Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group: It's (not a) Shame About Rey

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be insecure no longer! Commune with fellow writers and find your tribe. For more regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support.

Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!

Happy Star Wars Day! That is, May the Fourth ... be with you!

Photo: Stephanie Scott

The Force Awakens and Rey: A New and Old Brand of Hero

Can we talk for a minute about how cool Rey is? In case you somehow missed the epic-ness that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey is one of our new heroes, a girl abandoned on her home planet who comes in contact with a very special droid and embarks on a dangerous mission.

Sound familiar?

Rey's story mirrors many aspects of Luke Skywalker's from the original Star Wars: A New Hope. That core story of someone unexpected launched into an epic journey is partly what made the original Star Wars so memorable. Luke was someone to root for, especially after he returns to his aunt and uncle's farm to find his family murdered. Similar with Rey: in her first scene we see her working hard scavenging scrap metal only to exchange it for a meager amount of dehydrated foodstuffs which she eats alone in her hideout. She doesn't tell us she's lonely, but we can see it in the image of the vast desert landscape and her sad little meal, and we glimpse her own betrayals in small flashback moments.

Rey is not the same as Luke, but her core story is similar. She's the unexpected Everygirl who becomes part of a much larger adventure.

When crafting our own stories, we can keep these basics in mind. How can we take a core hero story and make it our own? What common threads can we use from classic stories to then mash up with unique details, settings, and experiences?

What's your favorite hero story? Or, if you want to gush about The Force Awakens, I'm all for chatting about Star Wars!


  1. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I'm not a huge fate of the new Star Wars. *shrugs* I wanted something more original. Plus, the kids hated the twist with Hahn.

  2. I'll be watching the new movie tonight. I know! Where have I been. Looking forward to it.
    Mary at Play off the Page

  3. I'm not a Star Wars person, but I definitely enjoy the 'everyperson becomes a hero' storyline. I think it's one of my favorites.

  4. My favorite hero stories are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo and Frodo Baggins are both everyday people who are thrown into adventures, find their courage, and become heroes. I also love the original Star Wars movies. I have mixed feelings about the new movie. There were parts I liked and parts I definitely didn't. I liked Rey, though. She was spunky and determined and you couldn't help but root for her.

  5. All of us relate to loneliness at one time or other. It hit a cord with me and drew me in. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. I'm not a Star Wars fan either, but I do like Rey and her story. My 6-year-old son loves Luke and I think the appeal is exactly that - an everyday person becoming a hero. Luke is brave enough to stand up to his own father. I wonder where Rey's storyline will take her. I hope they do her justice.

  7. I'll do a little gushing :-) I loved the latest Star Wars film, probably because it got back to the basics that made the original one so appealing.

    Cheers - Ellen |

  8. I like the hero who can be vulnerable when he needs to while keeping his strength.

  9. I am a big Star Wars fan from way back when. I liked the newest movie, but I didn't love it. I did like Rey though. I liked how strong she is and how she quietly brave.

  10. Oh my, I'm not sure what to say. Don't know much about Star Wars though I saw the original or the first one ... the Harrison Ford/Carrie Fisher one. See, I don't even know how to talk about it. :( Thanks for visiting my blog!

  11. I am a huge Star Wars fan, and have been since the first one came out in theaters (yes, I am old ;)). It was funny, I really had fun with the most recent one (except for Han) while I was watching it. But then later, after the emotions wore off, I saw all the problems with it. Which is actually a point in and of itself--our books are about how we make the reader feel :). Thanks for a thought provoking blog!

  12. I have to admit, I wasn't a big fan of the new Star Wars either, but I did love Rey. She totally carried that role and I hope she's in more of the future ones. Also the teensy new robot, so cute. Love-loved the new robot. Do you think Rey is related to Luke? I still refuse to believe Han is really dead. I don't buy that whole falling down the shaft thing, sorry! No body, no crime. Also I think it will be a really awesome reversal when Kylo Ren comes back to the light side. Because (in my happy thoughts) he didn't really kill his father AND there has to be some really good reveal there. Okay so maybe I got kind of into it. But come on that ending. Hi dad (I mean Luke), here's your saber. And credits. What?? No conversation. No, hi Rey, been waiting for you. There was too much happening without explaining what was going on. That's what I didn't really like about it. And yet, I find myself really wanting to know these things. Darn it.


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