I don’t like the ST myself, but the Mary Sue argument is very silly and indicative of one’s attitude towards women. “We don’t hate women, we hate poorly written characters” doesn’t apply when a person defends the prequel trilogy over these films.
The Mary Sue argument is not indicative of a personal attitude against women. That is ridiculous. A person can think that Rey is a Mary Sue without thinking that all other strong female characters are Mary Sues.
I wasn’t talking about the argument as a whole, I was refering to it in the context of ST criticism. As it turns out, in those films there’s no proof that Rey is some kind of overpowered protagonist with no flaws. She doubts herself constantly, characters can best her physically, and the bulk of The Last Jedi consists of her and other characters failing to do things. So naturally, her being described as Mary Sue raises a few eyebrows.
In the context of the first six films she is an overpowered protagonist, as she just has all these Force powers despite not getting any training within a matter of days
In this context Rey is seemingly no more overpowered as two of the main protagonists from those first six films; a 10 year old child who blows up the Control Ship in TPM whilst flying for the first time in space, or with Luke piloting an X-Wing in battle and going on to blow up the Death Star (just like flying T-16s, apparently 😉) - both of whom had little-to-no training; both also within a short amount of time.
Rey learnt of these Force powers from Kylo Ren during her interrogation - and after some practice (and failure) comes to use one of these newly learnt Force powers.
And yet she is aware that ‘Something inside me has always been there, but now it’s awake and I’m afraid’ - which hints at something more powerful than herself - or her perceived abilities - is at play…
and more importantly her so called failures have little consequences for her personally or for the Resistance.
As a quick and simplistic ‘cause and effect’ answer… Rey’s failure to turn Kylo resulted in her being turned over to Snoke - who would have easily killed her if not for intervention and betrayal of Snoke by Kylo. No Rey = means no rescue for the survivors of the Resistance on Crait…
Or even after the death of Snoke, Rey fails to turn Kylo… which results in more Resistance deaths - both on the way to Crait, and at Crait itself.
She fails to convince Luke to train her,
Luke does indeed train her - Rey did convince him to train her; with a little ‘cheap move’ from R2 😉 (in a beautiful scene)
but despite that her Force powers, and abilities still grow exponentially.
Can I ask what are Rey’s force powers that grow exponentially you are referring to? Are there examples of these powers growing ‘exponentially’? Stronger, sure. With more understanding of the them (late in the film) - of course; yet that likely comes from more practice over time - along with the teachings and training from Luke.
This is without considering the line from Snoke that ‘Darkness rises… and the light to meet it’ - which could indicate the Force is also using Rey to address a lack of balance of sorts - is it somehow amplifying these powers somehow? Possibly - hopefully we’ll learn more on this in the final part of the story (though I imagine many of us wish we’d have seen more of this in the two films so far).
She fails to convert Kylo, but Snoke is dead, she manages to escape the Supremacy without so much as a scratch,
Somewhat hyperbolic, yes? 😃 Though RogueLeader’s post on this answers some of this claim 😉
Yet, as stated above, Kylo turns her over to Snoke who would easily kill her if not for Kylo’s intervention / ambition. She also seemed to be in a fight for her life with Snoke’s guards - with both Kylo and Rey coming through it, just, upon teaming up with each other to defeat them. I’ll cover the non-physical wounds later below…
and despite discovering the truth about her parents, in the next scene is all smiles and giggles,
I’m not sure which scene you are referring to mate - yet I don’t think we can blame the editing of the film onto the character of Rey in the context here, regardless.
and just in time to save the remaining rebels by removing a ton of rubble without even breaking a sweat (contrast this with Yoda straining as he saves Anakin and Obi-Wan from that falling debris in AOTC, and he’s the most powerful Jedi Master we have seen thusfar for crying out loud).
I suggest we look at the scene again - at the start of it there is a concentration there from Rey - and then also a surprise, a sense of wonder or disbelief, on her face that she actually lifted and then moved the rocks.
‘Breaking a sweat’?, no. Effortless? Also, no. Concentration required and somewhat surprised? Yes.
A snippet of the scene - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEs3KNRLFHg (1m 14s into the video)
A shortened gif of this found on the net (not sure what has been removed/abridged etc - though the video above has the full scene):-
Yoda, in the latter of his life (or just a few years or so from his 900 years?), stopped the falling debris in the middle of an intense fight (or one with lots of spinning 😉) with his talented and powerful former apprentice; possibly more of an exertion for Master Yoda than Rey - given the respective situations and context.
Plus, spinning really takes it out of you - it is very exerting. I’m 46, in decent shape - yet would require surgery (probably multiple surgeries) if I attempted that amount of spinning (I feel I must point out I am not strong with the Force as Yoda; so YMMV) 😉 😃
In the end the final scene where she closes the door on Kylo feels more like a victory, not a defeat.
The scene symbolises her turning her back on him - wanting nothing to do his him or his way of thinking (despite their deep connection and shared experiences of needing to be accepted, to belong) - and shutting down communications between them. I am curious on how you read the scene to be ‘more like a victory’? Especially with Rey in the continuing scene on the Falcon discusses with Leia that Luke has gone - and then questions how will they ‘rebuild the Rebellion from this’. Victory, victory you say? No Master DrDre, not victory 😉
Many fans have a problem with Rey, because it all just comes way too easy for her.
I’d say there is considerable evidence from scenes & events onscreen in the two films so far that highlight it hasn’t ‘come[s] way too easy for her’ - far from it…
From her life on Jakku as a scavenger - which was far from easy. To having a good go at crashing the Falcon upon first flying it, and then damaging it in combat when first flying it, to learning to let in and use the Force - which she resisted at times (her losing the sabre fight against Kylo in TFA to the point where she ‘let it in’), has failed at using at times, has been shown not to understand (‘every word in that sentence was wrong’ when asked by Luke as to her knowledge of it), has required practice to use at times, and received training from Luke Skywalker. Yet, at the end of the film, in the lifting of the rocks scene - there is still that surprise / disbelief from her that she managed to accomplish it.
As IsanRido stated before…
‘She doubts herself constantly, characters can best her physically, and the bulk of The Last Jedi consists of her and other characters failing to do things. So naturally, her being described as Mary Sue raises a few eyebrows.’
Fair play to you Dre if you believe the filmmakers should have done a better job conveying the above, the execution of these scenes and aspects of the story, or whether there should have been more emphasis on them - yet I do find it somewhat without merit your claims that the character of Rey has had it come easy in these films. That’s without addressing the concept that she is likely a ‘vergence in the force’ - or the light that rises to meet the darkness type - or that ‘and now it [the saber] calls to you’ and the added pressures and weight from being just that.
The weight of events from this scene - the ramifications therein - the effect it has on Rey… is far from having it come way too easy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70aWl_5Zc04 - in fact it overwhelms her; to the point of attempting to run away - only to be captured - erm… quite easily (despite seemingly being overpowered or described by some as a ‘Mary Sue’) by Kylo Ren.
Re the ‘Mary Sue’ aspect attributed to Rey…
Rey’s lack of sense of purpose, her ‘place in all this’, the yearning to belong - her biological family, or a substitute family (Han, Luke, Leia, the Resistance etc). Yet she finds that the human connection she has is with her polar opposite (and ‘monster’) - Kylo Ren.
When she is initially rejected by Luke on Ach To, Rey realises that Kylo Ren is the only one who listens to her - she narrates the cave mirror scene for him, as well as her feelings, and he sees her for who she truly is. In turn, Rey sees more of Ben than ‘Kylo Ren’ (the identity he has constructed around himself to shield himself from his hurt and pain) - regardless of how others perceive him - albeit in the hope she could turn him - an ally, a friend, a family.
The humanity of Rey and Kylo (and TLJ as a film) shines through in relation to both these characters - the admission that, when younger, Kylo wanted to ‘feel accepted’, to ‘feel like he belonged’ too. What could be more intimate than truly listening to each other, seeing - understanding - who they are - their perspectives - and where they are coming from? What could be more human - than connecting with someone with such a shared, vulnerable, open, and intimate level.
Yet when their differences are realised to be too great (after Snoke’s death and the defeating of his Imperial Guard) - that both see futures incompatible with each other’s beliefs and hopes (and dreams) - the failure to turn each other… cuts deep, is profound and also heartbreaking - that the belonging they seek is still amiss.
None of this ‘comes easy’ - to Rey, or indeed to Kylo, or to anyone in the real world for which this aspect of the story - or characterisations - is aimed to resonate with. And is a far cry from many people’s definitions of being a ‘Mary Sue’. Afterall, as a wise man in here said recently… ‘The greatest teacher, failure is’ - and their respective failure to turn each other, after the death of Snoke on board The Supremacy, has immediate consequence for many in The Resistance - and also far reaching consequences for many others throughout the galaxy - hardly ‘unscathed and in a jolly mood by the end of TLJ’.
^ Neither is it Mary Sue levels of success here - nor are these the traits of a Mary Sue character, and nor is Rey a character who is having it come all too easy - or one who never fails and is better than all the characters around them…
Some people may not like what has occurred on screen with the character of Rey - and often seem to dismiss or ignore examples of her vulnerability & struggles in the situations she finds herself in - either mentally, emotionally or physically in use of the Force) happening on screen… and instead focus on the supposed (and oft-countered) ‘overpowered’ element of the character… with hyperbolic or exaggerated examples in a bid to try and prove their point. Why?, I don’t know.
Maybe some think female characters should be written with more humility to be relatable? Some people of course genuinely just think the scenes (or moments within) with Rey’s character could have been done better or differently. And then you get those people out there who obviously do have a problem with women - like some have issues with black storm troopers, or some having issues with people of Asian descent being in Star Wars, or some people with having purple hair (likened to lesbians in a derogatory manner) - the percentages, numbers, data etc are all up for debate. We’ve seen some of these hateful views on here - and much more on other places where such views have previously been seemingly encouraged and are monetised (though many have adopted a more stringent deleting process for these views of late).
Now being a critic of this aspect of the ST myself I’ve seen many analyses of Rey’s character, and rarely have I run into a critic who dislikes Rey simply because she is a female.
You mean an apparently ‘overpowered’ female, yes? Well it happens, we (the mods) have removed a lot of it here (‘critics’ with derogatory posts on gender, race, disability, and sexual orientation - it’s the purple hair for some, apparently). Speaking to fellow moderators on other sites… they have as experienced this as well - and not just Star Wars based websites. As mentioned above, even the more toxic and unbalanced youtube channels and websites will now remove that type of criticism of late from their channels as they don’t want to openly associated with those views.
So, while I condemn all people who reject Rey or any other characters based on gender, race, sexual orientation, I equally condemn those that weaponize gender, race, sexual orientation as a means to attack critical fans, the vast majority of which express their criticism out of love for the franchise, not because of some evil agenda.
Well said. It’s a shame that more people who have genuine issues with perceived character flaws / traits - or the writing etc - seemingly do not call out others who do criticise on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability more often - and instead stay quiet, or ignore it, or overlook it. We all need to call out this type of criticism more - regardless of our many various viewpoints on the film(s).
I think we should always remember, that when we’re on opposite sides of a debate , that there’s more that unites us than divides us.
Again, well said. Yet I find it somewhat sad that because people have differing opinions and genuinely state their beliefs and interpretations of them they are of the mindset they are ‘on opposite sides of a debate’.
Acknowledgment of these respective views, taking on board and understanding the differing perspectives as to each talking point - is often lost, when people have the attitude there are ‘sides’ in a debate - often because people believe when they are ‘on sides’ they have to ‘win’ it. And to win they may be more likely to selectively bend facts, play up the scenes which are strong with their viewpoint - yet downplaying or ignoring those that do not; almost to the point of creating their own narrative (I’m talking in general terms - not about yourself, Dre). In doing so the discussion becomes more polarised, and often more fraught, with the opportunity to absorb each other’s respective views and the understanding of them is lost.
Yet that belief and will to ‘win’ the debate for their ‘side’ is seemingly still there… and the points are re-made later; with the-then often countered and various views seemingly ignored. And then the points are re-made again later; countered and seemingly ignored - and on and on. To the stage where many people become disinterested in the conversations at hand, other aspects of the films - and disengage from talking about the film or wider franchise as the same issues have somehow become repeatedly talked about at length in several threads - and in the case of some… have left the sites they frequent, and even worse, left behind their love or enjoyment of Star Wars.
Posting the same thing over and over again - and expecting different results - hasn’t seemed an effective way of conveying the view that Rey is supposedly overpowered (or for making many other viewpoints in general). That people haven’t changed tack in approaching this is somewhat baffling and surprising - and that people have not seemingly given consideration along the lines of ‘Is my way of talking about these issues disruptive to the greater conversation?’ or ‘How do I get my point across better or more effectively?’ - with the obvious caveat that and awareness in which everyone has differing views, subjectivity and we’re all different people here with a love of Star Wars - or different aspects of it.
Anyway, I’m sure we’ll be back for more deja vu and repetitive & circular posts on the matter of Rey’s abilities soon enough - with another reset of Rey’s supposed ‘overpowered-ness’ - ignoring the previous posts from others who have answered and countered many of the claims re Rey and her abilities; including the more hyperbolic & exaggerated statements therein.
That many claims of Rey’s perceived ‘overpowerment’ are from selective segments of events / scenes that have occurred on screen - and that many replies, answers or counterpoints are also often from other segments of the same events / scenes - yet for some reason are often overlooked or ignored, or occasionally downplayed upon - is lost on me.
Maybe we’ll all find out more, perhaps something new and different, in Round 275 of Rey is… a Mary Sue / overpowered / this / that / no, she isn’t / and so on. (I think that was hyperbole 😉 Though I’d have to check - and wouldn’t be surprised if we were approaching that number…)
Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough (again!). A pint in the sunshine beckons.