As rumors start flying in for the production of Episode 9, let’s take a look at what we can expect from Rey and Kylo in the upcoming film. In this two part article I will discuss each of them, talking about their journeys so far and what this could entail for roles in Episode 9. In this article I will discuss Rey’s story and what it might be leading too.
Now rumors are exactly that – rumors. However, Episode 9 has a different feel to it. With both The Force Awakens, and especially for The last Jedi, there were so many open ended questions, the movie could go in any number of directions. It obviously did as no one foresaw the direction it finally took. With Episode 9, not only are there next to no open ended questions to debate endlessly, but a great many of the rumors are all pointing along the same lines. Some that turn out to be false may be nothing more than editing issues than truth.
Rey’s Tests to Knighthood
Rey is a Jedi Knight. Luke all but said this in his showdown with Kylo. She may yet have a lot to learn, but didn’t Luke also after facing Vader? In fact Yoda also states that while there are wisdoms Rey may be lacking, she already understands the heart and direction of a Jedi. I would go so far as to say Rey has passed her trials in her face off with Kylo. Rey’s three test were: Who she was. Her idealism of the Jedi. Kylo and his fate.
Rey’s issues both TFA and TLJ were that she questioned who she was. She used her parents as the definition of who she was. She needed them, and they had to be somebodies. According to how things unfolded in Jedi, Rey’s parents were nobodies that are now mummifying somewhere in the Jakku desert lands. Kylo made her face these facts as she apparently knew the truth even if she did not want to admit it. The accepting of this was her major step in her trials. Kylo was the another but we will come back to that.
The next part of Rey’s journey was needing the simple guidance and training to understand the force, which she received from Luke. She knew the rumors of the Jedi, but not the truth. She knew she had something inside her, but she had no idea what it was or how to use it. In a lot of ways this terrified her. Her actual test though would come at the hands of Luke’s apprehension and disgust at the Jedi. Luke told Rey the truth of how the Jedi fell and failed the galaxy at the heart of their power, but Rey held fast to her idealism. She saw the light in Luke and how he refused to give up on the most evil man in the galaxy because Luke felt the conflict and goodness. Rey has an almost pig-headed idealism of the Jedi and she refused to let go of it despite what Luke said.
I know many wanted Rey to teeter on the dark side and be tempted more. In the end though it would have been hollow. She is the last of the Jedi, if she falls the Jedi fall for good. You simply can’t do that and maintain what Star Wars is about. If there were a greater number of Jedi, say she joined Luke’s academy, then you could go that route. If the Jedi are to be reborn, it needs a leader with that pig-headed idealism to drive it forward. If a leader is full of doubt and uncertainty, they will not be a very good leader in a fledgling movement.
Her final test was Kylo. Thanks to Snoke’s meddling, there was a connection between the two. People need to stop taking every relationship and making it romantic. I do not think they were ever in love, but there were parts of each of them that understood the other. Had they joined either side they would have made an effective team. She held out her hope for Ben, that he would return until the very end. She passed her final test when she reached out for the lightsaber instead of his hand. She knew he would not turn, and she had been mislead by her vision.
The final connection they have on Crait is actually a beautifully telling scene. Kylo finally realizes how isolated he is. There is almost a sense of pleading from him for Rey to stay and join him. Rey feels it, and for a half second feels for him, but she stiffens her lip, steels her resolve and hits the hatch button. As the hatch closes, it signifies that their connection is now over. Rey let go.
Rey in Episode 9
Rey is a Jedi Knight in Episode 9. What does this mean for the movie itself? If rumor is true and not partial, she is a Jedi that stands alone. Rumor is currently stating that only one year will have passed since The Last Jedi. That is not enough time to find and adequately train anyone well enough to make a difference fighting Kylo and/or the Knights of Ren.
One story telling device that would get around the one year time gap is if at some point they do a time jumping montage where we see a series of skirmishes and battle all edited together that signifies the growth of Rey and some Jedi trainees as well as the resistance and its growing allies. If such a device were used, all bets would then be off and anything would be possible.
There are also two other possibilities, slim but possible, that could help Rey, but we will leave that for the Knights of Ren discussion in the next article.
Rey will have Luke to train her in the abilities she lacks, or so logic dictates. We know Luke is in the movie, but we do not know in what role. The easiest answer is the intense training of Rey. The most fun answer is that he torments the hell out of Kylo. Luke ends his confrontation with Kylo by saying “See you around kid.” Also given Mark Hamill’s best acting traits, tormenting and driving Kylo insane would be perfect. However that combats the confusion of the rules of force ghosts. Not only do Yoda and Ben say they cannot interfere with Luke’s confrontation of Vader, but as far as we know the dark side does not have an afterlife.
She and Kylo WILL square off in the end. Both of their powers will now be fully realized, and I see this as being one of the most powerful duels in all of Star Wars. Daisy and Adam have proven they can handle themselves in the fight scenes. While I do not think it will be official, Rey’s style does resemble the Vapaad style of Master Windu, where it relies on the darkness and aggression. Rey and Kylo will come at each other hard and with purpose.
How it ends depends on the next rumor. Is this the end of the Skywalkers and the saga films? If it is to truly be the end, and Disney branches out into other tales and story lines, Kylo could die. If Daisy can be talked into coming back in 6-10 years, they could leave the story open and return to Rey and Kylo later on.
I do not think Rey will have a lot of discovery and growth in this last movie. It will be a Jedi on a mission to end Kylo Ren and the First Order. In the next article I will go over Kylo Ren’s journey and what we can expect from him and the dark side of the force.