While Luke Skywalker was the main character of the original Star Wars trilogy - and Anakin Skywalker the focal point of the prequels - that mantle has passed to Rey for the three movies produced and released by Disney. The character, played by Daisy Ridley, has wowed fans with her antics in both 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2017’s The Last Jedi and there’s plenty of anticipation for what lies in store for her when The Rise of Skywalker releases later this year.
We now look at Rey’s top moments from her two blockbusters so far, explaining our choices along the way. These should whet your appetite for when the final chapter of the Skywalker saga comes out in December.
10 Meeting BB-8
When we first meet Rey, she is a scavenger living on the harsh, sand filled planet of Jakku and spending plenty of time cooped up inside an old AT-ST. And we see instantly see how brave and courageous she is when she rescues Poe Dameron’s BB-8 droid from the clutches of another scavenger early into The Force Awakens.
The droid finds itself under threat once again having previously managed to escape capture from Kylo Ren and the villainous First Order. But Rey manages to come to its rescue, telling the person trying to capture him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t theirs to take. This leads to the duo becoming close and also establishes another thing: she’s able to communicate with droids - something only a few selected characters can do in the galaxy.
9 Escaping With Finn
As the First Order learn that the BB-8 unit is on Jakku, Rey finds herself struggling to keep the droid from harm. Shortly before this she meets John Boyega’s Finn, a Stormtrooper who no longer wants to serve and instead is trying to find the droid himself in order to assist the Resistance in their ongoing fight against the enemy.
Together, Rey and Finn are able to escape together, with Daisy Ridley’s character sensationally stealing Han Solo’s old Millennium Falcon in order to secure a getaway.
8 The Vision
After meeting Han Solo and Chewbacca - and managing to escape the clutches of the Guavian Death Gang - Rey finds herself on the planet of Takodana as herself, Finn and the two new recruits attempt to find a way to get BB-8 back to the Resistance. Once inside Maz Kanata’s mysterious castle she finds herself called to Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber. And when she touches it, she finds herself experience some form of force vision.
In this vision we see her past: her parents marooning her on Jakku and leaving her with Simon Pegg’s Unkar Plutt. But we also see her in Cloud City, witnessing Luke Skywalker and R2D2 surrounded by flames and on a mysterious rain-filled planet where Kylo Ren and his Knights of Ren stand. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice is also heard and, nearly four years on from The Force Awakens, we still don’t know what it all means. But we’re definitely expecting answers this December...
7 Downloading Kylo Ren’s Teachings
Rey is captured by Kylo Ren on Takodana and brought to Starkiller Base for interrogation. We’d previously seen the villain subject Poe Damaron to torture but, when he attempts to invade Rey’s mind, he finds he’s unable to. Instead, she turns the tables - displaying immense power as she does so - and is able to uncover Ben Solo’s fear about never being as strong as his grandfather, Darth Vader, was.
It was later in revealed in The Force Awakens official novel that Rey did more than just put the frighteners on her enemy. She downloads his entire teachings, which serves as a semi-explanation as to how she’s able to wield a lightsaber with such proficiency later in the movie. It seems a bit of a cop-out by Disney but it does, at least, show just how powerful Rey already is.
6 Escaping Capture
Star Wars movies have shown us Jedi mind tricks used in the past. Qui-Gon Jinn uses in on Watto in 1999’s The Phantom Menace and, before that, Obi-Wan Kenobi utilises the power in order to ensure he, Luke Skywalker, C3PO and R2D2 avoid capture from the Empire on Tatooine. But while both times the skill was used under pressure, the stakes are significantly higher than Rey uses it herself.
After scaring Ben Solo she finds herself shackled to a board. Yet she is able to convince a stormtrooper - one played by James Bond himself Daniel Craig - into putting down his blaster, releasing her from her cell and walking away without a care in the world. Maybe that was one of the skills she downloaded from Kylo’s mind?
5 The Lightsaber Calls
Rey faces off against Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base, shortly after watching her enemy murder Han Solo. Ben Solo has just defeated Finn, slicing his back up, when he attempts to pull Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber towards him - only for it to end up flying to Daisy Ridley’s character instead.
This is just another reason why so much intrigue and theorising surrounds Rey. Kylo Ren is Anakin’s grandchild himself and yet the lightsaber snubbed him and went to her instead. Why is this? It’s also worth noting that both Ben Solo and the Jakku scavenger couldn’t wrench the weapon from one another in The Last Jedi, meaning there must be something within Rey that makes her the rightful owner. We hope we find out this winter. Is she a Skywalker as well?
4 Training Under Luke Skywalker
While critics of The Last Jedi claim that Rey learnt virtually nothing from Luke Skywalker, that isn’t exactly the case. Admittedly, she spent her time on the planet of Ah-To conversing with Kylo Ren via force visions and watching Luke drink green milk in the most unorthodox of ways. But she also learnt the history of the Jedi, was told of the sacred texts and even faced the pull to the dark side.
Rey experiences a weird kind of vision where she sees an infinite amount of herself in the mirror. This not only suggests that she could be a clone, in what is a popular Rise of Skywalker theory, but also shows our hero does have a dark side. She was unable to resist the lure of it once before and this shows that Daisy Ridley’s character isn’t quite the goody-two-shoes some critics have claimed she is.
3 You’re Nothing
Of all the revelations regarding Rey, the biggest comes in The Last Jedi. Having helped Kylo Ren defeat both Supreme Leader Snoke and his Pretorian guards, she seems on course to team up with her former enemy. However, Kylo sensationally snubs her advances and also informs her that she’s ‘nothing’ whose parents were drunkards on Jakku who sold her for drinking money.
This decision rocked fans, many of who had tipped her to be a Skywalker, a Kenobi or even a Palpatine. And it’s something that may yet be retconned in The Rise of Skywalker. Director JJ Abrams has hinted there’s more to come regarding her parentage and it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that there’s a big revelation coming our way this winter. One that, perhaps, won’t divide Star Wars lovers across the galaxy...
2 Lifting rocks
“The force isn’t about lifting rocks,” Luke Skywalker says in The Last Jedi with his patience wearing thin. But then, a little time later, Rey does exact that in order to free members of the Resistance from the caves of Crait while her master distracts Kylo Ren and the entirety of the First Order fleet.
This shows that Rey is not only extremely powerful, but she’s well and truly the face of the Resistance and their greatest weapon against the forces who seek to destroy them. Who else can achieve such things? It also means that the Resistance have a team, albeit a strong one, ready to continue the battle going forward. Because, if Kylo had managed to get to them, then the First Order would have been able to reign supreme with nothing standing in their way.
1 Shutting Off Kylo Ren
Last, but certainly not least, is when Rey shuts Kylo Ren out at the end of The Last Jedi. The majority of the movie had been spent hinting they would team up or, at the very least, agree on a way to advance together. There are suggestions the two are romantically involved and it’s also frequently implied that, because of their force bond, they’re destined to be linked.
But at the very end of movie, Rey blocks Kylo Ren off. And this sets us up nicely for the Rise of Skywalker. It seems all hope of an alliance is out the window and the next time they meet will be in a climatic, emotional moment. It also shows Rey is powerful enough to overcome something Supreme Leader Snoke created - well and truly establishing her as one of the galaxy’s mightiest warriors.