How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

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Q99
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-29 08:23am

NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-29 06:56am
I wish the worldbuilding and writing of the sequels was better, the acting has been top notch.
Btw, worldbuilding? That's where I think both sequel moves have fallen short. I think if people were more engrossed in wider content, they'd stop trying to nitpick the number of skills people have.
As for 'Mary Sue' being gendered. I caught myself saying that Thrawn is a Mary Sue (or Marty Stu, in fact) the other day, at least in the reboot. This scene has particularly made me loathe the guy; where he beats up an armoured wetwork specialist who previously held his own against Wookies and Lesat in CQB, despite primarily being a naval officer who flies a desk. Fuck that shit, Thrawn shouldn't be that good at fist-fighting. I don't think I'm being mysogynistic hating Thrawn (who I fully dislike, unlike Rey).
It's not that it never gets used on men, it's just that people are far more likely to attribute problems they have with a competent woman character to 'Mary Sue'. Rey's no Thrawn, on a large number of levels, not dominating the narrative as much or having his overwhelming skill edge in his specialties. Rey's got two areas where she's, I'll call prodigy level (combat, force- though directly behind Kylo in both of those), solid to ok in some other levels (solid mechanic, ok shot), and not so good at some other stuff, plus wrapped up in some issues.

Btw, I view Thrawn as a victim of his own hype. In-universe he's got a mythos as this unstoppable badass, but he picked a bad cause, overlooked things outside his area which came back and bite him, and did so little training of other commanders that it all fell apart when he died, even in mid-battle when they should logically be briefed on the battleplan if he actually had been showing them the ropes. Now he comes back and more of the memetic badassry has seeped in and now suddenly he's a badass fighter too.

Thrawn is, originally, not a Mary Sue, and nor is him being a 'Marty Sue' the problem even in rebels. No, the problem is he starts getting really good at stuff outside his narrative role. Is him being a badass combatant at all needed for him narratively? No. Indeed, it's something Rebels-him basically stole from his bodyguards- and in the original, "Having a whole species of uber combatants at your beck and call," is arguably more impressive and 'Mary Sue'-ish than just being a good fighter himself.... but, unlike his personal ability, it directly ties into his narrative purpose and background, so it works. One set of abilities is actually much bigger than the other, the other stands out more. A specific ability is the problem, not him being overall 'too good,' it's even a downgrade in major respects.


And here's another thing I've been trying to say- You leapt to 'mysogynistic.' Note that's not what I said- the fact that people respond to 'here's a gendered criticism, and I notice it gets deployed against woman more, and hey, people are latching onto it even when digging down there is a lot of factual problems with the argument,' doesn't mean you hate women, no, it means you picked up a brain-bug that exists because our collective cultural consciousness is full of dumb, gendered brainbugs that need to be picked out, and precisely 100% of everyone has some dumb ideas that they just haven't stopped to examine enough to toss out.

The fact that a lot of people have issue taking criticism on gendered issues is a problem. We need to be able to discuss gendered issues and lopsidedly-applied issues too, bringing up gender issues should not be specially exempted from talking about in cross-examination of stories.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-29 11:40am

Q99 wrote:
2018-01-29 08:23am
It's not that it never gets used on men, it's just that people are far more likely to attribute problems they have with a competent woman character to 'Mary Sue'. Rey's no Thrawn, on a large number of levels, not dominating the narrative as much or having his overwhelming skill edge in his specialties. Rey's got two areas where she's, I'll call prodigy level (combat, force- though directly behind Kylo in both of those), solid to ok in some other levels (solid mechanic, ok shot), and not so good at some other stuff, plus wrapped up in some issues.

Btw, I view Thrawn as a victim of his own hype. In-universe he's got a mythos as this unstoppable badass, but he picked a bad cause, overlooked things outside his area which came back and bite him, and did so little training of other commanders that it all fell apart when he died, even in mid-battle when they should logically be briefed on the battleplan if he actually had been showing them the ropes. Now he comes back and more of the memetic badassry has seeped in and now suddenly he's a badass fighter too.

Thrawn is, originally, not a Mary Sue, and nor is him being a 'Marty Sue' the problem even in rebels. No, the problem is he starts getting really good at stuff outside his narrative role. Is him being a badass combatant at all needed for him narratively? No. Indeed, it's something Rebels-him basically stole from his bodyguards- and in the original, "Having a whole species of uber combatants at your beck and call," is arguably more impressive and 'Mary Sue'-ish than just being a good fighter himself.... but, unlike his personal ability, it directly ties into his narrative purpose and background, so it works. One set of abilities is actually much bigger than the other, the other stands out more. A specific ability is the problem, not him being overall 'too good,' it's even a downgrade in major respects.


And here's another thing I've been trying to say- You leapt to 'mysogynistic.' Note that's not what I said- the fact that people respond to 'here's a gendered criticism, and I notice it gets deployed against woman more, and hey, people are latching onto it even when digging down there is a lot of factual problems with the argument,' doesn't mean you hate women, no, it means you picked up a brain-bug that exists because our collective cultural consciousness is full of dumb, gendered brainbugs that need to be picked out, and precisely 100% of everyone has some dumb ideas that they just haven't stopped to examine enough to toss out.

The fact that a lot of people have issue taking criticism on gendered issues is a problem. We need to be able to discuss gendered issues and lopsidedly-applied issues too, bringing up gender issues should not be specially exempted from talking about in cross-examination of stories.
If the problem is that term is used less often on men, the solution is to use it more often at male characters that fits the label. Bad characters should be called for what they are, not defended on the basis of their gender.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-29 12:05pm

NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-29 06:56am
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-27 03:00pm
Even in this thread while there is lots of criticism of Rey there's little to none about Daisy Ridley.
Daisy Ridley is a wonderful actor; I don't think anyone's doubting that. She makes Rey genuinely charming to watch; she was wonderful in Scott's Orient Express this year too.

I wish the worldbuilding and writing of the sequels was better, the acting has been top notch.

As for 'Mary Sue' being gendered. I caught myself saying that Thrawn is a Mary Sue (or Marty Stu, in fact) the other day, at least in the reboot. This scene has particularly made me loathe the guy; where he beats up an armoured wetwork specialist who previously held his own against Wookies and Lesat in CQB, despite primarily being a naval officer who flies a desk. Fuck that shit, Thrawn shouldn't be that good at fist-fighting. I don't think I'm being mysogynistic hating Thrawn (who I fully dislike, unlike Rey).
Wow they are straight-up doing thrawn as Dracula. Weird.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by NecronLord » 2018-01-29 12:44pm

Q99 wrote:
2018-01-29 08:23am
It's not that it never gets used on men, it's just that people are far more likely to attribute problems they have with a competent woman character to 'Mary Sue'. Rey's no Thrawn, on a large number of levels, not dominating the narrative as much or having his overwhelming skill edge in his specialties. Rey's got two areas where she's, I'll call prodigy level (combat, force- though directly behind Kylo in both of those), solid to ok in some other levels (solid mechanic, ok shot), and not so good at some other stuff, plus wrapped up in some issues.

Being quite honest it doesn't bother me at all. Perhaps because my ideas of what is and isn't Star Wars don't really grok with what the license-owner says is canon, but especially on further consideration I don't really consider Rey's abilities unusual; and given that Ryan Johnson made a point to shoot down some critics on twitter with the Path of the Jedi reference book from the EU, I'm happy to interpret the force through the EU lens.

Whereupon Rey isn't really that impressive. Nomi Sunrider does the same thing, but develops more powerful abilities spontaneously.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-29 03:45pm

NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-29 12:44pm
Q99 wrote:
2018-01-29 08:23am
It's not that it never gets used on men, it's just that people are far more likely to attribute problems they have with a competent woman character to 'Mary Sue'. Rey's no Thrawn, on a large number of levels, not dominating the narrative as much or having his overwhelming skill edge in his specialties. Rey's got two areas where she's, I'll call prodigy level (combat, force- though directly behind Kylo in both of those), solid to ok in some other levels (solid mechanic, ok shot), and not so good at some other stuff, plus wrapped up in some issues.

Being quite honest it doesn't bother me at all. Perhaps because my ideas of what is and isn't Star Wars don't really grok with what the license-owner says is canon, but especially on further consideration I don't really consider Rey's abilities unusual; and given that Ryan Johnson made a point to shoot down some critics on twitter with the Path of the Jedi reference book from the EU, I'm happy to interpret the force through the EU lens.

Whereupon Rey isn't really that impressive. Nomi Sunrider does the same thing, but develops more powerful abilities spontaneously.
Well, the EU had a tendency to be wank-personified at times. But it does underline that Rey isn't as far outside the norm for canon as a lot of people are pretending. And I find it rather amusing in that a lot of the people most strongly critical of Rey (I am speaking generally, not about any particular person or persons on this forum) are probably the same people who whined about the de-canonization of the old EU- which confirms my suspicion that a lot of the backlash is just more "Waaahhh, they changed it so its ruined" fanboy-ism from people who just plain don't like Disney Star Wars.

Which is their prerogative, of course, but hardly an objective argument against the films.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Esquire » 2018-01-29 08:04pm

Oh, I don't know; "Disney deleted a bunch of stuff I'd grown to like in order to make space for a bunch of stuff I don't necessarily care for" seems as substantive a critique as any entertainment franchise can really claim to deserve from its fans - if nothing else, lots of the void spaces between stories haven't been filled in yet under the new canon. This is, of course, an inherently subjective question.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-29 08:12pm

Esquire wrote:
2018-01-29 08:04pm
Oh, I don't know; "Disney deleted a bunch of stuff I'd grown to like in order to make space for a bunch of stuff I don't necessarily care for" seems as substantive a critique as any entertainment franchise can really claim to deserve from its fans - if nothing else, lots of the void spaces between stories haven't been filled in yet under the new canon. This is, of course, an inherently subjective question.
Well, see, even leaving aside one's opinion of the quality of the EU, its not, in my opinion, fair to expect a series of films to adhere to or be limited by a sprawling EU, written by many different writers, which was largely never intended to be filmed. And while I can understand being sad, or even angry/resentful, that something you love has been supplanted- its not like the old EU stuff no longer exists. You can still enjoy it as a separate continuity, and the new films are not bad simply because they are different.

There are some voids that need filling. And I just realized that that sentence sounds unintentionally erotic.
"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 jollyreaper » 2018-01-29 08:52pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-29 03:45pm
Well, the EU had a tendency to be wank-personified at times. But it does underline that Rey isn't as far outside the norm for canon as a lot of people are pretending. And I find it rather amusing in that a lot of the people most strongly critical of Rey (I am speaking generally, not about any particular person or persons on this forum) are probably the same people who whined about the de-canonization of the old EU- which confirms my suspicion that a lot of the backlash is just more "Waaahhh, they changed it so its ruined" fanboy-ism from people who just plain don't like Disney Star Wars.

Which is their prerogative, of course, but hardly an objective argument against the films.
I think everyone had their little corner of the EU they liked and, even if they didn't like a lot of the rest of it, they were miffed it all got taken away.

With a stronger editorial hand, an EU could be a really great experience. Sadly, it usually ends up a mess like what we got. The same thing happens in any shared creative space. Capes and tights comics aren't really that fun to read because you've going to have a run you really enjoy and then someone else is going to come along and undo everything. This person's no longer dead, that person is really a baddie the whole time, here's a ridiculous crossover to derail a comic you liked.

With the older fans, I figure it's a lot like the Catholics who got miffed at Vatican II. "Who died and made you pope? Oh, the last one. Well, I don't recognize your authority. Your retcons suck. That's a lot of papal bull. I'm going off to have my own Catholicism, without blackjack and hookers."

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-29 08:55pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-29 08:12pm
Esquire wrote:
2018-01-29 08:04pm
Oh, I don't know; "Disney deleted a bunch of stuff I'd grown to like in order to make space for a bunch of stuff I don't necessarily care for" seems as substantive a critique as any entertainment franchise can really claim to deserve from its fans - if nothing else, lots of the void spaces between stories haven't been filled in yet under the new canon. This is, of course, an inherently subjective question.
Well, see, even leaving aside one's opinion of the quality of the EU, its not, in my opinion, fair to expect a series of films to adhere to or be limited by a sprawling EU, written by many different writers, which was largely never intended to be filmed. And while I can understand being sad, or even angry/resentful, that something you love has been supplanted- its not like the old EU stuff no longer exists. You can still enjoy it as a separate continuity, and the new films are not bad simply because they are different.

There are some voids that need filling. And I just realized that that sentence sounds unintentionally erotic.
There's no way they could have embraced the existing EU. But, seeing as they have a giant 30 year gap to account for given the point at which they're making new movies, they could have done a selective pruning. After all, they're invariably going to fill all this space in so they could have at least constructed an Official Timeline(tm) and gotten the bullet points down so that future writers are filling in points that make sense. I mean they kind of did that with Jakku and the new games and novels, only I think the content is as bad as the worst Legends material. YMMV

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Esquire » 2018-01-29 09:18pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-29 08:12pm
<snip, except for:>
And I just realized that that sentence sounds unintentionally erotic.
I chuckled. Anyway:
jollyreaper wrote:
2018-01-29 08:55pm
There's no way they could have embraced the existing EU. But, seeing as they have a giant 30 year gap to account for given the point at which they're making new movies, they could have done a selective pruning. After all, they're invariably going to fill all this space in so they could have at least constructed an Official Timeline(tm) and gotten the bullet points down so that future writers are filling in points that make sense. I mean they kind of did that with Jakku and the new games and novels, only I think the content is as bad as the worst Legends material. YMMV
This, basically - my own issues with the new canon are that it's not just less-full than the old, but also simply less than the old in some important world-feel-and-consistency ways. I certainly don't dispute Disney's right to do what they did/are doing/will do; it's just a bit sad, as I was fairly fond of the old EU and had a great deal of time sunk into it. Moreover, the new canon seems not to have even what world-consistency controls the old one did - such as they were - and that's sad; I quite liked the old EU on balance. It had its severe problems (vis. Crystal Star, New Rebellion, anything by KJA, etc, etc.,) but overall I found it a compelling universe. This is less true for what of the new canon I've consumed. Hopefully the new will grow to rival the old, but it's not off to a great start in my book.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-29 09:41pm

Purring an intertwined continuity into something good is... nigh impossible. Too much of the good stuff references other stuff and directing people to parts will lead them into other parts you aren't using and, well, as a comic fan, I stand by 'nigh impossible,' attempts to do so blow up *with regularly*.

That said, I do agree the new EU has been underwhelming. Rebels? Fine! But it's in an era that's not exactly new regardless. Doctor Aphra? Good comic! Most of the post-RotJ stuff...? Ehh, pretty thin on the ground. What happened between point A (DS2 go boom), and point B (Finn lands on Jakku) is very un-detailed and almost comes across as writers making vague guesses to try and make things fit, when what it needs is a writer room making a firm direction. And part of this I think comes from the movie, where even the text scrawl didn't include that much on the wider galaxy, and no-one gave us a few sentence rundown even though telling Rey, who's been stuck on Jakku, or Finn, who's only see the FO side, would make perfect sense.

Hm, emphasizing how Rey's out of the loop more could be a nice addition....

So far, the new EU is just lacking in meat. It doesn't have much of it's own story arcs, most of the material is just kinda filling around existing canon stuff, and only a little is even adding it's own major characters.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-30 12:18pm

Esquire wrote:
2018-01-29 09:18pm
This, basically - my own issues with the new canon are that it's not just less-full than the old, but also simply less than the old in some important world-feel-and-consistency ways. I certainly don't dispute Disney's right to do what they did/are doing/will do; it's just a bit sad, as I was fairly fond of the old EU and had a great deal of time sunk into it. Moreover, the new canon seems not to have even what world-consistency controls the old one did - such as they were - and that's sad; I quite liked the old EU on balance. It had its severe problems (vis. Crystal Star, New Rebellion, anything by KJA, etc, etc.,) but overall I found it a compelling universe. This is less true for what of the new canon I've consumed. Hopefully the new will grow to rival the old, but it's not off to a great start in my book.
I don't think it will, not without an overhaul of the story group. Here's why. When you look at many RPG's, they manage to have a lot of people working together to construct a shared world and it can hold together fairly well. There's a strong editorial voice. Some of the larger ones like Warhammer will have massive retcons pushed through but, for the most part, the fluff holds together. The people building it are obsessive geeks (in the most laudable tradition) and they want it to make sense.

The Star Wars story group seems to have very little interest in world-building from this perspective so it's going to together less like (insert your favorite shared world rpg) and more like, say, nuBSG. With nuBSG they had (admitted on podcast) no plan, no idea where they were going and they tried to come up with the twistiest thing possible episode to episode with no concern as to how it fit together into the larger continuity. Baby cylon hybrid blood cures cancer? What a twist! God did it? What a twist! The Final Five are actually people we already know, who were planted on the colonies at random and yet all managed to be among the tiny fraction of a percent of the population that survived? That doesn't make any -- NO! WHAT A TWIST!

I don't anticipate any of this changing unless there's new management who actually cares about this sort of thing. And it would likely be only because that's the new management's little obsession because I sincerely doubt Disney is going to come in and say "guys, guys, we're making so much money but the geeks say the new EU is bad. We need to fix it."

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-30 12:31pm

Regarding the new/old EU: the main problem is the contrast between the old-EU New Republic and the new continuity's version, which seems to have strongly demilitarized after crushing the Imperial Remnant at Jakku. The rest of that 30ish years seems to have been largely taken up by diplomacy and... we don't really know, to be quite frank. That's what happens when you dump ~20+ years of EU novels (more if you count the old stuff like the Marvel comics and WEG RPGs)-- there's nothing left to fill that space, because that's precisely what all those EU novels had been energetically attempting to do!

That said. Incorporating the old EU would have been a -lot- of work, considering the semi-massive paradigm shift they shoved onto Star Wars in the sequel trilogy.

To take one example: the Rogue/Wraith Squadron novels. Conceivably, they could have worked if you set the Battle of Jakku say ~10 years after the destruction of DS2. That gives you a reasonable window for stuff that happens more or less shortly after the OT. You could even fit Thrawn into there. The original Jedi Academy trilogy happened 11 years after Yavin, so roughly 7 years after Endor. You could have fit a lot of EU stuff into that 10 year time frame without having to rewrite the books or start adding errata, but still dump some stuff like the Yuuzhan Vong invasion and the Legacy of the Jedi.

The problem? Jakku is supposed to be only a single year after Endor! That is no time at all when it comes to conquering (reconquering?) a galaxy. It's fairly clear that in establishing that timeline, the story group wasn't interested in thinking it through logically; they just arbitrarily set it up that way so the galaxy could have, by fiat, peace for the next few decades. When you might think a Galactic Empire might take just a wee bit longer to keel over... but nah!
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-30 12:54pm

Q99 wrote:
2018-01-29 09:41pm
Purring an intertwined continuity into something good is... nigh impossible. Too much of the good stuff references other stuff and directing people to parts will lead them into other parts you aren't using and, well, as a comic fan, I stand by 'nigh impossible,' attempts to do so blow up *with regularly*.
Isn't that part of the problem of the sliding timeline in comics? By necessity you have to tear up past stories and rejigger origins to keep it in the amorphous now. Star Wars would have a fixed timeline, just pruned.

As a hypothetical, what they could have done with the existing EU. Thrawn trilogy is considered good, keep it canon. The Vong stuff is controversial, junk it. You want to hit the point at TFA where there's the Republic, an Imperial Rump and bush war stuff going on in the border states, fine, that's the end point. Work towards that. Snoke happens at some point in here. Figure out his timeline. Doesn't have to be in excruciating detail but you need to know how Han and Leia know him, how Ben met him, how he got seduced, how the First Order came together. But try and avoid "everyone knows everyone" like you had in the old EU.

So, you might wonder about Mara Jade. Having a whole romance might be too much backstory for people to internalize if they're just watching the films, right? Not so much. If she's dead by the time of the new trilogy that's just part of the backstory implied. "Luke had a wife, she died." It's the sort of thing you'd expect to be in someone's life experience, could inform why he's chosen exile, etc. Did she die during the Sith rebellion at the school? Was there just the one kid for the Solos or did they have multiple and Luke and Mara had one, too? When did they die? Movie watchers have more than enough information to go on here and anyone reading the EU can get the additional info. But stick with the idea of "you should not have to read secondary canon to understand what's going on in primary canon."

If you look at something like Game of Thrones, there's a ton of backstory that never got dramatized in the show itself but it informs the history of the characters and their current motivations. JMS did this sort of thing with the Babylon 5 spin-offs. He gave the writers plot points that are entirely consistent with the show and then told them to have fun making up a story around it. The Techno-Mage, Centauri and Psi Corps trilogies worked that way. That's a lot different from the way the Trek novels worked where you knew it was all non-canon and thus kind of a pointless read. But you only read the books if you wanted to know more. If you didn't, you could easily skip them and the show would still make sense.

If they cherrypick elements from some works in the old EU, parts of the story they occurred in will become non-canon but that's how the cookie crumbles. Rebels has Thrawn but I think they made a hash of his backstory as far as the old EU had it, right?

They needed to do something to fill in the gap if they wanted to make the current setting make any sense, even if they didn't plan to tell those stories in detail. But you know they will. new EU will go there and, with no plan, it's going to be an inconsistent mess.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-30 01:20pm

Mara Jade, while nice and a fairly decent part of the old EU, honestly wasn't that important. She was a supporting character in the Thrawn trilogy, and could've been left at that point; lots of women were when it came to romantic interests for Luke.

I stand by my assertion that you could get away with keeping a lot of the old EU if you just moved up the battle of Jakku a few years. Maybe have the New Republic move their headquarters to Hosnian after Jakku, having tried to keep it on Coruscant for awhile but seeing the defeat of the Empire as an opportunity to turn a new page. Having Jakku be a few years later would let you fit in the Rogue Squadron series, Thrawn Trilogy, even some of the cheesy stuff like Courtship of Princess Leia and whatnot, while giving the Empire a more or less decent send-off as remaining a tough opponent for the Republic but ultimately folding after committing their last loyal (the rest having fled and forming the basis of what becomes the First Order) resources at Jakku. Totally dump Dark Empire, though.

Otherwise, if you want to keep some of the old EU but still align to the new timeline... you have to edit rather thoroughly. Why would Rogue Squadron continue fighting the Empire after they struck a peace? How does Thrawn figure into it? Ysanne Isard? Zsinj? Etc.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-30 03:18pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-01-30 01:20pm
Mara Jade, while nice and a fairly decent part of the old EU, honestly wasn't that important. She was a supporting character in the Thrawn trilogy, and could've been left at that point; lots of women were when it came to romantic interests for Luke.

I stand by my assertion that you could get away with keeping a lot of the old EU if you just moved up the battle of Jakku a few years. Maybe have the New Republic move their headquarters to Hosnian after Jakku, having tried to keep it on Coruscant for awhile but seeing the defeat of the Empire as an opportunity to turn a new page. Having Jakku be a few years later would let you fit in the Rogue Squadron series, Thrawn Trilogy, even some of the cheesy stuff like Courtship of Princess Leia and whatnot, while giving the Empire a more or less decent send-off as remaining a tough opponent for the Republic but ultimately folding after committing their last loyal (the rest having fled and forming the basis of what becomes the First Order) resources at Jakku. Totally dump Dark Empire, though.

Otherwise, if you want to keep some of the old EU but still align to the new timeline... you have to edit rather thoroughly. Why would Rogue Squadron continue fighting the Empire after they struck a peace? How does Thrawn figure into it? Ysanne Isard? Zsinj? Etc.
What you suggest would work. They could then try and create a new conflict that isn't a wash-rinse-repeat of the OT. There should be a lot of room for conflict trying to keep the Republic together with all of the competing interests of the member states.

I get why they did the whole Vong thing, they wanted a threat to the whole galaxy and there wasn't enough room for the threat to originate within the galaxy so making it come from without makes sense. It's just thew whole vibe of the Vong felt out of place for Star Wars.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-30 05:15pm

jollyreaper wrote:
2018-01-30 12:54pm
Isn't that part of the problem of the sliding timeline in comics? By necessity you have to tear up past stories and rejigger origins to keep it in the amorphous now. Star Wars would have a fixed timeline, just pruned.
Oh, haha, no, this is not a sliding timeline issue. The sliding timeline basically works because 'just don't talk about it' doesn't actually erase anything/doesn't say "Look at this story, but only part of it."

The Nu52, for example, was a reset where they decided to keep some stuff and ditch others, and all put it in a fixed 5-10 year past (some heroes started 10 years before, but the big public formation of the JLA was 5 years) where it could reasonably fit. Except, people were confused about which events were in and out, and some events they left in had references to other events, and some were altered. They had the Death of Superman, but not the destruction of Coast city, Cyborg Superman, or the JL that showed up in that story. So in order to know the history, you had to (1) have read a book from the old continuity, and (2) then go, "No, not that part, even though it was central to the original story." So no-one *actually has seen* how Death of Superman happened in the nu52 because that story doesn't actually exist even though it's a major part of the character's history.


The Thrawn trilogy has the fighting with Thrawn, sure, but it also has 1) Different cloning tech, 2) anti-force lizards, 3) An evil Jedi doing mass mind control. And it also locks in the politics to the figures there, and the Solo twins, and those are out. So you have the same, "This story is in! ... no, not that part," effect. And that's one of the easiest ones to work in since it was one of the first EU novels.

Rogue Squadron? You've got Zsinj, and thus The Courtship of Princess Leia (which brings in Hapes), as well as Sidious burying a Super Star Destroyer and doing mass-hypnosis to hide it.


"We highly recommend you read this, and then ignore parts of it," is what makes things a horrible confusing mess, well above and beyond 'don't think too hard about how there's too many stories to have actually happened in this timeframe and characterizations shift a bit with some errors.' The trying to prune things is the problem, in order to make it work you really would need full-on re-writes of the stories you want to include that completely removes the very large story elements that aren't in.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by CaoCao » 2018-01-30 05:24pm

jollyreaper wrote:
2018-01-30 03:18pm
I get why they did the whole Vong thing, they wanted a threat to the whole galaxy and there wasn't enough room for the threat to originate within the galaxy so making it come from without makes sense. It's just thew whole vibe of the Vong felt out of place for Star Wars.
But the Vong were something new, not "yet another dark force user". And it managed to keep lots of different writers on the same project without messing it (as far as I remember). Something I believe they didn't with TFA and TLJ (dumping each and every plot point and character growth made in the previous one). I don't see where they pretend to take the new trilogy, really.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-30 05:34pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-01-30 01:20pm
Mara Jade, while nice and a fairly decent part of the old EU, honestly wasn't that important. She was a supporting character in the Thrawn trilogy, and could've been left at that point; lots of women were when it came to romantic interests for Luke.

I stand by my assertion that you could get away with keeping a lot of the old EU if you just moved up the battle of Jakku a few years. Maybe have the New Republic move their headquarters to Hosnian after Jakku, having tried to keep it on Coruscant for awhile but seeing the defeat of the Empire as an opportunity to turn a new page. Having Jakku be a few years later would let you fit in the Rogue Squadron series, Thrawn Trilogy, even some of the cheesy stuff like Courtship of Princess Leia and whatnot, while giving the Empire a more or less decent send-off as remaining a tough opponent for the Republic but ultimately folding after committing their last loyal (the rest having fled and forming the basis of what becomes the First Order) resources at Jakku. Totally dump Dark Empire, though.

Otherwise, if you want to keep some of the old EU but still align to the new timeline... you have to edit rather thoroughly. Why would Rogue Squadron continue fighting the Empire after they struck a peace? How does Thrawn figure into it? Ysanne Isard? Zsinj? Etc.
This begs the question of why one would want to keep most of the old EU.

There are a few things I miss. There are a great many I don't, and some (Mon Calimari cruisers as converted cruise ships) that have been reintroduced that should have been left in the rubbish bin.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-01-30 12:31pm
Regarding the new/old EU: the main problem is the contrast between the old-EU New Republic and the new continuity's version, which seems to have strongly demilitarized after crushing the Imperial Remnant at Jakku. The rest of that 30ish years seems to have been largely taken up by diplomacy and... we don't really know, to be quite frank. That's what happens when you dump ~20+ years of EU novels (more if you count the old stuff like the Marvel comics and WEG RPGs)-- there's nothing left to fill that space, because that's precisely what all those EU novels had been energetically attempting to do!

That said. Incorporating the old EU would have been a -lot- of work, considering the semi-massive paradigm shift they shoved onto Star Wars in the sequel trilogy.

To take one example: the Rogue/Wraith Squadron novels. Conceivably, they could have worked if you set the Battle of Jakku say ~10 years after the destruction of DS2. That gives you a reasonable window for stuff that happens more or less shortly after the OT. You could even fit Thrawn into there. The original Jedi Academy trilogy happened 11 years after Yavin, so roughly 7 years after Endor. You could have fit a lot of EU stuff into that 10 year time frame without having to rewrite the books or start adding errata, but still dump some stuff like the Yuuzhan Vong invasion and the Legacy of the Jedi.

The problem? Jakku is supposed to be only a single year after Endor! That is no time at all when it comes to conquering (reconquering?) a galaxy. It's fairly clear that in establishing that timeline, the story group wasn't interested in thinking it through logically; they just arbitrarily set it up that way so the galaxy could have, by fiat, peace for the next few decades. When you might think a Galactic Empire might take just a wee bit longer to keel over... but nah!
This is one of the things I'm actually glad they dumped.

The Empire collapsing quickly makes sense if you account for Palpatine basically setting it up without a clear line of succession. And powerful nations have collapsed quite rapidly historically- the Soviet Union comes to mind.

It is certainly preferable to a twenty-to-thirty-year cycle of "New Republic defeats Imperial warlord, new Imperial warlord pops up, rinse and repeat." Which is tediously unimaginative (though I suppose that's how the "They changed it so its ruined" crowd of fans prefers it), anti-climactic, and counter to the optimistic tone of RotJ's ending.

I miss Thrawn, a bit, but ditching that bullshit overall was absolutely one of the things the current canon got RIGHT.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-30 05:48pm

The EU didn't fit RotJ's optimistic tone but TFA/TLJ does? If you want an ongoing story you pretty much have to ditch that.

In very broad strokes the EU got it right. Without the Emperor the Empire slowly dissolves in in fighting with a few big names manage a resinsurgancy now and again. But it shrinks until its too small and compact to be worth conquering and peace happens.

Luke successfully forms a new jedi order, not without hiccups but he perseveres and the jedi return to tbe galaxy.

As I say super broad strokes but not bad an overall direction there.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-30 06:02pm

Picking up broad strokes from the EU is a good thing- Basically "we saw it done once in a messy way, now let's make a unified whole which hits some of the themes that works." It requires planning and work but they *should* have been ready for that.

Picking up actual stories is were the boondoggle comes in.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-30 06:10pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-30 05:48pm
The EU didn't fit RotJ's optimistic tone but TFA/TLJ does?
I didn't say anything about TFA/TLJ one way or the other. Just that having the war end pretty quickly after Endor was the right call.
If you want an ongoing story you pretty much have to ditch that.
Now, see, I don't get that- this idea that if a victory isn't absolute and permanent, and history doesn't end, then it somehow robs it of any optimism.

The galaxy got X number of years/decades of relative freedom and peace. That's not nothing. But it is a problem that that will likely largely been off-screen, so we don't really see the fruits of the heroes' victory.

You know what I'd like in the next film? A flashback to the pre-First Order days, showing Han, Luke, Ben, and Leia together, as a family. Or even just a character talking about how life was better under the Republic, for a while. Something to SHOW us that on-screen that the OT achieved a real victory, even if it wasn't the end of history.
In very broad strokes the EU got it right. Without the Emperor the Empire slowly dissolves in in fighting with a few big names manage a resinsurgancy now and again. But it shrinks until its too small and compact to be worth conquering and peace happens.
Well, I emphatically disagree, and I've stated my reasons above.

I think a lot of fans are too attached to "This is the way it was", and mistake it for "This way was objectively better."
Luke successfully forms a new jedi order, not without hiccups but he perseveres and the jedi return to tbe galaxy.

As I say super broad strokes but not bad an overall direction there.
Well, Luke did form a new Jedi Order in the new canon, of course, but without much long-term success.

That's another thing I'd like to see in Episode IX, incidentally. We hear about the "Knights of Ren", but we've never seen them. I don't know if it was ever confirmed, but the logical inference is that they're Luke's students who joined Kylo instead of being slaughtered.

I'd like to see them in action in the next film, now that the franchise has largely killed off its promising villains, and Kylo is in the lead. And I'd like to see at least one of them be redeemed by Rey. This would acknowledge the redemption themes of the OT (since there doesn't seem to be much hope for a Kylo redemption), it would allow Rey to step into the role of a Jedi leader (which as I've said before, I think is a logical development for her arc in the next film), and it would allow some piece of Luke's Order to live on, so that Luke's efforts were not entirely in vain.
"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 » 2018-01-30 07:22pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-30 06:10pm
uote]

Now, see, I don't get that- this idea that if a victory isn't absolute and permanent, and history doesn't end, then it somehow robs it of any optimism.

The galaxy got X number of years/decades of relative freedom and peace. That's not nothing. But it is a problem that that will likely largely been off-screen, so we don't really see the fruits of the heroes' victory.

You know what I'd like in the next film? A flashback to the pre-First Order days, showing Han, Luke, Ben, and Leia together, as a family. Or even just a character talking about how life was better under the Republic, for a while. Something to SHOW us that on-screen that the OT achieved a real victory, even if it wasn't the end of history.
I highly doubt they would show it, mainly because this is JJ Abrams we are talking about. He's horrible at actual world-building.

Number 2, the problem is the legacy the heroes left behind is just as bad as the lives they experienced as young adults. There's no accomplishment to speak off in the long run, no real legacy to pass for the younger generation. It makes the Galactic civil war feel like WW1, with the victory being akin to the treaty of Versailles. I mean sure, the world did not experience another world war for 20 years, but would you really call the Treaty of Versailles a victory for the world as a whole?
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-30 07:24pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-01-30 07:22pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-30 06:10pm
uote]

Now, see, I don't get that- this idea that if a victory isn't absolute and permanent, and history doesn't end, then it somehow robs it of any optimism.

The galaxy got X number of years/decades of relative freedom and peace. That's not nothing. But it is a problem that that will likely largely been off-screen, so we don't really see the fruits of the heroes' victory.

You know what I'd like in the next film? A flashback to the pre-First Order days, showing Han, Luke, Ben, and Leia together, as a family. Or even just a character talking about how life was better under the Republic, for a while. Something to SHOW us that on-screen that the OT achieved a real victory, even if it wasn't the end of history.
I highly doubt they would show it, mainly because this is JJ Abrams we are talking about. He's horrible at actual world-building.

Number 2, the problem is the legacy the heroes left behind is just as bad as the lives they experienced as young adults. There's no accomplishment to speak off in the long run, no real legacy to pass for the younger generation. It makes the Galactic civil war feel like WW1, with the victory being akin to the treaty of Versailles. I mean sure, the world did not experience another world war for 20 years, but would you really call the Treaty of Versailles a victory for the world as a whole?
That's not really analogous, unless you can show that the OT heroes' actions lead to the rise of the First Order in the way that the Treaty of Versailles contributed to the rise of the Nazis.

The only thing we KNOW is the fault of one of the older generation of heroes (unless there's some stuff in the books that I'm missing, again) is Luke's decision to draw his saber on Kylo Ren.

Edit: Hmm, and I guess maybe Mon Mothma is at fault for overly-demilitarizing the New Republic? You can seen a WW2 analogy there, if you want to- though to appeasement and inter-war demilitarization, not Versailles.
"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 Q99 » 2018-01-30 09:59pm

Btw, another big problem with the new movies:

The Force Awakens is a movie where the baddies win, but it treats it like the baddies lose. Thematically it hits similar beats to ANH, but unlike Alderaan, which helped fund the rebellion but is otherwise pretty minor, those planets we saw destroyed were gigantically huge. ANH, saving Yavin was more vital to toppling the Empire. TFA, the fleet that kept the FO in check is *gone* and the Resistance is small. As we see in TLJ, smaller than we think. Then the destruction of

TLJ plays like it's following the aftermath of a crushing defeat- and it was, but one presented as a victory akin to the ANH one, when in truth the context is very different. The actions of TFA are fine, but there should be more emphasis that 'due to these heroic actions, we survived, but we didn't win in the big sense. We lost the fleet, we lost Han, but we ain't dead yet, so we'll keep fighting and pass the torch to the next generation.'

The movie *absolutely* needs to emphasize that the Republic fleet is powerful *and there* before the destruction happens, and show the complacency. "They may have a fleet but as long as the far greater Republic fleet is there, they'll stay in their neat little borders." And you know how in TLJ they use the phrase of how the Resistance is the ember that'll light the fires of rebellion across the galaxy? It'd be really neat if TFA had a "they think they have snuffed out the fires of freedom. They think that their superweapon did it's job. We'll show them that the fire is not out," or such.

That's the stuff TFA could really work on, and it's purely one of presentation.

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