How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-22 06:43pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-22 06:24pm
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-22 06:20pm
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-22 06:10pm

That's also implict bullshit that you can't be good against the odds, or what not, but you have to have it from on high. And of course from 'noble' parents as otherwise a person wouldn't be OK. I mean, what if parents were actually not so good? Does tis mean the person can't be good?

Or it's a plot hole if the person is good but her family is bad? Huh?
Yes! Seriously, why is that hard to comprehend?

As far as I can tell you are the one claiming that you can just innately be good. I imagine you don't see it that way, so if you want to explain further?

If you have no good role models, no way of learning good from bad, you won't hold yourself to a good standard of living. Admittedly, It doesn't have to be your family but there has to be <I>something.</i> Like you said there could be good examples for her on Jakku but we're never told what they were. As I said before I attributed mainly to admire the legends of Luke/The Resistance/the Rebel Alliance.

Basically as I see it morality is not hard wired into people. Am I wrong?
I can actually see Rey indulging in escapist legends about Luke/the Rebels, as a way of dealing with the shit hole she lives in and the void caused by the absence of her parents. No doubt (as we see) imagining her parents as heroic figures, maybe part of those legends. And those legends thus influencing her values, even if she doesn't really believe them to be true (she seems surprised to find out that the Force and all that is real in TFA, as I recall).

Stories play a huge role in shaping our values- what else is religion, after all, but morality shaped by stories?

Its not exactly spelled out to hit the audience over the head with it in the films, but there's enough to make it a reasonable conclusion about Rey's personality.
Basically, yes, that is what I feel about this on reflection.


As I said about her piloting and mechanically ability way back i my first post in this thread. I might have preferred a few extra lines to spell this out. Though I realise it runs into breaking 'show don't tell' and spelling out too much. This very much Your Mileage May Vary, but I think TFA gives you just enough to explain these things but it's most reliant on your Goodwill and not asking too many questions. If you went in willing to be pleased, it'll deleiver. If you went in more skeptically or lacking goodwill towards it (And i did resent the Disney films for the admittedly silly reason of overwriting the EU) she's not so well written or compelling to win you back over.

And it bears reiteration I hope but I don't think Rey is a Mary Sue or that terrible. She's okay. She definitely does a have a lot of skills and the film is shilling her brilliance quite a bit but its mostly fine and gets away with it. Still think the mind trick is bollocks but that's just my preconception of how the force 'should' work.

eta: It occurs to me you could establish Rey's, piloting, mechanics, and morality early on if you put more exposition in the first scene with Plutt. Establish there that she used to be a lot higher up in his favour doing mechanic and piloting work for him and then got cast down to scavenger status again when she showed a conscience. To me, Plutt doesn't treat her like anyone he knows in their scenes together. Which seems odd given their past together revealed in the rest of TFA/TLJ. (Or Plutt's just a jerk, whatever.)
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-22 06:55pm

Since people keep insisting that Rey is a bad character, a "Mary Sue", etc., on the basis that she's too good at everything and never fails, I thought I'd post this. If anyone can think of other examples to add that I've left out, please chime in.

The Grand List Of Things Rey Isn't Good At:

Practical Skills:

-Blaster Marksmanship.
-Countering hostile telekinesis.

Academic Knowledge:

-Knowledge of Force Philosophy.
-Knowledge of Galactic History.

Mistakes Made/Objectives Failed:

-Panics, runs off on her own, and gets captured (thus indirectly causing the death of her first surrogate father figure).
-Tempted by the Dark Side due to insecurities about her parentage and identity.
-Fails to persuade Luke to come out of retirement.
-Is manipulated by Snoke into overestimating her chances of redeeming Kylo Ren, willingly delivering herself into enemy custody.
-Fails to redeem Kylo Ren.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-22 07:09pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-22 06:03pm
Yeah, like, it didn't weaken Harry fucking Potter - but it weakens Rey.
Have you read Harry Potter? Harry is an asshole to lots of people around him. If not for his reputation and fame, he'll probably not make as many friends as he did.

And his friends do call him out on it and shun him when he's an asshole to them, especially to Ron. Do we even have a comparable scene like how Harry was shunned by everyone at Hogwarts?
The way you perceive other people also impacts the way you perceive the story.

I've broken more than a few subversive attempts to claim "poor = bad" ITT, but I'm not going to just go on and on.

This is tiresome. Rey wasn't half as bad as some think, and somehow I feel a lot of the hate comes simply from the fact she's a woman. Makes me all the more sad.
Rey certainly isn't the worse character to exist, nor the worse protagonist to exist. And yes, there is some hate coming from the fact that she's a woman. But at the same time, while female characters like Sarah Connor, Ripley or even Wonder Woman manage to get near universal acceptance as a good, well-written female protagonist. It's fair to make an argument Rey is a poor character in comparison to them.

Michael Arnt wrote about what he thinks a good character needs. He didn't get to complete the script for TFA, but it's also telling how they didn't stick to Arnt's template.

https://www.mentorless.com/2015/04/27/m ... beginning/
Step 1: Show Your Hero Doing What They Love Most
“Usually what you do when you’re introducing your main character is that you show them doing what they love most. This is their grand passion, it’s their defining trait, it’s the center of their whole universe.

So you start with your main character, you introduce the universe they live in, and you show your hero doing the thing they love to do most.”

Step 2: Add a Flaw
“But then your character needs one more thing. He needs a flaw. Now what’s key here is that the character’s flaw actually comes out of her grand passion. It’s a good thing that’s just been taken too far.”

Step 3: Add a Storm
“And then you want to establish storm clouds on the horizon, which is your character is walking down the road of life, it’s a nice bright sunny day, but off on the horizon, there are some dark clouds gathering. And then… BABOOM! Something comes in and totally blows apart your joyous life and turns it upside down.”

Step 4: Add Insult to Injury
“But that bolt from the blue, BABOOM, isn’t enough on its own. It’s not enough just to ruin your character’s life and take away their grand passion and change their whole sense of what their future is going to be, you got to add insult to injury. You gotta have something that’s going to make the whole world seem a little bit unfair.”

Step 5: Make Your Character Pick the Unhealthy Choice
“So now, your main character’s life has changed, her grand passion has been taken away, the world has revealed itself to be unfair, and she comes to a fork in the road, and she gotta have to make a choice on how to deal with her new reality.

There’s a high road to take, a healthy responsible choice, or a low road to take, and make an unhealthy, irresponsible choice.

And remember, if your character choses to do the right thing you really don’t have a story. (…)

The key thing here is that we are rooting for [the character] to do the unhealthy irresponsible thing because we feel her pain.”

Bring It Home
“So your story is coming out of your character’s deepest desire, and darkest fear.

The thing they love gets stolen away from them, and the world is revealed to be unfair.

To put things right, they have the make the journey that is the rest of the film, and by the end of the journey, hopefully, not only will they get back what they lost, but they’ll be forced to fix that little flaw they had when we first met them.

So that’s what I learned at Pixar, and I’m not saying that all stories need to start this way, but if you’re writing a script and you’re having a hard time, I hope these ideas are helpful.”
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-22 06:17pm

Yes.

Oh, sure, he's got the Skywalker heritage, but he's raised as a poor (or at best middle class) farmer on a backwater world, albeit one better off than Rey by virtue of having a family that treats him fairly well.
And that's the important bit. It's not about a person's wealth or background. It's about the people around the protagonist. Who is the protagonist in relation to other people around him/her? How did they shape the character in anyway of form.

Again, there IS a disturbing implication to the assumption that a person from a poor, underprivileged background needs a complex backstory to explain WHY THEY ARE CAPABLE OF A SENSE OF MORALITY, especially since I don't think you see such demands being made of most heroic characters.
I think this should be applied to more characters, regardless of their background. We should expect to know what sort of moral worldview underpins the protagonist. Wealth and heritage shouldn't be a naturally expected equivalent to morality. You are making the wrong argument, facing the wrong direction.
Nor do I think it is necessary to root for a generally likeable character who's fighting space Nazis, especially when they're played by a decent actor.

And you could tell that sort of story you describe with Rey-it might even be a good story. Its just that, given when the films happen and what they show, it would be off-screen, likely relegated to a book or something. But I fear that it would be all too easy for it to slide into overdone, angsty grimdark.
And I'm against this approach because you're equating charisma with morality. Fighting against space Nazi merely to survive is vastly different from fighting against the ideology of fascism and etc. I find it even more disturbing for people to be charmed into a character's sense of morality by their charisma.
That would actually be an interesting story, I think. But I don't think it automatically ruins the character not to have one.
Not developing a character's sense of morality is perhaps one of the biggest problems with movie-storytelling. It's an appeal to charisma, not their morality.
Excuse me. Did you actually just say that "naturally good and kind" automatically equals "weaker character"?

I mean, I know that's the underlying premise of the trend towards favoring "dark, edgy antiheroes", but I seldom see it stated that bluntly.
Naturally good as in "goodness and kindness" somehow exist on their own. Those attributes aren't inborn. They developed based on a person's emotional links to other people. Selflessness is a learned attribute to function together as people. It exists within the context of having social bonds, with friends or family.

She is tempted by the Dark Side in TLJ, due to her insecurities about her origins.
Which had zero effect on her character development. If anything, she using the "dark side" like anger and etc are portrayed as a positive thing in this movie.
Not many, though she clearly lacks much understanding of the Force or galactic history, and is a poor shot with a blaster in TFA.
Again, not of any consequences whatsover.

Not so much as you probably think. She suffers some major failures- at least one in both of her films thus far. Like all the nuances and shortcomings of her character, these are frequently ignored or downplayed by her critics. More on that in a moment.
None of those "failures" are of any consequences to her.
Luke, initially. And presumably most of the First Order. :wink:

And I don't really need another "edgy loner anti-hero" for internet tough-guys to fetishize. That kind of character is overdone these days, and usually done badly.
No one said she needs to be an "edgy loner anti-hero". She can be a loner that have very few friends. Like not a complete loner but loner enough. And her being a loner is not worth anything to her development because none of her character development is about overcoming her loner-ness and learning to make friends and form more bonds with rest of society.

She has no character arc to epak of.
Captured by Ren after she freaks out and runs off in TFA (which indirectly leads to the death of her first surrogate father figure, Han), and completely misjudges her chances of redeeming Kylo Ren, though that one actually works out fairly well (albeit largely due to the actions of other characters).
Again, things work out well for her. I mean Han didn't just go to Jakku to save her. He's also there to save his own skin and the Galaxy he is living in. He's also there to save his son. Rey's actions are fairly inconsequential in regards to Han's death. It's not her fault in any way.

If the best example of her making a mistake is to "blame the victim", you are reaching rather low.

While I do think Rey's characterization in TFA was fairly shallow, though likeable (less so now, after TLJ), I don't think its a bad thing to have some more idealistic protagonists to thin out the endless parade of gritty anti-heroes.

As to disadvantages due to her upbringing, and their consequences...
Her likeability is entirely due to Ridley's performance. And that's something I have an issue with. Charisma should not be taken as being equivalent to good character development and writing. Yes, cinema is a performance art, but you cannot get away with it if you are making the audience care about Rey's journey to rebuild the Jedi Order.

She's effectively like Nu-Kirk in many ways. Nu-Kirk like her, barely have to pay for the consequences of his actions. That to me is bad story writing and promoting a sort of idealized "Übermensch" within the context of the story. Drawing upon anger to use the force? Not a problem! She's able to avoid all the mistakes of previous Jedi and they are all wrong about the dark side and light side.

There's no right and wrong within the context of Nu-SW in any way that's meaningful to a character's morals. Why is anger wrong? Why is being a loner a bad thing? Nothing of those questions is answered in any form.

TLJ shows (and even TFA hinted at) deep insecurity about her identity, and longing for a family, on Rey's part. This allows the Dark Side to tempt her, Snoke to deceive her (and Kylo Ren), and would have probably gotten her killed if she hadn't gotten VERY lucky when Holdo rammed the First Order fleet.
And the fact that she' got lucky again and again makes it even worse. It's the universe bending around her to pay for her mistakes.
We also see that, while she has a lot of practical skills, she has very little, probably, in the way of "book smarts". Its not exactly focused on, but if you pay close attention, its clear that she has a very limited knowledge of both Force philosophy and galactic history, both subjects that it would be useful for her to know in her new role as a Jedi.
And why on earth would that be a challenge for Rey? None of her character's development is related to her lack of "book-smartness". There's nothing to indicate she is bad at learning them, just that she never learn them before. She can clearly read, and Yoda ( as projection and personification of the living force) has his full confidence that Rey has everything she needs. She doesn't need a master or teacher to explain to her what those books mean, given that they killed off Luke.

It's the celebration of charismatic individuals and their near perfection that makes me dislike some recent characters in movies. Rey and nu-Kirk are the two most obvious example I have issues with. Especially in this day and age where we see how easy it is for any charismatic individual to hijack our political process, it's not a trend I am comfortable with.



The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-22 06:55pm
Since people keep insisting that Rey is a bad character, a "Mary Sue", etc., on the basis that she's too good at everything and never fails, I thought I'd post this. If anyone can think of other examples to add that I've left out, please chime in.

The Grand List Of Things Rey Isn't Good At:

Practical Skills:

-Blaster Marksmanship.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.
-Countering hostile telekinesis.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.

Academic Knowledge:

-Knowledge of Force Philosophy.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.

-Knowledge of Galactic History.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.
Mistakes Made/Objectives Failed:

-Panics, runs off on her own, and gets captured (thus indirectly causing the death of her first surrogate father figure).
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development. She got out on her own. Han would have died anyway, and you're blaming the victim.
-Tempted by the Dark Side due to insecurities about her parentage and identity.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.

-Fails to persuade Luke to come out of retirement.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development. Luke came out to save them anyway.
-Is manipulated by Snoke into overestimating her chances of redeeming Kylo Ren, willingly delivering herself into enemy custody.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.
-Fails to redeem Kylo Ren.
Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.


Those are nitpicky points about Rey that doesn't matter if you look at her character journey and development. None of those flaws mattered to the story. If we are to apply Micahel Arnt's template for a good story, Rey's flaws are effectively inconsequential.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by MKSheppard » 2018-01-22 07:57pm

Turn Finn into an imperial TIE pilot who is defecting.

While on Jakku, they are running away from the badguys, big explosions and they run into a recognizable light freighter.

Finn tries to turn on the Millenium Falcon, but it's not turning on.

Rey suddenly leans over and says "Button under that panel"

Finn pushes the button and overrides han's dead man switch (similar to Max's hidden bomb on his V8 Interceptor).

They blast out of Jakku with finn piloting and back on Jakku; Han and Chewie stumble out of a tent or whatever, blasters at the ready and "who the hell stole the falcon?"

This fixes two of my really big issues with TFA:

Rey can somehow throw around not just any starship, but the millennium falcon; with about 10 seconds of driving it with the parking brake and dinging a fender before taking it on a tunnel chase through the ruins of an ISD.

Han somehow loses the Falcon and doesn't get it back for year(s). He'd be hot on the trail of the Falcon as it's too crucial to Han being Han.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-22 08:13pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-01-22 07:09pm
Have you read Harry Potter? Harry is an asshole to lots of people around him. If not for his reputation and fame, he'll probably not make as many friends as he did.

And his friends do call him out on it and shun him when he's an asshole to them, especially to Ron. Do we even have a comparable scene like how Harry was shunned by everyone at Hogwarts?
All of which is MASSIVELY overplayed by fanfic writers on a regular basis.

And, let's be fair- Rowling had seven novels to flesh out Harry's character, not two films. Different situations. A more fair comparison might be, oh... Harry (film version) after PS and CoS, to Rey.

Besides, acting like Harry's snapping at his friends (which contrary to what you claim, is never a major reason for his bouts of unpopularity in the plot) is some huge flaw resulting from his abusive childhood, rather than the combination of being a teenager and probable PTSD from Voldemort's recent resurrection that it is portrayed as being (it mostly is confined to book five as I recall), is a pretty damn tenuous argument.

Especially when, in usual double-standard fashion, you dismiss much more significant failings on Rey's part as being of no consequence.
Rey certainly isn't the worse character to exist, nor the worse protagonist to exist. And yes, there is some hate coming from the fact that she's a woman. But at the same time, while female characters like Sarah Connor, Ripley or even Wonder Woman manage to get near universal acceptance as a good, well-written female protagonist. It's fair to make an argument Rey is a poor character in comparison to them.
I wouldn't say that she's poor compared to (current DC film) Wonder Woman, actually (bearing in mind that I haven't yet seen Justice League). I felt that there some serious inconsistencies in Wonder Woman, and her role in Batman v. Superman was a couple scenes as a generic femme fatal, followed by one admittedly awesome action scene. Oh, and the funeral conversation with Bruce.

Sarah Connor- okay, you've found my weak point. Sarah Connor, despite some serious flaws (mainly the fact that her significance ultimately derives almost entirely from her being the mother to a male savior) is one of my favorite female characters.

But I'm not going to say Rey sucks simply because she's maybe not on par with Sarah Connor (and actually, I'd possibly put Furiosa higher than both of them).
Michael Arnt wrote about what he thinks a good character needs. He didn't get to complete the script for TFA, but it's also telling how they didn't stick to Arnt's template.

https://www.mentorless.com/2015/04/27/m ... beginning/
Step 1: Show Your Hero Doing What They Love Most
“Usually what you do when you’re introducing your main character is that you show them doing what they love most. This is their grand passion, it’s their defining trait, it’s the center of their whole universe.

So you start with your main character, you introduce the universe they live in, and you show your hero doing the thing they love to do most.”

Step 2: Add a Flaw
“But then your character needs one more thing. He needs a flaw. Now what’s key here is that the character’s flaw actually comes out of her grand passion. It’s a good thing that’s just been taken too far.”

Step 3: Add a Storm
“And then you want to establish storm clouds on the horizon, which is your character is walking down the road of life, it’s a nice bright sunny day, but off on the horizon, there are some dark clouds gathering. And then… BABOOM! Something comes in and totally blows apart your joyous life and turns it upside down.”

Step 4: Add Insult to Injury
“But that bolt from the blue, BABOOM, isn’t enough on its own. It’s not enough just to ruin your character’s life and take away their grand passion and change their whole sense of what their future is going to be, you got to add insult to injury. You gotta have something that’s going to make the whole world seem a little bit unfair.”

Step 5: Make Your Character Pick the Unhealthy Choice
“So now, your main character’s life has changed, her grand passion has been taken away, the world has revealed itself to be unfair, and she comes to a fork in the road, and she gotta have to make a choice on how to deal with her new reality.

There’s a high road to take, a healthy responsible choice, or a low road to take, and make an unhealthy, irresponsible choice.

And remember, if your character choses to do the right thing you really don’t have a story. (…)

The key thing here is that we are rooting for [the character] to do the unhealthy irresponsible thing because we feel her pain.”

Bring It Home
“So your story is coming out of your character’s deepest desire, and darkest fear.

The thing they love gets stolen away from them, and the world is revealed to be unfair.

To put things right, they have the make the journey that is the rest of the film, and by the end of the journey, hopefully, not only will they get back what they lost, but they’ll be forced to fix that little flaw they had when we first met them.

So that’s what I learned at Pixar, and I’m not saying that all stories need to start this way, but if you’re writing a script and you’re having a hard time, I hope these ideas are helpful.”
None of that is bad, but I wouldn't say that rigidly adhering to it is the only valid way to write a good protagonist.
And that's the important bit. It's not about a person's wealth or background. It's about the people around the protagonist. Who is the protagonist in relation to other people around him/her? How did they shape the character in anyway of form.
Rey's background DOES shape her character and actions though, though perhaps it could be laid out more clearly in the films, and the extent to which it does so did not become apparent until TLJ.
I think this should be applied to more characters, regardless of their background. We should expect to know what sort of moral worldview underpins the protagonist. Wealth and heritage shouldn't be a naturally expected equivalent to morality. You are making the wrong argument, facing the wrong direction.
Perhaps I misunderstood your point, but it seems like people are saying "Its hard to believe she's a good person when she grew up (as our "President" would put it) in a shithole."

And Rey often is held to different standards, I think, than other (often male) protagonists.
And I'm against this approach because you're equating charisma with morality.
I did absolutely no such thing. Not even close.

Literally, you are pulling this from nowhere, in what I can only assume is an attempt to refute allegations that you are equating a person's morality with their background by turning the criticism back on me.
Fighting against space Nazi merely to survive is vastly different from fighting against the ideology of fascism and etc.
Yeah, no shit.

Rey does both.

Actually, its Finn who does the first in TFA. His development in both TFA and TLJ is all about him shifting to doing the latter.
I find it even more disturbing for people to be charmed into a character's sense of morality by their charisma.
So you're going to keep pushing this argument that you pulled out of your ass.
Not developing a character's sense of morality is perhaps one of the biggest problems with movie-storytelling. It's an appeal to charisma, not their morality.
Wow, you've actually decided to make this laughable straw man the crux of your argument? :lol:
Naturally good as in "goodness and kindness" somehow exist on their own. Those attributes aren't inborn. They developed based on a person's emotional links to other people. Selflessness is a learned attribute to function together as people. It exists within the context of having social bonds, with friends or family.
So your argument is that human beings are born sociopaths, with no ability to feel empathy for others?

Besides, its not like Rey is isolated from all contact with others. Even in her environment, she would be able to learn concepts like "Cooperating with others can be beneficial" and "Not picking fights is a good way not to get your ass kicked." As well as hearing the stories and legends of the Jedi, and having that influence (used to fill the void of not knowing what her background is) to shape her morality.
Which had zero effect on her character development. If anything, she using the "dark side" like anger and etc are portrayed as a positive thing in this movie.
Not overall positive, no.

And it had an effect on her actions, and the plot, certainly. It made her more vulnerable to Ren's (and thus Snoke's) manipulations, further alienated her from Luke (his eventually decision to come out of retirement is mostly thanks to Yoda, and maybe his bond with Leia), and lead to her being captured.

It has also clearly shaped her views at the end of the film, where she rejects any final effort by Ren to reach her. "The burned hand teaches best", and all that.

You know, I'd be less likely to think that Rey's critics were motivated by prejudice, if they didn't almost uniformly lie (or, more charitably, misremember) the films, often in the exact same ways, in an effort to bolster their arguments. Or hold Rey to different standards than other, often male, characters.
Again, not of any consequences whatsover.
"Any evidence that doesn't fit my conclusions doesn't count!"
None of those "failures" are of any consequences to her.
Already refuted, which you ignored. Posting the equivalent of "Nuh-uh" again and again does not constitute a rebuttal.
No one said she needs to be an "edgy loner anti-hero". She can be a loner that have very few friends. Like not a complete loner but loner enough. And her being a loner is not worth anything to her development because none of her character development is about overcoming her loner-ness and learning to make friends and form more bonds with rest of society.
Um... isn't this kind of canon? She's very obviously on her own in Jakku (we literally never see her have any positive interactions with anyone until Finn comes along, she's shown living and working on her own, and is reluctant to take in a stray droid). Even now... she's not lacking in social skills, but how many close friends does she have? Finn, maybe Chewbacca?
She has no character arc to epak of.
Bullshit.

TFA- she starts as an isolated person afraid to leave Jakku. She's caught up by circumstances. She initially panics upon finding out about her connection to the Force and Jedi, and gets captured. However, she rises to the occasion and somewhat comes to terms with her abilities (which she had to, to escape and survive) by the end of the film.

TLJ- She's embraced studying as a Jedi, but is still uncertain, doesn't understand the Force, and has a lot of doubts over who she is. This allows her to be tempted by the Dark Side. This leads to her getting captured, and finding out how she was manipulated. By the end, she appears (we'll see what happens) to have learned from this, turning her back on the Dark Side and Kylo Ren, and perhaps somewhat accepting who she is.

Its a little thin, I'll grant you, but its there.
Again, things work out well for her. I mean Han didn't just go to Jakku to save her.
You mean Starkiller Base?
He's also there to save his own skin and the Galaxy he is living in. He's also there to save his son. Rey's actions are fairly inconsequential in regards to Han's death. It's not her fault in any way.
She didn't make Han go to Starkiller Base, no. I was probably thinking more in terms of giving Finn the motivation to go, which made the mission possible.

But I'll concede that its a very indirect connection, and that by that reasoning, her actions also lead to the destruction of Starkiller Base.
If the best example of her making a mistake is to "blame the victim", you are reaching rather low.
Oh, using a phrase as loaded as "blame the victim" to imply that I'm actually the REAL sexist. I've never heard that line of bullshit before. :roll:

Christ, you probably think you're being clever, rather than just odious and dishonest.
Her likeability is entirely due to Ridley's performance.
Mostly, but not entirely. She's a genuinely decent person in her actions, most of the time.
And that's something I have an issue with. Charisma should not be taken as being equivalent to good character development and writing. Yes, cinema is a performance art, but you cannot get away with it if you are making the audience care about Rey's journey to rebuild the Jedi Order.

She's effectively like Nu-Kirk in many ways. Nu-Kirk like her, barely have to pay for the consequences of his actions. That to me is bad story writing and promoting a sort of idealized "Übermensch" within the context of the story. Drawing upon anger to use the force? Not a problem! She's able to avoid all the mistakes of previous Jedi and they are all wrong about the dark side and light side.

There's no right and wrong within the context of Nu-SW in any way that's meaningful to a character's morals. Why is anger wrong? Why is being a loner a bad thing? Nothing of those questions is answered in any form.
God, you actually ARE stupid enough to make "the film wants us to worship charismatic Ubermensch" the crux of your argument.
And the fact that she' got lucky again and again makes it even worse. It's the universe bending around her to pay for her mistakes.
Um...

She failed.

Some other people (at great effort and cost) picked up the pieces.

If nothing else, this ought to shut down the "Rey is a perfect Mary Sue" point pretty hard.

But why do I get the impression that no matter what evidence I or anyone else posts, it will either be ignored or twisted into a criticism of Rey? She never fails? She's too perfect. She fails and it doesn't end up destroying everything? Its the universe twisting itself for her benefit.

If she did end up ruining everything, then she'd be a shitty protagonist who always fails and can't accomplish anything.

Shit like this is why its hard not to suspect that the real reason is "She doesn't have a penis." Or in your case, more likely "Waaahhhh, I hate the ST because it doesn't fit my vision of how Star Wars should be"- you've been bashing these films since before they even premiered.
And why on earth would that be a challenge for Rey? None of her character's development is related to her lack of "book-smartness". There's nothing to indicate she is bad at learning them, just that she never learn them before. She can clearly read, and Yoda ( as projection and personification of the living force) has his full confidence that Rey has everything she needs. She doesn't need a master or teacher to explain to her what those books mean, given that they killed off Luke.
You don't see how a greater understanding of the nature of the Force would have been useful to her in TLJ?

Fuck it, you're too stupid, too stubborn, or too dishonest, to waste words on.
It's the celebration of charismatic individuals and their near perfection that makes me dislike some recent characters in movies.
To the extent that that's a thing, its a very old and common trope, not a new trend.

If anything, we're (thankfully) seeing the pendulum swing back from the glut of "dark edgy anti-heroes".
Rey and nu-Kirk are the two most obvious example I have issues with. Especially in this day and age where we see how easy it is for any charismatic individual to hijack our political process, it's not a trend I am comfortable with.
You seriously think you can win this argument with "Rey sucks because Trump?"

You are really overstating this "trend", at least in this case.

:lol:

Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.



Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.




Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.




Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.



Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development. She got out on her own. Han would have died anyway, and you're blaming the victim.



Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.




Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development. Luke came out to save them anyway.



Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.



Doesn't matter in the context of the story and character development.


Those are nitpicky points about Rey that doesn't matter if you look at her character journey and development. None of those flaws mattered to the story.
"It doesn't count if it doesn't support my argument."
If we are to apply Micahel Arnt's template for a good story, Rey's flaws are effectively inconsequential.
And why should Michael Arnt's template be held up as the sole arbiter for what constitutes a good story, or protagonist? Answer that, or I'm going to call Appeal to Authority. Or just whiney fan boy.

Edit: Fixed quotes.

I'll also add that (with the exception of trying to misrepresent me with the "victim blaming" smear, you seldom offer any reason why Rey's failings "aren't of consequence". You just repeat it, broken record, and apparently expect us to take the empty assertion at face value.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-22 08:21pm

MKSheppard wrote:
2018-01-22 07:57pm
Turn Finn into an imperial TIE pilot who is defecting.

While on Jakku, they are running away from the badguys, big explosions and they run into a recognizable light freighter.

Finn tries to turn on the Millenium Falcon, but it's not turning on.

Rey suddenly leans over and says "Button under that panel"

Finn pushes the button and overrides han's dead man switch (similar to Max's hidden bomb on his V8 Interceptor).

They blast out of Jakku with finn piloting and back on Jakku; Han and Chewie stumble out of a tent or whatever, blasters at the ready and "who the hell stole the falcon?"

This fixes two of my really big issues with TFA:

Rey can somehow throw around not just any starship, but the millennium falcon; with about 10 seconds of driving it with the parking brake and dinging a fender before taking it on a tunnel chase through the ruins of an ISD.

Han somehow loses the Falcon and doesn't get it back for year(s). He'd be hot on the trail of the Falcon as it's too crucial to Han being Han.
While the combination of great latent Force abilities and some prior piloting experience (albeit limited) provides a fairly good explanation for Rey flying the Falcon, it would provide a less contrived way for Rey and Finn to link up with Han and Chewie, I think. So its got that going for it.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-22 09:04pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-22 08:13pm
All of which is MASSIVELY overplayed by fanfic writers on a regular basis.

And, let's be fair- Rowling had seven novels to flesh out Harry's character, not two films. Different situations. A more fair comparison might be, oh... Harry (film version) after PS and CoS, to Rey.

Besides, acting like Harry's snapping at his friends (which contrary to what you claim, is never a major reason for his bouts of unpopularity in the plot) is some huge flaw resulting from his abusive childhood, rather than the combination of being a teenager and probable PTSD from Voldemort's recent resurrection that it is portrayed as being (it mostly is confined to book five as I recall), is a pretty damn tenuous argument.

Especially when, in usual double-standard fashion, you dismiss much more significant failings on Rey's part as being of no consequence.
Except Harry's shenanigans has been called out by people. Harry in CoS was suspected of being a murderer. Harry taking his friends for granted was a constant source of tension between his friends. Harry paid for his mistakes. He did get into punishments by the teachers. He did drive his friends away from him at times.

That might not be a result of his upbringing, but Harry pays for his mistakes.

I wouldn't say that she's poor compared to (current DC film) Wonder Woman, actually (bearing in mind that I haven't yet seen Justice League). I felt that there some serious inconsistencies in Wonder Woman, and her role in Batman v. Superman was a couple scenes as a generic femme fatal, followed by one admittedly awesome action scene. Oh, and the funeral conversation with Bruce.
Diana grow as a character. She went from someone who thinks a simple smash and defeat the enemy is enough to end a war to someone realising it's much harder than that. That's an character arc much better developed than Rey's
Sarah Connor- okay, you've found my weak point. Sarah Connor, despite some serious flaws (mainly the fact that her significance ultimately derives almost entirely from her being the mother to a male savior) is one of my favorite female characters.
The thing is, we saw the consequences of her desire to protect John and be a "hero" for her son. She underwent lots of hardship to get to where she is as a protagonist. She had to work hard to acquire her skills.
But I'm not going to say Rey sucks simply because she's maybe not on par with Sarah Connor (and actually, I'd possibly put Furiosa higher than both of them).
Rey is much less compelling than them. Of course, we can debate whether it's fair to compare Rey to all those female characters in the first place, but people's argument stems from such comparisons in the first place.

Good characters with extraordinary skills tend to be much better characters if we saw how much they did to earn their skillsets. It forms a part of their character's desire and drive.
None of that is bad, but I wouldn't say that rigidly adhering to it is the only valid way to write a good protagonist.
It's not the only way, but deviating too much from it weakens your characters. It makes the story feels like it is handing everyone on a plate for the protagonist.
Rey's background DOES shape her character and actions though, though perhaps it could be laid out more clearly in the films, and the extent to which it does so did not become apparent until TLJ.
We learn nothing about her social life on Jakku. That's the problem and a major weakness that undermines her character's arc.
Perhaps I misunderstood your point, but it seems like people are saying "Its hard to believe she's a good person when she grew up (as our "President" would put it) in a shithole."

And Rey often is held to different standards, I think, than other (often male) protagonists.
Then the solution should be holding male protagonists to those standards, not lowering them for female.

I did absolutely no such thing. Not even close.

Literally, you are pulling this from nowhere, in what I can only assume is an attempt to refute allegations that you are equating a person's morality with their background by turning the criticism back on me.
You said her likeability as played by Daisy Ridley is a factor in how you feel about her. That's being influenced by charisma.

Yeah, no shit.

Rey does both.
No, she didn't. There is nothing establishing why Rey cared about the state of the Galaxy to begin with. She's already suffering a harsh life as a slave/scavager that it makes no difference whether the Galactic boss is different.

Actually, its Finn who does the first in TFA. His development in both TFA and TLJ is all about him shifting to doing the latter.
And that makes Rey entirely passive in the struggle against the FO. Why did she hate the FO so much, apart from killing Han? There's no driving force behind her desire to fight. Everything was given to Finn.
So you're going to keep pushing this argument that you pulled out of your ass.
No, it's not. Ridley saved the script by her acting. Her acting, however, basically goes against what Rey was all about. Rey is meant to be a loner, but Rey plays her in a way that everyone around her do like her.

Wow, you've actually decided to make this laughable straw man the crux of your argument? :lol:
Because it's a pattern that I see in people's attitude towards "heroes"? Rey as she is written is different to how she is played by Daisy.

So your argument is that human beings are born sociopaths, with no ability to feel empathy for others?
Empathy is a learned attribute in the context of storytelling. It's about defining a character's morality in context to the people around them.
Besides, its not like Rey is isolated from all contact with others. Even in her environment, she would be able to learn concepts like "Cooperating with others can be beneficial" and "Not picking fights is a good way not to get your ass kicked." As well as hearing the stories and legends of the Jedi, and having that influence (used to fill the void of not knowing what her background is) to shape her morality.
Those aren't moral concepts that define what is a "good person". The FO exist as an organisation that adheres to those concepts on some level as well. Cooperating with others for one's own gain is something bad guys know as well.


Not overall positive, no.

And it had an effect on her actions, and the plot, certainly. It made her more vulnerable to Ren's (and thus Snoke's) manipulations, further alienated her from Luke (his eventually decision to come out of retirement is mostly thanks to Yoda, and maybe his bond with Leia), and lead to her being captured.

It has also clearly shaped her views at the end of the film, where she rejects any final effort by Ren to reach her. "The burned hand teaches best", and all that.
But she personally didn't suffer from any consequences of any sort. If anything, she advanced on her path to becoming a proper Jedi thanks to all the events she experienced passively.
You know, I'd be less likely to think that Rey's critics were motivated by prejudice, if they didn't almost uniformly lie (or, more charitably, misremember) the films, often in the exact same ways, in an effort to bolster their arguments. Or hold Rey to different standards than other, often male, characters.
Whether idiots lie about Rey elsewhere is of no consequences to this discussion. We have debate rules in this forum that prevents that sort of arguments. We can focus on the arguments actually being made here.
"Any evidence that doesn't fit my conclusions doesn't count!"
No, because I gave my justification of what counts as a failure, as defined by Arnt. Rey didn't fall into that category.

Already refuted, which you ignored. Posting the equivalent of "Nuh-uh" again and again does not constitute a rebuttal.
See above.
Um... isn't this kind of canon? She's very obviously on her own in Jakku (we literally never see her have any positive interactions with anyone until Finn comes along, she's shown living and working on her own, and is reluctant to take in a stray droid). Even now... she's not lacking in social skills, but how many close friends does she have? Finn, maybe Chewbacca?
People take a liking to her almost immediately, with the exception of Luke ( but Luke have his own issues).

Bullshit.

TFA- she starts as an isolated person afraid to leave Jakku. She's caught up by circumstances. She initially panics upon finding out about her connection to the Force and Jedi, and gets captured. However, she rises to the occasion and somewhat comes to terms with her abilities (which she had to, to escape and survive) by the end of the film.

TLJ- She's embraced studying as a Jedi, but is still uncertain, doesn't understand the Force, and has a lot of doubts over who she is. This allows her to be tempted by the Dark Side. This leads to her getting captured, and finding out how she was manipulated. By the end, she appears (we'll see what happens) to have learned from this, turning her back on the Dark Side and Kylo Ren, and perhaps somewhat accepting who she is.

Its a little thin, I'll grant you, but its there.
And that's entirely passive. At no point did she tried to return to Jakku in anyway or form. It's never a major part of her character arc. Even you admit it's thin, but to me it's so thin that it's effectively non-existent.

You mean Starkiller Base?
Han and co would have tried to destroy Starkiller Base even if she was not captured. She's the main driving force for Finn, not the rest of the resistance or Han. Han's motivation was to save his son.

She didn't make Han go to Starkiller Base, no. I was probably thinking more in terms of giving Finn the motivation to go, which made the mission possible.

But I'll concede that its a very indirect connection, and that by that reasoning, her actions also lead to the destruction of Starkiller Base.
And that's not fair to blame her. She didn't make a mistake that directly led to to Han's death. There's no direct conseuqences to her actions.

Oh, using a phrase as loaded as "blame the victim" to imply that I'm actually the REAL sexist. I've never heard that line of bullshit before. :roll:

Christ, you probably think you're being clever, rather than just odious and dishonest.
For fuck sake, who said anything about sexism? It's blaming a character or victim for an action they aren't responsible for. It's a classic storytelling method. It's about characters feeling guilty that their friends or family died trying to save their lives. It's people developing a gulity complex that they aren't responsible for.

It has nothing to do with rape accusation. It's about blaming the victim (who suffers emotionally) for something she is not responsible for. Kylo ren is the one who killed Han. That responbility is entirely on Kylo Ren, not Rey.

Mostly, but not entirely. She's a genuinely decent person in her actions, most of the time.
With zero context. Good person in what sense? What's her motivation for helping people? What did she feel about the state of the Galaxy, about her personal situtation? There is no context to define her sense of justice.

God, you actually ARE stupid enough to make "the film wants us to worship charismatic Ubermensch" the crux of your argument.
I'm making the allegory in context of superpowered beings. Rey's sense of justice and morality is not definied within any context to work with.

Um...

She failed.

Some other people (at great effort and cost) picked up the pieces.

If nothing else, this ought to shut down the "Rey is a perfect Mary Sue" point pretty hard.
Because we are talking about her personal growth and character arc?

But why do I get the impression that no matter what evidence I or anyone else posts, it will either be ignored or twisted into a criticism of Rey? She never fails? She's too perfect. She fails and it doesn't end up destroying everything? Its the universe twisting itself for her benefit.

If she did end up ruining everything, then she'd be a shitty protagonist who always fails and can't accomplish anything.

Shit like this is why its hard not to suspect that the real reason is "She doesn't have a penis." Or in your case, more likely "Waaahhhh, I hate the ST because it doesn't fit my vision of how Star Wars should be"- you've been bashing these films since before they even premiered.
Because her personal story is one where she never have to pay for her mistakes? Things mostly worked out in her favour, in the context of her character journey?

You don't see how a greater understanding of the nature of the Force would have been useful to her in TLJ?

Fuck it, you're too stupid, too stubborn, or too dishonest, to waste words on.
She doesn't need them to develop her skills as a Jedi. She already mastered the force without much guidance. There's nothing to indicate she had any weakness in academic learning to hinder her.

She can pick up rocks without a sweat, the force gave her ability to fight against her opponents, she can outfly everyone.

To the extent that that's a thing, its a very old and common trope, not a new trend.

If anything, we're (thankfully) seeing the pendulum swing back from the glut of "dark edgy anti-heroes".
It's a trend that makes for some weak storytelling. It leaves very little room for Rey to grow in Ep 9.

You seriously think you can win this argument with "Rey sucks because Trump?"

You are really overstating this "trend", at least in this case.

:lol:
Because people are equating likeablity with a sense of morality?
"It doesn't count if it doesn't support my argument."
If you have issue with my criteria, argue why it's wrong. Deconstruct Arnt's template and show a better alternative. My argument is that Arnt's template is an very effective template for storytelling, esepcially one that focuses on character growth.

And why should Michael Arnt's template be held up as the sole arbiter for what constitutes a good story, or protagonist? Answer that, or I'm going to call Appeal to Authority. Or just whiney fan boy.
Because he gave a structure that developed the character within the context of the story and shows how the character can grow from their flaws? It's one that gives no importance to a person's heritage? It ensures that the main character is active instead of passive in their character development?

You have a flaw, that flaw causes a problem for you and you made mistakes which you personally have to suffer for. You learn to overcome those flaws and be a better person. That's classic character growth 101.

What is your definition of a good story structure based on character development? What's your alternative? What makes Rey a good protagonist for you? What makes Rey's journey as a character good in your opinion?


I gave you my definition of what constitutes a good character and good character growth. I'm waiting for an argument that goes beyond "I like her performance" and "I agree with her actions". Whether one agrees with the protagonist should not be the basis of being a good character.





I'll also add that (with the exception of trying to misrepresent me with the "victim blaming" smear, you seldom offer any reason why Rey's failings "aren't of consequence". You just repeat it, broken record, and apparently expect us to take the empty assertion at face value.
For fuck sake. You are the one saying Rey is responsible for Han's death in any way or form. Han would have been killed because he went on the mission for reasons other than Rey. There were much more personal reasons for him to go to Starkiller base than to save a girl he just met. He is there to save his son and the Republic. He wants to save Rey, but it's clear that's not his main driving force.

So I'm saying you are blaming Rey for something she is not responsible for in anyway or form. This has nothing to do with sexist accusation, as I doubt you are one in any way or form.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-23 01:33am

Kane Starkiller wrote:
2018-01-22 06:18pm
Goood. Use your agressive feelings boy. Let the hate flow through you. :D

But no that's not how it works "in real life". You don't start with doing things you don't really want to do. You start with ambition and desire which then corrupts you.
Luke never knew Darth Vader as a father. He knew he killed Obi Wan, worked for the organization that killed his uncle and aunt, destroyed Alderaan and ultimately abandoned him. Therefore it was perfectly natural and easy to hate Darth Vader. It took DISCIPLINE not to give in to his hatred and spare Vader. That's the Light Side. Were you paying attention to these movies?
Go watch ROTJ until englightenment.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Patroklos » 2018-01-23 01:35am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-22 06:17pm
Not many, though she clearly lacks much understanding of the Force or galactic history, and is a poor shot with a blaster in TFA.
Rey's first shot (maybe second, but within seconds of being given that blaster by Han) was to headshot a stormtrooper at 50-100 yards. One handed, with a pistol style weapon, under fire.

This is a perfect example of Rey being awesome for no reason. Its actually worse than that, because I could believe a person from Jakku has at least passing experience with the primary weapons of this universe (we expect, for instance, someone in rural America to have some experience with firearms), but the movie goes out of the way to tell us she doesn't. I think this is the only example where the we are told she outright has no knowledge or experience with something at all and she is still instantly good at. Most of the others are criticisms of how good she is at something, not that she can do it at all (piloting, engineering, melee combat, linguistics).

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Kojiro » 2018-01-23 01:45am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-22 01:59pm
Maybe she trusted her parents to be important after all the trauma, believing in their importance, and it gave her sort of a moral code. You know, like, trying not to fail them although you don't even know if they're there. It works for some people. The point is, hard work doesn't always break people, and the limits and foundations of one's moral code are decided by the person himself or herself. Observation and learning helps, but there's always a final choice as well.
Again I think you're on a good storytelling path here. The idea her parents were good and important people, who left her with Platt say, for her safety (which was part of my old theory about her parents) would work great. Her parents are doing important work and she wants to be like them. For now she's stuck waiting for them to come back, but she believes they'll come back because they're good people who would never willingly abandon their daughter. In this case, Rey's holding on to the idea that they're alive, and will come back, which they surely would if they could. But once you make then drunken assholes who sell their daughter for drinking money, that's much harder to accept. Now her delusion includes them being important people (she outright tells BB-8 they're important and it's top secret) as well as the idea they're coming back and didn't sell her (which is odd because apparently they left in a ship which seems more expensive than drinking money).
Kojiro wrote:The fault in her character, personality or morality?
She seems quite eager to use whatever means necessary to reach her goal? It may seem like a small thing, but might be more important later on. A bit like, um... Luke himself in SW OT.
[/quote]
I"m not sure what you mean by this, for either of them really. Had Rey really been willing to use any means, she'd have picked up Kylo's saber or one of the praetorian weapons and ended Kylo while he was unconscious.


Also no, I did not mean Rey to be of a certain bloodline. I did indeed mean it as if someone honourable. Now she's raised on Jakku, which is the site of the last great battle between the Rebellion and the Empire, littered with wrecks of all shapes and sizes, and likely a few bodies too. Imagine if the scene of her plonking on the Rebel helmet was swapped out. Imagine, in what must be intense boredom in that place, her having scavenged data sticks containing logs. Orders, missions, reports but most importantly *personal logs*. Diary entries she plays on a rebuilt stereo type device that have given her an insight into the two sides that fought this battle more than a decade before her birth. One side cruel, disdainful and vicious. The other hopeful, caring and heroic, who lace their messages with hope, declarations of coming freedom and an end to tyranny. Personal recordings, meant for loved ones in case the owner never came back. That would give her something to aspire to, something to try and live up to. It'd also go some way to explaining just how she knows about Luke, Han and the Falcon (but not so much that she'd actually recognise it). That'd be a great way to show us how she spends her nights, why she's so noble, even under the tyranny she has to live with. Hell, having her listen to black box type recordings between Xwing pilots and their astromechs might even help explain how she learns droid.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-23 01:56am

Yes, it is harder to accept that random nobodies could be the parents of a heroic person. Thats is why Ben’s “Ur parents nobodies” is - regardless of whether true or not - an attack on her character.

Makes it even better IMO.

If Rey killed off Kylo, the story would end, so there are objective restrictions as well.

I like your black box idea, that could be an improvement. I don’t mean there is no way to improve the setting or characters.

It is just the “well no good role models poor ppl bad conditions” which stuck out like a sore thumb.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-23 01:58am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-22 06:55pm
Since people keep insisting that Rey is a bad character, a "Mary Sue", etc., on the basis that she's too good at everything and never fails, I thought I'd post this. If anyone can think of other examples to add that I've left out, please chime in.

The Grand List Of Things Rey Isn't Good At:

Practical Skills:

-Blaster Marksmanship.
-Countering hostile telekinesis.

Academic Knowledge:

-Knowledge of Force Philosophy.
-Knowledge of Galactic History.

Mistakes Made/Objectives Failed:

-Panics, runs off on her own, and gets captured (thus indirectly causing the death of her first surrogate father figure).
-Tempted by the Dark Side due to insecurities about her parentage and identity.
-Fails to persuade Luke to come out of retirement.
-Is manipulated by Snoke into overestimating her chances of redeeming Kylo Ren, willingly delivering herself into enemy custody.
-Fails to redeem Kylo Ren.
The Luke and Kylo things both indicate she's not the best at persuasion/social skills, and those are both practical and used often by the rest of the cast. Finn is way smoother, he can fall into a story to play a roll pretty easily and we see him use this in both movies. Han, of course, is a fast-talker. Poe's pretty smooth as well and was a spy.


If you gave them d20 stats, Rey's charisma would be the lowest of the bunch. It wouldn't be horrible, but it'd be average compared to Finn and Poe's much higher chasmas. Kinda crappy wisdom, for the decision making named. Solid intelligence, she is good at thinking on her feet, and good physicals.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Patroklos » 2018-01-23 02:10am

Also how is lack of Galactic History or Force Philosophy flaws? Particualry Force Philosphy, which is true of pretty much everyone else in the nuWARS movies sans Yoda.

As these become relevant to the character they become challenges to overcome. A flaw indicates a shortcoming you should be able to compensate for .You should be such and such but aren't, or you are capable of such and such but fuck it up for reasons. Yoda being a master Jedi and failing to detect Palpantines machinations is a flaw (and I am sure he would admit this if asked). Palpantine having a history of manipulating people for decades but failing to do so to Luke due to being blineded by greed and arrogance is a flaw. Tarkin being an accomplished technocrat and military leader but failing to properly account for the threat to his station due to arrogance is a flaw. People who are going to college but don't have a degree yet are not flawed.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-23 08:29am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-22 04:44pm
Point is, First World right or left, you're here all trying to prove to me that there's logic in seeing a poor but virtous person as a plot hole or something.
I'm not. I consider it to be a common fallacy that evolves out of a false generalization. And the false generalization in turn arises because it falsely generalizes a true statement ("There are correlations between rough conditions and rough character") into a false statement ("All people in rough conditions have rough character")
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-22 05:34pm
K. A. Pital wrote:Seriousy, few posts above I'm informed that being the daughter of a noble would make Rey more believable as a virtous character
Umm... Kojiro said if she was the daughter of "someone noble". Not "A noble". As in someone of high moral who raised her with said morals. Not a member of the nobility.
The problem
And we're seriously being considered elitist first worlders for thinking someone who has been a slave and a scavenger in a bad environment for their formative years with no positive role models might be not be the most well adjusted people?
"MIGHT not be" is fine.

The problem is "SHOULD be." We have people looking at Rey and saying "it's unrealistic that she would be a kind, generous, and overall decent person, given that she lives like a slave in miserable, harsh conditions." That's the point where you're making a deterministic statement that a bad environment isn't just a thing that can turn a person bad, it's a thing that will turn a person bad, or must do so, or 'should' do so.

And Stas objects to that portrayal. And so do I.
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-22 05:45pm
Okay, fair point. No positive role models that we see or hear about or have any evidence of existing but are theoretically possible. Better?

Also how about saying something about that other point where you completely misinterpreted what someone said?
In fairness to Stas that was a very easy misinterpretation. Stas is not a native English speaker. And the choice of "noble" as an adjective to describe a virtuous (but not necessarily aristocratic) family is pretty ambiguous. Given the overall tone of the discussion ("Jakku ghetto people can't be nice people" being part of the argument) I think he should get a pass on this one.
ray245 wrote:
2018-01-22 05:51pm
Luke is pretty much a case of a person raised in a non-aristocratic/noble/wealthy environment but virtuous at the same time, if you take ANH solely on its own.

The journey of someone from a more underprivileged background is a story where they grew up with family and friends being trapped in poverty, crime and all sort of social pressure and manages to overcome those barriers. It's an interesting story to tell, or at the least gives the audience something to root for in a protagonist. But Rey don't have any of that story to tell, nor a sufficient background on how she developed a sense of morality. Where did Rey get her sense of justice from? Who taught her those morals? Who raised her? Who were the good people in her life?
Okay, so the story isn't about Rey's relationship with her adopted/foster/whatever parents. So what? I mean, the story isn't really about Leia's foster parents either, except insofar as they get blown up.

Luke's aunt and uncle show up in the movie because Lucas was explicitly setting out to write a coming-of-age story. And you basically have to start those off with "Once upon a time, a child was living their normal life. Then one day... [stuff happens]" Anakin's mother comes into the story for similar reasons- his background is a pivotal part of the story.

Insofar as Rey's background is a pivotal part of the story, it's her background as an orphan who wants to find her biological parents, not her background as having a foster mother in the form of a kindly old lady on Jakku who took her in as a toddler and died of black lung three years before the story began.
Anakin had his mother, Luke had his Uncle and Aunt. Rey could be an orphan, but she needed some sort of moral figure in her life to give an audience a sense of where her sense of morality came from. A mentor figure?

You can make an argument that Rey is naturally good and kind, but that weakens her character as a whole. She has no moral flaws, no major abilities flaw, and the universe bends itself around her. She's a loner but she has none of the trade-off people typically associate with loners. She's not disliked by anyone, she's good at almost everything, and she never pays for any of her mistakes.

It's not a plot hole for Rey, but she's someone that suffers no consequences for any of her supposed disadvantages. It makes her as a character weak and boring to many people. Her appeal is largely based on the personal appeal and charisma of Daisy Ridley as an actress than what's written down in the script. People are too charmed by the performance of the actor. It's not a bad thing, but I think it does massively cloud people's judgment.
The thing is, if all this is true... The problem with Rey isn't her lack of explicitly spelled out parentage or upbringing. It's the other stuff you're talking about.

If she were a nasty person because of growing up in a nasty place, and everything else about her was unchanged, she'd come across as an even worse character/Sue/whatever than she would with things the way they are. Because instead of being a basically kind person everyone likes, she'd be a vicious person everyone likes. Instead of being a largely competent person whose skills come from mysterious origins, she'd be a dysfunctional and illiterate person who shouldn't be able to do anything useful to the plot, which would create gaping plot holes whenever she succeeded in doing so. She'd either be too disagreeable to be a good protagonist, or she'd be a super blatant Mary Sue because she'd be filling the shoes of the protagonist role while being significantly less qualified to do so.

Conversely, if Rey's other flaws as a character were fixed, her lack of background wouldn't matter. If she had clear limitations in her abilities, or if she regularly paid the price for making bad decisions, it wouldn't matter that we don't know who raised her on Jakku to have basically decent moral character and a willingness to take risks for the greater good.

So focus on the well-founded complaint that Rey doesn't pay the price for her mistakes, not the poorly founded and arguably kind of classist complaint that Rey is too nice a girl to come from so bad a place.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-01-23 08:34am

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-22 06:43pm
eta: It occurs to me you could establish Rey's, piloting, mechanics, and morality early on if you put more exposition in the first scene with Plutt. Establish there that she used to be a lot higher up in his favour doing mechanic and piloting work for him and then got cast down to scavenger status again when she showed a conscience. To me, Plutt doesn't treat her like anyone he knows in their scenes together. Which seems odd given their past together revealed in the rest of TFA/TLJ. (Or Plutt's just a jerk, whatever.)
Instead of more exposition, they could have included a few seconds establishing some piloting skills during her introduction. For example, maybe a brief shot showing her killing time by playing with a salvaged flight simulator in the wrecked AT-AT she's living in. It would establish having some piloting skills more than just saying, "I'm a pilot," and also be a good explanation as to why she screws up the take-off when she and Finn commandeer the Falcon, but is able to do much, much better once she's in the air.

I have no problem with her having the skills she does, but I do acknowledge that they really didn't do much to establish her piloting ability in TFA until she was already putting those skills to use. ANH also relied a bit more on telling versus showing with Luke's piloting, but there were at least several references to Luke having those skills prior to him getting into the X-wing. Imagine if no one made any reference to Luke being a good pilot until he was already making his Death Star trench run.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-23 08:45am

Regarding noble, there could be a lot of meanings implied. The SW space opera setting has a space aristocracy (Leia Organa, Amidala etc.) which made it look very much like someone was arguing about “good proper SW aristocrats being parents would do the trick”.

In the same vein I can ask why is Leia good and compassionate, not a corrupt imperial crook from the semi-defunct rubber stamp Senate that served to legitimize Palpatine’s Empire?

Plot hole! Gotcha.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-23 08:48am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-23 08:45am

In the same vein I can ask why is Leia good and compassionate, not a corrupt imperial crook from the semi-defunct rubber stamp Senate that served to legitimize Palpatine’s Empire?
Because she was raised by her father on a peaceful anti-imperial world?

How is this a gotcha?

Especially since Leia in ANH is more a Poe equivalent. She's initially established as a Rebel. Rey, like Luke, is established in her old life that's going to change from and grow to become a rebel/jedi.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-23 08:51am

How do we know Alderaan’s peaceful, because Leia says so on the verge of its destruction, totally desperate?

See, two can play the bullshit game. Except that I know it is bullshit, whereas you seem to think you had a valid point.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-23 11:55am

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-23 08:48am
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-23 08:45am
In the same vein I can ask why is Leia good and compassionate, not a corrupt imperial crook from the semi-defunct rubber stamp Senate that served to legitimize Palpatine’s Empire?
Because she was raised by her father on a peaceful anti-imperial world?

How is this a gotcha?
It's a rhetorical device. Stas is being just as unfair to the upper class as the "Rey is from a desert planet ghetto, why is she a good and compassionate person" people are to the lower class.

Let's not let this get out of hand; it's a pretty clear rhetorical device to simply turn the tables on a bad argument to make it a bad argument pointing the other way, thus making its badness more obvious.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-23 08:51am
How do we know Alderaan’s peaceful, because Leia says so on the verge of its destruction, totally desperate?

See, two can play the bullshit game. Except that I know it is bullshit, whereas you seem to think you had a valid point.
So, to be clear, this is not you asserting as a factual proposition "Alderaan had it coming," this is you asserting "how do we know that corrupt senatorial elites are any more likely to give rise to good, compassionate, principled people than miserable space ghetto planets? We don't, so we shouldn't make assumptions that characters can or cannot be good based on their class background."

Right?
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-23 12:44pm

Yes, if we are to employ similar methods of deconstruction to other characters, rather than to Rey, we would end up having to say a lot of them are pretty “unrealistic”. Including most of the upper-class cast.

The only realistic protagonist characters would be then... dunno if you’d even find any in the main films. Jyn Orso and the kamikaze rebel squad, and Saw Gerrera.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-23 12:57pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-23 08:29am
Okay, so the story isn't about Rey's relationship with her adopted/foster/whatever parents. So what? I mean, the story isn't really about Leia's foster parents either, except insofar as they get blown up.

Luke's aunt and uncle show up in the movie because Lucas was explicitly setting out to write a coming-of-age story. And you basically have to start those off with "Once upon a time, a child was living their normal life. Then one day... [stuff happens]" Anakin's mother comes into the story for similar reasons- his background is a pivotal part of the story.

Insofar as Rey's background is a pivotal part of the story, it's her background as an orphan who wants to find her biological parents, not her background as having a foster mother in the form of a kindly old lady on Jakku who took her in as a toddler and died of black lung three years before the story began.
The story is about Rey becoming a hero. This meant that establishing what sort of world shaped her views about morality is important, like how Hobbiton was crucial in shaping Frodo as a hero. Luke and Frodo exist in a social environment where we can gauge what is considered a positive environment. It's developing bonds with other people that form the basis of their morality.

Frodo's bonds with his friends and uncle were a crucial role in defining Frodo's sense of morality. Luke's relationship with his family were crucial in his journey as a hero.
The thing is, if all this is true... The problem with Rey isn't her lack of explicitly spelled out parentage or upbringing. It's the other stuff you're talking about.

If she were a nasty person because of growing up in a nasty place, and everything else about her was unchanged, she'd come across as an even worse character/Sue/whatever than she would with things the way they are. Because instead of being a basically kind person everyone likes, she'd be a vicious person everyone likes. Instead of being a largely competent person whose skills come from mysterious origins, she'd be a dysfunctional and illiterate person who shouldn't be able to do anything useful to the plot, which would create gaping plot holes whenever she succeeded in doing so. She'd either be too disagreeable to be a good protagonist, or she'd be a super blatant Mary Sue because she'd be filling the shoes of the protagonist role while being significantly less qualified to do so.
Then don't make her a complete loner in the first place. The problem is a character's introduction should be defined by their relationship to their social circle regardless of they are rich or poor. How do they interact with people they are living with on a daily basis? How do they treat people in their "normal" lives? What's their connection to the larger world? Those are foundations of good characters.
Conversely, if Rey's other flaws as a character were fixed, her lack of background wouldn't matter. If she had clear limitations in her abilities, or if she regularly paid the price for making bad decisions, it wouldn't matter that we don't know who raised her on Jakku to have basically decent moral character and a willingness to take risks for the greater good.

So focus on the well-founded complaint that Rey doesn't pay the price for her mistakes, not the poorly founded and arguably kind of classist complaint that Rey is too nice a girl to come from so bad a place.
I'll argue background is just as important as developing their flaws. A person's background is how the person behaves outside of their "adventures". A well-written character doesn't exist in a vacuum. They aren't a good person only when there is an adventure going on and fighting enemies. It's their intereaction with their daily lives, and what they want for the people around them that's important.

Anakin's goodness in EP I stems from his desire to free his mother and possibly other slaves in Tatooine. His relationship with his friends and mother are an important aspect of his goodness, despite being a slave. Luke's shown to have positive elements to his family, being willing to give up his dreams of helping his family. Rey's only connection is to BB-8, a new arrival that tells us little about Rey's relationship to other people in her social life. What did she think about the lives of other people on Jakuu? Was she ever concerned about the lives of people on Jakuu? Why would she care about the fate of the galaxy?
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-23 02:24pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-23 08:29am
words
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-23 12:44pm
other words
You guys deserve a longer response to your posts but I've reached that point of back-and-forth, point and counter-point where I'm no longer sure what I'm arguing is what I originally intended to argue or say.

Suffice to say, I feel I've contributed what I can to this and will leave it here.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-23 04:26pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-01-23 12:57pm
The story is about Rey becoming a hero. This meant that establishing what sort of world shaped her views about morality is important, like how Hobbiton was crucial in shaping Frodo as a hero. Luke and Frodo exist in a social environment where we can gauge what is considered a positive environment. It's developing bonds with other people that form the basis of their morality.

Frodo's bonds with his friends and uncle were a crucial role in defining Frodo's sense of morality. Luke's relationship with his family were crucial in his journey as a hero.
On the other hand, you can reasonably argue that what matters is Rey's interactions with others in some form. You don't always need to see a protagonist's backstory to know who they are, even if it's one of the better and more common ways of accomplishing that result.
The thing is, if all this is true... The problem with Rey isn't her lack of explicitly spelled out parentage or upbringing. It's the other stuff you're talking about.

If she were a nasty person because of growing up in a nasty place, and everything else about her was unchanged, she'd come across as an even worse character/Sue/whatever than she would with things the way they are. Because instead of being a basically kind person everyone likes, she'd be a vicious person everyone likes. Instead of being a largely competent person whose skills come from mysterious origins, she'd be a dysfunctional and illiterate person who shouldn't be able to do anything useful to the plot, which would create gaping plot holes whenever she succeeded in doing so. She'd either be too disagreeable to be a good protagonist, or she'd be a super blatant Mary Sue because she'd be filling the shoes of the protagonist role while being significantly less qualified to do so.
Then don't make her a complete loner in the first place. The problem is a character's introduction should be defined by their relationship to their social circle regardless of they are rich or poor. How do they interact with people they are living with on a daily basis? How do they treat people in their "normal" lives? What's their connection to the larger world? Those are foundations of good characters.
This strikes me as overly narrow. Introducing people in terms of their relationship to their social circle is not always necessary to a good character. It is a good way to do it, but not literally the only way to the point where not doing it that way is a flaw in and of itself. It's a way of establishing motivation, but not the only way.

So again, the complaint is the more general "what's Rey's motivation, anyway?" Not "why didn't we see flashbacks to her time as a street urchin on Jakku?"
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-23 04:27pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-01-23 02:10am
Also how is lack of Galactic History or Force Philosophy flaws? Particualry Force Philosphy, which is true of pretty much everyone else in the nuWARS movies sans Yoda.

As these become relevant to the character they become challenges to overcome. A flaw indicates a shortcoming you should be able to compensate for .You should be such and such but aren't, or you are capable of such and such but fuck it up for reasons. Yoda being a master Jedi and failing to detect Palpantines machinations is a flaw (and I am sure he would admit this if asked). Palpantine having a history of manipulating people for decades but failing to do so to Luke due to being blineded by greed and arrogance is a flaw. Tarkin being an accomplished technocrat and military leader but failing to properly account for the threat to his station due to arrogance is a flaw. People who are going to college but don't have a degree yet are not flawed.
Perhaps "flaw" isn't quite the right word. But my point is to illustrate that there are numerous ways in which she is not, as her critics claim, instantly good at everything.
Q99 wrote:
2018-01-23 01:58am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-22 06:55pm
Since people keep insisting that Rey is a bad character, a "Mary Sue", etc., on the basis that she's too good at everything and never fails, I thought I'd post this. If anyone can think of other examples to add that I've left out, please chime in.

The Grand List Of Things Rey Isn't Good At:

Practical Skills:

-Blaster Marksmanship.
-Countering hostile telekinesis.

Academic Knowledge:

-Knowledge of Force Philosophy.
-Knowledge of Galactic History.

Mistakes Made/Objectives Failed:

-Panics, runs off on her own, and gets captured (thus indirectly causing the death of her first surrogate father figure).
-Tempted by the Dark Side due to insecurities about her parentage and identity.
-Fails to persuade Luke to come out of retirement.
-Is manipulated by Snoke into overestimating her chances of redeeming Kylo Ren, willingly delivering herself into enemy custody.
-Fails to redeem Kylo Ren.
The Luke and Kylo things both indicate she's not the best at persuasion/social skills, and those are both practical and used often by the rest of the cast. Finn is way smoother, he can fall into a story to play a roll pretty easily and we see him use this in both movies. Han, of course, is a fast-talker. Poe's pretty smooth as well and was a spy.


If you gave them d20 stats, Rey's charisma would be the lowest of the bunch. It wouldn't be horrible, but it'd be average compared to Finn and Poe's much higher chasmas. Kinda crappy wisdom, for the decision making named. Solid intelligence, she is good at thinking on her feet, and good physicals.
That's a pretty good point.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-23 05:06pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-23 04:26pm
This strikes me as overly narrow. Introducing people in terms of their relationship to their social circle is not always necessary to a good character. It is a good way to do it, but not literally the only way to the point where not doing it that way is a flaw in and of itself. It's a way of establishing motivation, but not the only way.
It's the best way to introduce a new protagonist because we get a sense of who they are outside of their adventure days. Superman has his parents and friends from Smallville, Wonder Woman has her family of Amazons. It shows who they are to people they are close to. You can have a plot about loners as the main hero, but their issue and driving arc should be centered about learning to trust and connect with others.

That's not the character development arc for Rey. Her status as a loner is immediately abandoned the second she met Finn and BB-8. Her "loner" status is nothing more than a cool moniker that does not gel with her actual personality once she is on an adventure.
So again, the complaint is the more general "what's Rey's motivation, anyway?" Not "why didn't we see flashbacks to her time as a street urchin on Jakku?"
I never said she needs a detailed backstory or flashback to her childhood. I'm talking about showing Rey having some sort of relationship with people on Jakku. Like helping others pack up their stuff, talking to people on Jakku is the stuff that establishes a sense of who Rey is as a person before the FO came down on Jakku.

Lucas established in ANH an ecology of Tatooine, showing us what Luke was doing as a person before he embarked on an adventure. We know that he's kind and helpful to people ( willing to stay and help his Uncle at the farm), have friends and willing to make friendly contact even with people his uncle warned him to stay away from. That comes from Luke's interaction with other people on Tatooine before he met up with Han, Leia, and Chewie.

Rey has none of those things that grounds her motivation. So the question should be "Where did Rey's motivation comes from" instead of "what's Rey's motivation"?
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