Yes, I’m going to go there.
While watching The Force Awakens on the front row of a huge IMAX super screen theater in a chair that shook with every blast from a starship, I did not make the connection. I was on sensory overload. However, contemplating the movie afterward in the quiet of my own study, I did find myself quite enthusiastic about Rey, the new Star Wars heroine, and, importantly, I was able to understand why. Rey reminded me of….
Something seemed virtuous about Rey, even noble. She fought for good over the “Dark Side” of The Force. She had a certain innocence matched only by her shrewd toughness.
Rey was driven by a higher cause; she sought the restoration of a mystical Jedi Kingdom. She sought her king of sorts in the form of the legendary Master Jedi, Luke Skywalker. Rey became the one person who could bring about the kingdom’s restoration if only she could restore her Master King.
Rey was good, virtuous, and very focused on her destiny as it was revealed to her.
Now, I know why I was so enthused by Rey. She vaguely reminded me of Joan of Arc, our heroine, who lived a long time ago in our galaxy far, far away from Rey’s.
In a very simplistic review, I will share with you how I saw this relationship. Below I will list a few features about Rey that connect in my eyes with my patroness, little mother, and holy sister Joan of Arc:
Rey was a simple young lady living on an out-of-the-way planet in a war torn galaxy.
One afternoon Rey stumbled upon a visitor that held the secret to her destiny.
Rey eventually perceived her destiny in a mysterious, mystical vision.
Rey was imbued with The Force, which showed itself to be surprisingly strong in her at such a young age.
Rey knew almost immediately how to use the key Jedi weapon, a light saber, with astonishing ease.
Rey became the primary target of The Dark Side; the First Order knew that she was the key to the resurrection of the Jedi kingdom, something they had to prevent.
Rey was captured and held captive by the Dark Side, facing and then defeating therein overwhelming spiritual assaults by the forces of evil.
Rey emerged victoriously to find her king and Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker, whereby she returned to him his legendary light saber, effectively anointing and restoring him to his rightful place in the order of things.
If you see the comparison now between Rey and Joan of Arc, well and good. However, I will give a brief synopsis.
Joan was a young maiden from an out-of-the-way village in war torn France. At the age of 12, Joan stumbled upon a visitor, St. Michael the Archangel, who introduced her to her destiny. St. Michael, along with St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Margaret of Antioch, confirmed Joan in her destiny through numerous visions. Joan was imbued with great graces which were manifest in her strong piety and charity already at such a young age. She showed herself to be very adept at handling weapons and horses of war even though she had no background in such things. Joan was on a mission to rebuild and restore the relationship between the mystical Kingdom of Heaven and the earthly Kingdom of France by leading Charles VII to Rheims to be anointed as the rightful King. Joan was later captured and endured much at the hands of evil forces while in captivity.
So, there you have it. A simple comparison, yet one that inspires me so far as I know the character of Rey. Who knows what will happen in future episodes? It is not likely that the character’s creators had Joan of Arc as their own source of inspiration. No doubt the comparison I am making is biased. Joan of Arc is such an inspiration to me that I have a tendency to see the world through her eyes.
And that is a tendency that fills me with great joy and one for which I refuse to apologize.
May The Force…. I mean… may the Grace of God be with you.