The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy concluded with The Rise of Skywalker late last year, bringing about an end to the eons-long conflict between the Sith and the Jedi. Though in doing so, especially through Rey, the House of Mouse undermined one of the oldest prophecies in the world of that galaxy far, far away.
By that, of course, we’re referring to the destiny of Anakin Skywalker as the Chosen One; a prodigy of the living Force, born of no father, who was supposed to bring balance. While the narrative never really explained what that balance meant, the Jedi interpreted it as the destruction of the Sith, their ancient enemies.
In fact, most fans believed that Anakin – or Darth Vader – already fulfilled his purpose when he tossed Palpatine down the Death Star’s reactor shaft. But as we saw in Episode IX, that wasn’t the end of the phantom Emperor. Sidious, or at least a part of his soul, survived the fall and found its way to Exegol, where Sith loyalists were preparing a new body for him. And though feeble, the dark lord continued to haunt the galaxy for many more years until dying at the hands of Rey and Ben Solo in the last movie of the Skywalker Saga.
The only catch is that the events of the film retcon the prophecy of the Chosen One and Anakin’s life in general. But according to a new theory by the folks at ScreenRant, if you look closely enough, the subtext of the Sequel Trilogy actually depicts the Jakkuvian Scavenger and the son of Han Solo as vessels through which the spirit of Anakin worked to “finish what he had started.”
Okay, that might already seem absolutely far-fetched and crazy, but bear with us as we get to the bottom of this one.
Anakin isn’t really mentioned in any of the Sequels, but you can feel his presence in practically every moment of the journey. As Luke Skywalker himself explains in the new tie-in novel, Secrets of the Jedi, when a light side user constructs their lightsaber, they form a spiritual bond.
“When you’re attuned to the Force, your thoughts and actions all become part of the same flow of energy, which is then directed through the kyber crystal and into your lightsaber’s blade,” the book reads.
And when you think about it, Anakin’s lightsaber is a centerpiece of conflict in the Sequel Trilogy. Rey initially stumbles upon the legendary weapon in Maz Kanata’s cantina, which is also where the Force awakens inside her. As for Kylo Ren, we saw time and again that he was obsessed with the blade, thinking that wielding the Chosen One’s lightsaber was his birthright.
So, was it really the lightsaber that called to Rey in The Force Awakens, or was it actually Anakin’s spirit who knew that the girl would fulfill his destiny? Even the moment in The Last Jedi where Rey and Kylo struggle over the saber is symbolic, painting it as more than just a weapon, but a representation of the Force working through the two of them.
Though perhaps what makes this bit of speculation entirely plausible are the last moments in The Rise of Skywalker, just before Rey gets up to face Palpatine one last time. As the spirits of the Jedi past encourage her to make a stand and lend their strength, we can hear Hayden Christensen’s voice as Anakin, saying: “Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did.”
Poetically enough, it’s through Anakin’s lightsaber that death is dealt to Palpatine, once and for all. So, in essence, it was the weapon, possibly still containing the Chosen One’s spirit, that started this whole journey in The Force Awakens. And in the last moments of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, Rey buries the lightsaber and brandishes a yellow-bladed one that signifies the path of balance, heralding a new era for that galaxy far, far away.