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The Last Jedi Explains What Rey's Force Vision Was Really About

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Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi finally gives us the information needed to fully make sense of Rey's vision from The Force Awakens. Rian Johnson's film picks up right where J.J. Abrams' left off, continuing the story and answering many of the unresolved questions. Many of these are pretty overtly stated, but more subtly it expands on Rey's vision.

In the middle of The Force Awakens, Han Solo, Finn and Rey visit Maz's castle in the hope of contacting the Resistance. While their, Rey is called by Luke Skywalker's long-lost lightsaber and touches it, sparking off what can best be described as a Forceback, showing various pieces of her own, Luke's and Kylo Ren's past. Some of the meaning was implicit in the film itself, but it otherwise left a lot of lingering threads that have been debated heavily over the past two years.

Read More: Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Ending Explained

Now, with The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson helps explain what happened, while still keeping up some of J.J. Abrams air of mystery. With the film finally in theaters, we're going to dig a little deeper and look at how it actually foreshadowed the events of Episode VIII.

The Force Awakens Vision Finally Explained (This Page)

The Force Awakens Vision Finally Explained (This Page)

First, let's start with a recap of the vision. You can watch it in the video embedded above, but for the sake of ease and clarity, we'll also summarize here.

It starts with Rey hearing screams of her childhood self, which draws her to the saber. When she first touches it, she's taken to the bowels of Cloud City where you can clearly hear Vader's breathing. Then the environment collapses around her and we're taken to Luke kneeling down and putting his hand on R2-D2. Then we rain-transition to Kylo Ren attacking an unknown figure, flanked by the Knights of Ren. He seems to notice Rey and moves towards her before she jumps again to her childhood and being left on Jakku with Unkarr Plutt by her parents. This transitions to Starkiller Base, with the sun becoming a thin line and her running up against Kylo in the forest as Obi-Wan says, "Rey, these are your first steps."

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At the time we were able to deduce the vision's start was the lightsaber's past - originally there was going to even be a shot where Rey saw Vader remove Luke's hand and his weapon with it - and that Luke was collapsing in shock at the destruction of his Jedi Temple (confirmed by The Last Jedi), and the Starkiller sequence spoke for itself. Maz's discussion afterwards also summed up the primary message: Rey needed to stop her obsession with the past and take her "first steps". Everything else, however, left questions. Why was Rey left behind? What was Kylo doing with the Knights of Ren? And, nebulously, why was this what Rey saw?

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Related: Star Wars: 25 Things You Completely Missed In The Last Jedi

The first two are fairly easily answered by The Last Jedi. Rey's parents were nobodies who sold her off for drinking money (per Kylo), setting her up with the false hope of them returning. The Knights of Ren were some of Luke's students who Ben Solo spared in his massacre (caused by Luke's contemplation of killing his nephew when sensing his raw power), and while the film doesn't feature them or tell us where/when we are, this is clearly an essential part in Kylo's fall.

The biggest thing, however, is that Episode VIII links the disparate elements. Putting aside the introduction, what we're really seeing is two parallel narratives: Rey and Kylo both being put on a path where they become lost (by the false belief in her parents and the manipulations of Snoke respectively). It, of course, only goes up to their fight in the forest due to storytelling logistics (The Last Jedi wasn't fully mapped out when this was shot), but the subsequent structure chimes; in Episode VIII, their arcs likewise intersect and run alongside. Both are lost in their current setting and find hope in each other before they finally fulfill that desire, only to discover the belongings they seek are at opposite sides of the spectrum. This leads to them literally tearing the saber in two.

And that's the key - both their destinies are tied into the saber because they together destroy it in respective moments of clarity; we see their similarities because of their ultimate differences. Yes, Snoke psychically connects them, presumably sometime after the fight, but the vision isn't concerned with that. Essentially, Rey is being shown her past to power the future. Or, fitting with the themes at play, being told to move on from what made her and focus on the moment: advice she eventually heeds with the help of Luke's return at the end of the film.

While that's fascinating storytelling as is, it's made all the more powerful by the other visions Rey receives.

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Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
  • Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
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