The book “Master and Apprentice” by Claudia Gray gives us a great story set during Qui-Gon Jinn’s days training Obi-Wan Kenobi, and it’s a very enjoyable and interesting narrative.
But one of the major points of the story is that of prophecy. We learn that Qui-Gon was fascinated by the Jedi prophecies just like Dooku, his master, was before him. By the events of this book, however, the Jedi as a whole aren’t really believing the prophecies and certainly aren’t looking for a literal fulfillment. Even Qui-Gon is a bit more calloused as it pertains to the prophecies, but he is nonetheless still a believer in the prophecies and visions of the Force.
For the reader, one of the coolest things about this is that we actually get a look at several of these Jedi prophecies – including the oft-discussed Chosen One prophecy! In all, there were six prophecies that I caught in the book. Some of them are more obvious than others as to what they might mean, but let’s discuss them and I’ll speculate on what they possibly could point to.
“She who will be born to darkness will give birth to darkness.” (41)
I think this one is actually pretty straightforward – I think this is about Leia Organa. She was born to darkness – she was the daughter of Anakin Skywalker and was born shortly after his fall to the dark side. She is, quite literally, the offspring of a man who came to embody darkness in Darth Vader. This idea of Leia’s bloodline is explored more in-depth in another fantastic Claudia Gray novel (my personal favorite), “Bloodline”, in which the galaxy at large finds out about her parentage. But not only is Leia born into darkness; she also gives birth to darkness – she is the mother of Ben Solo. We have gotten precious little information about Ben before The Force Awakens, but it seems that even when he was in the womb Leia could sense some darkness. So Leia Organa was the born to Darth Vader and gave birth to Kylo Ren. I think this prophecy is about Leia, and there’s really not another obvious possibility I can think of.
“When the kyber that is not kyber shines forth, the time of prophecy will be at hand.” (41; 117)
It seems that this prophecy is actually fulfilled in the book itself, “Master and Apprentice”. Basically, there is a crystal that is mistaken for kyber in this book, and some characters scheme to pass this off as real kyber to those who don’t know any better and make money off of it. Though these crystals are not kyber, they can still give a lightsaber some power, as Obi-Wan Kenobi discovers when his crystal is switched with one of these imitation crystals. So literally, at the climax of the book, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber shines forth while powered by a crystal that isn’t actually a kyber crystal. So I think that’s what this is referring to – and if so, that means that the events of this book actually help to usher in the time of the prophecy. And maybe I’m reaching a bit much, but Anakin Skywalker was born just a year or two before these events, so it would line up. Not only is this a book that deals significantly with prophecy, then, but it also could be telling us about the fulfillment that kicks into motion some other prophecies.
“When the righteous lose the light, evil once dead shall return.” (41)
In my opinion, the first two were fairly clear. Now we’ll start getting to a few prophecies that are less so. Here, I see a couple of possibilities as to what this is referring to – and it’s possible it is alluding to both of them!
(1) The first possibility is the one that I think is most obvious, and it’s the one I lean toward: that this is about the Jedi Order as a whole losing the light, allowing the Sith to return. The Jedi were supposed to be the righteous, those who kept peace and justice, but they lost sight of who they were. They lost the light. This is something that we have discussed frequently, as the Jedi lost their way. In many ways, they became arrogant and blinded by it – and this directly led to the return of the Sith. Darth Sidious quietly rose to power and the Jedi didn’t know it nor did they care to believe it was possible. So the Jedi lost the light, and the Sith returned. I think that’s the most probable interpretation.
(2) But the second option is also possible: that Luke Skywalker is the righteous one who lost the light. This much is certainly true, as we have seen in the sequel trilogy. Luke was supposed to be the beacon of righteousness, and indeed he was… until he lost the light and gave up, going into self-imposed exile on Ahch-To. That all is true. What makes this a bit more difficult is that it’s not as obviously clear what evil once dead is returning. In light of The Rise of Skywalker, we might look at this and presume that it’s talking about Palpatine – but I’m not sure Claudia Gray had that in mind, given the timing of all this. So it’s also possible that it is the First Order rising – the Empire was long thought dead, but the First Order seized the opportunity afforded to them by Luke’s absence and emerged from the shadows as a new and better ‘Empire’.
I could see it being either of these – and possibly even both – but I lean toward the first one as being the most probable and the one that fits best.
“One will ascend to the highest of the Jedi despite the foreboding of those who would serve with him.” (94)
Ok, I actually think this one is pretty obvious too. In the book, Rael Averross thinks that this is actually about Qui-Gon Jinn, who was invited to join the Jedi High Council despite his many disagreements with them. That’s a reasonable conclusion for him to make. But I think we can now see that this is fulfilled in Anakin Skywalker. Unlike Qui-Gon (who declined the offer to join the Council), Anakin truly did ascend to the highest of the Jedi Order, taking a seat on the Jedi Council. But this happened against the wishes of the Jedi on the Council – those who would serve with him – and they didn’t even grant him the rank of master. So the Jedi Council didn’t like it, they weren’t comfortable with it, they sensed the danger… and yet Anakin ascended to the highest of the Jedi Order.
“Only through sacrifices of many Jedi will the Order cleanse the sin done to the nameless. The danger of the past is not the past, but sleeps in an egg. When the egg cracks, it will threaten the galaxy entire. When the Force itself sickens, past and future must split and combine. A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.” (133-134)
This is the first time that we’ve ever gotten a look at just what the Chosen One prophecy says, and in the book this whole thing is listed in a series, but we’ll look at it here phrase by phrase.
“Only through sacrifices of many Jedi will the Order cleanse the sin done to the nameless.”
I think this pretty obviously hints at Order 66, when many Jedi would be sacrificed – but who are the nameless? That’s the big question. In other words, it’s saying here (I believe) that through Order 66 the Jedi Order is cleansed from the sin they committed against the nameless. I’m sure there are many options for who the nameless are, but I think of two main ones. (1) The first one comes from the context of the book, and it fits into the larger story too, and it’s this: the nameless are those enslaved and overlooked across the galaxy. The book records how the Czerka Corporation enslaved many people, and it shows how the Jedi and the Republic didn’t really care nor try to act in many of these situations. Contextually, then, this would fit with the nameless, and furthermore it would make sense why a slave would be the one to rise up and avenge them. (2) The other option, though, is one I thought of in the larger story of Star Wars: the clones. They’re nameless in the sense that they are created for war and are simply assigned a number by the Republic. Most Jedi Generals treated their clones as individuals, but nonetheless the Jedi as a whole were complicit in the creation of clones for a single purpose: war. I think either of these options makes perfect sense, and it seems that the sins against them were only cleansed through the destruction of the Jedi, Order 66.
“The danger of the past is not the past, but sleeps in an egg. When the egg cracks, it will threaten the galaxy entire.”
I think that this line refers to the Sith. We really don’t know much about the history of the Jedi and the Sith in canon, but we do know that the ancient Sith held much power. By the time of The Phantom Menace, however, the Sith had been presumed dead for a thousand years. The Jedi didn’t think they would ever return, but unbeknownst to them the Sith had never truly died but instead simply laid in hiding, waiting. So quite literally the Sith were “the danger of the past”, but their danger was not relegated simply to the past (“is not the past”). So in a sense, the Sith were simply incubating for a long time as they grew and waited. So I think that the Sith are the ones prophesied about here, as the danger of the past isn’t actually just for the past but was waiting and growing – until Darth Sidious enacted his grand plan to bring about the rise of the Sith, which threatened the whole galaxy.
“When the Force itself sickens, past and future must split and combine.”
I’m not exactly sure what this one is referring to, but I think it’s important to keep in mind that since this is the Chosen One prophecy, it has to have something to do with Anakin Skywalker, right? So here’s a possibility for what this could mean: as the Jedi Purge happened and the Sith rose to power, the Force may have sickened during the rise of the Empire. During that time, Anakin Skywalker (past) and Luke Skywalker (future) split. But then, at the Battle of Endor, the two joined forces (they combined).
And if this interpretation is correct, that could raise some interesting discussions and implications about the Force actually being sickened during the reign of the Empire.
“A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.”
This one is what we think of when we think Chosen One, and it’s pretty clear. The Chosen One emerges, born of no father, and brings balance to the Force. That’s Anakin Skywalker. He was born of no father, as Shmi explains in TPM, and he is the one who ultimately brings balance to the Force in ROTJ. Of course, he doesn’t exactly go about doing it as everyone expects, but he does nonetheless bring balance to the Force.
So this prophecy is pretty obvious, and it’s easy to see why Qui-Gon thought so early on that Anakin was the Chosen One. I don’t imagine that there are many people in the galaxy born without a father, so it makes sense that it would pique Qui-Gon’s interest when he heard that. Since he was one who paid particular attention to the prophecies, finding a young boy who was born without a father and who exhibited midichlorian counts higher than Yoda’s would have been a very good sign. (And by the way, as a side note, this would further suggest what I think is obvious, that Qui-Gon wasn’t testing Anakin’s midichlorian count to see if he was strong with the Force but instead to see just how credible this ‘Chosen One’ theory was)
“He who learns to conquer death will through his greatest student live again.” (288)
In the book, it is mentioned that Dooku was particularly fascinated in this prophecy, which might give us a bit more of a clue as to his motivations. But I actually think that it refers to Dooku’s apprentice instead – Qui-Gon Jinn. From a Jedi perspective, he is the one who first learned how to conquer death by living on through the Force. His greatest student, I would presume, is Obi-Wan Kenobi, and I think it’s very possible that Kenobi played some role in helping Qui-Gon learn how to manifest physically as a Force ghost. Remember, initially Qui-Gon couldn’t manifest physically, but we know that he eventually did. Claudia Gray’s chapter in “From a Certain Point of View”, also entitled “Master and Apprentice”, delves into a conversation Obi-Wan has with Qui-Gon on Tatooine, and by that time Jinn has learned to become a Force ghost. So though I’m not sure we can perfectly piece all of this together right now, I do think that this is probably the best interpretation.
Of course, I think many people would also think of Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, but the problem is that we don’t have any indication of Plagueis living on. Unless it’s Sidious who learned to conquer death and lives on through his greatest pupil, Darth Vader? I’m just spitballing here, and I think the most probable explanation is that this refers to Qui-Gon, who learned to conquer death and then learned to live again, presumably with the help of Obi-Wan.