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Rey and her X-WING Helmet

When we first meet Rey Skywalker, she's just an abandoned girl living on her own in a wrecked AT-AT Walker on the desolate, battle ravaged planet of Jakku. 

On her own for nineteen years with no family she took to scavenging to survive. Among the things she found in the wreckage of the last great battle of The Galactic Civil War was an old X-Wing Pilot's Helmet.

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The helmet had belonged to a Rebel pilot named Dosmit Raeh, and Rey used to wear it and pretend that she was flying for the Rebel Alliance against the evil Galactic Empire!

Rey’s childhood doll of Rebel Pilot, Dosmit Raeh.

As a little girl, Rey invented adventures to act out with a doll of Dosmit Raeh that she had made for herself out of the rags of an old flight suit she had found. And when she wasn't playing with her doll, she would escape the loneliness of her makeshift home to be "Raeh" - wearing her helmet & piloting her X-Wing against Imperial Tie Fighters far from the wastelands of Jakku.

 

Rey's (Raeh's?) X-Wing Helmet is one of my favorite pieces from STAR WARS' sequel trilogy. I think because it resonates with me, and reminds me of playing the way Rey must have. As an only child after STAR WARS came out in '77 (my brother didn't come along till I was thirteen), I can remember pretending that I was an X-Wing pilot, like Luke Skywalker. I recall the time I painted an old helmet to look like Luke's, and imagined I was in the cockpit taking on the whole Empire myself.

An excerpt by Rey about her X-Wing helmet from the canon tie-in book, “Rey's Survival Guide.”

Rey does the same thing in "The Force Awakens." She's grown up, but her doll & her helmet are still with her. They're not just possessions to her. They are among the very few constants in her life, like the drive to find her parents. I don't think it's any coincidence that she's wearing her helmet the moment before meeting BB-8, and starting on her own hero's journey. 

Rey sitting all alone against the foot of her AT-AT with her helmet is to me every bit as moving as Luke watching a binary sunset.

Rey resting against the foot of her AT-AT Walker home.

Rey's first X-Wing helmet is a significant piece in her life, and in her character's story arc. We see her sitting on a desert world wearing it, and dreaming of belonging somewhere, belonging to someone. And by the end of the story in "The Rise of Skywalker" we see her transformed. She has become the X-Wing pilot she always dreamed of. The X-Wing Pilot WE always dreamed of being.

Rey’s flying the most famous starfighter in the galaxy, wearing Luke Skywalker's own X-Wing helmet, and like Luke & Leia before her she's become a Jedi. She has a place. She belongs to a family, and finally she knows her true name.

MTFBWY,
John Cooley, 
Jedi Knight and friend to Captain Solo. 

 

John Cooley 
John Cooley is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.  


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John Cooley August 24, 2020 0 tags (show)
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