This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. If you wish to remain spoiler-free, turn back now
As you may have seen, new footage for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was released today after being shown at D23 a few days ago and boy, there is a lot to take in.
The trailer features characters such as Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, an old and young Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin and his wife, Padmé Amidala, and shows moments from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi before diving into new, never-before-seen footage from Episode IX.
We saw images of Rey, Poe, Finn, Chewbacca and C-3PO exploring a planet, Kylo Ren and Rey fighting on top of the Death Star’s ruins and heard Emperor Palpatine’s ominous voice before seeing the big reveal at the end of the trailer: Rey, dressed in all black, wielding a double-bladed lightsaber.
When I first watched the trailer, I literally jumped out of my seat when I saw Rey, the Sith Lord. Who wouldn’t be? Fanart of Rey wielding a red lightsaber has been around since The Force Awakens and seeing her as an evil dark side user on the big screen is incredibly exciting.
While the image was electrifying, I have a hard time believing that Rey would actually turn to the dark side of the Force, especially when she refused to join Kylo towards the end of The Last Jedi. I think Rey the Sith Lord is merely a mirage, just like Darth Vader on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back.
There are several reasons why I think this is the case. First, it’s just unlikely that Rey fully commits to the dark side in one movie. She would have to betray Finn, Poe, Leia, Chewbacca and the other members of the Resistance, something she was unwilling to do in Episode VIII. Her fall from the liight would be incredibly rushed and from a quality standpoint, it’s just not logical.
Second, a major theory making its rounds on the Internet is the possibility of Rey being a creation of Palpatine. Perhaps when Rey travels to the Death Star, she encounters Palpatine, who shows Rey what his plans for her were when she was first created. This would tie the three trilogies together and finally clear up the murky waters of Rey’s parentage.
Third, right before the reveal, we hear Darth Vader’s breathing. Now, this could mean a variety of things, but remember, Luke heard Vader’s iconic wheeze right before he encountered and defeated him on Dagobah and saw his own face in Vader’s mask. Vader’s breathing could be hinting at a similar situation. Dark Side Rey may be what Rey fears the most, like Luke fearing Vader, and she has to confront her fear at some point during the film.
Personally, any of the three reasons mentioned above seem more likely than Rey legitimately joining the Sith. If she was to succumb to the dark, the previous two films would have began to set it up like the prequels did with Anakin. Instead, Rey convincingly rejects the dark side on multiple occasions and is unwilling to join Kylo at the ends of the sequel trilogy’s first two installments. A sudden change of heart would be unconvincing and would go against her already established character.
It is confirmed that we will see dark side Rey at some point in The Rise of Skywalker, complete with dark robes and a double-bladed lightsaber. However, in my opinion, it’s unlikely that Rey will actually turn to the dark side.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres December 20.