though I’m one of those fans who abjectly loved the film
Rey is the living embodiment of the Force. We’ve trod this path before. If Anakin had no father, biblical allusions aside, Rey had no parents to speak of.
My thinking is that the Force (whether a sentient entity or not) is constantly striving to establish balance, and in attempting to do so, it occasionally embodies a certain individual with powers and destiny. But it’s a messy process, and it often over corrects, and then it must offer up a course correction…
If we’re to believe Shmi, Anakin was born without a father. A living child of the Force, destined to bring balance to it.
Now, most people assume that Anakin fully realized his destiny to bring balance to the Force when he killed the Emperor.
My thinking, echoed somewhat by Luke in Episode 8, is that the Jedi’s notion of balance is all messed up. Balance is not the eradication of the dark. That’s absurd. Balance is equilibrium between the light and the dark.
Which might actually mean that Anakin’s destruction of the Jedi Order WAS him bringing about balance. Chew on that.
Anyway, as I said, the way I see it, the Force is engaged in this constant tug-of-war, trying to balance things out.
Anakin tipped things too far to the dark side, and so Luke was fated to bring things back to the light. But then Luke decided to establish his Jedi academy, and created an imbalance in favor of the light.
Thus, Kylo was imbued with great power by the Force to correct against Luke, and now Rey is being used to correct against Kylo. And Snoke has some role in there somewhere, who knows where.
May of us thought, or hoped, that Rey would be revealed as Luke’s daughter in the last film. That would have been a mistake.
I never liked the idea of her being Luke’s daughter.
My thinking was that she would turn out to be Han and Leia’s daughter. Sent to train at Luke’s academy at an early age, and presumed dead after the scouring by Kylo and his knights. (But Kylo could not bring himself to kill his sister and, secretly, he deposited her on a distant planet.)
And Han and Leia didn’t recognize her because they think she’s dead, and they haven’t seen her in ~15 years. It would also explain why Han took such a shine to her—she reminded him of his long-dead daughter.
It’s a much neater explanation than her being Luke’s daughter, I think.
But her being born of the Force works, too, so I ain’t even mad about that.
Kylo Ren will go down in defeat with no redemption — he’s made his bed and cannot turn back
So, I have this idea for how Kylo could be given a mild sort of semi-redemption, and also give Leia a fitting sendoff all at the same time.
If you’re willing to indulge me in some light fanfiction:
Open with Leia leaving the Resistance base on a ship, alone. (A double filmed from behind; we never see her face. This, to me, seems more respectful than a CGI double.)
She leaves a message for Poe and the others saying that she has been inspired by Luke’s last words to her — that no one is ever truly lost. As shattered as the Resistance is, they have no hope of fighting back, and she is making one last-ditch effort to try and confront her son and turn him away from the dark.
Leia’s ship drops out of hyperspace near a First Order star destroyer. On the bridge, an ensign alerts General Hux that they are being hailed. Leia demands to speak with her son.
In his quarters, Kylo senses his mother’s presence. He has thought her dead since his attack on her ship (which is why he was so willing to “let the past die,” he already thought his past was dead), and this is the first time he realizes she is still alive. He heads for the bridge.
Hux orders his men to open fire.
Leia’s ship is obliterated just as Kylo reaches the bridge.
Kylo ignites his saber and attacks. Hux is saved by a new group of Praetorian guards (or by the Knights of Ren themselves?).
Either Kylo or Hux flees the ship.
Kylo and Hux are now enemies, each commanding about half the loyalty of the First Order’s troops.
And we now have a three-pronged war. Kylo vs Hux vs the Resistance.
(Mostly this is because I don’t see how the Resistance, in its weakened state, can take on the First Order. But if the Resistance sits back and allows the First Order to cannibalize themselves from the inside out…)
Kylo is victorious over Hux. This gives him a redemption of sorts, but in the end, he still refuses to turn away from the dark side, and we end with a showdown between him and Rey.