Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Releases New Image of Daisy Ridley's Rey

The last big piece of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker promotional material had the world buzzing, about Daisy Ridley's Rey. That's because the Episode IX footage that was unveiled at D23 featured a climatic shot of Rey in dark robes sporting a double-bladed lightsaber, giving rise to all kinds of "Dark Rey" theories and speculation.

Well, today Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is putting out a different kind of message about Rey. That message comes via a new image that concretely reaffirms Rey's position as galaxy's best hope:

"Something inside me has always been there. But now it's awake."

This new image comes with the ominous call back to Rey's famous line from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when she pleads with Luke Skywalker for tutelage:

"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."

However, the image above, combined with the truncated version of the quote, sends an entirely different message: this looks like a fully-powered Rey, one who no longer has need of the "... I'm afraid. I don't know what it is, or what to do with it..." part of that quote.

This shot actually looks like it comes from Rey's training montage from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when she's perfecting her lightsaber skills while at Luke's hideaway on Ahch-To. The shot is careful to hide some of the more telling details of this being an old image, like the background setting, or the details of Rey's hairstyle - both of which have distinct looks in The Last Jedi. Although the pose with the lightsaber is something we didn't really see in the scene before, the outfit is a dead giveaway that this is the same scene.

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So what's the point of this promotion? Well, as stated, this post clearly points to Rey being a much stronger and leveled-up version of a Jedi warrior than we've seen before, even if J.J. Abrams and the Rise of Skywalker team aren't ready to start revealing actually revelatory new imagery from the film. As it stands, rumors and speculation point to Rise of Skywalker possibly having Rey undergo tutelage from Jedi master Force ghosts, which clearly would be a hard thing to hide from the ultra-sharp scrutiny of fans.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be in theaters on December 20th.