“May the Force be with you.” It’s an iconic line that’s been repeated throughout the Star Wars franchise. But the Force is the furthest thing from an exact science, meaning there’s always room to introduce new powers and abilities. With that in mind, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams recently teased the introduction of a potentially divisive Force power that may have already been revealed in a previous leak.
Possible spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The thing that stands out the most in The Rise of Skywalker trailers is Rey and Kylo Ren’s ongoing duel. They’re seen fighting atop the Death Star and presumably on the planet Kijimi. Much of their location-hopping battle seems to confirm the Making Star Wars leak from a while back, which suggested that Rey and Kylo would partake in a galaxy-spanning “Force flash” duel. It’s essentially a more violent leveling-up of their Force bond sequences from The Last Jedi.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Abrams confirmed that The Rise of Skywalker would introduce new Force powers that would “infuriate some people and thrill others”. Could this rumored “Force flash” power be the new ability J.J. Abrams was teasing in Episode IX?
As Abrams explains it, he wanted to bring fans something completely new and exciting. Including a lightsaber duel would be very much in keeping with franchise tradition, and throwing in the “Force flash” aspect of it offers up a new twist. Perhaps that’s what Abrams was going for all along.
“We wanted to make sure that this picture also showed aspects of the Force in ways that go beyond what you’ve seen before,” he said.
After all, teleporting while connected would simply be an extension of Kylo and Rey’s Force bond, which already includes physically connecting across space, as we saw during the moment they touched hands in The Last Jedi. So why does Abrams think that would anger some fans and delight others? Rey and Kylo gaining new Force powers as a unit will likely please those who ship the two of them, but those who oppose the union might be put off.
There’s also a chance Abrams might be referring to another Force power: Psychometry. The ability was included in both the Jedi: Fallen Order video game and the canon book, Soul Collector. It’s a rare gift that grants a Force-sensitive person the ability to sense past events when in contact with ancient Jedi objects. We know that Rey will be in the same room as Darth Vader’s old helmet, and her Force Awakens vision prompted by the Skywalker saber may have been an example of it, so the possibility is there.
Then there’s the fact that Rey makes some seemingly impossible leaps and jumps in the Episode IX trailer, hinting that this new ability may have something to do with flying. That’s not a stretch, either considering Leia did something similar in The Last Jedi, hovering in space for a bit before flying back onto her ship. Whether these nifty new Force tricks are some combination of these, or all three, we don’t have much longer to wait before finding out.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20.