To all those who cried afoul of Rey’s allegedly implausible skill with a lightsaber in the climactic moments of The Force Awakens, who demanded an explanation for how the scrappy young orphan could display such proficiency with the most sophisticated of Jedi weapons, who found the eager adventurer’s psychophysiological acrobatics hardest to accept among the elements of a canon that includes freakin’ this, we’ve finally got the perfect comeback.
Daisy Ridley, not only an excellent Star Wars heroine but an infinitely generous internet presence, has taken to instagram to share a quick clip of her personal tutorials in Wushu, an umbrella term for the varied martial arts styles that originated in China. The 15-second video features an all-smiles Ridley showing off some impressive handiwork with a staff—the sort of artistry that you could really imagine translating well to a lightsaber battle.
So, in case you’re still hankering for in-universe justification of Rey’s acumen for swordsmanship, think of it this way: spending her life alone on a scoundrel-laden desert planet, she had to have picked up some defense tactics alone the way. It just may be that lightsaber dueling isn’t so unique a skill after all.
But the best part of this video isn’t Ridley’s tacit defiance of all those who’ve spouted nay to her Force Awakens heroine’s badassery; it’s the fact that she’s picked up this new trade from the film’s breakout player, Liang Yang. In case that name doesn’t ring a bell, Liang played Stormtrooper FN-2199 in The Force Awakens. And in case that name doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the guy who shouted, “TRAITOR!!!” at the treasonous Finn.
Ridley calls actor and stuntman Liang a “WUSHU FRICKING MASTER” in her Instagram post, and credits her skills with the staff to his teaching. Liang shows up for a split second at the end of the video, exhibiting much cheerier spirits than his character did in the film.
Will you keep this video in your pocket for the next time you need to shut down an anti-Rey tirade? Let us know!
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Michael Arbeiter is the East Coast Editor for Nerdist. Find him on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.