Rey’s Recurring Dream of Ahch-to
There are two other visions Rey has in the first two movies of the sequel trilogy, although they're not quite as showy as the Forceback.
The first is told to us by Kylo after he reads her mind during The Force Awakens' interrogation scene: "You're so lonely. So afraid to leave. At night, desperate to sleep. Imagine an ocean. I see it. I see the island." Essentially, she's been dreaming of - and Kylo sees - Ahch-to long before she's even aware that's where Luke is. This is referred to again and thus confirmed in The Last Jedi, when Luke asks the newly arrived Rey "You've seen this place. You've seen this island", to which she replies "Only in dreams."
While the film doesn't explain the exact nature of the dreams or how exactly they were planted, what this does is provide another example of Rey's psychic connection to her own future, one that is akin to Luke's similar, more active daydreaming with the twin suns: the desire to get out of the desert. For Rey they're repressed, coming only at night when her guard is down and she can admit that she doesn't - nay, shouldn't - be simply waiting on Jakku. It's an early sign of the fact she needs to move on.
Beyond that, though, it also serves as groundwork for the biggie: her experience in the cave.
Rey’s The Last Jedi Vision Compounds This
Rey's final "lesson" in The Last Jedi is going into Ahch-to's underground cave, an area of the microcosm island from which the dark side emanates. In there, she finds herself in an eternal mirror, a chain of infinite Reys who repeat themselves one after the other. An unstoppable track. Or, to put it another way, a representation of destiny. Rey doesn't have any choice in these actions; she's set to do them before and will do them long after. It's predetermined. She then works her way to the front of the line - the predestined point - where she hopes to find her parents, but the two shadowy figures merge to form only... herself.
There are multiple ways to interpret this, but they all hinge on Rey discovering she must come into ownership of her own destiny; she has to get beyond the obsession with her parents to truly define herself, or simply discovering that who she is is what really matters. Either way, it's a powerful summary of her arc, foretelling of the decision she will have to make when faced with the truth and her eventual freedom to lead the Jedi. When put against the lightsaber visions, you can see it's teaching her roundabout the same thing, just this time on a more personal level (perhaps even alluding to how Kylo isn't going to be alongside her for long).
Dreams and visions can so often be a hackneyed storytelling tool used only to provide some "what if?" moments in an otherwise static narrative or overtly pre-tell what should be surprising plot turns. What Star Wars has done with Rey's across Episode's VII and VIII is quite the opposite, using it to propel the character forward in a story about the nature of the very destiny visions so often take for granted.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (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