Who is Rey in Star Wars and What Makes Her Such an Important Character?

Jakku, a planet reminiscent of the decay and destruction in the aftermath of Galactic Civil War, is where Rey makes her entrance into the bewilderingly vast and complicated universe that is Star Wars. It is a hostile planet home to Unkar Plutt – also known as The Blobfish – a junk boss who rules the lives of all the scavengers around. Rey is one of those scavengers. Her first few scenes make for an excellent introduction to her character and the challenges of her circumstances, showcasing how difficult it is to make a living in a desolate wasteland. 

The first film in the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens, does a great job to make fans empathize with Rey. It seems like she is practically enslaved and constantly starved by Unkar Plutt, the undisputed ruler of Jakku. She grew up among scumbags who have only ill-fated intentions to take advantage of her. Abandoned by her parents in a hostile world, loneliness has taken a toll on her self-esteem and left a monumental void deep down. The only good thing is that the circumstances forged her self-defense, mechanical, and pilot skills. Rey doesn’t even have a last name until the very end of the saga. Behind the tough non-nonsense mannerism, she craves for a sense of belonging somewhere with someone. 

At this point, Rey has no idea about what fate has in store for her. She will always be a scavenger, but not of parts and weapons from crashed spaceships. Instead, she is destined to pick up the pieces of the long-forgotten glory of the Jedi Order. When finally she gets to pick a surname, to a large extent her choice reflects her long, desperate, yet at the same time glorious journey to be part of a real family.

Life begins to change following an unexpected encounter with BB-8, an astromech that carries a clue to the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker. BB-8 is also on the run, which makes the unlikely friendship easier to take. The two are joined by another runaway, former stormtrooper Finn, on the way to escape from Jakku. As always in Star Wars, the name Luke Skywalker is a hint that much bigger issues are just around the corner.

Multiple scenes in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi demonstrate that Rey yearns for affection from Han Solo, Leia Morgana, and even Luke Skywalker himself. She ultimately receives the warmth of a father figure from Han and develops a strong bond with Leia. Rey also cannot help but feel that Luke is a mentor and family.

Why Rey is Important to Star Wars

The name Luke Skywalker is the first clue to the adventures ahead of her. The next major hint is that she steals the Millenium Falcon from Unkar Plutt. Much like Han Solo, who pretty much considered the ship an extension of himself, Rey also identifies with it on a deeper level. The escape eventually leads the trio to the open arms of the Resistance, led by Leia Morgana. How her character develops throughout the sequel trilogy makes Rey an important figure in the Star Wars film franchise for many good reasons:

Stereotypically Male Star Wars Protagonist

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Despite her nature as a female, Rey is a stereotypically “male” Star Wars protagonist. She is an excellent pilot and a good mechanic like Han. In a somewhat similar fashion to Luke, the force is strong within her. It is no secret that Star Wars is predominantly a boys’ thing. In an interview with Good Morning America back in 2015, director J.J. Abrams explicitly made the reference. His main reason of making a female figure the biggest hero of The Force Awakens was to put a stop to any notion that Star Wars is a boys’ thing. While Princess Leia is undoubtedly an important figure, her characterization has not showcased a full stretch of female protagonist. It has always been a big hole in Star Wars universe, and Rey has filled it with the right balance of grace and ferocity. 

Non-stereotypically Female Protagonist

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It is worth noting that Rey doesn’t simply turn into all-manliness mode when the going gets tough. Rey has a fair share of damsel-in-distress situations throughout the sequel trilogy, but each time she is more than capable of rescuing herself. This is not to say that Leia is not a strong female figure; it is just that she tends to fall into the more conventional in-need-of-a-rescue circumstances in the original trilogy.

Stand-alone Hero

rey in star wars: stand alone hero

Thanks to Rey’s conflicted feelings toward Kylo Ren, her male counterpart and arch enemy, the sequel trilogy of Star Wars gives the world one of Hollywood’s best developed female characters. The internal battle between her desire to be wanted and the obligation to stay true to the moral cause comes to full view when Kylo reaches out his hand and asks her to join him to rule the galaxy. When Kylo says that Rey is nothing to everyone but not to him, the words strike deep to light a spark of a long-awaited joy in her. In spite of the overwhelming elation, Rey declines the invitation. Such a characterization signifies that a female protagonist doesn’t always need a powerful man at her side. Rey refuses to fall victim to the cliché. 

Who Is Rey’s Father?

rey in star wars: rey's father

The revelation of Rey’s parenthood comes as a massive surprise, almost like the effect of knowing for the first time that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. Considering how natural Rey is with the Force, it shouldn’t be entirely impossible that her lineage is comprised of some powerful Jedi. Although The Last Jedi hints that her powers have nothing to do with her origins, The Rise of Skywalker confirms she is the daughter of a genetic clone of Emperor Palpatine, the Dark Lord of the Sith himself. In a way, Rey is Palpatines’s daughter and granddaughter.

Who plays Rey in Star Wars?

rey in star wars: daisy ridley

Rey is portrayed by Daisy Ridley in the sequel trilogy. Her performance in The Force Awakens earns her an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and an Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer. At the end of the trilogy, Rey seems glad to choose “Skywalker” as her surname, making her Rey Skywalker instead of Rey Palpatine. There is now another Skywalker in the Star Wars universe, keeping the legacy of the family and the Jedi Order alive.

We love the complicated, many-layered character of Rey Skywalker. She’s a powerful leader with a pedigree second to none when it comes to the using the power of the Force. We also thought Finn was very cool! What do you think of Rey Skywalker? Did Daisy Ridley play the part well? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know about.

Daisy Ridley vs Social Media

According to gamerant.com (Ahsan Dowling) Daisy Ridley has returned to social media after a  six year hiatus. The reason she left is because of the fan backlash she received while playing Rey in the Star Wars franchise. She received harsh words, death threats and misogynistic attacks because the fans didn’t like the recent trilogy. Another actor, Kelly Marie Tran, was also attacked online. None if the abuse was given to the writers or creators but to the actors themselves. 

For more information about this subject check out the article by Ms. Dowling called ‘Star Wars Actress Daisy Ridley Returns to Social Media After Six Years.’

What are other shows or movies that Daisy Ridley is in?

According to tvguide.com Ridley’s birth name is Daisy Jazz Isabel Ridley. She was born in London, England and is the youngest of five sisters.

Mr. Selfridge (2014)

Silent Witness (2014)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Asteroid Hunters

Chaos Walking



Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Murder on the Orient Express

Voice Credits:

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Peter Rabbit

20 things you didn’t know about Daisy Ridley

According to tvovermind.com Daisy Ridley as been on the minds of many fans since taking the role of Rey in the newest Star Wars trilogy. Here are a few things you may not know about her.

  1. At the time she was cast as Rey, Daisy was considered to be entirely unknown.
  2. She’s been trained as a dancer as well.
  3. When Prince William and Prince Harry visited the Star Wars set she was assigned to show them around.
  4. Daisy cried the first time she saw The Force Awakens.
  5. Before becoming a big star, she was a bartender in London.
  6. She tried being a vegan for a while, but it didn’t pan out.
  7. Despite being a good singer, she happens to think it’s one of her worst qualities.
  8. According to the choreography team she managed to master lightsaber skills that normally take a few days in less than a couple hours.
  9. She was at a play with a friend when she found out that she got the part for Star Wars.
  10. Daisy has fully enjoyed her time with Star Wars at this point.
  11. Her favorite movie as a child was Matilda.
  12. The titular character was her role model.
  13. Her casting for Star Wars was seen as an echo of the casting for the original movie.
  14. Has done some voice acting.
  15. Has a tattoo of the alchemical symbol of air.
  16. Suffers from endometriosis.
  17. She suffered low self-confidence because of the diagnosis.
  18. Big fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
  19. Big football fan. (Arsenal F.C.)
  20. New member of the Oscar voting panel.

For more information on these 20 facts go to tvovermind.com and read the entire article.