Has Star Wars become influenced by politics? If so, to what degree? Is it a good or bad thing?
I’d argue yes, it has. But I’d say that’s kind of a loaded question. I think that whether or not you push for diversity is inherently political at this point. Inaction is action. People like to point at the gender wage gap as a myth because women usually choose jobs that pay less on average. I think there’s a conversation to be had that women’s representation in media and how that plays into all this. Women’s portrayal in media has been traditionally more submissive roles. Like it or not, media such as movies, books and music shape how people develop and it shapes every aspect of our lives.
Is Rey a “Mary Sue”? Is that term inherently misogynistic?
Yes in TFA, probs not in TLJ. I’d argue her character arc is a straight line in that movie, there’s definitely problems she faces that are too much for her to overcome. I do however, think it’s telling how no one seems to say “well she’s just a bad character”. If a male in a movie is a bad character, he’s just a bad character. If a female is a bad character, “OMG MARY SUE”. Forgive me for not going into the Solo thread, after the s**t-show that was TLJ thread I don’t even want to open it. So if this is common there and I’m full of it, just call me out. I’d argue that Han in Solo is a total Gary Stu. Every obstacle in the movie he’s able to overcome with ease and he’s comically overpowered. He really doesn’t grow beyond “hey don’t trust anyone bc I told you not to and I’m betraying you”. But from what I’ve seen everywhere else on the internet, no one really brings this up. He’s just a ‘bad character’.
Have SJWs really taken over Star Wars, or has a significant portion of the fanbase simply become toxic and unaccepting of new ideas and characters?
As with all fanbases, there’s extreme cringey radicals that are really toxic. I’d argue it is a minority, but the broad reach of the internet and how big the Star Wars fanbase is as a whole maybe makes it seem worse than what it is. Do I really believe that? I don’t know. Personally, I feel like everyone’s upset about the diversity stuff because traditionally, us white dudes have had traditionally white male characters to identify with. I feel like some people might be feeling a little disenfranchised because they don’t feel represented. Maybe some of them are starting to feel like female fans or people of color but that’s just conjecture.