In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2 significant new characters pick incredibly various courses.

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Dan ZehrTeacher and podcaster

Studying Skywalkers is an exclusive column that investigateways the personalities, themes, and lessons of Star Wars from an educational, literary perspective. In component two of our look at identification in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, examines Rey and also Kylo Ren.

In part one of studying identity in The Force Awakens, we looked at Finn, and what his interior problem does to additionally our expertise of him as a character. While his journey is not finish, the latest enhancement to the mythology of Star Wars begins to unravel that he is, that he wants to be, and also looks at the obstacles that may impede his expansion alengthy the method. However before, he is not the just character to study his or her identification in this film. A burgeoning Jedi and also the leader of the Knights of Ren are both compelling in their very own appropriate, and also deserve even more exploration. proceeds to study identity in The Force Awakens in component 2, with the newest representatives of the light and also dark side of the Force, Rey and Kylo Ren.


It is on Jakku where we meet Rey, the scavenger and burgeoning Jedi, who is equally on a search to find a brand-new identity for herself. Seemly stranded and also alone, she waits for her family members to rerotate, and also survives by finding old relics of the battle in between the Rebellion and the Empire in the heart of a Super Star Destroyer. In a beautiful and also touching scene, she sits at the foot of an abandoned AT-AT. Metaphorically, the old relic symbolizes Rey’s unfamiliarity through what has actually come prior to in the galaxy, and also provides her sanctuary from the previous, as well as the sands of Jakku. This previously hulking brute cannot injury her, as it is from the previous. Once she abandons hope of the past returning to relevance in her life, she can look to the future.

This glimpse into the future is previewed as she looks with the helmet and also lens of a Rebel pilot, discovered close to the AT-AT. She removes the helmet of the past, tosses it aside, and also sees via her own eyes into the future, in the develop of a newly caught BB-8. Rey adamantly seeks to cost-free BB-8, and this prescient act ushers in an awakening of her own identity, as the 2 meet Finn, and destinies are forever before altered. It is when she travels to the world Takodana, yet, wright here the metaphor is advanced in also more intriguing ways.

In a pivotal scene, Maz Kanata tells Rey, “The belonging you seek is not behind you. It is ahead.” The double interpretation below is poignant: the belonging stated is not an object, yet a feeling of self. Rey’s development is stagnant as long as she looks for belonging in the past. Once she realizes she must let go, and also relocate forward, then her self-actualization will come a action closer to fruition.


Perhaps no character struggles more with their identification than Kylo Ren, the enigmatic dark side wielder who desperately seeks to rerelocate any light from his sense of self. He vehemently looks to get rid of the affect of his father, Han Solo, and ironically, is still a slave to his surrogate father, Supreme Leader Snoke. He is a perfect comparison to his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, who, through his one individual struggle, sought to remove darkness. While greatly untested in the means of the Force, Rey senses this, as she bravely tells Kylo Ren that he is afrassist he will not be as effective as Darth Vader. This scene helps to morph both characters’ journeys into a brand-new direction.

This chills Kylo to the core, as his biggest are afraid is exposed. He wants to recognize himself as a fearsome opponent, and while he is, his best adversary is himself. He later on decides he need to literally stab his father with in order to remove his viewed weakness. This only happens when all of the light from the sun leaves the chamber, and also the boy of Solo commits patricide in order to discover himself. The effects of this are yet to be established.


The climax of The Force Awakens punctuates this via significant information. After beating Finn in a brutal lightsaber duel, Kylo Ren calls out to the Force to grab Luke’s lightsaber, just to watch the weapon hurtle past him, and right into the hand also of Rey. This triumphant moment encapsulates the power of Rey, escalates the self-doubt of Kylo, and also signifies a new era in Star Wars. When Starkiller Base is around to be damaged, light on each character’s face reflects the inner feeling of self, and the chasm of earth between them signifies that for Rey, while tright here is darkness in the world, she choses to separate, and also embrace light. For Kylo Ren, he is separated from his former self. The galaxy hangs in the balance.

One of the even more powerful motifs in The Force Awakens is identity; Finn, Rey, and also Kylo Ren all seek to discover that they were, that they are, and also who they want to be. This literary device helps us to learn even more about each character, and to begin to recognize where they fit in the Star Wars world. All 3 characters must confront different shades of light and darkness, in order to discern their area in the galaxy. This journey of self-exploration lights a route of understanding for Star Wars fans as well.

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Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher via an MS in Teaching and also Learning, and runs Coffee With Kenobi (via co-organize Cory Clubb), a Star Wars Podcast that analyzes the saga via critical thinking, evaluation, interviews, and also discussion. He is additionally a member of the Rogues (as Blue Leader), a network-related of teachers that incorporate Star Wars in the Classroom.