The Explanation of Rey’s Power Level in ‘THE FORCE AWAKENS’…

Daisy Ridley as Rey: The Force Awakens

One of the biggest complains that some fans had with The Force Awakens – and with Rey in particular – was the problem of Rey’s powers and, in particular, her very sudden/quick development of Force abilities in the film.

I’ve seen lots of people complaining at her ability to use the Force, at how sudden her transformation is and how unrealistic it is that she would be able to develop that quickly without training.

I, however, mostly didn’t have a problem with this. At least not yet.

If you think about it, Luke’s development in A New Hope was pretty quick too. As far as we were shown, he didn’t have much training before he was flying an X-Wing and using the Force to fire the crucial shot into the Death Star.

Moreover, in Episode I, little Anakin did more or less the same thing, flying a Naboo Fighter into the heart of the Battle Control Ship and destroying it – very similar to how we Rey handling the Millenium Falcon like a pro (which actually doesn’t make sense).

In both cases, Anakin’s especially, the idea was that they were being guided by the Force itself; in Anakin’s case it was entirely unconscious and this demonstrated the extent to which his Force-connection was operating without him even knowing it.

So for Rey – directly descended from both Luke and Anakin (probably?) – to inherit the same powers isn’t that much of a problem. Even if she isn’t a Skywalker, it still isn’t necessarily a problem – so long as you use The Phantom Menace as a benchmark.

However, this also does demonstrate another reason why Disney were arrogant and unwise to try to suggest a dismissal of what Lucas did in the prequels and a ‘glorious’ return to the Original Trilogy: because one the thing that would perfectly explain Rey’s speed of development and abilities here in this film would’ve been to cite the midi-chlorians.

In essence, Lucas has provided the explanation already: Rey obviously has a very high midi-chlorian count just as Anakin did (and presumably Luke did too), and therefore the Force operates in her at an unconscious level – and at an abormally accelerated rate.

This is partly amplified by her vision experience in Maz Kanata’s castle, where the Living Force is clearly interacting with something that is already within her consciousness. Some might perceive that this scene depicts Rey encountering the ‘Force’ for the first time – and if you see it that way, then Rey’s ridiculously fast Force-development does seem out of place.



But that’s not what we’re seeing. Rather the Force is engaging with something already going on within her. It’s even probable that Rey has received some form of basic Jedi instruction as a child. But, even if she hasn’t, the presence of a high midi-chlorian count in her would naturally cause the Force to develop in her much more quickly – once triggered – than in another person.

In other words, the Force has been interacting with her her whole life – on an unconscious level. Whereas, it’s when she touches Anakin’s/Luke’s lightsaber in Kanata’s castle (and after having heard from Han Solo that the Force is “real”) that the Force connection becomes conscious – and from this point on, her intuitive powers and her ability to consciously channel or manipulate the Force becomes more pronounced.

But again, with the midi-chlorians you can explain everything. And a potential flaw in The Force Awakens can be remedied.

Rey has a high count and is Force sensitive and this is evident throughout the film. It’s why she can pilot the Falcon like a pro, just as Anakin could pod-race and just as Luke could master an X-Wing in about five minutes.

It’s also there in her physical prowess with a quarter-staff; it’s there, but it’s not overt, rather it’s below the surface.

I really would have a lot more respect for Kathleen Kennedy, Disney and the other new controllers of the Star Wars mythology if in the next film they do mention the midi-chlorians. Because it would explain Rey and her powers perfectly; and it’s all there, all in place from Lucas and the prequels.

If, in an arrogant wish to dismiss the prequels and dismiss the ideas of the very founder of the Star Wars mythology, they decide to veto the midi-chlorians, then they’ll actually be shooting themselves in the foot and this whole business of Rey using the Force in this movie will make a lot less sense.

But *as it currently stands* and as is my current reading of the situation, this sequence with Rey and the Force is grounded perfectly in Qui-Gon Jinn’s explanations of the Force and the midi-chlorians from Episode I.

Yes, those same midi-chlorians that so many people in the Lucas-raped-my-childhood brigade bitched about all those years ago.


S. Awan

Independent journalist. Pariah. Believer in human rights, human dignity and liberty. Musician. Substandard Jedi. All-round failure. And future ghost.

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