Originally posted: http://www.inafarawaygalaxy.com/2015/12/how-did-rey-beat-kylo-ren.html
SPOILER! This posts discusses an event in The Force Awakens where a duel occurs. Read on only if you’ve seen the movie.
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?
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. She’s clearly tough and not afraid of getting into the odd scrape. 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. The movie made a 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. 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.
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.
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 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).