I was talking to a student about narratives recently, and the topic of characters, story arch and Star Wars came up.
The student affirmed that he hated Rey, but really liked the main character from Rogue One.
Those were his words.
“What’s her name?” I asked.
The student looked at me blankly.
“How can you say you like a character you can’t even name?”
Comedic interaction aside, a classmate looked up her name, Jyn Erso. During some good natured back and forth, I asserted that Jyn and Rey are, in fact, pretty much the same character. You can hate both, but you can’t hate one and love the other. They are pretty much the same character.
Let’s just start with the simple biometric data: Both actresses (and therefore characters) are shorter (less than 5’9″). Only four inches separate them. Both have dark hair. They have the same build (healthyceleb.com says they’re exactly the sam weight). They both have lighter eye colors (green and hazel). So they do, in fact, look very similar.
Now let’s look at the character’s specifically. Both were abandoned by their parents. Both have a serious investment in their familial legacy/origin. Both are incredibly skilled in their craft and seemingly learn at alarming rates. Both are witty. Both are prone to “rage” moments.
Seriously folks, @me on this. Heck, I can line up Rise and Rouge One plot point for plot point if you want in terms of their arch:
- Establish abandonment.
- Establish isolation.
- Introduce impact character who brings them to the rebellion/alliance.
- Character inspires large level action against threat.
- Character get’s captured/pinned down.
- Character faces idiotic odds.
The only actual difference between the two is that only one lived.
I suppose one could argue Rey’s arc is more complete, but ironically that’s the thing everyone (I talk to) disputes about why this trilogy is bad.
So I leave it to you wonderful readers. Assertion: Rey and Jyn are pretty much the same drn character. Agree or disagree?
Thanks for reading,
2 thoughts on “They’re the Same Character!”
Generally, I agree. However, a lot of the criticism of Rey’s character I’ve read/heard stems from accusations of her being a Mary Sue with the Force. I personally disagree with this claim. I’m actually fascinated by the prospect of a SW character who has an innately strong ability with the Force. It’s the whole “natural talent” character point that lets them get a bit too cocky until some wise old master puts them in their place and helps them realize that “talent” alone will not get the job done. Avatar: The Last Airbender did this really well with Aang’s water bending in season 1.
Anyway, I think the comparison between Rey and Jinn is accurate, although I didn’t make that connection myself. I love both characters, and would happily spend more time with each in other stories.
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I couldn’t agree with you more.
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