You know, I actually think using her lightning would actually be a good resolution to the story.
I mean, throughout the movie she is absolutely afraid of her inner dark side. So much so that she tries to exile herself to Ahch-To. She isn’t afraid of Palpatine, she’s afraid of herself and what she is capable of. I actually could see it being satisfying to realize she doesn’t have to afraid of herself if she acknowledges the dark side within her.
If you think about it, that has always been the flaw of the Jedi. They’ve taught their students that their emotions are dangerous, and their dark side is something to be feared. Ben Solo thinks that because the dark side is in his nature, that he is a monster and can’t go back to his mother.
The Sith, on the other hand, totally let their negative emotions control them. They’re consumed with hate, greed, and selfishness. They’ve let their Shadow-self take over.
But a balanced person has to find a healthy relationship with their emotions, between their self and their shadow-self. Someone who bottles up their emotions, like the Jedi did, are much more likely to let their shadow-self consume them, like Anakin or Ben, because they didn’t cultivate a healthy relationship with their repressed shadow. So this has given the Jedi the mistaken idea that the dark side will corrupt instantaneously.
Someone described integrating your shadow as “having weapons and the ability to use them, but being determined to keep them sheathed”. Being totally harmless isn’t a balanced way to live. Instead, it is having the ability to defend yourself when necessary, and choosing not to harm others even when you have the power to do so.
I’m actually beginning to think not having Rey actively destroy Palpatine is actually the wrong path. Rey, Luke, and other Jedi killed plenty of people in self defense. Why is it suddenly bad for Rey to kill literally the embodiment of evil?
And I think that would make Rey’s yellow lightsaber work well. Rey has the power to protect others, but she has control of it (represented by it being contained by the hilt).
And just as the conscious mind can put the questions, “Why is there this frightful conflict between good and evil?,” so the unconscious can reply, “Look closer! Each needs the other. The best, just because it is the best, holds the seed of evil, and there is nothing so bad but good can come of it. (Jung 133).”
It’s an interesting idea to ponder but I feel like it’s too radical a change to the mythos for an edit to attempt. Knowledge and defense, never attack, etc. The problem is not that Rey kills the most evil guy, it’s that the final climatic moment of the saga is a Jedi killing someone. It felt much more fitting when Luke threw his saber in ROTJ and Vader sacrificed himself for him. Especially coming off TLJ where Luke saves the day without hurting a fly, and they spell out that the message is ‘save with love, not fight with hate.’
Anyway, if you’re serious about this idea it’d probably help if you have Leia repeat “never be afraid of who you are” right as Rey strikes the fatal blow.