The Chosen One thing is something is wish George never explicitly answered.
He said Anakin was the Chosen One, and if you only look at Lucas’s films that makes sense.
It’s more just a PT thing, I find. I guess it does work in all movies if killing the Emperor was all he needed to do, it could work. However, the OT never really says much about old Anakin beyond “good pilot,” “good friend,” and “good at being a warrior.” He’s decidedly not a chosen one there.
The concept may not appear in the OT, but it’s not a contradiction either. Obi-Wan once believed that Anakin was the Chosen One. By the time of the OT, he no longer believes that. Why would he mention that he once did?
If one views Luke or Rey as the extension of Anakin’s deeds, then he could still be a proper chosen one.
In what way is Rey an extension of Anakin’s deeds? For that matter how is Luke an extension of Anakin’s deeds, unless you mean the deed of f*cking Padme?
Also, nothing about the prophecy says that balance had to be permanent.
Is it even temporary? Anakin’s act of personal redemption changes very little as far as anyone else is concerned. Sidious is still alive. The Sith plan is still in motion. The de-Sidioused Empire is on its way out, but the First Order will take its place, and the Exegol fleet will be ready by the time the First Order falls. In the big picture, what has Anakin actually accomplished?
What did we accomplish in WWI and the Treaty of Versailles when 20 years later we had WWII? Art imitating life.
And it is quite clear that Palpatine wasn’t really back. He was knocked out of power and for an unknow period of time, was had no influence on the Galaxy. Even if the transfer was immediate (I do not think so myself), his political power was lost and his hold on the Dark Side of the Force was broken. Anakin restored the balance of the force, regardless of what Palpatine and his Sith disciples were up to. It took 30 years for him to claw his way back and even then he did not have the power he once did. Some readings of the ST make it sound like nothing had changed when it is quite clear that everything had changed and they were fighting to prevent Palpatine from gaining power again. It took Palpatine more than 13 years of manipulation and trickery to become Emperor the first time and the events of the PT take place over just a year and there is no way he could undo the past 30 years of freedom in that short of time. Nor could the First Order.
In the ST, the First Order, Kylo Ren, and Palpatine are a scary monster trying to topple a 30 year old Republic from the outside. In the PT, you have a skilled political manipulator working from within an 1000 year old corrupted republic and he is able to use the system to gain and keep the power he craved. He cannot get that back in any easy way in the PT. Not possible. His plan is victory by intimidation (put me back in power or I will destroy your worlds) and Rey stops him before that plan can even start. So the ST is not a rehash of the OT. The situation is totally different and the stakes are different.
Palpatine died and Anakin balanced the Force. That was true in ROTJ and it remains true in TROS. Palpatine came back and Rey destroys Palpatine utterly and balances the Force again. I found this to be a very fitting thing to happen since Lucas’s inspiration for Star Wars was Flash Gordon and Ming kept coming back when you thought he was dead. Palpatine coming back once is a nice tribute to that origin and made a great story.
Losing control of the Empire was a minor inconvenience for Sidious, and it had more to do with the rebels blowing up the Death Star than with Anakin throwing Sidious down that shaft, which ultimately accomplished nothing. Sidious could have shown up and controlled what was left of the Empire, but the Empire had been sufficiently weakened that the First Order and secret control were the better way to go.
As we see, it is more than a minor inconvenience for him. It leads to his total annihilation. The films don’t indicate when Palpatine came to life again. My guess has been that something to do with Grogu is going to prove to be a key to his return. Though I see that in the current EU (which is very similar to the Legends EU) he finds a host body almost immediately. Still he died and was able to preserve his essence and transfer to a different body. His plans for the Final Order were delayed and his power in the galaxy evaporated, except on the outer rim where the First Order came together from the remnants of his Empire. So his death in the shaft did serve a purpose as it gave the galaxy 30 years of freedom which ultimately led to the destruction of the Final Order fleet and to Sidious himself. Sideous had not perfected the creation of a host body so there is no way he could show up to do anything and had to find a suitable stand in, which was Snoke. So Anakin’s actions in ROTJ were crucial to Palpatine’s eventual total demise.
Anakin brought balance to the force for long enough that Rey was born and could put it in balance for a longer term. I would say from the saga that this is because Anakin was not trained the right way (which would have required a more unconventional teacher like Qui-gon) which led to his fall. And his actions in destroying the Emperor did not lead to Palpatine’s total destruction. As the Jedi rose again, so did the Sith. After ROTJ, the PT Jedi are gone (Rey is learning from the original texts, not Luke or Yoda) and the Sith are gone. Full balance, which Anakin was unable to achieve due to his fall to the Dark Side, was achieved. But without Anakin’s sacrifice and Palpatine’s fall, the galaxy would not have had the time for a new chosen one to be born and ready. So Rey finished what Anakin started.
Palpatine was never truly gone. His physical body was destroyed, but his spirit endured and almost instantly inhabited a clone body. Hence, Anakin never restored balance, since the prophesy stated the Chosen One would bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. Evidently he failed to do that. It also seems evident to me, that a millenia old prophesy would not pertain to just a few decades of peace or lack of activity from the Sith, especially one that already existed when the Sith were in hiding. TROS wanted to have its cake and eat it. Hence, having Anakin say “Restore balance like I did”. However, the reality is, that Anakin is just not the Chosen One, if you accept the narrative of TROS (which I don’t, since it’s a pretty awful film imo), and Rey restored balance, and thus is the Chosen One (if Palps is truly dead this time).
What I consider Anakin to have done in ROTJ is to break the Sith hold on the Force and release the Jedi access to the Force that had been suppressed (as noted in the dialog in the PT). And we are never given the full text of the prophesy and Yoda says it may have been misinterpreted. The prophesy was about bringing balance to the force, not destroying the Sith. That is something Kenobi said that may or may not be in the prophesy. Palpatine went from the center of the galaxy (in terms of influence and politics) to a denizen of the rim where his power and influence were limited. And Palaptine’s voyage to find a body to inhabit was not instantaneous. It took time and he was not at full power the moment he was in the body. He also ended up being trapped in a body that was not mobile. And the Force includes the physical form. A being separated from their physical form is less so Palpatine is not as strong as he was before. Not until he inhabits a body that is sound and in tune with the Force. That is his goal in TROS, to take over Rey’s body. He fails so he has never gotten his full strength back. His existence never erases Anakin balancing the force. He creates Snoke and turns Ben into Kylo Ren. That creates the new imbalance that results in Rey being a new Chosen One.