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'Star Wars 9' theory draws unexpected connection between Rey and Anakin

Could Dark Rey and Vader's helmet be connected?

Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair

While Kylo Ren communed with his grandfather via Darth Vader’s burnt helmet, Rey has been metaphysically connected to Anakin Skywalker in a different way. Back in The Force Awakens, the blue Skywalker lightsaber “called” to Rey and showed her a dramatic vision of the past and future. While she hasn’t come into contact with any of Anakin’s belongings since, a new theory suggests The Rise of Skywalker* will draw an unexpected connection between Rey and Anakin via Anakin’s helmet. It’s a connection that might just lead to another vision and hint at her new Force powers. Let’s dive in.

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

Whether Anakin will appear as a Force ghost in Episode IX remains to be seen, but his influence on Rey cannot be denied. The first time Rey comes in contact with Anakin’s blue lightsaber in The Force Awakens, she is overcome with several visions. Rey sees Luke, the Knights of Ren, and comes face-to-face with Kylo for the first time. That’s a pretty strong reaction to a lightsaber!

“That lightsaber was Luke’s and his father’s before him. Now, it calls to you,” Maz Kanata says. You can check out the scene in question below.

Reddit user tcartinella recently posted a screenshot of Rey staring deeply at Vader’s old headgear in Rise of Skywalker. A commenter later suggested Rey might touch the helmet, possibly resulting in the much-discussed vision of “Dark Rey”.

Dark Rey first appeared in the D23 trailer for Episode IX. Looking grim while dressed in a dark robe and carrying a red, dual-bladed lightsaber, fans immediately wondered if this was a fakeout, or evidence of an actual Dark turn. One theory posited that she was Palpatine’s clone, while another suggested Rey had finally succumbed to the Dark side. However, one of the prevailing theories is that Dark Rey is nothing more than a vision.

To take this theory a step further, it’s possible Rey has the Force ability of Psychometry, which allows a Force sensitive person to sense past events when in contact with Jedi objects. According to the Star Wars game Jedi: Fallen Order, those with the rare ability of Psychometry are also more susceptible to the Dark side. Another recent canon book, Force Collector, also features this unique ability. Why is the whole galaxy suddenly obsessed with Psychometry?

Rey only saw her visions by touching Anakin’s lightsaber. It’s possible Rey has Psychometry and doesn’t know it. It could explain why she seems to linger on Vader’s helmet in the trailer. Perhaps it’s calling to her the same way the lightsaber once did, and it’s only after she sees the vision of Dark Rey that she destroys Vader’s statue.

Whatever the reason, Rey and Anakin are probably far more connected than we think. We don’t have to wait much longer to see how it all plays out in Episode IX.

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

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