Monday, December 21, 2015

Why does Rey know how to use the Force so easily?



Note: If you haven't see Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, I suggest you stop reading now if you're the type of person who doesn't want to read spoilers.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens the main protagonist is a woman named Rey. She lives on the planet Jakku and eeks out a living by scavenging materials from downed ships from way back during the Battle of Jakku. During the course of the movie, Rey "suddenly" discovers she can use the Force. From that point forward, she rapidly picks up how to use the Force to manipulate a person's actions, move objects, and wield a lightsaber.

For some people, this all became quite unbelievable. They think back to Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker. Both needed a lot of training to achieve the abilities they had in the Force. Rey seemingly is a savant. Seeing this, some are reacting in a negative way, saying it is unrealistic with the Star Wars universe and what they know about it.

But that just means they aren't looking at all the clues!



Let's go back to the beginning of the film when we are introduced to Rey. BB-8 is caught by some alien creature in the middle of the desert. She overhears the struggle and approaches the alien. The alien speaks some language we don't understand (nor is it subtitled). Rey responds in that language. BB-8 is released and beeps and whistles. Rey understands what BB-8 says. At one point Chewbacca speaks and she understands him. I think there were another one or two instances of an alien language spoken and she comprehends it. This ability to understand multiple languages (a human C3PO!) is out first clue that there is something special about Rey.

Fast forward to the seen at the cantina. Rey hears what sounds like a little girl screaming and struggling. She follows the voice down some stairs and finds a chest. Within that chest is a lightsaber. She touches it and we're presented with a scene full of flashbacks and some flash-forwards (I'm a Lost fan - hehe). Among the things shown, we see what appears to be Rey on Jakku, crying and screaming (the same sound that drew her downstairs?). A ship is shown leaving the atmosphere. A hand is keeping her from running but we don't know whose. Maz Kanata shows up after this vision happens and tells Rey the lighsaber is Luke's. She then gives Rey some advice to help her use the Force.

At this point, Rey knows something is going on with her Force abilities. And she begins using them as the story progresses to challenge Kylo Ren in a mental battle, manipulate the actions of a stormtrooper, pull the lightsaber from the snow over Kylo Ren's attempt at the same thing, and defeats Kylo Ren in the lightsaber battle.

Still, it could be argued that she became too strong too fast. How could she be more powerful than Kylo Ren with such little training? Everyone wants A New Hope to Return of the Jedi transition I guess. I don't know.

But that's not my explanation. She didn't gain them so fast just to move the story along quicker. Touching that lightsaber is the clue. It reminds us that we don't really know Rey's entire past. She seems to not know it completely either. Earlier in the film, we're told about Luke Skywalker wanting to train those who are Force sensitive.

Could it be, prior to Rey being left on Jakku, that she, too, was trained by Luke Skywalker? But since these "younglings" were in danger of the First Order eliminating them, that they were scattered among the planets?And even their memories were altered or removed for their protection?

"There has been an awakening ... have you felt it?"

This memorable line from the movie could be pointing to the fact that the Light Side of the Force is rushing back. It "awakened" in Rey and she is able to show such power with the Force because she already knows it, she's just remembering it all. You could liken it this way: I've done projects around the house fixing things. I've had occasions where I need to fix the same thing twice but 10 years apart. I didn't quite remember how to fix the problem, but once I began analyzing it, it all came back to me. It's a similar thing with her ability to once again use the Force.


What about her appearing stronger than Kylo Ren? Kylo Ren was shown to have great brutality and an ability to control the Dark Side of the Force well. But he was also shown to be insecure. He wants to be like his grandfather, Darth Vader. And when his weakness is exploited, his insecurities cause him to falter, like in the battle with Rey (let's not forget that he was also injured prior to that fight because Chebacca shot him). When things go wrong for him, he loses control and throws a tantrum, as illustrated a couple times in the movie. So the moment Rey showed a small iota of more power than him, he fell apart. We've all been there, right? When you're doing something and it goes wrong? Usually, you get frustrated and are less effective at doing it, perhaps even making a mistake or two along the way. This allowed Rey to overpower Kylo Ren, despite the fact that we all felt he was stronger than her in the Force.

So was Rey overpowered in the Force? In my opinion, no. In classic Star Wars fashion, there is more to the story than what is on screen. And it has people talking and wondering. They've captured the magic of the original trilogy and the next few years are gonna be a fun ride.

May the Force be with you....

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

7 "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Predictions



I haven't posted here in a while ... in fact, you could say I haven't posted anything on my blog for "a long time ago in a cyber-galaxy far far away".

Sure, I may not be writing any blog posts or stories right now, but that doesn't mean I don't have anything important to say, especially about the upcoming release of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens next week.

I've been doing all I can to avoid spoilers for the movie. In fact, come this Friday, I plan on going dark. No, not The Dark Side, but dark in regards to using the Internet. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Google Now, Feedly, and whatever other social network/web service that might accidentally tell me something from the movie. It's a no-brainer that in this final week as the premiere happens and the movie releases around the world that spoilers will get out there.

But before they do, I thought I'd used my little time capsule here to document some things I expect from the movie. Then I can come back and see where I'm correct and where I'm wrong. These predictions come based off of seeing the first two teaser trailers and reading all the books in the new canon for the series. (I haven't see the actual theatrical trailer, and with a week and a half to go, I don't plan to). Also, I have inadvertently read or heard things, and through osmosis, may have come to some of the below conclusions. Given this is the seventh episode, I feel seven predictions are in "first" order.

So here goes! Let's see how good my Force prediction abilities are:

How's my metal hand feel on your metal head?
Prediction I: The Gray Side Menace

Luke Skywalker (purposely absent from the movie poster and trailers per J.J. Abrams, save the image above which I assume is him) will take on a role similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode IV. However, his motive for the role comes from his realization that the New Republic he fought to achieve by defeating the Empire, really isn't as good as it planned to be. Essentially, he comes to understand another side of the Force. Not a Dark Side. Not a Light Side. But for the sake of a better term, the Gray Side.


Does that thing actually work?

Prediction II: Attack of the Drones

An overall theme I keep reading in the books is that there are really no good sides to government. Once someone gains power, others become unhappy with it and have "better" ideas. So, First Order, the Resistance, these things don't matter. And somehow this idea will play out in the movie, perhaps by Rey with Luke Skywalker as her mentor.

Good thing we saved ya, just so you could die!
Prediction III: Revenge of the Deaths

Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker will all die at the end of the movie, catapulting us all into a cliffhanger that will leave us wanting more until Episode VIII releases. It may be all three, two of them, or just one. But one of these characters has to die. It will drive emotional impact. It will get fans going nuts!

Sibling Rivalry?

Prediction IV: A New Family

This is one I think others have speculated about, but I thought it from the moment the first teaser released. I didn't know the character's names at the time, but I do now. Rey and Kylo Ren are brother and sister. They are also the children of Han Solo and Leia Organa.



Just when you think you can get out, they pull you back in!
Prediction V: The Empire Kinda Wants to Strike Back

Kylo Ren has taken on his role because he discovers the remains (mask) of Darth Vader. This would be his grandfather. Ironically, he looks to the values of Vader as a "sheep in wolf's clothing". In other words, the idea was good but the abuse of power was not.



Am I doing this right?
Prediction VI: Return of the Gray Side

We may see Luke Skywalker working in conjunction with Kylo Ren. This doesn't make him a bad guy. He's just playing both sides to see a positive outcome for the sake of humanity.

It was love at first explosion....
Prediction VII: The Love Awakens

Finn, shown sporting a lightsaber in the movie poster, has no Force abilities but is a master with a lightsaber. What he lacks in the Force he makes up for with pure talent. Though it may not happen in this episode, I believe he and Rey will fall in love at some point.

What do you think of these predictions? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment. Although, keep in mind that I won't read the comments until after I've seen the movie.

May the Force be with you....