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  1. #1
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    Default Sell me on Rey Random

    This thread was inspired by a Matt Stover interview where he apparently expressed more interest in Rey being a “Random” or a “Nobody.”

    See, I’ve generally always thought that was a shallow perspective based off more of an obstinate refusal of something more predictable, even if it was more substantial and dramatic answer. To *me*, Rey Skywalker or Solo was the only creative yet practical answer for an escapist story that’s supposed to bring people joy. And it seems an awful lot like the original female lead was a Skywalker or Solo under Lucas and Arndt, then became a mystery box that Abrams introduced and that Johnson could choose from, before TROS went with the Palpatine/“Skywalker” answer.

    Like, I know I'm going to be obstinate, and this is a highly subjective bit of speculation/storytelling. But I’m curious how some of you guys who liked TLJ think it could have been resonant and rewarding for the end of a 9-film story.

    So, to make things simpler, here’s the issues that occurred to me when I read Colin Trevorrow’s Duel of the Fate’s script, since it’s actually known to have kept “Rey Random” for her story:

    - How important do you consider the Skywalkers getting a “happy ending” is? To me, this is something that was always huge; better to leave ROTJ as the end of the family story than resurrect it just so Kylo can be a blight on his house, than die.

    - How important is it that Rey outshine and overshadow Kylo, since that’s a definite risk of leaving him the only Skywalker? This is highly subjective, but I tend to think TLJ, the DOTF script, and TROS all still show that the audience *and* LFL is naturally more drawn to Kylo than is helpful to Rey; I mean, it’s already accepted as “fact” Kylo should overshadow Finn by those stories...

    - Does it actually add something to the mythos, seriously? I think I understand the idea in principal, that proving Star Wars is larger than the Skywalkers... but that also feels like a serious “no duh” bit of redundancy, an unneeded point of emphasis that feels more like spite than conviction; why burn an the family to the ground, if they aren’t holding the story back?
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  2. #2

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    I think Rey finding out she's a Skywalker or Palpatine as a twist would feel uninspired. Which is how I felt in episode 9.

    It could work but it shouldn't be a twist for Rey. She should already have that knowledge when the series starts.

    If she tells Finn she's a Skywalker or is reluctant to reveal she's Palpatine's granddaughter that's a better way to handle it.

    The first time I watched the Original Trilogy I was in high school. So I don't have the nostalgia for it that other fans do. Rehashing it wouldn't appeal to me longterm.
    Last edited by the illustrious mr. kenway; 05-16-2021 at 01:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    I wanted her to be just some random person who happens to be force sensitive as her secretly being some prior established daughter/whatever relation just feels like bad fan fiction and that's the opposite of what I want from Star Wars.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I felt Rey being no one worked. She didn't need to be connected to anyone else.

  5. #5
    Put a smile on that face Immortal Weapon's Avatar
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    Rey being connected to a established characters makes the universe feel small. In a series that treats planets like they are a random town to focus so much on a small group of characters to do anything important is creatively bankrupt and narrow.

  6. #6
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    I get that, I get all of it, I really do!

    ...But I also don’t think any of those complaints counter the problem posed by Rey Random afterwards - Kylo Ren’s legacy connection making both audiences and creators become more enamored with him over Rey, and damning the Skywalkers to a crappy-ass ending.

    And I’m sorry, but I feel like the “predictable,” “fan fiction,” “small universe complaints are so small as to be negligible when contrasted with “The family story ends with a cancerous.ly pathetic character getting them all killed, or being made the main character.

    And to be blunt... I really do think a lot fo those complaints are biased and a bit hypocritical, because they’re not followed through on regarding Kylo - who’s just as much a small-universe, fan-fiction-y concept as Rey Skywalker would be, but still got to take over the entire damn time period - or on Finn - who no one ever pretended would have an important legacy, but also never really get praised for it even as half the fanbase tries to pretend her wasn’t denigrated and demeaned by TLJ for Kylo’s sake.

    I genuinely think that if you find Rey Random a great idea, than you should kind of be pissed at Kylo Ren on both a conception and execution level.

    And if you aren’t... then I kind of think you’re conviction isn’t actually all that strong.
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    Isn't the difference that Kylo is a villain?

  8. #8
    Put a smile on that face Immortal Weapon's Avatar
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    Who Kylo is and his family heritage is known from the jump. The films didn't make a mystery out of it like they did with Rei.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Weapon View Post
    Who Kylo is and his family heritage is known from the jump. The films didn't make a mystery out of it like they did with Rei.
    Right, so it's not really the same as Rey.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Weapon View Post
    Who Kylo is and his family heritage is known from the jump. The films didn't make a mystery out of it like they did with Rei.
    And I would say that arguing the mystery box *by itself* requires more stringent standards than the actual premise and substance of the characters, concepts, and Saga is folly... and that Kylo’s still clearly getting creator and audience favoritism over Rey and Finn to a degree that he exposes a double standard that Rey Random fans ignore.

    Conceptually, Kylo is *exactly* as much of a “fan-fiction-y”, “world shrinking” character as Rey a Skywalker would be... and nothing about Rey having a mystery box would push the envelope on her beyond that parameter that works for Kylo. Not really. And the context of Kylo’s entry and heritage in the story creates problems that, to be blunt, either require certain specific types of resolutions

    Once the audience can swallow “Han and Leia’s kid is a Darth Vader cosplayer running on ‘Deus Angst Machina’ rules!”, the audience has established exactly the same amount of willing suspension of disbelief needed for “Luke’s kid/Han and Leia’s other kid was separated and stranded on another desert world!” Both require “shit happened” in the backstory, and both employ old tropes familiar to both professional art and fan fiction (“darker and edgier” for Kylo, “changeling fantasy” for Rey.)

    And to be blunt, I don’t think people actually care that much about a mystery being obvious, even if they don’t like that facet of it - it’s the answer’s substance and impact on the story that matters, *especially* in long terms stories.

    And the thing is, the substance and impact of Kylo being a Solo/Skywalker forces some uncomfortable truths on the viewer: either a) they don’t care about the Skywalkers having a happy ending and are fine with them having a depressing as hell ending, or b) they’d actually rather focus on Kylo/Ben as the main character over Rey because he has the family tie.

    Now, weirdly?

    If a) is fine with you, then we don’t really have a problem with the idea of Rey Random for Rey - but TLJ is still a horrible-ass movie for her because it clearly punishes her (and Finn) for not being a Skywalker, and I think I have the right to wish Kylo Ren had never been created. It feels like some stupid edge lord philosophy, cynical nonsense and spite directed towards a strong family story that genuinely hurts the capacity for fans to invest in future content with the family.

    ...But I also have to admit that I think b) happened a lot more than some people are willing to admit, and is almost intrinsically tied to finding TLJ to be a satisfying experience. I saw way too much of a trade off in appreciation, acceptance and excitement after TLJ that went almost exclusively to Kylo over Rey and Finn that had everything to do with him having the right connection to older characters that they didn’t... and nothing more.

    Any thoughts on that last bit?
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  11. #11
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    I don't think her being a Skywalker fixes the rest of the problems with how she was treated. She still didn't get as much focus as Kylo

  12. #12
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    I didn't like The Last Jedi at all, so not even going to try to defend that. Rey not being a Skywalker or Palpatine still could work though, if you just don't go with Kylo's elitist thing of Rey's parents being literally "no one" or whatever dismissive thing it was that he said.

    Like, they could just be people we hadn't heard of yet, but just recall that the prequel trilogy for some reason set it up that Anakin's mom was apparently impregnated by midichlorians ... okay, that's just a ridiculous thing really, but the point is that the whole thing with their being so strong with the Force and bringing balance to it was not initially something that was just a thing of genetics or bloodlines. Shmi didn't have Force powers, she was apparently just chosen by the Force to be the mom/grandmother to these super powerful Jedi. So you can make Rey a kind of spiritual successor in her being chosen ...

    Especially if you could have really great acting/writing/directing showing her to be a more worthy recipient of the wisdom/teaching of Luke and Leia than Kylo. He could still have his powers, but you have her outshining him because it's not your bloodline or what you inherited physically that makes you something great. I guess you could underscore this by pointing out that Anakin had great Force power, but he apparently did not have the strength or nobility of spirit or what-have-you to bring balance to the Force ... that had to be his kid, because ultimately Luke was more noble than Anakin.

    So, even if Kylo was their blood kin, you can still have Rey as chosen family, this orphan who is adopted because ... well, one, she's an orphan, but also because apparently the Force chose her, and once it did, she demonstrated to the older characters that she was a truly good person, and strong enough to stand against their kid who unfortunately went the way of his grandfather.

    Then too, a benefit of making her a "random" would be that subsequent stories could add more to her own family, if you want. She could have a long-lost twin out there, like Luke and Leia, or some other relatives ... or, I don't know, maybe just lean into the thing where chosen family is as valid as blood family, and she just finds others like herself who were apparently chosen by the Force. Basically just that, by not having her directly related to any of the established character, you have a pretty open book to introduce new characters and storylines, as opposed to needing to remain stuck with the established ones.

    You could even have had Finn, another orphan like her, developing Force powers, too ... just saying, lots of directions they could have gone, that could have worked better than the kind of anti-climatic thing they ended up doing.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I get that, I get all of it, I really do!

    ...But I also don’t think any of those complaints counter the problem posed by Rey Random afterwards - Kylo Ren’s legacy connection making both audiences and creators become more enamored with him over Rey, and damning the Skywalkers to a crappy-ass ending.

    And I’m sorry, but I feel like the “predictable,” “fan fiction,” “small universe complaints are so small as to be negligible when contrasted with “The family story ends with a cancerous.ly pathetic character getting them all killed, or being made the main character.

    And to be blunt... I really do think a lot fo those complaints are biased and a bit hypocritical, because they’re not followed through on regarding Kylo - who’s just as much a small-universe, fan-fiction-y concept as Rey Skywalker would be, but still got to take over the entire damn time period - or on Finn - who no one ever pretended would have an important legacy, but also never really get praised for it even as half the fanbase tries to pretend her wasn’t denigrated and demeaned by TLJ for Kylo’s sake.

    I genuinely think that if you find Rey Random a great idea, than you should kind of be pissed at Kylo Ren on both a conception and execution level.

    And if you aren’t... then I kind of think you’re conviction isn’t actually all that strong.
    I was just never found of the "Secret Parents" trope nor felt that Rey's problems as a character would be solved because she's Obi-Wan's secret granddaughter.

    Rey is likable but not really compelling to me. In Force Awakens she felt like bits and pieces of a character. She had a goal in leaving Jakku but her reasons for getting cold feet later on were poorly thought out.

    I don't mind Kylo taking over because I'd be fine if anyone else was the protagonist. For example, Jyn felt more compelling as a character and I wished the cast of Rogue One was the leads of the sequel trilogy.

    Hell it would've been cooler if Finn crash landed on Dathomir and Rey was a nightsister who Finn convinces to help him. That would've been awesome.

    If you just make her Kylo's secret sister, than why not just adapt Jacen and Jaina Solo from the books?
    Last edited by the illustrious mr. kenway; 05-17-2021 at 09:24 PM.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    I would have been fine with her being a complete random, but TFA did too much in my mind to insinuate otherwise. You lay down those seeds then you have to play them out at some point in someway, be it via confirmation or at least explaining away the red herring. TLJ did neither when it reversed course and tried to say she was a rando.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    I would have been fine with her being a complete random, but TFA did too much in my mind to insinuate otherwise. You lay down those seeds then you have to play them out at some point in someway, be it via confirmation or at least explaining away the red herring. TLJ did neither when it reversed course and tried to say she was a rando.
    The problem is both directors did their own thing without being consistent with one another. And Idk if Abrams ever really had an answer for his mystery box. So if he didn't, he shouldn't have set up all those mysteries

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