Rey and Kylo Ren are two of the most important characters in Star Wars’ Skywalker saga. But which of these characters is the Chosen One?
In less than two weeks, it’s finally happening: the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars franchise is coming to an end. With the release of Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker just weeks away, it’s time to start really coming to terms with what this movie could reveal – not only about the characters we’ve come to know and love in the past two movies, but the characters and prophecies and lore we’ve known across eight, soon to be nine sprawling films.
A prophecy that played a prominent role in the prequel trilogy concerned the notion of a Chosen One, who would bring balance to the Force once and for all. It was suspected to be Anakin Skywalker, who eventually fell to the dark and became Darth Vader. And at the end of Return of the Jedi, Vader did briefly restore balance to the Force. But with the sequel trilogy, the Force is imbalanced once again. So who will be the Chosen One once and for all? It has to be either Rey or Kylo Ren. Here’s why.
REY: Comes From Humble Beginnings
Much like Anakin Skywalker decades before her, Rey is a powerful Force user who hails from humble desert origins. A young woman of unknown birth and incredible strength, Rey has become an invaluable member of the fight to save the galaxy in a very short period of time – even faster than Anakin did, when he spent years training to become a Jedi.
Rey’s humble beginnings are also more significant than Anakin’s, as he was born through some bizarre Force conception involving midichlorians and tons of prequel lore the series would be best to avoid returning to. Rey is a true underdog, and everyone loves an underdog.
KYLO: Comes From A Heroic Background
Not only do people love underdogs. They also love to see the legacy of characters they once loved carry on into the next generation with those characters’ children, no matter how troubled they may be. Kylo Ren, the man once known as Ben Solo, has had a troubled life at best.
But he hails from the legacy of galactic heroes General Leia Organa and Han Solo, one of the most powerful and famous couples in the history of the galaxy as we know it. This boy has had decades of expectation and hope placed upon his shoulders, purely for his bloodline, and even Rey herself admits in The Last Jedi that Kylo, or Ben, may very well be the galaxy’s last hope.
REY: Sees The Good & Bad In All People
After all that Rey has endured in her young life, whether being sold off for drinking money by her parents, who were apparently nothing but filthy junk traders, or scavenging to survive in the deserts of Jakku, it would be understandable for her to become jaded and cold.
And though Rey has her moments of justified rage and pain, she still manages to see people as fully human, as complex, and as both good and bad. No matter what may present itself on the surface, Rey has the strength of compassion and character to look deeper, and try to understand everyone she interacts with, no matter their differences.
KYLO: May Have Restored Balance
The Chosen One was always meant to bring balance to the Force once and for all. And in a truly dark way, isn’t that what Kylo Ren has tried to do so far over the course of his journey? In The Last Jedi, he is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for the demise of the older, powerful dark and powerful light represented by Supreme Leader Snoke and Luke Skywalker.
It’s Kylo, too, who suggests it’s time to let old things die, to move on from the dichotomy of the Sith and the Jedi, and embrace a world that is perhaps more grey – and, even, more balanced, too
REY: Untrained, But Stronger Than She Knows
Rey’s impressive use of the Force is something that shocked viewers all over the world, given her total lack of training. In The Last Jedi, Rey further refined and honed her skills, both in her brief training with Luke on Ahch-To and through her intimate Force Bond with Kylo Ren.
And as the movies have progressed, Rey has become stronger and stronger, through training of all forms. The promotional materials for The Rise of Skywalker have shown briefly spoilery glimpses of Rey using Force powers we haven’t yet seen in the previous movies, showing that her command of the Force is truly becoming something to behold.
KYLO: One Of The Strongest Force Users Ever
But though Rey may be incredibly powerful, it’s entirely likely that Kylo Ren might just be the strongest living Force user right now. Rey may have defeated him on Starkiller Base at the end of The Force Awakens, but she only managed to do so due to Kylo Ren’s severely injured, struggling, and bleeding state.
Kylo Ren has displayed command of the Force in ways never seen in the franchise so far, including stopping blaster bolts mid air, a deeper use and understanding of mind probing, and brutal and brilliant combat skills. Kylo Ren is ruthless, and it’s that brutal strength that the galaxy may need to save itself.
REY: Powerful Light Drawn To The Dark
Though many fans like to wrongly act as though Rey is a character full of nothing but sunshine and flowers, from day one, Rey has been a character full of rage and suffering. She may be drawn to the light by nature, but there’s a darkness within Rey, too – one that is especially apparent in moments of combat.
Whether she’s preparing to strike Kylo Ren down on Starkiller Base, or turning the tables on Luke on Ahch-To after learning of his failing Kylo Ren, Rey has the power to embrace the darkness and the rage inside of her that no other Jedi has shown so far. And therefore, she may represent a balanced future.
KYLO: Powerful Darkness Drawn To The Light
Just as Rey represents a powerful member of the light side with the potential to turn toward the darkness, Kylo Ren embodies the conflict of a man who has sworn himself to the dark side, but finds himself relentlessly called back toward the light.
Even before the profoundly meaningful connection he forges with Rey in The Last Jedi, Kylo admits in The Force Awakens that he is struggling with feeling “the pull to the light.” He only kills Han Solo in hopes of quashing the light inside of him once and for all – but as Snoke observes, it failed, and left him more torn than ever before. Kylo Ren talks a big game, but deep down, the light inside of him will never go away, allowing him to embrace a more balanced world view, too.
REY: She’s The Last Jedi
The Chosen One is a heavy mantle to bear, and a weighty title to be given. That’s why it’s a good thing that Rey already has experience in dealing with high pressure situation and lofty expectations, given the fact that she is now, in fact, the last remnant of the Jedi Order.
Following Luke Skywalker’s death, Rey remains the last member of the Jedi serving and protecting the galaxy against all odds. She is the hope for the future, the protector the galaxy needs, and possibly the Chosen One who will save everyone once and for all.
KYLO: He’s The Last Skywalker
The title of last Jedi is certainly a compelling case for Rey being the Chosen One, but there’s another fact that’s impossible to ignore. The saga of Star Wars is the saga of the Skywalker family. And given Leia’s perhaps sadly inevitable demise, Kylo Ren remains the last of the Skywalker bloodline.
It’s only a matter of time before Kylo Ren truly remembers and accepts the boy he once was, and becomes the man he was destined to be. Ben Solo is returning in The Rise of Skywalker, and when he does, it might be as the Chosen One who is destined to save the day.