- "I know you."
"No one does."
"But I do."
- ―Kylo Ren and Rey
In 35 ABY, the Jedi apprentice Rey and her companions, Chewbacca, Poe Dameron and Finn, undertook a mission to the Kef Bir moon in the Endor system. Having acquired a Sith relic at Kijimi, the Resistance team discovered the location of the wayfinder that belonged to the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Determined to gain the object that would lead them to the Sith world of Exegol, Rey entered the ruins of the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station alone and found the wayfinder in the Emperor's Throne Room.
However, Rey was followed to Kef Bir by Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, who destroyed the wayfinder in the hope of pushing the former scavenger to the dark side of the Force. A lightsaber duel ensued between Ren and Rey, the grandson of Darth Vader and the granddaughter of Darth Sidious, respectively. During the fight, Ren's focus wavered as he sensed the death of his mother, Princess Leia Organa, across the galaxy, allowing Rey to pierce him with his own lightsaber. Realizing that anger had driven her actions, Rey used the Force to heal Ren before departing from Kef Bir, seeking exile on Ahch-To. The connection between them, along with the loss of Ren's mother and the memory of his father, Han Solo, ultimately restored Ben Solo to the light side of the Force.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
- "The Jedi apprentice still lives. Perhaps you have betrayed me. Do not make me turn my fleet against you."
"I know where she's going. She'll never be a Jedi."
"Make sure of it. Kill her."
- ―Darth Sidious and Kylo Ren
During the First Order/Resistance War, the Resistance sent a team in 35 ABY to acquire a Sith wayfinder containing the coordinates of Exegol, a hidden Sith world where the Emperor Darth Sidious plotted his return to power. The team, consisting of the Jedi apprentice Rey, Chewbacca, Commander Poe Dameron and Finn, traveled to the desert planet Pasaana where they discovered an old Sith dagger. The inscription on this melee weapon revealed the location of the Emperor's wayfinder, but the item ultimately fell into the First Order's possession before the Resistance could analyze it.
However, the group's protocol droid, C-3PO, had stored the blade's Sith code in his memory banks but was unable to decipher it due to a programming block that prohibited the translation of the Sith language. Seeking to override the block, the group made their way to Kijimi, a planet under occupation by the First Order military. With the help of Babu Frik, they bypassed the droid's programming and discovered that the wayfinder was located on a moon in the Endor system, where the Galactic Civil War effectively ended.
In the course of their journey, however, Rey learned the truth of her identity from Supreme Leader Kylo Ren—her connection to the Force was inherited from Darth Sidious, her grandfather. Having learned about her lineage and that Sidious was responsible for the deaths of Rey's father and mother, Rey vowed to complete her mission and destroy the Emperor. Knowing of Rey's next destination, Ren followed the Jedi apprentice to Kef Bir, determined to turn her to the dark side of the Force so that they could overthrow Sidious and rule the galaxy together.
Mission[edit | edit source]
The lost company[edit | edit source]
- "They told us to fire on civilians. We wouldn't do it. We laid our weapons down."
- ―Jannah, to Finn
Following a difficult landing on Kef Bir due to the damaged struts of the Millennium Falcon, Rey's team encountered Jannah and a band of warriors. They were, in fact, stormtroopers that deserted the First Order. Finn, another deserter of the Stormtrooper Corps, discovered a kindred spirit in Jannah, both having refused orders to kill unarmed civilians.
Jannah and her warriors had expected the arrival of Rey's team, having received a transmission from Babu Frik identifying them as "the last hope." Leading the new arrivals to the resting site of the Death Star ruins, Jannah advised crossing the ocean on the following day, but time was of the essence for Dameron, who convinced the former stormtroopers to help with repairs to the Millennium Falcon. However, Rey continued the mission on her own, commandeering a skimmer to reach the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station while her team was distracted with repairing their starship. Her companions were divided over their next course of action, with Dameron wanting to finish the work on the Falcon while Finn insisted on following Rey. They ultimately went separate ways as Finn convinced Jannah to help him reach the Death Star by using a second skimmer.
Journey into the past[edit | edit source]
- "Don't be afraid of who you are."
- ―The dark mirror of Rey
Meanwhile, Rey climbed her way through the wreckage of the fallen battle station, an experience that reminded her of her past as a scavenger exploring abandoned Star Destroyers in the desert of Jakku. After making her way to the Emperor's Throne Room, she felt a dark presence beckoning her from an adjacent chamber which housed the wayfinder that she sought. Rey took the artifact, but was also confronted by a vision of herself, clothed in a black hood and robes, armed with a red hinged double-bladed lightsaber, and consumed by the dark side of the Force. Attacked by the dark mirror of her, Rey fought back using the Skywalker lightsaber until she stumbled backward, falling out of the chamber and dropping the wayfinder.
The wayfinder slid across the floor to Kylo Ren. Despair choked at Rey; the dark vision of her future and the sudden appearance of her nemesis caused Rey to fear that destiny brought them together in this moment. Ren had come to Rey without his mask and Rey had a feeling that she would never see him wear it again. Ren's tone betrayed his contempt for Rey's desperation to prove herself as a Jedi to her mentor—his mother, General Leia Organa. Ren believed that Rey could never return to Organa, as he could not either, due to their Sith heritage. Believing the dark side was in their nature, he urged her to surrender to its power. Rey demanded that Ren return the wayfinder to her, even going so far as to attempt a mind trick on him out of desperation. It had no effect on him. Panic surged through Rey as she sensed her adversary's intentions. Ren crushed the wayfinder with his hand, declaring that Rey would never reach Exegol without him.
Battle of the dyad[edit | edit source]
- "The only way you're getting to Exegol is with me."
- ―Kylo Ren, to Rey
A hot, primal rage rose inside of Rey like volcanic magma. She and her friends had traveled halfway across the galaxy, endured various life-threatening perils, just to find the wayfinder. She screamed as she erupted forward, swinging her lightsaber. Ren's initial response was sidestep Rey's blade instead of fighting back, further enraging Rey, now lost to her fury. Drawing more power from the Force, her attacks increased with speed, forcing Ren to bring his own lightsaber to bear. Rey grew increasingly ferocious and desperate to hit Ren just once, but the Supreme Leader continued to counter all of her attacks while matching her in ferocity. He eventually gave ground, jumping down into a shaft with Rey pursuing him without hesitation.
The duel continued outside on the Death Star wreckage, near a massive gun turret looming over them. As the two Force wielders fought on a bridge-like hunk of metal only meters wide, Rey sensed that Finn was approaching their location. Though oblivious to the danger of the ocean raging around them, an instinctive need to protect her friends dominated Rey's senses. Reaching out through the Force, she pushed the former stormtrooper away, sending him flying backward and leaping to another section of the wreckage with Ren now in pursuit of her. She continued to pour more of her energy into her next attacks, determined to keep fighting until either she or Ren was dead, though ultimately she could not break through his guard. As time wore on, Ren's counterattack strikes grew in strength, sending shivers through Rey's arms. Nevertheless, she welcomed the sensation as a distraction from thoughts of her Sith heritage.
Rey stood her ground as Ren began fighting back, pushing against her power with his own Force energy. The effort of matching Ren's power was physically taxing for Rey, whose temples began to throb with pain. They also sparred telepathically, with Ren intimating that he knew Rey despite her belief that no one knew her. It became clear to Rey that, despite being a little faster than Ren, she could not match him in physical strength the longer the duel continued. As the ocean reached a high tide, it sent a colossal wave toward the two Force users. Rey leapt away using the Force to propel her to a safe distance before the wave came crashing down, and for a moment she thought Ren had been washed away. Ren withstood the wave, however, and advanced toward Rey with unerring calm.
Rey resumed her attack but moved slower, having become fatigued from the duel as well as sleep deprivation and her earlier use of the Force to heal the wounds of a vexis on Pasaana, whereas Ren was in top fighting form. By now Ren had gone on the offense, using a series of physically powerful blows to break down Rey's defense. Looming above the scavenger, Ren raised his saber once more and, in that moment, Rey was convinced he would kill her. Ren froze before he could follow through with the attack, his gaze becoming distant as he sensed his mother's presence through the Force. She was dying, but with her last breath she called out her son's birth name, pouring all of her love and forgiveness for him into the Force in a final attempt to turn him back to the light side of the Force.
Distracted by his mother's passing and forgotten memories of his childhood, Ren dropped his lightsaber which fell into the hand of Rey, who also sensed Organa's death but only after she stabbed Ren in the chest with his own weapon. The realization that her master was gone came as a shock to Rey, replacing her anger with sorrow. Realizing that she had given into every emotion that she had been trained to reject as a Jedi, Rey felt regret over her actions and further realized that she had no desire to see Ren die. She therefore turned to the Force, using it to transfer much of her life energy to Ren in the hope of saving him. The wound had been mortal, and so it required much of her power to repair the damage, but in that moment Rey was prepared to give her life for Ren. Once the wound was fully healed, Rey confessed that she had wanted to accept his hand—Ben Solo's hand. She then fled from the Death Star wreckage, commandeering Kylo Ren's TIE whisper to leave Kef Bir.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
- "Hey, kid. I miss you, son."
"Your son is dead."
"No. Kylo Ren is dead. My son is alive."
- ―Han Solo and Ben Solo
The revelation of her Sith heritage, combined with Organa's death, drove Rey to follow in Luke Skywalker's example by going into self-imposed exile on Ahch-To. Her companions returned to the Resistance base on Ajan Kloss, where they learned of Organa's fate. Ren, who was still on Kef Bir, was confronted by a memory of his father, forcing him to relive the last time they saw each other. The vision of Han Solo told his son that he loved him, leading Kylo Ren to cast his Sith lightsaber into the ocean and become Ben Solo once more. Having reclaimed his former identity by renouncing the dark side, Ben embarked on his path to redemption with a newfound purpose: to find and protect Rey.
Despite losing Kylo Ren as a result of Organa's sacrifice, Sidious seized direct control of the First Order and its assets through Allegiant General Enric Pryde, who pledged fealty to the Emperor he once served. With the combined might of the First Order and the Sith Eternal at his command, Sidious broadcasted an ultimatum to the galaxy, demanding that all worlds submit to the Final Order or be destroyed. However, Rey's exile was brief as—with the guidance of the Force spirit of Luke Skywalker—she resolved to confront her grandfather and prevent the return of the Sith. Using Darth Vader's wayfinder that she recovered from Ren's starfighter, Rey navigated the path to Exegol where the decisive battle would be fought.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The scenes of the mission were filmed in England in November 2019. According to Daisy Ridley, the lightsaber fight between Rey and Kylo Ren were physically the most challenging to do for her as in contrast to other lightsaber duels from the trilogy. They were doused with water cannons the whole time, aside that it was very cold as well due to climatic change.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Official Collector's Edition
- The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- "The Final Order and the Battle of Exegol" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- (Picture only)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker as taking place one year after the Starkiller Incident, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY. Therefore, the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker must take place in 35 ABY.
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The Official Collector's Edition