Tuesday, January 5, 2016

This Explains How Rey Defeated Kylo Ren In 'The Force Awakens'

Emma Lord writes for Bustle:

A lot of Star Wars fans have been accusing the writers of making Rey a Mary Sue, or a "wish fulfillment" character. I already take issue with this, as the term's primarily used to diminish strong female characters and invalidate the interests of female audiences. While I don't think it's any more fair to call Rey a Mary Sue than it is to call Luke Skywalker one, the main thing adding fuel to the haters' fire is the fact that Rey defeated Kylo Ren in battle at the end of The Force Awakens with no lightsaber or Force training at all. And true, after Rey woke up from her little snow nap, it seemed a bit like she was hitting the "That was easy!" button in whooping that overly-tall angst baby's butt, considering how Kylo Ren is a feared Sith who blows up planets for breakfast. But if you were paying attention, the fight actually makes perfect sense.

The truth is that it was not a fair fight at all. The combatants may be equally powerful in the Force — hell, Rey might even be stronger than Ren — but viewers are right in saying that at this point in the game, she shouldn't be able to take him on when he's in top-notch form and win. But she didn't. There were several factors that helped our heroes out, and which made Rey's victory not only believable, but a little bit inevitable. Consider the following:

Kylo Ren Got Shot By Chewbacca — Hard

Right after homeskillet murders Han Solo, Chewbacca tears him a new one with his bowcaster. Let's consider for a moment exactly what that means. Chewie's bowcaster is notorious for tearing sh*t up. Nobody says it more eloquently than Tumblr user shaochilong-maortuensis, who points out that, in prior films, this weapon has killed people with one shot and shredded an entire vehicle. So Ren got up from a shot that would have murdered any other man, walks it off, and then goes down into the forest to fight Finn and Rey as he is leaking blood all over the place.

Which brings us to another interesting point: Ren beats that wound with his fist mid-battle, seemingly worsening it right at a critical juncture. You'll recall how he still "feels the pull of the Light" (ugh, can the Light just stop calling and leave a voicemail?), and it clearly infuriates him. The Dark Side of the Force draws its power from pain, so in worsening his pain, he was rallying to kick some more of our precious main characters' butts. Unfortunately for Ren, that last-minute hustle didn't end too well for him.

Rey Isn't Exactly An Amateur

It makes sense that Ren pretty much KO'd poor Finn after a minute or so. Not only is Finn not a Force user, but literally everything he knows combat-wise was taught to him by the First Order. Of course Ren is going to anticipate everything he does and, as Liz Lemon would say, Shut It Down.

The showdown was clearly going to happen between Rey and Ren after that — and it's not like Rey beat him very cleanly. There was a huge struggle to overpower each other. And yeah, Rey didn't have any formal lightasber training, but don't forget that she habitually defends herself with a staff. How else would someone of her size and species have survived for all her years alone on Jakku?

So between Rey's experience with the staff giving her an edge, despite her inexperience with using the Force, and Ren's organs basically falling out of him, they were pretty matched, combat-wise. And Rey only defeats him in the moment that she finally manages to harness the Force.

Continue reading this article on Bustle.


  1. I love that you called him homeskillit.....don't hear that too much and I use it all the time

  2. Never mind that goofy 20 second pause in the duel where Rey says "The Force" then Kylo just kind of stands there with his lightsaber pressed up against hers. That's not how The Force works!

    1. and everyone on the internet is force sensitive and knows how it works.
      But lets repeat what Yoda said "For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship"
      and if we go by that then he also said "You will know... when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, NEVER for attack".
      Rey did all these things. Defended, cleared her mind, listened and feeled the force. The force spoke to her and that is why she held her own.

    2. It is how it works as shown in the movie. Also luke has meditated to draw from the force previously prior to that she wasn't really thinking about using the force she was just trying to survive and at that point was using anger and rage Ren saying that to her made ger clear her mind and focus on the force.

    3. It is how it works as shown in the movie. Also luke has meditated to draw from the force previously prior to that she wasn't really thinking about using the force she was just trying to survive and at that point was using anger and rage Ren saying that to her made ger clear her mind and focus on the force.

    4. She says 'the force' because Kylo Ren says "I can train you in the force" - NOT "i can teach you the dark side" - she was recognizing his freudian slip, which suggested his temptation by the light side, not announcing her use of the force.

  3. Don't forget, Kylo Ren also was told by Snoke that he was to bring Rey to him, and Kylo also wanted to teach Rey the ways of the Force. So he had two reasons not to kill her. Add them to the fact that he was severely injured and Rey having some skills at combat - well, of course Kylo didn't "win."

  4. I thought Rey had been one of Luke's pad swans he originally trained, who survived the attack by the Knights of Ren. Luke takes her and decides to wipe her memories of her training and anything to do with the force as part of his guilt over what happened and leaves her on that planet. The "awakening" she feels through Anakin's lightsabre also rekindles her previous training, which was obviously incomplete, but helped her in her battle with Kylo because he isn't fully trained either (Snoke said he needed to complete Kylo's training). Kylo has a cool mind sieve force trick he uses to torture information out of his captives but it's clear his lightsabre skills are quite poor actually, very basic use of his lightsabre, so Ren with her rekindled Palawan training, is able to put up a fair fight against him

  5. Rey is stronger in the force than Kylo-Ren? Did you even watch the movie? Kylo-Ren is probably the strongest force user we've ever seen. He stops a blaster bolt mid air, has a conversation for a few minutes, then let's it go. He freezes Rey in the forrest and then knocks her out with it. He extracts information from Poe and Rey pretty easily, which as we saw previously not even Vader could do. He even throws Rey backwards into a tree in the final battle scene after getting shot with a bow caster.

    I'm sorry but Rey ain't shit on Kylo. It's got nothing to do with her being a woman. She's just the typical hero character who becomes strong at the key moment so that the bad guys don't win.

  6. I'm gonna say Rey is going to be stronger than Ren. She force persuaded a trooper with no idea what she was doing and even got into ren's mind to fish out his fear. Rey will learn but it's not going to be easy on going to bet. Also Ren is essentially a failed knight. His training was never complete before he went dark. They both have much to learn.

  7. Official Star Wars lore has it that Palpatine, Yoda, Mace Windu, and Dooku were the strongest Jedi/Sith ever.