Archived from a dying platform.
Last night, I approached the curious scavenger to ask if she was, in fact, Rey from Nowhere.
“I was,” she replied, “Now, I’m Rey from the Resistance.” Charmed.
I told her I had just made my first wish on the tree in Savi’s courtyard. She did not know the local custom. A Batuuan nearby overheard, and explained that the ribbon tied in her hair was a fallen wish come true, made by her grandmother on the Wishing Tree.
Thinking this beautiful, Rey wanted to make her own wish, but had no scrap of fabric to tie. The Batuuan, without hesitation, offered the Resistance hero the ribbon from her hair. Wish in hand, Rey asked if I would accompany her, to show the way to the Wishing Tree.
En route to the courtyard, I worked up the courage to ask about Luke. I told her how inspiring I found his final act on Crait. She said she had not witnessed it, but had felt it in the Force. She also offered that, when first she met him, she was disappointed. I told her that was what I found most inspiring about HER story.
That when her mentor failed her, she found strength within herself. She took inspiration from the past without succumbing to its failures, nor letting it die. I could relate. She said his sacrifice was just the Hope the Resistance needed. I agreed.
By this time we had arrived at the tree. I showed her my wish, and she found a branch of her own. That night, all the way past the galaxy’s edge, Rey from Nowhere tied her wish tightly to the Batuuan Wishing Tree.
A wish for the Resistance. A wish for peace.
I told her I hoped it would come true, for all our sakes. Rey thanked me for joining her, and I thanked her for making tonight a special one. She parted with, “May the Force be with you.”
Whether my wish falls in my favor, I will carry her words with me for the rest of my days.
Some time after our encounter at the Trilon Wishing Tree — longer, perhaps, than I’d care to consider — I once again encountered Rey from the Resistance.
This time, on the decks of the galactic starcruiser Halcyon….
After a mind-tricked altercation with the First Order in the hallway of Deck 4, between the turbolifts and the glowing deck map, the hero Rey from the Resistance gave everyone gathered their marching orders to head upstairs and complete various necessary tasks.
After everyone filtered out, the hallway was empty minus Rey, myself, a mother and her droid-dressed child. She had a gift for Rey. Rey accepted it graciously, placing the small rebel pendant on her bracelet immediately and thanking the girl. Mother was overjoyed by the brief interaction, and continued to their next activity.
Rey and I were now alone in the hallway. I asked if she had a moment.
I presented her with a Sigil of the Whills, the icon of the Saja. I told her what the Saja had meant to me in my own journey, and how important those who seek the connection of the Force are to the galaxy. I felt she should take one, as her efforts and the Saja’s aligned — and that perhaps we sometimes see the same eyes in different people. (I didn’t say that she reminded me of Saja Kyr, because I didn’t have to.)
She seemed moved by the gesture, which I punctuated by offering that something Yoda said in the holocron recording we unlocked together earlier that evening had stuck with me, and I couldn’t quite shake it. My voice was starting to quiver at this point, and she seemed interested to know, asking what was said that had captured my focus.
I replied, as quickly as I could to not delay her departure any longer, that Yoda was the wisest Jedi of them all, but even he, in all his wisdom, said of this knowledge contained within the holocron, “Legends, I thought, but now I know are real.”
Legends he only imagined. Proven real.
That’s how I feel about this place, I told her. She knew I meant the Halcyon, and layers of reality collapsed around us.
For a brief moment, Rey and I cried together in that empty hallway.
Through a face beautifully disrupted by emotion, she quickly offered that, of what she’d learned in her time on the Halcyon, this — she gestured to the space between us — the people, and the connections forged here, are what make this place special.
And then she said something that broke me:
“And it will live on.”
She was certain enough to repeat it. She knew it would live on.
I thanked Rey for taking the time to speak with me, and after exchanging May the Force be with yous, she hurried off to save the ship.
Alone in the hallway, I took in my surroundings. Reveling in the wake of that moment. (Grateful for her words, and perhaps a bit guilty that I had inadvertently placed the weight of my catharsis on her in that moment. But she offered it anyway.)
I was reminded of our moment at the Trilon Wishing Tree, in what felt like another life. Two shared moments, bookending a journey that, if not over, is about to change irrevocably.
But thanks to her….
I know we have everything we need.