ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Warning - the following contains mild to moderate SPOILERS for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. If you still haven't had the chance to see it, then proceed with caution and all that...)

Now, with so much of the Internet's recent Star Wars-related bandwidth having been taken up by discussions of George Lucas's accusations of 'white slavery', some full on FinnPoe shipping and a stormtrooper named TR-8R, you might be forgiven for thinking that Episode VII: The Force Awakens's lead character, Rey, had been somewhat forgotten amidst all the hubbub. After all, the most recent news to involve the hero has had a lot more to do with subtly pervasive merchandising-themed sexism than anything to do with the actual character herself.

It's time, then, to do something about that.

Here are Ten Reasons Rey Might Just Be Your New Favorite Star Wars Hero

Starting with the fact that...

10. Daisy Ridley is Just Us, With a Lightsaber

There's something about watching a previously 'unknown' actor roam around a galaxy far, far away solving galactic space problems that's inherently awesome - and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that were they not on screen, they'd probably be sitting next to us in our local movie theater, gasping wildly.

Daisy Ridley - far more 'unknown' than your average 'discovered' actor, and still nerding out about her heroes knowing who the hell she is (see above) - is very much 'one of us'. And we love her for it.

Of course, it also helps that...

9. Ridley's Response to Fame Was to Be Awesome

From bursting into tears at the sight of every new Star Wars trailer (though, in fairness, who hasn't done that?) to zingering up a storm on the promotional trail, Ridley has demonstrated a startling amount of humor, self-awareness and self-belief-based humility at every step of her journey towards being loved by half the planet.

Which beats, y'know, the alternative.

8. Seriously, She's Actually Kind of Ridiculously Cool

I mean, she posted that to her own Instagram account. Self-deprecation fives all round.


7. Rey is Similarly Ridiculously Cool

I mean, she's a desert-dwelling bad-ass with a fighting staff who knows how to fly a Millennium Falcon and just got offered a job working on it with Han Solo and Chewie. That basically makes her our new god.

And, for that matter...

6. Rey Kicks a Whole Lot of Ass

From beating the snot out of a bunch of hench-goons in front of a completely befuddled Finn, all the way through to beating the snot out of the Dark Side's great white hope, Kylo Ren, Rey spends an awful lot of Episode VII's running time eliciting audience-wide fist-pumps and exhalations of glee.

5. Which is Helped By the Fact That Ridley Does Too

That's pretty much half of what her Instagram feed is at this point, and they don't get less impressive from there.

4. She Inspired This Magnificent Fan Theory

So much yes, danascullys. So. Much. Yes.

3. But, Seriously, She Kicks a LOT of Ass

Remember all of those times Rey had to be rescued in The Force Awakens? No, me either - and who doesn't love a hero whose response to being captured by an evil empire is to break out and start looking for a way to halt whatever dastardly schemes they're up to. Welcome to Indiana Jones town, population Rey.

2. She's Kicks All of That Ass, and Yet is Plausibly Flawed

Now, if you've spent more than a few hours on a message-board or comments section in the past few years, there's a pretty good chance you've watched some beloved character or other be called a 'Mary Sue' - usually critically. The term - which originally referred only to fan-created characters written to be impossibly-perfect versions of their own originator - has come to mean 'character who is ridiculously good at stuff, but ends up being a bit one-dimensional', because Internet.

And here's the thing - pretty much every straight-up hero you've ever seen on screen fits the latter description. As Moviepilot's own Eleanor Tremeer sagely points out right here, though, Rey absolutely fits the bill - and that's OK. Or, at least, half of it. She sure is hugely talented, and filled with force-tons of heroic potential - but she's also distinctly flawed, and comes complete with a whole lot of self-doubt and existential angst.

Which, a) makes her a great hero, like Luke Skywalker and literally every other major movie hero before her, and b) means that...

1. Rey, Like Ridley, is Us, But With a Lightsaber

One of the inherent problems with the 'Mary Sue' trope is that for every thinly sketched and fantastical female character only written in to the movie to facilitate the male lead's goals that it identifies, it's likely to decry a well-rounded lead character who's only ridiculously awesome because they're, y'know, a Jedi, or the actual chosen one, or Indiana Jones.

After all, when we go to see a movie like Star Wars, we aren't usually looking for a gritty look at the dark contents of our own souls, accompanied by a scathing indictment of our own failings as a human being. Instead, we want to be inspired by heroes whose greatness we might - might - just be able to live up to, if only we had force powers or years of training like they did. That's why we love John McClane, that's why we love Harry Potter and pals, and that's absolutely why we love every last member of the original Star Wars cast.

Rey, then, may be ridiculously awesome - but why would we want her to be anything else? She's an idealized version of every last one of us...


Latest from our Creators