My Personal Background
Make no mistake. I am a huge Star Wars fan. It all started years ago when my dad introduced me to it via a network broadcast. I actually saw the movies out of order too. A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, and then some time years later Empire Strikes Back. When the prequels were released, I was exiting middle school and heading into high school. They wrapped while I was in college. Then came the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm and the announcement of more movies as I was young into my career.
I can go on and on, but I am very excited to see how the sequel trilogy comes to its end. I understand why people balked at The Last Jedi. As a movie, on its own merits, I think it is a well crafted piece of entertainment. As a movie that is carrying 7 movies before it, I understand why people felt betrayed at characterizations, especially of Luke Skywalker. So what does the now forthcoming final installment in the entire Skywalker Saga have to offer? Let me take a guess as to my theory.
The Rise of Skywalker is an interesting title. It feels almost as out of place if you think about it too hard. But what is the current Star Wars Saga all about? The rise and fall and rise again of a family known as Skywalker. I firmly believe that the title is essentially the capstone to the entire saga: how the Skywalker name finally arose to save the galaxy.
So the title, The Rise of Skywalker, is essentially a name that encapsulates the entire 9 movie series. And we are going to learn more about Skywalker that sheds new light and gives us new context as to why the Skywalker’s matter so much in the galaxy.
We are introduced to Anakin Skywalker, son of a slave, born absent a father, in The Phantom Menace. A lot of prophecy stuff starts to freak the Jedi out as they learn he is born out of a vergence, with innate abilities and a huge midi-chlorian count. The entire question of the prequel trilogy: is Anakin the chosen one? The one to bring balance to the force? Or is it “a prophecy, that misread could have been?”, to quote Yoda.
Fast forward to Anakin falling to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader. The Jedi are largely destroyed and darkness reigns. His children ripped away and hidden before he knew of their birth and survival. Now comes Luke Skywalker, who ultimately brings his father back from the dark side at the end of the original trilogy. For George Lucas, the story he aimed to tell after 6 movies was the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker.
So this leads us to the sequel trilogy. Luke fails as a teacher. Darkness again grew in the Skywalker blood, through Ben Solo his nephew. Ben, now called Kylo Ren, destroys the remaining Jedi students and goes about bringing darkness back to the galaxy. He is obsessed with his grandfather. Snoke, his mysterious master, sees Kylo as another Vader, and is almost freakishly obsessed with the Skywalker name and blood. But a new champion of the light has appeared out of nowhere: Rey.
Rey is seemingly powerful with no training, and starts to rapidly develop powers. She is able to best Kylo at his mind reading and in a duel. No known background seems present in her mind, as if she just remembers being dumped off with a rough alien trader at a young age. Kylo claims he saw who her parents were: worthless junk traders. Can it really be that simple? Rey is super powerful, a nobody, and can take on the heir of darkness in Kylo Ren?
What Is The Chosen One Prophecy?
Essentially, someone who will bring balance to the force. But what is balance? Why does balance matter? How is there balance if there is only light or dark? Can someone master both?
Chancellor Palpatine tells Anakin a story in Revenge of the Sith. As part of that story, he explains how the powerful Darth Plagueis even learned how to create life. Whether this is Palpatine trying to make Anakin doubt himself as the chosen one or if it actually has implications that Anakin was created by some dark force, is ultimately unknown. But this concept is going to come full circle in the sequels.
As an aside, in that same story time session, Palpatine also mentioned how Plagueis sought power to save others from dying, but couldn’t save himself. Later in the movie, when Anakin turned Vader pleads for Palpatine to help him save his wife, Padme. Palpatine said that the power to cheat death was discovered by only one person, but if they worked together, they could discover the secret. This will come into play in the sequel trilogy.
The Theory for The Sequel Trilogy and The Rise of Skywalker
Palpatine is still alive. Unlike his master Plagueis, he found the secret to escape death. Snoke was either a puppet or projection of Palpatine. Whether Palpatine is actually in a flesh-and-blood state or Force ghost state, we don’t know yet. Either way, his influence is still corrupting the galaxy and the Force. He will need to be defeated once and for all.
Rey was found on Jakku. Jakku in the new Disney expanded universe canon was the site of the final battle between the Empire and Rebel Alliance. Jakku was a secret outpost, doing secret research. Rey was the outcome of that research. Rey is one of three possible things:
- A manifestation of the dark side’s supposed ability to create life.
- An experimental clone using DNA of Luke or Anakin Skywalker.
- A person born of Palpatine.
Rey is ultimately a creation that was designed for darkness and to save the empire, or the Sith. Yet that plan ultimately backfired on the Empire. Rey becomes an agent of good, and the Force uses her to that end. It explains why she is so powerful and why she doesn’t remember her parents. It explains why she saw endless reflections of herself on Ahch-To. She was the final, successful line in experiments to create the ultimate agent of evil. Rey was likely “found” on Jakku by junk traders in a stasis pod or some such thing. They released her, carried her along for a while, and sold her for money.
The big reveal in the movie is going to revolve around the chosen one prophecy. Rey is the “next attempt” at the Force bringing balance to itself. The reason it is out of balance will have something to do with Palpatine and the Sith, and whatever he has been up to the last 30+ years. Kylo Ren, Rey’s opposite in the Force, will be a key to bringing balance to the Force. Assuming Rey unknowingly has some Skywalker DNA herself, The Rise of Skywalker is a combined effort of Rey and Kylo doing something that finally brings balance to the Force. Kylo probably dies for his efforts. Rey adopts the name of Skywalker, knowing she is a byproduct of them.
Some summary evidence that may suggest this kind of outcome for Rey?
- Why does the Skywalker lightsaber call to her?
- Why were their lots and lots of solid rumors about The Force Awakens actually opening with a shot of Luke’s hand floating in space? I believe some involved in the production of the movie may have also said they originally had some really wild, weird ideas to open the movie. As far as I know, the floating hand theory has never been shot down. It also pays homage to the Thrawn Trilogy of books and the idea of a clone of Luke being a key plot point. Maz even says how she got the lightsaber was a tale for another time.
- Again, Rey sees lots of iterations of herself on Ahch-To. Her blurred parents combine just into a reflection of herself. Why? She is the last in the line of clones made of something (maybe Luke’s hand plays a role?).
- How can Rey be so powerful?
- How does the expanded universe stuff with Jakku not seem like a big coincidence as to why Rey is there with no memory of her parents?
An Alternative Line of Thought
I can easily assume my primary theory is going to be “too complex” to pull off. A lot of overthinking when there will be a much simpler outcome. So if it is going to be such, here is what I see as the next most likely thing that allows them to tie all nine movies together and incorporating concepts and themes from both prequel and original trilogy timelines.
I don’t see how Rey is ultimately a nobody. I think the more sinister thing for her to face would be that Palpatine is her creator, father, or grandfather. Either by traditional methods or some dark side manipulation. Palpatine is brought back into the story to reveal this to her. She is horrified at her discovery and has to choose between a legacy of darkness or righting the wrongs of her own father. Much in the way Luke had to right the wrongs of his father in the original trilogy.
A more simplified story would then basically have Rey, who was born out of darkness, having to fight Kylo, who was born out of light. The winner saves or destroys the galaxy and the nature of the Force itself. Perhaps they even reach some kind of agreement and come together to balance the Force. In whatever they do, Anakin or Luke Skywalker then ascends to some new level of existence within the Force itself and in a battle in the realm of the Force, brings balance to it once and for all. Perhaps Anakin/Luke faces off against Palpatine in some kind of spiritual war, only made possible because of something Rey or Rey + Kylo accomplish. We find Palpatine was the ultimate corrupting influence within the Force, and his defeat brings everything back into balance.
I will come back to this post and see how off base my theory and alternative line of thought ultimately may be. I think though at some level, a spiritual battle is going to take place that outweighs the visual battles that will entertain our eyes and brains. The outcome of that spiritual battle is what brings the Force into balance. I would be fairly bored with a movie where it is just Rey vs. Kylo and whoever wins saves the galaxy and somehow puts the Force into balance just from that outcome alone. I don’t see how you don’t address the spiritual side of Star Wars in an ultimate conclusion to this series. It has always been about balancing the Force. Wars will almost always be fought in this galaxy and they will have ample more sagas and movies to make to tell us new stories with new characters. There has to be something bigger than Rey slicing Kylo in half and the underdog Resistance somehow unseating the First Order with lesser numbers or technology. But maybe there won’t be…