When we first meet Rey she appears to be living a mundane life. She is a scavenger living on a backwater planet. She does what she has to do to survive. Of course, Star Wars: The Force Awakens exists to change all that. Someone has to save the galaxy.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey is introduced while scavenging the innards of a huge Star Destroyer that has crashed on the planet’s surface, probably years before Rey steps into it. In the concept art for this sequence, we see Rey standing at a ledge leading to certain doom. She’s hundreds of feet up in the belly of this beast. You can see TIE Fighters on the ground that fell through a hole somewhere and plummeted to the bottom of the chasm during the crash. In the concept art, I would say she seems very agile and it also seems as if she takes risks. To be able to do Rey’s job, you may even need serious skills in parkour, maybe. In the concepts, the Star Destroyer looks like its been crashed there for some time. It has paneling falling apart and the paint is almost rusted inside. The concept art is also “shot” at angles meant to induce a sense of vertigo which makes Rey seem pretty badass and brave.
Rey grabs her salvage and heads back to the salvage station area. In a rather evocative shot, she rides her speeder into the setting sun. She eats dinner alone. We get the sense that Rey lives a very lonely life. Don’t worry, she doesn’t eat dinner for long before BB-8 needs rescuing and she answers his call for help. It makes sense she tries to sell him shortly after considering her line of work, but when the deal falls through after some haggling she reluctantly decides to keep him (and perhaps solve her loneliness problem).
When she meets Finn at the salvage station, she distrusts him. But he’s able to talk her into starting to trust him (that seems to be his skill). When the Stormtroopers attack them, they are thrown together to survive the ordeal.
I really like the sound of Rey’s introduction to the film. There’s an implied sadness to it but its not pathetic. She’s independent but lonely. Her situation is relatable and admirable while inducing a certain sense of empathy for her humanity.
Later on in the film after Rey and Finn take their flight in the Falcon is where we get the IMAX sequences. The Falcon is chased by TIE Fighters and we apparently move by some familiar landmarks in the film’s one-sun desert setting. This is the big chase and action sequence which dominates the film’s first act. TIEs are in hot pursuit of the Falcon as it rockets away from the salvage station. Rey and BB-8 pilot the ship. Finn gets on the Falcon’s turret. There’s a lot of banter between the two and to an extent they don’t seem to really know what they’re doing. But most of all, Finn is rather inept. As TIEs shoot at the Falcon, Rey has to ask Finn if he plans on “answering back.” Its a situation he can’t talk himself out of and he has figure out how to use the turret and actually hit one. To save their skins, Rey pilots them into the insides of the giant crashed Star Destroyer she was scavenging from during her introduction sequence. The Falcon and the TIEs “slalom” around debris and the insides of the downed ship, eventually losing their persuers.
Presumably they give us a moment to catch our breath, the IMAX sequence ends and then the Falcon end up being swallowed by another huge ship in space. Monomyth fans are going to have a fun time with those “belly of the whale” analogies. It appears the IMAX sequence is going to seriously rock as its the flight of the Falcon being chased by TIE Fighters into Star Destroyer wreckage. That might explain why the Abu Dhabi helicopter pilots had so much work on this production?
I wish it were December already! More and more this is sounding and feeling like the Star Wars movie I want to see!