Once again, this week's article is about the wonderful world of Star Wars, but this time, it's not about R2D2, but instead, about one of the amazing feminist icons of the Star Wars universe, Rey, the protagonist of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
We are first introduced to Rey on the desolate planet of Jakku, where she scavenges in order to trade her findings for rations. She appears to be a normal resident, but we soon learn that she is much more than she appears to be at first glance. We learn throughout the course of the movie that she is very resourceful, and is able to use the Force to her advantage without any kind of training. She becomes the protagonist of the movie and a feminist icon within the Star Wars franchise. But one question still has yet to be answered by the Star Wars franchise: who is Rey’s family? And where are they now?
The most popular theory is the “Obi-Wan Theory,” which implies that Rey is most likely a direct descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the deceased teacher of Luke Skywalker. The theory draws this conclusion from several different points across the movies, but specifically, from two distinct scenes within the 2015 movie.
At one point, Rey discovers Luke’s abandoned lightsaber in the storage rooms of Maz Kanata’s bar, a former pirate, and long-time friend of Han Solo. Rey hears the lightsaber calling to her and goes down into the depths of the bar in order to see what exactly she is hearing. From the moment she touches the lightsaber, the Force gives her visions of her past, and the future to come. Within this vision, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice is clearly heard coming through to speak to Rey, which leads many to believe that she is a direct descendant of the fallen Jedi.
Another scene that leads many to believe that Rey is a descendant of Obi-Wan is the scene involving Daniel Craig’s Stormtrooper, where Rey uses the force in order to convince a Stormtrooper, played by Daniel Craig, to release her from her restraints. The only time we have ever seen the Force used in this manner is in the original Star Wars movie, where Obi-Wan Kenobi famously delivers his line to a group of Stormtroopers, saying, “These are not the droid’s you’re looking for.”
This is yet another reason that many people think Rey is a descendant of Obi-Wan.
Whether or not this theory holds any kind of weight within the world of Star Wars, my argument stands as this: Rey is someone who isn’t related to any of the characters from the original movies, and here’s why.
Throughout the movies, we are always reminded that the Force surrounds everyone and everything, and many people throughout the galaxies are able to reach out and sense the Force, if not use it. In the 2015 movie, Maz Kanata tells Rey to close her eyes, and the Force will act as her guide throughout troubled times.
Maz Kanata is in no way a part of the Jedi Order, or related to any of the known Jedi within the movies we have seen, and so we are definitively able to say that individuals outside of the Jedi Order, and without any relation to those within it are able to feel the Force around them, even if it does take some practice.
We have also seen that sensitivity to the Force is intensified in moments of emotional distress or serious duress. This is shown in several battles over the course of the franchise, and within Luke’s training with Yoda in the original trilogies. We even see it throughout Rey’s screen time, when she is under intense moments of duress. Its demonstrated specifically within her two showdowns with Kylo Ren, whether she is physically fighting him or not. When Kylo Ren is using the force to interrogate Rey, she pushes back, utilizing the force to her own advantage in order to turn the tables on Kylo. Within their physical fight, Rey uses the force to pull Luke’s lightsaber directly to her, completely overriding Kylo Ren’s own natural abilities.
We have seen that Rey was dumped on Jakku as a child by someone unknown to us, and never speaks about the people that dropped her on the desolate planet, even to the people closest to her. So what if being abandoned by her family was so traumatizing for such a small child that it awakened the Force deep inside her? We saw that Rey lived alone, and most likely did for much of her childhood, so if this theory stands true, she may have begun to use the Force without even realizing what she was doing.
If we apply Freudian psychology to this situation, the traumatizing events that were present in Rey’s childhood may very well have had serious effects on her adult life, and may have seriously affected her sensitivity to the force throughout her life. This may be why Luke’s lightsaber called to her in such a way and explains why the ways of the Force come so naturally to Rey throughout the movies. This also may be why her ways in the Force are so much more powerful than Kylo Ren’s, because they stem from her emotions, and her own emotional vulnerability, rather than something that is created from her lineage, like Kylo’s.
The Force is all around us and is something that many within the Star Wars universe are able to use to their advantage throughout their lives. I personally can’t wait to see where Rey’s abilities with the Force take her throughout the Star Wars universe, and I hope we find out more about Rey’s lineage within the next few movies.