Can Rey & Kylo Bring Balance To The Force Together?
The concept of bringing balance to the Force has long been running through Star Wars, albeit with various interpretations of what that actually means. For years, the Jedi Order believed that balance meant wiping out the Sith. With darkness eradicated, only then would true balance be restored. They pinned their hopes for this on the Chosen One, whom they believed to be Anakin Skywalker. When he fell to the Dark Side, Obi-Wan later came to think of Luke as the Chosen One instead. Eventually, and through the Jedi interpretation at least, the two Skywalkers did together achieve a sense of balance. Luke saw the good in his father and turned him back to the Light Side. With this, Anakin was able to kill his master. While the Jedi survived through Luke, the Sith were no more.
Still, however, there was not true balance, or at least not a lasting one. Darkness would indeed rise again, through the First Order, Supreme Leader Snoke, and into Kylo Ren (who Luke himself had come to think of as a new Chosen One). And with the Jedi Academy destroyed and Luke in exile, the scales tipped back towards the Dark Side - until Rey had her own awakening too. For generations there has never been balance because each side has believed in their own idea of what that means, fighting wars that sway the tide on way and then the other.
Heading into Star Wars Episode IX, though, there are only two powerful Force-users left. Both represent one side of the divide, but also know the lure of the other. And perhaps it’s that which can finally bring real balance to the Force, with two possibilities. One is that it could mean the pair of them teaming up for good, and finding a means of meeting in the middle: not Light, not Dark, but Balance. The door was seemingly closed on that, quite literally, in The Last Jedi, but it’s something Abrams could revisit. The Force brought them together for a reason, and they might be destined to work together on a new path. Snoke says he warned Kylo that his "equal" in light would rise as he grew stronger. If that means the Force will always be seeking both, then the only way to achieve it would be to have them teaming up in the center ground.
Going further, that could mean balance can only be achieved if there are no sides attempting to bend it to their own will. Rey, to a degree, understands how the Force works in that regard; Kylo less so. Rey knows the Force isn't hers, whereas Kylo still wants to use his power to rule. And that places a greater onus on the former to bring about balance, which makes sense since Rey is the hero of the Sequel Trilogy. That could mean it's she who has to rescue Kylo, and find the middle with him. Or, she might well go on to become a Jedi, but she cannot fall victim to the same hubris that cost them before. The Journal of the Whills' key poem, which speaks about both sides of the Force, ends by saying that the difference between them is made right “through refined Jedi sight.” In that context, Rey needs to refine what it is to be a Jedi, and how they use the Force, to bring about true balance. And if that’s going to happen, then Kylo Ren - a person who has mostly given in to evil, and might be beyond redemption - most likely needs to die.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019