Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cast Reveals New Details About Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 - 3:17PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 - 3:17PM
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cast Reveals New Details About Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren
To the credit of everyone involved, we really don't know very much about Star Wars: The Force Awakens (although that hasn't stopped anyone from coming up with crazy fan theories). The new characters, in particular, remain somewhat enigmatic, even though they will be anchoring the new trilogy along with the old guard. But now, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver are opening up about their characters' backgrounds, and they involve child abandonment, isolation, and brainwashing.

First, Daisy Ridley revealed that Rey was abandoned by her family on Jakku when she was five, and has been waiting for them to return ever since:

Opening quote
"She's been alone for a long time," Ridley told EW. "When something occurs when you're 5, you know what went on but you don't understand the reasoning. She's hopeful for what lies ahead, whether that involves the past or not."
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Many have speculated that Rey will turn to (or at least be tempted by) the Dark Side, but Ridley claims that her abandonment didn't make her bitter or vulnerable to darker forces:

Opening quote
"Hope makes people good, a lot of the time," Ridley said. "You hope for a brighter future, and resentment is outweighed."
Closing quote

In the same vein, she debunked the rumors that her staff is Darth Plagueis's staff, which would make it more likely that she would become a Sith:

Opening quote
"I mean everyone is praying that it's Darth Plagueis's staff. But... it's just a staff," Ridley said. "She's a young woman in a galaxy by herself. It's not primarily a weapon, it's useful as well. It does all sorts of things roamin' around Jakku. She uses it to defend herself. That's really as far as it goes, unfortunately." When asked if it's electrified like a cattle prod, she laughs. "Cattle prod! No, she doesn't have a charger! It's just a plain old staff!"
Closing quote

Of course, if Rey does turn evil, it could be in a later film or Ridley could just be maintaining a poker face. But it seems that she's on the light side for now, although she has a much more tragic history than we knew. The parallels between her and Luke Skywalker are also becoming more and more explicit, as she is also an effective orphan who has grown up on a desert planet isolated from knowledge of the Jedi.

If we had to guess, we would say that she is Luke Skywalker's daughter, Finn is his son, and Kylo Ren is Han and Leia's son. This is just speculation at this point, but Ridley's characterization of Rey's journey did seem to confirm that the three of them have an intimate bond:

Opening quote
"Rey, Finn, and Kylo, they all start off in a place where they have been led to feel like they're wanting," she said. "She's never sat around a table and had a meal with someone else. She works to feed herself, and she goes to sleep, and she gets up again. It is a sad life. The film, for Rey, is a journey of finding out that no one is no one."
Closing quote

Driver echoed these sentiments, citing loneliness and low self-esteem as one of his character's primary motivations. We know that he's trying to finish what Darth Vader started, but the psychological underpinnings for his villainy are similar to many other villains in film and literature:

Opening quote
"When you break all of those things down, really it's just because someone wasn't loved enough or felt betrayed," said Driver. "That's what makes those movies so universal. I think they can get in your mind in big and sweeping ways."
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Finn, meanwhile, was raised as a child soldier to become a Stormtrooper. Unlike Rey, he has knowledge of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi, but he's been brainwashed to believe that he was a villain who destroyed the benevolent Empire (does this explain why Luke is in hiding??):

Opening quote
Although Finn is no longer among them, Boyega says soldiers raised from childhood to serve this remnant of the scattered Imperial forces are fed propaganda about the heroes of the Rebellion. Unlike Rey, he has learned a lot about Luke Skywalker - but he has been taught he was a villain who destroyed the benevolent Empire.
Closing quote

According to EW, the Stormtroopers are raised to believe that they can't do anything else, and Finn's arc is primarily about overcoming that notion:

Opening quote
"It's about looking for a greater purpose, rather than thinking, 'This is the only thing I can do,'" Boyega said. "He wants to change. He wants to make a difference. He's trying to find some kind of moral dignity in this war."
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And when it comes to Finn's race, J.J. Abrams confirmed that he wrote the characters without any particular race in mind. Boyega, for his part, has been encouraged by young fans' reaction (or lack thereof) to his casting:

Opening quote
"They're not talking about race the way we grown folks are. They're not talking about how much melanin is in someone's skin. That should teach us something. We've been having a continuous struggle with idiots, and now we should just force them to understand - this is the new world. There are loads of people of different shades and backgrounds. Get used to it."
Closing quote

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens