Oct 10, 2017

Just how did Rey win her duel with Kylo Ren?

Thoughts on the duel between Rey and Kylo Ren - how did Rey win?

How did Rey REALLY beat Kylo Ren in their duel?

We spied this amusing comment on the 'net from someone who said they'd seen the movie three times which read:

"How does someone that just a few minutes earlier discover that she has Force ability so easily defeat someone else who although not a Jedi or a Sith has clearly had some training in the force."

And I was like did you see the same movie?

They probably thought Rey was just a girl.

The saber battle between Kylo and Rey was pretty darn good but Rey was the ultimate victor.

How does this come to pass?

The start of The Force Awakens shows Rey being attacked by TWO masked men. She fights them off and displays that she's a talented fighter able to hold her own against physically stronger opponents, using her staff.

She's clearly tough and not afraid of getting into the odd scrape. She's been through it before.

This serves to demonstrate in the fight with Ren that she has enough skills and agility to take him on in combat.

This next bit is really important.

Kylo Ren is severely injured in the fight.

The movie made an extremely blunt point that Chewbacca's Bowcaster weapon is very strong. Both Chewie and Han Solo used it to great effect, demonstrating that when hit with it you would be thrown 10 feet from where you stood. Many Stormtroopers died to bring you this information.

After Kylo Ren killed Han Solo, Chewie shot Kylo with the bowcaster. He took the full blast to his chest. He didn't take a back step, which demonstrated how strong he was.

The blast however left him bleeding and as he faced Rey, his blood was spilling onto the snow at his feet. You saw it when he punched his own chest. He was in real pain.

Finn had also managed to get Kylo with the saber. It was more of a flesh wound but it would serve to help Kylo lose a bit of focus. It would have also tired him somewhat.

Focus is key here too.

Kylo has just murdered his father Han Solo as part of his personal test whether he would be drawn to the dark or light side of the Force. It would be pretty fair to say his mind isn't fully in the game as he's waging an emotional battle in his head.

Another point to consider is that his training is not yet complete - Snoke tells us so at the end of the movie so it's arguable that Kylo is not yet the ultimate swordsman and it's quite likely he hasn't been in combat against another force sensitive person (wielding a saber) since he took part in the massacre at the Jedi Temple / Academy that Luke had started.

Remember, this film is called The Force Awakens and it has awoken in Rey big time.

The Force awoke within her when she touched Luke's long lost saber in Maz Kanata's castle. The Force is seemingly on a mission to bring Rey and Luke together. It is willing her to succeed.

There are some possibilities to consider.

Rey could be Luke's daughter. 

Rey could also be a Solo - while that would seem unlikely given the context of the film, that could be part of a bigger secret. If there is a familial relation to the Skywalker linage, it would be reasonable to assume the Force is particularly strong within Rey which would help her beat Kylo.

At the end of the day, the Force Awakens need a climactic sword fight - so to make it believable, Kylo had to be turned down somewhat and the blast from Chewie served that purpose.

Think back to the movie Gladiator when the same trick was used on Maximus - though the extreme of that was he was dealt a mortal blow (and still won the fight against Commodus).

We'll find out when The Last Jedi comes out in 2017.


  1. I'd say you nailed it James. Makes much more sense. Thanks!

    1. Cheers! It's such a clever set up by the writers !

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  3. That makes sense and made me feel better about kylo getting whipped by a neway to the force. Still wanting more info about the new storm troopers and why Finn was able to choose to disobey orders. Obviously they are no longer clones!

    1. Did you like the reference Kylo made to a clone army?

  4. This explanation seems rather good. I can get that he was injured or distracted but the movie made an early and very distinct point about how strong Kylo was in the force. He is able to move an entire human body toward him for choking, he is able to stop a blaster beam in mid flight and "freeze" people mid motion all of which we have never seen any other Jedi do, not even Vader. So I will buy that Rey, a scrapper from a hard life, could at least retreat from an injured Kylo but I still have a hard time believing that she resisted, and probably bested, him in a mental match.

    1. She did best him in the interrogation - she got the better of him by getting into his mind unexpectedly, the surprise of which caught him by surprise. The sword fight was clear, she used the force to compose herself and get out of a jam - twice ! To me, that suggestive of having got the mental upper hand.....