The recently unveiled title of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker seems specifically chosen to fuel speculation on who the Skywalker in question might be, in which case, the fans have been all too happy to oblige. In the last week, we’ve already heard various arguments for why the name could be referring to Kylo Ren, Luke or even a new spiritual order inspired by Luke’s teachings. But in a new ScreenRant article, the case is made that a novel released last year already revealed Rey to be a true Skywalker.
To get one obvious question out of the way, no, this is not another theory about Rey’s parentage, even if J.J. Abrams did recently hint that there’s more to her ancestry than The Last Jedi revealed. Instead, it’s argued that Rey is a “Skywalker” in a broader sense of the word that goes beyond family.
The name’s alternative meaning is found in Timothy Zahn’s 2018 novel Thrawn: Alliances. In this canonical story, the popular villain of Star Wars: Rebels fame discusses how the Chiss Ascendancy uses Force-sensitive children to navigate the Unknown Regions. It’s said that this sensitivity fades in the children as they get older, which incidentally, seems to tie in quite well with the final scene of The Last Jedi. But in a conversation with Darth Vader, Thrawn reveals the surprising title they give to these young guides:
“I told you the Chiss call this talent Third Sight. What I hadn’t yet spoken of is the title these navigators are given once they take their posts… The Cheunh word is ozyly-esehembo. In Basic, it translates to ‘sky-walker.’ You can imagine my momentary confusion when I first encountered General Anakin Skywalker.”
Evidently, “Skywalker” is more than just a family name, but also the name given to those who use the Force to guide their people through unknown and hazardous territory. And you could certainly argue that Rey will be doing just that as she steers the galaxy towards a safer tomorrow.
It’s an interesting theory that you could even connect to The Last Jedi’s more democratic vision of the Force. Could the child witnessed at the end of Rian Johnson’s film, for instance, also be nurtured into a Skywalker, along with countless other youngsters across the galaxy? We’ll find out when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.