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There is ANOTHER Skywalker} ?> After watching the Star Wars saga unfold, some might believe Luke is the hero of the tale. Those people are wrong.
Luke is a vitally important character to the story, but he really exists to bring about the inciting incident in the third act of the real hero: Anakin Skywalker.
And I can prove it by explaining how the Force works.
The Force is the mystical life energy that gives Jedi Knights and the Sith their superhuman abilities. It is also much more complex than the Star Wars movies would have viewers believe.
The Force is identified in Jedi teachings as having two distinct but symbiotic faces: The Living Force and the Unifying Force.
The Unifying Force is treated similarly to “God” in the Star Wars universe. It is a cosmic entity high above all life, possibly having played some role in life’s very existence. It has no physical form, but exists within all life.
The Living Force is what we see on the screen. This is the physical manifestation of the aethereal power. It is the arm of the Force that interacts with the physical world. From my Christian perspective, or even from a Muslim one, that could be defined as the “Holy Spirit.” Other faiths may describe it as mandala or something akin to an avatar. When Obi-Wan leaps 50 feet into the air or Count Dooku projects bolts of lightning from his hands, it is the Living Force being accessed.
Throughout the movies we hear references to the “light side” and “dark side” of the Force, which ultimately implies that the Force has some guiding moral characteristic. Should one delve into the nerdy depths of Force lore (as I have), this belief does not hold up.
The Jedi and Sith orders are specific religious organizations dedicated to serving particular facets of the Force, but does that mean one order is wholly “right,” and one is “wrong?”
Consider the fact that the Jedi code states “There is no emotion… there is peace.” Really? Jedi are expected to keep their anger, sadness, happiness, and excitement in check at all times? And they are expected to refrain from forming human attachments? That seems like an impossible request for any human being.
The Sith code, on the other hand, embraces passion and freedom. “Through passion, I gain strength… the Force shall set me free.” Maybe not a code to live by in every situation but is passion as bad as the Jedi seem to think it is?
The Jedi believe so strongly that they are the great good in the galaxy, and as such they misinterpret the Prophecy of the Chosen One. The ancient prophecy tells of a child who will be born to bring balance to the Force; the Jedi interpret that to mean he will defeat all evil in the universe.
But they were all of them deceived. The will of the Force is not so simply expressed.
When Anakin is brought back to the light in the finale of Return of the Jedi, he tosses the Emperor aside and atones for his wrongdoing to Luke. While Anakin was the saviour, born of the Force, he did not come to end all evil in the universe, he came to bring balance between the sides of the conflict.
By its very nature, when light exists so must darkness. Echoing a Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, the Force is a cosmic balance between these, not an ultimate good.
In a series of episodes in Star Wars: The Clone Wars beginning with “Overlords,” the Force draws Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka to a mysterious planet. They arrive and are confronted by strange beings called “The Ones.” They seem to exist as part of the Force itself and are known as “The Father,” “The Son,” and “The Daughter.”
The Ones are attempting to parse whether Anakin might actually be the Chosen One. They challenge him, and as the episode unfolds it becomes clear that Anakin is the only being alive who can handle himself against these Force beings. In one memorable scene, The Daughter and The Son reveal themselves as avatars of the light and dark side and hold Obi-Wan and Ahsoka hostage. Anakin stands between them and with little visible effort throws them across an arena to save his friends.
The moment confirms to all who would doubt: Anakin truly is the Chosen One, the one who would not end all evil in the galaxy, but through his fall and redemption, restore the Force to balance. Anakin is the hero.
And if that’s true, how many years have gone by where we’ve misunderstood him as the villain? How many times have I been misunderstood as the villain in life’s narrative when all I was trying to be was the hero? Or worse yet, how many times have I misunderstood someone in my life and made them out to be the villain when perhaps they were only trying to be the hero?
As a lesson I hope to embody, those questions are worth considering before I take out my lightsaber (which I spent way too much money on).