How could

Kylo Ren

lose the fight against


I find the outcome totally illogical even though the Force may be strong in the woman. Furthermore, I would expect a man to be physically stronger than a woman. It is like having a very intelligent but uneducated person beating a math Phd in a math exam.

  • “Furthermore, I would expect a man to be physically stronger than a woman” — do you remember the two people she beat up single-handed lay on Jakku? Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 11:38
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite Comments have already been wiped once, lets not start that again. Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 12:19
  • @DrRDizzle: oh! My bad. Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 13:03
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    I'm not convinced that this is a duplicate - there's overlap, but that question is about all her force abilities, this is specifically about that one fight scene (where force ability was only one factor among many). Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 11:07
  • Because the plot required it? Seriously though, when I saw the film, I expected Rey to lose and for Kylo Ren to bring her back to Snoke, thus forcing Luke out of hiding to go rescue her. If only ...
    – RichS
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


It's not like a novice beating a master. It's more like a talented novice with experience in a related discipline managing to hold out against an overconfident, injured, emotionally unstable student, capitalising on their mistakes, then reacting quickly when their misjudged endgame fails:

  1. For most of the fight, Rey was on the defensive. The fight reached a point where Kylo could have killed her, but instead chose to try to convert her to the dark side - he'd pretty much won, but made a mistake she reacted quickly to.
  2. Kylo was injured. He had an absolutely massive Chewie-crossbow wound on his side - and despite what certain films like to lead viewers to believe, injuries impact fighting ability. Really, it's amazing he could fight at all. Also, he was tired and lightly wounded from fighting Finn (related question with a similar answer: Why did Finn and Kylo's fight not end sooner?)
  3. Rey's tough and experienced in fighting with unfamiliar weapons. Rey may be untrained with this particular weapon, but she's spent her whole life as a scavenger, defending herself using whatever she can get her hands on. It was established early on that she's got very good reactions, is fast, agile, good at improvising, and good at defending herself.
  4. Kylo was a promising student, not a master. It was explicitly stated by Snoke that he hasn't completed his training. Still, he had much more training than Rey - which is why he had the upper hand for most of the fight, despite his other temporary disadvantages.
  5. Lightsaber fighting is more about focus, speed, and reactions than physical strength, so sex isn't really a factor. Kylo's focus and reactions were well below usual due to a) the fact it was already well established that his biggest flaw was his inability to control or focus his rage and b) that he was even more emotionally unstable than usual, given recent events.
  6. Kylo was an unfocused emotional mess, hacking wildly. All those points where Rey temporarily gained an upper hand were by capitalising on Kylo making wild, poorly judged, exploitable mistakes - which makes perfect sense given all the above.

The only thing unanswered here is how both Rey and Finn managed to never accidentally cut themselves, not even once, across three lightsaber fights with no training... I'm not sure there is a good answer to that one, unfortunately.

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    He did loose and if it wasnt for the giant fissure opening in the ground it would have been game over. ( but then again there would be no staw wars 8 or 9 so, meeeh) Also he was hit by the bowcaster and should have been thrown off the platform and died. Bowcaster is VERY powerfull in the movie as we see on at least 2 different ocasions. Bodies get thrown back. Poor choice for continuing the story. Also bowcater is a laser weapon. There should have been 0 blood from the wound as it would be instantly cauterised!
    – Cherubel
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 8:54
  • I wonder what his level of training actually was though, if he is just an apprentice in combat then it is less of a challenge. Also, @Cherubel could the blood have come from him hammering on the wound, possibly reopening it?
    – user45549
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 9:00
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    This is awesome, especially the last paragraph. Also, this not really being a contest of strength but mostly of finesse considering the devastating and fidgety nature of the weapons involved. (I always was amazed that nobody cut their own fingers or limbs off in Star Wars, actually. Plenty of people have chopping their own kneecaps off training wrong with swords in the real world.)
    – zxq9
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 9:26
  • Rey is Luke and Mara Jades child!! Boyaa!! FIRST!!
    – Cherubel
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 13:00
  • This movie gives me more credence to drink the tears of the "non-Force users can't use lightsabers without super-killing-themselves" crowd. (It was already disproven in ESB, before the Internet-for-the-masses era.)
    – CTMacUser
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 13:29

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