'Rise of Skywalker' leak could confirm a canonical time travel twist

Is the "World Between Worlds" from 'Rebels' making its big screen debut?

The final lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is going to be a big deal. Daisy Ridley has said it will be amazing, and the fight is seemingly important enough to be pretty much the only thing that is happening on the newest poster for the movie. But what will the fight actually be like? How will it be different? New rumors and leaks suggest that Rey and Kylo won’t just be battling across the stars, but maybe, across time itself.

Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.

As recently as five months ago, Reddit rumors suggested that Rey and Kylo Ren will instantly teleport around the galaxy in a “Force Flash” lightsaber fight in The Rise of Skywalker. The idea here is that a “Force Flash” would let you suddenly be on another planet, kind of like long-range beaming in Star Trek, or apparating in Harry Potter. But, as one Redditor has pointed out, a “Force Flash” fight seems like “nonsense.” Why? Well, it’s kind of an unnecessary plot device when the World Between Worlds already exists. To put it another way, maybe Rey and Kylo Ren will have a time travel fight in Episode IX.

Ezra and Ahsoka face Palpatine in the World Between Worlds
Ezra and Ahsoka face Palpatine in the World Between Worlds

If you’re unfamiliar with the World Between Worlds, don’t feel bad. The concept is fairly simple, but, it was introduced into Star Wars canon pretty recently. In an episode of Rebels called “The World Between Worlds” Ezra Bridger found himself in a kind of nether-region between space and time. This allowed him to save Ahsoka Tano from certain death in her duel with Darth Vader a year prior to the events of the episode. To be clear, Ahsoka is alive by the end of Rebels because of legit time travel, and all of this is 100 percent canon. Relevantly, Palpatine was aware of the World Between Worlds in Rebels, and when Ezra walked by various portals, he could hear voices from the entire Star Wars saga, including Kylo Ren’s voice; which, was about 35 years in Ezra’s future.

So, if Rey and Kylo Ren both find the World Between Worlds, it stands to reason that these “leaks” about the “Force Flash” fights will find them battling at all sorts of locations throughout the Star Wars saga, and perhaps, they will exist in those locations at specific times in the past. If true, this could open-up a huge way for all sorts of legacy characters to appear even if those people are dead. Luke Skywalker could show-up via the World Between Worlds and so could Han Solo. This plot device would also neatly explain how Emperor Palpatine is able to return. Just like Ezra pulled Ahsoka out of a deadly fight, maybe one of Palpatine’s goons will pull him through a time portal into the relative present.

Rey on Cloud City in her "Force-Back" vision in 'The Force Awakens.'
Rey on Cloud City in her "Force-Back" vision in 'The Force Awakens.'

Back when J.J. Abrams was writing The Force Awakens with Lawrence Kasdan (and initially, Michael Ardnt), there was apparently a plan to have Rey’s Force-vision be a “tour” through all of Star Wars. This didn’t really make it into that movie, but now, it could be possible that Abrams revisited the idea for the grand finale of the entire saga and actually made it literal, rather than just a vision.

In both of the new trailers, Luke Skywalker has echoed his sentiment from The Last Jed that “no one is ever really gone.” And if Kylo Ren and Rey end of fighting across time as well as space, that phrase will suddenly take on a very literal meaning.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; Rey and Kylo’s excellent adventure will hit theaters on December 20, 2019.

Media via Lucasfilm