How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

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ray245
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-27 12:57pm

Kojiro wrote:
2018-01-27 12:15pm
ray245 wrote:
2018-01-27 11:58am
We have rules against ignoring evidence in a debate in this forum. If the mods think there's actually debating rules being broken, they will let us know. You don't get to pretend everyone else is somehow worse at debating than you just because they disagreed with you. You need to actually show when is a double-standard actually being made against Rey.
While you're at it, you can explain why I really like Rogue One or don't have any gripes about Jyn?
I feel like people are being overly defensive about Rey. I understand there's a lot of sexists hating Rey as a character, but it becomes dangerous to inherently distrust any arguments against Rey.

The issue with Rey is she's going to be the real founder of the new Jedi Order instead of Luke. She's the real hero that will save the galaxy by leading the new generation of Jedi kids. There are some who see this as tearing down Luke as a hero so that the new Disney, true hero will be the one that did what Luke failed to do.

Jyn didn't replace anyone as the hero. She's the hero of her own story, and hence why her death felt more meaningful. Jyn has a much stronger character arc, growing from someone who ran away from the fight to someone giving up her life for the cause.

Rey is created almost as a "new and better" version of Luke. And that's the major problem with Rey as the new protagonist in the Star Wars franchise. Regardless of the character's gender, making a character that is in many ways an improved version of the old hero is problematic. Rey's journey as a hero is nothing than an attempt to emulate Luke's. She's all about learning to be a Jedi and rebuild the new Jedi Order that was destroyed. Except this time, she will succeed where Luke has failed.

Having Luke's Jedi order be destroyed and having Rey be the one that rebuilt it creates a sense of Rey's superiority over the old cast. And that's the core problem for me with the sequels. The sequels feel like an attempt to sell the new heroes as the "real" heroes that can succeed in ways that the older generation can't. Luke, Han, and Leia aren't the real heroes because their success is shortlived. Their Republic and Jedi Order collapsed in a very short amount of time.

And if you ask people whether Rey is better as a Jedi than Luke was in ESB, I think it will be hard to say no to that. Rey is a better Jedi than Luke was in ANH, and Rey is a better Jedi than Luke was in ESB.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Patroklos » 2018-01-27 01:10pm

Q99 wrote:
2018-01-26 05:11am
one on me. Finn's characterization is supposed to be an accepted problem? Nah, that's a large part of his point. And I can also point out he shows adept skill at socially faking his way through situations- just what one would have to develop to cover for not really being as Stormie as he should (though not enough to avoid garbage duty).

The large difference is more likely that there's less threads trying to drive in to us that, "no, really, Finn's got massive character problems," like we get with Rey. People seem really adamant on trying to convince everyone else that Rey's this really big Mary Sue, y'know? So yea, when the same arguments get brought out a bunch, then you'll hear the same shooting down of them because the flaws in the argument exist and that's the one being pushed.
This reminds me of when Vympel earlier in the thread tried to say nobody ever had a problem with how the Executor was destroyed in RotJ while defending how the Supremacy was destroyed in this movie. He seemed to magically forget three decades of debate, including a healthy percentage of nerd discussions on this very board.

Like I said, go back to the original TFA thread. Finn's character oddities relative to his supposed background is mentioned (along with like him paradoxically) in pretty much all the initial "I just got back from seeing it" posts but there is a distinct lack of rebuttal to that accusation versus the same things for Rey. I think alot of this, both people bringing up Rey's flaws and people being more vocal in defending her, has to do more with her being the main character than anything else, but both have been criticized.

I don't actually expect you guys to go back to that thread, so here is my thoughts on Finn from my first post in it after just having returned from the threatre:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=164284&p=3941174&hi ... n#p3941169
-Fynn, I really want to like you and do in a certain way but you were written all wrong. For one he is indoctrinated from birth. More on that latter. For someone indoctrinated to be a conformist super soldier from birth he sure seems really well socialized. But was he a super soldier? General forgettable pretty much says that but then we hear he was a sanitation worker? He is not a young guy and the First Order has had him from birth so he must have been doing sanitation for many years. So why is he a stormtrooper again? Does the super important main villian normally take the sanitation worker wipeouts with him? For their first mission no less.

My problems with Fynn go a bit further than that though. The way we are introduced to him is when he is visibly shaken by the death of a comrade. At first I thought this was great, stormtroopers are people and have feelings too! (this would be dashed of course). Even blood! These are soldiers fighting for and with people they believe in and even if I disagree with them and consider them evil I can still relate to that. And then he won't shoot the civilians, which is at odds with what we learn soon after about his upbringing but they mention a remediation program so obviously its not an outrageously uncommon thing to happen. Unfortunately this is all ruined when he starts casually murdering his former comrades in arms a few scenes later. Remember this all starts when he is visibly shaken by a comrades death. And its not like he is on some ideological crusade at this point, he is just trying to escape. Sorry dude, I don't believe it. It was jarring. Luckily the actor is so charismatic I can't turn my back on Fynn entirely.
So no, Finn didn't get a free ride like some of you suggest, my thoughts are repeated over and over again by other posters.

You seem to think its the critics that are driving the angst regarding the Rey thing. On the contrary, its usually just people posting their initial reactions to the movie, an opinion everyone is allowed to have and is the most valid gauge in my opinion given its raw and without rationalizations at that point, and then the sexism and misogynist and yes NAZI!!!! accusations start flowing. If those are the legit gut impressions of so many viewers upon first viewing, its hard to maintain the self serving conspiracy theory that this is all some nefarious anti woman plot. And even if you want to claim that this is some latent problem with the audience, well, fuck you its still the damn audience! Its the only audience there is.

You seem to feel Rey has been adequately defended. I don't think a single one of the major accusations against her have been deflected in the slightest, and the increasingly hysterical defenses (YOU MUST BE A FASCIST!!!) just show how uncomfortable her more vocak defenders are in their own arguments.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Kojiro » 2018-01-27 01:45pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-01-27 01:10pm
You seem to feel Rey has been adequately defended. I don't think a single one of the major accusations against her have been deflected in the slightest, and the increasingly hysterical defenses (YOU MUST BE A FASCIST!!!) just show how uncomfortable her more vocal defenders are in their own arguments.
There is deflecting, but it's not coming from her detractors. Her detractors attack her, which itself seems to be a sin to some people. Like an impermissible attitude to hold that is so evil, it must have it's roots in some darker place.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by jollyreaper » 2018-01-27 02:56pm

Kojiro wrote:
2018-01-27 01:45pm
Patroklos wrote:
2018-01-27 01:10pm
You seem to feel Rey has been adequately defended. I don't think a single one of the major accusations against her have been deflected in the slightest, and the increasingly hysterical defenses (YOU MUST BE A FASCIST!!!) just show how uncomfortable her more vocal defenders are in their own arguments.
There is deflecting, but it's not coming from her detractors. Her detractors attack her, which itself seems to be a sin to some people. Like an impermissible attitude to hold that is so evil, it must have it's roots in some darker place.
Be careful about lumping. Just because some people make an idiot critique doesn't mean that anyone criticizing the element are making the same critique. I thought Mace Windu was a boring character and how in the hell do you get a boring performance out of Sam Jackson? If some stormfront idiot went on a rant about how Jedi can't be black, that doesn't mean his stupid is influencing my opinion.

For the record, I think the two actors have plenty of skill and charisma but were underserved by the script. Like Mads is a great actor and you can see it in a show like Hannibal but what he was given to work with in Rogue One and Dr. Strange, meh. He's good but was clearly underserved. The characters he played were flat an uninteresting but it's not his fault.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Crazedwraith » 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.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-27 03:07pm

Kojiro wrote:
2018-01-27 01:45pm
Patroklos wrote:
2018-01-27 01:10pm
You seem to feel Rey has been adequately defended. I don't think a single one of the major accusations against her have been deflected in the slightest, and the increasingly hysterical defenses (YOU MUST BE A FASCIST!!!) just show how uncomfortable her more vocal defenders are in their own arguments.
There is deflecting, but it's not coming from her detractors. Her detractors attack her, which itself seems to be a sin to some people. Like an impermissible attitude to hold that is so evil, it must have it's roots in some darker place.
The persecution complex is strong with this one.

I know you'll lie and slander me, because its an easy way to score points, but while I can't speak for anyone else, I have never ONCE had a problem with criticizing Rey as a character. I have personally expressed my criticisms of her rather flat characterization in TFA (note: flat characterization is not the definition of Mary Sue), and I'll even go so far as to say that some (SOME, not ALL) of the things she does strain credibility a little (though not to such a degree that it cannot be justified, if one is inclined to do so). This is, of course, ignored so that you can continue to slander me.

If I reference the Alt. Reich, it is because so many of her critics resort to arguments based on transparent double-standards or outright dismissing any examples that don't fit their "Rey is a perfect Mary Sue" narrative. Such as handwaving away any example of Rey failing at something as not relevant, or acting like her knowing how to defend herself in hand-to-hand combat or speak another language is some huge sin against cinema, even though most people seem never bat an eye at such abilities in other protagonists, whatever their background.

Edit: The point being, such a level of dishonesty (or stupidity) suggests an ulterior motive, a bias. Though it could in some cases be as simple as "WAAHHHH, they didn't exactly conform to my rose-tinted fanboy vision of what Star Wars SHOULD be!" Like ray's comments, which seem to be routed primarily in "They didn't do what Arndt said they should! Film ruined!"
"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 Crazedwraith » 2018-01-27 03:16pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 03:07pm

The persecution complex is strong with this one.

I know you'll lie and slander me, because its an easy way to score points, but while I can't speak for anyone else, I have never ONCE had a problem with criticizing Rey as a character.
I tried to resist but the juxtaposition of these two sentences is just perfect.

I'll also note you've often told people not to try and second guess and assume your motivations, which is exactly what you're doing to people criticising Rey.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-27 03:21pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-27 03:16pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 03:07pm

The persecution complex is strong with this one.

I know you'll lie and slander me, because its an easy way to score points, but while I can't speak for anyone else, I have never ONCE had a problem with criticizing Rey as a character.
I tried to resist but the juxtaposition of these two sentences is just perfect.
Yeah, well, they honestly have misrepresented my points, and others'. For a start, nobody here is saying that criticism of Rey isn't allowed, or is always wrong, or that if you criticize Rey you're a fascist. Since nobody has said it, and I assume that they're not illiterate, its hard to know what to call it other than a lie, or at best, severe hyperbole.
I'll also note you've often told people not to try and second guess and assume your motivations, which is exactly what you're doing to people criticising Rey.
You may have a point.
"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 Crazedwraith » 2018-01-27 03:36pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 03:21pm
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-01-27 03:16pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 03:07pm

The persecution complex is strong with this one.

I know you'll lie and slander me, because its an easy way to score points, but while I can't speak for anyone else, I have never ONCE had a problem with criticizing Rey as a character.
I tried to resist but the juxtaposition of these two sentences is just perfect.
Yeah, well, they honestly have misrepresented my points, and others'. For a start, nobody here is saying that criticism of Rey isn't allowed, or is always wrong, or that if you criticize Rey you're a fascist. Since nobody has said it, and I assume that they're not illiterate, its hard to know what to call it other than a lie, or at best, severe hyperbole.
Hyperbole is not unknown in debate. And there's also option three, they've misinterpreted what you said and thing you really did say one of those things.

There's been a few loops in this thread that have gone something like this as far as I can see:
Poster A: I dislike Rey for X and Y.
Poster B: There's so much hate for Rey based on misogyny.
Poster A: Hey don't call me misogynist.
Poster B: Oh I didn't mean you specifically. But still there's so much hate for Rey based on misogyny out there!

So it keeps getting brought up and people keep getting the implication it's directed at them even if it technically isn't. Giving that impression.

Though I'm sure there are other interpretations.

There also a lot of different tangents and side conversations going on. So it's easy when people make generalisations about 'the other side' for someone to pipe up 'i ever said that!' and there being a lot of confusion. Even down to the definition of what a Mary Sue is; which is sort of central to what is being argued.
I'll also note you've often told people not to try and second guess and assume your motivations, which is exactly what you're doing to people criticising Rey.
You may have a point.
Thank you for considering it.

--

eta: I'd also like to say I consider 'it's not what I wanted/what I expected' is a perfectly valid reason not to like a film. But very to hard to argue anything objective with.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-27 03:58pm

Indeed it is. Although I find the common tendency of fandoms to knee-jerk lash out at anything new deeply irritating.

One thing that ST, and the response to it, have made me more certain of than ever is that one of the worst things a franchise can do is to start catering to the demands of its fanbase. Where the ST has seriously fucked up (like not developing the New Republic more, and aping A New Hope too obviously in TFA), its often been a direct result of listening to fan whining, or so it appears. Or going too far out of its way to contradict the fandom's expectations, arguably, in TLJ's case.

Edit: Ultimately, as I say, its "written by committee" with a committee of millions. I'm for democracy in many things, but creative writing decisions is not one of them.

Unfortunately, with franchise and fans more and more interconnected via social media, and a new generation of writers growing up on writing and reading internet fanfic, this is likely to only become more of a problem for the foreseeable future, to the detriment of many franchises.
"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 Crazedwraith » 2018-01-27 04:12pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 03:58pm
Indeed it is. Although I find the common tendency of fandoms to knee-jerk lash out at anything new deeply irritating.

One thing that ST, and the response to it, have made me more certain of than ever is that one of the worst things a franchise can do is to start catering to the demands of its fanbase. Where the ST has seriously fucked up (like not developing the New Republic more, and aping A New Hope too obviously in TFA), its often been a direct result of listening to fan whining, or so it appears. Or going too far out of its way to contradict the fandom's expectations, arguably, in TLJ's case.

Edit: Ultimately, as I say, its "written by committee" with a committee of millions. I'm for democracy in many things, but creative writing decisions is not one of them.

Unfortunately, with franchise and fans more and more interconnected via social media, and a new generation of writers growing up on writing and reading internet fanfic, this is likely to only become more of a problem for the foreseeable future, to the detriment of many franchises.
While I agree in principle, I find it difficult to tell how much effect it has had in practice.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-27 06:52pm

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think that Rey only really stands out, in terms of Force powers, in that she has picked them up so fast. Her feats aren't actually that high-end, with the possible exception of moving the rocks at the very end of TLJ.

-Enhanced piloting/marksmanship? Standard fair, and certainly not beyond what Luke or Anakin have exhibited.
-Mind trick? Again, standard fair.
-Visions? Generally something that seemed to be triggered more by the Force itself (or by Snoke) than by Rey.
-Telekinesis? Some low-level TK, and she couldn't counter Snoke's combat TK at all. Only the rock-throwing is high-end.
-Swordplay? She's pretty good at it, probably due to prior experience in hand-to-hand combat plus Force sensitivity, but I don't think she'd be better at it than one of the top duelists of the Jedi or Sith.

She's remarkable in how quickly she picked up new skills, but she doesn't yet outclass, or even match, the top tier. I honestly think that at any point prior thus far, an upper-mid-level Jedi Knight or exceptionally-skilled Padawan, such as Phantom Menace Kenobi, or Ashoka, could have potentially taken her in a fight. One of the more powerful Masters, like Windu, Dooku, Palpatine, Yoda, or Luke? No contest (and before anyone mentions her fight with Luke in TLJ, Luke was clearly the more skilled hand-to-hand fighter- he probably only got bested because he wasn't expecting her to escalate to actually drawing a lightsaber on him, and had no saber himself).
"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 » 2018-01-27 06:56pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 06:52pm
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think that Rey only really stands out, in terms of Force powers, in that she has picked them up so fast. Her feats aren't actually that high-end, with the possible exception of moving the rocks at the very end of TLJ.

-Enhanced piloting/marksmanship? Standard fair, and certainly not beyond what Luke or Anakin have exhibited.
-Mind trick? Again, standard fair.
-Visions? Generally something that seemed to be triggered more by the Force itself (or by Snoke) than by Rey.
-Telekinesis? Some low-level TK, and she couldn't counter Snoke's combat TK at all. Only the rock-throwing is high-end.
-Swordplay? She's pretty good at it, probably due to prior experience in hand-to-hand combat plus Force sensitivity, but I don't think she'd be better at it than one of the top duelists of the Jedi or Sith.

She's remarkable in how quickly she picked up new skills, but she doesn't yet outclass, or even match, the top tier. I honestly think that at any point prior thus far, an upper-mid-level Jedi Knight or exceptionally-skilled Padawan, such as Phantom Menace Kenobi, or Ashoka, could have potentially taken her in a fight. One of the more powerful Masters, like Windu, Dooku, Palpatine, Yoda, or Luke? No contest (and before anyone mentions her fight with Luke in TLJ, Luke was clearly the more skilled hand-to-hand fighter- he probably only got bested because he wasn't expecting her to escalate to actually drawing a lightsaber on him, and had no saber himself).
No one ever said Rey was a better Jedi than trained Jedis. We were saying Rey is learning them much faster than other newcomers that we know of. Luke and Ezra took a longer time to use the different force abilities. And that's with a mentor beside them instructing them how to use the force.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-27 07:01pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-01-27 06:56pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 06:52pm
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think that Rey only really stands out, in terms of Force powers, in that she has picked them up so fast. Her feats aren't actually that high-end, with the possible exception of moving the rocks at the very end of TLJ.

-Enhanced piloting/marksmanship? Standard fair, and certainly not beyond what Luke or Anakin have exhibited.
-Mind trick? Again, standard fair.
-Visions? Generally something that seemed to be triggered more by the Force itself (or by Snoke) than by Rey.
-Telekinesis? Some low-level TK, and she couldn't counter Snoke's combat TK at all. Only the rock-throwing is high-end.
-Swordplay? She's pretty good at it, probably due to prior experience in hand-to-hand combat plus Force sensitivity, but I don't think she'd be better at it than one of the top duelists of the Jedi or Sith.

She's remarkable in how quickly she picked up new skills, but she doesn't yet outclass, or even match, the top tier. I honestly think that at any point prior thus far, an upper-mid-level Jedi Knight or exceptionally-skilled Padawan, such as Phantom Menace Kenobi, or Ashoka, could have potentially taken her in a fight. One of the more powerful Masters, like Windu, Dooku, Palpatine, Yoda, or Luke? No contest (and before anyone mentions her fight with Luke in TLJ, Luke was clearly the more skilled hand-to-hand fighter- he probably only got bested because he wasn't expecting her to escalate to actually drawing a lightsaber on him, and had no saber himself).
No one ever said Rey was a better Jedi than trained Jedis. We were saying Rey is learning them much faster than other newcomers that we know of. Luke and Ezra took a longer time to use the different force abilities. And that's with a mentor beside them instructing them how to use the force.
Yeah, I know. Just trying to keep things in perspective.

Although I reiterate my view that learning how to use the Force in a technical sense does not take nearly so long as learning WHY to use it/how to use it responsibly (and how long either takes will vary greatly depending on the emotional/mental state of the person in question). Rey is exceptionally fast, but even for Luke, we're talking only a few weeks probably, max., of actual lessons (spread out over a few years, but mostly in one quick period on Dagobah). Anakin... we don't see much of his training between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones a decade later, but after barely being introduced to the Force probably days before, he was able to use the Force to pilot a starfighter and blow up an enemy carrier that was holding off an entire squadron of fighters with ease. At age nine.

Edit: I'd actually compare it somewhat to the Matrix's "There is no spoon" stuff. If you have the right state of mind/innate ability for it, and are aware of that potential, then... if you believe you can do it, and are focused on doing it, you probably can, pretty quickly.
"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 » 2018-01-27 07:07pm

Its also worth noting that unless Luke was getting regular visits from Kenobi between Episodes IV and V, he very likely taught himself telekinesis.
"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 » 2018-01-27 07:31pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 07:01pm
Yeah, I know. Just trying to keep things in perspective.

Although I reiterate my view that learning how to use the Force in a technical sense does not take nearly so long as learning WHY to use it/how to use it responsibly (and how long either takes will vary greatly depending on the emotional/mental state of the person in question). Rey is exceptionally fast, but even for Luke, we're talking only a few weeks probably, max., of actual lessons (spread out over a few years, but mostly in one quick period on Dagobah). Anakin... we don't see much of his training between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones a decade later, but after barely being introduced to the Force probably days before, he was able to use the Force to pilot a starfighter and blow up an enemy carrier that was holding off an entire squadron of fighters with ease. At age nine.

Edit: I'd actually compare it somewhat to the Matrix's "There is no spoon" stuff. If you have the right state of mind/innate ability for it, and are aware of that potential, then... if you believe you can do it, and are focused on doing it, you probably can, pretty quickly.
But that's to misunderstand the heart of our complaints. We aren't ( with the exception of some) talking about the mechanics of the force, but how it works within the narrative of the overall stories and universe.

What's the biggest hindrance to learning the force? The universe is full of people like Han who can be quite skeptical about some mystical force that can somehow change the tide of a war or battle. That's the main difficulty of teaching people how to actually make use of the force. They simply don't believe in it enough.

So what you try and do is to build a story around such a worldview. Set up a story where the biggest challenge the force will pose to its users is their inability to give up their reliance on their technical skills and technology. And it works extremely well in a sci-fi setting. This is a world where technology is seen as a tool that can resolve everyone's problems. But the force acts a counterpoint to technology. To make use of the force is to learn to let go of such reliances and learn to trust concepts like "instinct".

Even in the Matrix, Neo's enlightenment is when he realized what the matrix truly was and what he can do with it. The hero's journey to Star Wars is their journey to enlightenment, or their failure to do so. Luke's journey is one of enlightenment by understanding what a Jedi is about. Anakin's story is one of tragedy, that even mastering the physical aspect of the force, he never truly managed to master the spiritual side of it.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-27 07:40pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-01-27 07:31pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 07:01pm
Yeah, I know. Just trying to keep things in perspective.

Although I reiterate my view that learning how to use the Force in a technical sense does not take nearly so long as learning WHY to use it/how to use it responsibly (and how long either takes will vary greatly depending on the emotional/mental state of the person in question). Rey is exceptionally fast, but even for Luke, we're talking only a few weeks probably, max., of actual lessons (spread out over a few years, but mostly in one quick period on Dagobah). Anakin... we don't see much of his training between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones a decade later, but after barely being introduced to the Force probably days before, he was able to use the Force to pilot a starfighter and blow up an enemy carrier that was holding off an entire squadron of fighters with ease. At age nine.

Edit: I'd actually compare it somewhat to the Matrix's "There is no spoon" stuff. If you have the right state of mind/innate ability for it, and are aware of that potential, then... if you believe you can do it, and are focused on doing it, you probably can, pretty quickly.
But that's to misunderstand the heart of our complaints. We aren't ( with the exception of some) talking about the mechanics of the force, but how it works within the narrative of the overall stories and universe.

What's the biggest hindrance to learning the force? The universe is full of people like Han who can be quite skeptical about some mystical force that can somehow change the tide of a war or battle. That's the main difficulty of teaching people how to actually make use of the force. They simply don't believe in it enough.

So what you try and do is to build a story around such a worldview. Set up a story where the biggest challenge the force will pose to its users is their inability to give up their reliance on their technical skills and technology. And it works extremely well in a sci-fi setting. This is a world where technology is seen as a tool that can resolve everyone's problems. But the force acts a counterpoint to technology. To make use of the force is to learn to let go of such reliances and learn to trust concepts like "instinct".
That could make a very good story, but I'm not going to hold it against the ST that it chooses to tell a different story.
Even in the Matrix, Neo's enlightenment is when he realized what the matrix truly was and what he can do with it. The hero's journey to Star Wars is their journey to enlightenment, or their failure to do so. Luke's journey is one of enlightenment by understanding what a Jedi is about. Anakin's story is one of tragedy, that even mastering the physical aspect of the force, he never truly managed to master the spiritual side of it.
Again, I think you're too attached to one kind of story as being the only "right" way to do it.

That said, if your point is that the ST thus far is a poorly constructed narrative, I'd agree, to a point. The pacing is rushed and uneven, the narrative feels somewhat jumbled in TLJ, and the characterization is often a bit flat in TFA.

None of that makes Rey a "Mary Sue", though. She's not a self-insert, nor am I convinced that she is idealized or bends the setting around her to a degree that is inexplicable, or far beyond most action heroes.

She's just the protagonist of an awkwardly constructed narrative.

My general view of the ST is that there are a lot of good ideas (and some bad ones), that there's a lot of potential, but that its hard for a lot of people to see it because the films are awkwardly constructed. I'm willing to put the effort in to try to read between the lines, extrapolate from the hints of good ideas that we get, and come up with consistent explanations for the more dubious or underdeveloped parts. Others who are less willing to make that effort, though, will probably find them off-putting.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-27 08:11pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 07:40pm
That could make a very good story, but I'm not going to hold it against the ST that it chooses to tell a different story.
My response towards that it's that the ST is missing the essence of an SW story. It's about really trying to understand why George Lucas created a sci-fi with all sort of fantasy element. That's the very heart of Star Wars. It's about the interplay between technology and spirituality that makes SW such a powerful story in any culture.

The ST understood the surface elements, but not the actual heart of SW.
Again, I think you're too attached to one kind of story as being the only "right" way to do it.

That said, if your point is that the ST thus far is a poorly constructed narrative, I'd agree, to a point. The pacing is rushed and uneven, the narrative feels somewhat jumbled in TLJ, and the characterization is often a bit flat in TFA.

None of that makes Rey a "Mary Sue", though. She's not a self-insert, nor am I convinced that she is idealized or bends the setting around her to a degree that is inexplicable, or far beyond most action heroes.

She's just the protagonist of an awkwardly constructed narrative.

My general view of the ST is that there are a lot of good ideas (and some bad ones), that there's a lot of potential, but that its hard for a lot of people to see it because the films are awkwardly constructed. I'm willing to put the effort in to try to read between the lines, extrapolate from the hints of good ideas that we get, and come up with consistent explanations for the more dubious or underdeveloped parts. Others who are less willing to make that effort, though, will probably find them off-putting.
The argument is that Rey is a "mary-sue" by the standards of a Star Wars story. Rey as a character in a brand new universe will not cause such a problem for people like me. Rey works for the universe that isn't called Star Wars.

The force acts more like an enlightenment journey for the heroes. Lucas drew very heavily upon Buddhism. Hell, George Lucas even stated he's a "Buddhist Methodist". The problem seems to be the new writers are quite bad at understanding Lucas' eastern influence when he was writing Star Wars. The struggle of the heroes in all 6 Star Wars movies by Lucas was about spiritual enlightenment.

Rey has no journey towards any spiritual enlightenment. She's effectively someone who is naturally enlightened from the start of the story.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-27 11:49pm

One thing I want to say on the"Don't call me sexist/assume my motives," stuff.

If someone is signaling out a women character and judging 'em by some odd standards, or throwing an awfully lot of factually incorrect stuff at a character while also using a pretty gendered criticism on them? I'm going to call it.

That's not calling you sexist, that is pointing out that the argument has a visibly gendered component, and not calling people sexist or wanting to be called sexist doesn't make one safe gender-based criticisms.

Being sexist or not, as many treat it, is often taken as a binary thing. But everyone has their biases and going in assumptions, and a lot of them aren't so much ours as ones we've just picked up, and I do think a lot of people have picked up 'Mary Sue,' in a gendered way, that leads to them assigning it as a problem when it's a pop-phrase leading people down a blind alley because, hey, it's not a good criticism, it's vague as heck and often unrelated to story problems in the stories it's accused of. Assigning it to guys more wouldn't help either, btw, if people started calling Luke one it wouldn't make him a bad character it'd be a bad criticism of him too, it's just it does get assigned to women more.

Good criticism doesn't have a laundry list of factually-incorrect points, and then when those are pointed out, people trying to draft more points, many of them also factually wrong, not story problems, etc.. The problem is in the argument itself, the thing I can see, the thing being presented right in front of me. I'm not calling out what's deep down in your heart of hearts, I'm calling out what is being given as an argument and yea, some of those problems involve gendered assumptions.

This thread isn't so much "how can we make Rey better?" or even "how can we make Rey a non-mary sue?", far more effort is being spent trying to justify her being a mary sue- and pretty badly.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Patroklos » 2018-01-28 01:18am

I think if you were to take the most ardent critics of Rey and go back to the PT days you would find them equally hostile to Anakin (I sure as hell was/am). So yes, it rings hollow because most of the posters here have a consistent history criticizing these types of characters, male or female.

Until the sexism/whatever signalers can actual prove the posters in this actual discussion are somehow uniquely hostile to Ray because she is a women, the accusation is a strawman plain and simple.

Also, this thread is filled with suggestions on how to may Rey better. What thead are you reading? People have suggested dialogue changes, scene changes, role reversals, cuts here, cuts there, all the way up to fundamentally altering the plot. I'll quote myself again from the TFA thread if you want. Lets not beat around the bush here. WHO is the participating poster not making suggestions on how to make Rey better? WHO in the participating poster who has not spent pages of posts justifying their criticism? WHO is the poster who hasn't made similar criticisms of other SW characters?

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Q99 » 2018-01-28 02:04am

That doesn't change that a lot of the complaints are, one, gendered, and two, factually incorrect in the lion's share of details they name to support it. It really isn't at issue whether or not someone is uniquely hostile- what is at issue is they're making gendered arguments in support of a questionable thesis point of Rey being a Mary Sue and relatedly that being a big problem with the movie, so we get posts justifying how, no, her being good with blasters is a major problem in the film- which in terms of fixing a film, is akin to fiddling around with the deck chairs on a ship. It won't make a healthy ship go faster or a sinking one not sink.

Sure, it could be that they just don't like the character for other reasons... but then they defaulted to Mary Sue as the cause, and then lazy criticism resulted. Disliking/criticism Anakin too doesn't make problems with this criticism disappear, or that they're being disliked for the same reasons. I'm not arguing what lies in their heart of hearts, I am pointing out problems with what they have presented here, in this thread.

You say "strawman," but it remains the problems with the Mary Sue arguers have been pointed out and have major, definitive factual holes. You're trying to make it a strawman by shifting my complaints away from problems-with-what-they've-said into being about them being sexist or not as a motive, which is not the complaint. The complaint is "Mary Sue is gendered a pop term that doesn't have to do with good writing/characterization or not to begin with in how it's being used, 'too skilled' has jack and squat to do with what works or not in a story and thus choosing it as the crux of an argument sabotages discussion of where things can be improved, and a lot of the details being used to support it aren't accurate to begin with." Ironically, you're strawmanning me, which is the point of my prior post.

Patroklos wrote:
2018-01-28 01:18am
People have suggested dialogue changes, scene changes, role reversals, cuts here, cuts there, all the way up to fundamentally altering the plot.
Yea, often to justify things that were already justified, though, or which don't really address problems in the films much because, gasp, Rey being skilled is not where narrative problems come from. Or at least, not in any way that people here have been able to point to in a concrete way without getting things majorly wrong about the film itself.
WHO in the participating poster who has not spent pages of posts justifying their criticism?
Oh, a lot have- and spending pages justifying stuff that is not factually correct is part of the problem. Too skilled? Skills not justified in-universe? No bad consequences? None of these are true, and the ways in which they are not true have been pointed out with scenes and examples from the movie repeatedly by multiple posters, and spending a lot of time trying to justify them despite that doesn't exactly help much of anything.

Kojiro, Sidewinder, APlayerHater - all have spent time trying to justify why Rey has too many skills. Which I submit to you, is practically narratively insignificant stuff, and the fact that you are just saying "shrug and accept it, they criticize Anakin too," doesn't exactly make it major narrative meat or a problem with either character or film. Arguments are not supported by saying someone also made an unrelated argument (one that pretty much everyone made).

Like, you individually Patroklos, don't feel the criticisms of Rey have been adequately deflected and have spent time on that. If objective examples of what her skills are really like in the film compared to the other characters (and the definition of Mary Sue) and where the criticisms are factually wrong isn't a defense, then what's left? What exactly works as a defense in your eyes? Your own argument seems to leave little but to conclude that Mary Sue stands on it's own, and we can't criticize that directly because, ah, then we'd be strawmanning. Sorry, when the arguments are factually incorrect, and them being factually wrong apparently doesn't make it worth reconsidering whether that's an accurate criticism at all, that really does leave the idea as a free-floating independent thing, separate from parts of the like "the character's actual skill, ability, or narrative role."

If none of that stuff matters as criticism of the argument worth considering, that is particularly damning of it being a questionable argument to begin with.


If one really wants to criticize Rey, I do believe it would be far more effective to detach it from a gendered term that posters here either have a heck of a time trying to support without getting a lot of the movie wrong (and hey, one could point to that as a problem if one wanted to: "Why is the movie doing such a bad job getting us to remember all this stuff we're forgetting?". That's an angle!), or don't seem to care if it is supported.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Patroklos » 2018-01-28 02:56am

The difference, Q99, is when I disagree with someone regarding whether or not someone is skilled or not in SW that's where it ends. That's the sum total of our disagreement. At no point in thread did I seek to boil down the root of the disagreement to something beyond observable things in the film (that we interpret differently) to "well your just some feminist SJW bleeding heart that is defending her because she has a vagina!" I have suggested people are defending it because its SW and fanboys hold it immune from standards other films are held to, but that's an in the franchise criticism and far away from calling people Nazis.

You say the criticisms of Rey have been deflected. I say they haven't. I say the facts support me and provide evidence (All those posters you mention have ruthlessly crushed the Rey apologists in my opinion), you say the facts support you and provide largely the same damn evidence. We can continue to disagree on this until it stops being fun for either of us to convince the other otherwise. There doesn't have to be some sinister out of SW reason underpinning this disagreement.

Also describing Mary-Sue as a gendered term, as if that means they are using a gendered arguement, is just intentionally characterizing people's arguments. It doesn't matter that the concept was invented decades ago via a character that was female. Since that time the term has been applied to many characters both male and female. We even have the Gary-Sue moniker for terminology wonks. There is noting intrinsic about the concept of a Mary-Sue that means it must be a women in concept, nor has anyone in this thread argued from that position. Its just another misdirect to avoid have to address the solid arguments presented.

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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by Kojiro » 2018-01-28 04:52am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-27 03:07pm
The persecution complex is strong with this one.
That is a hilarious thing to say after I literally quoted your own pathetic, vacuous complaints at you, then told you to bring on the debate. You actually think I feel persecuted because you haven't had the balls to respond to my arguments? :lol:
I know you'll lie and slander me, because its an easy way to score points, but while I can't speak for anyone else, I have never ONCE had a problem with criticizing Rey as a character.
I'm so confused as to what our disagreement is over then. :roll:
This is, of course, ignored so that you can continue to slander me.
What was it you said about persecution complex?
If I reference the Alt. Reich, it is because so many of her critics resort to arguments based on transparent double-standards or outright dismissing any examples that don't fit their "Rey is a perfect Mary Sue" narrative.
Then for the love of Jeff quote something and explain why it's wrong and your interpretation is right. And you reference the Alt Right to shame. The tragic thing is that if I was Alt Right I wouldn't give a shit you'd called me it- it's literally only a tactic that works on those who aren't.
Q99 wrote:
2018-01-28 02:04am
Or at least, not in any way that people here have been able to point to in a concrete way without getting things majorly wrong about the film itself.
Show me the list of things I got 'majorly wrong'.
If none of that stuff matters as criticism of the argument worth considering, that is particularly damning of it being a questionable argument to begin with.
So what would your argument be if the OP had written 'How to make Rey more in line with the setting, less OP and stop breaking some people's SoD?' Where does your entire argument lie if you can't resort to whining about Mary Sue being sexit? Well, if the above is anything to go by, you'll just attribute sexism to your opponent then tell yourself you're better than them. So for the last time, if someone says something sexist or factually incorrect or, quote it and explain why it's wrong. It's simple and your failure to do it is most revealing.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-28 06:29am

Q99 wrote:
2018-01-28 02:04am
That doesn't change that a lot of the complaints are, one, gendered, and two, factually incorrect in the lion's share of details they name to support it. It really isn't at issue whether or not someone is uniquely hostile- what is at issue is they're making gendered arguments in support of a questionable thesis point of Rey being a Mary Sue and relatedly that being a big problem with the movie, so we get posts justifying how, no, her being good with blasters is a major problem in the film- which in terms of fixing a film, is akin to fiddling around with the deck chairs on a ship. It won't make a healthy ship go faster or a sinking one not sink.
What exactly is a gendered argument? You've been extremely vague on this point. You think the usage of Mary-Sue automatically makes it gendered. I disagree. There is no consensus that it is a gendered term. Just because some people on the internet chose to use it in this way does not make the term itself gendered and sexist.

I'm not letting Mary-Sue become another term used solely by sexists.
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Re: How to make Rey a NON-Mary Sue

Post by NecronLord » 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).
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