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Is Star Wars catering to girls now? — Page 2

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moviefreakedmind said:

I find the question kind of strange. Star Wars has, does, and will continue to cater to as broad an audience as possible.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think it was ever intentionally “for boys” regardless of what Lucas said, but the OP is right that the OT is pretty much a male power fantasy (although flipping the damsel in distress trope on its head was different and gave the original trio much of their charm).

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Jay said:

I do think they dumbed down the men rather than lifted up the women

I thought the issue was that they’d “lifted up the women” too much? (see all the idiotic mary-sue nonsense)

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TM2YC said:

Jay said:

I do think they dumbed down the men rather than lifted up the women

I thought the issue was that they’d “lifted up the women” too much? (see all the idiotic mary-sue nonsense)

Rey is a Mary Sue. That’s my take. She fits the definition. I’m not rehashing the reasons why, or why the term “Mary Sue” isn’t sexist (see the Culture, politics, and diversity in Star Wars thread if you want to wade into that pool).

I haven’t seen too many TLJ critics complain about the women being lifted up, which is obviously sexist. The problem is that they’re not great characters and their representation as powerful women having agency is mostly at the expense of the men, who are written as dumb, selfish, or impulsive. Writing better female characters would’ve been preferable.

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 (Edited)

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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LexX said:

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

That’s not “the way it is,” that’s just plain fucking dumb. This is a fantasy movie, what it’s like in the “real world” shouldn’t matter.

What doesn’t feel believable is (in a world where sexism supposedly doesn’t exist) 99% of the rebellion and empire are male. There’s no good explanation for that.

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LexX said:

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

you are comparing this movie to your own past here on earth, and it is a fact that in the past there was a concept of ‘a woman’s place’.

I for one like the fact that Star Wars isn’t reflecting that past anymore.

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DominicCobb said:

LexX said:

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

That’s not “the way it is,” that’s just plain fucking dumb. This is a fantasy movie, what it’s like in the “real world” shouldn’t matter.

What doesn’t feel believable is (in a world where sexism supposedly doesn’t exist) 99% of the rebellion and empire are male. There’s no good explanation for that.

The top three of the FO are still male though. Apparently women, and people of color don’t make a good Supreme Leader of a fascist Empire, a raging general, or a fallen Jedi student…

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dahmage said:

LexX said:

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

you are comparing this movie to your own past here on earth, and it is a fact that in the past there was a concept of ‘a woman’s place’.

I for one like the fact that Star Wars isn’t reflecting that past anymore.

I don’t think LexX was trying to refer outdated gender roles. The strange thing is that even in the modern world, even in the most progressive countries, there are rarely, if ever, any occupation or field of interest that is 50% men and 50% women. Even in liberal countries like Norway, where both men and women are “drafted”, more men choose the military as a career afterwards than women. Similarly there are certain occupations that are over-represented by women, just like some jobs have an abundance of men. I think that’s what he meant by; “It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.”

Of course I agree that this still doesn’t have to apply to a fictional universe. Also a Galactic Civil War (or two of them) I’d imagine would make people do more things out of necessity than preference.

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ZkinandBonez said:

dahmage said:

LexX said:

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

you are comparing this movie to your own past here on earth, and it is a fact that in the past there was a concept of ‘a woman’s place’.

I for one like the fact that Star Wars isn’t reflecting that past anymore.

I don’t think LexX was trying to refer outdated gender roles. The strange thing is that even in the modern world, even in the most progressive countries, there are rarely, if ever, any occupation or field of interest that is 50% men and 50% women. Even in liberal countries like Norway, where both men and women are “drafted”, more men choose the military as a career afterwards than women. Similarly there are certain occupations that are over-represented by women, just like some jobs have an abundance of men. I think that’s what he meant by; “It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.”

Of course I agree that this still doesn’t have to apply to a fictional universe. Also a Galactic Civil War (or two of them) I’d imagine would make people do more things out of necessity than preference.

Exactly. Gender differences in countries at the top of the equal rights list are more stark rather than less. When people are free to make their own choice of profession based on personal interests with minimal conditioning by societal pressures, gender differences caused by biology are amplified. It’s not all some sinister plot by the patriarchy.

Men and women are different and make different choices when given the opportunity. The idea that a 100% voluntary military force would be half female is definitely the realm of a fantasy film.

However, the First Order would be more likely to have equal representation in their military because I’d assume service is compulsory. If half the FO troopers were female, it wouldn’t strike me as odd at all.

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DominicCobb said:

LexX said:

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

That’s not “the way it is,” that’s just plain fucking dumb. This is a fantasy movie, what it’s like in the “real world” shouldn’t matter.

What doesn’t feel believable is (in a world where sexism supposedly doesn’t exist) 99% of the rebellion and empire are male. There’s no good explanation for that.

LOL, calm down teenager.

If to you 50% men 50% women in every field should be the way for everything, then you’re the one being sexist by forcing things based on gender. Like ZkinandBonez and Jay said, if people are free to choose to anything they want, 50-50 is the least likely scenario to be in. But if you force this 50-50 everywhere, including a fantasy film which btw has been made and watched here on Earth, it doesn’t feel believable and it’s sexist because forcing. And that is my opinion. The genre doesn’t matter nor what you are being forced to as a viewer. Kinda like in Transformers they force some Chinese connection just to cater Chinese audience. But they aren’t stupid, even they hated it. Forcing things is just movies trying to cater and pander audiences and that is what I hate in modern film. The more they do it, the more transparent it is. It can only take one scene to get you pulled out of a movie, it doesn’t matter what it contains. You can argue about this and I’m sure you will since you don’t do anything else here.

I also don’t think the OT was that far off from real military. In SW Leia had even the biggest role in the alliance and then there were like 30 pilots and other crew members in Yavin who were male, seemed realistic. Then on Hoth there were at least 3 women + Leia in the control room, again that’s pretty good. And in ROTJ Mon Mothma gave an important briefing and there were female pilots too. The Empire and FO are another case which I think they should be.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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 (Edited)

Men and women are equal, but not the same. To me continually forcing women into the role of a female Rambo, and calling it feminism or female empowerment is wrong. Men and women are different, and we should celebrate this gender diversity. To me Leia is a much better representation of female strength, and empowerment than most of what the current batch of movies have given us. It should not just be about beating up people, and being in places of power. It should be about having a moral compass, showing resilience, and being an inspirational leader. That’s what Leia was to me, more so than any of the other classic characters, or the new ones. Leia stood up to Darth Vader, despite the fact that he could break her in half. That is true strength.

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LexX said:

DominicCobb said:

LexX said:

When I saw TLJ the second time it was all too clear when half of the resistance seemed to be women to the point it just didn’t feel believable, just transparent. The contrast is so stark compared to the OT it’s ridicilous. If you’re really at war and showed people inside battleships there wouldn’t be 50% women. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, that’s just the way it is.

That’s not “the way it is,” that’s just plain fucking dumb. This is a fantasy movie, what it’s like in the “real world” shouldn’t matter.

What doesn’t feel believable is (in a world where sexism supposedly doesn’t exist) 99% of the rebellion and empire are male. There’s no good explanation for that.

LOL, calm down teenager.

Cute, but, of course, inaccurate.

If to you 50% men 50% women in every field should be the way for everything, then you’re the one being sexist by forcing things based on gender. Like ZkinandBonez and Jay said, if people are free to choose to anything they want, 50-50 is the least likely scenario to be in. But if you force this 50-50 everywhere, including a fantasy film which btw has been made and watched here on Earth, it doesn’t feel believable and it’s sexist because forcing. And that is my opinion. The genre doesn’t matter nor what you are being forced to as a viewer. Kinda like in Transformers they force some Chinese connection just to cater Chinese audience. But they aren’t stupid, even they hated it. Forcing things is just movies trying to cater and pander audiences and that is what I hate in modern film. The more they do it, the more transparent it is. It can only take one scene to get you pulled out of a movie, it doesn’t matter what it contains. You can argue about this and I’m sure you will since you don’t do anything else here.

“Forced diversity” is a whole load of bullshit. Believe it or not the real world is actually quite diverse! Anything less than that is simply exclusion, whether forced or simply due to laziness or unconscious bias.

As for the comparison to Transformers and China, oddly enough China is actually one of the biggest world superpowers and has the largest population of any country on the planet, so I don’t think it’s that odd to spend some time there in a globe-trotting movie. As for “forced,” I mean sure you can make the argument that the plot or whatever is unnaturally forced to go out of the way to China (don’t know, haven’t seen). This is where the comparison to Star Wars breaks down though, because there’s nothing “forced” about the casting of a background role. This is honestly a baffling opinion to hold, or it would be baffling if it wasn’t obvious where it was coming from.

As for what else I do on here, fair, though I’m not exactly sure what your lofty contributions have been. I’m all ears though.

I also don’t think the OT was that far off from real military. In SW Leia had even the biggest role in the alliance and then there were like 30 pilots and other crew members in Yavin who were male, seemed realistic. Then on Hoth there were at least 3 women + Leia in the control room, again that’s pretty good. And in ROTJ Mon Mothma gave an important briefing and there were female pilots too. The Empire and FO are another case which I think they should be.

The OT rebels had a lobster admiral which as far as I can tell is neither “realistic” nor “not far off from real military.”

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DrDre said:

Men and women are equal, but not the same. To me continually forcing women into the role of a female Rambo, and calling it feminism or female empowerment is wrong. Men and women are different, and we should celebrate this gender diversity. To me Leia is a much better representation of female strength, and empowerment than most of what the current batch of movies have given us. It should not just be about beating up people, and being in places of power. It should be about having a moral compass, showing resilience, and being an inspirational leader. That’s what Leia was to me, more so than any of the other classic characters, or the new ones. Leia stood up to Darth Vader, despite the fact that he could break her in half. That is true strength.

Ehhhhhh men and women have biological differences that set them apart, sure… but I think these are often overstated, as the majority of the differences between the two genders are caused simply by cultural norms and mindsets.

Are women, on the whole, physically weaker than men? Sure! Do I think that Daisy Ridley could right now beat up literally any dude on this site? Not a doubt in my mind. Point being, it depends.

I can’t speak to “female Rambo” because I must have missed that reboot (or otherwise can’t seem to think of any characters that fit that description… except maybe Sarah Connor but I thought guys were cool with her). Even if the argument is that women should be less represented in the military ranks because of biological shortcomings or whatever, in terms of SW background roles we’re mostly talking about people in leadership roles or people sitting at desks. I can’t really think of a single good reason why there shouldn’t be a roughly equal amount of women in those roles in a fantasy film that is supposed to be divorced from the deep-rooted historical Earthly ideas of gender roles.

In my mind Rey perfectly embodies the idea of an empowering female character. Her character is not defined by her physical strength at all. What makes her strong is her inner strength: her resilience, her independence, her determination, her ability to strive to do the right thing even if she’s not always sure the best way to get there, her compassion for her friends, and her struggle to grow to believe in herself when all her life she’s been told she’s nothing. Those who focus on her “overpowered” abilities are, of course, looking at the wrong thing entirely.

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One other aspect that is often overlooked, is that the problem with sexism is not just with gender roles, and exclusion, it’s also with how we as a society value the gender role. You just have to look at the career fields typically chosen by men and women.

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DrDre said:

One other aspect that is often overlooked, is that the problem with sexism is not just with gender roles, and exclusion, it’s also with how we as a society value the gender role. You just have to look at the career fields typically chosen by men and women.

I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to say here, or how it relates to Star Wars. Are you saying that a kind of sexism is treating a typically female job like, say, secretary as lesser than a typical male job? If so, I agree. But again, I don’t see why Star Wars should have to carry over those mindsets (both that secretary is a typically female job and that secretaries are undervalued).

Unlike something like Game of Thrones, where real world sexism is brought into the story and is a big part of what it’s about, Star Wars has never been like that. I think there might be some EU stuff or whatever that says things like “the Empire is misogynist and racist,” but at least in the films anyway the galaxy has been more or less presented as one without gender prejudice. Now obviously Star Wars takes a lot of inspiration from the real world, including, of course, the injustice of oppressed people - but it’s done in a general way. I don’t see why Star Wars should have to port over Earth-based sexism, especially if it’s not a part of the story. So I go back to my point at the beginning. It’s a fantasy, so there’s no logical reason whatsoever that our world’s traditional gender roles need to followed. So why is it even a problem at all if about half of the Resistance is female?

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DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Men and women are equal, but not the same. To me continually forcing women into the role of a female Rambo, and calling it feminism or female empowerment is wrong. Men and women are different, and we should celebrate this gender diversity. To me Leia is a much better representation of female strength, and empowerment than most of what the current batch of movies have given us. It should not just be about beating up people, and being in places of power. It should be about having a moral compass, showing resilience, and being an inspirational leader. That’s what Leia was to me, more so than any of the other classic characters, or the new ones. Leia stood up to Darth Vader, despite the fact that he could break her in half. That is true strength.

Ehhhhhh men and women have biological differences that set them apart, sure… but I think these are often overstated, as the majority of the differences between the two genders are caused simply by cultural norms and mindsets.

Are women, on the whole, physically weaker than men? Sure! Do I think that Daisy Ridley could right now beat up literally any dude on this site? Not a doubt in my mind. Point being, it depends.

I can’t speak to “female Rambo” because I must have missed that reboot (or otherwise can’t seem to think of any characters that fit that description… except maybe Sarah Connor but I thought guys were cool with her). Even if the argument is that women should be less represented in the military ranks because of biological shortcomings or whatever, in terms of SW background roles we’re mostly talking about people in leadership roles or people sitting at desks. I can’t really think of a single good reason why there shouldn’t be a roughly equal amount of women in those roles in a fantasy film that is supposed to be divorced from the deep-rooted historical Earthly ideas of gender roles.

The issue here to me is, that Star Wars mostly represented just that even before Disney took over. In the OT women were at the top in the Rebel Alliance. There were also plenty of women in desk jobs. The PT featured female pilots, and Jedi Masters. Padme was both a queen and a senator. Then there’s Ahsoka Tano, and Asajj Ventress in Cloen Wars, who both became fan favourites. Of course there’s always room for improvement, but the idea that Star Wars was excluding women , or sexist before Disney took over is just foreign to me.

In my mind Rey perfectly embodies the idea of an empowering female character. Her character is not defined by her physical strength at all. What makes her strong is her inner strength: her resilience, her independence, her determination, her ability to strive to do the right thing even if she’s not always sure the best way to get there, her compassion for her friends, and her struggle to grow to believe in herself when all her life she’s been told she’s nothing. Those who focus on her “overpowered” abilities are, of course, looking at the wrong thing entirely.

I think her being overpowered is exactly what stands in the way of her being empowering. The creators were so obsessed with creating a female role model, that they made her too perfect. As such she doesn’t earn her great powers, but just recieves them apparently just because she’s a female protagonist. She had to be better at everything than anybody. God forbid, if she actually needed anyone’s help, or failed. Luke survived the Death Star run, and the cold weather of Hoth, because he was rescued by Han Solo, twice. Not so for Rey, she can rescue herself, and I’m sure if Finn, Han and Chewie didn’t come to her rescue, she would have found a way to get of SKB herself. In fact she was already on her way out, when they got there. She doesn’t need Luke’s guidance in TLJ. She will train herself, and become the greatest Jedi ever, despite the fact that Luke teaches her nothing but failure. TLJ’s throne room sequence is a powerful moment for both Rey and Ben, but in the case of Rey it is undermined by much that preceeded it. Like Luke in ROTJ Ben Solo went through an emotional struggle, and a humiliating defeat to get to that place, to deserve that moment in the spot light, to become the main villain. What’s Rey’s reason for being there, aside from her innate goodness, and awesomeness? Real empowerment comes from the struggle, from starting at the bottom, and coming out on top against the odds, through failure, pain, and suffering. That’s what most of the protagonists, and antagonists in Star Wars represent. Rey is the exception in my view.

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DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Men and women are equal, but not the same. To me continually forcing women into the role of a female Rambo, and calling it feminism or female empowerment is wrong. Men and women are different, and we should celebrate this gender diversity. To me Leia is a much better representation of female strength, and empowerment than most of what the current batch of movies have given us. It should not just be about beating up people, and being in places of power. It should be about having a moral compass, showing resilience, and being an inspirational leader. That’s what Leia was to me, more so than any of the other classic characters, or the new ones. Leia stood up to Darth Vader, despite the fact that he could break her in half. That is true strength.

Ehhhhhh men and women have biological differences that set them apart, sure… but I think these are often overstated, as the majority of the differences between the two genders are caused simply by cultural norms and mindsets.

Are women, on the whole, physically weaker than men? Sure! Do I think that Daisy Ridley could right now beat up literally any dude on this site? Not a doubt in my mind. Point being, it depends.

I can’t speak to “female Rambo” because I must have missed that reboot (or otherwise can’t seem to think of any characters that fit that description… except maybe Sarah Connor but I thought guys were cool with her). Even if the argument is that women should be less represented in the military ranks because of biological shortcomings or whatever, in terms of SW background roles we’re mostly talking about people in leadership roles or people sitting at desks. I can’t really think of a single good reason why there shouldn’t be a roughly equal amount of women in those roles in a fantasy film that is supposed to be divorced from the deep-rooted historical Earthly ideas of gender roles.

The issue here to me is, that Star Wars mostly represented just that even before Disney took over. In the OT women were at the top in the Rebel Alliance. There were also plenty of women in desk jobs. The PT featured female pilots, and Jedi Masters. Padme was both a queen and a senator. Then there’s Ahsoka Tano, and Asajj Ventress in Cloen Wars, who both became fan favourites.

The problem with what came before wasn’t that women were literally nowhere to be found. It was that the ones there were basically token females.

In my mind Rey perfectly embodies the idea of an empowering female character. Her character is not defined by her physical strength at all. What makes her strong is her inner strength: her resilience, her independence, her determination, her ability to strive to do the right thing even if she’s not always sure the best way to get there, her compassion for her friends, and her struggle to grow to believe in herself when all her life she’s been told she’s nothing. Those who focus on her “overpowered” abilities are, of course, looking at the wrong thing entirely.

I think her being overpowered is exactly what stands in the way of her being empowering. The creators were so obsessed with creating a female role model, that they made her too perfect. As such she doesn’t earn her great powers, but just recieves them apparently just because she’s a female protagonist. She had to be better at everything than anybody. God forbid, if she actually needed anyone’s help. Luke survived the Death Star run, because he was rescued by Han Solo. Not so for Rey, she can rescue herself, and I’m sure if Finn, Han and Chewie didn’t come to her rescue, she would have found a way to get of SKB herself. She doesn’t need Luke’s guidance. She will train herself, and become the greatest Jedi ever.

Of course she needs help, she learns important lessons from everyone along the way. Don’t forget, if it was all up to her, she’d still be on Jakku.

Ultimately the point of her strength in both films is that it is a power within her that she need only need believe in herself to tap into. Which is of course the same way it was for Luke. But Rey’s filled with insecurities.

You can debate the tact with which her powers are utilized in the films (I’ll even concede there’s a couple minor fumbles in TFA in this regard), but you’re obviously misconstruing the intent. She doesn’t have powers just because she’s a female protagonist (it honestly seems like you’re just kinda making an argument to fit an agenda when you say that). Plenty of people have complained about JJ Abrams shortcutting his protagonists in other films to success so it’s probably pretty safe to say this isn’t done just because she’s a woman.

Because I can’t sleep, here’s the three main pressure points of her skills in TFA (where I’ll argue if anything narrative shortcutting is more to blame than simply making Rey overpowered):

  • She flies the Falcon to safety. Forget the fact the she almost crashed it when it first took off, and had more trouble with two TIEs than we’ve ever seen anyone have in any of these films, this apparently shows that she’s the best because they made it out alive. But isn’t that how movies work? If you think it should’ve been more challenging, is that really an issue of her being a Mary Sue or of the filmmakers not making a more complicated scene?
  • She uses the mind trick to escape. This one annoys me, I’ll admit it, just because it comes out of nowhere with not much reasoning. But did they do this just because she’s a girl? I mean on the one hand kinda, if Lucas turned the damsel in distress trope on its head in 77, then JJ had to push that to the next level here. And I appreciate that. But is her using the mind trick actually the filmmakers trying to show us that she’s the “best evar”? Or is it them not being able to think of another quick way to escape that also shows she’s become awakened in the force?
  • She uses “the Force” to beat Kylo. Now narratively this makes sense that she’d have this moment where she taps into this force within her that Maz told her about. Logically it makes sense that she should be able to beat a critically injured Kylo. Execution-wise, though, there’s an issue again where it kinda comes out of nowhere. So the issue is less the fact of the matter that Rey won, and more simply the way it was done. Does the apparent ease of her accessing the force in this moment make her a Mary Sue? Or is it again the writers not thinking of a more elegant way to include a “use the force” moment here? Then the planet breaks apart and the two are separated. Essentially a kind of Solo rescue-ish moment, though obviously without the emotional punch because it is an arbitrary and contrived bit where scenery has a big character changing moment rather than a human… and it happens after the fight is over.

My point ultimately being, the claimed ease of these moments does nothing to take away from the character’s main struggles in the film - finding her identity and self worth. If her journey was all about obtaining physical strength and becoming the most powerful Jedi, then I probably wouldn’t even be arguing with you. But that’s not what it is about at all.

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DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Men and women are equal, but not the same. To me continually forcing women into the role of a female Rambo, and calling it feminism or female empowerment is wrong. Men and women are different, and we should celebrate this gender diversity. To me Leia is a much better representation of female strength, and empowerment than most of what the current batch of movies have given us. It should not just be about beating up people, and being in places of power. It should be about having a moral compass, showing resilience, and being an inspirational leader. That’s what Leia was to me, more so than any of the other classic characters, or the new ones. Leia stood up to Darth Vader, despite the fact that he could break her in half. That is true strength.

Ehhhhhh men and women have biological differences that set them apart, sure… but I think these are often overstated, as the majority of the differences between the two genders are caused simply by cultural norms and mindsets.

Are women, on the whole, physically weaker than men? Sure! Do I think that Daisy Ridley could right now beat up literally any dude on this site? Not a doubt in my mind. Point being, it depends.

I can’t speak to “female Rambo” because I must have missed that reboot (or otherwise can’t seem to think of any characters that fit that description… except maybe Sarah Connor but I thought guys were cool with her). Even if the argument is that women should be less represented in the military ranks because of biological shortcomings or whatever, in terms of SW background roles we’re mostly talking about people in leadership roles or people sitting at desks. I can’t really think of a single good reason why there shouldn’t be a roughly equal amount of women in those roles in a fantasy film that is supposed to be divorced from the deep-rooted historical Earthly ideas of gender roles.

The issue here to me is, that Star Wars mostly represented just that even before Disney took over. In the OT women were at the top in the Rebel Alliance. There were also plenty of women in desk jobs. The PT featured female pilots, and Jedi Masters. Padme was both a queen and a senator. Then there’s Ahsoka Tano, and Asajj Ventress in Cloen Wars, who both became fan favourites.

The problem with what came before wasn’t that women were literally nowhere to be found. It was that the ones there were basically token females.

In my mind Rey perfectly embodies the idea of an empowering female character. Her character is not defined by her physical strength at all. What makes her strong is her inner strength: her resilience, her independence, her determination, her ability to strive to do the right thing even if she’s not always sure the best way to get there, her compassion for her friends, and her struggle to grow to believe in herself when all her life she’s been told she’s nothing. Those who focus on her “overpowered” abilities are, of course, looking at the wrong thing entirely.

I think her being overpowered is exactly what stands in the way of her being empowering. The creators were so obsessed with creating a female role model, that they made her too perfect. As such she doesn’t earn her great powers, but just recieves them apparently just because she’s a female protagonist. She had to be better at everything than anybody. God forbid, if she actually needed anyone’s help. Luke survived the Death Star run, because he was rescued by Han Solo. Not so for Rey, she can rescue herself, and I’m sure if Finn, Han and Chewie didn’t come to her rescue, she would have found a way to get of SKB herself. She doesn’t need Luke’s guidance. She will train herself, and become the greatest Jedi ever.

Of course she needs help, she learns important lessons from everyone along the way. Don’t forget, if it was all up to her, she’d still be on Jakku.

Ultimately the point of her strength in both films is that it is a power within her that she only need to believe in herself to tap. Which is of course the same way it was for Luke. But Rey’s filled with insecurities.

You can debate the tact with which her powers are utilized in the film (I’ll even concede there’s a couple minor fumbles in TFA in this regard), but you’re obviously misconstruing the intent. She doesn’t have powers just because she’s a female protagonist (it honestly seems like you’re just kinda making an argument to fit an agenda when you say that). Plenty of people have complained about JJ Abrams shortcutting his protagonists in other films to success so it’s probably pretty safe to say this isn’t done just because she’s a woman.

Okay, because I can’t sleep, here’s the three main pressure points of her skills in TFA (where I’ll argue if anything narrative shortcutting is more to blame than simply making Rey overpowered):

  • She flies the Falcon to safety. Forget the fact the she almost crashed it when it first took off, and had more trouble with two TIEs than we’ve ever seen anyone have in any of these films, this apparently shows that she’s the best because they made it out alive. But isn’t that how movies work? If you think it should’ve been more challenging, is that really an issue of her being a Mary Sue or of the filmmakers not making a more complicated scene?
  • She uses the mind trick to escape. This one annoys me, I’ll admit it, just because it comes out of nowhere with not much reasoning. But did they do this just because she’s a girl? I mean on the one hand kinda, if Lucas turned the damsel in distress trope on its head in 77 JJ had to push that to the next level here. And I appreciate that. But is her using the mind trick them trying to show that she’s the “best evar” is it them not being able to think of another quick way to escape that also shows she’s become awakened in the force?
  • She uses “the Force” to beat Kylo. Now narratively this makes sense that she’d have this moment where she taps into this force within her that Maz told her about. Logically it makes sense that she should be able to beat a critically injured Kylo. Execution-wise, though, there’s an issue again where it kinda comes out of nowhere. So the issue is less the fact of the matter that Rey won, and more simply the way it was done. Does the apparent ease of her accessing the force in this moment make her a Mary Sue? Or is it again the writers not thinking of a more elegant way to include a “use the force” moment here? Then the planet breaks apart and the two are separated. Essentially a kind of Solo rescue-ish moment, though obviously without the emotional punch because it is an arbitrary and contrived bit where scenery has a big character changing moment rather than a human… and it happens after the fight is over.

My point ultimately being, the claimed ease of these moments does nothing to take away from the character’s main struggles in the film - finding her identity and self worth. If her journey was all about obtaining physical strength and becoming the most powerful Jedi, then I probably wouldn’t even be arguing with you. But that’s not what it is about at all.

To be fair, I didn’t have that many issues with Rey in TFA, partly because I imagined some of the less believable parts of her development would be explained or expanded upon in TLJ. Sadly, this did not happen. After seeing TLJ I feel she is a plot driven character. Rey acts as the catalyst for the development of Luke, and Ben Solo, but gets very little development herself. Despite my misgivings about Luke’s motivations for being on Ach-To, Luke has a good character arc in TLJ. Ben Solo has a good character arc. Rey doesn’t in my view. Why does Rey want to become a Jedi? Why does she suddenly trust Ben over Luke, after she witnessed Ben murder his father, and her mentor a few days earlier? Is she that naive? If so, why are there no consequences for the weaknesses in her character? Luke had weaknesses, and he payed for them dearly in TESB. Luke needed to be rescued at the end of TESB literally hanging on for life. Rey simply gets to escape the Supremacy unscathed using a conveniently placed shuttle to be in time to take the torch from Luke, rescue the entire rebellion, and to celebrate their symbolic victory.

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 (Edited)

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Men and women are equal, but not the same. To me continually forcing women into the role of a female Rambo, and calling it feminism or female empowerment is wrong. Men and women are different, and we should celebrate this gender diversity. To me Leia is a much better representation of female strength, and empowerment than most of what the current batch of movies have given us. It should not just be about beating up people, and being in places of power. It should be about having a moral compass, showing resilience, and being an inspirational leader. That’s what Leia was to me, more so than any of the other classic characters, or the new ones. Leia stood up to Darth Vader, despite the fact that he could break her in half. That is true strength.

Ehhhhhh men and women have biological differences that set them apart, sure… but I think these are often overstated, as the majority of the differences between the two genders are caused simply by cultural norms and mindsets.

Are women, on the whole, physically weaker than men? Sure! Do I think that Daisy Ridley could right now beat up literally any dude on this site? Not a doubt in my mind. Point being, it depends.

I can’t speak to “female Rambo” because I must have missed that reboot (or otherwise can’t seem to think of any characters that fit that description… except maybe Sarah Connor but I thought guys were cool with her). Even if the argument is that women should be less represented in the military ranks because of biological shortcomings or whatever, in terms of SW background roles we’re mostly talking about people in leadership roles or people sitting at desks. I can’t really think of a single good reason why there shouldn’t be a roughly equal amount of women in those roles in a fantasy film that is supposed to be divorced from the deep-rooted historical Earthly ideas of gender roles.

The issue here to me is, that Star Wars mostly represented just that even before Disney took over. In the OT women were at the top in the Rebel Alliance. There were also plenty of women in desk jobs. The PT featured female pilots, and Jedi Masters. Padme was both a queen and a senator. Then there’s Ahsoka Tano, and Asajj Ventress in Cloen Wars, who both became fan favourites.

The problem with what came before wasn’t that women were literally nowhere to be found. It was that the ones there were basically token females.

In my mind Rey perfectly embodies the idea of an empowering female character. Her character is not defined by her physical strength at all. What makes her strong is her inner strength: her resilience, her independence, her determination, her ability to strive to do the right thing even if she’s not always sure the best way to get there, her compassion for her friends, and her struggle to grow to believe in herself when all her life she’s been told she’s nothing. Those who focus on her “overpowered” abilities are, of course, looking at the wrong thing entirely.

I think her being overpowered is exactly what stands in the way of her being empowering. The creators were so obsessed with creating a female role model, that they made her too perfect. As such she doesn’t earn her great powers, but just recieves them apparently just because she’s a female protagonist. She had to be better at everything than anybody. God forbid, if she actually needed anyone’s help. Luke survived the Death Star run, because he was rescued by Han Solo. Not so for Rey, she can rescue herself, and I’m sure if Finn, Han and Chewie didn’t come to her rescue, she would have found a way to get of SKB herself. She doesn’t need Luke’s guidance. She will train herself, and become the greatest Jedi ever.

Of course she needs help, she learns important lessons from everyone along the way. Don’t forget, if it was all up to her, she’d still be on Jakku.

Ultimately the point of her strength in both films is that it is a power within her that she only need to believe in herself to tap. Which is of course the same way it was for Luke. But Rey’s filled with insecurities.

You can debate the tact with which her powers are utilized in the film (I’ll even concede there’s a couple minor fumbles in TFA in this regard), but you’re obviously misconstruing the intent. She doesn’t have powers just because she’s a female protagonist (it honestly seems like you’re just kinda making an argument to fit an agenda when you say that). Plenty of people have complained about JJ Abrams shortcutting his protagonists in other films to success so it’s probably pretty safe to say this isn’t done just because she’s a woman.

Okay, because I can’t sleep, here’s the three main pressure points of her skills in TFA (where I’ll argue if anything narrative shortcutting is more to blame than simply making Rey overpowered):

  • She flies the Falcon to safety. Forget the fact the she almost crashed it when it first took off, and had more trouble with two TIEs than we’ve ever seen anyone have in any of these films, this apparently shows that she’s the best because they made it out alive. But isn’t that how movies work? If you think it should’ve been more challenging, is that really an issue of her being a Mary Sue or of the filmmakers not making a more complicated scene?
  • She uses the mind trick to escape. This one annoys me, I’ll admit it, just because it comes out of nowhere with not much reasoning. But did they do this just because she’s a girl? I mean on the one hand kinda, if Lucas turned the damsel in distress trope on its head in 77 JJ had to push that to the next level here. And I appreciate that. But is her using the mind trick them trying to show that she’s the “best evar” is it them not being able to think of another quick way to escape that also shows she’s become awakened in the force?
  • She uses “the Force” to beat Kylo. Now narratively this makes sense that she’d have this moment where she taps into this force within her that Maz told her about. Logically it makes sense that she should be able to beat a critically injured Kylo. Execution-wise, though, there’s an issue again where it kinda comes out of nowhere. So the issue is less the fact of the matter that Rey won, and more simply the way it was done. Does the apparent ease of her accessing the force in this moment make her a Mary Sue? Or is it again the writers not thinking of a more elegant way to include a “use the force” moment here? Then the planet breaks apart and the two are separated. Essentially a kind of Solo rescue-ish moment, though obviously without the emotional punch because it is an arbitrary and contrived bit where scenery has a big character changing moment rather than a human… and it happens after the fight is over.

My point ultimately being, the claimed ease of these moments does nothing to take away from the character’s main struggles in the film - finding her identity and self worth. If her journey was all about obtaining physical strength and becoming the most powerful Jedi, then I probably wouldn’t even be arguing with you. But that’s not what it is about at all.

To be fair, I didn’t have that many issues with Rey in TFA, partly because I imagined some of the less believable parts of her development would be explained or expanded upon in TLJ. Sadly, this did not happen.

There actually is a sort of an explanation, whether you like it or not is another matter.

After seeing TLJ I feel she is a plot driven character. Why does Rey want to become a Jedi?

She never says she want to be a Jedi. She wants someone to show her her place, and to help her with what she’s experiencing. Why she should want those things should be clear. Becoming a Jedi is ultimately just the answer to those more pressing wants.

Why does she suddenly trust Kylo over Luke, after she witnessed Kylo murder her mentor a few days earlier? Is she that naive?

She doesn’t exactly. He tells her a story she doesn’t believe, until Luke kinda backs it up. She puts her faith in Kylo because he opened himself up to her and let her put her faith in him, while Luke refused on both counts. She turned to Kylo because she had hope, and seemingly no other option.

If so, why are there no consequences for the weaknesses in her character? Luke had weaknesses, and he payed for them dearly in TESB. Luke needed to be rescued at the end of TESB literally hanging on for life. Rey simply gets to escape the Supremacy using a conveniently placed shuttle to be in time to rescue the entire rebellion, and to celebrate their symbolic victory.

You’re complaining that TLJ didn’t rehash Empire enough now? Not every film requires the protagonist to “pay dearly” when they make a mistake. What’s important in a story of failure isn’t consequence, but learning. Luke was put on his ass because that was the lesson that he needed to learn at that moment - the importance of patience. Rey learned an important lesson too (that unspoken third lesson, especially obvious if one considers the deleted caretaker scene), which is that the person that she kept looking around for to put her faith into was actually herself all along. Her failure with Kylo served a narrative purpose to illustrate this (amongst other things). Rey losing a limb wouldn’t have (necessarily) done that.

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 (Edited)

DominicCobb said:
You’re complaining that TLJ didn’t rehash Empire enough now? Not every film requires the protagonist to “pay dearly” when they make a mistake. What’s important in a story of failure isn’t consequence, but learning. Luke was put on his ass because that was the lesson that he needed to learn at that moment - the importance of patience. Rey learned an important lesson too (that unspoken third lesson, especially obvious if one considers the deleted caretaker scene), which is that the person that she kept looking around for to put her faith into was actually herself all along. Her failure with Kylo served a narrative purpose to illustrate this (amongst other things). Rey losing a limb wouldn’t have (necessarily) done that.

No, I didn’t want TLJ to rehash TESB, but I did need there to be consequences. One of those consequences might have been her accepting Kylo’s outreached hand. That’s where the story was going when Kylo rescued her from Snoke, and they worked together to defeat Snoke’s guards, but RJ backed down, and so Kylo reverted back to his role as the villain, and Rey to being the hero. It’s great that she has to learn to put her faith into herself, but the problem here is that she’s already been shown to be fiercly independent, and so this lesson only reaffirms, what she was doing all along, namely trust in her own abilities. It’s not much of a character arc, if an independent strong character learns to have faith in himself or herself. The discovery of her parentage could have been interesting, but ultimately doesn’t affect her choices, or the trajectory of her character. She was going to be in time to rescue the rebellion in any event, and so the entire parentage subplot feels like treading water to me.

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We’re somewhat getting away from the thread topic - and now going over ground repeatedly covered in great depth in at least two other threads.

Let’s put the onus back on to ‘Is Star Wars catering to girls now?’.

Thank you all.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here?

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DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Men and women are equal, but not the same. To me continually forcing women into the role of a female Rambo, and calling it feminism or female empowerment is wrong. Men and women are different, and we should celebrate this gender diversity. To me Leia is a much better representation of female strength, and empowerment than most of what the current batch of movies have given us. It should not just be about beating up people, and being in places of power. It should be about having a moral compass, showing resilience, and being an inspirational leader. That’s what Leia was to me, more so than any of the other classic characters, or the new ones. Leia stood up to Darth Vader, despite the fact that he could break her in half. That is true strength.

Ehhhhhh men and women have biological differences that set them apart, sure… but I think these are often overstated, as the majority of the differences between the two genders are caused simply by cultural norms and mindsets.

That’s not what the data says. As societies become more egalitarian and women are free to make choices about the direction of their lives, they increasingly make the sorts of choices that we’re being told today (by politicians and activists – not social scientists) are simply social constructs enforced by cultural norms. The likelihood is that the cultural norms now being labeled as enforcement actually arose from biological gender differences in the first place.

That’s not to say there isn’t cultural reinforcement of these norms, creating a positive feedback loop of sorts, that pushes more harshly defined lines between male and female, causing some people to think they can’t or shouldn’t do certain things because of their gender. There has traditionally been a lot of pressure for girls to be girls and boys to be boys. It’s just interesting that when those pressures are reduced, our life choices (career, child rearing, etc.) tend to bear out our gender differences rather than do away with them.

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

The things you pwn end up pwning you.

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DominicCobb said:

Are women, on the whole, physically weaker than men? Sure! Do I think that Daisy Ridley could right now beat up literally any dude on this site? Not a doubt in my mind.

Well bring ‘er on. I’d prefer a straight fight to all this sneakin’ around.

I want to be naked, running through the streets.
I want to invite this so-called chaos you think I dare not be.
I want to be weightless, flying through the air.
I want to drop all these limitations and return to what I was born to be.