A Rey Skywalker Origin Story as told by John Williams & Kylo Ren

– by HanSpinel

Here, I present a thematic analysis to highlight that Rey’s musical motif is a note-for-note reverse composition of “Anakin’s theme.” In contrast, Kylo Ren’s musical motif is inspired by “Anakin’s Dark Deeds.” I argue this as foreshadowing to Kylo Ren attempting to “finish what [Vader] started,” whereas Rey’s reversal of Anakin’s fall suggests her ultimate narrative arc is to “Rise” and reverse the original sin of the Skywalker father, Anakin….


The musical motif written for Rey’s theme is a note-for-note reverse composition of Anakin’s theme (originally the Imperial March or Darth Vader’s theme composed for the Original Trilogy, and re-composed for little Ani in Episode I: The Phantom Menace). Take a listen below:

This motif reversal is particularly striking in regard to their respective narrative arcs. Anakin’s motif in The Phantom Menace retroactively foreshadows his eventual “Rise” to darkness in Revenge of the Sith. If Rey’s musical motif also represents her narrative arc in the Sequel Trilogy, a reversal of Anakin’s fall would equal or foreshadow her ultimate “Rise” to Light in the Skywalker Saga. In fact, this simple motif reversal may indicate that Rey’s role in the Sequel Trilogy is to ultimately reverse the original sin of the Skywalker father (Anakin), and fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One, which states, “….and through [Anakin], will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.” Note that “Through him” could imply descendants and bloodline, whereas “by him” would indicate a singularity to the prophecy.

“A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.”
Prophecy from Master & Apprentice


This presents a new light onto the choice for Episode IX’s title: The Rise of Skywalker. It appears the narrative decisions from the conception of the Sequel Trilogy were carefully orchestrated into Rey’s theme by John Williams. It would also have several symbolic meanings including Rey’s rise to right the wrongs of Anakin and the final ascension of the Chosen One, perhaps also the redemption of Ben Solo, and finally even the return of Luke Skywalker himself.


The Son that Anakin never knew he had (Luke), returns to ultimately save him from his Dark Past in Return of the Jedi. The Daughter (Rey) of the Son (Luke) thought lost forever, returns to help Luke confront the Dark Son (Ben) of the Daughter (Leia) that he ultimately cannot save.

“She who will be born to darkness will give birth to darkness.”
Prophecy from Master & Apprentice

Positing that Rey is Luke’s daughter presents a compelling and symbolic addition to the duality of the Skywalker Saga, and a continuation of the battle over Anakin Skywalker’s legacy in the Sequel Trilogy.

In opposition to Rey’s motif representing a reversal to the fall of Anakin, Kylo Ren’s musical motif represents a continuation of “Anakin’s Dark Deeds.” This musically supports Kylo Ren’s narrative arc and private admission to “finish what [Darth Vader] started.” Listen below:

Rey attempts to correct the original sin of the Skywalker father (Anakin), whereas Kylo Ren attempts to see it through to total Darkness.

I have also recently argued that Rey presents a continuing theme of healing to the Skywalker family throughout the Sequel Trilogy. In The Force Awakens, Rey’s presence and serendipitous(?) connection with BB-8 leads to helping heal a broken Skywalker family bond – Han & Leia. In The Last Jedi, Rey’s journey leads her to help heal another broken Skywalker bond, Luke from his family. Rey ignites clarity for Luke to face his failures, and in doing so, Rey awakens the Luke of old. Luke reconnects with his sister, Leia, and renews her hope for her son, Ben.

At the end of The Last Jedi, Rey picks up both the literal and metaphorical pieces of the broken Skywalker Legacy (Saber) after failing to redeem Ben herself. Rey reunites the broken saber (Legacy) to Leia, the only person close to Ben that has yet to attempt to confront him. Rey holds the metaphorical pieces of the Skywalker family in her hands wondering what to do next, and this is the moment we see and know for certain that Leia has defeated her fear – Leia lends another healing hand to Rey’s. Together, they have everything they need to heal the Skywalker family once and for all….



Building on the fact that both Rey and Kylo Ren were orchestrated to represent equal and opposite trajectories of Anakin Skywalker, it is worth reviewing Rey’s parentage “reveal” in The Last Jedi.

In an earlier article, I described that among the three specific details Kylo Ren shares with Rey about her parents, two are specifically and exclusively tied to the Skywalker origin story. Regarding the “reveal” scene in question, Rian Johnson carefully points out that, “[A]nd as we all know in these movies, there’s always a certain point of view that’s involved.” – Rian Johnson.

[1] They were “filthy junk traders” – the only on-screen canon example of a filthy junk trader is Watto, owner of Anakin and Shmi Skywalker. Note also, it is suggested in EU material that Luke Skywalker lived a modest life post-RotJ, and may at one time traded junk/salvage (see: Legends of Luke Skywalker). Regardless, if we are to accept Kylo Ren’s description as to where Rey came from, “You come from nothing. You’re nothing,” Anakin and Shmi could certainly be considered “nobody” at the very beginning of the Skywalker Saga.

Junk Traders
Junk Traders

[2] “They’re dead in a pauper’s grave” – the only on-screen canon example of a pauper’s grave is the grave site of Shmi Skywalker on the Lars’ homestead. Note also, Luke may have returned to Tatooine post-RotJ, and it’s also possible that Rey was abducted from Tatooine. Regardless, this once again points directly back to a pauper’s lifestyle, lived out by Shmi Skywalker and represents the origin of the Skywalker family.

A Pauper's Grave
A Pauper’s Grave

[3] “Sold [her] off for drinking money” – is the only detail for which Kylo Ren breaks eye contact with Rey, and does not re-establish eye-contact until finished – likely a lie:



Altogether, the specific motif written for Rey’s theme hearkens back to the Skywalker origin story, and the specific details Kylo Ren provides regarding Rey’s parentage again, hearkens back to the Skywalker origin story. These details hidden in plain sight strongly support the narrative, symbolic, and thematic analysis of the Star Wars Shadow Council’s Definitive Case for Rey Skywalker, daughter of Luke Skywalker. Moreover, Rey’s musical motif being a note-for-note reversal of Anakin’s theme foreshadows that her ultimate arc is to reverse the original sin of the Skywalker father (Anakin) in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Rey appears destined to fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One.

Opposing this Light, is the Darkness within Kylo Ren, who’s own musical motif is inspired by the Dark Side of “Anakin’s Dark Deeds.” Kylo Ren is thematically and narratively attempting to “finish what [Darth Vader] started.” This firmly establishes a continuation of the duality and battle over Anakin Skywalker’s legacy in the Sequel Trilogy. Finally, I argue that Rey ultimately represents the theme of healing the Skywalker family so desperately needs in the Sequel Trilogy, and with the Solo family bond being the last to mend in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Rey truly is this generation’s Legend….

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  1. Well done! I think the music themes is a great place to start when understanding the characters. Also great job noticing the lie.


  2. HanSpinel — thanks for this. Finally getting around to reading some stuff here. I’ll take it a step further and use the word “curse”. It’s due to the overload of midi-chlorians passed down by Anakin, the Force weighs heavily on the family and torments them. It’s not only the mirroring, reverse-mirroring, the threads of the tapestry, it’s also the cycle of rise and fall, all throughout the 9 films, that torment and cause anguish in each family member. John Williams is not just clever, but canny and wise.


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