Having just finished my marathon of Star Wars so that I could enjoy the Rise of Skywalker, there was something that kind of irked me. Despite it’s obvious flaws and the fact that it tries to retcon the terrible Last Jedi, there is one thing that stands out to me about the sequel trilogy, the Dyad of the Force. What is it?
This concept is something that was originally introduced in the original Expanded universe but made its way to the sequel trilogy to try and appease the rabid Star Wars fan base. In the original expanded canon it was referred to as a “Force Bond” and it connected two force sensitive beings across the universe making their bond stronger than normal. I’ll give a brief description of the original Legends answer and the more modern Canon answer before explaining the Dyad in the Force.
In Legends, the force bond is typically something that connects a Jedi master and his apprentice. It allows them to discern the location of each other as well as their physical and emotional states across vast distances. It was also something that could occur involuntarily as with Jedi Quinlan Vos and Jedi Aayla Secura who formed their bond when they first laid eyes on each other.
The main benefit of the Force bond was for the transmission of images and emotions across great distances but also for enhanced battle coordination. With a strong force bond, Jedi Master and apprentice/Padawan were able to coordinate their attacks and strategies without vocalizing and giving their plan away. It was especially effective against non force wielding opponents.
Not only were two force sensitives able to connect in a deeper way through this bond, but it also allowed for one person to help coordinate large amounts of people with precision. This form of the bond was referred to as “Battle Meditation”. One of the most prevalent examples of this in Legends lore was Revan using his connection to the force to coordinate his fleet during the battle of Malachor V during the Mandalorian Wars. In the original Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn, the mad Jedi master Jorrus C’baoth used his battle meditation to coordinate Thrawn’s fleet on several occasions which resulted in sweeping victories for Thrawn’s forces.
This wasn’t an ability specifically limited to Jedi and their apprentices however. While it was far more difficult for a Sith to form this kind of bond given the nature of the Sith order and their beliefs (power is the end all be all and you will kill ANYONE to achieve it), some notable Sith were able to achieve this connection. As I previously mention Jorrus C’baoth was able to do it for Thrawn, but the most notable Sith to practice this was Darth Nihilus. Nihilus, also known as The Lord of Hunger and the Force Vampire, needed to consume the life essence of beings through their connections with the force in order to maintain his life. There is actually a mention of him being able to connect with every single life form on a planet while he fed upon their energies to help sustain his own life.
In the modern canon the force bond is merely a link between two powerful force beings connecting their minds over great distances. This allows them to transfer emotions and hallucinations over large distances. This bond can traverse the entire galaxy as long as both parties are open to the force. It is so powerful that they are able to see, hear and feel the other person through their link despite the vast distance between them. Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker used this connection numerous times during the Clone Wars as did Anakin and Ahsoka. Ezra Bridger and his master Kanan Jarrus used their connection during the Age of the Rebellion to connect with each other and pull some victories out of thin air.
Once again, this connection is not something limited solely to the Jedi, but they were the ones to use it the most. Other notable Force bonds are between Maul and Ezra Bridger, Palpatine and Dooku & Kylo Ren and Rey.
Kylo Ren and Rey will be the focus of this post as they are not only bonded by the Force but are also known as a Dyad in the Force.
DYAD IN THE FORCE
The difference between a Dyad in the Force and a normal Force Bond is that the Dyad is two separate beings that are one through the force whereas a force bond is just a link between two separate people.
The Dyad acts as connection which is stronger than life itself and its connection can span both time and space connecting two beings throughout history and at any distance. Rey and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo were prophesied to become a Dyad during the Age of the New Republic which is something that hadn’t been seen ever before. Connecting two very powerful beings on opposite sides of a global conflict was something that had never happened and the result was something wholly original.
The Sith Eternal Cult on Exegol which were responsible for not only Palpatine’s cloning but the creation of Snoke, and the return of Palpatine through the Dyad had an ancient prophecy that said through a Dyad of the Force, the Sith would return to power and destroy the Jedi Order once and for all. As we all know, prophecies in the Star Wars universe never tend to go the way they’re supposed to…
When Anakin Skywalker finally defeated Darth Vader and took control of his body once more in Return of the Jedi, he fulfilled an ancient Jedi prophecy of one who would destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force.
The prophecy itself is flawed as explained by Snoke in The Last Jedi. As the light rises so does the dark, there must always be a balance. If one side gets stronger than the other then the Force itself will correct that mistake. You can’t have light without the dark and the darkness is not allowed to consume the light. So the prophecy that states “killing the Sith once and for all would bring balance to the Force” is inherently paradoxical as the Jedi cannot exist without the Sith or rather the Dark Side to counter them. That’s the way George Lucas designed it and that’s the way it has been the entirety of Star Wars.
Technically speaking… when Anakin turned to the dark side becoming Darth Vader and he murdered all the Jedi across the galaxy with the help of Order 66; he did bring the Force into balance. Before the execution of the Jedi, they far outnumbered the Sith. Following Order 66 and the hunting of the remaining Jedi hiding out in the galaxy, the force was balanced as the only surviving Jedi were Obi Wan and Yoda, while the only surviving Sith were Vader and Palpatine. Yes, there are other like Kanan and Ezra and the Inquisitors, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll stick to the main movie timeline. As Obi Wan died, Luke took his place; and when Yoda died Leia took his place. So, therefore Leia and Han’s child was fated to become a Sith user in order to balance the scale. Luke’s failure was not his, he failed to recognize the signs and in his hubris thought he could challenge the will of the Force. He was wrong.
The Sith Eternal had it’s own prophecy, that the Sith would use the energy from the Dyad in the Force to return the Sith to power and take control of the galaxy. During the final confrontation on Exegol, Palpatine and the Sith Eternal managed to use the connection between Rey and Ben to return to power even if only briefly.
The Dyad between Rey and Kylo was something that had been attempted to be forced several times by the Sith prior to the natural creation of their connection. Darth Plagueis tried to force this type of connection between himself and his apprentice Sheev Palpatine for the process to fail and the latter to kill his master in his sleep. Palpatine then tried to force the same kind of connection between him and Vader for the light within his apprentice finally win out and destroy him.
THE CONNECTION ESTABLISHED
The connection between Kylo and Rey wasn’t always there however. It wasn’t until well into the events of Episode VII The Force Awakens that the actual connection is created. When the First Order attack Maz Kanata’s establishment, Rey was away from the site of the actual attack having just had her first force vision touching Anakin’s lightsaber. Kylo followed her into the forest on the outskirts of the skirmish and used his force abilities to subdue her and take her to Starkiller base for interrogation. During the interrogation when he used his Force abilities to probe her mind, he inadvertently established the connection between them. Not only did Kylo create the lasting connection, he also gleaned some of his Jedi training into Rey’s mind which is how she is able to best him at the battle of Starkiller base at the climax of the film. This also feeds into Yoda’s statement in The Last Jedi about how there was nothing in the ancient Jedi texts that Rey didn’t already know; it was because he knew of the Dyad and that Kylo had given her his knowledge. The connection is also what helped her to advance so quickly through her training because of the inherent knowledge she received from Kylo during his interrogation.
THE DYAD COMPLETE
The Dyad came into full effect in the battle of the Throne Room in Episode VIII. After Kylo killed Snoke using the lightsaber of Anakin Skywalker, he and Rey stood side by side while they took on the Praetorian Guards. Their connection and battle meditation allowed them to best these elite guards with very little effort because of their inherent connection. As previously said, the Dyad is created when two separate individuals become one single entity in the force.
After the completion of the Dyad, the two of them (Rey and Kylo) were unable to break their connection and could use it to “drop in” on the other at all hours. The interesting thing is that the connection was not actually between Rey and Kylo Ren but actually between Rey and Ben Solo. This is evident because in Episode IX when the two of them battle in the wreckage of the second Death Star and Rey bests Kylo, she heals the physical body of Ben Solo and allows him to once again take control of his body. At that moment Kylo Ren was no more and Ben Solo had returned.
During the final confrontation with Palpatine on Exegol as the Resistance and the united people of the galaxy attempted to destroy the Sith fleet, the Dyad was responsible for the defeat of the Sith. Palpatine had blasted Ben off the ground and down a chasm but Rey and he had already connected and she was able to channel his abilities despite him not being there. She was able to access his knowledge and training, which when coupled with hers, allowed her to connect to the Jedi. Her connection helped her/them to stand her ground against the might of Sith and turn Palpatine’s lightning back against him destroying him once and for all along with the rest of the Sith and the entire Sith fleet.
Rey sacrificed her life to stop Palpatine. Ben was able to climb out of the chasm and used the power of Force healing to bring her back to life. The issue is that with Force healing the healer loses some of their force connection and their life force. Ben gave himself to the force and the Dyad became one in Rey. She had the power of not only the Palpatine lineage within her but also the entire Skywalker line which is why she took the name of Skywalker at the end. It was as much a homage to her master (Luke and Leia) as it was to Ben and his drive to be like his grandfather who also, in a time of great peril, found the light within himself to save someone he loved.
There you have it, that’s what a Dyad in the force is and how it fits into the sequel trilogy and the entire universe as a whole. There is a whole lot of extra information about this type of connection that is NOT explained in the movie and requires a LOT of research to find, but that’s why I’m here!
I’ll see you guys next week for another edition of Comics 101!