Turns out, by the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey did embrace at least one thing she learned from her vision of "Dark Rey." The forthcoming novelization reveals Rey's inspiration for her new yellow lightsaber is directly linked to her earlier interaction with her Dark Side self. But instead of making all of this more complicated, this passage actually clarifies a plot hole that left fans grumbling.
Feel the dark side! Spoilers and speculation ahead.
Even though Rae Carson's novelization of The Rise of Skywalker doesn't hit booksellers until March 17 (alongside the digital release of the film) advanced copies have already hit conventions, creating a supernova of new Episode IX retcon flooding the hyperspace lanes of the internet. Over on Reddit, users pointed out the book says Rey's new yellow lightsaber is not actually finished: she plans on making it a folded, double-bladed sucker, just like the one she saw her Dark Side doppelganger carrying. Here's the passage from the book:
She eyed the unfinished lightsaber on her workbench. It wasn't ready yet, and the one she'd painstakingly repaired — Luke's — didn't belong to her. So her quarterstaff would have to suffice as a weapon. Which was just fine. It had served her well on Jakku for years. In fact, someday, once she had mastered this lightsaber-building business, she might design one that felt like a quarterstaff in her hand. Familiar and hefty. Two business ends. Maybe with a hinge in the middle for portability.
Notably, this takes place early on in the book (pages 30 and 31) and is focused mostly on explaining how Rey fixed Luke Skywalker's family lightsaber. So, this explains outright why that hinged lightsaber from her dark vision was so detailed. In her mind's eye, she was already planning on building a saber that looked almost exactly the one Dark Rey carried.
Before the film was released, several fans argued that Dark Rey could not have been a mere vision, because the double-bladed saber was such a specific piece of machinery. Now, the novelization makes it clear that Rey had been envisioning the look and feel of this exact variety of weapon. This means it makes perfect sense that her vision of a Dark Side version of herself would have such a specific foldable saber.
Now, while some fans might complain that this is one more example ofThe Rise of Skywalker failing to tell the story in the movie, maybe calm down for a minute? A scene in which Rey is looking a workbench and thinking about different lightsaber designs probably wouldn't have been very fun to watch, but it works great in prose.
What's more, in both versions of the story, this checks out with what we know about Rey. Most of her mechanical expertise comes from being a scavenger. The book points out that Rey basically had to teach herself how to fix the lightsaber, which would have also been true of all her other gear, pre- Force Awakens.
Rey's plan for a double-bladed lightsaber is a detail better suited for the prose version of Rise of Skywalker. The novel allows us insight into Rey's thoughts in a way we couldn't have in the film. A voice-over would have been deeply weird, and chattering about her lightsaber plans at length could have pushed the already fan-service-y Rise of Skywalker even deeper into the narrative muck than it was already. It's realistic that Rey kept her plans to herself, and we saw a version of those plans in the nightmare vision of Dark Rey.
This new reveal reminds us that some of missing plot points in The Rise of Skywalker are extremely cool, despite all the naysayers. But sometimes stretching out every detail just doesn't make sense for a movie.