Rey, a name that recalls sunshine: “ray.” In the first draft of
“Now your journey nears its end.”
Rey is our juxtaposition. She is born from nothing special, but leans towards the light from the moment she knows what the Force is and that she possesses it. But it’d be simple to write her off as something so simple. As Kylo is drawn to the light, so is Rey tempted by darkness. As she journeys inward in
In both films, Kylo and Rey are given distinct moments where they are offered either the light or dark. Kylo, when Han comes to him, and again after defeating Snoke. He chooses dark both times. Rey, on Starkiller Base, when she has the opportunity to kill Kylo, and again, also after Snoke’s death. She chooses light both times. But what if, to achieve a karmic Force, these two polar opposites must choose a different path? What if the only way to restore balance is for our “bad” character to operate in the realm of good and our “good” character to operate in the realm of evil? How can they ever understand one another, offer forgiveness, or move beyond their conflict without walking on both sides?
If Rey is the sequel trilogy’s goddess, she may also possess the principles of the dark feminine—mythological women who embrace their least desirable traits. The idea is not that these dark energies are bad, but that they are fully aware and at peace with all aspects of themselves, including their shadow. As Twitter user @ashesforfoxes notes, the absence of a dark female presence has been felt in the episodic films.
We’ve been missing the Dark Feminine as a source of untapped potential and power in this story for a very long time. I’m not setting any expectations but I would love to see it realized.
— 𝔑𝔞𝔱 + 𝕮𝖞𝖇𝖔𝖗𝖌 𝕳𝖆𝖗𝖕𝖞 (@ashesforfoxes) August 24, 2019
Mythological examples of the dark feminine are Kali, a Hindu goddess associated with death, or Medusa, the snake-haired Greek monster. Or, most recognizably, Lilith, of Jewish mythology, the first wife of Adam who is seen—in some instances—as a demon of the night. The figure of Lilith has been reclaimed by modern feminists and occultists as a symbol of power and the dark feminine; a woman in full control of her many shades, and thus enlightened.
It’s not hard to draw parallels between Lilith and Rey; both of them virtuous and misunderstood, as are all beacons of feminine strength; the ancient Greeks had a phrase for the fear of feminine beauty: “kalon kakon” or “the evil-beautiful thing.” If we look at Kylo as the Adam figure of Rey’s story, it’s even easier to fill in the blanks. Ariel Guttman, a renowned astrologer, said of the myth of Lilith and Adam, “when Adam demanded that [Lilith] be his ‘helpmate’ (i.e., slave), Lilith responded: ‘Why should I lie beneath you, when I am your equal since both of us were created from dust?'” Rey and Kylo, also made of dust, are also equal; but both must realize every shade of their being before enlightenment can happen.
For Rey, this may mean a flirtation with the dark side. Whether she fully embraces it and turns willingly, or is merely teased with the possibility, there is proof in this footage pudding that her dark side will be explored. It would be nice to see her accept it, make peace with it, and evolve beyond it in