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The first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi gave us a glimpse of Daisy Ridley's Rey, blue lightsaber in hand, training on Ahch-To as an old and powerful Luke Skywalker watched on. This seemingly teased a student-teacher relationship between the two, a la Luke and Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. The reality was more complicated than that, but Rey's lightsaber practice told us a lot about her and about how Luke's outlook on the Jedi and laser swords had changed. It also may have foreshadowed another lightsaber fight: the one between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker at the end of the film. Take a look below and judge for yourself.
This is something that would be easy to miss without the two sequences playing back to back, but there are definitely a lot of similarities shown in this tweet from Star Wars Stuff. I hesitate to say that Rey's moves on Ahch-To and Kylo's strikes against Luke are identical, but there are strong parallels, and the final fight seems to echo Rey's training. They both start out with the lightsaber extended in their right hand then slash and backslash with a reverse grip on the hilt. These two sequences look like the same moves. It is a little harder to tell if the second set of moves is the same because of the framing, but they might be. The final set where Rey slices through the rock (much to the caretaker's chagrin) and Kylo slices through Luke certainly could be echoes of one another. So was Rey's training intended to foreshadow Kylo's fight with Luke at the end of The Last Jedi?
If the movie wasn't what it is and Rey and Kylo didn't share an intense connection, these parallels could maybe be chalked up to lazy choreography or an affinity for reverse grip lightsaber moves, which are admittedly awesome. However, the Force connection between Rey and Kylo Ren leads me to believe that the parallels between Rey's training and Kylo's fight with Luke are probably no accident. These two Force wielders are two sides of the same coin, fighting either the light or the dark within themselves and seeing their analog in each other, a person that represents both their salvation and their downfall.
It makes sense that these two would fight with similar styles. It also works within the context of the story. Rey could hold her own with her staff, but she swung wildly with the lightsaber in The Force Awakens. It is possible that she took what she saw from Kylo in the snowy forest on Starkiller Base and mimicked it later. That is part of why Luke was so fearful of training her, not just because of the Force powers emanating from her, but because she even moved like his greatest failure.
We'll have to wait until Rian Johnson weighs in to know for sure if this was all part of the plan. He might be thrilled to address something that isn't a criticism. Until then, you can judge for yourself as Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now on home video and streaming. Check out our guide to the upcoming Star Wars movies to see the future adventures in a galaxy far, far away, and for all the latest in the poetry of combat, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.