How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

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How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Sidewinder » 2018-01-16 01:28am

People have described Rey from 'The Force Awakens' a Mary Sue for demonstrating piloting and marksmanship skills in the movies, despite her never touching a starship's flight controls or a blaster before the scenes in which these skills are needed, and no mention of prior training before these scenes (in contrast with Luke Skywalker, whose piloting skills Biggs Darklighter personally vouched for in 'A New Hope'). Here's my proposal for an alternative introduction to Rey, which will justify her acquiring these skills during her time on Jakku, and diminish how big a Mary Sue she is.

We open with Rey salvaging parts from the wrecked Star Destroyer, as in J. J. Abrams' film- but she's not alone. There's an armed guard there to protect her from bandits and wild animals (and who can be described as her trainer in the novelization and other materials). Once she has the parts she needs, her and her guard return to Unkar Plutt's junkyard, where it's established that Rey is Plutt's ward, that he ordered her to fix the Millennium Falcon (the novelization can include details of how Plutt gave her flight training, but not the certification she needs for a pilot's license, meaning Rey is dependent upon Plutt for her livelihood, as Plutt is the only one who'll hire her as a pilot), and the salvaged parts are meant for the Falcon. At this point, Plutt drags in a net with BB-8 trapped within, noting some "scavengers" (bandits) sold the droid to him cheaply, and he's sick and tired of her complaints about how it's impossible to restore the Falcon to flight status without having a droid diagnose and repair problems with the ship's flight computer. Rey and BB-8 bond over the time it takes to fix the Falcon, during which they encounter Finn on another scavenger hunt, and offer him shelter.

Later, Plutt shows up with some Stormtrooper escorts, and orders Rey to return "stolen Imperial property" to the Stormtroopers (the novelization can describe Plutt as pinning the blame for "theft of Imperial property" on Rey, and selling her out for the bounty on Poe Dameron's droid; or it can describe him claiming "the droid followed her home" or other excuse, to protect her from the authorities). Finn panics upon seeing the Stormtroopers, and starts a firefight that leads to him and Rey stealing the Falcon and escaping from Jakku.

Comments?
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by tezunegari » 2018-01-16 02:24am

She should be the one to buy BB-8 from other Scavengers/Bandits.
The guard, depict him either as a possible love interest with her crushing on him or at least showing interest or make it a big-brother situation.
And because she bought the droid the First Order arrives, and he dies. Maybe just to prove the point of the troopers that they are serious.

Rey needs at least one decision leading to bad consequences for her.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Sidewinder » 2018-01-16 03:00am

tezunegari wrote:
2018-01-16 02:24am
She should be the one to buy BB-8 from other Scavengers/Bandits.
In both the original movie and my proposed changes, Rey does not have the money or barter goods to buy a droid. My idea is to start her off as a far less independent person (much like Luke Skywalker himself at the start of 'A New Hope'), who finds herself forced to become independent after circumstances destroy her previous source of food and shelter (Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru for Luke, Plutt's good graces for Rey).
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by tezunegari » 2018-01-16 04:20am

Sidewinder wrote:
2018-01-16 03:00am
tezunegari wrote:
2018-01-16 02:24am
She should be the one to buy BB-8 from other Scavengers/Bandits.
In both the original movie and my proposed changes, Rey does not have the money or barter goods to buy a droid. My idea is to start her off as a far less independent person (much like Luke Skywalker himself at the start of 'A New Hope'), who finds herself forced to become independent after circumstances destroy her previous source of food and shelter (Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru for Luke, Plutt's good graces for Rey).
Wasn't she originally working directly for Unkar Plut instead being a freelance scavenger?

So have her buy BB-8 with funds from Plutt, giving the appearance that it was on his orders.
Maybe have her interpret an order given by Plutt like "Here'S some credits/portions. Get these parts from X and get that ship running".
She tries to be clever, barters here and there to increase her given funds to get both the parts and a droid.
Maybe even have her be on good terms with her co-workers, who will be killed by the First Order because of her actions.

Also, with her being essentially working for one of the higher ups on Jakku, you make her character look more believable.
It would put her in a similar situation as Anakin and Luke at their beginnings.
Anakin was a slave for a Junk shop and relatively well treated (and protected by his tech savvy and taught altruism by his mother).
Luke was a farm boy on a moisture farm (protected and taught by his aunt and uncle).
Rey, a scrap rat working for a scavenger operation under Plutt. (protected by essentially a mob boss and taught to be a better minion)
This also explains her abilities with piloting, languages and mechanics.

Also change the scene where she travels back from the SSD. Give her dialogue with her guard. Have him in a friendly tone ask her "Are you up for another flying lesson? You come along nicely and Plutt might allow you to run one of the orbital deliveries soon."
Or something among that line that tells us she can fly
"Bring your thousands, I have my axe."
"Bring your cannons, I have my armor."
"Bring your mighty... I am my own champion."
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by NecronLord » 2018-01-16 04:45am

The thing that feels wrong about Rey's background is that she is for all intents and purpouses a slave at the beginning of TFA; she's working a to the truck system in a dangerous occupation, that's pretty grim stuff, and at the very least it should disadvantage her significantly.

Before getting going, don't get me wrong, I like Rey, and her 'Mary-Sueishness' doesn't bother me as it does some people, in terms of force talent.

What I would do is include a few things that would make it plain that this is a situation that is more than simply being poor in a modern western first world country; a suggestion or overt depiction of violence to her or other workers, certainly. I'd also make it plain that she was at best partially or wholly illiterate.

I would also change up the order of events so it's Poe Dameron, the Resistance's Republic's best pilot, behind the stick of the Millennium Falcon. There's no reason not to have him in more of the movie, he's all 'round excellent. Why justify her skills, when as the putative re-writers, we can swerve that issue entirely.

At one point I considered a fan re-write that would keep a large portion of the plot on Jakku, and would have Rey find the Anakin Skywaker saber in the wreck of the Devastator, where she would be visited by Anakin's force ghost, who would play a mentor role for a time.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Zor » 2018-01-16 09:40am

Don't do a damn thing, she has motivations and considerable personal and emotional baggage, she's not a Mary Sue.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-16 10:12am

Zor wrote:
2018-01-16 09:40am
Don't do a damn thing, she has motivations and considerable personal and emotional baggage, she's not a Mary Sue.

Zor
She has never really any real setbacks against an opponent. What's her weakness? What's she bad at doing? Having baggage is meaningless if they don't contribute to her flaws in the narrative.

Did her baggage about her poor heritage or lack of one hinders her in any meaningful way?
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-16 10:52am

I don't agree with Rey having armed guards- or rather, an armed partner to stand watch, yes, but needing a bodyguard, no. Establishing that she can already fight is kind of pivotal, because it helps explain how she can even begin to hold her own in a lightsaber fight once she gets ahold of one. Because she already has some of the relevant training and physical fitness.
NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-16 04:45am
What I would do is include a few things that would make it plain that this is a situation that is more than simply being poor in a modern western first world country; a suggestion or overt depiction of violence to her or other workers, certainly. I'd also make it plain that she was at best partially or wholly illiterate.
Yes to the former, no to the latter. Illiteracy would be a pretty crippling handicap for her ability to navigate the wreck of a starship and raid it for scrap without getting herself killed.

Hm. Ideas of my own...

1) Have her need to learn to speak Wookiee-ese. I can imagine her speaking "droid," on the working assumption that at least some characters in setting do, and given that her job might well involve working with droids at one time or another. But why would she know any Wookiees? They're not that common. Now, we want her to be able to interact with Chewie in Episode VIII given that we're killing off Han in VII, but that just gives us reason for Rey to start trying to learn Chewie's language when they first meet (have a very short bit establishing that) and have her still struggling with it in VIII (possible room for a quick joke or two, you need those in a good Star Wars film, plus TELL me you've never wanted to see Chewie visibly facepalm when someone doesn't understand what he says. :P ).

2) Have her be utterly unfamiliar with some basic things besides piloting, languages, and hand-to-hand combat. Maybe she can fly a spacecraft but has no idea how to navigate. Maybe she's never held a blaster before- likelier to matter in VII; I don't remember, they may have done that. Maybe she's never heard of planets and factions and people that literally everyone else in the movie knows about, goofs on par with "what do you MEAN you don't know Paris is the capital of France?" The Hosnian system? What's that?
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Gandalf » 2018-01-16 10:55am

Have someone at some point declare that the Force favours her or something.

That way it's every bit as plausible as Anakin going from podracing to whatever he does in the Battle of Naboo, and Luke going from womp rat hunting to Death Star shooting. It's not always that they're the most skilled, but God the Force clearly has great plans for them and everything can be explained away that way.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-16 11:13am

That just recurses the Mary Sue-ness and hangs a lampshade on it.

I'd like, as an exercise, to fix it...
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Vendetta » 2018-01-16 12:31pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-16 11:13am
l
That just recurses the Mary Sue-ness and hangs a lampshade on it.

I'd like, as an exercise, to fix it...
No, it just reminds you that this is completely normal for a Star Wars protagonist.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Sidewinder » 2018-01-16 01:03pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-16 10:52am
I don't agree with Rey having armed guards- or rather, an armed partner to stand watch, yes, but needing a bodyguard, no. Establishing that she can already fight is kind of pivotal, because it helps explain how she can even begin to hold her own in a lightsaber fight once she gets ahold of one. Because she already has some of the relevant training and physical fitness.
Plutt orders the guard to protect his property, i.e., Rey. The intent is to not only explain why she's a skilled fighter (the guard gave her lessons in hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship during the long, boring scavenger hunts), but to present an initial obstacle to her Hero's Journey.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Sidewinder » 2018-01-16 01:08pm

NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-16 04:45am
I would also change up the order of events so it's Poe Dameron, the Resistance's Republic's best pilot, behind the stick of the Millennium Falcon. There's no reason not to have him in more of the movie, he's all 'round excellent. Why justify her skills, when as the putative re-writers, we can swerve that issue entirely.
This is a good idea. We can have Poe be knocked unconscious during the ejection, and Finn's emotional turmoil over this be a "beacon in the Force" that draws Rey to the crashed TIE, introducing the characters to each other.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-16 01:32pm

She's... not one? Rey faces challenges, takes time to learn things (and/or has it previously established that she knows how to do them. Like, not only is 'never touched a starship's controls' not true, she owns a speeder, has *worked* on the Falcon before, and describes herself as a pilot when Finn needs someone to help), and the force greatly boosting one's learning is an established thing.

Oh, I know!

Make her a dude, then she wouldn't be called a 'Mary Sue' ;)

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Sidewinder » 2018-01-16 02:08pm

Q99 wrote:
2018-01-16 01:32pm
She's... not one? Rey faces challenges, takes time to learn things (and/or has it previously established that she knows how to do them. Like, not only is 'never touched a starship's controls' not true, she owns a speeder, has *worked* on the Falcon before, and describes herself as a pilot when Finn needs someone to help), and the force greatly boosting one's learning is an established thing.
It would help to show this ON SCREEN, instead of leaving such details in The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections or The Visual Dictionary, unseen by all but the most hard core fans. Hell, George Lucas did a better job developing Anakin's backstory and characters in the prequel!
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-16 02:39pm

What Q99 said.

But apparently, some people need to have their hand held and have it explained in detail how Rey learned every single thing she ever learned how to do. While actually claiming that nine year old Anakin's pod-racing and robot construction skills were better justified. :lol:

That said, I'd point to three specific issues with how her character is written that may contribute to this absurd impression:

1. The lame Force-vision scene at Maz's castle in TFA. I don't think that's an example of Rey being "too good" at something, because it came off much more as an intervention by the Force, or a vision like what Luke had in the cave in ESB, rather than something she was doing herself. But its a lame, heavy-handed way to exposition/set up a plot development. Rewrite it to be more subtle, less out of nowhere, and more consistent with prior depictions of Force visions. Or just have someone tell Rey that stuff.

2. Personality-wise, Rey in TFA is mostly just... nice. She doesn't really have much in the way of layers. A bit of self-doubt, but... I think it would have helped to show just a little bit more of that (without going too far the other way). Maybe make the hint of Dark Side anger during her duel with Kylo more obvious as well.

3. I am really, really uncertain about this, but having Rey go Dark Side in TLJ would have been interesting, and arguably a more natural end point for her arc thus far. Though that might be overdoing it in giving the character flaws.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Sidewinder » 2018-01-16 02:51pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-16 02:39pm
But apparently, some people need to have their hand held and have it explained in detail how Rey learned every single thing she ever learned how to do. While actually claiming that nine year old Anakin's pod-racing and robot construction skills were better justified.
The podracing skills may not be justified, but the mechanical repair skills ARE. Remember, Anakin's owner (Watto) is someone who sells salvaged machines, one knowledgeable enough to recognize a Nubian hyperdrive for its true value. It can be easily assumed he trained Anakin to be his (unpaid) assistant.

Compared to Rey, where there's no indication Plutt gave her training on what the parts she salvages actually DO, or how to use them.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-16 03:01pm

Sidewinder wrote:
2018-01-16 02:51pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-16 02:39pm
But apparently, some people need to have their hand held and have it explained in detail how Rey learned every single thing she ever learned how to do. While actually claiming that nine year old Anakin's pod-racing and robot construction skills were better justified.
The podracing skills may not be justified, but the mechanical repair skills ARE. Remember, Anakin's owner (Watto) is someone who sells salvaged machines, one knowledgeable enough to recognize a Nubian hyperdrive for its true value. It can be easily assumed he trained Anakin to be his (unpaid) assistant.
Still a big jump from that to "can build his own highly-advanced protocol droid by age nine."
Compared to Rey, where there's no indication Plutt gave her training on what the parts she salvages actually DO, or how to use them.
Because clearly, a character knowing a useful trade to support herself on a world where it appears to be almost the only job is terribly implausible, and requires justification.

If I wrote a story and had one of the characters reading a book, would you require me to show a scene of them in grade school English class first to believe it?

Hell, you probably do think that Rey knowing how to read requires justification. :lol:

I don't think it ought to strain the imagination of an intelligent audience member to assume that, in the twenty-odd years that she was largely fending for herself on planet shit hole, Rey might have learned a few things. The only thing that even begins to strain credibility, pre-Force powers, is her piloting skill, and as you yourself conceded above, she and Anakin are on even ground there (advantage to Rey, actually, since we weren't asked to swallow her doing it as a damn nine year old).
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by NecronLord » 2018-01-16 03:08pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-16 02:39pm
2. Personality-wise, Rey in TFA is mostly just... nice. She doesn't really have much in the way of layers. A bit of self-doubt, but... I think it would have helped to show just a little bit more of that (without going too far the other way). Maybe make the hint of Dark Side anger during her duel with Kylo more obvious as well.
I have no problem with her niceness, to be honest it's refreshing.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-16 03:01pm
Because clearly, a character knowing a useful trade to support herself on a world where it appears to be almost the only job is terribly implausible, and requires justification.

If I wrote a story and had one of the characters reading a book, would you require me to show a scene of them in grade school English class first to believe it?

Hell, you probably do think that Rey knowing how to read requires justification. :lol:
The point is the whole 'portions' and 'paid in food' is not evocative of a place where workers are educated and skilled; it is evocative of extreme forms of exploitation. We see that she has a few decent things, but the idea that you need sophisticated education to be a scavenger is, well, it's not actually true. In real-life, scavenger children and adult slaves are an actual thing, for instance in Chechnya; they are typically not well educated, except in practical skills which can be learned on the job, such as handling and defusing live landmines (not all children manage to pick that skill up of course).

You take education for granted; her background as a scavenger slave does not imply education would be provided to her. I do not; when I see someone getting paid in food and having lived in a burned out tank, I do not assume they have it.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-16 03:20pm

NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-16 03:08pm
I have no problem with her niceness, to be honest it's refreshing.
Agreed.

But she does come off in TFA as just generically likeable, without much more to her personality, at least to me.

In TLJ, its more a matter of her swinging back and forth between tempted by the Dark Side and Jedi paragon, with some of those shifts feeling rather thinly-set-up.

So... Rey is a nice person. I like that. But there arguably needs to be a bit more to go with that to flesh out her character, personality-wise.
The point is the whole 'portions' and 'paid in food' is not evocative of a place where workers are educated and skilled; it is evocative of extreme forms of exploitation. We see that she has a few decent things, but for the most part she lives alone.

You take education for granted; her background as a scavenger slave does not imply education would be provided to her. I do not; when I see someone getting paid in food and having lived in a burned out tank, I do not assume they have it.
I can see why people would feel that way. At the same time, there are many forms of education. A Medieval peasant, for example, would be considered "uneducated" by modern standards, but they would doubtless have many practical skills related to working the land that the average modern person lacks utterly. Likewise, I doubt Rey knows much of, say, galactic history (in fact, if her surprise at discovering that the Force is more than stories is any indication, she most certainly does not). But practical skills that would help her survive in her environment? That's more likely.

Salvage seems to be the main industry on Jakku, such as it is. Thus, for Rey to be of any use to anyone on that planet, she would need to have those skills- and I don't find it terribly hard to believe that what's his name on Jakku would have instructed her in those skills that would make her a more useful and valuable worker to him.

There's also the nature of the Star Wars galaxy to consider. In our world, working with spaceship parts is an extremely high-end profession, indicative of a high-quality college education. Its... a bit more routine, in Star Wars.

In addition to any sexism, I sense more and more a latent classism behind some of the criticisms of Rey's ability- an assumption that "poor"="ignorant/incompetent". I felt much the same about the way some people mocked Finn because he was described as having worked in sanitation.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-16 03:33pm

Maintaining a spaceship is equivalent to a job like a car mechanic. You can be proficient in it without having a degree-tier education.
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NecronLord
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by NecronLord » 2018-01-16 03:40pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-16 03:20pm
Salvage seems to be the main industry on Jakku, such as it is. Thus, for Rey to be of any use to anyone on that planet, she would need to have those skills- and I don't find it terribly hard to believe that what's his name on Jakku would have instructed her in those skills that would make her a more useful and valuable worker to him.
You are basically relying on Plutt the strawboss valuing his workers; why would he care if she gets irradiated in an ISD engine room because she removed the drive plate? He can buy more kids. He's pretty obviously a vile asshole. Enough that Chewbacca dispatches him without question for his behaviour in one deleted scene. He is not a surrogate father, he is not a nice person, he is a slave owner and probably worse.



Why would he set up education when he can buy more kids? This is a man who buys children from their parents to use in dangerous manual labour; even in TFA it was only a matter of whether he was buying Rey off kidnappers or her real parents, not that he was some friend of the family who was her foster-father.
There's also the nature of the Star Wars galaxy to consider. In our world, working with spaceship parts is an extremely high-end profession, indicative of a high-quality college education. Its... a bit more routine, in Star Wars.

In addition to any sexism, I sense more and more a latent classism behind some of the criticisms of Rey's ability- an assumption that "poor"="ignorant/incompetent". I felt much the same about the way some people mocked Finn because he was described as having worked in sanitation.
And I see people who see Plutt as a surrogate father figure as ignorant of the savagery of real life poverty. Rey is frankly of superior intelligence to have lived to the age she has, but that doesn't mean that she should necessarily have a broad set of skills.

And it is absolutely nothing to do with her being a woman; I have no problem with Jyn Erso being able to kick sixteen kinds of ass and twenty on sunday, she was raised by Saw Garrera, so that accords with her background. I also don't have much of a problem with her force ability either. I do however think that her harsh background was whitewashed somewhat after its initial conception to make audiences less uncomfortable; as of course, the Plutt scene was deleted; because people get the idea that this character is a decent dude (despite paying his workers in less than they need to live, and not in currency!) - actually showing the full horror of the Jakku situation would change the film's tone and rating.

Yes, yes, educating his workers instead of sending them into dangerous situations where they might die would make rational homo-economicus sense for Plutt; that's not how it works in the real world, and given the fact that he's using child labourers in the first place and his attitude to Rey running off in one of his ships when people are trying to kill her, that's not how it works on Jakku. I'm with Chewie. He's fucking scum.

The reason I keep coming back to the whole Jakku situation is not because I have contempt for the poor; it is because I have enough compassion for the poor to see what's going on and what the film tries to imply without banging the audience over the head with; Plutt is an asshole, likely no better than Jabba the Hutt, and certainly worse than Watto.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-16 03:56pm

NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-16 03:40pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-16 03:20pm
Salvage seems to be the main industry on Jakku, such as it is. Thus, for Rey to be of any use to anyone on that planet, she would need to have those skills- and I don't find it terribly hard to believe that what's his name on Jakku would have instructed her in those skills that would make her a more useful and valuable worker to him.
You are basically relying on Plutt the strawboss valuing his workers; why would he care if she gets irradiated in an ISD engine room because she removed the drive plate? He can buy more kids. He's pretty obviously a vile asshole. Enough that Chewbacca dispatches him without question for his behaviour in one deleted scene. He is not a surrogate father, he is not a nice person, he is a slave owner and probably worse.



Why would he set up education when he can buy more kids? This is a man who buys children from their parents; even in TFA it was only a matter of whether he was buying Rey off kidnappers or her real parents, not that he was some friend of the family who was her foster-father.
That's nice.

Its also largely irrelevant, and straw mans my argument rather badly.

My point is not "He would have given Rey a good education out of the goodness of his heart." Its "He might have taught her just enough to be of use to him." Which presumably would include shit like "Which parts of a crashed spaceship are most valuable" and "How to remove them without damaging them", to take just two examples.

Its also a question as to how much skilled (or even semi-skilled) labor he has, and can afford to throw away through shear ignorance. Especially since from what we've seen of her, its not a vast leap to say that Rey was probably one of the most capable people in his employee.

I'm not saying that he's a good man. I'm just acknowledging that he might be capable of more than the most short-term self-interest.
And I see people who see Plutt as a surrogate father figure as ignorant of the savagery of real life poverty.
And I see this as a ludicrous straw man of my argument which you have pulled whole-cloth out of thin air.
Rey is frankly of superior intelligence to have lived to the age she has, but that doesn't mean that she should necessarily have a broad set of skills.
Agreed.

However, every single skill she demonstrates, with the exceptions of spacecraft piloting and those that involve overt use of the Force, is of direct practical use to her as a scavenger on Jakku, and one that I would expect any reasonably intelligent, driven person in that line of work to be able to acquire.
And it is absolutely nothing to do with her being a woman; I have no problem with Jyn Erso being able to kick sixteen kinds of ass and twenty on sunday, she was raised by Saw Garrera, so that accords with her background. I also don't have much of a problem with her force ability either.
Fair enough.

Nothing you personally have said in this thread particularly leads me to think "sexism".
I do however think that her harsh background was whitewashed somewhat after its initial conception to make audiences less uncomfortable; as of course, the Plutt scene was deleted; because people get the idea that this character is a decent dude (despite paying his workers in less than they need to live, and not in currency!) - actually showing the full horror of the Jakku situation would change the film's tone and rating.
Probably, yeah.

But "Plutt is a horrible person" and "Rey could have plausibly acquired skills beyond the most basic manual labor" are not mutually exclusive points.
The reason I keep coming back to the whole Jakku situation is not because I have contempt for the poor; it is because I have enough compassion for the poor to see what's going on and what they're trying to imply without showing.
Which is reasonable. But I think that it is a mistake to equate poverty with lack of skill.

As I said, Rey isn't likely to have, say, a liberal arts education. Practical skills of her trade, or ability to defend herself, on the other hand...

Of course, there are also always just outliers. Abraham Lincoln, for example, was famously raised in impoverished circumstances, and had almost no formal schooling- he was largely self-taught when it came to things like literacy, law, politics, etc.

Hell, Lincoln would probably be called a Mary Sue if he were a fictional character. :lol:
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by NecronLord » 2018-01-16 04:15pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-16 03:56pm
Its also largely irrelevant, and straw mans my argument rather badly.
You aren't the only person in the thread: my response here isn't so much directed at you as this sentiment:
Sidewinder wrote:where it's established that Rey is Plutt's ward
Some people DEFINITELY get the idea that there is a relationship there that's not wholly exploitative. And that she is somehow special to Plutt. That's not supported in the movie. They think Plutt values her enough to give her a personal bodyguard! Far from it; as we see in the deleted scene, he has every intention of beating/torturing her. She's not Plutt's ward, she's Plutt's slave.
My point is not "He would have given Rey a good education out of the goodness of his heart." Its "He might have taught her just enough to be of use to him." Which presumably would include shit like "Which parts of a crashed spaceship are most valuable" and "How to remove them without damaging them", to take just two examples.

Its also a question as to how much skilled (or even semi-skilled) labor he has, and can afford to throw away through shear ignorance. Especially since from what we've seen of her, its not a vast leap to say that Rey was probably one of the most capable people in his employee.
I never got that impression.



There are people behind her in the queue with more loot than her. Theirs might be worse, sure, but we don't get that impression. The guy has sixty portions ready to go, and he's giving her quarters and halves, that implies that his turnover is significantly greater than just her work - he has one hundred twenty times what he's willing to pay her ready to go, as does the setup he has, the fact that he employs men to beat the slaves, and the fact that there are queues.

I'm not saying that he's a good man. I'm just acknowledging that he might be capable of more than the most short-term self-interest.
That seems unlikely to me, people who use child labourers tend not to value individual employees... at all. If he valued her, he'd fucking feed her an equitable amount!
However, every single skill she demonstrates, with the exceptions of spacecraft piloting and those that involve overt use of the Force, is of direct practical use to her as a scavenger on Jakku, and one that I would expect any reasonably intelligent, driven person in that line of work to be able to acquire.
Spacecraft piloting is the one that really confuses people. People liken her to Anakin, but even Anakin had to struggle with Sebulba; and pretty much won by luck. IE he was not clearly ahead of a trained and adult professional in the field. Rey really is much better than First Order TIE pilots, she can line up the Falcon to hit them with a jammed turret, even! Some of that might be down to the Falcon being an excellent machine, but that's not how it feels to large parts of the audience. It also doesn't make sense to train your slaves to fly interstellar space-ships.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-16 05:16pm

Aside from the inevitable argument about whether Rey is a MS or not. (And if nothing else it's a fanfic trope so no)

They could have made a better job on establishing her pilot credentials before the exact moment they required it and that she'd worked on Platt's ships but it would have to be in conversation with Platt.

Likewise I'd love for some more set up or change to the force suggestion scene. That's the one that really bothered me when first watching TFA. Have Han or someone mention the legend of Luke or the mind trick or something.

Most of these are over explaining and breaking show not tell though.
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