The headline is silly clickbait — of course Rey is a role model, but not *just* for little girls. Aside from that, Mike Adamick writes lucidly and passionately about a key scene in The Force Awakens. Very important if there are young girls in your life, or if you are interested in the relationship between gender and heroics in action movies. (Obviously, don’t read the essay unless you’ve seen the movie.)
Honestly, it was probably the most satisfying and thrilling moment I’ve ever had at the movies. Cinematically, it was pure joy to watch. It ranks up there with the best movie moments of all time, if not the moment of all time. Culturally, it was profound in ways I’ll get to later. But to hear an opening day theater crowd erupt into cheers — full on, clapping, shouting cheers — I could barely stand it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I spent pretending to be stuck upside down in some yeti’s cave on Hoth, willing a lightsaber to my hand to escape just like Luke in Empire Strikes Back. And this scene. Wow. It is such a perfect nod to that moment.