Rey was, without doubt, the hero(ine) of the heroes journey at the heart of The Force Awakens, but will she stay that way?
In Star Wars (1977) we meet Luke Skywalker, an innocent young man devoted to his Aunt and Uncle and living a modest life on a farm on a backwater planet in the outer rim. Little did we know that this guy would restore freedom to the Galaxy. What wasn't so obvious to me, watching these films as a child, was that by the time we get to Star Wars Episode VI The Return Of The Jedi, Luke, this callow young farm boy, is perilously close to the Darkside.
It's a path his father had taken before him, young, disenfranchised but idealistic, Anakin Skywalker went form Pod racer to Jedi Knight and only lost his struggle against the dark side of the Force when the last of those he cared so deeply for stepped away from him. Had Padme reacted differently when Anakin laid out his plan before her, the history of the Star Wars Galaxy may have been very different indeed.
When Luke reached a similar point in his development, a point where he could realize his full potential, he had people in his life who were dear to him. People he couldn't afford to lose. If Han had died in the carbon freezing chamber on Bespin and had Leia been killed by Jabba The Hutt, Luke would have gone over to the Darkside pretty swiftly I think.
In The Force Awakens, Rey emerges as a powerful Force user. Rey manages to connect with Jedi she never even knew existed. She also learns the art of mind control and successfully taps into the Force, allowing it to guide her movements during her duel with Kylo Ren. But which side of the Force is Rey giving herself over to?
We assume because Rey has been a paragon of virtue for the first two thirds of The Force Awakens, that she is using the light side of the Force. At no point do we think that she might actually be channeling the Dark Side of the Force.
Remember some of Master Yoda's wise words about the dark side:
"Quicker. Easier. More seductive."
"Quick to join you in a fight..."
When Rey finds herself mourning the loss of Han Solo, and feeling the potential loss of her new friend Finn, she allows fear to guide her, and anger to drive her.
"Anger, fear, aggression. The Dark Side of the Force are they... Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
With no training (at least not as far as she know) to speak of, Rey cannot avoid the feelings of anger, fear, aggression and hate. These are the forces (with a small f) Rey marshals in order to deafeat Kylo Ren and that might very well have been by design. Snoke's design. You can see a video of our Snoke and Rey theory on our YouTube channel. But here is the question.
Will Rey's path follow Luke's and Anakin's respective paths in the new Star Wars trilogy? If so how will it unfold in the third act? So far she has followed Anakin and Luke's heroes journey very closely, if somewhat quicker. I believe we will see her being trained in Episode VIII, potentially in parallel to Kylo Ren's training, but who's story will her's resemble most?
In a way Snoke resembles the Emperor, who wanted a powerful apprentice at his knee. But in The Force Awakens Supreme Leader Snoke becomes aware of a new player, Rey, and I believe he senses her ability in the dark side. This is why is pushes Kylo Ren into action and events result in Rey opening herself to the Darkside of the Force. For Snoke, this is like blood in the water. Now he will surely stop at nothing to gain Rey as his apprentice and return the Sith to power. This may be where we get the Darth Plagueis reveal, if there is one.
So when we get to the third act of the new trilogy, Rey's fate will be revealed. Will she remain the virtuous innocent we met in The Force Awakens? Will she follow Luke's journey through temptation and out the otherwise, or will she plunge into darkness like Anakin before her, and go on to become the next trilogy's chief antagonist? Only time will tell...
Thank you for reading,