The Star Wars databank, and other material, explicitly state that there is a “mysterious connection” between Rey and Kylo Ren. Of all the questions I have going into The Last Jedi (in like 8 days!!!), it is the meaning of this connection that intrigues me most. Surprisingly, as it turns out, the connection between Rey and Kylo Ren just might have its origins in The Phantom Menace. That’s because of a lot of new key details have been revealed about the connection between Kylo Ren and Rey from recent interviews–and the subtext of some of the interviews have shed a lot of light what exactly this connection is. In this speculative article, I will review the new details about the mysterious connection between Rey and Kylo Ren, and go out on a limb regarding what it means.
Before I begin, let me remind you that this is speculation. I don’t know who Rey’s parents are or the meaning of this connection, but I’d like you to join me down the path of thinking about a particular theory that you probably already know, and that you may or may not agree with. Let’s just explore it.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Rian Johnson stated that:
Rey and Kylo are almost two halves of our protagonist.
And this reminded me of of the “mysterious connection” linking Kylo Ren and Rey, as discussed in the Star Wars databank for Kylo Ren, among other entries. If they are two halves of a whole, could that be what links them? Anthony Breznican wrote about this link between Kylo and Rey:
The dynamic between them, the dark and the light, pushing and pulling at each other, is the heart of the Dec. 15 film, and although they are on opposite sides, their fates are still interlocked.
Rian Johnson goes on to further reinforce the notion of Rey and Kylo being almost cut from the same cloth:
“The dividing line between light and dark is becoming more and more ambiguous, and you could say that the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren symbolizes that.”
The “mysterious connection” between Rey and Kylo Ren has been a mystery for a while. We’ve discussed it before, but most of the time only presented the facts and not presented a theory. Now I’d like to explore some theories. I recently saw this video from Star Wars Reading Club that inspired me. The video is much broader in content, but one point that stood out to me–the Chosen One prophecy, and how it could be related to the Force balancing itself.
If we go back to the first mention of the Chosen One Prophecy–to The Phantom Mencace–we are treated to Qui-on Jinn’s view on the matter. Qui-gon made it pretty clear that he thought that Anakin was created by the Force. Well, he said conceived by the midi-chlorians, but the implications when talking to the Jedi Council are that the Chosen One was created by a “vergence in the Force” for the purpose of “brining balance to the Force”. The balance means elimination of the Sith, as we’ve discussed before. This is what Qui-gon believed at least, that the Force created Anakin for the purpose of destroying the Sith. It was the Force’s own mechanism for bringing itself back into balance.
So if the Force created Anakin to destroy the Sith, At the time when Anakin was created, the Sith would be Darth Plagueis and his apprentice Darth Sidious (a.k.a. Palpatine), who would later become Emperor 10 years after killing his master Plagueis. But if you would ask Plagueis and Sidious who created Anakin, they would probably have said that they created him, by manipulating the midi-chlorians to create…life–if we are to believe Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. That was certainly implied. But these two points of view can’t both be true. Either the Force created Anakin to destroy the Sith, or the Sith created Anakin (presumably to destroy the Jedi). Perhaps the Force only allowed the Sith create Anakin to ultimately lead to their demise. But if that were true, why would the Force let all those Jedi die at the hand of Anakin as collateral damage?
I think either way, it suggests that Anakin and Sidious are connected. Sidious created an imbalance, and Anakin was born to counteract this imbalance. Let’s face it, Sidious has been the main Sith causing all the trouble, so if Qui-gon is right, then the Force created Anakin to ultimately destroy Darth Sidious in Return of the Jedi. If Sidious is right, then he basically created Anakin. Either way, they are linked.
As mentioned in the video above, the quote from Snoke in one of the trailers reiterates the idea of the Force using the light side of the Force to defeat the dark side:
Darkness rises…and light to meet it
Could the Force have created Rey to defeat Kylo?
It’s tantalizing to think that this original link between Anakin and Sidious/Palpatine is some how related to the link between Kylo and Rey. But if Kylo is the grandson of Anakin, does that mean that Rey is the granddaugher of Palpatine? Now, I have been in the Rey Skywalker camp for a while, and if you’re following spoilers, the good money is on Rey having unknown parents. But this connection between Rey and Kylo would be explained in a cool way if it was related to a link between their grandparents. It’s as if the Force created Anakin to defeat the Sidious, and as a indirect effect of that, Anakin had kids, leading to his grandson Kylo Ren, who fell to the darkside. What if some sort of reverberation in the Force would create an offspring of Sidious ultimately to defeat (or redeem) Kylo? It would be sort of a poetic justice, to use the light-side offspring of the Sith to defeat the dark-side offspring of the Chosen One.
All this said, in a recent interview with John Boyega, he sort of rejects the “Rey Kenobi” theory in the context of accents used in the film by Rey and Finn. While he doesn’t explicitly reject the Rey Palpatine theory, it certainly puts a damper on it, given that the accent of Rey may just be a coincidence.
However, there are a ton of good articles and videos on the Rey Palpatine theory. I would check out this one. With some new analysis of The Last Jedi trailers, some sound effects when Rey opens her lightsaber reinforce a connection with Palpatine. Rey’s incredible power, her saber fighting style, all point to Rey Palpatine. When I first saw her jabbing motion with the lightsaber on my first viewing of The Force Awakens, I immediately thought of Sidious because I thought it was weird that he did that in Revenge of the Sith.
It deepens the connection between them because they are like the yin and yang to each other. Kylo descends from the lightside parents, and has gone to the darkside, but is called to the light. Under this theory, Rey descends from the darkside, is currently on the lightside, but is called to the darkside. If you don’t think Rey is called to the darkside, consider how the novelization for The Force Awakens mentions a voice telling Rey to “Kill him” after she defeats Kylo. Who does that sound like?
If Rey does turn out to be “Rey Random”, I might still be left wondering where her “random” parents descended from. Meaning, how would we know her mother wasn’t the daughter of Palpatine?
I actually think Kylo Ren and Rey will join forces to fight a common enemy. Maybe join forces to defeat Snoke. Under this scenario with this theory, Rey is to defeat Kylo, much like Luke was to kill Vader, but ultimately love, friendship, or something redeems Kylo. Time will tell why the two are connected, we’ll find out very soon!