There are many movies about the “Chosen One,” a character whose powers make them destined to save humanity from varying evils. The idea of the Chosen One has been present in movies for decades, with some movies, such as Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, nailing this trope and spawning multiple films in the franchise.
Other films, like Divergent and Ender’s Game, didn’t do as well as expected. Many Chosen One movies are based on books, and some stories don’t resonate as well on screen. When creating a story around a famous trope, it might be hard to avoid stereotypes and craft something entirely unique. There are plenty of amazing movies about the Chosen One, but some are more unforgettable than the rest.
10 The Maze Runner (2014)
The Maze Runner follows Thomas, a teen boy who wakes up in an elevator with no memory of who he is or his past. After the elevator is raised and he finds himself amongst a group of boys, he realizes they are trapped in the center of a maze and none of them know why. As the series goes on, they discover the world has changed for the worst, and only they can change things.
The Maze Runner started out promising, but slowly declined in positive reviews from critics as the series went on, but it was still a popular dystopian series amongst teenagers. For the most part, the trilogy is solid in terms of its Chosen One theme. Thomas’ blood is the only cure to the Flare, a disease that turns people into zombie-like animals.
9 Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Kung Fu Panda follows Po, a Panda who has been selected as the new Dragon Warrior. One of his duties is that he has to learn Kung Fu to battle the evil forces that are threatening the Valley of Peace. Po teams up with a group of five warriors who call themselves Furious Five so they can work together to save the world.
As of now, there are three Kung Fu Panda, movies with rumors of a fourth one coming out, as reported by Looper. This movie features some cliches, such as the underdog character being selected as the hero, but it is also inspirational, at times. Po learning that the secret to success was in him all along makes for a heartwarming tale, even if the film is a little predictable.
8 Avatar (2009)
Avatar is about a Marine named Jack Sully with paraplegia who was chosen to join the Avatar Program because his deceased brother was its head but passed away. As part of the program, they must travel to the planet Pandora using avatars of themselves to harvest resources that Earth lacks.
Avatar isn’t the most traditional movie about the Chosen One, as Jake isn’t all-powerful or destined to save the world. However, he has to make tough decisions and chooses to save a native tribe from its extinction, going against his own military. He was put in a position to make powerful decisions, despite not being innately powerful himself.
7 Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Harry Potter is an orphan boy who finds out that he’s a wizard on his 11th birthday. After this discovery, he realizes that he’s invited to enroll in a school for wizards called Hogwarts. It’s in the Wizarding World that Harry discovers his parents were killed by a powerful villain called Lord Voldemort. Harry finds out he’s been left with a connection to Voldemort and may be the key to stopping him.
In the first Harry Potter movie, Harry was only 11 years old. He grows up throughout the eight films, but this series took the idea of the Chosen One to heart by having the fate of the world depend on a teenager. Even with the many powerful adult wizards, they all recognize that their salvation is in the hands of a child.
6 The Lego Movie
The Lego Movie follows Emmett, a construction worker that is deemed to be special by a prophecy. According to the prophecy, the person who finds the piece of the resistance is “The Special,” and they will defeat the evil Kragle.
The Lego Movie uses the prophecy trope, which is often seen in movies about Chosen Ones. In fact, the movie often feels as it is poking fun of a lot of Chosen One movies by recycling many common tropes of the subgenre. After its success, there were multiple spin-offs and even rumors of a new one titled Billion Brick Race, which has now been canceled.
5 The Terminator (1984 – 2019)
The Terminator is about a cyborg sent back in time to kill a woman named Sarah Connor because her future son is fated to lead the rebellion against cyborgs in order to save humanity.
The Terminator takes a different approach from other movies, with the Chosen One character not having been born yet in the first film. As the series goes on, his character does become more relevant. In a way, this movie is more clever than the others by having the villain use time travel to prevent the hero from succeeding. In most films, it’s frustrating when the villain is capable of time travel but doesn’t use it to their advantage.
4 The Matrix (1999 – )
The Matrix follows Neo, a computer programmer who receives a mysterious message to “follow the white rabbit.” After discovering a woman with a white rabbit tattoo, he follows her and is eventually led to an underground society that fights against the artificial intelligence that trapped humanity. AI has put humans in a virtual reality called “The Matrix,” and only a few humans have managed to wake up.
In the movie, a prophecy reveals that Neo will be the one to save humanity. While The Matrix is one of the best sci-fi movies, it’s not entirely safe from cliches, including the aforementioned prophecy trope and a romance between the main protagonist and the leading lady.
3 The Hunger Games (2012 – )
The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl who enters a battle royale competition on behalf of her sister. In the competition, teenagers and children must fight to be the last survivor. If they win, they will be granted a new house, money, and an overall better lifestyle.
Katniss Everdeen isn’t a traditional Chosen One, because rather than being fated, she volunteered to join the annual Hunger Games so her younger sister’s life wouldn’t be put at risk. Throughout the series, though, she becomes the face of the revolution and everyone looks up to her to fight against President Snow.
2 Lord Of The Rings (2001 – 2003)
Lord of the Rings follows young hobbit Frodo Baggins, as he’s given a magical ring that grants him the power to turn invisible. After a powerful wizard named Gandalf discovers the ring, he warns Frodo that his ring puts him in great danger. His warning leads Frodo on a quest to destroy the ring and prevent the ruler of Mordor from achieving it.
Lord of the Rings has its flaws, but its massive worldbuilding and creation of new creatures make it one of the best fantasy series to date. Frodo is the ultimate Chosen One and a seemingly ordinary kid that somehow becomes pivotal to a dangerous adventure.
1 Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Star Wars: A New Hope is the first film in a trilogy that centers around the Skywalkers. In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker finds a droid who leads him to Obi-Wan Kenobi, a former Jedi Master. Obi-Wan teaches Luke how to use “The Force,” which is a powerful ability that not many can use. Together, the group goes on a mission to rescue Princess Leia, who has been kidnapped by Darth Vader.
Luke Skywalker has all of the qualifications of being The Chosen One. Firstly, he was an ordinary guy with a seeming lack of skills, quickly becoming prominent in The Force. He also learns how to battle with a lightsaber, despite never having used one before, due to his fated role. Obi-Wan Kenobi even refers to Luke as The Chosen One in the film, believing he would be the one to end Darth Vader’s reign.