Fear is the Past to the Dark Side: Skywalker Family Allegories in The Last Jedi

– by HanSpinel

Many have used the visual parallels between Rey and Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi as suggestion to a romantic connection. However, I suggest a more thematic and resonating connection of family and fear of the past is being presented, particularly when including Luke Skywalker’s perspective….

If you are new to the blog, we have worked tirelessly in publishing the Definitive Case for Rey Skywalker, daughter of Luke Skywalker. The following works under this assumption, and is not meant to be an analysis leading to new speculation, but merely presents a retroactive thematic analysis when positing that Rey is the long-lost daughter of, and returning to, Luke Skywalker. The resulting analysis studies The Last Jedi’s intimate themes of family reconnecting among dealing with fear of the past.


Rey’s arrival on Ahch-To challenges Luke’s reluctance to revisit his Dark Past.

“I came to face him, Leia. And I can’t save him.” – Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi

Luke carefully observes Rey training herself on Ahch-To, and later appears to anticipate perfectly the paralleled movements and attacks when confronting his nephew, Ben, on Crait.


The fact that Luke never trains Rey is an important plot point, as pointed out previously. Luke fears his Past failures in teaching Ben, and this fear leads him to believe that he cannot be what his daughter needs him to be in the present.

Luke Skywalker I can’t be what she needs me to be.

Yoda Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.

Without any training from Luke, Rey already possesses all that which was passed on to Ben Solo from Luke Skywalker. On the basis of the Definitive Case for Rey Skywalker, Rey mirroring Luke’s training without teaching strongly suggests that:

Rey is of Luke’s being // Ben is from Luke’s training

Further still:

The Past Luke thought he lost grows in the light without teaching (Rey)
// which helps him face //
The Past he lost to the darkness from his failed teachings (Ben).

Yoda: Lost Ben Solo you did. Lose Rey we must not.

The symbolism of family returning is richer when considering Luke and Anakin Skywalker’s full narrative arc within the context of the Sequel Trilogy:

The Son (Luke) of the Skywalker father (Anakin)
// returns to ultimately save his father //
from the Dark Past.

The Daughter (Rey) of the Son (Luke)
// returns to help her father confront //
The Dark Son (Ben) of the Daughter (Leia) he ultimately cannot save.


Next, Luke finally reconnects with his sister through the Force. Simultaneously, we witness Rey connect with Kylo Ren through the Force:

The Father (Luke) of the Daughter (Rey)
// connects with //
The Mother (Leia) of the Son (Ben)

The Daughter (Rey) of the Father (Luke)
// connects with //
The Son (Ben) of the Mother (Leia)

Rey confronting Kylo Ren about killing his father should come as no surprise. Rey has lost hope in the sole person she names from Maz’s prompt regarding her familial past.

Maz: Dear child. I see your eyes. You already know the truth. Whomever you’re waiting for on Jakku, they’re never coming back. But… there’s someone who still could.
Rey: Luke.

Rey lashes out at Kylo Ren; he had a father that cared about him – where is Rey’s father? Rey succumbs to her fear of not belonging, and asks the Dark Side to reveal her parents.

Now, the familial parallels once again take place through space and time; Rey with a clenched fist in the Dark Side tide cave parallels Kylo Ren’s clenched fist on Crait. They are both preparing themselves, still with fear, to face their respective Pasts:

Rey proceeds passively with the Dark Side, asking to see her familial past.
Kylo Ren proceeds actively in the Dark Side, attacking his familial past.



This parallel is more striking when positing that Rey’s familial past includes Luke Skywalker, owner of the saber that she was led to when hearing her younger self cry out to family lost. In this case, not only do both Rey and Kylo Ren attempt to confront their familial pasts, both would be attempting to confront Luke Skywalker specifically.


Allowing this visual parallel to play out between the Dark Side cave on Ahch-To, and Kylo Ren’s attempt to kill Luke results in another interesting comparison of active vs. passive.


As Kylo Ren approaches what he believes to be Luke Skywalker, the shadows in Rey’s mirror appear to approach Rey. Again,

Rey is passive, the vision (of Luke?) approaches Rey.
Kylo Ren is active, he approaches the vision of Luke.

If Luke is Rey’s father, both Rey and Kylo Ren are reaching out to reveal the Jedi Master, but the Dark Side only consumes and both are revealed to be alone:

Indeed, fear is the path to the Dark Side. And fear of the past can directly influence our present and future….

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