While the sequel trilogy got plenty of flack (often deservedly so), it always seemed unfair to see Rey caught in the crossfire when Star Wars fans were trying to find someone to blame for the failures of these movies.
Rather than focus their ire on Disney, many fans early on blamed everything on Rey, claiming that she was an unrealistically-written “Mary Sue” rather than a fleshed-out character.
But we’re about to lay the truth on you bunch of scruffy nerf herders: Rey is actually one of the best and most compelling characters in the entire Star Wars mythology.
She Thinks On Her Feet
Early cries that Rey was some kind of Star Wars Mary Sue character occurred because of her climactic battle with Kylo Ren at the end of The Force Awakens, where she was able to hold her own against a severely-injured Sith warrior.
Some fans felt this Force newbie was overpowered, but in true Star Wars fashion, her apparent power came from her ability to think on her feet and trust her instincts.
She sees Finn in danger and lets her unconscious self take control, which simply means that she was naturally better at letting the Force guide her (and especially better than Luke Skywalker was at her age).
She Sees the Best In Everyone
Speaking of Luke Skywalker, his greatest power in Star Wars isn’t moving rocks or blowing up battle station. Instead, his greatest accomplishment was seeing the good still lurking in Darth Vader, even when Jedi Masters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda could not.
In her inability to give up on redeeming Kylo Ren, Rey follows in the finest Star Wars tradition of seeking redemption for others rather than revenge or glory for herself.
Simply put, she sees the best in everyone (including former Stormtroopers like Finn), and Rey’s ability to bring out the best in those around her is one of the best things about the (still severely flawed) sequel trilogy.
Confronting the Dark Side
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a chaotic mess. But there were some great Rey Star Wars moments, including her brief confrontation with her Dark Side mirror image in the wreckage of the second Death Star.
When Luke Skywalker confronted his own dark doppelganger on Dagobah, he failed this trial by immediately attacking, discovering only too late that such a destructive path would merely turn him into the next Darth Vader.
When Rey confronts her own dark mirror, though, she notably only uses her lightsaber in defense (something Yoda would be proud of). And she seemingly puts her own spin on her Dark Side doppelganger’s advice of “don’t be afraid of who you are” by declaring herself a Skywalker at the end of the film.
Rather than fail the trial like Luke did, she passes her own trial and ultimately grows into a stronger and more confident Jedi.
Fearless In Confronting the Emperor
Another Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker moment that cements Rey as a badass character is, of course, her fight with the Emperor. We see her refusing to strike Palpatine down, as Luke did before. And then we see her channel generations of Jedi Knights and Masters to finally rid the galaxy of Palpatine’s malevolence.
It’s a crowd-pleasing moment that also sums Rey up in a nutshell: she’s compassionate, quick-thinking, and strong in the Force, all of which makes her one of the best characters in this franchise.
And now that it has been confirmed that Rey will be getting her own solo movie, we can’t wait to see what she does next.