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How Is Rey So Strong in the Force?

Jeremy hopes the Force is with him as he pursues a forensics career in the swamps of Louisiana.

Rey using the Force

Rey using the Force

Rey in Episodes 7-9

Although Star Wars' prequel trilogy (episode 1-3) received mixed reception, most fans generally liked the sequel trilogy (episodes 7-9), starring Rey, a protagonist whose Force powers emerge remarkably fast.

Arguably too fast, as some criticize how quickly Rey's abilities emerge; she successfully performs mind tricks and other Force feats in The Force Awakens, before she's ever been trained; even Luke, a prodigy with the Force, was barely able to use it before his tutelage under Master Yoda in Empire Strikes Back.

But through subtle clues, Rey's swift development actually has some surprisingly sound reasoning—here's why Rey is so strong with the Force! Warning: major spoilers ahead.

Rey training under Leia

Rey training under Leia

1. Rey Trained Under Leia for a Year

The Last Jedi (episode 8) picks up immediately after The Force Awakens (episode 7) leaves off, with Rey presenting Luke's old lightsaber to him. However, the gap between Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker (episode 9) is much larger, spanning a year, during which Rey is trained by Leia (who herself had earlier been trained by Luke).

Add that time to the indeterminate amount Rey spent in Last Jedi directly under Luke, and it's no surprise that she's progressed dramatically during the final film. But even with her progress, she's still relatively fresh, as shown by...

Rey vs. Kylo Ren

Rey vs. Kylo Ren

2. Rey Is Weaker Than Kylo Ren

Some fans were dismayed by Rey's triumph over Kylo Ren during their lightsaber duel in Force Awakens. After all, he carries Skywalker blood within his veins and has far much experience with the Force at that time. However, remember that Ren had been shot by Chewie prior to the fight, and before facing Rey, he dueled Finn (who managed a glancing blow before falling).

Basically, Rey only defeated a severely-wounded Ren. Luke directly states that Ren is stronger than Rey, which makes sense considering how much experience he has on her. When the two have a "fair" fight in Rise of Skywalker, Rey loses despite her growth since their last match.

Sure, she impales Kylo, but only after he's distracted by Leia's sacrifice; his dueling skills were ultimately superior. Rey's latent power is undoubtedly amazing, but the films do show that experience still counts.

Kylo Ren interrogates Rey

Kylo Ren interrogates Rey

3. Rey Absorbed Some of Kylo Ren's Powers

Near the end of Episode 7, Ren captures and interrogates Rey, using the Force to probe her mind. However, she's able to turn this back on him and probe his mind. But what many fans don't realize is that this interaction transferred some of Ren's power/knowledge of the Force into Rey. After all, they share a "dyad" Force bond that directly links them. And Ren inadvertently transferring powers isn't just a theory, it's confirmed on the official Star Wars wiki.

Plus, it makes sense. This is the point in the film that Rey really starts using the Force; after a few fumbles, she mind tricks her way to freedom, and is later able to Forec-pull Luke's lightsaber to battle Ren. Without this power transfer, Rey presumably would have needed more training to utilize such powers.

Palpatine and Rey

Palpatine and Rey

4. Rey Is Palpatine's Grandaughter

Even with the proper training, most Jedi in the Republic took decades to perfect their art; Obi-Wan was still an apprentice after 25 years of practice. But like Anakin, Luke, and Kylo Ren, Rey has the advantage of an amazingly Force-sensitive bloodline; her direct relation to Emperor Palpatine, easily one of the strongest characters in the franchise, explains her innate potential.

After all, Luke was able to defeat Vader a mere year after he really began his Jedi studies under Yoda, while Rey loses to Ren in Rise of Skywalker, so you could even argue that Luke progressed faster than Rey, especially considering her transfer bonus from Ren.

Rey Isn't Overpowered, Just Lucky

Admittedly, I initially thought it was suspicious how fast Rey developed, but after learning of her heritage plus her accidental absorption of Ren's abilities, her growth makes sense.

Like any film, the sequels aren't perfect, but they actually offer more explanation for Rey's development than we might initially think, albeit subtly at times. Hopefully, this will only add to your enjoyment of the latest Star Wars saga, but for now, vote for your favorite trilogy and I'll see you at our next Star Wars review!

© 2020 Jeremy Gill


Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on May 09, 2020:


Thanks, I hope you're safe as well! There's a confirmed Obi-Wan film (with Ewan McGregor returning), and the ongoing television series "The Mandalorian" (of Baby Yoda fame), so the saga should continue for many years.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on May 09, 2020:

Excellent explanations, Jeremy. I have grown fond of the new young Jedi. I hope they keep making movies. Thanks and stay safe down in L.A.