Anakin Skywalker is said to be the Chosen One in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, but this prophecy isn’t mentioned in the movie’s first draft.

Anakin Skywalker’s role as the Chosen One is central to George Lucas’ Star Wars saga, however, the first script draft of The Phantom Menace didn’t mention this prophecy. Every Star Wars script underwent several changes from inception to the final movie, so it’s not surprising that some elements would be different in the first draft. Even so, the prophecy of the Chosen One became an important aspect of the prequel trilogy and recontextualized Anakin’s story in the original trilogy. This makes it very surprising that Lucas didn’t appear to always have this idea in mind.


Originally given the working title Star Wars: The Beginning, the first draft of The Phantom Menace was released on the 1999 CD-ROM Star Wars: Episode I Insider’s Guide. This release summarized how the first few script drafts differed from the final version, including Anakin Skywalker’s characterization. Although Anakin is remarkably powerful in the first draft, there’s no hint of the Chosen One prophecy or the idea that Anakin was born of the midi-chlorians. These major differences raise the question of why George Lucas added the Chosen One prophecy in later drafts.

Related: The Phantom Menace’s First Draft Was Better Than The Final Movie

Why George Lucas Added The Chosen One Prophecy

Star Wars The Phantom Menace - Qui Gon Jinn - Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker

There are two main reasons why George Lucas decided to include the Chosen One prophecy in the final film. The first is that it narrows the entire franchise’s focus on Anakin Skywalker, who fulfills the Chosen One prophecy in Return of the Jedi. Lucas has asserted that the Star Wars saga is Anakin Skywalker’s story, so by establishing him as the Chosen One at the beginning, the original trilogy is recontextualized as the second half of his narrative. Luke Skywalker may have been the main character in the originals, but his actions help bring about the redemption of his father, who destroys the Sith and brings balance to the Force.

The second reason is that the Chosen One prophecy makes Anakin Skywalker a person of destiny and a messianic figure. George Lucas took inspiration from several real-world religions and mythology, creating the Force by focusing on what these traditions had in common. The idea of a chosen individual who will bring about salvation is a very common element of spiritual belief systems, so it makes sense that Lucas would create something similar. It gives George Lucas’ Star Wars a sense of grand purpose and destiny, all centered around the life of Anakin Skywalker.

Would The Prequels Have Been Better Without The Chosen One Prophecy?

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith

Of course, with no mention of the Chosen One prophecy in The Phantom Menace’s first draft, it’s worth considering whether the prequels would have been better off without it. The Chosen One trope does tend to be overused in the fantasy genre, so having a prophecy can make a story feel cliché and less unique. Making Anakin Skywalker the Chosen One could also imply that his actions in Return of the Jedi were the result of a cosmic destiny, rather than his own choice. The rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker was a compelling story before the Chosen One prophecy, so maybe it wasn’t needed in the prequel trilogy.

On the other hand, Anakin’s Chosen One prophecy strengthens his story in some ways. The Jedi believed that Anakin was destined to save the galaxy, which made it even more tragic when he became instrumental in its downfall. Anakin’s story can also be read as anti-prophecy, where he brought balance not because it was foretold, but because he loved his son enough to turn back to the light. Whether it made the prequels better or not, Star Wars‘ Chosen One prophecy is a fascinating subject to explore, so it’s ultimately for the best that George Lucas added it in later drafts of The Phantom Menace.

More: Star Wars Theory: Dooku Believed HE Was The Chosen One (Not Anakin)


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