Star Wars: The Force Versus Anti-Force

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Some of you may have seen the recent trailer released for The Rise of Skywalker.  Many of the images hinted at happenings in the movie (trailer. Duh), but what if something much bigger is going on?  One shot in particular caught my attention.  When something else in that shot was noticed by others it took my narrow thought and ballooned it into a much bigger notion.  We all think the final battle will be between Rey/Kylo and Darth Sidious, but what if more is going on?  What if in fact this final confrontation is a war over the true balance of the force?

The Biggest Shot from the Trailer

The shot I referred to was the shot most people are talking about, but for much different reasons.  In the shot below, Rey and Kylo strike down in unison SOMETHING.  The outlines don’t show what it is because it does not look like any type of droid or person.  In all likelihood the thing being shattered could simply be a pillar of some sort.  Except the very top appears to bear the outline of Darth Vader’s ruined helmet.  I think the first thought we all had was, why are Rey and Kylo/Ben working together? 

Kylo and Rey destroy Vader's pillar
Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

As I wrote my breakdown for the trailer, I paused the shot on this picture.  I noticed something that took me back to old interviews of George Lucas.  George so steeped Star Wars in the vein of modern mythology that almost everything happened for a reason, including color. 

The Color of Truth

A perfect example is Luke’s journey not only through the force, but his outfits as well.  In A New Hope, Luke wore the innocence of white.  Training begins and he changed into his neutral browns, but when the final test of his Jedi knighthood begins, we see him in all black.  Not until he throws his lightsaber away and swears his fealty to the Jedi that the top flap comes open and we see the white that was always there, symbolizing the purity and goodness once more.

If you note, Rey underwent a similar transformation with her outfits.  The path may not feel the same, but here we are at her final battle and she wears all white.  In this shot of her and Kylo take a good look at it but in a general sense.  On the left we see a warrior clothed in white.  On the right we see the antithesis, a warrior donning pure black.  Together the figures in pure white and pure black strike down the pedestal of Darth Vader (for lack of better name).  In and of itself this is a beautiful philosophical shot, but then came the next game changing tidbit.

The Dagger of Mortis

The Son from Mortis
The Son weilds the dagger of Mortis

I must have watched the trailer 20 times, but it was not until one of other THS writers shared an article that things in that scene really changed for me.  Rey held a dagger in that shot that went unnoticed.  Why would a Jedi with a lightsaber also wield a non-energy blade of any kind?  Could this be the Dagger of Mortis?

Director JJ Abrams stated several times that he will draw from all areas of the Star Wars lore for this final movie.  The Dagger of Mortis brings us back to Season 3 of the Clone Wars animated series.  The dagger is an extremely powerful weapon used to keep the force in balance even to its tragic endings.  This would be an amazing inclusion by JJ if it is indeed truly the Dagger of Mortis.  At this point I began to wonder if we as an audience were looking at the events of Episode IX in too small of terms.  What if instead of Rey/Kylo versus Sidious, this was instead a war between the Force and Anti-Force?

Balance of the Force

Throughout the entire Star Wars saga one theme keeps popping up over and over – balance of the Force.  A prophecy held by the Jedi said a chosen one would come along to restore balance to the force.  Misread this prophecy was and down go the Jedi.  The second trilogy, even though it came first, saw the conclusion of this prophecy.  Anakin Skywalker brought balance to the force when he kills Darth Sidious and himself.  This point is fact as dictated by father Lucas himself.

Jump ahead to the new trilogy.  Snoke says it best “Darkness rises and light to meet it.”  As the darkness draws power once more, the light side must do so also to maintain the balance.  Of course, everyone thinks it’s Luke when in actuality, Rey holds the future of the light side. No problems so far right?

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