Dropped off on Jakku at a young age and left in a scavenger’s camp, Rey spends the majority of her life ripping apart abandoned Imperial ships for their most valuable parts in order to eat. Basically: she spends years training herself in the complex mechanics and layouts of the Imperial fleet (whose designs and ships are, obviously, used by the First Order), and therefore, Correllian ship-making (as they’re some of the galaxy’s most prolific ship-builders, Imperial ships were of Correllian design). Her knowing the Millennium Falcon and being able to maneuver around the First Order base is not at all surprising: she’s being rooting around similar ships for years.
That’s not even mentioning her dialogue on how the Millennium Falcon got to the junkyards of Jakku and her disagreement with the modifications made onboard–it indicates that 1) she’s been in the ship before, probably more than once 2) she’s more than familiar with its history, to the point that she’s probably been used in official capacities to examine/work on the ship 3) though slightly on the outs with the proprietor/buyer in the junkyards, she was clearly trained by a group of people who stole the Millennium Falcon.
- Her technical skills, knowledge of ships, circuits, and all that shit is plausible. She’s spent most of her life training in it.
Remember her staff? The first time we see Rey, she’s got that staff slung across her back. When Finn arrives at the scavenger’s camp, sees two thugs about to abduct BB-8 and attacking Rey, he rushes to help. Before he can get there, Rey takes out both men with her staff. When they leave Jakku, she takes it with her. When she has a choice, she always brings that staff–even if she has a blaster. It’s an extension of herself, and a strange sort of security blanket. My guess is that she’s had to use it a lot on Jakku, as a girl, alone. But my primary point is this: her decently handling a lightsaber is not at all unexpected. She’s already had her own version of combat training with that staff.
- Her being able to duel Kylo Ren is plausible, given that she’s spent years with that staff as her only weapon, and clearly used it often. While not exactly the same thing as a saber, there are similar principles, similar forms, and plenty of real life experience.
Combine the last two pieces of information. Rey has spent years hauling herself up the interiors of crashed ships, ripping out their parts, and lugging them around. The girl’s probably ripped.
- Her duel with Kylo Ren is physiologically plausible, because of her own ridiculous form of strength-training known as “trying to survive Jakku and get enough food to stay alive.”
Jakku. She’s spent years there, living alone, with a discipline and work ethic like no nineteen-year-old normally has. There’s been nobody, really, to defend her and care for her. She’s had to do it all on her own, and had to grow up well before she reached adulthood–otherwise she would’ve starved to death.
Compare that with Kylo Ren: a boy who grew up privileged, the son of two generals, and technically royalty. Compare Rey’s attitude, ethic, and level-headedness with Kylo Ren’s temper tantrums, wild mood swings, and inability to follow through. Yes, he’s had some years of official training in the ways of the force, but he’s wildly undisciplined. He can’t focus. He has power, sure, but he’s not so great at controlling it. Think about Vader, Dooku, and Palpatine: they were shitbags, but they were shitbags who could focus and exercise a modicum of control over themselves. Kylo Ren’s greatest fear isn’t far-fetched at all: so far, he’s being a terrible excuse for a Sith Lord.
Coming face to face with Rey–disciplined, hard-working, smart, focused, devoted, driven Rey, ready to defend Finn, coming from a background that demanded so much more–only exposes that to even greater degree. His mental state is in shambles, compared to hers.
- Rey being able to face off against Kylo Ren is plausible not simply because of her previous actions, but also because the life she’s lived has made her more disciplined, and focused.
Luke’s awakening in the force began with Ben teaching and coaching him, around age 18. The force began calling to Rey much earlier. And no, I’m not talking about her vision in the basement. When Kylo Ren probes Rey’s mind, he says that at night she imagines an ocean, and an island. ALL RIGHT FOLKS, WHERE DID WE FIND LUKE AT THE END? THAT’S RIGHT. AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF AN OCEAN. Coincidence? I think not.
Some people are also assuming that when Rey says, “I just knew how to do it, somehow,” in reference to certain gut-instinct aerial moves in the Falcon, it was the force sharpening her perceptions and helping her. It makes sense–if the force has been influencing her dreams and imagination for years, it’s probably been waiting for any moment it could bleed through more actively into her life. The force has been waiting for a long time, and it’s no friggin coincidence that Maz Kanata has Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and that’s where Han Solo takes them.
After the vision in the basement, Maz Kanata is able to give Rey a brief moment of instruction–that Obi-Wan “shit’s about to go down get ready kid” kind of moment. Rey rejects it at first, freaked out, most likely because of y’know, reliving the most painful moment of her life and seeing a field littered with dead bodies as Mr. Scary Mask stands above her, but it’s ultimately what saves her. She’s spent her entire life blocking out the call of the outside world–force included. Letting go of what she was ushers in everything she’s been holding back. Considering that the Jedi Order, in its heyday, used to begin training force-sensitive individuals when they were children, it’s not crazy to assume that this has been building since she was a child, and has been fairly repressed and blocked since being placed on Jakku.
Now, let’s skip on back to Kylo Ren’s interrogation. Luke never had this moment. He never had a Jedi or Sith do an intrusive mind probe. What the hell kind of affect must that have on a force sensitive person, who’s had these abilities, never truly explored them, but reacts on instinct? I feel like it’s the equivalent of taking a can of soda, and shaking it until it explodes.
In the woods, as they duel, Kylo inadvertently reminds her of what wise-as-shit Maz Kanata said: let it in. She intentionally drops the barriers. Not simply to escape. Not as a small thing. Rey focuses on the force as a guide, and not a trick, and HEY HEY SHIT HAPPENS. And the aforementioned “shit” is not just the force, but the force building off of everything she’s ever gone through.
- Rey’s force abilities are not just suddenly there; they’re awakened. Forcibly. (Pun!) and HENCE THE TITLE OF THE MOVIE! It’s plausible. Just as plausible as Luke making that one-in-a-million shot. He practiced shooting womp rats in Beggar’s Canyon, and it was the force, added on to that experience, that helped him “destroy” the Death Star in A New Hope. Rey’s life has been much more difficult than Luke’s thus far. She hasn’t even had the leisure of avoiding a direction confrontation with a Sith–she was thrust into a force-ridden fight a helluva lot quicker. Who knows what Luke would’ve done in her shoes, had he had to go through the same things she did.
By the way, this is what happens when I, a nerd, go on the internet, and see people being stupid. This is also what happens when I have a lot of feelings about fictional characters.
I still can’t get over the fact that Jakku means jacket in Finnish.