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I know all about waiting.
~ Rey to BB-8

Rey is the main protagonist of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. She serves as the main protagonist of the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, and Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi and will return to that role in the third and final installment Star Wars: Episode IX. She is a former scavanger in Jakku, which was later revealed to be an extremely powerful and skilled Force-sensitive being, a thing which takes her to training by the legendary Luke Skywalker.

She is portrayed by Daisy Ridley.

Personality

Rey is an extremely pure hearted, kind, brave, heroic, and benevolent individual.

The harsh realities of such a world like Jakku could have easily made a person cynical or guarded against sympathy and weaknesses, but not Rey. Despite seeking out a meager existence in the scorching heat of the Western Reaches planet, Rey possessed a heart full of generosity and a willingness to help other people in need. 

It was this willingness that led her to not only help BB-8 be free of Teedo's interference and Plutt's attempts to acquire the droid, but also led her to help BB-8 in its mission to return the star map it carried to the Resistance. Though she never wanted to leave Jakku for fear that she would not be there when her family returned for her, she believed in the importance of the Resistance and its fight against the First Order enough that it gave her strength to continue on BB-8's mission to find Luke Skywalker and defeat the First Order.

For years, Rey's imagination took her mind to other worlds, including those with lush green forests and beauty that she could never even dream of. The adventure she found while helping BB-8 and Finn brought her to one such world in the form of Takodana, where she began to realize that her destiny was not in the junk-fields of a remote desert planet.

Her encounter with Maz Kanata profoundly impacted how she saw herself and what she was capable of, and Rey began to see that she was part of a larger galactic fight—and that the power of the Force was with her. Her recognition of these abilities and her destiny coincided with turbulence in the Cosmic Force, which for years had remained dormant, and ultimately led her to find Luke Skywalker.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

The adventure that followed her leaving Jakku led Rey to discover that she was gifted with the powers of the Force. As a side effect of the mind probe done by Kylo Ren, Rey inadvertently unlocked her dormant Force abilities by accessing memories of Ren's training which, in turn, served as her own training in the ways of the Force. Though she initially rejected these powers and the destiny that came with them, Rey's encounter with Skywalker's lightsaber began awakening the power of the Force inside of her. She eventually embraced these events, especially to fight Kylo Ren, and the abilities she was just beginning to learn when she sought out the exiled Skywalker, rekindling a spark of hope for a galaxy on the road to war.

  • The Force: Rey is very powerful and has a very strong connection to the Force, described by Ren as stronger than she realizes. However, until learning from Luke, she had received very little training and depends mostly on skills she learned before she knew she was Force-sensitive or watched someone else use the Force. Despite this and although she is not quite as powerful as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker respectively; at the two latters' peaks, her powers rival that of Kylo Ren, despite the latter being the grandson of the Chosen One, and the nephew of the leader of the New Jedi Order; therefore making her an exceptionally powerful light and dark side Force-user. According to Snoke, Rey will grow stronger with the light side of the Force.
    • Telekinesis: Rey utilizes Telekinesis either as offense or defense. Her power was shown to rival that of a weakened and injured Kylo Ren, as she could pry Luke's lightsaber out of his own telekinetic grip when he tried to summon it to his hand, causing it to fly past him and into her hand instead. By the time of Battle of Crait, Rey's strength in the ability allowed her to levitate a large pile of small boulders simultaneously without much effort to open a passageway out of a cave for the Resistance.
      • Force Pull: Rey utilizes Force pull to pull her opponents or objects towards her.
    • Telepathy:: Rey utilizes Telepathy as an extension of her Force powers to mentally communicate over small or vast distances with other individuals, especially Ren, due to the mental connection they share through the Force.
      • Mind Probe: Rey utilizes Mind probe to sift through the thoughts of a sentient being. She was able to resist Kylo's attempt to probe her mind for the map to Luke Skywalker's location, and even turned his attack back on him to discover his own fears of inadequacy in the shadow of Darth Vader.
      • Mind Trick: Rey utilizes Mind trick to control the minds of other sentient beings, however, it does not work on individuals who have very strong will. It took her three tries to master it, as she used it against a Stormtrooper in order to escape from captivity, and her skills grew throughout her escape from the Starkiller Base.
    • Force vision: Rey utilizes Force vision to have visions of the past, present, and future; however, like all Force-users, her visions are not always clear or sometimes has visions even when she is not utilizing this power at will. It is also possible that some visions, like the one resulting from when she touched Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, are the result of Psychometry, another Force power that allows the wielder to see and discern information about people, events, and places by touching objects people carried.
    • Force sense: Rey utilizes Force sense to sense another sentient being's emotions, the future, ripples in the Force caused by momentous or traumatic events, or impending danger and the presence of the dark side. She learned this when Kylo attempted to use it against her.
    • Battle meditation: Rey utilized Battle meditation, allowing her to renew her morale, stamina, and overall battle prowess. This allowed her to defeat the more skilled, yet injured, Kylo Ren in battle by meditating on the Force as Maz Kanata taught her.

Abilities

  • Lightsaber Skills: Despite having no training, Rey has some skills in lightsaber combat and is a very gifted duelist. Rey was able to defeat the Dark Jedi Kylo Ren, despite the latter being far more skilled and experience in lightsaber combat then she is. She was able to overpower him after meditating on the Force as Maz Kanata taught her. However, it should also be noted that Kylo had already been wounded by Chewbacca and Finn respectively, and thus was not at the peak of his strength. Despite her short time training with Luke, she improved enough that she was able to fight Supreme Leader Snoke's Praetorian Guards on even terms alongside Kylo Ren and eventually with his aid, overpower and kill the eight deadly warriors.
  • Skilled Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Rey is skilled in unarmed combat.
  • Skilled Staff Fighter: Rey is skilled in staff fighting, having used her staff for much of her life.
  • Skilled Markswoman: Rey is skilled in utilizing blaster pistols.
  • Master Pilot: Rey is highly skilled in piloting various speeders and every type of flight craft.
  • Master Engineer: As a scavenger, Rey has a good understanding of engineering and the things she collects. She has knowledge about multiple different machines and ships, which proves useful when she accidentally comes into possession of the Millennium Falcon. She knew how to work a ship's computer and circuitry systems. which allowed her to prevent the Millennium Falcon from breaking apart by removing one of the ship's circuits.
  • Multilingual: Rey is currently capable of fluently speaking English, Shyriiwook, and Binary.

Creation and Conception

When Lucasfilm set out to create the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which would be released under the banner of The Walt Disney Company after its acquisition of Lucasfilm, it became clear to them that Star Wars could not just rely on the heroes of the original trilogy and would need to create a new generation of characters to take up the mantle. One such character was Rey, who, in the development process for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, was known as Kira. The film's original screenwriter, Michael Arndt, described Kira as a "loner hothead, gear-head, badass." J.J. Abrams, who was chosen as the film's director, quickly gravitated towards the idea of a female lead, visualizing a young woman when developing with the film's protagonist. He was further drawn to the notion that the character, living thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, would not know who Luke Skywalker was or even regard him as a myth. Abrams was also drawn to the idea of a female Jedi being at the center of the Star Wars story.

By November 2013, the film's costume department created its first drawings for what Kira's costumes would look like. Initially, her costume design was going to have a lot of gear for climbing and tools because of her scavenging work, but the production team chose to go with a simpler look and pared the costume down. The final design was approved in February 2014, including the goggles that she wore while scavenging. The genesis of the goggles came from the production team not wanting people to know who the character was at first, including whether she was male, female, or even human. Her home, built in a downed AT-AT, was constructed in Abu Dhabi at the end of a mangrove swamp, which was the only place that the production could find that had a clear horizon and was flat and desolate. Abrams said that because the character's existence was miserable during her time on Jakku, he wanted her home to be built somewhere that seemed equally miserable.

Trivia

  • Rey is the first protagonist of a Star Wars movie to be female, Rogue One being released one year after, so the female hero in that movie became the second.
  • Her original name was supposed to be Kira.