tip it before tonight’s blog. It’s – as is typical for me – needlessly complex.

  2. Just curious… Will there be consideration of Jar Jar as the Chosen One?

    After all, it was his action of voting emergency powers to Palpatine that allows the clones to come to the fore, and the clones were used to decimate the Jedi as tools used by the Sith, bringing a closer balance to the Force (the Jedi were a force for good through the whole galaxy. The Sith constructed devices to rule the galaxy through fear and intimidation). Without those emergency powers granted by Jar Jar to him while he was Chancellor, Palpatine would have had a tough time making the transition from Republic to Empire, and justifying the emergence of the GAR.

    Furthering the argument, we know nothing of Jar Jar’s parentage, and even though Qui-Gon saw how often “chance” worked in Mr. Binks’ favor, he never checked HIS blood for midichlorian levels, but he did check Anakin’s on the basis of second-hand information alone. It is possible that Jar Jar was a “wild child” in terms of Force-sensitivity and use, and the oversight of a potential Jedi because of what could only be seen as racial prejudices by Qui-Gon caused a potential force, one that may have led to his demise, and ultimately did lead to the demise of several thousand other Jedi, to go unchecked.

    1. If we were examining a singular criterion, you’d have an argument. But we’re not, so you don’t, Hannity.

      However, in the spirit of fun, I’ll entertain the argument and explain why Jar Jar doesn’t meet the standards set forth.

      First and foremost is that the vote in the Senate is pivotal, but Jar Jar is not necessarily instrumental to it. After all, Palpatine had found a way to create the GAR without a vote at all. I think it’s more fun to look at the fact that Palpatine likely used Jar Jar as an ironic “F you” to the little bugger who had helped thwart/delay his original plans to start the war 10 years prior. Keep in mind TPM was supposed to be the beginning of the war, and the actions of the heroes there delayed it and forced Palpatine to adapt.

      Very specifically, this is where your argument collapses: “Palpatine would have had a tough time making the transition from Republic to Empire, and justifying the emergence of the GAR.”

      The GAR was already created, the Separatist threat already established and Palpatine was just able to use circumstances to push forward at that moment. Additionally, it was Obi-Wan and Anakin’s actions that triggered the crisis vote in the first place.

      As for the inherent racism in the Star Wars universe, that’s a blog for another day – even beyond the “established” racism of Palpatine’s New Order both through inference and expanded works.

      1. You know, for someone who once stated that in this discussion “there are no wrong answers”, you were pretty quick to jump all over a tongue-in-cheek suggestion.

        1. Just because there are no wrong answers doesn’t mean I won’t take time to illustrate why one is doesn’t meet the criteria. Don’t get bent out of shape over being called “Hannity.” 🙂

          Instead of taking a sizable chunk out of the last post to “address” Jar Jar, which I acknowledged as “in the spirit of fun,” I addressed it here. You took time to construct the argument, I took time to refute it. That’s all.

          Obi-Wan, Palpatine, and “serious” contenders who i think dont meet the standard are addressed in the next one (as noted in the post).

          To be fair, usually when you make a comment it’s awfully tough to tell if you’re “kidding” or trying to be antagonistic. Your comment was written more like “Imma gonna wreck this here train” than “ha ha lets have some fun.”

          1. Of course you did, Cigarette Smoking Korean Moriarty Man. Your man-crush for Tony is not just creepy, but well-documented.

          2. Oh, I know. And I have entirely too much fun with it too; it’s e best talk show script evar.

            And it makes the guy who has an insanely strange man-crush on you thrilled when you do. Be careful or I’ll give him your address…

          3. Because Jar Jar is not a serious contender, this is further evidence that he is a poorly imagined, poorly realized character in the Star Wars universe. #BAM #pokethebear

  3. Seriously, though, did the events of TPM force Palpatine to change his plans? I’m not so sure. I came up with this idea not long ago (though I’m sure I’m not the first), that given the mysterious nature of Anikin’s conception, that perhaps Palpatine himself manipulated the midicloriants to bring about his beginnings. It would add some gravity to his suggestion that he would watch his career with great interest, as if he had already been keeping an eye on him. Furthermore, that was about the time that the clone army was being created. TPM was for his first rise in power. The next ten years were to solidify the engine’s of government around his will, and finally seize all control. It synchs with his apprentices, too. Maul was his thug. Dooku was his conspirator, Vader was his lynchpin. It was always going to be Vader in the end. He built his plan around it.

    1. Working strictly with the text of the films, yes the events of TPM caused Palpatine to change his plans. If you recall Maul’s line, “At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi…at last we shall have revenge.”

      The Sith had been patiently waiting for 1000 years to choose the right moment to reveal themselves. Maul would not have directly engaged the Jedi if not for the thought that yes, this is it, no need to hide anymore. Once the Jedi are tipped off to the Sith, the game changes. Naboo is supposed to be the flashpoint of galactic civil “Star Wars” — the end of peace. Anakin screws this up and Maul dies.

      There are always supposed to be two Sith (“Always two there are, no more, no less…”) and Palpatine is left wanting an apprentice at the end of TPM. Instead of doing the smart thing and kidnapping/recruiting a child who will know no other way but the Sith and will have complete fealty like Maul, Palpatine snags Dooku and creates an army.

      The army has to be created surreptitiously because the above-board option through legal manipulation – “Oh woe is us, the Federation has to be kicked out and now we need an army to do it, and look there’s a Sith on their side” – is no longer there.

      As for the role of the Sith in Anakin’s creation, I like the fact that it’s left open to interpretation (even if you take into account the delightfully-written “Darth Plagueis” by James Luceno). Is Palpatine lying? Did the Sith have an indirect hand in his creation? Was Anakin’s creation an indirect response by the midichlorians to the growing power of the Sith since he would be of an age to affect their fate by being born when he was?

      Part of the fun of the prequels to me is the fact that all of the stuff left on the margins is neat to think about. Was it intended to be so thought-provoking? Who knows – though I’m sure that there are regularly readers of the blog who are tortured by the possibility to say something snarky at this point.

      1. I’m not convinced. I’m sure Palpatine was perfectly ok with Maul thinking this was their coming out party. Maul was his agent of chaos. Powerful and loyal, to the point of being ready to die. And he did. In the meantime, he started a war and killed one of the strongest and wisest Jedi. All this allowed Palpatine his power grab.

        Yes, Maul revealing himself changed the game, but it isn’t like the Jedi were any good at responding. They could even tell that they were answering to a Sith Lord or that one of their own had turned. Palpatine wasn’t worried about the Jedi screwing up his plans. Even when attacked by Mace Windu and fighting Yoda, he was laughing.

        And it wasn’t a choice between Dooku or brainwashing a young gun. He did both. He stole Dooku right from under the Jedi’s nose and used him as a diplomat of chaos. Dooku could move among the separatists with far more elegance, charisma, and manipulation than Maul ever could have. Maul was a straight up thug and an assassin. Dooku was am ambassador of chaos. Maul served one purpose, Dooku another. Both were disposable.

        All the while, Palpatine was fostering a relationship with Anakin while the Jedi helped him hone his skill. He gained his trust early in life and learned how to manipulate him when the time was right.

        And part of why I think I’m right about this is because if the galactic republic had no army, the trade federation and their allies with their gigantic robot army would have had a very powerful advantage for a very long time. Long enough, perhaps to tip the balance too far beyond Palpatine’s control. The trade federation losing ground early gives him the time to build the clones. So, boom, he has an army all ready for him when he needs it in AotC.

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