Shopping Maul said:
With regards to Rey, whatever fanboy misgivings I may personally have about the writing, I do think its great that Kathleen K. and co. have given young girls their own Luke Skywalker to look up to and dress up as.
I consider the statement, that young girls cannot relate to or identify with Luke Skywalker, because he’s male to be inherently sexist. The character of Luke Skywalker is an avatar for the desires and hopes of both men and women. As such, it shouldn’t matter, if the character is portrayed by a man or a woman. Lucas wasn’t trying to cater to a specific gender group when he created the character. Consequently, Luke could have been a girl, and the story would have played out in exactly the same way. The only time the gender of a character matters, is when that character, has specific traits, that are gender specific, or if you want to specifically relate to a specific gender group. In all other cases casting should be driven by having equal representation of men and women, not by the sexist notion, that men can only relate to men, and women only relate to women.
I agree. That line of thinking IS inherently sexist!
I’m a female, and I never felt like the OT wasn’t made “for me.” It was made for everyone. I didn’t need to be catered to by seeing an abundance of females on the screen to “relate to.” I identified most closely with Luke—NOT Leia, in part because I had a giant crush on him! I had posters of Mark Hamill all over my bedroom walls…not Carrie Fisher. But I also identified with the fact that Luke didn’t know his parents & was kind of a fish-out-of-water, which is the way I’ve felt most of my life, also not having known my father very well since he died when I was very young.
What was great about the OT was that it wasn’t trying to second-guess the audience. I can’t remember who said it, it may have been Spielberg (or maybe even Lucas), but some famous director said something to the effect of “once you start second-guessing the audience, it’s over.” I think that’s what has happened with the SW franchise now. The films are no longer coming from an organic place, they’re being made by trying to cater to certain demographics and the anticipated $$$ in mind. Those are not the ingredients of creatively-successful films.