Okay, so apparently the new leading authority on how the Force works is… Freddie Prinze Jr.? In an epic rant on the podcast The Friendship Pod, Prinze Jr. dropped a bunch of epic truth bombs about Star Wars and its fandom that will make anyone with a heart and a brain crack a smile.
But the most interesting aspect of the whole thing is how Prinze Jr. basically explained the whole concept of “balance” in the Force. And, most relevantly, he’s not just making this shit up; he’s telling us what George Lucas explained when he took the part of Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus on the animated 100-percent canon show Star Wars Rebels.
As we process the hilarious beauty of Freddie Prinze Jr.’s Star Wars rant, let’s also meditate on what his words about the Force and balance might mean for the impending end of the saga in The Rise of Skywalker.
As a refresher, here’s the legitimately great rant in full:
Untangling the Force
For those of us who like to debate and think about the Force, something that truly stands out here is how Freddie Prinze Jr. breaks down all of this stuff in a crystal clear way, which George Lucas and various members of the Lucasfilm Story Group have never succeeded in doing. I’m not saying people haven’t tried to explain this before, or that Prinze Jr. is inventing new canon. Instead, what’s great here is his ease in explaining that the Force, as Luke said in The Last Jedi, is not a power you have. None of it is about power. It’s more like a Force of nature.
Specifically, Prinze Jr. points out that the Emperor was aware that the Force would not be cool with him straight-up killing Anakin, so instead Palpatine seduced Anakin. In response, to restore balance, the Force created the Skywalker twins. In essence, whatever the good guys or the bad guys do, the Force will try to compensate for it. Prinze Jr. implies that once you know this, you can figure out who is going to win in The Rise of Skywalker in each specific fight.
What does this mean for Kylo Ren and Rey?
If you’re a hardcore Rebels fan, you know that Freddie Prinze Jr. played Kanan Jarrus, one of the few Jedi who actually survived Order 66. In the podcast, he points out that Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni is basically George Lucas’ lore Padawan, and that Prinze Jr. learned everything about the Force from both of them. Recent rumors claim George Lucas may have been heavily involved in developing the mythology of both The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker. So how will this impact the two biggest Force-users — Rey and Kylo Ren — right now? And what about Luke and Palpatine?
Well, from a certain point of view, one wild theory about Luke Skywalker’s sacrifice in The Last Jedi suddenly makes a lot of sense. Essentially, this theory claims Luke sacrificed himself in Last Jedi, thus setting the Force off balance and allowing Palpatine to return. If true, that could suggest that Palpatine himself could bring balance to the Force.
Prinze Jr.’s comments might also help to explain Rey and Kylo Ren’s place in the Force, as well as their connection to each other. In The Last Jedi, Luke suggested that for a while after Return of the Jedi, there was “balance.” Then Ben Solo was born. It’s pretty obvious that Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is about a decade older than Rey. It seems possible the Force created Rey to offset the impact of Ben Solo after he started showing Dark side inclinations.
All of this suggests a larger question: Do Kylo and Rey together actually represent balance? If that’s true, then the problem isn’t Kylo and Rey but all these other jokers around them. So perhaps Kylo Ren was right; he and Rey do need to team up. Right now, they are pretty much the only two people in this Force balancing game who have even the slightest hope of having a conversation that doesn’t have to end in a lightsaber duel.
Bearing Prinze Jr.’s criteria in mind, that means the winner of the Rey and Kylo Ren duel in The Rise of Skywalker should be … nobody?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Did Freddie Call It? is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.