“Wars not make one great.”- Yoda
There is much truth behind this proverb. No matter one’s political stance, it cannot be argued that wars take more than they give. Lives, scars, and pain that will live on in those who fought for the rest of their lives. When considering that, we must ask, “Does anyone ever win a war?”
The most obvious answer would be Palpatine, right? Maybe not as much as one might think. Palpatine certainly subjugated the galaxy and brought the Sith back to power, but he also failed to squash that which would be his downfall. If we agree that Palpatine’s goal was complete and total control of the galaxy (unlimited power, anyone?), he failed. In lying to Anakin about his ability to save Padme, he betrayed the hard earned trust he had, and thus the loyalty. This is the seed that would eventually lead to his downfall.
So what about the Rebellion/New Republic? They won right? Wrong. The Rebellion’s goal was the end of the Empire, which happened only in word and not in deed. In Mon Mothma’s efforts to demilitarize the galaxy and bring peace, she failed the citizens of the galaxy by allowing the Empire to run to Wild Space and build the First Order.
It would seem that “victory” then comes not in defeating the “other,” but rather in some other fashion. In defeat, there seems to always be a seed that lives on, bringing more conflict. Thus, to achieve true victory the galaxy must stop the cycle of violence with something other than violence.
Luke is a microcosm of this example. His greatest victory was not in destroying the Death Star, but in throwing his lightsaber away and refusing to perpetuate the violent battles between Jedi and Sith. That is what brings his father back to the light, fully and completely ends the Sith, and brings balance to the Force. Victory, in the truest form, comes not by winning with arms. Victory comes in embracing peace.
Nonetheless, a single individual is not enough, even if said individual is the Chosen One. Anakin’s return to the light brought balance, but it did not end the overall cycle of violence. Certainly there are no more Sith, but there are still Snokes and Rens. If we accept that Episode IX will be the end of the Skywalker saga, it would hold that the wars must also end.
Luke showed the way on Crait. Again he goes back to that which he knows to be the best way. He wins in the most Jedi, non-violent, way possible and inspires a galaxy once more. If this is his third lesson to Rey, then the answer is not more fighting. It is peace, forgiveness, and finding a common ground.
Be a supporter or detractor as you see fit, but “Reylo” is a thing that will happen in one form or another. “Darkness rises and light to meet it.” If this continues, so will the cycle of violence. In some fashion, Rey and Kylo, two parts of the same whole, must find a new way for the galaxy to live. They must learn from the failures of the past and become something more. Then, and only then, can true balance be achieved.
Cover art: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/03/reylo/471768/