Last weekend, I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens along with a large portion of the rest of the world, and since then, I have been continually thinking about how amazing of a character Rey is for my daughter to see. I wish I could personally thank J.J. Abrams for creating such an imperfect yet skilled and caring character. Yes, I have seen and heard about the critical writings about Rey, but from my perspective as a parent, those reviews don’t matter. In a day and age where people are constantly seeking perfection, it is important for my child to see individuals that may not be the best, or come from less than ideal places; yet still use what skills or talents they do have to make a difference. Rey is exactly the type of character I want my daughter to love and look to.
After seeing the movie on Friday with my husband, I became eager to know what my daughter thought of the movie and who her favorite characters were. She wasn’t going until Saturday morning with her uncle, so I had to wait and try really hard not to spoil the movie for her. As she walked in the door after the movie, I was right there bombarding her with questions about who her favorite characters were and what she thought of them. I was so hoping she saw Rey the way I did as a strong female character, and lucky for me she did.
My 10 year-old saw Rey as intelligent and caring, but loved how she kicked butt and didn’t need the guys to save her. This made me a happy mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love princess movies and romances, but I believe in balance and partnerships. I want my daughter to feel confident in her abilities to be able to handle situations on her; while at the same time knowing that there will be times that she may not be able to do it alone and that having a dependable partner can make all the difference.
Episode 7 displays this scenario perfectly. Rey is quick and can read situations regarding tech fairly quickly, but when it came to getting out of some of the movie’s tough situations, she needed a partner. Then there were other times where she drew on an inner strength and her own set of special skills and handled situations just fine by herself. Yes, I know I’m being incredibly vague. Trying hard not to include spoilers.
The point is that Rey is the kind of female I want my daughter to see in movies or on the pages of her books. A female that is quick on her feet, loyal, intelligent, spirited, strong mentally and physically, and admired for her skills and not just her pretty face. I’m looking forward to seeing where Rey’s story goes next. I just hope the writers build and improve upon who she is, and not destroy the character with typical female cliches. For now, I’ll just enjoy my daughter’s love and excitement for a female character worthy of her devotion.