I got this writing idea looking at GIFs on social media and after reading a few articles online, and something just didn’t sit right with me about the whole “Rey versus Kylo Ren” concept in The Force Awakens. It’s very possible that the idea of Rey being just as powerful as Kylo Ren has never been something I’ve supported, and I’ve somehow been triggered into writing about it now. Either way, I don’t like the idea that Rey is as powerful as Kylo Ren.
I wouldn’t go all out to say that I don’t much care for Rey’s character at all, because that wouldn’t be entirely true. The one thing I do stand my ground on, however, is that Rey will never equate to what Luke Skywalker was to the franchise. Nope, not even budging on that (but that’s a whole other post). For now, I’ll say that I’m really not happy with the way that Rey has become a force user and how quickly she has “adapted” to this to the point where she’s beating seasoned warriors like Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens in a battle to the (almost) death.
I get that there are lucky breaks and sometimes, things happen and you find a fictional character (against all the odds) with the upper hand in a situation where clearly they should have lost. That scenario just isn’t possible in this situation where you have Kylo Ren on the one side who has been training since childhood to use the force (and to become a warrior that uses the force) and Rey on the other. Rey from Jakku which is literally nowhere, a person who has never used the force in all the years she spent growing up alone on Jakku. Rey has had no training to speak of, no mentor to teach her and no way to know how to use the force let alone beat Kylo Ren. I mean, she didn’t even know what the force was until she ran into Kylo Ren. I get that the whole title of the film is “The Force Awakens” and that’s all about Rey, but an awakening to me is not “make this person a fully-fledged force warrior on par with one of the scariest bad guys in the galaxy”. Rian Johnson – please explain. No really, please do.
Let’s jump right to the scene that matters, the fight in the woods where Finn is almost killed trying to fight Kylo Ren in Rey’s place when she is aggressively force thrown across the snow right into a tree that could have broken her back (but doesn’t, of course). Let me reiterate – Finn is almost killed. Finn, unlike Rey, IS a seasoned fighter, a warrior plucked from birth as a slave to become a Stormtrooper. Let that sit with you for a second. So here we have Kylo Ren who we already know is badass with the force and Finn, who we also know is a seasoned warrior. He is quickly overwhelmed by Kylo Ren and taken out of the fight without much effort on Kylo’s part. And suddenly Rey gets back up from the snow and uses the force to pull the lightsaber out of the snow with Kylo Ren force pulling it the other way. How can she do this? Nobody has shown her how to use any of her force abilities. Going back a little bit now, she is also adept at using force persuasion/manipulation, a skill that both Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker used when they were already Jedi Knights (which takes years and years of training to achieve). And lets not even talk about how she repels Kylo’s mental manipulation during the interrogation scene having never encountered the force before. Right.
There are only two conclusions I can come to for this argument. The first is that apparently, they needed a new character to take the Skywalker saga beyond Luke. Perhaps this was always the plan, maybe not, we’ll never know. Suffice to say that with Luke now gone, I’d feel okay with supporting that argument. The second is that somehow in the mind of the writers of the Prequel Trilogy, Rey really is more powerful than any other force user has been, including Kylo Ren and perhaps even Luke Skywalker. This is not something I can support at all, and the very thought of this makes me fearful for the future of the Star Wars franchise. Rey may be a lot of things, but stronger than Luke with the force? I’m feeling pretty triggered right about now, let me leave you here so I can go punch some kittens 😛