ray245 wrote: ↑
The Romulan Republic wrote: ↑
ray245 wrote: ↑
I won't mind if Rey isn't written as such a passive character. Her personal journey felt massively sideline in favour of Luke's journey in TLJ.
I don't know about that, and I sure as hell wouldn't single TLJ out on that score.
In TFA, Rey was basically just caught up in events and pulled along. She was likeable enough, to me at least, but the closest thing to character depth was her insecurities about leaving Jakku, which were quickly abandoned with no real arc.
TLJ at least acknowledged her primary character flaw in more depth (her sense of lacking a place and attachment/abandonment issues due to her lack of family/identity), showed how that tempted her toward the Dark Side and made her open to manipulation, and showed her overcoming them (even if the reasons for that shift weren't well-developed) when she rejected Kylo. As uncomfortable and confused as some of it seemed to me, she did have more character development in TLJ than in TFA, where personality and backstory-wise she was basically just "Generic Protagonist 101", and a thinly-sketched one at that, aside from being female.
Edit: TLJ also completely destroyed any meaningful argument that Rey is a "Mary Sue" (Force, I hate that term) that doesn't boil down to misogyny. Because contrary to what people seem to think, the original definitions of "Mary Sue" weren't really about how "powerful" a character was, and there are lots of (generally male) characters of extraordinary power and/or ability that aren't usually called Mary Sues. Initially, as I understand it, there were two basic definitions of "Mary Sue"- an author self-insert, and then a character who warped the story around them so that they always succeeded/were always right. As far as I know, Abrams didn't write Rey as a self-insert, and no one has ever really made that case that I've seen. Which leaves definition two. And TLJ obliterated
that case against Rey. Think about it: she fails every time she tries to persuade a character to do anything important that she wants. She can't get Luke to come help the Resistance, and instead ends up being banished by him and dueling him. She can't persuade Kylo to return to the Light Side. She gets beaten by Snoke with casual ease too. A classic Mary Sue would turn out to have a Super-Duper Special Heritage, and everyone would fawn over her (or be obviously, puppy-kicking evil if they didn't), and she'd redeem the fallen bad boy with the Power of Tru Wuv. Instead, Rey has basically zero charisma, zero persuasive or diplomatic skills in-universe, no special heritage, fails to redeem Kylo Ren, and fails hard at almost everything she attempts prior to the very end of the film.
That is not a Mary Sue by any vaguely meaningful definition.
Luke was caught up in events, but you still get his agency in how he embrace being a Jedi and the force. With Rey, I have no idea what direction writers want for her.
When I said that Rey was caught up in events, without much character development of her own, I was referring to TFA, and it wasn't a compliment. I don't like the term "Mary Sue", and I don't think it applies to Rey, and I think it caries a lot of misogynist baggage, but I'll fully acknowledge that her development in TFA was too thin.
But my point is that it seems like you're blaming TLJ for something that is mainly a TFA problem. Which you ignored while diverting the conversation into "Why Luke is better than Rey".
The "Mary sue" complaints comes from the way she developed her powers. People felt she was more powerful than the chosen one and Luke Skywalker as a novice, and that's certainly how she was depicted as.
On the contrary, Luke is arguably depicted as more powerful and skilled in TLJ, at least in practice if not in theoretical potential (the main example being when Kylo says that projecting an image of herself across the galaxy for even a short time, and into just one mind, would kill Rey). You can argue that Rey is morally superior, maybe, but again, she makes poor judgement calls and fails in her objectives throughout the film.
At no point is Rey portrayed as being unambiguously more powerful than Anakin, or Luke as a "novice", and asserting either claim as certain fact is flatly false.
Also, as noted above (and which you also completely ignored)- the term "Mary Sue" was never about power levels, until people broadened the term to the point of meaninglessness to encompass any character they didn't like/any female character who's capabilities made insecure men uncomfortable.
The explanation in TLJ is essentially her being the chosen one MK 2.0, but more powerful because the dark side is more powerful.
I don't recall TLJ or any character in it saying that Rey was more powerful than Anakin (I see her as roughly an Anakin-peer), or that the Dark Side was more powerful now. Don't make shit up.
Personally, I prefer to see a Jedi character needing training, guidance, and mediation before they master the different force skills. Learning to become more zen-like is a skill that needs to be mastered in my opinion. If someone starts off a story as being naturally zen-like, I find that to be a little boring.
I don't feel that the Force is depicted as something that takes decades of training to learn how to master basic techniques, at least not for those with a particularly strong connection. On the contrary, Luke and Anakin both picked up techniques with little instruction (or even self-taught some of them). And maybe a few weeks with Yoda took Luke from a novice to being able to put up a fight against Vader. I also don't see it as having to spend lots of time learning how to perform specific techniques- far more important is state of mind. Remember Luke and Yoda on Dagobah?
Luke: "I don't believe it."
Yoda: "That is why you fail."
In short, mental and emotional state is the key, not learning how to perform each specific technique. If you want to do something, and believe you can, and have the right emotional state (calm for the Light Side, anger/hate for the Dark Side), then you can probably do it. Some people will take longer to master that emotional self-control than others, but the years of training, to me, is probably more about indoctrination in the Jedi Way and learning why to use the Force, than needing years to master specific techniques.
Frankly, to me, your interpretation feels symptomatic of fans viewing the Force as a tool, or as being like grinding to gain character levels in a video game, rather than as a mystical, pseudo-divine energy field. A better way of viewing the Force would be something like the "There is no spoon" scene in the Matrix- and nobody whines about Neo being a Mary Sue who picked up his powers too quickly.