How do you bring balance to The Force? This is a question I’ve been asking myself lately, especially with The Rise of Skywalker on the horizon. Bringing balance to The Force has been mentioned several times throughout the Star Wars saga. In Episode I, Qui-Gon Jinn and Mace Windu discuss the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to The Force. Qui-Gon believes that Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One because of his high midichlorian count and apparent strength in The Force. But, what does balancing The Force really mean?
Before The Last Jedi came out, there was a lot of talk about “Gray Jedi”. Many people believed Luke was doing away with the Jedi Order and forming a new order of Gray Jedi. Wookieepedia describes Gray Jedi as “Force users who walk the line between the light and dark sides of The Force without surrendering to the Dark Side.” For a while, I thought maybe this ideology could bring true balance to The Force. After all, the Jedi failed to bring balance, largely due to their own hubris and inability to see the darkness in front of them. As a result, Darth Sidious operated in plain sight without their knowledge, which led to Order 66 and the destruction of the Jedi.
However, evidence in the films suggest that there is only one way to bring balance to The Force. Let’s take Revenge of the Sith as our first example. Toward the end of the film, when Obi-Wan discovers that Anakin has turned to the Dark Side and become Darth Vader, Yoda presents only one option. He says, “destroy the Sith, we must.” This leads me to believe that the only way to bring balance to the Force is to eliminate the Sith entirely. In The Last Jedi while teaching Rey about the Jedi, Luke says, “for many years there was balance, and then I saw Ben, my nephew, with that mighty Skywalker blood and in my hubris I thought I could train him.” So, clearly, balance did exist in the Force for a time. From a certain point of view, Anakin Skywalker did fulfill the prophecy of the chosen one when he destroyed the Emperor (or did he?), and then he himself died, destroying the Sith.
This answer begs the question: is it the Jedi way to destroy or kill? It seems contradictory that the Jedi would have to kill the Sith in order to bring balance. Wouldn’t balance contain both light and dark? To a certain extent, yes. Like it or not, I think The Last Jedi teaches us a lot about The Force and what balance really means. During Rey’s first lesson, Luke asks her to reach out and tell him what she sees. She replies, “The island, life, death and decay that feeds new life, warmth, cold, peace, violence, balance.” The natural order of things requires life and death, darkness and light, warmth and cold. However, when a Force user accesses the Dark Side of The Force, it goes against the natural order of things. The Dark Side brings The Force out of balance because it attempts to control the Force, not allowing the will of The Force to play out as intended. The Dark Side is like a cancer. It is unnatural and uncontrolled growth that destroys and kills, and it must be eliminated for life to endure.
For me, the answer of how to bring balance to The Force has become quite simple when looking at the evidence of the films. The Sith must be destroyed. As Luke suggested, The Force is out of balance once again. Snoke and Kylo Ren have brought The Force out of balance. The true evil of this story, though, is Darth Sidious. With Snoke eliminated, there is now room for the Emperor’s return. He has been the orchestrator of evil since the beginning of this story, and it is fitting that he should return in the end. Will it be the rise of a Skywalker that brings true balance? I’m looking at you Ben Solo! Or will it be the apparent “nobody”, the unlikely hero, Rey. Personally, I would love to see Rey and Ben team up once more to eliminate the Sith once and for all. How much will the balance of The Force play into The Rise of Skywalker? Only time will tell, and December 20th can’t come soon enough!
Until then… May The Force be with you!