The recent appearance of The Clone Wars on Netflix made me start thinking of the Star Wars mythos, and I've come to realise that I don't really get the prophecy surrounding Anakin Skywalker.

Apparently he was supposed to bring balance to the Force by completely destroying the Dark Side, correct? But how does the death of Palpatine achieve this? How does killing one Sith Lord ensure that no Force-sensitive person EVER chooses the Dark Side ever again? How, in fact, can one person ensure that no one ever chooses the Dark Side again? It seems like his task was impossible from the get go, and in order to generate revenue/keep conflict/continue the story the books in the EU obviously completely ignored this, making me question the point of the prophecy in the first place.

Some people think that by killing Palpatine Anakin brought balance by ensuring that there was one Jedi (Luke) and one Sith (himself) in the universe. Ignoring the possibility that numerous other Jedi survived Order 66, how does this not make the prophecy seem foolish? Apparently all that it takes to bring balance is to make sure there are equal numbers of practitioners on either side of the Force, but this balance is extremely fragile. All we need is one new person on either side for the Chosen One to have failed in his task. It also means anyone can do the job of the Chosen One. Any Jedi in ancient times that managed to strike down one Sith and temporarily balance the equation has done the job of the One Person Supposed To Bring Balance To The Force. But somehow we needed the greatest midichlorian count ever to achieve this again.... why? There is also the small problem of Anakin's self-redemption via killing the Emperor, thus removing himself from the Dark Side and ensuring there were no Dark Side practitioners any more. This of course brings us back to how this balance was supposed to be maintained for any length of time after his death.

I don't get the prophecy, nor do I even get its significance in the story. It seems the story works just fine without it. Anakin's fall to the Dark Side did not depend on him being the Chosen One. It depended on his fears of losing the things he loved the most. The entire story is literally unchanged by taking out the prophecy, and yet it is made out to be a huge part of the reason for Anakin's existence in the first place. One has to wonder whether or not Lucas just wanted to add it in order to satisfy some bullet points on his list of things that must be included. I would really like it if someone could explain this better to me.