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TFA TLJ Daisy Ridley (Rey) in the ST

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Sequel Trilogy (Released Films)' started by Darth_Voider, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    The first 10 reasons that come to mind that I like about Rey:

    1) I empathize with her abandonment and all of the issues that stem from that and want to see her overcome them all. I also empathize with how crazy it would be to go from her past life to this adventure without a Jedi explaining her place in this.

    2) I admire her optimism. Even if it such that it can become a weakness for her at times. The first time I’ve seen her lose hope slightly was at the end of TLJ talking to Leia. Most of the time she’s the one trying to pick others up.

    3) I like how she thinks outside of the box. She’s a scavenger and she approaches life like that. Where others see uselessness she tries to find potential value. She’s always imagining and that helps her with the Force.

    4) I like her audaciousness, impulsiveness and spunk. She is driven by her heart. Good and bad. She’ll hit first and ask questions later. She doesn’t often mince words. She takes risks. She keeps secrets.

    5) I find her naivete fascinating to watch in this kind of setting. She’s never seen green trees. She stops to enjoy the feeling of rain off the Falcon. She doesn’t pick up on Finn’s advances. She has a fish out of water quality to her that’s interesting.

    6) She is modest when it comes to herself. She doesn’t boast or brag about herself. She doesn’t try to act like she’s some big superstar. In fact, when she isn’t being attacked and forced to be fierce she shows vulnerability and self doubt and I find it relatable.

    7) She displays a desire to better herself. Her staff training on Jakku tells me she works out like that a lot. Her desire to study a simulator. She wants to improve and she’ll keep practicing on her own and stealing books and doing whatever else she can come up with to try and better herself. I wrote this before but some of the most iconic female leaders, intellectuals and heroes of the past had to largely teach themselves because the world wasn’t interested in teaching them the way they would men. Rey exemplifies this quality.

    8) She’s passionate. Her moments with Ben Solo work because of how much passion she’s bringing to those moments opposite his more cold delivery much of the time. She is rarely cold. She’s emotive and warm and she draws me in.

    9) She has strong morality, idealism and she’s empathetic.

    10) She’s spent much of her life wielding a staff and it shows. She’s fun to watch fighting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  2. godisawesome

    godisawesome Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 14, 2010
    @Ender_and_Bean and I disagree intrinsically on some things, but I'd mostly agree with his points.

    Though, for the sake of discussion, I will explain why I feel Rey was much better handled in TFA and why I can easily see someone either falling out of love with the character or giving voice to previous issues with the character now.

    1st Reason TFA Rey is better than TLJ's Rey:

    A highly dynamic character arc. This is really to me the largest difference between the writing on TFA for most of the characters in the ST vs Johnson's plotting in TLJ. Rey si introduced as a by-and-large pragmatic but altruistic survivor on Jakku with an unhealthy unshakable faith her parents will come for her. Her altruism results in her being dragged into the hunt for Luke Skywalker, during which she gets to experience a new Galaxy and forge a firm, believable friendship with Finn, and the Force and Maz force her to confront the fallacy of her belief in her parents returning to her, casting her adrift in emotional turmoil with no idea about what she is or will do now, only to be captured and forced to evolve and use barely understood Force abilities and embrace a larger role in the Galaxy.

    Unfortunately, TLJ decides she should remain largely unchanged, simply repeats her parentage plot and confrontation with Kylo substituted for Maz, and effectively keeps her static from beginning to end... Accept for an underdeveloped and therefore contradictory faith in her captor, torturer and killer of her friends when he makes no effort to show how she could think he has good in him, leading to a simply unbelievable relationship or manipulation on his part.

    2nd Reason TFA Rey is better than TLJ's Rey:

    A far more engrossing and dramatic foiling in Kylo Ren. Kylo and Rey work better as opposites who on an intrinsic level don't really get each other's viewpoints, and have opposing strengths and weaknesses. Rey only really beats Kylo because he's degenerating and breaking down from self destructive decisions while she is concurrently forging ahead successfully in new territory. He clearly is a more skilled and experienced Force user, and therefore objectively is an intimidating and overwhelming opponent when they start fighting, but his total misreading of her as a possible apprentice and emotional turmoil and injuries allow her to rally and defeat him. In effect, because he can no longer see why someone who's friends he's hurt and is currently threatening won't join him and his cold blooded pursuit of selfish ends allows her to use her emotions and compassion for Finn and Han to overwhelm him briefly. He's still arguably a better fighter and Force user than her, but has intrinsic weaknesses she can exploit.

    Suddenly, in TLJ, after one brief, balefully pathetic glance at what their dynamic would be logically following from TFA, we suddenly dive into a weak and boring pseudo-yin and yang take on their abilities in comparison to each other, with her no longer having any weakness compared to him, making her seem OP and him pathetic as an antagonist. We also have an attempt at an emotional bond that is so botched it causes Rey to come off as somewhat uncaring for what Kylo did to Han and Finn, and ignorant of how he's still a horrible person, alongside some "forced intimacy" because apparently someone felt this story needed Fifty Shades of Rey.

    3rd Reason TFA's Rey is better than TLJ's Rey:

    Actual progressive treatment of her as a female protagonist. While TFA begins initially with Finn as a clear protagonist, Rey clearly emerges as the ST protagonist at the end and is afforded the respect and gravitas necessary to that title. Her previously mentioned character arc and foiling with Kylo culminate in the film's emotional climax, with her finally taking up the lightsaber against Kylo. She's a female character who's been fleshed out and undergone a journey to get to this point, and she's effectively the last main heroic protagonist standing at this point of the film, with Finn maimed and Han dead. She ends the film placed as a worthy successor to Luke and Anakin as the featured Jedi Hero.

    Then TLJ demotes her. That's what it clearly does to her. You don't give her a static character arc like they did, that retreads a plot point instead of diving into new territory of her forging a new identity, and then have her effectively end her arc 20 minutes before the end of the film if you see her as the main protagonist. Nope. Instead we've got to focus on Luke's dynamic character arc (one that's founded in questionable judgement fog he character in the OT) and his relationship with the also underdeveloped but arguably more central to the story privileged white boy gone bad in Kylo.
     
  3. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    “Then he’s our last hope.”

    Now what OT exchanges does that remind us of....[face_mischief]
     
  4. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    @godisawesome

    It’s important to realize the function of TLJ within the trilogy as a whole. Let’s have a look at some of the classical elements of a strong Act II first.

    [​IMG]

    Johnson delivers all of that and more in TLJ for Rey. This isn’t Rey’s end. It’s also not her at her best until the end. Like much of TLJ, Johnson is laser focused in on every primary character’s established weaknesses and testing those. That’s the function of the middle. To test, tempt, complicate, introduce new hurdles, and in that process tell us more about who these people really are, in comparison to who we hoped they’d be, or who they hope to be.

    TFA and TLJ almost combine due to the continuous nature of the war and I think it helps because Rey has spent similar amounts of time with most of these people and is trying to find her own way to help her side win the war. Her origin is not given a convenient revenge plot that makes her goal immediately clear to the audience. Her journey is more of a coming of age tale about choice and that with great power comes great responsibility. She is a reluctant hero for logical reasons. She comes from a traumatic childhood with parents who didn’t have heroic traits and she hasn’t had an Obi-Wan tell her she’s a chosen one or the child of a great Jedi. What would have happened to Luke or Anakin had they not met Jedi when they did?

    Her impulsiveness, big heart, naivete, abandonment issues and outside the box mindset lead her to making some choices that some of her fans wish she hadn’t. She will have to live with those heading into IX and learn from them and I suspect that she will. She abandoned her mission for Luke and was pulled toward the Dark Side without her even realizing that she was buying into an easier solution that her mind thought would deliver the ultimate happy ending for the war and the Skywalker family. That’s something she was warned about twice by Luke and she didn’t listen and when Luke decided to return for the second time (Extended edition) she had left him with no other option than to perform a feat that ultimately helped end his mortal life. When she comes to terms with that realization that she shouldn’t have left Luke for Ben is something I hope we get in IX.

    Visions of the future have a way of revealing character weakness in Star Wars. We are fortunate as fans that Johnson has such a deep understanding of the DNA of Star Wars that he weaved this long-running theme in. Anakin was impacted by visions. The Emperor was. Luke was. And now Rey has.

    What you call demoting I merely see as struggle and her abandonment issues being tested more directly. Considering how clearly those were setup in TFA it absolutely makes sense for Johnson to aim pore precisely in that area with more weapons and he does exactly that, allowing us to realize just how deeply affected and traumatic that experience was for Rey and how she’s limited herself and her perception of what she can be to her parent’s struggles and where she comes from. It’s a less extreme take on the sins of the father parental issues that have also played a part in Star Wars and I’m glad Johnson worked abandonment and some of the issues that linger from it into a core struggle for her that isn’t easily overcome.

    For those that are uncomfortable with the notion of sexuality explored between a young hero and a young villain then I would encourage those people to try and view the dynamic differently and less “50 Shades of Rey” (to borrow your words) and more like Rey unwisely beleiving she can take on the role of peer psychologist in her interactions with him and her belief that the Force might be bringing her together for a greater purpose related to him. The Last Jedi still works if viewed more on these terms and less sexual ones where Rey naively believes that she is a strong judge of character and that Luke’s premature judgment of Ben lead him to believing he really was a monster and acting on it. She naively believes she’s making progress with him and can sense his interest in her. The mind bridge and later the vision of Snoke dead and them fighting the guards together convinces her that her compassion toward “the most hated man in the galaxy” will win the war, save her friends, and deliver the ultimate happy ending for the Skywalker family. She speaks earlier of the Vader redemption to Luke with passion. She relates to that. Showing compassion and that leading to victory. She incorrectly believes the same will occur based on all she’s experiencing and observed.

    The purpose of the midpoint of a story in many ways is demotion though if that’s how you want to view it. Others would call them physical or emotional or character setbacks. They function in the same ways. What Luke thought would work in TESB did not and it’s back to the drawing board. Same for Rey now. That’s what good Middle chapters should do to protagonists.

    I also disagree with the notion that it’s a retread for her. I believe that to be an oversimplification and one that is commonly brought up for Finn too, which I similarly disagree with for the exact same reason. In TFA Finn and Rey have heroic moments at the end but Finn’s is exclusive to protecting Rey and Rey’s is exclusive to her own survival. By the end of TLJ Finn is willing to die not only for Rey herself but for a movement; even if it means he’ll never see Rey again in the process. That’s a development. In Rey’s case it’s about moving past the notion that she needs to bring one of the Skywalkers back and keeping her powers hidden and using them only instinctually and for self-defence to actively concentrating and channeling the Force not for herself and her self-defence but to save the movement and coming out to the movement as one who has powers and realizing that the Force powered hero she’s been looking for in Luke and Ben can be her. So, that’s her development.

    What they’ve really done is extend the typical structural elements of the hero’s journey phases a little longer because characters like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, despite assertions by some fans that they didn’t get enough time, are in fact given more time and energy and story within this saga than what a writer would likely normally do for these archetypes within her larger journey if those roles had been new to the saga and didn’t have the history they had. They do so obviously because these two were heroes of the past and they feel each deserved their own mini arc at the end of their lives. I agree that it impacts Rey’s story and that it isn’t conventional but I can also understand why they wanted to do so since it’s the end of their lives.

    The Stone moment is her coming out party as a hero. It’s the first moment where she’s put her Force power to use for others. In this moment she’s decided it’s no longer about passing the saber onto one of Skywalkers and hoping one of them will save the day and win the war. It’s not about letting her abandonment issues limit her potential any more or make her vulnerable to manipulation and exploit. She takes what she learned in lesson one where she could sense the pebbles rising around her hands to new heights to save what she loves.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  5. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    I wonder to what degree RJ/LFL forsaw that the fandom would disagree so fundamentally on what the story of TLJ, the ST, and - frankly - the whole darned Saga is about (8 movies in!).

    I do think RJ could have done a better job with Rey. She felt more dynamic and projected more personality in TFA, I think. I guess JJ’s directing of her (and Kylo) just spoke to me more...

    Re Reys overall role in TLJ...I can’t blame RJ too much; I suspect that the overall vision/goals for the story tied his hands, to a degree. I think Rey’s story and character are limited, to a degree, by the overarching narrative. Rey is “lost in the wilderness” for most of her life; it seems like it was a period of relative stasis for her. In contrast, Luke and Kylo (and Leia, imo) were/are “lost in the wilderness” in a way that allows for more intersting backstory narrative possibilities.

    I hope they have mor interesting character development in store for Rey now that she’s “grown beyond” Luke’s OT arc.
     
  6. Darth Smurf

    Darth Smurf Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Very good question. Do they understand it now? Will they correct something? I doubt.
     
    -LordSkywalker- likes this.
  7. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    I feel that if they cared *that* much, or thought the fandom would hold a grudge through Ep 9, they would have course-corrected by providing clarity in the novelizations.

    As it turned out, the jr novel proved to be basically useless. The adult novel provided some very intriguing insights and confirmed a few key generalities I had suspected, but it was clear to me they’re deliberately withholding key contextual information, and that Fry either wasn’t made privy to much beyond the surface read or was but instructed to keep it on the down-low. (RJ had a hand in things, but I think his involvement was fairly limited. I have my own ideas re what in the novel came directly from him.)
     
  8. Jedi Jessy

    Jedi Jessy Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 28, 2016
    I don't think it's a good thing. "Kylo Ren, the man who tortured me 2 days ago, is our last hope!" why? And Rey physical attacks Luke trying to "defend" this guy
     
  9. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    They have to know they can't please everyone though while also reaching out to new fans at the same time. I would think that when they rendered the old EU fan fic and legends they made it clear that they are willing to lose some in order to do what they think is best to ensure Star Wars is less reliant exclusively on the fans who grew up with the OT and is growing new fans. They're a massive company. I would be very surprised if they didn't have analytics or market research well beyond what we've seen in polling companies or box office data. They made their entire purchase price back for all of Star Wars in 3 films released in 3 consecutive years. They're building huge Disney World expansion projects to reach out to new kids.

    We'll find out by 2028 if they pull it off or not but they seem intent on reaching out to new generations first and hoping to keep as many of the old fans as they can while they do so. The anthology films in particular feel primarily aimed at the older fans first and new fans second.

    EDIT: Clip available online from presumably one of the Blu-ray features on how Rey doesn't realize she's venturing closer to the Dark Side through Ben Solo.

     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  10. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    I was more commenting on the storytelling strategy they seem to be going, rather than the story itself. The overarching story feels very much in line with how I personally have seen the Saga; the 13-year-old girl in me, who saw the SE OT in theaters and proceeded to inhale Joseph Campbell and write as many school essays on SW as I could get away with, is flopping about in paroxysms of pure joy. I read the old EU obsessively as a young teen, and what we’re getting is so superior, imo, there is no comparison.

    I just feel that some elements of how they’re going about telling the story have been poorly-judged. At a certain point, tasteful, intriguing ambiguity starts muddling the surface read, imo. And what I’ve always loved about SW has been how enjoyable the movies are to view on multiple levels.

    There are some who say that most fans who hated TLJ are disgruntled because their expectations/headcanons were dismantled. Personally, I don’t think that is the main issue. My expectations of the story post-TFA, as a fan, are being wildly exceeded; that doesn’t make me think TLJ was a great movie, though.

    (To be fair, I felt TLJ had some amazing moments.)
     
    Ender_and_Bean likes this.
  11. oncafar

    oncafar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2017
    The video you posted is this clip?
     
  12. DarthTalonx

    DarthTalonx Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Would have been better Ren saying: "The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural..."

    Rey (communicating through the Force): "Is it possible to learn this power?" As she observes Luke in the distance in a hut.

    Ren: "Not from a Jedi"

    I personally thought Rey would join Ren. That would have given us some payoff!

    I wish Rey was more like Akana in that Star Wars fan film if anyone has seen.

    Also I thought the Robot Chicken short on Rey's powers was funny.
     
    -LordSkywalker- and Glitterstimm like this.
  13. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    Sounds like it's only a snippet from it.
     
  14. oncafar

    oncafar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2017
    What is your source? As the YT video is mostly trailers.
     
  15. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    I saw it in an article that linked to that video.
     
    oncafar likes this.
  16. godisawesome

    godisawesome Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 14, 2010
    You are very good at arguing your point. But I fundamentally disagree with some of your viewpoints, and I think you may have misconstrued one of my points.

    I wasn't using "demotion" as a term to refer to Rey's comparative power and importance in universe. I meant it as in Rian Johnson and the film place inherently less value on her characterization and arc in comparison to Luke and Kylo Ren, that even the struggles, stumbles, and failures she's is going through in the traditional midpoint of the film have less importance and dramatic weight for her because they ultimately don't impact her enough, especially not enough in comparison to the work Kasdan and Abrams did in TFA. The core evolution you have identified for the character is one that I regarded as mostly complete at the end of TFA, since she uses her powers and skills to defend Finn and assist in the Battle of Starkiller Base. There was some successive growth to follow, but I perceive it as being intricsically and conceptually weak and anemic compared to what a protagonist character needs. Rey having an anonymous and insignificant parentage is a great idea for having her form a new identity... So start forming the new identity! Maz already conveyed, at minimum, 95% of the parentage reveal and implications. We wasted time on repeating that revelation more thoroughly when we could have spent more time with her grappling with the actual weight those revelations, and the pressure of the meta-narrative, put on her.

    Rey enters TLJ as the defacto new Resistance Champion thanks to her powers and pursuit of Luke with almost zero Jedi education and knowledge that her parents ultimately don't matter to her future and abandoned her, and exits with one guided meditation and one discouraging lecture and someone else reminding her that her parents don't matter and some books she stole to go be the defacto new Resistance Champion because Luke died.

    That's not sufficient trials or tribulations to match Anakin or Luke's importance on the midpoint of their trilogies, and the worst she's suffered is having her feelings hurt by Kylo, since they've decided she flash learned all Kylo's skills and is automatically his equal in Force powers. Her breakdown in TFA after Maz tries to give her some help is more devastating to her and more impactful to the audience, her conflict with Kylo is more compelling because he clearly had intrinsic advantages over her she had to overcome, and her losses at the end of TFA were more devastating because she had a positive relationship with Han and Finn. Her net outcome in TLJ is ultimately almost all positive, since she helped Kylo kill Snoke and raided the Jedi library.

    And I really do believe that the circuitous route of her personal arc and the flaws in the execution fo her bond with Kylo ultimately make her more an interesting bystander in Kylo and Luke's conflict, not the star.

    Oddly enough, it's nor so much that I disagree with a lot of Johnson's goals, more just the extent to which he does or doesn't pursue them. I see how Rey Someone New can be powerful, but he doesn't get to the point of that development that's tasty and just retells a moment from a superior film. I can dig the idea of Kylo and Rey getting a complex relationship, but I feel it has to match the quality of chemistry work done with Rey and other characters like Finn in the superior preceding film. I know that Lucasfilm and Johnson have stated that she's the new progressive heroine of the series, but that means you can't get lazy on her plotting and let your self get scooped by the superior TFA, where they tried to hide that fact throughout.

    A lot of my complaints at this point are in part due to hype backlash; I can see the value of TLJ, but I think it's utter madness to suggest it's more progressive, better written, or in anyway worthy of getting High praise as a sequel to TFA, and laughable to view it as better than that film. At best, it's adequate on some plots and daring with a few others, while still clearly flailing on some. Ultimately, to me, time should reveal its got at least a disappointing plot surrounded by wonderful acting, cinematography, and directing.
     
  17. Talos of Atmora

    Talos of Atmora Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2016
    This is really what breaks Rey's character arc entirely. Not only are her trials completely pathetic when compared to her predecessors but her increase in power is merely contrived as a response to Ben's. It creates a ton of dissonance between her status as a "nobody" and her new mantle of "Light Side Messiah" which is only made worse by how cripplingly dull she is.

    Sure, Anakin may have had a virgin birth but what I find interesting about Anakin is how that is basically the least interesting aspect of his character compared to all the more interesting things regarding how his incredible loyalty and passion makes him view his place in the Republic and the Jedi Order itself, how the war affects his worldview, how that worldview and the absence of Qui-Gon Jinn allowed him to accept Palpatine taking the place as his "father figure", how the war ultimately estranged Padme and him ideologically, etc. I've often seen Rey compared to Anakin but the problem is that she is Anakin without anything that made Anakin an interesting character. Without anything that made you want to revisit his story. She is Anakin as the worst case scenario from a narrative standpoint.
     
  18. modaubr

    modaubr Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2016
    @godisawesome Wow, I agree with everything you said. Ultimately I believe that our perception of TLJ will depend a lot on IX, on how JJ & Co will use Rey's journey, and by extension all the elements of TLJ, to conclude the trilogy. For example, I think a real possibility is that ultimately TLJ will feel like a detour within the actual journey, made only of TFA + IX. A bit like fan fiction, used to explore some possibilities, in between the real milestones of the real story. Such detours can be interesting, I'm an avid fan fiction reader and I like psychological, inner journeys but to me Rey's journey is hard to swallow.

    To be fair, I find some endpoints of TLJ interesting : for example Rey has now an understanding of Kylo Ren, even though I personally have many issues with how this understanding has been set up. In IX, it must pay, in a big and satisfying way for her character (and hopefully not only as an instrument of Kylo Ren's redemption). Otherwise I will personally perceive the bond set up between the two in VIII not only as contrived and controversial, but really as a waste of time.
     
    godisawesome likes this.
  19. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    Regarding the time with the OT cast and its impact on Rey

    I think we can all probably admit that under almost any other circumstances, if we looked exclusively at the function of Han and Luke as archetypes within the stories of Rey and Ben, and excluded their significance to the saga as a whole, most writers would have simplified their roles and reduced their screen time and made them “the villain’s dad” and “the retired master.” There would have been less scenes involving them and more scenes involving Rey and Ben.

    However, because they aren’t mere archetypes to a significant portion of the audience experiencing the films the writers knew they had to carve out small mini arcs for each as their own mortal lives end and that need takes the spotlight off some of the newer characters they intend to see through the end of the trilogy and leads to some of the storytelling complaints for folks who are big into story structure templates because of the sheer amount of people who are all being given their own arcs. The amount of characters given their own arcs — including new ones encountered on the journey — and the slower build almost gives the ST more of a Lord of the Rings cinematic quality at times.

    It’s logical to assume that IX will feel different in this regard and that the focus will shift more to Rey again now that the OT cast has left the mortal world. This will be a boon for Rey because of what I was referring to earlier, which seems to have been missed in some of the responses aimed at me that followed.

    Regarding Rey’s hero’s journey

    Rey is slower into her hero’s journey than what is typical at this point. Yes, you read that right. The girl who many feel is too far ahead in Force power is actually moving slower through her hero’s journey than what would probably be considered conventional.

    The reason is because there are two things at work here structurally when telling a story over a trilogy.

    1) The need to give each individual film their own 3 act structure.

    2) The need for each film to function as acts when zoomed out to form the trilogy as a whole.

    Point 1 throws a lot of people into thinking Rey was further into her hero’s journey than she was by the end of TFA but I believe that if we zoom out we can see that the confrontation with Kylo Ren at the end of TFA is really not evidence of her newfound heroic independence where she’s ready to use her powers to save the day. I can understand why some thought it was of course. The saber pull in the snow feels like the moment she’s become the hero because of her refusal earlier but despite its symbolic importance and its glimpse into her potential as a hero it’s still the setup to her transition phase. Just as Finn standing up to Kylo Ren was still his setup to his transition phase. These were glimpses into the people we’d see by the end of TLJ but as this entry so aptly puts it:

    TFA is all about their departure from her “ordinary world” (ordinary to her but not to most people) both externally and internally. There is no real coming back once the Force has awakened and she’s realized her powers. They will forever confuse and intrigue her and become her own mystery box that day forward. She is forever changed.

    Where a lot of fans I think mistake her being further along is the saber moment in the snow. I get it. She refused the saber initially and instinctively through survival instinct wields it at the end. Many saw this as her becoming the active hero. Some were even angry that it happened so soon. They were wrong. It hadnt. Others thought it had and were let down by how long she’s looking at the Skywalkers to save the day in VIII before ultimately realizing the hero can be her.

    To me, it was clear the moment she extended that saber at the end of TFA that she had decided she still wasn’t the hero and that’s exactly what it was. Campbell calls the next phase the transition and likens it from moving from childish behaviors to self-reliance. That’s why TLJ is her transition phase.

    The signs are clear. She’s still looking up to the childhood stories she’s heard about the Skywalkers and hero worshiping them. She sees the need for one to save the day. She learns about emotionally manipulative young men who desire her. She continues to struggle with her childhood abandonment. She’s still impulsive. She’s still naive. She’s still hiding her powers and uncomfortable even talking about them to a Jedi Master. TLJ is all about her trials emotionally and psychologically of moving from a girl to an indenpendent woman that’s no longer hiding who she is and who is starting to feel more comfortable in this new body that’s capable of incredible powers and comfortable accepting her abandonment as part of who she is but not something that needs to define her.

    Most developing Force users we have seen — some of whom are using their powers instinctively without knowing it — have been fortunate enough to meet the nice guy Jedi who tell them they’re special and tell them they will train them. Rey’s path is very different for this reason. Following her awakening the first person to take interest and offer to explain more of her powers is not a nice guy Jedi. And yet he may have answers. The kind of answers that the characters themselves would crave as much as fans do. Anakin and Luke get some of those answers. Not so Rey. So, as she starts VIII she’s further behind in figuring out her place than the other two male protagonists are (and Ezra if you include him too). What happens when it’s the Dark Side user recruiting first and the Jedi aren’t as perfect and providing all the answers not only about the new character’s potential but also their place? That’s part of what the ST explores. It also presents a third option between Light and Dark rarely seen in a Jedi journey before. The possibility and downside of choosing to not use the powers at all.

    And because it explores that it takes longer to get to her real hero moment of seeing herself as someone who is no longer looking for one of the Skywalkers to save the day and realizing it’s going to have to be her. That’s what makes her moment on Crait so much more heroic and transitional. She’s utilizing actual Light Side training she worked on. She’s choosing to do it. It’s not instinctually happening in a defensive way she doesn’t get. She’s showing her power to others beyond the Skywalkers for the first time in the story.

    She’s also made the choice to use her powers to become a hero who recognizes that with great power comes great responsibility. For Finn there are similarities but I won’t get into them here because it’s not his thread.

    TLJ is the initiation phase from Jospeph Campbell for Rey. Campbell also likened that phase as the transition from childhood to adulthood and to use his words “the journey from childish behaviors to self-reliance.” and I also think that’s apt with many of the psychological hurdles and choices she’s presented with related to her childhood abandonment and how she’s still allowing that to impact her and also the choices she wants to make as a young woman in this strange new world she entered following TFA.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    Akane likes this.
  20. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2013
    TLJ made TFA a better movie but not in the way I hoped it would. TFA is "better" being just good because TLJ is so mediocre as Episode VIII. I don't think that TFA is all that good a VII either but as a follow-up VIII TLJ is really quite rotten.

    That said a lot of TLJ problems come because TFA simply didn't want to address them in the first place and decided to not do what needed to be done. JJ so wanted to recreate ANH that he simply neglected far too many things that a set-up episode of a new trilogy needed ie the actual set-up. ANH was extremely simple in it's initial set-up but Lucas still had a lot of exposition and examples to place the stakes. Afterwards when it became EP IV then he had 3 movies before it to go deep into everything. TFA didn't do as much as ANH did when it wasn't even IV yet and certainly nothing compared to afterwards.

    As far as Rey goes though you have pointed out what the problem was. This is something that JJ himself was worried about which is why he pushed Luke out of VII because he knew that Luke and Kylo Ren would dominate the story and there would be nothing much for Rey and Han.

    Unfortunately he just pushed the problem into VIII and the same thing happened. RJ either had no real interest in Rey or her story is so slight that it was all pushed into IX because giving a support character extra focus to play them up only works so much then you have to get to the real story. This explains both Rey and Finn getting so much in VII and what happened in VIII.

    The entire ST would be better served if they gave the proper focus to the actual story of the central character of Ren.

    I don't think IX can do much for this trilogy but it is possible to save Rey's character yet but I really wonder if they will have the will to do what needs to be done. Essentially they need to pack a trilogies worth of failure, struggles and character faults into one movie so that she can actually overcome them, change and grow.

    A lot of the ST is in essence creating a hybrid of the PT and OT but the choices they made on where to frame the story and characters creates confusion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  21. Jedi Jessy

    Jedi Jessy Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 28, 2016
    I think Shuri is a female hero better written than Rey (she is just 3 years younger than Rey)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  22. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    No disrespect but I’ve noticed you really seem to want to go in-depth on Marvel discussion and your love of it.

    I would have to think there are other places online specific to Marvel and BP where you can get into that franchise more and all of the characters in it than the Rey thread on a Star Wars forum.

    I haven’t had the chance to see that film yet but I would like to and would prefer to go in knowing nothing about the film at all. Without knowing anything about it though I can say that most comic book origin stories get to the transition phase much faster. The Last Jedi spends the entire film of TFA in phase 1 of the hero’s journey for Rey as I outlined and then most of film 2 in the transitional phase. Comic book films do a lot of this stuff faster to get into the conflict.

    I don’t know anything about that movie yet though and would prefer not to until I can see it. Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  23. Strategize

    Strategize Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Well, since they didn't like TLJ, I guess they have to find something they can suck up to real quick to null the pain, even if it's completely unrelated to the topic outside of "these two people have the same gender".

    Seems to be a trend in a couple of threads I've seen. "Hey guys did you see this thing that Black Panther did that has nothing to do with TLJ, but despite that isn't it still so much better than what happened in TLJ? Yeah! Take that Rian Johnson."
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  24. Lost_Hope

    Lost_Hope Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 15, 2018
    There are a lot of characters who are better written than Rey. (And there are many characters who are better written than Luke Skywalker and Anakin.)

    Shuri is more like Hermione to Harry Potter. Shuri is not a protagonist. And Shuri isn't a character in the Saga with nine episodes. When BP cinematic universe will have 8 episodes, three generations and the biggest family reveal in the cinema history and woman-protagonist, then all those BP comparisons (outside of diversity, of course) will make some sense.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  25. oncafar

    oncafar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2017
    I don't even know if Shuri is a better written character. She fits ideas of a "strong female character" better but there's no inner journey for her character because she is support for her brother. The relationship between her and her brother is good, and her personality is clear though. Rey's personality isn't so clear (we learn more about her in TLJ that we didn't know from TFA). Shuri is only in one movie though (not to say she will not be back as I am sure she will), so her character isn't being developed over the course of three movies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018