Given Lucasfilm’s expanded definition of what it means to be a Skywalker. It’s possible the first Jedi – the Prime Jedi – was a Skywalker.
The Prime Jedi – the original founder of the Jedi Order in Star Wars – was technically a Skywalker. Based on Lucasfilm’s definition of the name. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ended with Rey grafting herself into the prophecy of the Chosen One by declaring herself a Skywalker. And while the scene left a lot to be desired in terms of execution, in thematic terms. It’s effective and provides a conclusive ending to the Skywalker saga.
The idea to make Rey a Skywalker was planned back in 2014, ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “I like the idea that she’s going to be our Skywalker, but she’s not a Skywalker,” Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo noted in a meeting of the Story Group. “Then, for our purposes, ‘the Skywalker’ is really a metaphor. It doesn’t have to be something that’s directly connected to blood.” It’s important to stress the Story Group are treating the ‘Skywalker’ as something subtly different to the Chosen One – a specific person who was born of the Force. A Skywalker, however, appears to simply be someone who serves as an agent of balance. Anakin and Luke together restored balance to the Force when they defeated the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, and Rey has done the same when she destroyed Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
This fundamentally reinterprets what it means to be a Skywalker – and using this broader definition. It looks as though the Prime Jedi himself was technically the Skywalker of his generation. The Prime Jedi was subtly introduced in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. When Rey meditated next to a mural of him. Crucially, the Prime Jedi was represented as a servant of balance, rather than exclusively dedicated to the light side of the Force. The mural gave equal prominence to both light and dark, with the Prime Jedi representing the darkness in the light, and the light in the darkness. Essentially, he embodied the classic ‘yin and yang’ philosophy.
This fits with the Lucasfilm Story Group’s expanded definition of a “Skywalker” as a servant of balance. Significantly, Cavan Scott’s recent audiobook Dooku: Jedi Lost suggested the first Jedi did indeed see balance as a distinct aspect of the Force, and were dedicated to serving it. It featured an old Jedi mantra: “We call upon the three – light, dark, and balance true. One is no greater than the others. Together, they unite, restore, center, and renew. We walk into the light, acknowledge the dark, and find balance within ourselves. The Force is strong.”
According to Greg Rucka’s novel Guardians of the Whills, balance should be seen as a fleeting thing. It includes a quote ascribed to an unknown Force cult called the Ascendant of Mau, and it’s the closest Star Wars has ever come to defining the term:
“The moment between breaths
Is the balance of the Force.
Between life and death,
Rest and action,
Serenity and passion,
Hope and despair.”
According to this, balance is a fleeting thing, as ephemeral as “the moment between breaths”. So little wonder every generation needs its own Skywalker to serve and fight for balance. The Jedi, it seems, were originally founded to serve that purpose. And hopefully, Rey’s new Jedi Order will perform the same task going forward.