Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker annoyed fans in many ways, let’s be honest, but one of the biggest causes of complaint was the introduction of Force-healing. Rey uses it a couple of times within the film, first to aid an injured vexis snake on Pasaana and then to heal Kylo Ren’s fatal wound on the wreckage of the Death Star. The reformed Ben Solo then returns the favor and brings her back to life, at the expense of his own, after Rey dies defeating Palpatine.
The big question is, though, why the heck have no other Jedi before these two decided to use this handy-dandy power in any previous movie? Fans have been scratching their heads over this for months, but a new theory offers the best explanation for it that you’ll find.
Reddit user u/ghostybiscuits shared his thoughts on the r/StarWarsTheories subreddit and pointed to something that others have suggested could explain it before: Rey discovered Force-healing from the ancient Jedi texts she took from Ahch-To in The Last Jedi.
“She read the ancient texts. When she left Ahch-To in Episode VIII she took the old Jedi books with her on board the Falcon. Through studying these between Episodes VIII and IX, she learnt the ancient art of Force Healing.”
This doesn’t explain how Ben picked it up so quickly, but the movie’s revelation that Rey and Ben form a Force Dyad, a hugely powerful union of two souls, may plug this plot hole.
“Ben Solo learnt this through the Force Dyad he shared with Rey, and that’s his he was able to bring her back from the dead, even though it meant sacrificing his own life.”
Finally, as for why the Jedi have never used this ability before, the theorist ties it into the Jedi Order’s portrayal in the Prequel Trilogy, suggesting that their development over time took them far away from their origins, so some of the secrets of the Jedi elders were lost.
“If the Jedi stuck to their original calling, being guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, instead of becoming the preachy, dogmatic order we saw in the prequel trilogy, perhaps more Jedi couldn’t learnt Force Healing, but the teachings of the Jedi obviously became more insular and self-serving as the Old Republic era wore on.”
Other fans chimed in with their own thoughts in the replies as well and one put forward the idea that the Jedi never revisited the ancient texts out of hubris, as they believed they knew all there was to know already. Another argued that they didn’t have the texts in the first place as Luke Skywalker himself must’ve searched for them and brought them to Ahch-To.
There are different ways of interpreting it, then, but clearly the crux of the matter is that Rey – and perhaps Luke before her – was the first Jedi in centuries to read the sacred texts, which is why she’s the first one to use Force-healing in the movies. That’s one Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker plot hole filled. Only dozens more to go.