In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, two major new personalities pick very various routes.

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Dan ZehrTeacher and also podcaster

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

In part one of examining identity in The Force Awakens, we looked at Finn, and what his inner dispute 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 starts to unravel who he is, that he wants to be, and also looks at the obstacles that may impede his development along the means. However, he is not the just character to research his or her identity in this film. A burgeoning Jedi and also the leader of the Knights of Ren are both compelling in their very own best, and also deserve better expedition. proceeds to research identification in The Force Awakens in component two, via the newest representatives of the light and dark side of the Force, Rey and also Kylo Ren.


It is on Jakku where we accomplish Rey, the scavenger and also burgeoning Jedi, that is equally on a quest to uncover a new identity for herself. Seemly stranded and alone, she waits for her family to rerevolve, 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 come prior to in the galaxy, and also provides her shelter from the past, and the sands of Jakku. This previously hulking brute cannot harm her, as it is from the past. Once she abandons hope of the previous returning to relevance in her life, she have the right to look to the future.

This glimpse right into the future is preperceived as she looks with the helmet and lens of a Rebel pilot, uncovered near the AT-AT. She removes the helmet of the previous, tosses it aside, and also sees with her very own eyes right into the future, in the develop of a freshly captured BB-8. Rey adamantly seeks to complimentary BB-8, and this prescient act ushers in an awakening of her own identity, as the 2 satisfy Finn, and destinies are forever altered. It is as soon as she travels to the earth Takodana, yet, wbelow the metaphor is progressed in also even more intriguing ways.

In a pivotal scene, Maz Kanata tells Rey, “The belonging you seek is not behind you. It is ahead.” The double meaning right here is poignant: the belonging mentioned is not an item, but a sense of self. Rey’s expansion is stagnant as lengthy as she looks for belonging in the past. Once she realizes she should let go, and move forward, then her self-actualization will come a step closer to fruition.


Perhaps no character battles more via their identification than Kylo Ren, the enigmatic dark side wielder that desperately seeks to rerelocate any kind of light from his sense of self. He vehemently looks to remove the influence of his father, Han Solo, and ironically, is still a servant to his surrogate father, Supreme Leader Snoke. He is a perfect contrast to his grandpa, Anakin Skywalker, that, via his one personal struggle, smust remove darkness. While mainly untested in the methods of the Force, Rey senses this, as she bravely tells Kylo Ren that he is afrassist he will certainly not be as effective as Darth Vader. This scene helps to morph both characters’ journeys into a new direction.

This chills Kylo to the core, as his biggest are afraid is exposed. He desires to recognize himself as a fearsome opponent, and while he is, his biggest foe is himself. He later on decides he need to literally stab his father through in order to eliminate his viewed weakness. This only happens when all of the light from the sunlight leaves the chamber, and the child of Solo commits patricide in order to find himself. The ramifications of this are yet to be established.


The climax of The Force Awakens punctuates this through tremendous detail. After beating Finn in a brutal lightsaber duel, Kylo Ren calls out to the Force to grab Luke’s lightsaber, just to see the weapon hurtle previous him, and 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 ruined, light on each character’s challenge reflects the inner feeling of self, and the chasm of earth between them signifies that for Rey, while there is darkness in the human being, she choses to sepaprice, and adopt light. For Kylo Ren, he is separated from his former self. The galaxy hangs in the balance.

One of the more powerful motifs in The Force Awakens is identity; Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren all seek to discover who they were, that they are, and who they want to be. This literary device helps us to learn more around each character, and also to begin to identify where they fit in the Star Wars cosmos. All three personalities must confront various shades of light and darkness, in order to discern their area in the galaxy. This journey of self-discovery lights a course of knowledge for Star Wars fans too.

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Dan Zehr is a high institution English teacher through an MS in Teaching and Learning, and also runs Coffee With Kenobi (via co-hold Cory Clubb), a Star Wars Podcast that analyzes the saga with instrumental reasoning, analysis, interviews, and discussion. He is also a member of the Rogues (as Blue Leader), a netoccupational of teachers that incorporate Star Wars in the Classroom.