Like so many movies (primarily in the 80’s) there is always that one character who is a hard ass jerk to the main character. They always find a way to redeem themselves just in time to save to the day. Alternatively, their reason for being a jerk is proven to be justified in a reveal later in the movie. You know what I mean; camp counselors saying we should leave Crystal Lake, a jock who suddenly realizes the nerd is an alright guy, everyone that says, “Let’s not go in there” and sure enough they should have not, or a concerned father putting his teenage daughter in the corner at the dance.
Star Wars is no exception to this trope. Let’s not forget Han is in it for the money, and not the cause, in episode 4. After he buggers off, he comes back just in time to save Luk,e and rest is history. After seeing some footage that was cut from episode 7 I am now thinking Plutt fits into the “he’s not that bad of a guy”category. After all, under that costume is Simon Pegg.
Let’s get right to it, why do I think Plutt is not that bad (towards Rey at least)?
Well, it’s because he is her caretaker on Jakku. It should come to no surprise to anyone that Plutt was present in Rey’s force vision of her being abandoned on Jakku. Though we only see his hand, we do hear him saying “quiet girl” as he is puling her away from the ship that is leaving with the supposed person who brought her to Jakku.
Lets jump forward a bit to the scene where Plutt tries to buy BB-8. Now it is assumed that Plutt knows the first order is looking for that droid and he wants it. He even goes as far as to offer Rey all the food in the world for the droid, a deal that, based of the gasps of the creatures behind Rey, has never been offered before. There was no haggling, no bargaining, like before, just him putting all his cards on the table. When she refuses, Plutt sends some of his thugs to forcibly take it from her immediately. Of course she beats up the thugs and then decides Finn should get some.
My theory is that Plutt was not just trying to get his hands on BB-8, but rather to get him away from Rey. I look at like this; Plutt is the junk dealing king of Jakku, a lawless desert planet where he can do what he can do what he wants. It is not a stretch to believe that he would have heard that the first order is looking for that droid. By simply having the droid it would mean he has to meet with the First Order, and they are not exactly the kindest of orders. After all, they just slaughtered a village on his planet the night before. So why would he try to buy a droid that has so much heat on it? It’s not like he knew BB-8 had the map to Skywalker, and though special, BB-8 does not seem to have any parts that would be good for junk. Also if he really wanted it he could have sent more goons to Rey’s shelter at night to get it. No, it’s because he wanted to get BB-8 as fast as possible away from Rey because BB-8 has some major First Order heat on it.
So why does Plutt care if the First Order find BB-8 and Rey? Well it’s not that he cares for, but rather it’s part of a deal he made a long time ago. I believe that Rey was left on Jakku under his care as part of a deal to keep her safe from the first order, because you know, Snoke and the whole force thing. Also, for a ride off Jakku. That’s a big thing to ask for, what could be in it for him? Well the same thing that got Rey to Jakku in the first place, the Millennium Falcon. Thus his anger when Rey takes it and yells, “that’s mine”.
Wait! Rey said that the ship was stolen from Irving Boys. In trying to find any information on these guys and at what point Plutt stole the ship from them, I came up nothing. I mean nothing, no info on the Irving Boys. All I found is that they are 2 boys who stole the falcon from Ducain, a smuggler and gun runner. For as much as Plutt is a bigshot in Jakku, there is no way he, or his goons would have been to steal the falcon. Afterall, his goons did get their ass kicked by a 110 pound girl with a stick. So no, the Falcon was traded to him and who ever traded it to him was on that ship leaving Jakku.
This brings me to my last point. In a newly released deleted scene, Plutt confronts Rey at Maz’s castle with the intent of making her pay and bringing her back to Jakku, only to get put in his place by Chewie. If you watch the scene Rey pulls a gun on Plutt, to which he quickly reverses. If he wanted her dead, why not shoot right there? He actually kinda scolds her. This scene to me is proof that Plutt is tasked with watching over Rey. If his intent was to get the Falcon back, then why didn’t he? Afterall, everyone that is in Maz’s castle is the same people who were in the Falcon so at that moment the Falcon is unguarded? That’s because one, he probably does not know to steal it and two, to find Rey and get her back to Jakku to where he can somewhat protect her. Instead he pokes the wookie, and what comes after (according to the novelization) is that Chewie rips off is arms, either killing him or causing him to just say “fuck it, your problem now”.
So there you have it. Plutt has been taking care of Rey as part of a deal for the Falcon.