I’m a shipper. I ship stuff pretty hard. And hey, eventually all shippers run into ships that aren’t canon ships. We still don’t know about lots of the latest possible Star Wars ships, but in the latest film, we do get to see newer characters Rey, Finn, and Poe interact a bit. And they’re all adorable, and their interactions are humorous and cute, so naturally we ship them!
However, I don’t really want to see Rey (Daisy Ridley) in a relationship anytime soon. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m trying to hate on Rey x Finn x Poe or even Rey x Finn, it means I want to see Rey become her own character first.
Here’s why that’s important, especially to young viewers who look up to Rey.
Rey is a Girl
Throughout the film, everyone refers to Rey as a girl (not woman, lady, etc.) and she doesn’t seem to dislike being referred to that way. Rey is young and girls can be independent and strong. That’s a great message.
Girls can also hold friendships and relationships and should have autonomy of their own bodies (or at least a say in their own health and activities, though in Rey’s case she is on her own when it comes to parents).
By defining her as a girl, and by Rey accepting that definition, we should accept that she’s got a lot of growing to do before she realizes her own powers and herself.
Tossing someone into a relationship during that tumultuous time could make for great drama (or tragedy – Romeo and Juliet, anyone?), but as a hero for girls and boys, shouldn’t Rey start out by making her own journey and her own self the focus of her life?
Give Rey Time to Solve Her Parental Issues
As far as we can tell, Rey isn’t sure who her parents are or where they went, and she sure is grateful for the parent-figures presented by Han and Leia. I get that it’s commonly acceptable to have female characters explore parental issues and inadequacies in relationships, but we should also let kids know that it’s okay to work on deep issues (like ‘my parents are missing/dead/not in the picture’) before sorting that out within a relationship.
I’m not a psychologist and I’m not here to judge what is or isn’t healthy, but I wish I’d had more role models who worked out some of their own personal issues before dragging that baggage into a relationship.
Respect the BROTP
In real life, it is possible for men and women to have platonic relationships. The BROTP is real! And hey, even if you start off a little oddly (looking at you, Leia and Luke), it’s perfectly acceptable to act like siblings. Healthy relationships often look like that.
Or, you know, running away from certain destruction together.
Rey Should Not Have to Share Her Potential
When you’re in a relationship, sometimes you share your successes but other times you have your own successes with the support of your partner. I really enjoy being in that sort of relationship.
But in the past, I was in relationships that felt like a competition – not only with my partner, but everyone else around me. If I started to shine too brightly, someone had to put me down. And now I see that it’s not cool; that’s not how successful relationships operate.
We need a character who embraces her potential and finds out who she is. There’s plenty of room for the mushy stuff later.
Rey Does Not Owe Affection to Any Male Characters
We all agree that Rey is clearly in charge of her own brand of badassery. Finn (John Boyega) learns that he can’t just grab Rey’s hand and lead her around, and by the end of the movie it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t feel entitled to anything from Rey.
While this isn’t how things work in the real world, it is how they should work, and it is what younger viewers should see.
Rey Should Focus on Rey
Rey is on a voyage of self-discovery. Sure, she’s got friends, companions, trainers, and more. However, it’s okay for Rey to focus on her own needs and skills. If she doesn’t know herself, how will she better understand and utilize the Force?
Thus far, Rey went through the whole first movie without developing a more-than-platonic relationship. That could change in the future if she wants it to, but it’s monumentally important for kids to see that healthy relationships can be useful and supportive – but they’re not always necessary, especially when you want to focus on finding out who you are.
Maybe Rey Is Asexual, Aromantic or Just Not Interested
It’s also possible that for whatever reason, Rey just isn’t interested in a relationship now, and she doesn’t really owe anyone an explanation beyond that.
Sometimes women want to find themselves; a god or a goddess or in Rey’s case, The Force. Perhaps she wants to work on that.
Rey Sets Expectations
Rey is clearly a very influential character. She sets expectations for those who want to emulate her. For example: an adult can understand what happened in the scene with Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt – and how the princess dealt with that space slug on her own terms. (Thanks for the reminder, Carrie Fisher.)
That chain only"enslaved"me until I could use the frabjous thing to KILL THAT DROOLING SWOLLEN SUPERTONGUED SLUG&whirl him off into infinity
— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) July 15, 2015
As an adult, I see Jabba as every entitled nerd and/or the physical manifestation of Gamergate:
Is that what people remember?
Unfortunately, not always. And that builds the expectation that if you want to be like Leia, you need to wear the outfit, look perfect, etc. That’s missing the point of the character.
So at least for one or two movies, can we not do this with Rey?
Because let’s be real: kids want to be like Rey, and she’s a great hero – not an object, not a thing. And Finn’s got his own character development going on. Men are perfectly capable of having self-control, so let’s let him follow his heart in his own way, too.
What do you think about Rey’s love life? Is it time for her to focus on The Force, or should she get into a relationship soon? Leave your comments below.