For the entire sequel trilogy, Daisy Ridley’s Rey has been our viewpoint into the world of Star Wars, a plucky heroine from nowhere who got swept up into the magic and mystery of a galaxy far far away. Over the course of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker, Rey’s character undergoes quite a few changes – both for better and for the much, much worse.
But all throughout, this scavenger from Jakku remains strong, remains empowered, and remains an inspiring hero to be added to the canon of Star Wars heroes past. Here, we recap the most important quotes from her heroine’s journey.
Updated June 4th, 2020 by Meg Pelliccio: Star Wars is a household name, whether you have watched any of the films or not, you know what it is. It’s also one of the longest-running film franchises with the first film, Star Wars: A New Hope, releasing in 1977. The series has definitely changed with the times, not just in the way of graphics and technological advancements, but also in themes and the message it shares.
For example, despite featuring some very strong female characters, the first two Star Wars trilogies featured male protagonists. However, fast-forward to 2015 and Star Wars finally gifted fans with a female protagonist, creating a new role model for children everywhere. Rey is a brilliant character who shows that even heroes are conflicted at times, and she also has some great lines to be remembered by.
15 “I know all about waiting.”
We’re first introduced to Rey in the opening minutes of The Force Awakens. We get to see her as a scrappy, resourceful scavenger on Jakku, but we’re also given insight into her daily private life, including her keeping track of the days since she was abandoned in the desert wasteland.
When she tells BB-8 that she knows all about what it means to wait for something, and for her family, the film sets up not only a central mystery of her character but also the foundational patience and optimism that makes up so much of her character’s journey.
14 “Stop taking my hand!”
As patient and as hopeful as Rey may be, she’s also not afraid to speak her mind and set her limits, as evidenced by her repeated protests when Finn insists on taking her hand as they run from the First Order on Jakku. Rey is fierce and independent, and she doesn’t play when it comes to anyone compromising her agency in the slightest.
This sets up Rey as our strong and resourceful heroine in an entirely new way, beyond the scavenging skills that were established by her introductory montage. Rey is unafraid to tell anyone what she wants, and what she does not.
13 “The garbage will do!”
As Rey, Finn and BB-8 seek to escape Jakku when it comes under attack from the First Order, they aim to make it to a ship so that they can flee into space. Finn asks Rey, “What about this ship?” and the screen pans so that viewers can see the Millennium Falcon. Rey retorts with “That ship is garbage!” and they begin running to another ship that is promptly destroyed in front of their eyes.
In desperation, Rey declares “The garbage will do!” and the characters run towards the iconic spaceship. This scene made every Star Wars fan chuckle when they first saw it, especially as Rey has no idea just how legendary that “garbage” is when she first pilots it.
12 “I didn’t know there was this much green in the whole galaxy.”
Rey may have spent much of her life in the desolate deserts of the planet Jakku, but it’s when she arrives on the lush green world of Takodana that she truly comes to life in a way she never has before. When she first sets sight on the beautiful planet’s lavish greenery, Rey is overcome with emotion, with disbelief, and with awe.
Rey may know a lot about the world, given the life she’s led for her entire adolescence. But she’s still led an incredibly sheltered, solitary existence on Jakku. It’s this first exposure to a world beyond the dunes of sand that truly exemplifies the beginning of her journey into a whole new world.
11 “You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open.”
When Rey is captured by the First Order, she decides to try out the Jedi mind tricks that she’s heard so much about. She speaks to the nearby stormtrooper, telling him, “You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open.” The guard responds with, “What did you say?” and Rey repeats herself.
The Stormtrooper moves closer and for a split moment, Rey and viewers alike believe she has already mastered the force. That is until the stormtrooper says, “I will tighten these restraints, scavenger scum!” It was an unforeseen moment that had fans chuckling away. You can’t blame a girl for trying, and she does get there in the end.
10 “I need someone to show me my place in all of this.”
In The Last Jedi, Rey’s story consists of her attempts to learn, not only the ways of the Force but also to learn about herself and her own identity and place in the world. She finds unlikely teachers in her journey, including the reclusive and often unhelpful old Luke Skywalker, and the far more surprising and sympathetic Kylo Ren.
Both of these men, in addition to her own internal guiding voice, help her in her quest to understand just what her place in the entire world of the galaxy far far away is. But little does she know, the answer is far more unwieldy than she could ever have anticipated.
9 “I’ve seen your daily routine. You are not busy!”
When Rey first meets Luke Skywalker, he refuses to train her despite her explaining that she needs someone to show her the ways of the force. Undeterred, Rey follows Luke around as he goes about his usual daily life on the secluded island.
Eventually, when she asks him again and he declines once more, she responds with the plucky quip, “I’ve seen your daily routine. You are not busy!” She’s not wrong either. Unsurprisingly, Luke does eventually agree to train her.
8 “Something inside me has always been there. But now it’s awake. And I’m afraid. I don’t know what it is or what to do with it. And I need help.”
Though Rey showed the slightest signs of darkness in The Force Awakens, particularly in her moments of combat and anger, The Last Jedi truly doubles down on the ideas of inner darkness and fear, including multiple montages of Rey literally exploring dark cavernous spaces and underwater depths.
These explorations and excavations, of course, simply reflect her own internal darkness and her quest to understand just what it is that has always been inside of her – whether that is the Force or something else entirely.
7 “Do you have something — a towel, or something — you can put on?”
One of the focuses of the films is the mental bond connection that forms between Kylo Ren and Rey. Though their relationship starts with them hating one another, in spite of all that Kylo Ren has done, the connection humanizes him in Rey’s eyes as she begins to see more of the man behind the mask, quite literally in some cases too.
In a scene in The Last Jedi, Rey finds herself face-to-face with a half-dressed Kylo Ren. In a rather humorous moment, she asks him “Do you have something — a towel, or something — you can put on?“
6 “You underestimate Skywalker and Ben Solo and me. It will be your downfall.”
Rey’s hope continues to shine bright even in the darkest of moments, and even in moments when she finds herself confronted with her most fearsome foe yet. Opposite Supreme Leader Snoke, Rey’s bravery, faith, and hope are some of her most powerful weapons. She refuses to compromise and budge despite the very real threats of torture and more that he poses.
Further, she refuses to give up on her new unlikely allies, both Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren, no matter their respective failings at this point in time. Rey knows that she isn’t alone anymore, and knows that Snoke is foolish to think that they can be beaten so easily.
5 “Don’t do this, Ben. Please don’t go this way.”
Rey’s connection with Kylo Ren serves as the emotional driving force of The Last Jedi, which makes their last major scene together all the more poignant. Despite the intensity of their connection and compassion for one another, Rey is still unable to accept a world in which Kylo expects her to join the dark side and be with him.
No matter how tempted she may be by his offer to rule with him, Rey must remain in the right, and she must remain the hero that the story needs. She denies her own feelings, and her own desires, and yet makes one final plea to the Ben Solo hidden behind the Kylo Ren persona before they engage in their most epic Force tug-of-war yet.
4 “People keep telling me they know me. I’m afraid no one does.”
Questions of identity have plagued Rey from the beginning of the trilogy – although it would be pretty easy to argue that the fandom has always placed more importance on her identity than the films ever did. But The Rise of Skywalker changes all of that, unfortunately placing the question of her lineage and its unsettling answer at the core of the story.
As Rey realizes there is a darker truth hiding beyond her years of questioning, she begins to feel further alienated from life within the Resistance, a group of people who have already never quite accepted or understood her. No one has ever known who she really is – not even Rey herself.
3 “I did want to take your hand. Ben’s hand.”
Though The Rise of Skywalker faltered greatly by not ever really letting its characters have actual conversations, a rare moment of emotion and introspection came at the end of Rey’s Death Star wreckage duel with Kylo Ren. It was there that Rey finally admitted to something regarding her own feelings, her own emotional maturity, and her own desires.
While it may have been obvious to some viewers at the end of The Last Jedi, Rey here confirms that she did, in fact, want to take the hand, and the proposal offered to her at the film’s end. She just knew better than to accept Kylo Ren’s gloved dark sider hand, when she’d already been exposed to Ben Solo’s bare, vulnerable one.
2 “Be with me.”
To put it simply, the end of Rey’s three-film journey is an absolute mess, a total insult to her character, and a colossal mistake for the franchise as a whole. But before Rey arrives at this clunky, fanservice conclusion, she taps into a new Force power and oneness attained through meditation and the simple utterance of one simple phrase: “Be with me.”
Through this outreach to the Force ghosts of the masters who have gone before, Rey once again finds a community where she has never had one before. But then again, she does ultimately end the film absolutely alone, except for BB-8 and ghosts.
1 “Rey Skywalker.”
During one of the very final scenes of The Rise of Skywalker, Rey travels to Tattooine to place the Skywalker lightsabers in Luke’s childhood home. A local woman passing by stops and asks Rey who she is, to which the young heroine responds, “I’m Rey.” The woman then asks, “Rey who?” and after seeing the Jedi ghosts of Leia and Luke, Rey responds with, “Rey Skywalker.“
This seems to bring the series full circle and also shows that Rey has conquered the darkness within herself, despite finding out that she is a Palpatine, she has now fully embraced the light side and chooses to pay tribute to the legendary Skywalker family by continuing their lineage.
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