After years of anticipation, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has finally premiered, and it's pretty much perfect. The movie is an ultimate throwback to the original films, and all of your favorite characters have returned to bring down the Dark Side. And alongside them, a new generation of Jedi fighters has arisen, and these characters are just as lovable as Luke, Leia and Han. There's the suave pilot, Poe Dameron, the charming newbie, Finn and — best of all — the amazing future Jedi Rey, who is an awesome feminist icon. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)
Rey is hands down the most exciting character in The Force Awakens, coming from nothing and proving herself to be savvy, powerful, and worthy of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber. She works with the Rebel Alliance to discover her destiny, and to live up to her true potential as the ultimate champion of The Light Side and the greatest heroine of all time. She's strong and sweet; badass and beautiful; clever and courageous.
But the truth is Rey is not simply a feminist icon: she's an icon — period. Everyone who goes to see The Force Awakens, woman or man, is going to leave in awe of Rey. She is a "force" all her own — someone you definitely don't want to mess with, but also someone you can love and feel close to if you're on her good side. She's the best heroine to grace the big screen, in the best franchise of all time (OK, maybe I'm a little bit biased.)
We should all aim to be like Rey — the perfect combination of qualities that make her an independent, influential and impressive lady. There are a million reasons we should strive to emulate her, but here's a sampling of her most feminist characteristics.
When we first see Rey, she is on her own and taking care of herself. Orphaned at a young age (potentially by Luke Skywalker!? The anticipation is killing me), Rey learns to be a scavenger on her planet, Jakku, and makes a home for herself.
2She Accepts Help When She Needs It
Since Rey is able to handle most things on her own, it would have been easy for her to decline the help of those around her. But Rey understands that she still has much to learn, and she willingly accepts advice and aid from her allies. She even listens to Finn, who's as inexperienced as she is, because she knows that everyone has something to offer, and that working together is always better than working alone.
3She Has An Unexpected Skill Set
Rey's ability to act as mechanic and pilot for the Millennium Falcon is ridiculously impressive. Her expertise is not a traditionally female skill, but she doesn't mind getting her hands dirty and saving the day — multiple times.
When someone is as fierce as Rey, it might be expected that she would be a bit callous. But despite her challenging childhood, Rey is not cold or unkind. From the moment she saves the adorable BB-8 from a scavenger, to her blossoming and caring relationship with Finn, we see that in addition to being a rockstar Jedi, Rey is also an affectionate woman who cares for and wants to help those around her.
5She Doesn't Shy Away From Challenges
Rey faces her fears and accepts the challenge of taking down the Dark Side, and later undertakes the mission to track down Luke Skywalker. Even as things get scarier, she stays strong and lives up to the challenge.
6She Respects Her Elders
When Rey accidentally runs into Rebel legend Han Solo, she shows the proper reverence at meeting someone of his stature. As she and Han grow closer throughout the film, she becomes more comfortable with him, but is always sure to give him the respect he deserves.
Sure, Rey is polite and has good manners, but she isn't afraid to be a little sassy when the time is right. She's got a bit of an attitude, and it makes her totally awesome.
Rey is brilliant. Not only can she fix the Millennium Falcon, but she is a problem solver throughout the film, and also figures out how to use the force in the middle of a pretty stressful situation. She's clever and cunning, able to outsmart evil every chance she gets.
9She Has Her Own Fashion Sense
Rey doesn't feel the need to wear what everyone else is wearing — she has her own style and she sticks to it. Part Greek goddess with her ethereal shawl, part news boy with her knickers, part 2000's high school girl with her knock-off Uggs and part stegosaurs with her bumpy-bun hairdo (which is definitely the new side-buns), Rey has a look all her own, and she totally rocks it.
10She Isn't Afraid To Take The Lead
Rey is not subservient to anyone. She isn't afraid to take charge when she has an idea or solution. But even though she is a natural leader, she still takes a backseat when someone else has a plan, which makes her an even better leader. Her partnership with Finn is just that: a partnership.
When Rey is first offered Luke's lightsaber, she recognizes that she isn't ready to accept the power quite yet. She says that she is afraid, and doesn't feel the need to prove something by taking on a responsibility she isn't quite prepared to handle. She exercises patience and then, when she's ready to battle with Kylo Ren, she readily accepts the saber and the challenge. She says yes to her destiny, but is strong enough and smart enough to wait until she was ready to live up to it.
12She Follows Her Goal
Rey knows what she wants to accomplish and goes after it, both lightsabers blazing. She doesn't let anything stand in her way, not even an army of Storm Troopers.
13She's A Total Badass
At the heart of it, Rey is a badass. She is the coolest heroine ever — scavenging wreckage to earn money for food, then piloting Han Solo's iconic ship, and finally engaging in an intense battle with a leader of The First Order. She's powerful and passionate, but she's not an inaccessible superhero. She is utterly human — flawed, scared and sometimes unsure — which makes her even more of a heroine as she overcomes these things to be the Jedi master she is sure to become as the trilogy continues.