warning: this post contains major spoiler of The Rise of Skywalker.
A dyad in the force. Two that are one.– The Rise of Skywalker, 2019
Ben Solo is Yin, there’s good in the bad.
He was proved Force-sensitive and underwent Jedi training as his uncle’s (Luke Skywalker) apprentice. The truth about who his grandfather really was had been kept from him. Growing up, he was targeted by Snoke, Supreme Leader of First Order and used Ben’s feelings of abandonment to influence him thus, turning him slowly to the Dark side. His Master realized of the dark movement of the Force in him. He felt betrayed by his own blood when his Master intended to kill him. Fuel with rage, he had caused a dark storm that destroyed the Jedi temple. Then he took the name of “Kylo Ren” and trained under the Supreme Leader.
Throughout the trilogy, we could witness that even he’s in the Dark side, he still conflicted and torn apart by each decision he made. The Light side (Ben Solo) within him was struggling to surface out. His core fear was loneliness and when he met Rey, he finally found someone who felt the same. In The Last Jedi, he offered a place by his side to Rey, joining him to rule the New Empire.
He was just a broken boy, needing help from Rey in nurturing him back to the Light side. I also want to highlight the struggle of goodness within him when he killed his father, Han Solo, but it just got worse. He thought of killing his father would lead to peace of inner struggle of the Dark and Light side within him, but it was the beginning where the change started.
Followed up to his failure, he chased down the Resistance. With fury and anger for being called weak and sentimental by Snoke, he determined to capture Rey. He wanted to prove that he wasn’t to bring shame being a grandson of Vader. After managed to bring Rey upon Snoke. He had been asked to kill her in order to complete his trials, he failed to do so. The inner struggle within him, to be free of the pain finally reached its peak as he decided to kill Snoke instead. The change was in motion.
Forgive me. I feel it again. The pull to the light.Kylo Ren
How the good finally revealed? It’s all coming back to his mother, Leia. When she tried to call him and the accident happened. Instead of hurting Kylo Ren, Rey killed Leia instead through the force bonded between a son and a mother. The feeling of guilt at its peak, he had lost the tether of his blood, both parents and it became his undoing. The memory of Han Solo confronting his core struggle had brought him back to the light.
Rey is Yang, there’s bad in the good.
Rey had been living life as a scavenger and not knowing who her parents were. She had been searching her identity and longed to be reunited with her mother and father. When she realized she was Force-sensitive, this revelation only pique her interest more on her true lineage only to find out she was the granddaughter of Palpatine.
Her ‘bad’ was not really fleshing out compared to the development of ‘good’ in Kylo Ren throughout the trilogy. After knowing she was the descendant of Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine, a Dark Sith Lord, she conflicted with each choice made might lead her to the Dark side. For she shared the same blood with the Sith himself.
She was just a lost girl, trying to find her way in making her own identity. As people around her kept repeating that they knew her, she was in doubt. Because truly, she herself still searching who she really was. Along the journey, she felt so lonely and Kylo Ren understood how loneliness could eat you alive. When both prophesied to be the dyad in the Force, it strengthened their bond. The inner struggle that complemented one another.
Followed up to the event, she was tempted to take Kylo Ren’s hand after Snoke died. His betrayal to the Dark side caught her in shock and left her rendering for a familiarity of being understood. But she rejected his offer to join him. I want to highlight when there’s the unbalance within her whether to gain advantage of her own (standing by Kylo Ren’s side) or fight the battle hastily (joining the Resistance), the ‘good’ reminded her where she should be. There was unclear guarantee what would happen if she took Kylo Ren’s hand that day. She might sway into the Dark side and no turning back. Fortunately, her judgement was intact, and she didn’t take it.
“Something inside me has always been there. But now it’s awake. And I’m afraid. I don’t know what it is or what to do with it. And I need help.”Rey Skywalker
From the start of this trilogy, we questioned Rey’s lineage and in The Rise of Skywalker, it had shifted our point of view. Her real identity had the answer. She was seduced so many times to the Dark side especially by the end when Darth Sidious urged her to kill him so she could save all her companions who fought by her side. She almost accepted the offer but guess what, if there wasn’t for a redeemed Ben Solo, she could be the vision she saw previously.
Yin and Yang, it’s a circle, wherever it begins, it will end at the same place. As Rey was the pull to the light for Ben, he was also the saviour of her from the dark.