Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is part of my head canon.

Today has decided to keep me from writing anything interesting but I’m going to get a post in somehow. So let’s talk Rey Palpawalker.

It’s not that Rey is a bad character but one that was badly executed. There was potential. I for one wasn’t bothered by the fact that she didn’t have a legacy like Luke did…which was probably one of two things about The Last Jedi that didn’t bother me. (Stupid or not, the Holdo Maneuver is amazing to see in action.) However, among the channels I usually follow none have been more critical of Rey than Literature Devil…except maybe MechaRandom42 but I digress. The commentator and comic creator has had more than a few negatives to say about Rey, even using her as an example of a bad female character and “Mary Sue”.

However, he’s not one to leave a character or story as bad, and will on occasion try to improve them. In the following video, which I present just to get something up tonight as everything has failed me, LD takes on the bane of classic fans’ existence (I have my own plans for former title holder Jar Jar Binks) and shows at least one way that Rey could have shown her potential and become a character fans might have actually liked…by doing the same thing that male characters go through and earn her status.

When it comes to Rey and Finn’s first meeting I’m not bothered by Rey standing her ground in the fight, but we aren’t shown or told that this was normal, that she had to learn to fight or use her head to survive like Ezra in the Star Wars: Rebels series. We’re shown there are punks and monsters on Jakku but apparently this isn’t enough to infer that Rey had to grow with the planet’s hazards the way they do on Eternia, the “planetary death trap” of the Masters Of The Universe franchise. Even a discussion between Rey and Finn, who as a trained First Order Stormtrooper should be able to stand his own ground unless you want to make the joke about Stormtroopers not being able to fight any more than they can shoot, about how she had to learn to survive would explain her helping Finn and earlier BB-8. In the same vein, giving her skills as a mechanic and pilot somehow would explain why she was so good at flying the Falcon unless the Force is out of balance again after the deaths of Darths Vader and Sidious and she’s the latest in a line of balancers that come out when imbalances occur. There are no more Jedi but Snoke was rebuilding the Sith in a way with no Jedi to oppose them.

I’ve also heard suggestions that instead of waiting for her parents that she was a young Padawan after the fall of the Empire and the Jedi no longer on the run. Something happened to her Master but she’s sure he or she will return and that’s why Rey waits on Jakku. This could have also worked as the dutiful apprentice would be waiting so long that she just became resigned to the waiting, and her encounter with Finn, BB-8, and the First Order drags her into the journey that allows her to become a Jedi.

I’d like to see one of these for Finn. For all the talk of Rey’s being too powerful, poor Finn keeps losing the ability to become a good character. Rey has to save him. He’s denied a character arc involving former commander Fantoma, and he looks like a chump more often than not. If anyone was going to be shipped with Rey it should have been Finn instead of the toxic relationship with Kylo Ren, a broken man-child betrayed by everyone he trusted and not becoming stronger from the situation. Even avoiding a romantic connection, having Rey and Finn become platonic friends like Luke and Han would have allowed him moments to shine and matter to the story. They probably would have kicked him off of the movie posters in China and other racist foreign markets Hollywood still wants the money from while calling Americans a bunch of racists, but if you saw the story he would have actually mattered.

The “Hero’s Journey” may not be the only way to tell a story but it is the way the Star Wars franchise followed character progression and thus should have been used here. Instead we got surface recreations of the previous movies for the first two and a failed apology in the third that pleased nobody. For a group who constantly wants Superman to be “relatable” I have to ask what about Rey is relatable, never mind a hero that inspires others. That’s what heroes do, inspire others to follow their paths in their own way, not with the same powers and skills and sometimes not even the same goals, but the same drive to be better people and to overcome adversity. Unless all you care about is skin color or gender I have never seen anyone “like me” on screen but I have seen plenty of heroes of all colors and genders who made me want to be a better person. Rey doesn’t do that despite all the women in fiction who did.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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