There is a new short story within the new anthology Star Wars: Stories of Jedi and Sith that delves further into Rey and Poe’s relationship.
This story, named “Through the Turbulence” by Roseanne A. Brown, is set after the Last Jedi and before the Rise of Skywalker. There are few sequel trilogy stories out there, so it is always welcome to get any new material featuring Rey, Finn, Poe, Ben, or any other character from the final trilogy.
Through the Turbulence is well worth a read as it delves further into the rocky and contentious relationship between Rey and Poe. It also subtly explores why Rey is unable to use the Force in the comic book series Journey to Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance.
I won’t explain every detail of the story. The main plot involves Rey and Poe working together to save BB-8, who is kidnapped during an argument the pair have. It’s a simple story, and easily resolved. My main focus is on the emotional points this story explores. Let’s get into it!
Rey and Poe’s Relationship Was Never Close To Start With
First, let’s look at Rey and Poe shortly after The Last Jedi. Poe Dameron was already good friends with Finn since the Force Awakens. Finn, likewise, was close to Rey in that film. Rey and Poe are formally introduced in The Last Jedi, but not much more happens.
However, we get our first real interaction with Rey and Poe in Charles Soule’s Poe Dameron comics. In a later issue set after The Last Jedi, readers are treated to this panel.
Rey is already annoyed with Poe Dameron’s tendency towards vanity. This is further referenced in Kristin Baver’s in-universe reference Skywalker: A Family at War.
In Rebecca Roanhorse’s post The Last Jedi novel, Resistance Reborn, we get a glimpse into Poe’s thoughts on Rey. Poe thinks to himself that he will get to know Rey since she is the friend of his friend. However, the notices that she is a private person, in his words, “cagey”.
This will characterize most of the interactions we see between Rey and Poe in both “Through the Turbulence” and the film the Rise of Skywalker. Rey is private and tends towards introversion. Poe is extroverted and gregarious, and has a somewhat inflated sense of self.
Through the Turbulence begins with established animosity
Immediately on the first page, we see that Rey does not care to work with Poe. She does not hate him, but she simply does not get along with him.
And honestly, I don’t blame her. Poe is continually a bit man-splainy to her. Yes, he’s older, but Rey has shown herself to be an accomplished pilot time and time again.
The story establishes that Rey and Poe have been arguing prior to this short story as well. And no, this isn’t some romantic tension bickering a la Han and Leia (Author Brown has stated on Twitter that this is not a romantic or Damerey story). They just argue.
In fact, one of my favorite parts of the story is Rey constantly having to tamp down her instinct to be petty. I would love to see more of a petty Rey!
But the most important reveal of this story, is the reason why Poe is rude to Rey. It turns out he is resentful of her, and thinks Rey is “taking” people from him.
Poe is a bit of a territorial dog towards Rey. He thinks of her as coming into his life and taking his mentor Leia, who he jealously guards, and even his droid BB-8.
Poe instantly regretting letting it slip. Poe isn’t exactly a horrible person. We know from the Rise of Skywalker visual novel, he lets BB-8 look after Rey. But he never really shakes this sense of Rey being an interloper that takes from him.
I don’t know why Poe would be so intensely jealous of Leia. It may be that he feels in over his head, and feels that Rey is taking up time with Leia. Therefore, he would want to monopolize access to Leia due to his own insecurity in being a leader.
Poe doesn’t seem to have this insecurity prior to being in the Resistance, even after losing his mother Shara Bey. However, we do see in both the comics and in the Resistance cartoon that Poe is very close to Leia.
This animosity within Poe and Rey’s relationship will continue in the Rise of Skywalker. However, we get some further context at Poe’s anger at Rey training with Leia. Yes, he thinks Rey should be piloting. But he also needs to have Leia’s guidance and he irrationally perceives Rey as stealing that.
Even so, this story does show that Poe and Rey’s relationship isn’t completely disastrous. Poe is at least aware of his negative feelings. He is also willing to listen to Rey talk about something difficult for her. And they do save BB-8 together.
Poe and Rey’s relationship epitomizes that you can work together, be friendly, share a mutual best friend, but not exactly like being around each other that much. And that’s okay. The sequel trilogy “trio” is less a true friendship triad, and more of one guy (Finn), and his two best friends.
Now, let’s discuss why Rey wasn’t in tune with the Force prior to The Rise of Skywalker.
Rey’s Inability To Use the Force Explained
Rey and Poe’s relationship isn’t the only thing that “Through the Turbulence” explores. Before the Rise of Skywalker came out, there was a comic series known as Allegiance.
In that comic series, Rey is unable to use the Force very well. It’s never explained why, though many fans had their speculation. And while that explanation is never given, in the film Rise of Skywalker, Rey’s abilities have more or less returned, if not her full confidence.
So why is Rey lacking in confidence, and thus the Force?
In short, the Throne Room. Rey’s failure at getting Kylo Ren to turn to Ben Solo. Through the Turbulence explains that Rey can’t stop thinking of that day.
One line in this story that’s interesting is Rey’s internal comment that “everyone” said Kylo would betray her. There really wasn’t an “everyone” in this story. Only Luke and Chewbacca knew Rey would go to Ben Solo.
This single line highlights Rey’s constant thoughts of how others think of her. The amorphous, vague, judgemental, THEY, that would call Rey a failure and naive for even thinking she could turn Kylo Ren.
I’ve said this countless times in social media that Rey is lonely because she’s afraid to be open, not for a lack of people. And furthermore, she’s afraid to be open because she is eternally afraid of being judged and consequently abandoned.
Rey is at first afraid of her powers lest she be abandoned. She’s now afraid in this story of being seen as useless without those powers. When Rey was with Ben Solo in the hut, she was filled with confidence in her future at saving Ben and having a life with him.
But when the Throne room scene doesn’t go the way Rey thought, it shatters her faith in her own beliefs and herself. We the audience and reader, know that ultimately Rey will have been right all along about Ben. But for now she can’t understand how she could be wrong and “they” are right.
Read more about Ben and Rey and the Force Dyad here in Five Very Cool Things From The Secrets of The Sith
I think it’s safe to say Rey never told anyone else about her visions of Ben being with her and her reason for trying to save Kylo on Snoke’s ship. I think at this point Rey is in turmoil over her feelings for Ben and she’s afraid “everyone” is right and maybe she’s wrong.
I definitely don’t think she talks much to Leia about it, though Leia could see she cared about Ben. Poe is right that Rey is a private person, even towards those she’s closest to.
In Through the Turbulence, Rey does miss and grieve Luke. However, she is working through that in the story. In fact, Leia helps with that. But the Throne room fallout and her loss of powers over her turmoil over it? That she doesn’t talk about.
Eventually, Rey does reveal to Poe about the loss of powers. This is a big step towards mending Poe and Rey’s relationship, at least for a brief moment. However, Rey definitely does NOT divulge the reason why.
I think Rey is too ashamed and still too afraid of what others will think about her. Rey’s fear of rejection and abandonment is a theme throughout all 3 films. Only Ben Solo gets to see the inner Rey and does threaten abandonment.
No matter how much Rey loves her friend Finn, and her mentor Leia she still holds back from both of them. And this fear of openness keeps Rey lonely. Rey and Poe’s relationship never does have any definitive resolution at the conclusion of Rise of Skyalker.
They continue to be at least friendly. However, I don’t see that as a negative. In our real lives, we don’t necessarily vibe with everyone of our friend’s friends. It doesn’t mean we hate them, or can’t get along. And it may be that Poe and Rey’s relationship will continue to be one of friendliness, and the sharing of a dear friend, if nothing further.