The Real Reason Rey and Finn Were Able to Hold Their Own in the Lightsaber Battle with Kylo Ren

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on December 30, 2015

in Star Wars

Credit to reader Dean Schaeffer for bringing this to my attention. It’s something I didn’t pick up on during my first viewing of The Force Awakens, but did notice during the second.

Spoilers Ahead.

One of my (many) beefs with the film was that Rey and Finn, despite no lightsaber training, were able to hang with Kylo Ren in the final showdown on Starkiller Base. If Ren was so powerful, how could a lowly Stormtrooper and Force-sensitive (but not trained) scavenger hold him at bay and ultimately dispatch him in a lightsaber duel?

Imgur user SomedayWeMightBeDead has put into words what many of you have articulated since the film’s release. Maybe I just like his take because it’s jam-packed with swear words, but to me it really helps contextualize that final battle:

People keep complaining about the fact that Finn and Rey beat Kylo at the end of TFA.

“He’s so weak!”
“Beat by two nobodies!”
“Bitch got rofl-stomped by newbs!”

Did you watch the movie?

Did you pay attention at all?

Let’s rewind a bit, and talk about something that comes up over a dozen times; Chewie’s bowcaster.

The movie is like a freaking infomercial for the epic tons of fuck you and everything around you for the next twenty feet that this badass piece of weaponry dishes out like second helpings of your grandma’s world famous mashed potatoes.

We see time again Chewie dealing heaping truckloads of fuck that guy and his entire lineage with this death-dealing weapon of pure carnage. He hits a Stormtrooper in the breadbasket and sends that poor sod flying twenty feet back into a wall as his armor shatters on the ground.

Han makes a point of asking Chewie if he can try it out, and then proceeds to obliterate five (two*) troopers with one easy shot.

Let’s not mince words here. Chewie’s Bowcaster is like the unholy love child of the original fucking crossbow and a howitzer. The Empire should have just strapped this piece of weaponized fuck you to the front of an asteroid, aimed it Alderaan, and saved themselves the trouble of housing a giant space station.

So…after being shown the pure unadulterated hell that spews forth from this hand-held death cannon in a deluge of destruction and demise, we can all agree that being shot with this thing tops a long list of things you don’t want to happen to you.

Well, it happens to Kylo Ren.

And, what does he do? Well, he doesn’t get thrown through the air like every other fucking thing that gets hit by this murder machine. In fact, he just kind of takes a knee for a minute. He doesn’t get instantly wrecked while careening through the air hoping for the sweet release of death. He gets up, and proceeds to walk it the fuck off.

But, he doesn’t just quit there. He doesn’t just walk off what everything else in the universe instantly dies from. He goes out to find a couple bitches, and tear them apart.

The amount of control, the amount of pure Force power to stay standing after taking a shot like that is mind-bending. But, he doesn’t just stay standing. He goes out and fights. He should have been dead right there, or at least screaming in pain as his insides fought to be outside his body. But, he fights. He’s using untold amounts of pure Force energy to keep his insides inside, to keep himself conscious, to keep his legs, arms, and body moving, all while fighting two people who, until this point, haven’t really been spending a ton of energy. They’re practically fresh. And, no training? Finn’s a STORMTROOPER. He’s been combat trained since childhood. You bet your ass he can handle himself in a fight. And, Rey? Rey’s been kicking ass hand-to-hand since before she can remember. Sure, it’s an unfamiliar weapon, but you give someone, with an inkling of how to fight, a stick and they’ll hold their own.

Of course two people beat Kylo at the end. Dude’s nursing a gut wound that would put down a Rhino on steroids. The question shouldn’t be how did Finn and Rey beat him.

It should be this:

If Kylo Ren could do all of that after taking that kind of hit…how in the fuck are they going to stop him when he’s at one hundred percent?


What do you think? Does this explain how Rey and Finn were able to hang with Kylo Ren in the final lightsaber battle?


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top image via Entertainment Weekly

Hail Mary December 31, 2015 at 11:59 am

Holy crap that’s a great point! So is it ok to talk about TFA now? All of my conversations about it in the past two weeks have just been between me and my son.

Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck December 31, 2015 at 12:06 pm

As far as the comments on this site go, the spoiler ban is lifted. I put fair warning at the top of this page!

@eclectik January 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Eff that point!

Darth Emo stopped a damn laser in mid air, technically those two clowns should’ve never even touched him

Rey maybe because this thing was calling her and she has force panties or whatever
But StormJanitor has been trained flying and shooting … How many troopers in the history of anything had a sword

And all of this is ignoring how that training bit whooped Luke’s ass repeatedly before the little booger in the swamp taught him

The movie blew, stop it.

Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck January 2, 2016 at 9:21 am

You’re right. And I still agree. I just need clicks?

Okaywhatever January 2, 2016 at 9:19 pm

Okay…. well stormjanitor had been trained for combat since birth. Obviously they were trained in melee combat (remember Finn fighting the stormtrooper earlier). Even so, star wars has and always will have major plotholes. Still the greatest Sci-Fi universe out there.

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