Did he just out a major plot point?
Harrison Ford is one of the lucky few who have already seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So when he actually answers a question about his favorite scene in the new movie, it’s time to listen close.
Possible spoilers for The Force Awakens ahead.
— Larissa Yasin (@larissayasin) December 4, 2015
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 4, 2015
That’s right: The sword fight between REY (!!!) and Kylo Ren.
What We Know
Piecing together the various trailers and TV spots, we can take a decent guess at what will happen in The Force Awakens. For example, we know that sometime after Rey, Finn, and Han arrive at Maz Kanata’s castle, Kylo Ren and a bunch of New Order troops attack. And from the trailers, we know that somehow Kylo ends up running down Rey in the forest. Since Rey isn’t visible in any scenes appearing to take place after this, we can also guess she’s taken captive.
In addition, we know that Finn has Luke’s old lightsaber, and that he and Kylo Ren have a lightsaber fight at some point, probably near the very end of the movie. As we’ve pointed out before, Finn seems pretty unprepared for that fight, although since that initial footage we’ve seen him fight competently against a stormtrooper. John Boyega actually commented on learning choreography in the same Q&A that Harrison Ford’s response came out of.
John, SOOO how was Lightsaber training? Did they send you to Lightsaber choreograph camp? Also you da man brother #TwitterAwakens
— Mohamed Alhameed (@ChewBLacca7) December 5, 2015
So it could be, as some outlets have speculated, a mere slip of the tongue. Along with the misspelling of Kylo Ren’s name, Ford simply meant Finn when he said Rey.
But that’s a pretty big screw-up when you figure Ford spent hours on set with both characters, and at least so far no one from the Disney/Lucasfilm camp has issued a correction.
How Would It Happen
There’s a good chance that Rey is actually nearby when Finn has his throwdown with Kylo, and she could either take up the lightsaber herself, OR there have been persistent theories that her staff actually holds a lightsaber in it. Which would be pretty awesome to see, because just like Kylo’s unique hilt, it could change up the way lightsaber fights are choreographed quite a bit. Even in the first lightsaber fight of The Phantom Menace, you can see Darth Maul using his extra-long hilt to present some very different angles to what’s seen in the rest of the prequels and the original trilogy.
What It Would Mean
Both director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm exec Kathleen Kennedy have said on multiple occasions that The Force Awakens is about passing the torch from the old generation of heroes to the new. Even though we’ve seen more of Rey than any other character in the trailers, we’ve probably seen more of plot points with Finn. These two figure to be our main characters (along with Poe Dameron) going forward, so it’s likely whatever it is about Rey’s journey is still being kept under wraps, it’s big.
A lightsaber fight with Kylo Ren would be huge.
It would also make sense with Kylo’s apparent decision to target and kidnap her – it shows that Rey is someone important, even though in the trailer we hear her say, “I’m no one.” There are very strong odds that Rey is either Han and Leia’s or else Luke’s daughter, and some less certain rumblings that she might be related to Kylo Ren as well. A showdown between brother and sister (or cousins?) could make for an incredible cap to The Force Awakens, just like the lightsaber battles between Luke and Darth Vader in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
(Some extra-spoilery bits ahead. If you read this article on Kylo Ren’s true origins, you’re ok, but if you avoided it, you may want to avoid the tail end of this article as well.)
The other big implication here could explain why Rey – if she is Luke’s daughter – has been hidden away on Jakku all this time. If Kylo Ren was once Luke’s apprentice, and Luke’s burgeoning Jedi academy was targeted because of Kylo, he may have been hesitant to make his own daughter such a visible target. It would make Rey the philosophical foil to Kylo Ren in so many different ways, from upbringing to outlook to attitude. We already mentioned that making Kylo Ren a Solo/Skywalker child who is kidnapped at an early age could bring in a lot thematically in the nature vs. nurture debate, and Rey could add a lot of depth to that as a counterpoint.
This could all come to a head in a lightsaber fight between the two. If we take Ford’s Twitter comment at face value, there’s a lot to be excited about – “fantastic visual storytelling.” The best lightsaber fights in Star Wars history have all been about the expression of relationship. In Empire, Luke is the headstrong upstart that Vader has to put in his place. In Jedi, he moves from anger to peace and back (and back again). The battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin in Revenge of the Sith shows the two nearly perfectly mirrored, except that while Obi-Wan spends nearly the entire time retreating and defending, Anakin is always the aggressor, always on the attack. The fights are visual expressions of what’s going on inside each character and between the two who are fighting.
And if The Force Awakens is able to match that, it could be easily the best scene, even if the rest of the movie is as spectacular as it looks in the previews.