Will Star Wars Episode VII Invalidate the Prophecy of Anakin?
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in a multi-million dollar deal, the motive was money, there’s no doubt about that. The Star Wars films made a lot of money when they were released, and they’ve continued to make a lot of money through merchandising, the Expanded Universe media, and the Clone Wars animated series and so on. But in the mindless, greed-driven quest for yet another money-raking franchise, Disney may have neglected to take into account the very thing that drove the original six films – the prophecy.
Luke Skywalker was the hero of the original trilogy in most every sense of the word, but the saga isn’t ultimately about Luke. It’s about Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, who was destined to bring balance to the force by destroying the Sith. The prequels tell the story of his tragic turn to the dark side, and the original trilogy tells the story of how Anakin eventually turned back and killed his master, bringing balance to the force in his death.
But now there are growing rumors of the Sith’s involvement in the new installment. Since it was announced that Ian McDiarmid was going to be in the new film, many rumors have been circulating about his role. It remains to be seen which (if any) of those will turn out to be true, but there’s one of these rumors that would make a lot of sense – that Emperor
Adam Driver’s character is not a Sith himself, but is rumored to be a collector of Sith artifacts, dabbling in the darker nature of things. It stands to reason that, in the process of his collecting, he comes across darker things that give him powers from the dark side of the force. That’s where (according to the theory) Palpatine’s force ghost comes in.
I don’t know that the creative behind Episode VII will go this route, or if they have something else in mind, but it presents two very real problems that are prime examples of what happens when you try to extend a narrative that has already been told in its entirety. The first is obvious, and may Star Wars fans have already pointed it out: those on the Dark Side have never shown an ability to appear as a force ghost. There are some indications that the SIth could do something similar to a force ghost in the Expanded Universe, but Disney has already trashed the Expanded Universe in its entirety with a dismissal wave of the hand.
Even if you accept that it is possible for the Sith to reappear as force ghosts, then how can that be true while it is also true that the Sith have been destroyed and balance has been brought to the force? In fact, if balance was brought to the force, then wouldn’t it follow that there would be no Sith and, theoretically, no dark side? But if Sidious can still interact with the physical world and even still train and advise and new evil force, then that would ultimately mean that Anakin did not do what the prophecy said he would do. All he really did was kill an evil dude. And if Anakin did not fulfill the prophecy and someone else is the chosen one, then why did we waste six movies on him?
Either way, this presents a very real problem for the upcoming stories in terms of plot development. Ideally, of you’re going to extend the story at all and not ruin the preceding stories, the new evil would have to come from a non-Sith source, so as not to invalidate the previous saga’s struggle. It would be nearly impossible to do so and keep the epic level of conflict that they’ve had previously, but that’s the choice. You either have to make the villain disconnected from the Sith, or you have to cheapen and essentially invalidate the previous struggle between Jedi and Sith. The film is stuck between a rock and a hard place in that respect, which is what happens when you try to further milk a complete story. ~Logan Judy: Extremis Star Wars Contributor