With the Star Wars prequels citing young Anakin Skywalker as “the chosen one,” Darth Vader’s redemption at the end of The Return of the Jedi when he supposedly killed the Emperor Palpatine and brought balance to the Force, is made to feel even more special, more worthy and certainly like a moment of more significance.
This became even more apparent after the next two prequels showed Anakin’s turn to the dark side of the Force – “A prophecy that misread could have been…” said Master Yoda to Mace Windu in Revenge of the Sith.
And even though Return of the Jedi presented Vader as bringing balance to the Force, thus signaling he was the chosen one (a fact confirmed by director and writer George Lucas several times), perhaps the little green guy was right all along in his assessment of the misreading of the prophecy.
Why? How did this happen? Enter Rey.
Rey was a lost soul, stranded on a desert planet, yearning for something more from her life. A grand adventure or two later and she was suddenly deep in the midst of Jedi training by the damaged Luke Skywalker and deemed to be a Jedi – the last one, in fact.
The Rise of Skywalker’s conclusion sees Rey take part in the climactic Jedi versus Sith battle. It’s important to note that Kylo Ren (Ben Skywalker) is not a Sith Lord nor a Jedi. This movie revealed that he was effectively a puppet of Emperor Palpatine AKA Sith Lord Darth Sidious.
So, let’s cut to the chase. The final confrontation between Rey, Kylo, and Palpatine sees the Sith Lord seeking to take the lifeforce from Rey and Kylo so he can rejuvenate to “full power” and begin to take back his empire across the galaxy, which he lost when he “died” at the hands of Vader.
Rey landed a mortal blow on Kylo and then heals him with Force power, but Palpatine dispatches Kylo down a pit to his death. Rey and Palpatine then duke it out with some Force lightning. Rey was pretty much done for at this point, and Palpatine had the upper hand – and it should not be lost on you at this point that there’s a symmetry to the finale of Return of the Jedi at play here.
It was all feeling a bit familiar for Palpatine at that point, as Kylo suddenly climbed out of the pit (which was a Skywalker rising, as Ben is no longer Kylo Ren but Ben Skywalker). He used the last of himself to heal Rey and then he died.
As the only Jedi left, urged on by a group of Force ghost observers, Rey was then able to use both her and Ben’s lightsabers to repel the Sith Lord’s Force lightning attack and kill Palpatine. The Sith Lord was finally dead.
Rey had ended that particular disturbance in the Force. By removing Palpatine’s control over the Force, its balance was finally restored – and that meant Rey was the chosen one and it was never Anakin Skywalker (and nor was it Luke, as was sometimes argued). It was only ever Rey, the granddaughter of Palpatine.
That puts the whole Skywalker destiny in quite a tangle. If Palpatine caused the birth of Anakin Skywalker, as was alluded to quite strongly in the official novel version of Revenge of the Sith, then what was the point if he was to die at the hands of his own granddaughter? One could argue Anakin was created as a “device” to help take over the galaxy.
The point, from the viewer's perspective, is that Rey, as The Last Jedi, was the mantle of hope for the inhabitants of this faraway galaxy from that point on. She, like Luke, had become a symbol and that “spark” Princess Leia so desperately needed. Rey took the Skywalker name as the symbol of that mantle.
Yes, she hardly knew the Skywalkers as a family, but she knows what Luke and Leia stood for, what they fought for, and what they died for.
In taking on the name, as the granddaughter of Palpatine, Rey is saying to the universe, “this is who I am, I was the chosen one, I brought balance to the Force and now, I am a Skywalker.”
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.