Rey was alone when she found it.
That was no surprise, of course, as she was always alone.
She was in the husk of the old Destroyer, her bag already bulging with small finds and her speeder waiting outside. The old datapad in her hands had suffered considerable damage when the Destroyer had gone down, and had weathered decades of sandstorms on Jakku since then. She was in the process of taking it apart for scraps when she realized it had several holo tapes still in its ports. Curious, she dusted the grime off the old cracked screen and tried each holo one by one. All but one were too corroded.
The last one she tried only displayed a small sequence, and was so damaged it played only that grainy footage, over and over. It was spectacular.
A lone male figure, striding forward towards a dozen - maybe more - stormtroopers with only a staff in hand. A glitch. Then, two Troopers fall at his left and right, the staff having connected with their helmets. He drops his weight towards another Trooper to his left and his legs swing up to kick one on his right. A glitch. He forces his staff into the foot of a fifth while twisting the arm of a sixth, and then knocks the staff into both their faces before taking down two more. Another glitch, a few moments of static, and then the footage looped back to the beginning.
It was grainy and badly damaged, clearly from one of the Empire’s old Security Drones (whose cameras were notoriously bad to begin with). The bottom of the image had a running ticker tape: Chirrut Îmwe; 53 years; Temple Guardian at Jedha. Wanted for criminal activity.
To Rey, he looked like a hero.
She was awed, and watched the holo over and over again, impressed that he had taken down so many armed and armored Troopers with no blaster and no mystical Jedi powers, just a staff. She wondered-
Pulling some of the scrap pieces out from her bag, she ran her fingers over them, deftly looking for grooves and ease of maneuvering. She didn’t go to Niima Outpost that day. She was busy in her old AT-AT, putting things together and watching the holo as it replayed into the night. The next day, she held her staff in her hands, testing its feel and balance in the wan morning light of the desert. She spent several hours with it, trying to copy the moves of the Guardian in the holo.
She had already learned to defend herself with her fists, but she suspected this skill would come in handy someday. As she practiced with her new staff, making clouds rise from the sand as she moved, she thought she heard a voice, distant in her head, “the Force is with me and I am one with the Force.“
Somehow, even with no one around for miles, she felt less alone.
shoutout to @rebelspilots for hcing with me!!
Companion piece to these: Hero for a Rey | FN-2187: criminal; hero | Cassian the recruiter | The truth of Bodhi Rook | Thank you General