This question is based on observation of a pivotal scene in the movie.

Throughout Rey's lightsaber duel with Kylo Ren, her facial expression clearly shows that her emotions at the time - fear of Kylo, anger over Finn's defeat etc. - are unbridled and driving her forward. Later, she learnt to use the Force as her guide, managing to strike him down. She stood over him, who is at her mercy, and she appeared to be brooding over what to do with him, with her blade still drawn and her emotions still in full display on her face. She was only interrupted when the planet started to tear itself apart.

This scene is somewhat similar to the scene between Anakin and Count Dooku in RotS. Dooku lies defeated and at Anakin's mercy. Anakin executed him in cold blood, but remarked that it is not the Jedi way, which is to show mercy to foes who no longer pose a threat.

Considering that Rey is not yet taught the distinction between the light and dark sides, much less what is and is not the Jedi way,

was Rey at risk of going the "Anakin way" - allowing her emotions to cloud her judgement, driving her to actions that treads dangerously into dark side territory, even as she stays committed to being good - and is therefore being tempted to fall to the dark side by her apparent lack of emotional discipline at a Jedi level?


3 Answers 3


According to the novelization, yes. She fights Ren utilizing rage and anger, coming very close to the Dark Side and killing Ren. She may not know that she was so close to the Dark Side itself, but she was.

Slowly she shook her head. “The Force?” That was what this was about? Instead of moving to defend herself, Rey closed her eyes. Ren hesitated, confused by her actions. A long moment passed, in which Ren sensed a change in the air, a change in her. Then she opened her eyes and attacked, viciously, in a way she didn’t know she was capable of, striking again and again as Ren was slowly driven back. The flaring energy from the interacting lightsabers was more pronounced than ever in the flurry of her attack. And— Ren went down.

He was up again in an instant, but not in time to fully deflect a following blow from Rey’s weapon. He succeeded in blocking it, but he still took the full force of the strike against the haft of his own lightsaber. The weapon went flying into the snow. Unarmed, he raised a hand and utilized the Force to fend off one slashing blow after another, until finally her fury penetrated his remaining defenses. Taking a glancing blow to the head and chest, he went down, a prominent burn slashed across his face.


One downward cut, she saw. One quick, final strike, and she could kill him. The landing lights of a shuttle appeared in the distance, coming over the trees in her direction. She had to make a decision, now. Kill him, a voice inside her head said. It was amorphous, unidentifiable, raw. Pure vengeful emotion. So easy, she told herself. So quick.

She recoiled from it. From the dark side.

  • I find novelizations to be very misleading, there's a lot different about this than what appeared in the film, we can take so much more hints when there's facial expressions, a music score and editing. Upon Kylo offering to teach her the ways of the Dark Side, yes, she does find herself confused, but then the music picks up a light tone and she puts on a calm face, as though she had "defeated the call to the dark side" and then it's rather hard to say what she's feeling. Once the planet breaks apart, she seems more concerned with finding Finn than finishing him off. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 4:05
  • Nevertheless, a good answer and there are certainly points in that scene where she was feeling the pull to the dark. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 4:07
  • Is using some dark side power mean you're at risk at falling into the dark side? Because doesn't Mace do that as well?
    – bmarkham
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 4:46
  • 1
    Not necessarily, but the novelization mentions that she's hearing the dark side beckoning her to kill Ren. That's a bit more than just using dark side powers. Additionally, she's using her force-fueled powers out of anger, which edges her closer.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 4:50

Not sure if there is evidence of her at risk actually going to the dark side. I think we can just speculate what could happen, like, what if she actually killed Kylo? What if Kylo killed Fin? Would Snoke have interest in her if she killed him?

Not sure if falling to the dark side means starting as Jedi then going to the dark side or just starting out as a dark side user. But Anakin fully knew his actions were against the Jedi code, where Ren knows nothing of her feelings, just like you said. Anakin had training to suppress his feelings where she didn't, so I don't think you can say she's going the "Anakin way". Maybe after training with Luke (spoilers?) and she still is foiled by her emotion, then you could speculate she's going the Anakin way.

Now Kylo, that's going the Anakin way.

  • This is my first time ever answering a question on the Science Fiction site, so I hope I did it right
    – bmarkham
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 3:22

All force users are susceptible to both sides of the Force. The pull to the Dark Side is present in all Jedi. Even Yoda, as seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, had to fight off his dark side in season 6 (on Netflix). Luke and obviously Anakin feel a strong pull to the Dark Side throughout their lives, so it is reasonable to assume that Rey feels that pull too.

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