Spoilers for The Force Awakens and potential future plot points above and beneath the cut.
January 1st was an important day for me. That day was the day I remembered that I loved Star Wars.
My reaction to The Force Awakens was roughly the same as Saika’s in that I have way too many feelings about everything. As such, everyone in the movie is now my child (except Leia, who is still, and will always be my queen). However, there’s no denying that I have a strong affection for Rey. Back as a child, when I watched the original trilogy with my parents, there was always a small emptiness in watching the daring feats of Leia, Luke, and Han. While Leia was a fantastic character, I realize now that I was always wondering where the other ladies in the galaxy were, especially Jedi. Since I never watched either of the animated series (and I barely remember the prequels), Rey is the first lady Jedi I’ve seen—and probably the first lady Jedi many people have seen. And she’s fantastic; she’s intelligent, brash, emotional, flawed, and perfect. So, of course, I had to look up fic.
Unfortunately, people thus far seem determined to ship Rey with Kylo Ren, the new face of the Sith. Even beyond their less-than-pleasant encounters, and the fact that they dislike each other, what’s the worst about this is that most of these fic are straight up rape fic. While I can go into a tirade about how our female protagonist deserves so much better than this—and how it reveals something terrifying about fans and how we’ve been conditioned to read romance in straight up abuse—instead, I’ll rec several fics starring my favorite ship: Rey x Healthy Relationships.
First off, we have a fic staring my favorite theory about Rey and her lineage: that she is the daughter of Luke Skywalker. In like my father before me, author penhaligon delivers a gentle blow of the Skywalker curse. After meeting with Luke for training, Rey loses her arm and struggles with the idea of getting a prosthetic. Luke stays with her while she heals from her injury, gently explaining about his own prosthetic, why he doesn’t hide the mechanics with skin grafts, and the history behind his lost limb. It’s a sweet story that, instead of making Luke distant and cold, presents him as aged, but still the warm Jedi that people knew from the original three films. Additionally, giving the series two badasses with prosthetics, which I’m not going to lie, would be totally okay with me if they did this in the actual films.
Secondly, we have a cute little fic by citytogalaxy in which the fandom favorite lesbian ship—Rey and Jess, the X-Wing pilot—gets a turn in the spotlight. It’s Rey’s birthday, and Jessa has an amazing gift for her. But that’s not all, if Jess can gather the courage, she has something much more in store for the scavenger turned Jedi. Galactic Dreams takes a really cute idea and manages to present it in a way that isn’t so tooth-achingly sweet, but still had me smiling throughout. Plus, the addition of the banter between the Rogue Squadron members was really a joy to read!
MooseFeels’s Imagine Something of Your Very Own takes place in a nebulous place between the end of The Force Awakens and the beginning of the next film. Right after the Rebels prove victorious, Poe is still left with the haunting nightmares of Kylo Ren invading his mind, ripping what he needs from it. As such, Poe doesn’t sleep. Instead, he focuses on other things—working on his ship and watching Finn. Finn himself wakes up to his own residual pains from Kylo Ren, having to go through physical therapy and portioning his time between assembling and disassembling every weapon in the resistance base and worrying about Poe. And on the other side of the galaxy we have Rey, committed to her training with Luke, but still worrying about both of her friends back at the resistance base. However, the problems and their depths that the trio tries to hide are not well kept from those who care about them, and as Rey gets permission from Luke to head back to the resistance to make sure Finn and Poe are okay, they all learn that healing takes time, that it’s fine to not be fine, and, in Poe’s case, it’s okay to not keep everything bottled up inside. I love this fic-in-progress because it actually addresses the trauma that everyone has been through, and does so in a way where love doesn’t cure the trauma, but it helps it along a healing process. I also adore how MooseFeels writes Leia and Luke: Leia has that sassiness that Carrie Fisher embodies, but still that deep sense of caring for everyone under her command. While at this point, Poe is suffering from unrequited love, the tags state that it will end up in an OT3, so I’m looking forward to seeing that develop as Star Wars’s golden trio continue to support each other.
Lastly, my favorite fic out of the four: notcaycepollard’s the sun, the stars (let me give you the universe). Poe Dameron has a problem, and that problem is Rey and the fact that he has fallen for her. Hard. However, he’s also in love with Finn, and he knows that Finn and Rey are in love. He approaches this as any sane man in the middle of the galaxy would: he takes them both on a nighttime picnic and hopes to get his feelings across to both of them. This fic is pure OT3 fluff, and I loved every second of it. By the end, the tragic pining of Poe in the beginning is less tragic because it’s just so obvious that they’ve all been in love with each other from the start, and that’s the kind of shit I’m here for in this new generation of Star Wars.
None of these fics are particularly long: the longest being Imagine Something of Your Very Own at 11k words, and are definitely all worth your time to read! If you love seeing our newest Jedi experiencing the love and respect she deserves, these are definitely up your alley. Someday, hopefully, these types of fics will outweigh the really, really unfortunate ones.