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In The Force Awakens, when Kylo Ren was interrogating Rey using the force, Rey said:

You're afraid... that you will never be as strong as Darth Vader.

Then Kylo Ren went back, panicked.

How did Rey know Kylo Ren would never be strong as Darth Vader, and how did she even know about Darth Vader in the first place?

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    She was reading Kylo's mind, and using a fear of his to intimidate him. She new of Darth Vader because everyone did. Kylo panicked because she was able to read his mind. – CBredlow Sep 27 '16 at 21:23
  • I think this question would be better if you asked why Rey said that. After all, we don't KNOW that she truly knows this - she may just have claimed that to intimidate him. Also, "How did she know about Darth Vader?" is a separate question, which you might want to ask separately. – recognizer Sep 27 '16 at 21:24
  • how does everyone know about Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker – Andrew Casali Sep 27 '16 at 21:26
  • @AndrewCasali Darth Vader was a leader of the Empire's military operations. He was used to strike fear in the Empire's enemies. Everyone in the galaxy knew about him. Besides, that's a completely different question from the one about what Rey said. – recognizer Sep 27 '16 at 21:28
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    @AndrewCasali - What did the General Public know about Vader – Valorum Sep 27 '16 at 21:39
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According to The Force Awakens: Rey's Story, Rey was reading Ren's mind when she talked about Vader. There's no particular indication that she knows who Darth Vader is or how powerful he was, other than what she's pulled out of Ren's thoughts.

That being said, she's been raised on legends of the Jedi and certainly knows who Luke Skywalker is, so it's at least possible that Vader was mentioned in those stories.

This time Rey met his eyes. She pushed back against his probing thoughts, harder and harder, until the pain in her head suddenly disappeared. A flash of surprise crossed Kylo’s face, and Rey pressed her advantage. She reached out with her mind, entering his thoughts.

“You…you’re afraid that you will never be as powerful as Darth Vader!” Rey smiled in triumph.

The Force Awakens: Junior Novelisation strongly implies that she saw Vader in her earlier vision, but didn't know who he was, nor does she give any indication that she recognises his name.

She turned his tendrils back at him. His feelings and memories were easy to read. His mind was a turbulent ocean of fear. “You, you’re afraid. That you will never be as strong as—” She hesitated. An image of another man in a black cloak and mask dominated the maelstrom. A silhouette she had seen in the vision below Maz’s castle. He had a name. “Darth Vader.”

The official film script concurs, but again, offers no specific confirmation that she knows who Vader is, prior to this moment.

DESPITE THE PAIN SHE IS STRONG.

On Ren's face as HIS CONFIDENCE BEGINS TO MELT AWAY. He has slammed up against a barrier in her mind. He looks less certain by the moment as Rey seems to GROW IN STRENGTH. The FEROCITY of confrontation builds until it hits critical mass

AND REY DOES THE UNTHINKABLE! SHE ENTERS HIS HEAD, AMAZED AT WHAT SHE IS SEEING!

REY: ... You... you're afraid... that you will never be as strong as... Darth Vader!

KYLO REN SUDDENLY WITHDRAWS HIS HAND, as if her face were FIRE HOT. TAKES A STEP BACK, CONFUSED, RATTLED. Rey's body is released, she breathes deeply, her powerful eyes still on Kylo Ren, who starts to leave.

  • do you think when she read kylos mind she saw the memories of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker and the past of what he did in episodes 1-6 like this – Andrew Casali Sep 27 '16 at 23:24
  • No, I don't think she saw anything more of Vader than the name in Kylo Ren's mind. It's like if I could read your mind and you thought of your mother's name. I know nothing about your mother, but since you thought her name, I now know that, but nothing else. – Alarion Sep 28 '16 at 0:42
  • I know it seems like she doesn't have any idea who Vader was, especially given that novelisation quote, but it strikes me as weird that she would have knowledge about Han, Luke, Leia, the war and the force (even if they're just stories), without knowing anything about Vader or the Emperor. – DisturbedNeo Sep 28 '16 at 12:18
  • @DisturbedNeo - Well, she knows of Han as a famous smuggler, not a Rebel General. There's no indication that she's heard of Leia, albeit she's a public figure so she may have seen Holo of her. Luke/The Force is part of the legends of the Jedi that she learned from the Church of the Jedi village (the one that gets zapped at the start of the film). – Valorum Sep 28 '16 at 12:40
  • Hm, I guess she did think Luke was a myth before Han told her he (and the force) was real. Though, now that she knows the lightsaber belonged to Luke's father before him (thanks to Maz), if she ever realises that Vader is Kylo Ren's grandfather and connects all the dots in that particular family tree, her mind is gonna asplode XD – DisturbedNeo Sep 28 '16 at 13:07

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