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Star Wars Mistake May Have Revealed The Truth Behind Dark Rey

Did the official Star Wars website accidentally spoil The Rise of Skywalker for us all? It sure looks that way. 

By now, every Star Wars fan with an internet connection will have heard the news that the upcoming saga installment, The Rise of Skywalker, features a dark, evidently evil version of Daisy Ridley's Rey. In the newest footage from the film, first released at Disney's D23 Expo on August 24 and then released online on August 26, the character was seen cloaked in a black robe with a stern look on her face as she brandishes a double-bladed red lightsaber. Her perplexingly pale skin, her rigid movements, her attire, and her new weapon of choice that calls to mind the saber that Darth freakin' Maul wielded all fueled what has become a popular fan theory about "Dark Rey": she isn't real — she's a vision. 

Of course, fans knew they would only be able to confirm or cancel out that theory by watching The Rise of Skywalker in theaters. That mentality changed, however, on August 27, when eagle-eyed Star Wars enthusiasts spotted a slip-up published by the franchise's website.

During this year's D23 Expo, just after Lucasfilm took the stage to talk all things Rise of SkywalkerStarWars.com ran a news piece breaking down what was shown at the presentation. The final paragraph focused on the new Rise of Skywalker footage, and made particular mention to Dark Rey. As several Reddit users have pointed out, the original version of the article referred to Dark Rey as a "vision." One Redditor grabbed a screenshot of the first version of the post on StarWars.com, which read in part, "The wise words were also part of the first trailer for the film, but the new footage, including a moment where Rey appears to toss a fully-ignited lightsaber, and of course the vision of Rey with a reticulated red blade, was nothing short of thrilling."

The article has since been updated to replace the word "vision" with "sight."

So, what do we make of this? 

On one hand, it could be taken as an accidental leak. Maybe the StarWars.com staff had some inside information, and that top-secret intel slipped through the cracks and made its way into the published version of the article. If that's the case, it likely wasn't intentional — but, as they say, intent doesn't equal impact. And the impact of this kind of slip-up is pretty big. 

On the other hand, this could just be an unfortunate choice of phrasing. Since Star Wars secrets are usually kept more secure than John Wick's stash of weapons he hid under layers of concrete in his old home, it seems pretty unlikely that the StarWars.com editorial team would be privy to plot details that the general public isn't. Like many Redditors have noted, perhaps the writer was thinking more of the definition of "sight" — "the action or fact of seeing someone or something" — when writing the post but used the synonym "vision," which has some similar but also some very different definitions than "sight"– including "an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition." It's plausible that the writer was trying to speak about the image of Rey holding the dual-bladed saber in the Rise of Skywalker footage, rather than spill the beans on the Force vision of Rey in the original post.

The initial use of "vision" in the StarWars.com article implies that Dark Rey is a figment of someone's imagination (likely the real Rey's), and the subsequent removal of the word could be interpreted as the website covering its tracks and sealing off a leak. Or it could have been an honest mistake that led to a semantics argument and a heated discussion on the truth about Dark Rey. 

Any way you slice it, there's something strange about choosing to use the word "vision" in reference to Dark Rey... then jumping back into the article and editing it out. Though it's just one tiny word, there's far too much room for interpretation when it's used in any other way besides talking about a Force-fueled hallucination — especially since the hottest theory regarding Dark Rey is that she is in fact some kind of antagonistic apparition that appears at a pivotal moment in the film. 

Fans may be stuck on the idea that Dark Rey is definitely a vision in The Rise of Skywalker, appearing when Rey is questioning her alignment with the Force or when Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is imagining what would happen if Rey turned to the dark side and joined the First Order, but there are plenty more possible explanations. Dark Rey could be a clone, or she might be Rey's evil twin sister who waited until the eleventh hour to show up. She could be real — and actually the regular Rey influenced by Emperor Palpatine, whom actress Daisy Ridley has said is "very, you know, instrumental to the plot of the film." (We don't know, but we're certainly about to find out.) 

Will Dark Rey be revealed as a vision? Is she the new emissary for Palpatine, or this generation's answer to Darth Maul? Is she a clone? Or is this all very clever, intentional misdirection from Lucasfilm — with the semantic slip-up published in the StarWars.com article actually meant to make us even more confused? Only time will tell.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.