In the Galactic Republic before the war, a Jedi Initiate receives lessons in the Force and in lightsaber combat, among other subjects, and will eventually construct his/her own lightsaber. When an Initiate is deemed ready to go out into the real world to conduct missions and a Master takes him/her in, the Initiate becomes a Padawan. A Padawan who has completed the Jedi Trials or an appropriate equivalent achieves full Knighthood.

By movie's end, Rey has demonstrated the ability to do the following like a trained Jedi (meaning she can control her ability to do this intentionally):

  • Use Mind Trick successfully, which as demonstrated by Ahsoka Tano during the Clone Wars takes substantial time and training even as a Padawan to pull off reliably.
  • Survive a lightsaber fight, using the Force to guide her.

This suggests that Rey's lightsaber proficiency may be good enough "for the real world" and her Force proficiency, at least in some parts, can match that of an experienced Padawan at least. She certainly has learnt the foundation to executing Force powers at will and by intent. However, she completely lacks formal training in the ways of the Force, and everything she knows is based off of rumours, stories and layperson knowledge, applied over a matter of mere days at the longest.

Luke Skywalker is a precedent that one with particularly strong affinity for the Force can gain proficiency rapidly and to a significant extent even without sustained formal training. Therefore, I won't question if this is at all possible. However, how would Rey fare in a formal assessment of her abilities? Where in the line of progression, defined in the first paragraph, would the scorecard place Rey currently (broken down into different aspects if necessary)? Given Rey's talent for self-learning the ways of the Force, what benefits would formal training by a Jedi Master give, and what is only achievable through such formal training?

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    There are a lot of theories suggesting that Rey has already gotten Jedi training, perhaps one of the students from the academy that Kylo destroyed. In the script I believe that Luke certainly recognizes Rey when he turns around and sees her stood there, so I can't really give a definitive answer to this. Who knows? It's my personal opinion that she definitely has some prior training, otherwise the writing is terrible, she suddenly knows that there's such thing as a mind trick, and masters it on the first try? Then continues to defeat a trained dark side user? Too many coincidences. Jan 25, 2016 at 4:11
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    @Exploitable my hypothesis is that in the mind struggle with Kylo, which led her to subconsciously resist and unexpectedly retaliate and break through into his mind, is an "awakening" of her own. Suddenly, she realized what she had done, and clearly remembers how to do it again. She subsequently does what every one of us here would do if we discover that we're Force sensitive: remember all the stories of the Jedi and see if we can do the same thing - because we know we can. Jan 25, 2016 at 5:52
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    Jedi rank progression is a lot like martial art progression: being able to perform advanced moves doesn't automatically result in ranking up.
    – user40790
    Feb 1, 2016 at 23:26
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    Her rank is Jake Lloyd: innate Force ability, but no training. But at least she's not annoying and can act. Feb 2, 2016 at 20:32
  • @thegreatjedi - I think the implication is that until a Jedi "unlocks" your talent (Luke being trained in the Falcon, Anakin being given advice at the start of the Pod Race) your powers remain latent. In Rey's case, her "unlocking" moment came when Ren violated her mind.
    – Valorum
    Feb 3, 2016 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


Based on the most reliable source we have for the training of young Jedi in the Old Republic (e.g. the Jedi Path: A Manual for Users of the Force factbook) Rey would seem broadly equipped to become a Padawan learner but would be highly ill-equipped to become a Jedi Knight.

Based on her lack of saber skills, inability to use force abilities such as push and levitate, lack of self-control (as evidenced by Ren's ability to read her mind), lack of experience of meditation, etc etc I think it's reasonable to presume that she would fail the trials instantly.

[To advance from Youngling to Padawan...]

You must demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the Jedi Code.

You must also demonstrate self-discipline through meditation and lightsaber combat.

You must prove that the Force flows through you and that you are not a rock stubbornly blocking its current.

[To advance from Padawan to Knight]

Trial of Skill: Demonstrates a Jedi's competence with a lightsaber and the Force principles of Control.

Trial of Courage: Establishes a Jedi's skill and fortitude in the face of danger and overwhelming odds.

Trial of Spirit: Tests a Jedi's ability to vanquish inner battles and emerge unscathed.

Trial of the Flesh: Determines a Jedi's capacity to overcome great pain.

Trial of Insight: Reveals a Jedi's aptitude for distinguishing reality from illusion through deceptive challenges.

For the record, by the time we catch up with her in The Rise of Skywalker, she's now capable of levitation, mind-control, has Force-visions, can wield a lightsaber with confidence, has constructed her own saber and she's repeatedly stood up to Force-capable enemies. It's pretty reasonable to assume that in the normal state of affairs, she would be well on her way to being a Jedi Knight.

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