Rey in The Force Awakens
I agree with the quote below from James Delingpole’s review of The Force Awakens:
In the original Star Wars movie, the ONLY interesting characteristic about the ineffably dull Luke Skywalker was his battle to overcome his innate milquetoastness and somehow become the saviour of the universe. With the new heroine, Rey, we don’t even get that small consolation. Basically she is AMAZING from the off.
Why is she amazing? Girl power, of course. Girls can just do the most incredible shit that boys never could. They can fly ageing space cruisers they’ve never once flown before, mastering the controls in seconds to the point where, just a minute later, they can steer them through near-impossible dog fight manoeuvres. They’re good in hand-to-hand combat situations too. They’re so naturally brilliant — because they’re girls, obv. — that they don’t even need to undergo lengthy training sessions on Dagobah in the use of The Force. (Bollocks this is).
And they’re great mechanics, too, because, again, girls are like that: their minds are so geared to engineering and spacecraft maintenance and stuff, they can teach guys like Han Solo a thing or two, just you listen. Oh, and they’re also fluent in robot. Some critics of the old school might argue that a heroine who can overcome every obstacle without difficulty is a heroine without interest or entertainment value or, indeed, plausibility. But that’s just sexism.
Even after Luke had some Force training from Yoda, he was still utterly schlonged by Darth Vader at the end of Empire Strikes Back. He only lived because Darth Vader was trying to convert him to the Dark Side instead of killing him.
I would also remind you that Rey’s mind control abilities vastly exceeded those of Ben Kenobi who was the galaxy’s most senior Jedi Knight. Ben was able to make a bored stormtrooper not pay close attention to two droids (there were zillions of droids at the spaceport) but Rey was able to make a stormtrooper act directly against his orders and even against his own survival instincts by freeing a prisoner and handing over his weapon to her. (These aren’t the droids you’re looking for has become a classic movie quote. I guarantee you that nothing anyone said in the Force Awakens will be quoted 35 years from now. [And if you click on the link and watch the YouTube clip, you will also hear C3PO make a racist comment.])
I also wonder how Rey even learned to fly spacecraft. Luke Skwyalker grew up in a middle-class household where his foster parents were able to pay for his education and pilot training, but Rey was an orphan living alone and surviving by scavenging for junk.
I also agree with the following about Finn (played by John Boyega):
Boyega has only two functions: 1.) be black 2.) be scaredy-cat and useless so that the Rey character (see above) can show how feisty and amazing and not-scared-of-anything and omnicompetent girls are by comparison.
I am now convinced that all of the weaknesses of the film were overlooked by mainstream reviewers because the movie had diversity.