Cobra Kai Just Recreated A Rise Of Skywalker Scene… But Better?

Warning: SPOILERS for Cobra Kai Season 5Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) faces her dark side in Cobra Kai season 5, and it’s eerily reminiscent of Rey (Daisy Ridley) meeting Dark Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Cobra Kai season 5 picks up soon after Sam lost the first girls’ All Valley Under 18 Karate Championship to Tory Nichols (Peyton List). What neither Sam nor Tory knew at the time was that Nichols’ sensei, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), paid off the ref to ensure Cobra Kai would win. Sam’s defeat meant her father, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), had to shut down the Miyagi-Do dojo, which left her questioning who she is.


In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey discovered that she’s the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Rey was orphaned for most of her life and was led to believe her parents were nobodies who sold her for drinking money, but that obfuscated the ultimate truth of Rey’s heritage. The young Jedi’s awesome abilities and power over the Force was derived from her Palpatine bloodline. In the ruins of the Death Star on Endor, Rey came face-to-face with a Dark Side manifestation of herself if she succumbed to Emperor Palpatine’s control. Dark Rey was a monstrous version of the scavenger from Jakku, and she wielded a double-bladed lightsaber. Rey only fought her dark doppelganger for a few seconds, but it was one of most memorable moments of Episode IX.

Cobra Kai season 5 bettered Rey vs. Dark Rey when Samantha faced her own dark side in episode 3, “Playing With Fire.” Seeking to better understand who she is without karate, Sam joined her friends Moon (Hannah Kepple) and Yasmine (Annalisa Cochrane) at a wellness center. Immersed in a self-actualization pod, LaRusso faced her different sides and roles as Daniel’s daughter (“LaRusso 2.0”), one of the girls, the loser of the All Valley, Robby Keene’s (Tanner Buchanan) ex, and Miguel Diaz’s (Xolo Maridueña) girlfriend. Sam expected to fight Tory in her vision, but instead, she went to war with her own black gi-wearing doppelganger, who wielded sais while LaRusso defended herself with a bo staff. But Sam lost to her dark side before she was awakened.

Why Dark Sam In Cobra Kai Season 5 Is Better Than Dark Rey

Not only was Sam vs. Dark Sam a longer sequence than Rey vs. Dark Rey in The Rise of Skywalker, but Cobra Kai’s version was a deeper and more meaningful exploration of the warring sides of Sam LaRusso’s psyche. It also brings to light the fact that Sam is one of the few teens left in the series who hasn’t joined Cobra Kai, but there’s an aggressive side of her that’s roaring to be released. This was evident by how much Samantha enjoyed learning Eagle Fang’s “badass” style of karate under Sensei Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Thankfully, Terry Silver’s threat to Daniel that he planned to wrap Cobra Kai gis around both of his children didn’t come to fruition in Cobra Kai season 5.

Dark Rey was certainly an interesting idea, as a spin on Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) facing his own dark side in the form of Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, but The Rise of Skywalker‘s breakneck pace didn’t give the concept of Rey facing her dark side the time or credence it needed to be fully impactful. In contrast, Cobra Kai has had amble seasons to explore Sam’s character in ways the Star Wars sequel trilogy didn’t for Rey, and this makes “LaRusso 2.0” a divisive character since she does display many of Daniel’s impulsive and temperamental tendencies. But Cobra Kai‘s Sam is also heroic and good-hearted like her father, and those are the LaRusso traits that win out in the end.

Cobra Kai Season 5 is available to stream on Netflix.

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