The Force is.
That’s about the best definition we can give the Force. A New Hope gave us an idea of what it was, but also opened up many more questions. Each additional addition to the cinematic (and animated) canon has continued that tradition.
The Force Awakens may not be as impactful as its counterpart, The Last Jedi, when it comes to Force mythology, but there is still a lot to behold. Powers we’ve never seen before. Strength unmatched. And, most importantly, Rey’s Force vision.
With Episode IX on the precipice, and the creator of the vision in the director’s chair once more, Rey’s Force vision will very likely come into play. While it would be easy to write it off as something that is simply there to show us that Rey fits into this story, there is still so much more…
We begin with the hallway from Cloud City. Originally, we were supposed to see Luke and Vader fighting. It is actually the lack of that, though, that is important. Rey is a part of this story, but she is not in this story yet. There is a history that she is not a part of, but that she must know if she is going to be able to go on her journey. Yet, just as she does in real life, she denies the call to go on this journey. A disembodied Rey voice screams “No.” (Author’s Note: The “No” in and of itself makes her part of the story, doesn’t it?)
We then jump to Luke’s temple burning. The past for him, but the moment that will turn her future. It is this time, the downfall of both Luke and Ben Solo, that will determine her future. If Luke had simply told the Rey what had happened at that temple, there is a chance that she accepts his fault and forgives him. His blatant lie violated her trust and was the catalyst to her rush to Ben Solo thinking she can redeem him with relative ease. She, in the stead of Luke during Empire Strikes Back, is sorely mistaken.
This portion is also where we get the majority of Yoda and Obi-Wan’s lines. It is essential to consider that Rey has no connection to these characters, and yet they call to her. They’ve transcended the mortal into being part of the Force, and the Force is exactly what calls her into the narrative.
This narrative is a perilous one, as Rey is quickly learning. The next section of the vision brings Rey to an undisclosed planet, full of rain and darkness. This could be the planet where Luke had his temple, but we have no textual evidence to prove that to be true. What we do have is a dark planet, full of rain. Remember that Rey came from a planet of all light with no water at all. Not only is she now a part of this story, but she is about to be taken way out of her comfort zone. How much? Well the villain is about to save her life. Yeah, “this is not going to go the way you think.”
Then again, Rey’s life has never really gone how she thought it would. Her family never came back. She never fit in. She’s had to do this on her own. The Force reminds her of that by showing her being left in the arms of Unkarr Plutt as a young girl as a ship flies away. There seems to be a contradiction here, as Rey is told in The Last Jedi that her parents died in a pauper’s grave, having sold her off for drinking money. Still, this story is not about her parents. Whoever was on that ship may or may not matter. What does matter is that she has survived the unsurvivable, and the Force needs to remind her of that as she starts her journey.
Many have called Rey a Mary Sue or extremely overpowered, but that tends to ignore her life prior to the films. The Force shows us that she has been trained already by living her life. She knows about survival, fortitude, and determination. She’s fought, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to be in a position to be the hero that the galaxy needs. She may not have known that, but the Force does.
We then conclude with a snowy planet and Kylo Ren. This is pretty clearly Starkiller Base and the end duel of Episode VII. Consider, if you will, that Star Wars is poetry. Not only does poetry rhyme, it builds. Even more than a regular story, poetry builds to those final few lines. That’s where the meaning of the whole thing begins to show. Kylo Ren is where her meaning begins to show. He is what we must understand to understand her narrative.
The Force does not show her the conclusion of this. “Always in motion is the future.” This is why we can say with certainty that she misinterpreted her Force vision in The Last Jedi. The Force has not shown Rey how things are going to go, only that they will go and she must be a part of it. As the mirror cave tells her, this story is hers to tell. She not only has to be victorious, she has to decide what victory even means.