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Learning from Failure: Is it too late to challenge Rey?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by Rayjefury, Dec 7, 2018 at 5:46 AM.

  1. Rayjefury

    Rayjefury Rebel Official

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    Reportedly one of the themes that Rian Johnson wanted to communicate through TLJ was failure as a teacher. In past trilogies, as the hero journeys, they are challenged and subsequently set back in some way (often with a physical cost being paid and often due to their poor judgement) from which they must recover and learn - in SW this is typically during the 2nd installment of the trilogy.

    • Luke lost his hand in his confrontation with his father in ESB
    • Anakin loses his hand in his confrontation with Dookou in AOTC
    • Rey avoids such a fate (for whatever reason)

    What (if anything) was Rey's challenge and failure in TLJ which sets her back and from which she must recover and overcome in EPIX?

    If you believe there was no challenge stemming from TLJ, how (if at all) do you think the character Rey can be challenged in EPIX so that she can illustrate growth and maturation?
     
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  2. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    She lost a Han(d) in TFA. Haha!

    She failed saving Ben, in EPIX she must overcome her compassion and desire to save Ben because he can only be redeemed all by himself.
     
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  3. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Rebel General

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    You'll get one idea that she already has faced her challenge. I don't think she did, but I don't think that's necessarily wrong either. It's more non-traditional if anything.

    I think of it this way. What did Luke do two weeks after destroying the first Death Star? We don't know, but we do know he didn't meet his challenge at that point either, facing his father. This story is following a different trajectory, and it's not all about Rey like the OT was all about Luke. Even if it were about Rey, the story is as much about Kylo and Luke ect... the saga doesn't revolve around Rey. In other words, her challenge hasn't come, and it should come at some point. It hasn't yet. I really hope her struggle is deep when it comes, because unlike Anakin and Luke, she's gotten her training in a flawed way, by a flawed teacher, just as rushed as Luke's and incomplete like Luke's, but worse because Luke is no where as well put together in TLJ as Yoda was in ESB. So she should struggle more, when that time comes. It could very well be she will meet this struggle in IX, and maybe her major failure will come in IX and that may carry over to the next saga trilogy. Maybe she avoids it all together in this saga, but that doesn't mean she won't have to face it later on.

    One thing I've said a few times is TLJ would have worked better as a TV series, RJ needed more time to flesh out his ideas and it moves too slowly for film. He has too much going on and too many ideas to put into 2-3 hours and properly explore and have it nuanced properly. I think if we get TLJ over 12, 50 minute episodes, we'd be able to more properly explore the Rey/Luke/Kylo dynamic, have had more exposition. It would have meshed out his ideas and in a different genre we wouldn't have the same expectations as we do from a SW trilogy. I think the SW trilogy is what has largely thrown off portions of the fan base, because we can't compare apples to apples, it's made in a longer form of story telling, ergo, not having a time jump. I think it's somewhat understated how much that has affected this trilogy and people's perception of things in this trilogy. I'm not touting TLJ or excusing it. Personally I think they should have gone more traditional, but I think Disney wants to keep this story going with the new 3 of Finn, Rey and Poe, and thus they're dragging out their development. I think under RJ SW movies were regarded as more of long episodes of a TV series. I'm not a fan, but to me that explains a lot of his decisions regarding TLJ.
     
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  4. Rellum

    Rellum Clone Commander

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    Ray hasn't been tested for the whole ST. Every time she was in a bit of a spot the force basically popped into her headto save her. I would argue her character and humanity have not been put under any real test.

    Snoke had her in some physical danger but Kylo got her out of that.

    I want to see her question who she is and the decisions she is making. Have her sacrific something.
     
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  5. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    she failed everything she tried to do in TLJ except for lifting some rocks.
    she was also forced to confront her worst fear: that she was unwanted and abandoned by her family.
    that was her: crying on the Supremacy in the wreckage of her utter and complete failure.

    no, it's not losing a hand, but did we really need another limb lopping?
    she felt responsible for and lost almost the whole Resistance (much more than a hand).
    the psychic wound in her is much deeper than any physical one.

    at the end of TLJ she feels like the situation is hopeless and that she failed. it's Leia who has to reassure her.
     
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  6. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Rebel General

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    Sometimes I wonder if I watched the same movie others have lol.

    Not to invalidate what you're saying, I just don't see her "failures" in TLJ the same way others do. Her failures in TLJ had more to do with others than it had to do with her. It's like calling it a deep failure for asking out a girl you're interested in and being rejected. Uhm, not really, if you have any self esteem and you work on yourself and do your best to be a decent person, it's more likely the other person's loss. In Rey's case, it most definitely is, for both Luke and Kylo. I think at least Luke comes to realize that. Beyond the rocks, she was pretty awesome in the turret of the MF, she resisted the darkside despite heading straight for it. She managed to help a Jedi Master out of a funk and get him to re-establish a link to the Force, thus saving her friends indirectly because Luke does thanks to that intervention. She was instrumental in killing the big bad of the galaxy. She's gathered some knowledge and understanding of her foe, his mind set, his manipulations, and rejected his attempt to turn her. She was badass fighting off the Red Guard. If Rey feels responsible for the Resistance's troubles, that's highly egotistical of her. You can argue they weren't clean wins or losses, but to not glean the positives of her action and interactions would be small sighted of her (not you, we're definitely open to our own interpretations).
    I didn't see that in the movie so I think that might be reading more into things than what was actually there.

    There were at least as many positives as there were negatives for her in TLJ imo. That's pretty much why I don't see TLJ as being the same story as that of Anakin and Luke, at least not in regards to Rey. I'm sure Luke and Anakin had some drawbacks in their training, experiences, conflicts and such that could be comparable to Rey's troubles, which seem much more pedestrian, lower stakes/lower losses than that of her predecessors. I really hope they don't try and work the events of TLJ to be her defining moments, like the "Noooo's" and lightsaber tossing of Anakin and Luke. I guess it could be worked in, in that Rey may be emotionally fragile in comparison to Luke and Anakin. Maybe Rey has mental health issues beyond that of the average person, and no, I'm not downplaying those issues (honestly, everyone in these series shouldn't be walking away without severe ptsd, which is why I don't find this remarkable). However, that will be much harder to show onscreen and for that alone I would think that's a mistake in movie format. Next I would say that's much more 1st world issue than previous characters in her shoes. I would rather have something like that explored in a live action than in movie format, because the nuances are important and I don't think it can be delivered as credibly in 2 hours than it could over a season or multiple seasons.

    I still have hope for IX and saga films, but I think the people put in charge to direct and write need to tread lightly. Tell the story that needs telling and don't shy away from it, but really listen to the feedback of editors and be ready to make changes so that you're showing us the story and not telling us what's happening. Minimize the threads within the movie to the most important ones to keep the movie flow consistent throughout. Don't over complicate the subplots. I hope to see Rey's adventures and her growth in coming movies, faced with challenges she outright loses but redefine her character, her thinking and her skills, as well as her relationship with her friends.
     
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  7. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball Rebel Official

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    You think Rey still has the desire to save Ben? That'd just be repeating TLJ and ROTJ.

    He rejected her plea. What reason could she still have to believe he'll turn good the next time?
     
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  8. Rellum

    Rellum Clone Commander

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    She was clearly still very upset the very next time we saw her in the falcon wooping with a big smile on her face yelling "this is fun!".

    I get what you are saying and the throne room is the time in TLJ that she is under the most pressure. She even makes a decision to leave Kylo behind. If she tries to turn Kylo in the next movie that will make little sense.
     
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  9. Pawek_13

    Pawek_13 Jedi General

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    Does she, though? Her closing the doors in front of him can also be understood as "You're not joining me in this state." A closed door can still be opened.

    To the other bit - of course it's not up to her to fix Kylo. It's up to him. Vader turned because Vader made the right decision. Luke's belief in the underlying good in him was essential, sure, but it was still up to Anakin to do the right thing. The same applies to Kylo and Rey. If we're really have to list Rey's failures we must also mention that - that in order to turn another person that person must want to be turned.

    PS. Also remember how she tries to fight Kylo off and a lightsaber explodes into her face?
     
    #9 Pawek_13, Dec 7, 2018 at 11:25 PM
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 11:45 PM
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  10. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order, Then Pie
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    different people perceive challenge differently (and i mean this as both us as audience members as well as Rey compared to Luke for example).

    in ESB, Luke lost the physical battle, but won the psychological battle; he rejected his father and leapt off the platform.
    in TLJ, Rey wins the physical battle (she helps Ben defeat the Praetorians), but she loses the psychological battle. even though she rejected his offer to rule the galaxy, she didn't convince him to change (suffered the failure of her own hubris in that) and also did damage to her own psyche by allowing herself to be vulnerable to his judgment of her family.

    and yes, Rey does think she's responsible for everyone and everything.
    she's special and she has powers and with great power comes great responsibility.
    she's exactly like Ben in that way, and it's a massive flaw in her character.

    and that is the lesson. ; D
     
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  11. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Jedi Commander

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    Rey's purpose was to retrieve Luke. She failed. She was open to the dark side because it offered her something she wanted and she failed to find out. She was looking for family in Han and then in Luke and failed. In her desperation she turns to Ben Solo who she believes will turn. When the moment comes she fails again because Kylo doesn't turn. Furthermore he makes her come to term with her family. They're no one.

    It's why I love that last shot of Kylo looking at her in the Falcon. She simply closes the door.
     
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  12. Trooper212

    Trooper212 Rebel General

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    She's already beaten Kylo in both mental and lightsaber combat, defeated about seven highly trained combatants at the same time without using the force, can pilot at least as well as Poe, can one shot three enemy ships her first time in a gunner's seat (which is completely unprecedented) and can lift an entire rockslide with no struggle at all. Add to that her ability to tap into the darkside of the force with no consequence to herself at all and I'm completely stumped as to how she could be challenged.

    Now they could have her make a heroic sacrifice but I don't see that happening on KK's watch.

    So it's not only too late but pretty much impossible to challenge her.
     
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  13. Corn Cream

    Corn Cream Rebel General

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    What does Rey want? In order to be challenged there has to be a strong desire. Except for family. Rey never showed strong desire for anything. Rey never showed an interest to train, so it's hard to believe she ever wanted to become a Jedi. Two movies later and not once did she show interest to be one. The only thing she said was there was something inside of me, and I need someone to show me my place in all of this. She didn't know what she wanted. Just a better understanding of what was the force.

    When looking at TFA and then the poster I always saw Rey in the middle of a conflict between Finn and Kylo.

    The only thing I see Rey having to overcome is moving on with her life. Other than that. There is nothing to look forward to from her character. She never fell, so I have no reason to cheer for her to get back up.
     
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  14. Adam812

    Adam812 Rebelscum

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    Rey's biggest challenge is to stop obsessing about her parentage. Many fans have that same challenge.
     
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    @FN-3263827 that's the point, Johnson clearly took inspiration from Murdock's The Heroine's Journey. For those who are familiar with Joseph Campbell's concept that should ring a bell.

    https://heroinejourneys.com/heroines-journey/.

    In Short- the heroine goes on a more inward-focused quest, while the male hero goes on an active quest- like slaying a monster, for example. In other words "Luke lost his hand in his confrontation with his father in ESB , Anakin loses his hand in his confrontation with Dookou in AOT, Rey avoids such a fate (for whatever reason)" only marks the difference between Campbell's and Murdock's concept.
     
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  16. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    Yes, and you don't need to be a genius for that.
    [​IMG]
    She wants Ben to be saved, but she also knows she can't do it all by herself.

    At least at first she failed.

    Having a family respectively a place to belong is a HUGE desire...

    Kylo didn't really care about Finn. He was just an "obstacle" in his way. An obstacle he liked to play with. But it will be interesting if they meet again in IX. "You?!"


    Just to lay out Rey's journey:
    1. HEROINE SEPARATES FROM THE FEMININE:
      Rey is a female scavenger surrounded by men on Jakku.

    2. IDENTIFICATION WITH THE MASCULINE AND GATHERING OF ALLIES
      A male ally enters the frame => Finn. He makes her choosing a path that is different from her actual desire.

    3. ROAD OR TRIALS AND MEETING OGRES AND DRAGONS.
      Pretty muchself-explanatory. Rey has to face Kylo and the FO etc.

    4. EXPERIENCING THE BOON OF SUCCESS
      Rey makes some friends, defeats Kylo Ren and locates Luke Skywalker.

    5. HEROINE AWAKENS TO FEELINGS OF SPIRITUAL ARIDITY / DEATH
      But Rey's success is only temporary. Luke doesn't want to help her. Kylo is coming back stronger than ever and technically beats her. The Reistance gets defeated. And the legacy saber destroyed.

    6. INITIATION AND DESCENT TO THE GODDESS.
      Rey learns that her hero Luke Skywalker isn't that what she thought he would be. Furthermore she learns that her parents are dead and nobodies.

      IMO this is where Rey is right now. She still has to make 4 steps:

    7. HEROINE URGENTLY YEARNS TO RECONNECT WITH THE FEMININE
    8. HEROINE HEALS THE MOTHER/ DAUGHTER SPLIT
    9. HEROINE HEALS THE WOUNDED MASCULINE WITHIN.
    10. HEROINE INTEGRATES THE MASCULINE AND FEMININE
     
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