The Rise of Skywalker footage shown at D23 this weekend has been released online. Now the world is tripping out on Dark Rey. Why is she shown with a foldable, double-sided red Lightsaber while wearing a dark cloak? She certainly doesn't look like the Rey we've seen in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. This has led some hardcore Star Wars fans to bring back the Rey clone theory that has been floating around for years now.
Emperor Palpatine is back in The Rise of Skywalker, as we hear in the Star Wars D23 special look released earlier today. Though we're not sure how just yet. We do know that he had been tinkering with clones for a long time and even had a lab on Jakku dedicated to it. So could the Dark Rey in the latest footage be a clone? According to some fans she is, and Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi proves it when she sees her reflection in the mirror while in Ahch-To Jedi Temple. She sees a bunch of Reys in the mirror, which some have likened to Luke Skywalker fighting himself wearing the Darth Vader mask on Dagobah.
A newer fan theory takes this one step further and posits that the Sith Troopers are all Rey clones. This seems a bit on the outlandish side. Something John Boyega recently said may debunk the whole clone theory. When asked about Dark Rey over the weekend, Boyega said, "...loads of questions. And Finn is fully involved in that one, which is great."
Now what could this mean? A second theory posits that Rey is pulling a page out of the original Star Wars handbook, disguising herself as a Sith Warrior to infiltrate the First Order. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo first did this as Stormtroopers in A New Hope way back in 1977, Finn and Rose aslo pulled the trick in the Last Jedi, with Jyn Erso doing it alongside Cassian Andor in Rogue One. This takes it to the next level, with the good guys not just impersonating a solider in the opposing army's troops, but taking on the guise of a Sith. Which will take some expert Jedi mind tricks to pull off. But Rey can probably do it.
Kylo Ren and Palpatine are more than likely too powerful to let Rey sneak past them, though. Another idea revolves around Dark Rey being a vision that Kylo Ren or Rey sees in The Rise of Skywalker. This seems just as plausible and might actually be the real deal. While John Boyega said Finn if "fully involved" in that particular aspect, in another interview, he admitted that he was not on set to see Rey go full Dark Side, noting he was supposed to be there. So, Boyega saw Dark Rey for the first time on the screen, just like the rest of us.
For now, there are conflicting reports as to how Rey may have gone, or not, to the Dark Side. Whatever the case may be, Star Wars fans are intrigued by the brief tease J.J. Abrams gave to us. While being interviewed at D23, Rise of Skywalker star Kelly Marie Tran said the movie is ultimately about redemption, which could mean a lot of things at this point in time. Does the Emperor turn into an ally? Does Rey move to the Dark Side and come back? Or, does Kylo Ren switch allegiances to take on Palpatine? Tran wouldn't go any further after realizing she may have said too much. The Sith Trooper Rey clone theory originally came from Reddit.