//the garbage will do

rey1

I’ve seen Rey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) get bashed by not only the media, but friends I know and love. She’s been called self-centered, a brat, and even ‘trash.’ I legitimately do not understand how you can watch the movie and come away with these opinions. To each their own, but it honestly baffles me; so in the name of this bafflement, I see your name-calling and raise you some truths.

Let’s start with the first name: “Brat.”

She was abandoned on a desert planet as a child, and she grew up surrounded by cheaters, scavengers, thieves, and those who would do her harm. She leads a thankless life just to survive, and she hauls scrap across dunes every day just so she can eat that night. The people she meets are cheaters and thieves. She has trust and abandonment issues. So how is it ‘bratty’ to behave as she does? She’s wary of strangers, but she rescues BB-8 and lets him come home with her. She views Finn as an enemy because BB-8, the first friend she can probably remember having, calls him a thief. However, once she discovers Finn is not an enemy, she’s excited to meet him.

She wants to know about his work in the Resistance. She’s curious about life outside her planet, and she clearly longs to be elsewhere, doing other things – but her loyalty, her hope, that someone will come back for her keeps her on Jakku. She is anything but a brat – and in fact we see who she is at the beginning of the movie (closed-off, alone, self-reliant) begin to crack as she befriends Finn and becomes involved in something important with other people. She’s thrilled to see a planet of green. She’s shocked that Finn would rather flee than help. She squeals excitedly with Finn when they managed to escape their enemies. She apologies immediately after finding Luke’s lightsaber. She never once acts as though she’s ‘above’ anyone else. Brat? She’s anything but. And as for her ability to fight being called ‘trying too hard’ – fine, you try surviving alone on a hostile planet without learning to defend yourself and take initiative. See how long you last.

“Self-Centered.”

If by ‘self-centered’ you mean she has spent her whole life waiting for her family (even though she knows they’ll never return) and is now intent on helping a Resistance she barely knows a thing about. Sure. Self-centered. I think her quick thinking and ability to learn as she goes irritate some people, because it’s ‘unrealistic,’ but there are numerous arguments for why it is not unrealistic. Rey is clearly force-sensitive, she’s intelligent, and she learns. She doesn’t have an arrogant, “I can do it all” attitude – she is strong because she refuses to give up. Maz tells her about the Force and she recalls Maz’s words later, and she uses them. She tries and she tries again. She is anything but self-centered, constantly putting herself in danger to help others (who are practical strangers to her). She becomes attached to Han Solo very quickly. She’s reached a point where she can embrace Leia, a woman she barely knows – where at the beginning of the movie, the idea of even holding Finn’s hand was foreign to her. She grows and blossoms so much in this movie, but never once is she ‘self-centered.’ In fact Finn (whom I love dearly) proves more self-centered than she is, and you don’t see anyone bashing him about his desire to run away (and run away, and run away). ‘Self-centered?’ I’m sorry. I just don’t understand this accusation.

“Trash.”

I have one thing to say to this: if Rey’s selflessness, hope, humility, enthusiasm, and determination make her ‘garbage,’ then the garbage will do.

 

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9 thoughts on “//the garbage will do

  1. I love this. I keep hearing bad things about Rey or that they were trying too hard making her the lead (even though in the original script/concept art for A New Hope, Luke was originally a female character, so I’m sure that’s a big part of where Rey came from) and it upsets me because I thought she was wonderfully written and such an important role for this new franchise.
    (And an eight year old girl I know talked to me about TFA and she said, “Finally the main Jedi is a girl!” If that isn’t reason enough, I don’t know what is.)

    It’s almost like people don’t understand how backstory or different personality traits affect a person’s actions and attitude. Shocking, I know. Movies, shows, books, all kinds of stories would be boring if characters were all the same. Rey is not Padme or Princess Leia or any of the other many wonderful female characters in the Star Wars Universe. She is her own character–“bratty,” “self-centered,” “garbage” and all. But yes, the garbage will do.

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  2. YUSS. Rey is an amazing role model. She has charisma and initiative, she’s resourceful, she’s loyal, she’s moral, she has really excellent manners for someone who raised herself on a desert planet. XD I was continuously stunned by how GOOD she was – particularly when she apologized for picking up Luke’s lightsabre. She is an unusual example of a good person and a strong female character, and I love her. <3

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  3. I see where you’re coming from and I respect that. I don’t understand where the “brat”, “self-centered”, and “trash” comes from either. I think she is a good idea with potential, but, to me, she did feel like she was trying too hard. Maybe it was the script, Daisy (who is an adorable human being), or just me. I’m not sure, but something felt off for me.

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  4. Wait, people are legit calling her this? Hold on a minute while I try to wrap my mind around this. Because even my dad agreed that she was the most well done female character he’d seen in a long time, and my dad is hard to impress when it comes to said characters. Rey was probably the biggest reason why I loved The Force Awakens. She wasn’t a helpless wimp, but she also didn’t have an, “I can do all this by myself, why are you guys even here?” attitude, either. She is the most real female character I’ve seen in forever, and I cannot understand why people would call her trash, or a brat. They always seem to pick on the characters who deserve the most credit and fall in love with the ones who are worthless, am I right? *rolls eyes at this upside down world*

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  5. hold up, I heard someone talkin trash about my girl. Rey quickly became my favorite female movie character in a long time, for having that great balance of capability, the ability to defend herself and fight well, assertiveness, know-how, as well as realistic emotion, vulnerability, care for others, and a genuinely sweet attitude across the board. she is also an emblem of hope, which is important. My excitement that the new main character of Star Wars is a GIRL knows no bounds.

    Most complainers are male, I’ve noticed, and I don’t want to take the low ground and say “you’re just jealous” like a four year old, but I do believe it comes from a place of insecurity a lot of the time. (ahem open letter to rey ahem)

    She’s also my doppelgänger, but that’s just the incidental cherry on top of a perfectly constructed ice cream sundae. ;P

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  6. […] Rogue One had some good ideas. They set the stage well for excellent character development, and failed to deliver. They gave us ‘development’ without giving us a good look at the actual developing stage. Jyn is a different person after her father dies. It takes five minutes for her to go from bitter criminal to enthusiastic rebel who repeats Cassian’s words about hope and is willing to die for a bigger cause. (I know some people argue that this same kind of thing happened with Rey’s Force power in The Force Awakens, but I covered that last year when I wrote ‘The Garbage Will Do.’) […]

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