Better Protagonist

Hello everyone. Recently, I came across an article that caught my attention. It related to Star Wars, and it asked the question of who was the better protagonist, Luke or Rey. I read it, and I have to say that although I agree with the outcome, I do not agree with the way it was broken down.

Luke won the categories of Emotinal Moments, Funny Moments, Friendship Dynamic, Story and Character Development, and Chemistry with villains. Rey won the categories of Enemies Faced, Firmer Resolve, and Fight Scenes. The two tied for Instant Likability, giving Luke a 5-3-1 victory.

Look, I would honestly give Rey Instant Likability. Everyone around her in the movie immediately fell in love with her, whereas Luke was generally treated like a kid by Han until the end of the movie. Even Leia makes fun of Luke when she first meets him. Rey also doesn’t come across as whiny, so I will give her the Likability category. Depending on how you feel about choreography, even give her fight scenes if you want. For my money, though, Luke vs Vader in Empire is still my favorite duel ever.

So, that leaves me with firmer resolve and enemies faced. I don’t see how Rey’s resolve is any better than Luke’s. She gets tortured by Snoke and doesn’t turn to the dark side? She gets tempted by Palpatine and doesn’t turn to the dark side? Okay. Luke finds out his father, who he has idolized as a great Jedi Knight, is a Sith Lord and doesn’t turn. He duels Vader and can feel how powerful he would become if he gives into hatred and still pulls himself back. When Palpatine is torturing him, he doesn’t say never mind, I’ll go to the dark side. It is Luke’s resolve that gives the entire original trilogy it’s story arc, which I think we all agree is better than whatever the hell the sequel trilogy was trying to do. I say that’s a point for Luke.

As far as enemies faced, I have to agree with the angry fan. Darth Vader was more feared throughout the galaxy than anyone. He was known as the enforcer, and his sheer power was terrifying. Luke Skywalker faced him twice in the movies, with limited experience both times. He also faced Vader and Palpatine at once, something Rey never had to do. So enemies faced, yeah, I think Luke has Rey beat there, considering he took part in some of the greatest battles in Star Wars history, from the Battle of Yavin to Hoth to Endor.

So I would score it 7-2, a decisive victory for Luke. Rey is good for the new generation I suppose, but Luke is the more fleshed out, relatable, battle tested character. In my opinion, of course. Let me know what you think.

The article referenced in this post was from Saim Cheeda writing for 3/26/20

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