Star Wars: Episode 7 was a lot of things, a new beginning, a new hope and in many ways, an old story. One might scoff at that last bit as much has been made of the films seemingly unapologetic basic retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope. However, while that film had its ups and downs, it also featured many Star Wars and general epic fantasy tropes.
Beware from here on, spoilers abound.
I explained to some friends right after seeing the film on opening night, my sister and I had discussed a theory on the long drive home. You see while the story set up Rey as a good character, which at that point, she is. She has no real knowledge of her background. She cannot remember much of her young life before being left on that desolate planet. But what quickly becomes apparent is how powerful Rey is. Rey in many discussions has drawn the ire of many a fan of storytelling as many complain she is a Mary Sue. I was always dumbfounded by this as we have always in fictional history, had random all powerful characters be they male or female, but this one seemed to strike a chord with people more than most.
Kylo on the other hand, while we get a very clear sense he has a mastery of the force and is himself a strong character. We see much more conflict in him throughout Episode 7. And many a fan have pointed out that once he killed Han Solo, he was past the point of no return. But it is made clear that even after doing so the young Ben Solo is still very much conflicted. Hold on to this little piece of storytelling information.
Going back to Rey, Rey goes through some trial in Episode 7 but through each instance, what becomes abundantly clear is there are no real obstacles for her. To the point that even after Kylo has previously bested her, in the final fight, her natural power is too much for him.
Where am I going with this? why is it important?
Well, storytelling 101, you never give your hero a clear advantage over their main foe. To do so is to kill any possible tension for the audience. What the first film established is Rey was clearly the naturally stronger of the 2 force sensitive characters and much more, that given time to master it, she ould have no problem facing off against Ben.
Now comes the information from the new Episode 8 Trailer
The new trailer for Episode 8: The Last jedi, begins with what appears to be dialogue between Snoke and someone else. Or rather, Snoke speaking of someone else, initially, the imagery shows Kylo, which can lead many to surmize he is referring to Kylo. He says “When I found you, I saw raw untamed power. And beyond that… something truly Special” and then we see the following image:
Now many begin to think there is no way this is possible, this idea that Rey could be Snokes ultimate plan and that she indeed could turn to the dark side. Now stay with me, this is where it gets pretty simple, the trailer outlines Luke fearing her raw strength. It then outlines that at some point we will see Snoke putting Rey in a precarious position. In the trailer, which could have been much more misleadingly edited, he says “fulfill your destiny.”
Earlier in the trailer we also see a scene with Luke and Rey both wet, at first we see Luke on his back with Rey out of frame, he says “this is not going to go the way you think” later on we see the below shot:
We cannot deny there is a lot not being shown, even leading up to the final misdirect. The scene that appears to show Rey talking to Kylo. Afterwhich we see him reaching his hand out. Those are two clearly different scenes. One might surmise Rey is talking to Luke earlier in the film, which leads to the question, who is Kylo reaching his hand out to? This is where I begin to bring in my own opinion and surmize he might be reaching out for his mothers hand. You see, even though earlier in the trailer we get the sense there is a scene where he might be targeting her, I do feel that scene is total misdirect, even if true, we see him hesitate.
Now going back to what I originally said about Reys raw strength and Kylo not being a proper foe for her. Lets consider for a moment the logical conclusion that could be playing out when you consider story beats. a Skywalker seemingly on a redemption arc not unlike his grand father, a force sensitive user who has such raw strength their only logical arc is to be tempted and fall to the dark side. What we might get is Rey turning to the dark side. Kylo trying but failing to save Leia. The film ending with the Snoke and Rey having won the day against the rebellion but with Kylo now firmly set against them and Luke… the ever evolving jedi, completing his arc and growing into the grey Jedi… the last Jedi. This would mean Luke and Kylo vs Snoke and Rey in the epic conclusion of this story path.
Surely it makes much more sense if they are to make a film unlike Empire Strikes Back but with a similar sense of darkness and dread, a film that ends on a far more hopeless note than expected but that sets up our heroes to complete their arcs, and our most powerful characters to be the seemingly insurmountable foes they will have to overcome.
Yes, this is all speculation. But again I remind you, storytelling 101, there is no point in a finale that sees Rey and Kylo face off unless Kylo needs to overcome Rey. The clearly more powerful of the two.