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Monday , 8, May 2017 79 Comments

Because using a picture from The Force Awakens would make me feel dirty.

It is time, oh my friends, for another one of those mild-mannered and completely restrained opinion pieces for which I am justifiably and widely renowned. But unlike my earlier, more low key efforts, today’s subject may provoke me to forgo my easy-going manner and get a little exercised, or perhaps even emphatic. Let us begin:


The heart of the problem, the source of the crappitude, is Rey. She’s the main character, the center of the movie, so any significant problems with her can ruin the entire thing. And they did.


When first she meets another primary character, Rey saves both their lives, even in the face of his bumbling machismo which threatens to get them both killed. Then she flies a starship for the very first time (completely untrained) and—though a rank amateur—she pulls off several maneuvers Han Solo would have had trouble duplicating even on his very best day as a pilot. Then her and Finn spend an entire hour gushing over how awesome she is. Then she goes to repair the ship—no mention how an untutored scavenger from the back of the back of beyond knows how to service a damned starship, much less the Millennium Falcon, a ship which gave even an astromech droid (MADE for starship repair) the fits—and gets to yell at Finn because he’s so damn incompetent. And she speaks droid, AND she speaks Wookie. And she releases monsters to kill bad guys (which she thought was the wrong thing to do, but turns out she was mistaken as the monsters eat up all the bad guys. (This is the only time she’s ever wrong, in the entire movie.)) With the tough, criminal bad guys dead or running, Rey saves Finn, Han, and Chewie from certain death at the hands of the monsters she released. And she deftly repairs the Millennium Falcon—AGAIN. Finn wants to flee like a coward, Rey wants to stand like a hero. She’s suddenly able to read people’s mind with The Force, as well as do that funky Jedi Mind Trick, all with absolutely no training. She gets captured once, and taken to the BIGGEST MILITARY BASE IN THE ENTIRE GALAXY, but before the menfolk can rescue her, Rey rescues herself. And then free-climbs an infinitely high wall without a HINT of vertigo or hesitation. And then bypasses the security system of the Planet-sized Interstellar Planet Killing Secret Base Death Machine, prompting Han to say “Girl knows her stuff because she’s awesomesauce and coolicious and brilliantatious like that. Word to your mother, my woolly Wookie homie.” (What did Luke get in a similar situation? “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.”) And then she defeats the super-evil, super-competent, been-training-in-The-Force-for-over-ten-years evil Sith dude in a lightsaber battle.

According to all available evidence the movie provides, Rey’s a better pilot than Han, a better mechanic than Chewie, a better Jedi than Luke, a better everything than everybody. WHAT A GAL!

And, oh yes, the orange-nerf-football-headed alien they meet in the cantina has found Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber (last seen falling into the vast and unplumbed depths of the cloud giant Bespin), but the lightsaber of the famed and legendary LAST JEDI is psychically calling… FOR REY! And it gives her SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE STRONG WOMAN FATED TO BE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND NEVER BE WRONG VISIONS! Just for her.

WOW! Obviously Rey is the bestest thing that has ever been. She’s never wrong, better than everyone at everything, and the most special, unique, coolio-awesomest person in the entire galaxy.

In other words, Rey is the Mary-Sueist Mary Sue to have ever Mary Sued. Ever.

She is the single best example of modern Hollywood’s “Strong Woman Character What Don’t Need No Mans” trope. The kind of strong, but sexy and quintessentially feminine characters played by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Lauren Bacall are like, yesterday’s news daddio. Get with the times—today’s strong women are Rey all the way.

I HATE this movie. I didn’t use to, but I just watched it again so I could take notes for this post (with Rifftrax on, which deadened some of the pain) and yup, I hate it.

I miss the days of flawed protagonists, protagonists who needed teammates because they couldn’t do it all themselves, protagonists who made the occasional mistake, and who even—SHOCK OF ALL SHOCKS—fell in love. I miss your John McClanes, your Martin Riggses, your Paul Kerseys. Sure, Snake Plissken was an uber-competent ass-kicking madman badass who tore through any bad guy dumb enough to get in his way, but even he needed help from Cabbie, Maggie, and the Brain, and those other luminaries even saved him a time or two.

Action movies are awesome, and action movie heroes are even awesomer, but one-note, never-fail, never-wrong Mary Sues (or Marty Stus) are BORING. Give me someone who struggles, who makes mistakes, who has to drag himself to victory over shards of broken glass. (I mostly mean that figuratively, but John McClane did it literally. TOTALLY. BAD. ASS.) I want some damn dramatic tension in my action movies, and that can only happen when the main character ISN’T TOTALLY AND IN EVERY WAY PERFECT.

Aspiring Pulp Pensters, take note: Make your hero human. Give him character flaws. Let him be incompetent at something. Give him sidekicks and allies who exist to actually HELP him, not just stand around gushing about how cool he is. Don’t write a little Plaster Saint. Write a human, who also happens to be a hero.

Heroism is not a dirty word. Noble, brave, and determined heroes are the bread-and-butter of fiction, they’re the standout characters. Hell, they’re standouts in Real Life as well. Don’t be afraid of them.

We all need heroism and heroes in our stories. We all need heroes.

Don’t let the scumbags and cowards of the world tell you heroes don’t exist, and don’t listen to the nudnicks who say they’re unrealistic. Pulp is the genre of heroes and heroism, and without them, there is no Pulp.

Word to your mother.

Jasyn Jones, better known as Daddy Warpig, is a host on the Geek Gab podcast, a regular on the Superversive SF livestreams, and blogs at Daddy Warpig’s House of Geekery. Check him out on Twitter.

  • Rawle Nyanzi says:

    A good point; I absolutely hated Rey, and saw her as symbolic of everything wrong with how female characters are written today. It’s like “tough grrls” are the only ones allowed anymore.

  • Andy says:

    I didn’t find Rey likable. Not because she’s actively unpleasant (she seems like a nice enough person), but making her so good at everything makes her admirable but unapproachable. I had issues with how Finn was written, but at least I can say I liked him on a gut level and kept wanting to see what he’d do next.

    Perhaps the sequels will be better with different directors, although I’m skeptical. Every time I’ve watched a JJ Abrams movie, I’ve come away feeling like it’s superficially entertaining but there’s nothing new or insightful at the core. He mimics stuff he likes but it’s like a faded Xerox copy.

    • Alex says:

      I felt bad for that jibbering alien that she stole BB-8 from. That dude probably needed to sell that droid for food and water, but she nagged him into giving it up!

  • A. Nonymous says:


  • UF says:

    Preach, preacher!

  • Looking Glass says:

    “who has to drag himself to victory over shards of broken glass” is the crux of the issue. Putting a female main character (one you’re attached to/rooting for) through physical injury isn’t enjoyable to watch. It’s mostly deep instincts at play, but it’s simply not enjoyable or acceptable to watch.

    The exceptions were a few well-regarded action and/or horror movies. That were R-rated. And the male characters were normally dead by the point the female lead was badly injured.

    So, by the nature of making the main character female, they have to go this route or the audience won’t buy the situation. It’s why the movie is really a well done copy of previous Star Wars themes, which don’t work nearly as well once you make it no longer the Hero’s Journey but the Hero’s Coronation (which requires getting a little dirty).

    • Jesse Lucas says:

      Putting the female lead through excruciating emotional anguish is both easier to watch and harder to stand. In many cases this is accomplished by making her deal with the consequences of the male lead’s dragging himself to victory, which is of course unacceptable to moderns. Another way is for her to become fully aware of how horrible she’s been to everyone, which is in some ways less unenjoyable to watch than the same thing happening to a man. This implies she can make mistakes, though, which is unacceptable to moderns.

    • NARoberts says:

      Speaking of this “Hero’s Journey” thing, it seems that Rey is stuck at the “refuse the call” part all the way through. She does nothing but go: “I have to go home” all the way. When she gets to the Point at the Halfway Mark Where a Wise Older Woman Tells Her Important Things (as has been discussed here re: the Hero’s Journey)–She runs away. As far as I can remember, she only fights at all in a Roman Citizen fashion (“Let’s fight the empire and then I have to go home”).

      That last isn’t even a criticism, I’m conflicted as to how they made the Roman Soldier motif into something DULL and UNADMIRABLE.

      She does choose to fight without a personal stake, so that’s heroism, but I guess only a grrl could be allowed that kind of truly heroic motivation.


  • H.P. says:

    I’m afraid you’ve been consuming modern fiction so long it’s rotted your brain and you’re unable to recognize a real hero, my friend.

    • Daniel says:

      H.P. Rey doesn’t change a lick and she’s a boy! Crack fighter, mechanic, pilot, long-distance runner, and swordsman. With no training!

      That’s not a journey. That’s a Katy Perry concert.

      Also, Finn and Poe don’t round out the ensemble in any way. Finn rescues him for no reason, and they become lifelong friends with zero conflicts even though Poe disappears within five minutes of meeting.

      It is like the script writer was given a box of Star Wars puzzle pieces and several were missing. And he put what was left together wrong.

      So yeah, you could go to it and say: Hey! I can kinda see the hero’s journey in a way that could be mistaken for Star Wars. Funny robot with a round top!

      • H.P. says:

        That’s weird, people round these parts usually complain stories hew too close to the Hero’s Journey, not that they depart from it.

        • razzle says:

          The Zero Journey is not an interesting departure from the Hero’s Journey.

        • Jesse Lucas says:

          That’s when the Hero’s Journey is a downgrade from interesting conflict and/or growth. If Rey had been, say, Jyn Ursa, her growth to that point would have been implied and her talents somewhat acceptable. A troubled past would also provide something tangible for her to strive against.

          And if Rey had starred in Rogue One it would have injected pathos into that story, given us a viewpoint to explain the worldbuilding, and made the final conflict more touching.

        • deuce says:

          “The Zero Journey is not an interesting departure from the Hero’s Journey.”


  • Daniel says:

    Star Wars: The Script Awakens

    A lta in a gffa…

    Luke prepares his old X-Wing for flight. Han shows up. “You sure you gotta do this now? I could use a good pilot.”

    “Sorry, Han. This is about the only thing I can do to help you get Ben back right now. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I’d only drive him deeper into–”

    “No, me and Chewie can handle it.”

    Leia appears: “You had better.”

    Han turns to Luke with a smirk: “No pressure, there, huh, kid?” Han turns back to Leia: “Don’t worry, darlin’. I’ll get him back.”

    An expression of grief crosses Leia’s face: “Luke…”

    Luke: “The Force is with us.”

    Leia: “But is it with Ben?”

    C3PO arrives in a panic: I’m sorry to interrupt Master Luke, but you asked me to alert you as soon as —

    Han: As soon as what?

    Luke: I must go now. Han, I’ve loaded the instructions on Artoo. You can’t do this without–

    Han: A little girl? Really?

    Luke: Yes. A little girl.

    Han: Okay, kid. Good luck. I’ll see you when you get back.


    Rey ends up being resourceful, but basically Dorothy in Oz, not some training-free jedi master. Han picks her up and it turns out she can sense where Kylo Ren is and makes that meeting happen. Han gets offed, and in his weakened condition, Kylo still fights off a perfectly healthy Ren to escape.

    Then she and Chewie goes and finds Luke.


    Yes no useless Finn or literal Poe.

  • JD Cowan says:

    Ma-Rey Sue.

    One of the earliest and best criticisms of TFA was from E;R. He says it all and then some:

  • Edward says:

    I don’t think The Force Awakens is a bad movie nor is Rey a terrible character because they don’t live up to your standards of a pulp story or hero.

    We already saw the growth of Luke in the original trilogy, it would have been counterproductive to show a similar arc with a different character and it would have taken three movies.

    An example in fantasy is “The Deed of Paksenarrion” by Elizabeth Moon. This trilogy is an epic journey about a young woman who runs away to become a soldier, then an adventurer and eventually a paladin with magic powers and great responsibilities. You see the hard work, trials, loss and adversity.

    Years later Moon revisited the series with new books, however the style and pacing much changed. The plot moved faster and while focusing heavily on one protaganist, it did change narrator’s perspective.

    I feel like Star Wars is similar in that way. The new series has to further the plot and maintain familiarity with the original material while at the same time it has to avoid repeating itself too much. Fine line there.

    Great, Rey can do things and they don’t show how she know how to do things. I don’t want to watch Rey learn karate from Mr Miyagi. We already saw Luke do that. But we can assume that her life prepared her for the journey we see. Perhaps she had a mentor or two, perhaps she is self taught. Certainly she has the force to guide her intuition.

    • Daniel says:

      Fine. At the Beginning of Return of the Jedi, Luke was not yet a Jedi Master, the Empire held all the cards, and his father issues were unresolved. At the end of Return of the Jedi, the Rebels had overthrown the Empire, Luke was a Jedi Master and his Father had converted and died.

      At the Beginning of TFA, Luke is an unseen Jedi Master in hiding, Rey is a kickass heroine, and the Empire II is struggling to overthrow a ragtag ruling Rebellion. By the end, Luke is an unseen Jedi Master in hiding, Rey is a kickass heroine, and the Empire II steps on its own tail in its struggle to overthrow a ragtag ruling Rebellion.

      How exactly did Rey advance the plot in an innovative new arcless way?

      • Edward, like the vampire. says:

        You make my enjoyment of the movie sound like your disappointment with the movie and I am okay with that.

    • NARoberts says:

      And the movie had about three whole scenes/plot points that weren’t lifted wholesale from the old films.

  • jic says:

    The only way that Rey could turn out to be a worthwhile character is if they are setting her up to fail, turn to the dark side, or both. That would be interesting. If they are just going to continue with her being just perfect at everything, then she will continue to suck.

    Finn, on the other hand, is much more likable, he’s probably the best character in the movie (yes, I know that isn’t saying much). I do find it funny, though, that in a movie so heavily into PC pandering, the main black character is a comic-relief cowardly space-janitor.

    • Jesse Lucas says:

      I was pretty offended by how useless Finn was in general, and I can’t imagine how black Star Wars fans felt watching the main black character get downgraded from Lando to this.

    • Daniel says:

      No! If the character does nothing in the movie, it isn’t being set up for anything in the sequel! It’s like making Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: The Early Years first! No one is going to pay to produce the Newman/Redford version AFTER the William Katt and…(who was Cassidy? Michael Pare?) movie.

      She’s an empty character. No empty vessel like that has ever been turned into a worthwhile character in the history of movies. She is Jar Jar Binks without the savoir faire.

  • Ingot9455 says:

    There is only one possible save for Rey from here.

    That is to have her tell Luke what she was doing, and him to say, “Wait a minute. You thought YOU were doing all that?” And laugh in her face.

    Luke was force-projecting through her the whole time so she could do the things only he had trained to do.

    • David says:

      A friend of mine has the theory she was already trained as a small child by Luke in the Force before he left. That could explain all the Force powers she uses, but not the other stuff.

  • David Bakin says:

    Surely you mean Katherine Hepburn, not Audrey Hepburn?

  • Jaycephus says:

    all true, JJ

  • Horn of the Mark says:

    Don’t forget, she’s also inexplicably a better soldier/marksWOman than Finn, who was raised from infancy as a pseudo-Janissary to be a perfect solider (and janitor).

    • NARoberts says:

      Stormtroopers cold never shoot though. He gets a pass.

      Of course, it would have been cooler if the new empire was scary competent. Raise the stakes a bit. But no.

      • jic says:

        But Obi Wan claimed that they were excellent shots: “Only Imperial Stormtroopers Are So Precise”. That old bastard was a compulsive liar.

        • Alex says:

          What if Obi Wan killed Luke’s Aunt & Uncle? Totally jibes with everything else that happens in the 6 canonical films in which he is a significant character.

        • Terry Sanders says:

          Or maybe it was true.

          Remember the boarding action on the Blockade Runner at the beginning of the film? Twenty, thirty, forty guys, lined up in a hallway with semi-auto weapons, all firing at a doorway twenty feet away– and they STILL couldn’t get enough hits to keep the stormtroopers from coming through the door. In single file.

          I always figured those things were shotguns. Or worse. Stormtroopers are *good* shots. They *occasionally* hit. If you *usually* hit what you aim at, you’d have been Jedi material if they’d found and kidnapped you early enough.

          • Terry Sanders says:

            (Note that this way their tactics make some sense. Shoulder to shoulder, blazing away? That’s what you *do* with a Brown Bess.

            (And that’s why clone troopers are better than droids. Droids can’t use the Force at all. Hit-or-miss Force users are better than nothing.)

      • deuce says:

        Virtually every movie made after Episode IV was one long exercise in proving Kenobi to be a pathological liar.

        #KenobiToldthe Truth

  • Mr. Bee says:

    Note: like nearly all “Powerful women rawk!” movies, this was written by men. I’m of the opinion that the Mary Sue character is a stand in for the writer’s single parent moms.

  • Achilles says:

    What really bothers me is that Rey grew up on a desert planet but is a mouth breather. She runs around that sandy planet with her mouth in an eternal grunt. Her turds must be sandpaper.

    It’s encouraging to see others admit what I’ve been saying since I saw the movie. She’s totally unbelievable. Luke was a dumb farm boy. Sure he was had some talent as a pilot but he was naive and couldn’t even block shots from the training droid. Where is the character growth with Rey? She changes her hair and clothes. She’s already the best swordsman, pilot, mechanic, linguist, jedi, and whatever else. She has no need of a team. But we have to suffer her running around with her mouth open saving the day for two more films. I just want to see a bug fly into her mouth in one shot. Maybe fly out again.

  • Jay Barnson says:

    Okay. I just recently re-watched it with my dad, and I found myself liking it more the… um… fourth time around?

    Now I could contest some of these claims. Is she perfect? Probably not. Is she wrong? Yes, probably… she’s obstinately clinging to the fiction that if she stays back on Jakku, her family will eventually find her and everything will be awesome again. Dream on. Is she a better pilot than Han Solo? Um, the way she was flying on Jakku, maybe maybe not. Would she survive the asteroid field? Dunno.

    She was able to hold her own against a badly injured, partly-trained Sith wannabe in a lightsaber battle where he was probably holding back and trying not to kill her. Yeah, iffy. BUT she was no stranger to fighting with a staff, it seemed, so yeah… stretching credibility, sure, but I didn’t get the idea she was a super-jedi from that alone. What bugged me more than that was the comment about her power growing “exponentially” now that she had awakened or whatnot… yeah. That made me say, “Oh, come on!” Like she’s going to become Galactus by morning?”

    And yeah, the terrible faux pas at the end when Leia ignored Chewbacca and gives this girl she’s never met the big hug… SHEESH.

    So yeah. It’s not great. But not as terrible as it sounds here. I’m seeing room to grow, and compared to baby Anakin, she’s wonderfully three-dimensional. (But yeah, that’s a pretty low bar…)

    Honestly, when I first watched the movie, I identified far more with Finn and was more interested in what he and Han Solo were doing. Rey was more of the McGuffin turned into a character. It wasn’t enough to ruin the movie for me, so maybe as you say I just like crap. I’m okay with that.

    On the pulp front, though… two words: DOC SAVAGE. (And I say that as a fan.)

    All that being said, of course you are right about how more flawed characters are far more interesting. Rey needs work. Re-reading Man of Bronze many years later, I did some eye-rolling. But I still enjoyed both it and TFA.

    • Andy says:

      Well, Doc Savage is like that because he’s been training every day since childhood 😉

      With Rey, I think you could say there’s just enough to make you wonder, like maybe her mechanic skills are from tinkering with stuff while stranded on the planet? But all of it together is just too much. It reminds me of when I watched the first episode of the Horatio Hornblower show with my wife and she said she didn’t like it because “everything comes too easily to him.”

      • Jay Barnson says:

        Sure, there’s an excuse for Clark Savage, but from a storytelling perspective, the stories succeeded in spite of that, not because of that. 🙂

        Yeah, one must wonder if the junk boss had Rey parking used spaceships or flight-testing them after they were repaired with salvaged parts. There’s my fan-theory (maybe) – once he learned she wasn’t a flight risk, she was his go-to person for test flights.

        Still wouldn’t make her a good pilot though. Maybe she lucked out during that one battle…

        Anyway, here’s hoping they drill down and improve her character in the next film after all the “Mary Sue” complaints.

        • Jesse Lucas says:

          The problem with all of these justifications for the problems of TFA is that it’s not our job to write the script for them.

          • H.P. says:

            It’s not their job to spoon feed justifications for everything to the watcher when it’s better storytelling to imply it.

          • Jesse Lucas says:

            It’s their job to actually imply justifications, especially when they’re blowing entire minutes of screen time on standard JJ Abrams mystery-building exercises when they could have put in ten seconds of foreshadowing. “I used to bullseye womprats” and you know Luke can fly, “the Force is strong with this one” and you know why he’s flying well. Rey goes “I used to ferry these things for my old boss,” there it is, we believe she can fly, but in that and a million other things they just didn’t spare the time.

            Look, I know you can come up with a million fan theories for why things were the way they were. For the old films you didn’t have to because they knew how to answer questions or make you feel like there was an answer there.

          • Terry Sanders says:

            Which is why *everyone* rolls their eyes at the twelve-parsec Kessel run. A)most uniq4ely, that nonsense wasn’t explained, excused, or justified anywhere else; so you either have to elaborately fansplain it or just say “Lucas screwed up.”

  • This movie was ass. A facile copy of a far superior product that traded on nostalgia to create a fanfic rehash in a cynical cash-grab nearly the size of the not-Death Star (wink wink) depicted in this movie.

    The Room had more believable characters than Rey (and was far more entertaining).

    I wish I wrote this myself, Daddy. You hit on everything that bugged me about this shiny, expensive mound of failure.

  • Norvis says:

    Preaching to the choir here. I was first exposed to these type of story breaking characters thanks to Michael Stackpole’s Coren Horn character. Same with Starbuck in the new BSG. With no tension, there is nothing to care for. With nothing to care for, there is no reason to watch/read the story.

    • Terry Sanders says:

      And at least Corran started screwing up in the later stories. Watching him try to ObiWan a stormtrooper when he had no idea what the heck he was doing was hilarious.

      • Nate Winchester says:

        I actually liked I, Jedi because it introduced the idea that Jedi had talents and flaws in different aspects of the force (making Anakin powerful because he was omni-competent). In that book Corren was entertaining watching him trying to work around not being able to use one of the most useful Jedi tricks.

        He must have got really bad in later books because I, Jedi was one of the first times anybody actually tried to reign in or restrain the mary-sue class that is the Jedi.

  • Ken Prescott says:

    I made my hero seriously screw up a parachute landing, made him late for a rendezvous, made him leave a flaming datum, made him get in a car with a Vopo and almost gets driven to the local Stasi HQ, he played a good trick but the bad guy was smarter and had more resources, and the bad guy gets him to reveal something with a stupid psychological trick. And when he makes his Big Desperate move to salvage the situation, he makes some elements of the situation EVEN WORSE.

    Skilled? Yes. Perfect? Hell, no.

  • Brian Renninger says:

    Left out that she blows up a bigger Death Star than Luke too. Everything must be better. But, she’s not the worst thing about the movie. The worst thing was resurrecting the Death Star. Again. It was disappointing in Return of the Jedi. In this one it was just ridiculous.

    • Resurrecting the Death Star at least made a modicum of sense in Return of the Jedi. It was the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, but the Empire only got to use it once. Why wouldn’t they try to build it again? And the Rebel Alliance feared it greatly, knowing it could destroy planets. To me, it added a sense of urgency to the story.

      I liken it to a terrible, deadly villain coming back to stalk our heroes in a later installment of a story. But this “trick,” as it were, really only works once.

      In TFA, it was tiresome. When the not-Death Star blew up an entire galaxy, I felt nothing.

      • Jesse Lucas says:

        When it was all visible from the surface of the cantina planet I felt something, the grim assurance that these people had no idea how to make a Star Wars movie.

      • H.P. says:

        Return of the Jedi is underrated, but resurrecting the Death Star made zero sense there either. Of all the things TFA should be criticized for, Starkiller base is by far the largest.

      • Terry Sanders says:

        One of my friends described THE FORCE AWAKENS as:

        “What? ANOTHER ONE? O-k-a-a-y-y, where’s the exhaust port, where’s the shield generator, HEY RALPH, YOU GOT THOSE X-WINGS OUT OF THE SHOP YET??!!

  • B&N says:

    “the orange-nerf-football-headed alien”

    it’s called a “Hey Arnold” alien

  • B&N says:

    “Word to your mother.”

    Oh, because Mother’s Day is coming up. Well then, word to all’y’all’s mothers!

  • Misha Burnett says:

    Well, I guess I saw a different movie than the rest of ya’ll.

    How you see Rey is dependant on how you see the Force, I think. If the Force is some kind of mutant superpower then, yeah, Rey is a randomly and absurdly overpowered character.

    I didn’t see the film through that context, though. That may be because I never much cared for the Star Wars franchise and so I didn’t come in with the same preconceptions as a SW Universe fan.

    I saw The Force Awakens as a theological fantasy. The impression that I was left with was not that Rey was particularly special, but that the Force was using her to do extraordinary things because of what It is, not because of what she is.

    It was, for me, a very Old Testiment kind of story–Rey was like David or Samuel, someone called by G-d.

    Since the first film, A New Hope, is the only one I remember clearly, that fit in with my understanding of the Force.

    As far as the other absurdities, yeah, I’ll admit them. But it was a Star Wars movie and I wasn’t expecting it to be logical.

    • Jesse Lucas says:

      The Star Wars movies are relentlessly internally logical.

      • Misha Burnett says:

        “This ship made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.”

        • Jesse Lucas says:

          Part of Han’s character being built up as a scoundrel who dumps cargo at the first sign of trouble and who they probably shouldn’t trust. We tend to see Star Wars in hindsight with Han already as merely a loveable rogue who always does the right thing but is sarcastic about it.

          • Misha Burnett says:

            Yes, but the point is that a parsec is a measure of distance, not time, and the line makes no logical sense.

            There are a lot of things one can say about a series of movies that features a muppet with a laser sword, but “logical” is not the word that comes to mind.

          • Jesse Lucas says:

            Of course it makes no sense. Han doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s not actually a fast ship, he’s just got a fast mouth, and the last time he transported dangerous cargo he jettisoned it. He’s only going along with this because his greed lets him get counterscanned.

            He doesn’t know what a parsec is, he just knows it sounds spacelike. Luke doesn’t know either, or his burning desire to get offplanet deafens him. Obi-Wan hopes they can at least finish this super-easy charter flight.

            And I said “internally logical.” It is completely within the logic of the story for there to be muppets with laser swords, that was established with laser swords and cute robots in the first hour of the first film.

    • Blume says:

      The problem with the david, samuel, samson or gideon type hero archetype for rey is the lack of a God or any gods. The original trilogy sets up the force as some sort of psuedo eastern mystical chakra, ying yang, dao mix. The prequels set it up as a scientific force like magnetism created by bacteria and harnessed by psuedo zen buddhist warrior monks. internal consistency was lost here.

      The force itself has no will. There is no one to call Rey or make her their champion in either scenario.

      • Misha Burnett says:

        What I liked about the film was that it did take the Force seriously in a theological sense–it may not have been a Deity in the other films, but that’s how it was interpreted in both Force Awakens and Rogue One.

        But, as I say, I am not that familiar with the films other than the first one (which I saw a long time ago), so I was coming into the mythology as a new viewer.

  • Jaycephus says:

    I never did understand the argument that Rey ISN’T a Mary Sue. She’s a better Mary Sue than the original.

    I think I’ll start calling it Mary Rey instead. She’s the new best example.

  • Galaxy says:

    “Make your hero human. Give him character flaws. Let him be incompetent at something. Give him sidekicks and allies who exist to actually HELP him, not just stand around gushing about how cool he is. Don’t write a little Plaster Saint. Write a human, who also happens to be a hero.”

    So, basicly you want your heroes to be more…I dare to say…realistic? Because that’s a bit of an odd claim, when in manny of your other posts you critizized such realism.

    Also, are you seriously telling me that likes of Luke Sykwalker, Han Solo and Anakin Skywalker weren’t Mary Sues…or in their case, Gary Stues?

  • Andy Wylde says:

    I can’t fucking stand Rey! She is a Mary Sue to the nth degree. Her position in life is a scavenger. But I keep hearing how hard and difficult her life is. Yeah so difficult that after a day of ripping out ship parts she has time to play on a flight simulator, fly real ships, study ship schematics, learn multiple languages and whatever other stiff she did.

    That doesn’t sound like someone who is “struggling” to get by day to day. I guess all the other scavengers must also be proficient as Rey in order to keep the trade business viable. I guess that old lady that Rey was staring at on Jakku must be a top notch ass kicker too! lol

    But what really amazes me is how the fans of the pile of **** don’t seem to know much about SW and its lore. Or the film they are gushing over either. In the film after Kylo reads her mind and goes to Snoke, Kylo flat out states:
    “She is UNTRAINED, but stronger then she knows!”

    That along with her not even knowing if the Jedi or Force was real or not is a pretty clear indicator that she HAS NO TRAINING! But morons bend over backwards to try to justify this. I laugh when I see it. And she was dropped off on Jakku at age 5. So if someone wants to go with the she had prior training, well how much training did she get from infancy to age 5? Yeah I thought so. She is born like every other kid in SW and will have to learn to eat, talk, potty train, understand things etc. So that would leave not much time for training. But I am going with her not being trained. And that to me should have upset any fan that actually cares about the lore and the Force.

    But watching her beat Kylo in the saber duel was when I said f*** this garbage! I know I heard all the excuses, but Kylo still should have taken them both out. Regardless of his injury or “inner turmoil” lol.

    Was he standing? Yes
    Was he walking? Yes
    Was he using his saber in a proficient manner? Yes
    Was he able to use the Force? Yes

    But idiots say, “oh well he wasn’t in his right mind because he killed his dad!” Uh, duh, killing his father was him fully embracing the dark side.

    Or they will say, “he was mortally wounded!” Oh really? Kylo was mortally wounded? No you should check out Finn after he got his ass kicked by Kylo, Now that is what mortally wounded looks like! See the difference?

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