Is Rey Darth Vader Reincarnated? This Fan Theory May Be Less Far-Fetched Than You Think
If your head is already spinning with theories about Rey's mysterious past in the latest Star Wars installment, you might want to find yourself a seat. Although fan theories have guessed that she is a relation of a Skywalker or a Kenobi, one in particular takes it a step further by guessing that Rey is the reincarnation of Darth Vader — or, more appropriately, the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker. Yeah, you probably read that sentence right now and guffawed a little but, but stick with me — I was a non-believer too. But the theory, proposed by Reddit user coolshortsbro, is so weirdly supported that you'll want to dash out to the theater the instant you finish reading it just to check on everything they touched on.
Before we proceed, a reminder: the one thing that Anakin Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren all have in common is that they were born extremely Force-sensitive, with potential to harness both the Light and the Dark side of the Force. Even our sweet cinnamon roll Rey has a few ominous brushes with the Dark that carefully indicate this — she almost sells BB-8, she shoots a seemingly unarmed Kylo Ren on sight (an instance that is highlighted in the novelization), and she comes very close to killing Kylo Ren in their last battle in the forest. So if you're holding out on this theory because you think Rey is too far in the Light for this to be true, then consider that at one point, Darth Vader was also a sweet little cherub-cheeked Anakin Skywalker, with every bit as much potential for Light or Dark as Rey.
Of course, this is a mere coincidence that doesn't necessarily support the reincarnation theory at all — but these points below might start to convince you:
Their Origin Stories Are Very Similar
These poor little sand babies have an alarming amount in common origins-wise. Anakin, enslaved on the desert planet Tattooine, relies on his technological prowess to survive, and is eventually freed by his uncanny ability to pilot. Similarly, Rey relies on scavenging technology to survive on the desert planet Jakku, trapped in a cycle so unforgivable that it is basically slavery — and also uses her uncanny ability to pilot a craft without practical experience as a means to escape. The parallels in their upbringings and talents were no accident, of course, and do very little to support the reincarnation theory on their own, but are still important to note going forward.
Anakin Skywalker's Lightsaber Calls To Her — Even Over Kylo Ren
To some degree, we've all been jumping on board the "Rey is Luke's secret daughter" train primarily because his lightsaber called to her; others are jumping on the "Rey is a Kenobi" train because she hears Obi-Wan's voice in the Force vision saying, "Rey, these are your first steps." But consider for a moment the possibility that the lightsaber calls to Rey not because it belonged to Luke, but because it belonged to her — or rather, the version of her that was once Anakin, before Darth Vader essentially killed him in his turn to the Dark Side.
We can even make some sense of Obi-Wan Kenobi's voice in the vision when you look at it from this perspective. Fun fact: the words "these are your first steps" were recorded by Ewan McGregor, the young Obi-Wan, but the name "Rey" was actually spliced from the voice of late actor Alec Guinness from when he was saying the word "afraid". They've incorporated both Kenobis into this vision; the Kenobi who trained and loved Anakin Skywalker, and the Kenobi who was killed in a decades long effort to save him. If you look at it through the reincarnation lens, then even in the afterlife, their fates are intertwined — with Obi-Wan Kenobi continuing to guide his padawan.
Let's also consider the fact that out on Starkiller Base, Kylo Ren and Rey simultaneously summon Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, and it barrels past him and into her hands. She managed to grab Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber out from under his grandson. It would be a pretty hard sell to say a rando overpowered Kylo Ren out of his legacy; the reincarnation theory is just another out of several probable theories as to why the lightsaber came to her.
They Both Have Extremely Vivid Force Visions, And Are Scared Of Them
We know from Kylo Ren's interrogation of Rey that she is afraid to sleep, and that she is plagued by dreams of an island — assumably the very island that she eventually finds Luke Skywalker. In that regard, the Force Vision she has on Takodana is not the first. She has been experiencing Force visions for the better part of her life without knowing what they are — and even among the Jedi, those are pretty rare. Anakin Skywalker was similarly tuned into that Force sensitive frequency, plagued by Force visions that depicted the future, visions he was every bit as determined to avoid or change. They both react to their visions by immediately trying to outrun them — like, literally in Rey's case, when she all but sprints out of the cantina, and in Anakin's case when he fiercely tells Padme that his dreams of her dying in childbirth aren't going to come true.
Force visions aside, they both also possess a huge amount of raw, untapped Force potential, demonstrable even in early age. It's implied that Anakin's learning curve is pretty insane judging by his ability to pilot a podracer in his first actual race, and the fact that he built C-3PO and speaks a ton of languages. Rey must have also had an astonishingly brutal learning curve to have survived doing all her scavenger stunts some ten years prior to the movie's events, and she manages to use a mind trick on a Stormtrooper pretty much the first time she tries. It's possible, of course, that they are entirely unrelated and both happened to possess a strong connection with the Force — but if the reincarnation theory happened to be true, it certainly matches up with the similarity in their Force-driven abilities.
This Would Explain Why Darth Vader Hasn't Used The Force To Tear Kylo Ren A New One Yet
Rey is the key to Kylo Ren's redemptive arc. That much we can assume just from their interactions with each other, and the juxtaposition of Light and Dark, and how they are both tempted by the Light and Dark in each other.
That aside, though, we all can't help but wonder — where the hell is Darth Vader/Anakin through all of this? You should think that he'd find some ghostly way to be like, "Yo, Ben, you may have slightly misinterpreted exactly how baller this whole Dark side thing is" by the time Kylo Ren had spiraled this far out of control. It would certainly lose a lot of its impact if they do eventually reintroduce him into the narrative to guide Kylo Ren away from the Darkness, because he has already done the Big Bad Unforgivable Thing in killing Han Solo. If there were ever a time to step in, it would be right before Kylo Ren shanked him.
That's just it, though — Anakin Skywalker isn't coming to fix Kylo Ren, because he's already there. In Rey. The reason Rey's fate is so inexplicably tied to Kylo Ren's, the reason she is the only one who might be able to bring him over to the Light, is because she is the very force that Kylo Ren is drawing his misguided inspiration from. Also important to consider: Han and Leia named their son Ben, after Old Ben Kenobi. If Rey truly is the reincarnation of Darth Vader, then yet again, Obi-Wan and Anakin are at odds — and once she fixes him, the Skywalker legacy of evil will finally end its loop, and Darth Vader will legitimately be redeemed.
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