Now this is interesting.
It’s beginning to look like we could be getting a pretty big Star Wars revelation when Episode VIII: The Last Jedi comes out this December, with the official website for the space saga dropping some very curious hints about what’s coming.
Specifically, the official StarWars.com seems to be hinting that something could be brewing between lead character Rey (Daisy Ridley) and tortured villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), with both their official database entries describing a “mysterious connection" or “strange connection” between them that was added relatively recently (probably since December, according to web archive searches by io9).
Now, you might be thinking that this is an innocuous addition that simply refers to their rivalry and status as force-users, and you could be right. But it does seem like an oddly specific thing to add, while the use of “mysterious” would seem to suggest that there IS some sort of mystery beyond such an obvious, surface-level answer. Plus, the fact that it was apparently inserted so recently suggests that there’s a larger game in play.
But if that’s the case, what could this “strange” and “mysterious” connection be? Well, the most appealing is the longstanding theory that Rey has family ties to the characters of the original Star Wars trilogy, either as the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia (making her Kylo’s sister) or the daughter of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker (making her Kylo’s cousin), who was hidden from Kylo’s rampage as a young child.
This would explain their connection – they’re blood relatives, and both grandchildren of force-conceived Chosen One-turned-Sith Lord Darth Vader – while also tying the whole saga up into a neat little Skywalker bow, so we could definitely see this happening.
However, there’s also a slightly more offbeat theory doing the rounds suggesting that the truth might be more complicated. You may have noticed that in the most recent Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens and spin-off Rogue One) the filmmakers have taken pains to introduce non-Jedi followers of the force, including Max von Sydow’s Lor San Tekka and Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Îmwe (as well as Kylo Ren himself, who along with Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke is neither Jedi nor Sith).
This, along with the next film’s title The Last Jedi, has suggested to some people that the Jedi’s days might be numbered. Luke Skywalker is the last who follows that specific collection of creeds and codes, and thanks to the treachery of his nephew he’s singularly failed to return the Jedi Order to the galaxy. And now through these other characters we’re being shown that a more complex interpretation of the Force is both possible and already being carried out, opening the door for a new generation of force users like Rey and Kylo who could eschew the monastic, strict light/dark division between Jedi and Sith for a slightly more mixed-up version of both.
Perhaps that “mysterious connection”, then, is that Kylo and Rey are the dark and light side of the struggle that will reinterpret the very way the galaxy interprets the force, and does away with the old-fashioned ideas of Jedi and Sith. Like real people, Force users could be a mix of good and bad, and not have to choose between being saintly or pure evil. They could instead just be people who have a specific set of abilities to use as they see fit.
And maybe then, in a way, Anakin Skywalker would have fulfilled the old prophecy that he would bring balance to the Force – through his light side and dark side grandchildren, Rey and Kylo, and their actions in bringing the current light side/dark side dichotomy crashing down.
Yep, that’s right, we cycled right back round to Rey being Luke’s daughter again. It’s hard to avoid playing the classics.
Of course, this whole thing should be taken with a grain of salt the size of a small moon – we’re talking about extrapolating massive changes to the Star Wars canon based on a handful of words added to a database here – but it certainly does seem like Disney is working towards a different understanding of the Force that might help them to continue making different Star Wars films once this new trilogy is over, and this theory makes as much sense as any others.
Plus, you know– online speculation is fun!
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is released in UK cinemas on the 15th December 2017