Jedi: Fallen Order may have finally explained Rey's mystery Force power in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The hero of the Sequel Trilogy is one of the most powerful Force users seen on the big screen, trained - albeit reluctantly - by Luke Skywalker. She's proved to be a perfect match for Kylo Ren himself, a man who has trained in Force combat all his life.
One of the most intriguing moments in Rey's story was in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when she touched the hilt of Luke Skywalker's old lightsaber. She experienced what Lucasfilm has called a "Forceback," a series of Force-induced visions of the past. It was a smart narrative conceit, allowing writer-director J.J. Abrams to dine out on nostalgia and drop hints as to what had happened between the Original Trilogy and the sequels. But just how did that Forceback work?
The latest Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order, may have offered a subtle hint. The game is set during the Dark Times, and features a former Jedi Padawan who's considering reforming the Jedi Order. Cal Kestis possesses a pretty rare and distinctive Force power, known as psychometry, which allows him to perceive an object's past when he comes into contact with it. The ability is slightly different to the Forcebacks exhibited by Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but they're clearly related, right down to being triggered by physical contact.
It's important to note that this suggests viewers may have been misunderstanding the Forceback scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. At first glance, the sequence appears to be simply the will of the Force, manifesting for an unknown reason and to little practical effect. Instead, however, it should perhaps be seen as Rey's possessing a rare Force power, one that was triggered when she touched an object saturated in the Force. The timing of Jedi: Fallen Order's move therefore seems more than a little coincidental, given the imminent release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which will bring an end to the Sequel Trilogy and could well see Rey practice her unique powers.
It's fascinating to imagine just what Rey could do if she has the power to explore the past and future when she touches an object that's rich in the Force. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will see Rey explore the wreckage of the Second Death Star, even finding her way into the remains of the Emperor's Throne Room; no doubt there'd be plenty of artifacts there that would trigger her ability. There would, however, be particular risks; while psychometry has never been placed in such a position of prominence before, it does have something of a history in the Star Wars canon. The Prequel Jedi believed that psychometry was a dangerous power, because it exposed a person to the emotions of the moments they glimpsed. Just what would happen to a Jedi with a psychometry-like ability who was in a place so strong in the dark side of the Force? Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may provide an answer.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019