The Prophecy That Changed Star Wars

One of the exciting things about Star Wars is that, from the very beginning, it throws you into the story right away. The world is built not by words but by being lived in, and as we get more parts of the narrative we get more understanding of other aspects of the galaxy.

Master and Apprentice took this iterative narrative, rewinded eight years, and kicked the door down. Where it seemed for 20 years the story started with the blockade of Naboo, the reality is it started with hyperspace routes near Pijal. When Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan go there, pre-Phantom Menace, it changes the course of the saga.

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Despite how it appears in Episode I, the Jedi did not, in fact, believe in the prophecy of the Chosen One. Or prophecy in general, for that matter. Save for the outlier like Qui-Gon; prior to the Pijal circumstance, wherein Qui-Gon had a prophetic vision of his own, the Jedi regarded prophecy as a danger that could lead to the dark side.

This completely reframes the prequels. In the film alone, when Mace Windu asks Qui-Gon, “You refer to the prophecy of the One who will bring balance to the Force?” the audience believes that this is a long held Jedi belief finally coming to fruition. Anakin is the coming in the same sense that Christ was for the Jews. The Jews were waiting for a Messiah for generations because of prophecies in the Torah. The Jedi Order was not.

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This brings a stronger understanding to why the Jedi were apprehensive toward Anakin becoming a part of the Order. They weren’t even sure the prophecy was real. Qui-Gon’s visions on Pijal becoming a reality made them lean towards the prophecies, but it is highly unlikely there was a mass conversion towards supporting them.

Throughout the prequels, we see Yoda, Windu, and even Obi-Wan doubting Anakin and his role as the Chosen One. In fact, Yoda declares, “A prophecy misread, could have been.”Whereas before this felt like the let down of generations, it seems now that it is Yoda saying, “Told you so, I did.”

When considering the arc of the Star Wars saga, this makes Qui-Gon’s death one of the most vital elements to the story. Had Jinn not died, Anakin’s training would have been centered on Qui-Gon’s belief in him, and the prophecies, rather than the doubt of the Order at large. This has major implications, including the eradication of the Sith before the Empire could be created, the absence of the Clone War, and the continued service of the Jedi. This may not have made for the best story, but it certainly would be a more peaceful galaxy.

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