Anakin and the Self-Fulfilling ProphecyBy Alex DeRienzo
• A self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when a person believes something strongly enough that it actually causes itself to become true, whether or not they want it to. Even if it may have been false to start out with, the strength of the belief in the outcome and the consequent effort to avoid said outcome will make it come true, due to behavior stemming from that belief. • “A man often meets his destiny on the very road he took to avoid it.” – Chinese proverb
• The concept has been around since the Greeks. In the story of Oedipus, his father, Laius, is foretold that his son will one day kill him. In an attempt to avoid this prophecy, he abandons his son, who is found and raised by others. Oedipus in turn is foretold he will kill his father and marry his mother, and so he leaves home and travels to Greece to avoid this, believing his foster parents to be his real parents. There he unknowingly gets into a fight with a stranger who is actually his father, and then marries his father’s widow, or Oedipus’ mother.
• Another famous example is found in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The three witches foretell that he would become king, but that afterwards his friend Macduff’s son will take the throne instead of his own offspring. Note that the prophecy does not have to be unsuccessfully avoided to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and so Macbeth’s becoming king fills the first part of the prophecy. He does however try to avoid the second part coming true, and has Macduff’s family killed. Out of revenge, Macduff kills Macbeth and his son becomes king, fulfilling the prophecy that might have been avoided had Macbeth not caused his friend to seek revenge by attempting to murder his family.
• The Pygmalion effect is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, or as Dr. Jacobson would call it, the stereotype threat. This is when a person or group of people expects a certain behavior or characteristic of a person, and it ends up being true. As a friend once said in a Facebook post: “Treat someone as they are and they will remain so, treat them as they can and should be and they will become as they can and should be.”
Revenge of the Sith• In Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin has a premonition while he is asleep where he envisions his wife Padme crying in pain during childbirth and then presumably dying soon afterwards.
• He tells Padme about the dream, and that the same thing happened to him right before his mother passed away and that he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to her. Despite her reassurance that it was just a dream, he is determined to make sure that the vision he saw in his dream never comes true. Throughout the movie he goes to great lengths to avoid this fate.
• In doing so, he joins the….• DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE
• Consumed by the dark side and his growing power, he gets into a fight with Padme and commits spousal abuse. As a result, she is injured and her will to live fades as she sees what Anakin has become. She gives birth to Luke and Leia and then passes away, fulfilling the prophecy Anakin tried desperately to avoid.