Now that Star Wars Episode IX is out, many of us are rewatching the Skywalker movies. The funny thing about rewatching movies is that you get a better perspective on what’s going on and so, you start asking more questions.
In this case, there are people who have a hard time believing that Rey was able to beat Kylo in a lightsaber battle. To be clear, the lightsaber duel referred to is from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Here are the following reasons why Rey was able to beat Kylo. Remember, that some of these can be doubtful and some can be regarded as mere theories.
For us to make sense of how Rey defeated Kylo in battle, we need to refresh our memories with the details of the events. Rey and Finn escape after witnessing Kylo kill Han Solo.
Although this is debatable, it’s possible that his conscience was affecting him, or that him killing his father was bothering him. Because this is an internal conflict, it’s hard to know if it’s truly something that could have caused Kylo to be affected in battle.
While Rey and Finn hightail it out of there, Kylo intercepts them. The film emphasized the fact that he was injured during this time because he hit his wound several times.
If you remember, Chewbacca shot Kylo with a crossbow blaster right after Han was killed. Clearly, such an injury would have caused him to be unable to fight Rey in his full capacity.
Moreover, Finn was also able to strike Kylo Ren’s arm. In fact, during the duel with Finn, it’s possible that Kylo was also becoming exhausted due to his aggressive fighting style.
And even as he fights Finn, we see him hitting his wound. This shows that the wound was affecting him.
He was fighting with 2 injuries and the possibility of exhaustion. By the time he fought Rey, she had a terrific advantage.
Viewers can be sure that Kylo Ren is an arrogant and overemotional character. When things don’t go his way, we see him throw a violent temper tantrum.
Acting on pure emotion is definitely going to cloud your mind while you’re in battle. This is why the Jedi teachings emphasized on stoicism and controlling one’s emotions.
Within Kylo Ren, there definitely was anger and frustration building up. He was continuously failing.
He couldn’t recover BB-8, a scavenger was able to resist his mind probe, he let his prisoner escape, he couldn’t impress Snoke, Luke’s lightsaber wasn’t his, and a “nobody scavenger” uncovered his weakness. I would imagine that he was so infuriated, he just couldn’t fight well.
In opposition to Rey who even allowed herself to close her eyes and calm down in the middle of a fight. She was calm and collected while he was burning with anger.
Kylo always looked down on Rey calling her a nobody and a mere scavenger. Yet, when she reveals that she can use the Force, Kylo is irritated.
During the mind probe, he already knew that Rey could use the Force but in his arrogance, he did not fight cautiously. He didn’t think that Rey could really be a worthy adversary because he thought he was stronger.
He Was Holding Back
We know that Kylo Ren uses dirty tricks to kill his enemies, just as how he killed Han Solo. By giving him a glimmer of hope, as if he was feeling remorse, he was able to get Han Solo close enough to surprise him with a plasma blade through the chest.
I’m sure he could have opted for a dirty trick to kill Rey. Perhaps he could have killed her first when he used the Force to hurl her up a tree, but he had to be sure that he didn’t kill her.
His mission was to retrieve Rey and bring her to Snoke. So he had two options: convince her to the dark side, or to get her unconscious. Bringing her back dead was not an option.
Rey Can Fight
Furthermore, even though Rey wasn’t a Jedi or a rebel at that time, it didn’t mean she couldn’t fight. She lived alone on Jakku, a dangerous planet.
So it’s logical that she was able to fight in order to protect herself. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have survived on her own.
It was also demonstrated in the movie that she can protect herself against a few enemies when she was protecting BB-8 from thieves. During that time, she used a staff-like item.
Therefore, even if she had no formal training, she could still hold her ground. Especially against an injured adversary.
Rey’s Fighting Style
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke finally trains Rey. Prior to this event, Rey merely relied on her instincts and what she knew from her days on Jakku, trying to survive day by day.
But here’s the problem, even Luke had very little training from Obi-Wan and Yoda. Yet, because he’s a genius, he somehow gets very good at it in a short period of time.
Now, what he teaches Rey can be a controversial topic. In comparison to how the Jedi Knights originally trained younglings very diligently, Luke only taught Rey for a short period of time with what limited knowledge he had.
This means he couldn’t have possibly taught the fighting forms in great detail. Therefore, I definitely question the level of mastery here.
Don’t get me wrong, there are skill and power, definitely. However, if they had the level of virtuosity and familiarity just as Mace Windu had for Form 7, I highly doubt it.
Nevertheless, Rey shows to be very skillful with the lightsaber. Again, maybe we can credit this to how she is able to use a staff to fight.
I also liked how she was able to maneuver the lightsaber using the reverse grip. It was quite uncommon during the age of the Jedi, even more so at their present period, so it’s a surprise that she could do that!