Star Wars is the quintessential Chosen One story. While Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings provide excellent examples of the archetype, Star Wars is the be-all, end-all of the hero's journey. But if there truly is a mythical individual destined to bring balance to the Force, why hasn't the prophecy proven true over the course of nine movies? A compelling new fan theory calls everything we thought we knew about balance, Anakin Skywalker, and the nature of the Force into question.
A reddit post by user Screeching_mountain suggests there isn't a single Chosen One, but a chosen three. Anakin, Luke, and Rey each fulfill parts of the prophecy in their own way. They may be the protagonists of their own trilogies, but they share more than that. Each grew up in obscurity without knowing their fathers, until they were swept up into a conflict far greater than themselves. They all use the same lightsaber, and each deal with temptation from Palpatine, for better or for worse.
The origin of these story beats can be traced all the way back to the inception of Star Wars itself. George Lucas has famously credited the work of mythology scholar Joseph Campbell as an influence for Star Wars. It sounds academic, but all it means is Lucas shaped Star Wars to be like ancient stories of heroes, like those from Greek epics.
Thanks in some part to Campbell's blueprint, the stories in each of these trilogies resemble each other, and due to the span of the story, the canonical "prophecy" has yet to be fulfilled. What if, though, there's not a chosen one at all? Instead, the chosen one could refer to a lineage itself: the Skywalker legacy. This is especially plausible given the dramatic weight placed on the Rey's final scene at the Lars homestead at the end of The Rise of Skywalker.
Families don't have to be biological. Considering the fact Rey is, at least a little bit, related to Palpatine, her inclusion among this group becomes all the more significant. Together, they each keep the Force in check in their own ways: Anakin through his surprise betrayal against Palpatine, Luke through his triumph with the Rebellion, and Rey through the final defeat of Palpatine. Each of them have inclinations to both the Dark and Light sides of the Force, which balance one another out.
Essentially, this theory argues that balancing the Force is not a one-and-done job, but an ongoing process. No one person can do it, especially considering Rey didn't conquer Palps alone: she had the power and Force of all the Jedi who came before her. In other words, keeping the Force in check is a family affair.
The Rise of Skywalker is available now on digital and Blu-ray.