It took me a while to decide if I really wanted to put Rey above Kylo Ren on this list and after some thought, I’ve decided to do so. Rey is scrappy due to the nature of her roots, which is to say that she doesn’t know them. Her parents left when she was young, never to return. She’s had to fend for herself for so long and she picked up skills that most kids don’t necessarily need to have as they grew up.
Before she even holds a lightsaber in The Force Awakens, she has the skills that she learned as a scavenger on Jakku. She didn’t have the best circumstances to work with, but she made the most of it. When she ran into BB-8, she had to fend off a nightwatcher worm, bandits and eventually the First Order.
By the time she picks up a lightsaber, she’s already had experience using her staff. While a lightsaber is different, she at least already had a fighting style nailed down. She goes up against Kylo Ren later in The Force Awakens and is able to defeat him because his anger causes him to lose control.
Now that Rey has trained with Luke, I’m fully expecting her to improve even more in The Rise of Skywalker. Kylo Ren hasn’t been able to convince her to come over to the dark side, but maybe she’ll convince him to join the Resistance and the two will see their potential through together.