Rey is a symptom of primarily male writers trying to figure out what women would want in an action hero.

When I was a young lad, my parents divorced. (Look at my comment history. You can tell.) I moved with my dad out of state, as he got an offer for a great career working for (of all people) Willie Nelson. After that fell through (thanks, Mr. Nelson's tax attorney), we moved back to my home state. My mom had fallen on hard times during that period, and was trying to raise a second child despite living out of a rescue mission.

My parents luckily thought that I should have access to one another, and on one of my December visits to the mission, toys were handed out that had been donated from more well-to-do children. I found a (not) really cool toy that nobody else wanted, a battery control-operated skateboarder. The cord attached to the control was about 6 inches long, so you had to kind of jog and duck to keep up with it. I still thought it was neat, so I went to show it to my mom.

She was sat up in her bed, face buried in her hands, emotionally wrecked at her overall situation. I, being a gullible, ignorant child, decided I'd try to cheer her up.

"Don't worry, mom," I said. "You've been a good girl. Santa will get you something this year."

It didn't help.

Over the years, though, she struggled to get out of that situation, still raising her child who was later diagnosed with autism. She also joined a group of activists who founded a union designed to help bring lawsuits against landlords who abused, neglected, or otherwise overpowered their tenants. She put in work with the local chapter of the NAACP.

She dealt with Life's heaping mounds of shit, to an extent that I have only ever suspected because she never confirmed or denied otherwise. And not satisfied with mere survival, she used her experiences to help other people that needed it. A habit she's kept to this day.

A female figure in the media being marketed as "heroic" because "lol, I don't know how I did that cool stuff!" isn't half as heroic as someone I looked up to as a child. If you want me to look up to a figure a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it better damn well represent the real-life heroism of people who exist here and now.

/r/saltierthancrait Thread