Hello there! Today I am starting up a new series on this blog called “Discussions With Fluffet”, where every once in a while we will discuss something. Today we will be discussing the character, Rey from the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie! But before we get into it, this post is full of major spoilers. If you have not seen The Force Awakens yet and don’t want anything to be spoiled, please stop reading now
Ever since before the movie was even released in theaters, I’ve liked Rey. All the time building up to the big day when I’d get to see the movie, I just knew I was going to love her.
Rey is 19 years old and her family left her when she was just a small child. She’s spent her entire life on Jakku waiting for her family to come back for her. Since she was always on her own, she has had to teach herself things like self defense and survival. Rey is a Desert Scavenger. She has a great knowledge about mechanics and how things work, and even built her own Speeder Bike.
Now, I’m going to defend some things that have been said about Rey that I strongly believe are not true.
1. Rey is too perfect.
Seriously? Okay, I will admit that movie industries do have certain characters be a certain way just to please certain groups of people, but honestly, I don’t feel like this is the case with Rey.
As I stated above, Rey has been on her own for practically her entire life. She’s picked up on things and everything she can do makes sense for where she is living and what she has to do. Just because she has a staff and can defend herself that makes her too perfect? Or because she knows a lot about mechanics?
Here is an excerpt from the book, Before The Awakening: (Yes, this counts because it is a huge part of the story. How many movies have we seen where things don’t make perfect sense, but then you read the book and things are so much clearer?)
“She wasn’t afraid of violence. She didn’t enjoy it, but she wasn’t afraid of it. It was a necessary part of surviving on Jakku. She’d learned to defend herself early. She had been in more fights than she could remember. More wins than losses, thankfully. She was good enough that the word had spread in Niima to stay clear of her and what she could do with her staff. She could fight.“
We all know Star Wars (at least, most of us do 😉 ). We know the constant danger there is throughout the galaxy. Rey is growing up during a very dangerous time. The First Order is growing in strength and there are, of course, your regular dangerous creatures. She had to learn how to defend herself, and she did. Don’t you think you would need to know how to defend yourself in a time such as this? And that through all those years of experience, you would get pretty good at it?
2. Rey shouldn’t know how to fly.
Actually, this makes perfect sense. Rey is a scavenger. She goes hunting for old ships and such in the desert and looks at the parts. She takes things out and trades them to Unkar Plutt for food. She’s probably been doing this her whole life, too. Because of this, she has gained a great knowledge for mechanics and how things work. Since she knows how things work, she knows how to work them.
Here’s an example:
Say you’ve been working on airplanes your whole life. You’ve never flown, but you know how everything runs, and just how it works. So one day, you actually have to fly the airplane, because there’s an emergency and you know more about airplanes than anyone. You’re the best one qualified. You know how it works, so you are able to figure out how to work it. You may not be the greatest right at the start, but within just a few seconds, you’ve got the hang of it! And thanks to your great knowledge, you’re able to get everyone to safety.
It’s the same thing with Rey. In The Force Awakens, Rey, Finn, and BB-8 are running for their lives from The First Order. They have no other choice but to fly. When Finn says, “We need a pilot” (it may not be the exact quote, but please forgive me, I’ve only seen it three times 😉 ) Rey replies with “We’ve got one!”, referring to herself. She has hardly actually flown at all, but she believes in herself, because of the knowledge she has. Besides, what else are they supposed to do?
In the ship Rey is working with the controls, repeating to herself, “I can do this.” She’s clearly afraid and a little unsure of herself, but she figures it out. When you’ve spent your life around ships, seeing how things work, you have to know the basics on how a ship flies.
Yes, Rey does take a huge risk by flying the ship into another crashed ship (I’m actually not sure what it is, it all happens so fast. Maybe a Star Destroyer?), but she’s desperate. Under such a stressful circumstance, her mind may not be thinking clearly, which is what happens to a lot of people when they’re under stress and pressure. All she can think is to escape. Lose the Ties and get to safety. I honestly think it’s all quite believable.
Also, this wasn’t Rey’s first time flying a ship. In Before The Awakening, Rey spends months repairing a ship that she found. She had to fly it into Niima to sell it to Unkar Plutt.
“‘First flight?‘ she asked him. He nodded. ‘Mine, too.’ Rey said. She cut the brakes and brought up the power on the repulsors, the way she had thousands of times before simulations. The ship moved, rising in an almost perfectly straight line, and Rey felt Jakku trying to pull her back down….as if afraid to let them go. She felt the ship wobble slightly as she held the yoke, felt the nose dip as she came off the pedals and directed the repulsor field to propel them forward. The little freighter hesitated, as if uncertain of its relationship with gravity. Rey’s stomach dropped….Rey teased the power and fed more to the repulsors, and all at once, they were sliding forward into the late afternoon sky…. She set down the ship as gently as it had lifted off, powered down the engines in sequence, then put the main batteries back into standby mode…. The sense of accomplishment was profound… She had, with her hands and smarts, taken it into the air once more.”
3. That’s so dumb that Rey was teaching herself the force.
Okay, I’m going to start this up with a point that my sister, Jen made. How much training did Luke have? Uh – like none. Yeah, Obi-Wan did say some things to him and he did practice a bit with blocking lasers with his Lightsaber, but really, it was like nothing. Nobody complains about him being able to feel and use the force to to destroy the Death Star, so why are they complaining about Rey? Okay, yeah, Rey hasn’t had any training, but what if the theory of Rey being one of Luke’s Padawans is true? Since she was so little, she may not remember, but some things do stick with us. Another theory, what if they’re building up Rey to be one of the most powerful Jedi that has ever existed? If so, that would make sense! I think we all need to think about every possibility, before we make up our mind that it’s dumb and makes no sense. Let’s be optimistic!
Rey gets into Kylo Ren’s head. She’s able to tell him that he’s afraid he will never be as strong as Darth Vader. At first, Kylo Ren is in her head, trying to pull information from her. She’s crying, she’s scared and in pain. But she starts to fight it and you see a look of courage and strength come over her and at length she is in Kylo Ren’s mind.
Rey does the Jedi Mind Trick, but it took her several tries. You can tell that at the beginning she’s scared and doesn’t really know what she’s doing, but finally, just as what happened above, she clears her mind and does it with more confidence and she is able to succeed.
4. She shouldn’t have defeated Kylo Ren.
Good always wins. That’s just the way things go. Rey is scared at the beginning of their fight, and that’s easy to see. But her only choice is to fight or die. My sister made a good point in her most recent post, that she never even wanted to touch that Lightsaber again. She is really afraid and she didn’t want anything to do with the force or any of that. But sometimes things come up in life when we have to face our fears. When we have to do the one thing we never wanted to do again.
Finn, Rey’s new and probably only friend, was already injured. And the one man that she felt like was the father she never had, was killed. Both of those things were because of Kylo Ren, the man she needed to face. She has to fight.
As things are getting closer and Rey is getting a little better, Kylo Ren tells her that he can teach her the ways of the force. “The Force?” Rey repeats, and closes her eyes and focuses. She does just as Maz told her. Once again, you see her expression change from fear, to courage. She felt the force surrounding her and she used it, much in the way that Luke did when he destroyed the Death Star. Now that she was leaning on the force, and because Kylo Ren was injured, in pain, and afraid, she was able to defeat him. I’ve heard that pain, fear, and anger fuel the Dark Side. Like it gives you more strength and power, but when I think of the movies, I have never heard or seen that. I know that fear, pain, and anger lead to the Dark Side, but never that they strengthen you. It definitely seems like throughout the whole movie, Kylo Ren is not at his best because he is afraid, so I feel that it wouldn’t make sense if that were true. But maybe I am forgetting something or still need to learn more about that part 😉
Now, I believe that’s all I have to say in defense of Rey. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and share your opinions in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you have to say on this subject
May The Force Be With You!