Before we begin to discuss Daisy Ridley’s Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I want to add a quick disclaimer: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM AND WISH TO HAVE YOUR VIEWING EXPERIENCE SPOILER-FREE.
A long time ago, on Thursday night – which now feels far far away – I along with millions of people sat down in an overly excited theatre to experience the newest Star Wars installment. Of course, like every fan of the franchise, I was nervous to see what J.J. Abrams and the Walt Disney Company created. Was this film going to honor the past and pave the way to a bright, new future for this story? Or was this film going to be overstuffed with negotiations, corny one liners and a not-so-funny creature who we all wished never happened (sorry, I’m not sorry).
Well rest assured Star Wars fans – the force is strong with this film. I laughed. I cried. I had all of the feelings. But what I am most pleased with is the character of Rey. What I always loved about Star Wars was that women were not portrayed as damsels in distress. They had the capability to take care of themselves. Yet the franchise has always put more emphasis on their male characters. All my life, I really struggled with this. Do not get me wrong – I love Princess Leia more than the next fan, but all I wanted was to see a woman come in, take a light saber, and go head to head with the Dark Side in an epic dual of the fates.
Well folks, my wish finally came true. Rey is everything I could have ever wanted in a female protagonist and more. Although she is a nobody from a “junkyard” planet, Rey becomes the “new hope” for the franchise. She is a breath of fresh air to the Star Wars universe, full of ferocity, courage, wit and a strong sense of the force as she discovers herself and her inner powers throughout the film. Daisy Ridley adds a sense of reliability and genuine emotion to the character of Rey, to where we can all for a connection with her at some point. We truly watch her transform and come into her own with every obstacle she faces.
Rey can not only handle herself, but she single handedly flies the Millennium Falcon and even takes ownership of a light saber – yes, that’s right – A LIGHT SABER. Not just any light saber, but the iconic light saber of Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker (I am sure you’re already making predictions…). Although Rey is not an expert swordsman, she confidently handles her weapon against Kylo Ren, looking deep within herself to find the light.
It is clear that Rey’s journey is just beginning and it is very exciting to see what is in store for our young heroine. Can she restore balance to the force? We’ll just have to wait and see.
What do you think about Star Wars’ new “Luke”? Let us know in the comments below.