“Is it true, you’re just a scavenger?” -Kylo Ren, presumably to Rey
“Together we will destroy the Resistance and the last Jedi.” -Kylo Ren, presumably to Snoke.
In this spoiler-fueled speculation piece we consider the mounting evidence that suggests that Rey is in fact more than just a scavenger and is in fact a Jedi (or at least was once a youngling or a padawan). Hopefully, by connecting the dots, we can reveal a little something about Rey’s motivation as a character. For starters, let’s consider a recent German Translation from the Official Facebook page of StarWars.de (the official German site) of the second quote from Kylo Ren above (props to Trooper31 from the banthaskull forums for pointing this out):
In particular those last three words. “die letzten Jedi”. Now, I don’t speak German, but according to this map from this page from Wikipedia, we see that the definite article “die”, when used in the nominative case, means either feminine, or plural:
Since we know that at least Luke is a Jedi and is in TFA, this can’t be feminine. Therefore it must mean plural Jedi. This is potentially a major revelation, as it suggests there are more than just Luke.
Second, there is new evidence further supports the idea that Rey is already a Jedi at the start of TFA. We’ve already reported that there is at least some reason to think that Maz Kanata is a Jedi, but I also think Rey is too. This could either be obvious or controversial, but now the biggest piece of evidence comes from a set of trading cards that list character affiliations. MSW reported about this finding, and here is a shot of the relevant characters and all affiliations:
Latino Review also covered this point and posted the same image as did others. So Rey has the symbol that refers to Jedi and Finn does not. The way I see it, there are two possibilities. One, Rey was already a Jedi before the events of The Force Awakens. Two, she becomes a Jedi before the end of the film. However, I think this second possibility seems a bit unlikely. How could the events of TFA that we know of constitute her becoming a Jedi? We have to go back to the instagram teaser showing Finn with a lightsaber, so many have speculated that Finn becomes a Jedi. I would think that using the lightsaber as a weapon would start him on that path. So why does he not have the Jedi affiliation? Do we have to start considering the possibility that Finn doesn’t have Force powers? Up until this point, I would have assumed that Rey and Finn would at least be on the same Jedi path to the same degree, hence both get the affiliation. But the more I think about it…because of these cards I’m starting to realize that we don’t really have confirmation or strong evidence that Finn has Force powers (other than maybe the implication at the start of the first teaser trailer). He is certainly attracted to the lightsaber and uses it at some point in the film and carries it on his jacket. But this doesn’t necessarily make him a Jedi. We get this quote from the plot synopsis from MSW here:
Maz Kanata presents the blue lightsaber to them again. Rey is revolted by it, while Finn is attracted to it.
To me the fact that Rey is revolted by it suggests that Rey has a history with lightsabers, and makes me think a traumatic event related to lightsabers makes her revolted by them. Could be the same traumatic events that led her to end up as a scavenger on Jakku.
The tantalizing theory in all this is that Rey was in fact a Jedi in Luke’s Jedi Academy, which was destroyed many years before the events of TFA, and left and went in hiding after the demise of the Academy. There is a definite possibility this the Academy and all the padawan were killed by the Knights of Ren or Snoke (who else is powerful enough to do it?). Kylo was taken by the Knights of Ren to join their order while she escaped to Jakku. This sheds some light to what Kylo says in the quote at the top, because he remembers her from their days as padawan.
We also know from the MSW plot synopsis that in a couple of places, Rey uses Force powers, like mind-tricks. Now, it’s certainly possible that she just was “a natural”, and just figured out how to do mind-tricks on her own, but somehow this seems like a stretch and would end up looking like a stretch to the audience. I think this is one of many “clues” that the audience will see in TFA that build up the the crescendo revelation at the end that she is a Jedi.
And then we have the bo-staff skills. From the plot synopsis:
A fight ensues between the heroes and the gangs. Rey almost single-handedly takes on the gangs using her skills with a staff.
These aren’t the skills of someone that just figured out how to use a staff while running around Jakku scavenging. How good are they?
We had an old piece here about her stunt double, and another post from StarWars7News, reported here that we got this statement from Kathy Kennedy about Daisy Ridley’s bo-staff skills:
Kennedy: She learned the bōjutsu fighting style. Rey uses the staff she has in the trailer to fight. Daisy’s gotten to be so good at bōjutsu that even grown men on the set fear it. [Laughs]
This is pretty intense. Check out this video of her stunt double if you haven’t already (jump to about 1:35 for the bo-staff):
As if that wasn’t enough, we have the halloween costume found here and reported here, that says she will kick some serious butt (implied with a staff).
Rey will not just be good with a bo-staff, she will be mind-blowingly bad ass with a bo-staff. If these scenes with the staff are as intense as her stunt double can do, it will be one of those moments that people will the talking about when leaving the movie, like the way Maul vs Obi Wan was what everyone talked about after TPM. Now why the heck would they get such a skilled stunt double and not use it? Now, given that, and what MSW calls “special skills”. It certainly sounds like she was a well trained Jedi, but after the traumatic events before TFA, she could never use a lightsaber again, and switched to the staff. While training with a staff has always been part of the early Jedi training (recall Anakin teaching the Felucians staff fighting in the Clone Wars), it is certainly possible that she was once well trained with a lightsaber, although I definitely don’t think she has a lightsaber staff. I think all signs point to her not wanting such a weapon and wouldn’t carry one because she is revolted by lightsabers due to her history.
What about electrostaffs? We have this image of Sarco Plank from the back of “The Weapon of a Jedi” book:
Note this weapon looks like the same kind of lightsaber-proof weapon “electrostaffs” wielded by the Magnaguard Droids from Revenge of the Sith (and similar to Zeb’s weapon):
And we also know that Sarco Plank is on Jakku (next to Rey!?) from this photo from Abu Dhabi from the Vanity Fair shoot (second from the right):
Look at the guy’s staff in the middle. It looks highly similar the Magnaguard Droid electrostaffs!
Now one has to wonder why is Rey leaving directly from Sarco’s location? Is there a deeper connection there? Although it is of course possible that Vanity Fair had them arrange characters in arrangements not seen in the film. Nevertheless, there is a suggestion that there is a deeper connection between Rey and Sarco (and maybe electrostaffs). That, and the fact that the Star Wars Databank for Sarco says he’s also a scavenger (then again, isn’t everyone on Jakku a scavenger?). All this makes me wonder if Rey, like Sarco, chose the only weapon that can defend against a lightsaber due to her traumatic history with them. Is her staff is also equipped with this protective lightsaber-repelling couplings? Just imagine how cool that would be if she fought Kylo with that thing!
In addition to all of this we have the suggestion from Weapon of a Jedi that Sarco meets Luke on Devaron, the same planet where it also sounds like he started the Jedi Academy. So this connects everything strongly. Could it be that Sarco was who brought Rey from the Jedi Academy on Devaron to Jakku after the attack on the Jedi Academy?
Finally, we have the scene at the end (again from MSW’s synopsis) where:
Finn is on the ground, preparing to die. Rey arrives, and Finn tosses her the Skywalker lightsaber, which she has been reluctant to accept up until this point. To save her friend and avenge Han Solo’s death, she takes the weapon and attacks Kylo.
We will get to see Rey use a lightsaber at the end, only because she is forced to, so we’ll know then for sure if she is a Jedi. Did I mention that her stunt double is also highly proficient with a sword? (kicks in after 35seconds):
Everything certainly points to her being be very skilled with a lightsaber, as Jedi typically are, and this final scene will remove any doubt to the audience that this is the case. Everything will build up to this final scene, suggesting that she is more than just a scavenger. At that moment, we will know Rey is a Jedi.
Follow me on twitter for more updates: @davestrrr