I’ve floated the following idea by some friends, and since they received it well, I thought I’d commit it to writing. Though I haven’t yet read anything similar online, I’m sure I’m not the first to think of it, so my apologies if this trail has already been blazed.
Needless to say, spoilers abound regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens …
… I think we all noticed about three-fourths through The Force Awakens that the plot seemed, well, familiar. I won’t go through every intricate similarity, but I absolutely believe the creators knew what they were doing and those similarities were not by accident.
Now that the film has literally made more than a billion dollars, they were very smart to give the audience what it wanted. The film and the comparable plot obviously resonates with people. They wanted a classic Star Wars movie, and that’s what they got!
But I believe the recycled story beats are working to do more than simply please the fans. There’s was a saying in the Old West (and professional wrestling), that to be the best, you have to beat the best.
Rey is clearly one of the most powerful potential Jedi to have ever lived. Within moments of her power’s awakening, she executes Jedi mind tricks, levitates objects, and wields a lightsaber like she’s trained her entire life. She battles an adept villain to a standstill, assists blowing up a new “death star,” and offers solace to General Leia. Heck, Chewbacca even even takes her on as a co-pilot before she personally finds and faces Luke Skywalker – heretofore considered “the best.”
I suspect Rey has great things in store for her. But for us to take her seriously as a contender to Luke’s greatness, she must do everything Luke did in near equivalent circumstances, but do them even better. In our first encounter with Luke, he never piloted the Millennium Falcon, he never came near mastering the Force, and he certainly never faced a villain close to Darth Vader’s caliber.
I love Luke Skywalker. (It should be noted I am 39 and he was my childhood hero along with Indiana Jones and Batman.) But I also love Rey. She is very relatable and charismatic. They set her up brilliantly within one movie to be the new hero of the franchise, a hero both worthy of Skywalker’s legacy and even proven capable of surpassing it.
To be the best, you have to beat the best. (Feel free to “woo!”)