Three Theories to the Dark Rey Concept (D23 Trailer)
Rey of Jakku's journey of the sequel trilogy has been nothing short of adventurous, action-packed, and a heartbreaking saga of her own. From finally leaving her desert wasteland of a home on Jakku as a nobody to being the last of the Jedi religion that once served as Guardians of the Republic. Over the course of days, she had been pulled away from everything she's ever known and introduced to a bigger, more complicated galaxy. Along the way, she's been in a dangerous mix of emotions from joy and happiness to betrayal, disappointment, and loss. From meeting her first real friend, Finn, the surprise of a job offer from THE Han Solo on the Millenium Falcon, meeting the iconic leader of the Resistance, Leia Organa, to finally standing face to face with the legendary Luke Skywalker. Although these were highlights to her journey, many obstacles stood in her way that she had no other choice but to watch it all unfold. She witnessed Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo, murder him in cold blood on Starkiller Base after Han being the closest thing she had to a father. She was hurting when Luke refused to help her know that her friends were in trouble being chased down by the First Order, she even felt rage and anger knowing how much everybody had been through just to get to him before the First Order did only for him to give up. Betrayal played a major part when all she wanted was for Ben Solo, Leia's only hope, to come back to the light and to redeem himself for the things that he's done. In a turn of events, Ben asked her to join him along with the First Order to rule the galaxy together. She looked to Leia for hope, believing the Resistance may have definitely lost the war with the number of people they had left in the Millenium Falcon. Any force-sensitive being in our galaxy far, far away can be pulled to the light or the darkness by personal factors or connections, and with the possibility of Rey turning to the Darkside of the force... she could be bound to snap from everything she's encountered.
Theory #1: "A Vision"
As simple as it may sound, we may have another version of a vision similar to the one we saw in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As we've seen so far in this new trilogy, we can see Rey being pulled by the Light and the Darkside of the force. She's been able to hold her own by fending off Kylo Ren on Starkiller to almost killing him, she contemplated joining him as well on the Supremacy until she tried to pull the iconic Skywalker saber out from his hand, and we even saw her turn against her own master, Luke Skywalker.
If the vision in The Force Awakens was of the past, how do we know another can't show the future? Being torn apart by the light and the dark, it's possible another vision could push her to decide which way to go. What if Rey touches another symbolic object, and what she's seeing is the pathway to the Darkside and what she could become? What if it shows her who she's been destined to be?
Theory #2: "Embracing the Darkness"
From the moment the force awakened inside her, Rey has had several moments directly facing the Darkside of the force, almost tempting to turn with it embracing her. In the novelization for The Force Awakens, it is written that a voice tells her to kill Ben Solo. During their duel on Starkiller Base shortly before it's destruction, a voice within the force calls out to Rey, demanding for her to kill her opponent. With the death of Han Solo and the potential death of Finn, this was the fuel to the fire that she needed to match her opponent. Facing a murderer and fighting for her own survival, the Darkside of the force tapped into Rey. If Starkiller Base's crumbling didn't separate the two, it's safe to say that Kylo Ren would be long dead.
Shortly after her arrival on Ahch-To, Rey's first lesson is to essentially get a general idea of the force; how the light aligns with the dark, how there always must be a balance. Life, death, hot, cold, light, and dark. Not very long into the lesson, she feels something calling to her. She says she feels something that's off, something that's not right and it's calling to her. Without hesitation, Rey digs deeper and deeper, trying to figure out what it is while Luke desperately tries to pull her away. When she finally snaps out of it, she states that whatever it was, it was calling to her and that it was trying to show her something. Luke, still in shock and disturbance, tells her that she went straight to the Darkside and even states the only other person he's seen with that raw strength and power was his nephew, Ben. As time passes, Rey hears it call out to her again and decides she wants to see what she needs. When the only thing she wants to see is who her parents truly are, the one thing held promise let her down by only showing her reflection (or is she a clone? Perhaps for another article...) This leaves her in heartbreak and loneliness.
In the wake of Ben revealing his betrayal story of when Luke tried to murder him in his sleep, an ultimate confrontation by Rey leads to overthrowing and abandoning her master. She's infuriated at what Ben has told her, how Luke tried to kill his nephew in his sleep all because he felt conflicted between the light and the dark. Rey follows Luke who's refusing to speak about the event, telling her to leave and to never come back. Lashing out of anger, Rey knocks him to the ground with her staff and continues to fight as Luke pulls one of the poles (I think that's what it was) from his hut to defend himself. Throughout the few seconds that they duel, Rey is consistently pushing Luke back and is the clear winner, letting that anger project her forward in her skills. Even when Luke takes her staff clean away from her hands, she immediately uses the force to pull the lightsaber and give one final strike to the elderly Luke only to stop herself just before doing it.
Perhaps Rey's true destiny was to never become a Jedi but to use the force abilities she learned from one along her anger and rage to become a Sith. The Darkside has been present in Rey since the beginning of this new trilogy, and maybe it's locked onto its new host like a disease. It has shown bits and pieces, hints and clues that she could be bound to break and turn into the villain after all of the obstacles that have come her way. Just Like Anakin Skywalker, Rey has lost many people that felt like family to her just like Anakin lost his mother and Padme which contributes much to her actions with the force. A constant lesson in Star Wars is that there will be a balance in the Force, and if Kylo Ren is in a constant state of conflict, perhaps the Force is only waiting for Ben Solo to come back to the Light for Rey to turn to the Dark...
Theory #3: "Another Victim of Manipulation"
During the events of Revenge of the Sith, we see Palpatine slowly manipulate Anakin. While already crumbling as a Jedi due to the assassination of the Sandpeople of Tatooine and murdering Count Dooku, Palpatine knows how unstable he is as a Jedi. He quietly and subtly nods to him in the Opera Scene that Anakin does have the power to save the ones he loves. The only problem is that Anakin cannot learn these powers from a Jedi, but the Sith instead. He knows the Jedi Council would forbid his marriage with Padme due to the prohibition of attachment and possession. In a turn of events, while Anakin battles himself inside, he turns to the Dark and pledges himself to Palpatine to learn the ways that seem unnatural and powerful.
With a confirmation of Palpatine coming back this December for The Rise of Skywalker, we have the best villain that Star Wars has ever created. A mastermind who caused a war between two governments where he knew he could only win while taking the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, under his wing as a Sith Apprentice to take over and rule the galaxy. For six movies, we see Palpatine rise up in the Republic only to see it evolve into an evil Empire and become the ultimate "Chosen One" of the Sith. Watching Luke Skywalker become the Catalyst to Anakin's return to the Light and Vader's Redemption, he realized Anakin's love for his son conquered over his quest for power. With him coming back, whether in the flesh or as a being in the force, he's coming back with one intention... to defeat the Skywalkers... and with the last of their bloodline being Ben Solo, he knows one way to truly beat him.... Rey.
If Palpatine is able to contact Rey, whether it be in person or through the force, he can easily manipulate her as he did to Anakin. One of Rey's weaknesses is her loneliness, her past filled with mystery and wonder of who her parents truly were. As a young person trying to find herself and fitting into the galaxy, she desperately needs guidance. Palpatine was able to swipe Anakin away from the Jedi, imagine what he could do to Rey with the guidance and leadership that she needs. Applying my second theory to my final one, Palpatine can see who she's truly destined to be and take advantage of it, leading her and pulling her to the Darkside, turning her into a ruthless killer as he did with Anakin. What would make her the ultimate weapon for him if she turns is using her to fight against Ben Solo, the last Skywalker. Rey has already beaten Ben once and even learned fighting styles when she used a Jedi Power to see his memories, she is more than capable to take him down if she were to do so. Ben also has two major disadvantages that Palpatine can use, one being already beaten by Rey once and the other being that Rey was the only person he showed his weakness to her through the force. Ben feels an emotional attachment to her through his connection with her through the force, it could be an easy way to let his guard down. Even if Palpatine isn't physically there, his strength in the force can control her, making her an unimaginably strong opponent to Ben Solo.
These are just three of my theories of how it could go down IF Rey does turn to the Darkside in The Rise of Skywalker and I would love to hear more before the film's release. Stay tuned for more of my articles, and remember... May the Force be with you... always...