'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' Photo Teases the Next Big Lightsaber Battle

Rey battles Kylo Ren.

Kylo Ren and Rey didn’t see eye-to-eye in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it looks like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will pit them against each other once more. A new photo reveals the film will contain their third, and possibly most epic, lightsaber battle. What does this awesome new picture reveal about Star Wars: Episode IX? Here’s what we know so far.

Vanity Fair released the first exclusive look at The Rise of Skywalker, along with several new promotional stills, including a host of new characters from the film. One of the photos revealed Rey and Kylo battling with lightsabers against the backdrop of a raging storm on an unfamiliar planet. (You can find an enlarged version of the photo here.)

There’s been a lot of speculation that Rey’s parents weren’t junk traders after all and that she is actually a Skywalker. This would retcon on Rian Johnson’s take, but the title of the film is hard to ignore. The Rise of Skywalker definitely seems to signify a major reveal in terms of Rey’s lineage (or it could be a misdirect).

If Rey does turn out to be a Skywalker, perhaps Kylo will admit the truth during this lightsaber fight. Besides being on opposing sides, the potential impact of a reveal would definitely make it all the more intense, even though Kylo is not to be trusted. There’s even a theory that Rey is Kylo’s half sister and that Rey’s mother is none other than Qi’ra from Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Vanity Fair further teases the connection between the two characters and how it’ll “run even deeper than we thought.” That doesn’t tell us much, but that deeper connection might be revealed in the midst of this confrontation. And what deeper connection could they have besides being unknowingly related? It could prove similar to Luke and Leia’s story and would help to explain a lot.

In comparison to the lightsaber battles that came before, it’s important to note that Rey is using Luke’s lightsaber while Kylo is fighting with Darth Vader’s. In that respect, it’s hard to miss the parallels between this fight (right down to the framing) with Luke and Vader’s lightsaber battle from The Empire Strikes Back.

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Luke vs. Vader in 'Empire Strikes Back'

After all, Luke learned the truth of his parentage during that fight and Rey could find hers out as well. The fact that Rey is able to wield Luke’s lightsaber at all is important, though maybe not for the reasons we think.

Additionally, this battle between Kylo and Rey mirrors their original battle in The Force Awakens where they duked it out in a snowy setting. In their first clash, Kylo attempts to draw the lightsaber towards him. In a twist, however, Rey was able to use the Force to bring it towards her.

Though the films never fully explain her abilities with the Force, it’s implied that she could be more powerful than Kylo even without the backing of the Skywalker name. And while it’s tough to see where and when this lightsaber duel takes place, it’s sure to be an intense conflict that could reveal one of the biggest mysteries in the Star Wars sequels trilogy.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.