I enjoyed reading this, just as I’ve enjoyed reading the Jar-Jar as Sith theory. You clearly have given this a lot of thought, and I respect your Star Wars Nerdiness. To be honest, after the disappointment of the prequels, I am very happy to be excited about the Star Wars saga again. Having said all that, and because I, too, am a SW nerd, I do have a few comments.
Rey’s fighting style with the light saber seems to me to be a function of her fighting primarily with a staff. She does that poke/thrust thing when she fights off Unkar Plutt’s thugs when they try to steal BB-8 and also when she knocks Finn down when she chases him to get Poe Dameron’s jacket back. It makes sense that she would be awkward with a weapon, in this case the light saber, she didn’t have experience using.
As for her name, I agree with you that perhaps it could have different meanings, but if, as you say, she’s being hidden on Jakku, it could maybe not be her name at all, but a way to conceal who she really is.
I do not agree at all with you about Rey’s so-called “rage.” Rey grits her teeth a lot when she’s “in action” so maybe that reads as rage to you, but I think you’re conflating anger with exertion. It’s clear that Rey has a prior history with Teedo, who is trying to capture BB-8, but I don’t think her shouting at him rises to the level of rage. She’s just sticking up for BB-8. As she demonstrates later when she doesn’t sell BB-8 to Unbar Plutt for food that she needs, Rey seems to be a very moral person who is just trying to do the right thing, in very challenging circumstances. Rey also sticks up for herself which isn’t so much rage, but a necessary survival skill a girl, basically on her own, had to develop growing up on Jakku. When I think of someone being unreasonably angry, I think of Anakin Skywalker slaughtering an entire Tuskin village, and then the younglings. That is a serious anger management problem.
You make some interesting points about her accent. I think growing up and being around Niima Outpost with so many types of beings from all over the galaxy, and the fact that she speaks and understands so many languages factors in as well.
Maybe she was dumped on Jakku for a reason, but it’s hard to know for sure until we learn more. I’m not going to get too far into the weeds with your assertion that Rey is “untrained” if you google “Rey is a Mary Sue” I think that covers all the arguments pro and con — I am firmly in the con category.
What I really want to get to is, is Han Solo and Chewie keeping an eye on her, and how were they able to pick up Rey and Finn so soon after leaving Jakku?
If Han was watching Rey then wouldn’t he know that the Falcon was on Jakku? Han says “Jakku, that junkyard?” and then says to Chewie “I told you we should’ve searched the outer regions.” Earlier Rey says that the Falcon hadn’t flown in years so it makes sense that Han has no knowledge of the Falcon until Rey flies it off Jakku, making it visible on radar. Han later says that the Falcon showed up on his ship’s tracker and that if he and Chewie can see them, then the First Order can track them too. It was the Falcon Han and Chewie were after, not Rey.
Okay, that’s all I have time for now! Maybe I should’ve written my own article? :-)
You’re awesome Kenji, and I’m really looking forward to getting your cookbook.
May the Force be with you.