Rey From Star Wars is Overpowered and it’s Terrible for Feminism
Emma Lindsay

Yes, Rey is overpowered, but every force sensitive in the Star Wars universe is overpowered. The force guides her, just like it did Luke. Luke shouldn’t have been able to suddenly be the best Rebel pilot or make the shot that knocked out the first Death Star or stand up to Vader… except he had magic so he could. And it’s really nice to see first hand a girl with force powers in a universe where female Jedi and Sith were seen only on the sidelines. And there are a whole bunch of female characters in authority positions that don’t have magic force powers in the movie (Phasma, Maz, random female rebel pilot etc).

By the standards of Force Sensitive individuals, she is not actually remarkably powerful. Remember, she only defeated Kylo Ren after he was shot by Chewie’s exploding missile launcher. That weapon was a one hit KO for everyone else, but for Kylo it was survivable, although he was bleeding profusely and relying strongly on the force to keep him upright let alone fighting. Somehow a lot of people seem to have missed him getting shot with the exploding missile of death right before his battle with Rey. Second, Rey is a melee fighter. We see her fight with her staff at the beginning of the movie and it is not crazy to think that someone who grew up as an orphan on Jakku (where people aren’t exactly friendly) would learn defend herself. She cannot, however, shoot a gun. She routinely misses targets that are directly in front of her and when she does hit, it seems to be largely by accident and her target is nearly always within ten feet of her. We see that she has experience in driving vehicles and putting them together (or taking them apart) and it’s not crazy to think that, with a little help from the force (which is fairly normal in the universe of Star Wars) these talents would be expanded. She generally only uses the force after watching Kylo Ren use it in the same way (the mind trick, the lightsaber pull even the giving yourself to the force to fight all happened after Kylo used the same tricks on her). She learns quickly, yes, but so did Luke. Also, this is only movie number one. You can really only compare her to Luke in episode 4 at this point, who is just as ridiculously overpowered (farm boy can now pilot all kinds of spacecraft, shoot a gun very well, use his lightsaber passably, sense the enemy’s weaknesses, hold his own against more skilled opponents for short time even when they were not exploded in the previous scene etc). In the context of Star Wars her power is completely believable. In the next few movies we should expect her to get some more training. Also, there are many theories and hints throughout the movie that se DID in fact receive some Jedi training before she was left on Jakku. Jedi can make you forget. If that proves to be the case, it makes her power even more plausible.

I completely agree that we need more female heroes with realistic abilities. That would be great. We should have more female athlete sports movies and eat movies showing military women and action movies with women who don’t rely on waifu martial arts magic to take out enemies that are not magic too. I’m all for female knights or businesswomen or waitresses that work to do something with their lives. I just don’t think that Star Wars is the setting to be looking for them. And on that I do have to disagree- a woman who is magically powerful in Star Wars is a good thing because before it focused on her we saw the magical powers being reserved for men (look at Leia, for example, who should have had just as much force strength as Luke but never was able to be a magic space knight). It would be a problem if she was the ONLY magic person to exist. Then, yes, I could definitely see the “woman can only beat men because she’s magic” argument. Or if she only used magic to beat non magic men. That would also be an issue. But if the men are magic, then the women can also be magic. It’s like saying that we don’t need Wonder Woman because a woman should be able to be strong without superpowers, but Superman is just fine.

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