Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I did some checking last night and in some areas they are same.

Luke progressed faster than all the other major characters in the movies, its basically self evident onscreen. Rey progressed a lot faster than Luke. You had 6 movies+ carootns doing it basically this way and thenm Rey comes along and does it another way, it creates a disconnect in the world building. It feeds into that whats the point of the 1st 6 movies, what did they achieve and are they all idiots" type idea. More likely people will say BS this movie sucks (TLJ).
Are you still using the 3.5 years that's not in canon for your assessment? What else not in the movies are you using for your assessments?

Your assessment is bunk because it's not supported by anything other than you checked last night. I checked just now, and you're clearly wrong. Who wins this?

Anakin -- podracer pilot (something NO other human could do), destroys fleet control ship, 9 years old. In less than 10 years, leads attack on Jedi temple as the only force user and slaughters everyone there. That's his bookends -- stupid powerful to start, stupid powerful at the end, THEN becomes Darth Vader.

Luke -- in a very short time finds out the Force exists and then destroys the Peace Moon (traitorously nicknamed the Death Star) without a targeting computer. Spends a few weeks in a swamp and credibly fights Darth Vader (see above). Spends a bit more time (not much), and then BEATS Vader. Yeah. Kickass!

Rey -- grows up having to survive in a brutal climate scavenging dangerous wrecks and fending off claim-jumpers and muggers (seen onscreen, even). Is able to fight wounded bad-guy trainee, becomes accused of being too good too fast.

Faces down Snoke, gets slapped down like a chihuahua puppy. Only saved by power-seizing trainee (who has also gotten much stronger and capable, but this is not remarked upon). Fights some red dudes, does well, is accused of being too power too fast. Then, lifts some rocks. HOLY POOP BATMAN, ROCKS HAVE BEEN LIFTED, WTF IS THIS ROCK STUFF?!!11eleven111!

I mean, really, at the end of TLJ, Rey has managed to get captured twice (TFA and TLJ), get slapped down a bunch of times, get some lessons from the BADDEST Jedi evah! (beat his own dad at, like 23!), and lifted some rocks, but, oh no, she's like way too strong way to fast this is bad we need more training montages and a guess that 3.5 years have passed!!! I mean, Anakin blew up a Trade Federation control cruiser, flew podracers, impregnated a Queen, rode an assassin droid 1,000s of feat AGL, landed a crippled crusier after beating Dooku, killed all the padawans and the few Jedi left in his sack of the Jedi Temple, and became Darth Vader at the same age where Rey's biggest claim to fame is lifting some damn rocks.

Get a grip, already.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
Are you still using the 3.5 years that's not in canon for your assessment? What else not in the movies are you using for your assessments?

Your assessment is bunk because it's not supported by anything other than you checked last night. I checked just now, and you're clearly wrong. Who wins this?

Anakin -- podracer pilot (something NO other human could do), destroys fleet control ship, 9 years old. In less than 10 years, leads attack on Jedi temple as the only force user and slaughters everyone there. That's his bookends -- stupid powerful to start, stupid powerful at the end, THEN becomes Darth Vader.

Luke -- in a very short time finds out the Force exists and then destroys the Peace Moon (traitorously nicknamed the Death Star) without a targeting computer. Spends a few weeks in a swamp and credibly fights Darth Vader (see above). Spends a bit more time (not much), and then BEATS Vader. Yeah. Kickass!

Rey -- grows up having to survive in a brutal climate scavenging dangerous wrecks and fending off claim-jumpers and muggers (seen onscreen, even). Is able to fight wounded bad-guy trainee, becomes accused of being too good too fast.

Faces down Snoke, gets slapped down like a chihuahua puppy. Only saved by power-seizing trainee (who has also gotten much stronger and capable, but this is not remarked upon). Fights some red dudes, does well, is accused of being too power too fast. Then, lifts some rocks. HOLY POOP BATMAN, ROCKS HAVE BEEN LIFTED, WTF IS THIS ROCK STUFF?!!11eleven111!

I mean, really, at the end of TLJ, Rey has managed to get captured twice (TFA and TLJ), get slapped down a bunch of times, get some lessons from the BADDEST Jedi evah! (beat his own dad at, like 23!), and lifted some rocks, but, oh no, she's like way too strong way to fast this is bad we need more training montages and a guess that 3.5 years have passed!!! I mean, Anakin blew up a Trade Federation control cruiser, flew podracers, impregnated a Queen, rode an assassin droid 1,000s of feat AGL, landed a crippled crusier after beating Dooku, killed all the padawans and the few Jedi left in his sack of the Jedi Temple, and became Darth Vader at the same age where Rey's biggest claim to fame is lifting some damn rocks.

Get a grip, already.
Really!???

Annakin used instinct to fly pod racers, but in no way was trained or as good at it as a trained jedi who also knew the controls. He flew as well as he did which was barely enough to win a race the same way other untrained force users were portrayed in movies. It's the same that's been expressed for those with the force, they instinctively can have better reflexes and abilities in flying. This is why Luke also could bullseye womp rats which were not much bigger than the death star exhaust shaft.

This would accord with Rey (as long as she learned the controls) being great at flying.

However, no way could Luke or Annakin do a Jedi Mind trick or beat even a Padawan with a Lightsaber after less than a day.

Luke in no way even credibly fought Vader in ESB. He confronted Vader and sure attacked Vader, but Vader was never really even worried about Luke actually being a credible threat to him. Vader went to try to turn Luke to the Dark side. He had no interest in hurting or killing Luke at all. It was basically one handed parries. He was impressed (after Luke was training on his own for THREE YEARS AND THEN ALSO had an additional bunch of training from Yoda which some say were anywhere from days to months) that Luke wasn't turned into carbonite, but really wasn't fighting Luke. He was TOYING with Luke.

He made it obvious that he was toying with Luke when, after luring Luke down, he didn't even use a light saber at one point and simply battered Luke without even fighting!

Only when Luke finally got a shot on Vader's shoulder did Vader try. Almost immediately Luke got his hand cut off and Vader got control of his emotions. Luke didn't even present a valid challenge, and got lucky (when you toy with someone for that long, sometimes that happens) with one shot which upset Vader and Luke was promptly shown just how good a fighter Vader was.

Rey has had how much training? It's questionable. People assume it was two days or less or maybe three on the island, but just like Dagobah, it's not really all that clear how long it was. Time distortion may have also been a thing there as well. She may have been there days or weeks.

Less training then Luke had, but maybe not as impossible to fight Kylo as some may think (if we take that Kylo has the training level of a Padawan as well and not an actual Sith Lord or Jedi Knight).

But if he was as imposing as Vader, yeah...Rey beating him this quickly is pretty dumb even with her training that she's had thus far in relation to what was established in the rest of the other six CANON movies made by Lucas.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Are you still using the 3.5 years that's not in canon for your assessment? What else not in the movies are you using for your assessments?

Your assessment is bunk because it's not supported by anything other than you checked last night. I checked just now, and you're clearly wrong. Who wins this?

Anakin -- podracer pilot (something NO other human could do), destroys fleet control ship, 9 years old. In less than 10 years, leads attack on Jedi temple as the only force user and slaughters everyone there. That's his bookends -- stupid powerful to start, stupid powerful at the end, THEN becomes Darth Vader.

Luke -- in a very short time finds out the Force exists and then destroys the Peace Moon (traitorously nicknamed the Death Star) without a targeting computer. Spends a few weeks in a swamp and credibly fights Darth Vader (see above). Spends a bit more time (not much), and then BEATS Vader. Yeah. Kickass!

Rey -- grows up having to survive in a brutal climate scavenging dangerous wrecks and fending off claim-jumpers and muggers (seen onscreen, even). Is able to fight wounded bad-guy trainee, becomes accused of being too good too fast.

Faces down Snoke, gets slapped down like a chihuahua puppy. Only saved by power-seizing trainee (who has also gotten much stronger and capable, but this is not remarked upon). Fights some red dudes, does well, is accused of being too power too fast. Then, lifts some rocks. HOLY POOP BATMAN, ROCKS HAVE BEEN LIFTED, WTF IS THIS ROCK STUFF?!!11eleven111!

I mean, really, at the end of TLJ, Rey has managed to get captured twice (TFA and TLJ), get slapped down a bunch of times, get some lessons from the BADDEST Jedi evah! (beat his own dad at, like 23!), and lifted some rocks, but, oh no, she's like way too strong way to fast this is bad we need more training montages and a guess that 3.5 years have passed!!! I mean, Anakin blew up a Trade Federation control cruiser, flew podracers, impregnated a Queen, rode an assassin droid 1,000s of feat AGL, landed a crippled crusier after beating Dooku, killed all the padawans and the few Jedi left in his sack of the Jedi Temple, and became Darth Vader at the same age where Rey's biggest claim to fame is lifting some damn rocks.

Get a grip, already.
Rey basically gets a pass by being a good pilot, and 9 year old Anakin is terrible. Force sensitives can make good pilots, that is not a big stretch. You don't see luka and Anakin throwing around force powers untrained and/or they're not very good at the minimal ones they do know (Luke in ANH vs training droids).

Kylo also had a good introduction he freezed a blastbolt in mid air, it does kinda echo Vader using negate energy on Hans blaster. Rey also had a good introduction its the second half of TFA hings get stupid. That is where she has had no training whatsoever. You would expect her to et better after being trained by Luke.

However that chase seen does kind of set the pacing of the movies, her training was very short or it was the longest chase scene ever. The movie starts right after TFA leaves off and she get to the resistance base at the end to save them.

For canon vs legends I just check the wiki they have tags there. There is new canon I have not read and its useful for that. That does cover thigns like where Rey gets her powerrs from but

1. It happens off camera, that kinda needs to be in the movies as its the movies we have an issue with (mostly just TLJ, TFA was decent enough).
2. The explanation is still stupid and makes the PT/OT movies stupid/pointless.

Its a very noticeable difference how Rey and Anakin/Luke is presented. Kid Anakin did some very stupid things but so was Rey piloting the falcon through a wrecked Star Destroyer. They kind of get a pass there as they're force sensitives who are special in the Star Wars universe.

Even ignoring the old legends material (which had a better sequel trilogy and Han backstory), it stands out a lot just using the new canon sources. Its piss poor world building and continuity in an established franchise (no big deal if you're doing your own/new thing).

As for claims like the movies are for kids, or Star Wars fatigue etc well Marvel can pump out 3 movies a year. The average Star Wars fan is also not a kid so they messed up their target audience if thats what they were aiming at.

https://www.quantcast.com/blog/the-fans-behind-the-force/

https://digiday.com/marketing/star-wars-demographics-male/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/oct/26/star-wars-the-force-awakens-jj-abrams-average-fan

So yeah they may have missed the boat on their target audience and wonder why people are upset. Playing the "this is canon game" is still crap as your fanbase grew up with stuff Lucasfilm was happy to sell you which feeds into fan expectations etc. I gave them a free pass in 2014 when they nuked the old EU, it had problems especially when you want to make new movies but they haven't really replaced it with anything better. TFA plot is literally any old EU plot circa 1991-1996 and legends had better female Jedi as well the fans actually like -Mara is one of the most popular characters in Star Wars in polls, so is Thrawn (and they brought him back).

Its like 4E when they declared new is better, the fanbase liked the old stuff better. Up to a point you have to cater yo your fans expectations, casuals and kids you basically already have them. Being older doesn't automatically make it better either, Rogue One story was actually better than the Legends version of it. And there was plenty of trash in the old EU.
 
Last edited:

hawkeyefan

Explorer
[MENTION=6716779]Zardnaar[/MENTION] The data you’re citing is all about the fanbase prior to The Force Awakens being released. Based on that, it’s not surprising to find out that the “average fan” was someone who grew up on the original movies.

But that doesn’t mean that’s who the movie IS or SHOULD BE aimed at.

The goal is to reach a new generation of fans. To get viewers interested enough that they continue to enjoy the films and merchandise for decades.

Now, there’s no reason that the films cannot appeal to both a new audience and the traditional audience. I’d argue that these films do exactly that. But there’s a clear “passing the torch” element in these new films that seems to bother some fans.

Imagine if the episodes had been released chronologically. I would expect many fans would have lost their minds when Obi-Wan was killed off to start the second trilogy and pass the torch to a new hero. The criticisms of Luke would have been very similar to those of Rey...with one significant difference. People would have said the only thing special about Luke is that he’s the son of Anakin.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
TFA introduced the idea of there being an "awakening" in the Force (it's in the title!), and while it's never clearly defined, it certainly seems to be a game-changer. It means that, whatever amount of 'rules' you think may or may not have been established in the previous movies, they may simply not apply at this point - not to Rey, and maybe not even to any Force user in the galaxy.
Supporting this is the very end of LTJ, where a kid uses the force to grab a broom.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah, I love that scene. It's a subtle little touch, that I completely missed when I first saw it in the cinema.
It’s a perfect Star Wars moment, IMO.

I frackin love TLJ. Seriously, it’s so good. I need to watch it again, in between End Game and December.
 

Istbor

Explorer
They never really clear this up or follow it up. And even if it did awaken why? There is some random stuff in there about the light rising to face the dark but if that is the case why did it not awaken when Sidious and Vader were running riot. Why not just awaken in Luke and he could smack Kylo down in around 5 seconds.

They do give an explanation in the novels about Reys powers (she got them off Kylo) but its a crap explanation (why didn't Yoda download his training into Luke then?) but they need things like that ion the movies and not a novel and its still stupid. Makes a lot of things in the PT and OT pointless as well like training younglings or the darkside is quicker and easier. Its not you just download what you need Jedi Knight training in less than a minute. And she got that information from a dark sider as well which you would think should send alarm bells ringing with dark side temptation/knowledge etc.

If she turns out to be a Skywalker it still doesn't explain thing, th Skywalker bloodline is just force potential. If she is a force clone of Anakin it would explain things, its a bit of a stupid idea but less stupid than downloading your force training.
Maybe that is Rey's rare Jedi trait or ability. To learn powers as she is introduced to them, or glean them off of other force users?

I mean, I don't recall every Jedi being able to perform Battle Meditation in KotoR. That kind of opens the door for rare gifts from the force that manifest into singular abilities.

Or in other words... She's a space wizard, deal with it.
 
@Zardnaar, I empathize with some of your issues with TLJ and don't think questioning whether Rey is a Mary Sue or not is inherently sexist, but I think you are going a bit overboard in trying to line her up with Luke and compare them in every detail. No matter what way you look at it, their "Mary Sueness" is similar.

The only thing that bothered me about Rey's Mary Sueness in TFA was how she could hang with Kylo Ren in a lightsabre duel. I know he was injured, but it still seemed a bit absurd and definitely damaged my suspension of disbelief. But overall she wasn't really any more Mary Sueish than Luke. If she was, it wasn't by much - and not worth getting upset about.

The Mary Sue is a female version of wish fulfillment. Luke, and superheroes in general, are male versions of wish fulfillment. I don't know why female wish fulfillment would be any worse, except insofar as TFA felt like fan fiction and the Mary Sue is derived from fan fiction. The more obvious difference is that it is generally inserted into contexts that have been historically male dominant (e.g. superhero and action films).

I think we can all agree that female characters should have equal or at least simlar place in films, even historically male dominant ones. Or at least I hope we can agree on that!

That said, where I differ from the "orthodox liberal view" is in two ways. One has absolutely nothing to do with sex or gender and is more about creativity. I am all for seeing more female heroes in film, but I would like to see more new properties. Do we need an all-female Ghostbusters, Ocean's 8 or, gods forbid, a Jane Bond? Why not something new? Similarly with Rey: aside from the lightsabre duel, my main issue with her is creative: she's simply too similar to Luke in too many ways. Not exact, mind you, but it would have been nice to see them come up with something a bit different.

Secondly, I think these female heroes end up being too paper thin in terms of to what degree they are actually female; in a lot of cases we are getting female versions of male heroes, but not truly feminine heroes. What that would look like, I don't know, and could be any any number of things - but rather than saying, "Let's do a female Luke," I'd rather see "Let's see what a female force prodigy might look like." Or rather than saying, "Let's wear pant-suits so we can fit into the male work environment," why not say "Let's wear what we want to wear and define ourselves."

Now the potential problem with taking that approach is that it implies intrinsic differences between men and women, which some take issue with (despite, well, biology). But aside from biology, let us remember that Star Wars is based on mythic archetypes; the lightsaber is a sword, which is a rather phallic representation of spiritual will and power. It even becomes "erect" when activated. What might a (non-phallic) female force weapon look like? Would it even be a weapon? There are interesting creative possibilities there that haven't been explored, at least in the films.

Regardless, I think the issue needs to mostly be taken up by women, not men. Women need to decide how the heroine looks, what a female force prodigy would be like. I just hope we see more versions of actual heroines, and not just "female heroes." I don't think Rey utterly fails in that regard (or Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, etc), but I would like to see them go further. Maybe the first step is "female heroes," and then next we can see what a heroine might look like.

But I will throw in one suggestion: how about a heroine that doesn't solve all conflicts through violence? Or at least is maybe more of an aikido master than a boxer? I remember the great Ursula Le Guin talking about this, taking issue with the notion promulgated in cinema and genre literature, that all conflicts must be solved through violence. I don't care if this hypothetical hero/ine was male or female, but all I'm saying is that if a heroine wants to pave new territory and not just remake everything in a female version of traditional male tropes, why not a heroine that says "enough of the violence - there has to be another way."
 
Last edited:

Zardnaar

Hero
@Zardnaar, I empathize with some of your issues with TLJ and don't think questioning whether Rey is a Mary Sue or not is inherently sexist, but I think you are going a bit overboard in trying to line her up with Luke and compare them in every detail. No matter what way you look at it, their "Mary Sueness" is similar.

The only thing that bothered me about Rey's Mary Sueness in TFA was how she could hang with Kylo Ren in a lightsabre duel. I know he was injured, but it still seemed a bit absurd and definitely damaged my suspension of disbelief. But overall she wasn't really any more Mary Sueish than Luke. If she was, it wasn't by much - and not worth getting upset about.

The Mary Sue is a female version of wish fulfillment. Luke, and superheroes in general, are male versions of wish fulfillment. I don't know why female wish fulfillment would be any worse, except insofar as TFA felt like fan fiction and the Mary Sue is derived from fan fiction. The more obvious difference is that it is generally inserted into contexts that have been historically male dominant (e.g. superhero and action films).

I think we can all agree that female characters should have equal or at least simlar place in films, even historically male dominant ones. Or at least I hope we can agree on that!

That said, where I differ from the "orthodox liberal view" is in two ways. One has absolutely nothing to do with sex or gender and is more about creativity. I am all for seeing more female heroes in film, but I would like to see more new properties. Do we need an all-female Ghostbusters, Ocean's 8 or, gods forbid, a Jane Bond? Why not something new? Similarly with Rey: aside from the lightsabre duel, my main issue with her is creative: she's simply too similar to Luke in too many ways. Not exact, mind you, but it would have been nice to see them come up with something a bit different.

Secondly, I think these female heroes end up being too paper thin in terms of to what degree they are actually female; in a lot of cases we are getting female versions of male heroes, but not truly feminine heroes. What that would look like, I don't know, and could be any any number of things - but rather than saying, "Let's do a female Luke," I'd rather see "Let's see what a female force prodigy might look like." Or rather than saying, "Let's wear pant-suits so we can fit into the male work environment," why not say "Let's wear what we want to wear and define ourselves."

Now the potential problem with taking that approach is that it implies intrinsic differences between men and women, which some take issue with (despite, well, biology). But aside from biology, let us remember that Star Wars is based on mythic archetypes; the lightsaber is a sword, which is a rather phallic representation of spiritual will and power. It even becomes "erect" when activated. What might a (non-phallic) female force weapon look like? Would it even be a weapon? There are interesting creative possibilities there that haven't been explored, at least in the films.

Regardless, I think the issue needs to mostly be taken up by women, not men. Women need to decide how the heroine looks, what a female force prodigy would be like. I just hope we see more versions of actual heroines, and not just "female heroes." I don't think Rey utterly fails in that regard (or Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, etc), but I would like to see them go further. Maybe the first step is "female heroes," and then next we can see what a heroine might look like.

But I will throw in one suggestion: how about a heroine that doesn't solve all conflicts through violence? Or at least is maybe more of an aikido master than a boxer? I remember the great Ursula Le Guin talking about this, taking issue with the notion promulgated in cinema and genre literature, that all conflicts must be solved through violence. I don't care if this hypothetical hero/ine was male or female, but all I'm saying is that if a heroine wants to pave new territory and not just remake everything in a female version of traditional male tropes, why not a heroine that says "enough of the violence - there has to be another way."
No issue with female characters whatsoever. I am big on liking characters in a show even if its a villain. A good villain needs to be compelling. I like Batman, Superman is boring (he is overpowered and kryptonite comes into play yay). There were more interesting female characters in the old legends material than Rey. Your idea about the lightsaber is interesting I associate a sword with nobility more than a phallic symbol. In Star Wars Legends they had a female Sith lord Lumiya and she used a light whip, and they also had lightsaber staffs. In rebels the more interesting characters are the female ones, the 2 male Jedi are alright but they''re not overly powerful in the grand scheme of things and each character tends to be good at something not everything. Lumiya originated in the 80's Star Wars Marvel comics and I read about her in the 90's and she ended up killing Lukes wife Mara who was basically the greatest Jedi character ever in the old EU at least in that time frame. It wasn't because she was the most powerful in the force although she was good there.

More or less agree about making a new franchise rather than gender swap characters, except in a few cases where it makes some amount of in universe sense like Doctor Who perhaps. Jane Bond would be terrible, a female 00' agent would be fine. Some characters are to difficult to recast from the same actor let alone swapping genders, imagine a new Pirates of the Caribbean with an actor who is no Johny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Solo may have had this issue (Han is Harrison Ford). 9/10 things like that suck, Battlestar Galactica Starbuck is one of the few cases I can recall it has been done well. I would have just made Rey a Jedi Knight or Master, everything she does would make perfect senses in that scenario as she isn't really doing anything you wouldn't expect from a Jedi protagonist. Alot of the problems are not even on here, they undermined every other character on the movie to make her look good (intentional or not IDK). That includes the Villains (Hux is comic relief, Kylo is weak/emo, Phasma keeps losing etc). You don't see Vader getting hurt by Hans blaster bolt for example. Vaders a badass, Kylo is my sister in laws 5 year old. Thrawns interesting and compelling and doesn't have any superpowers.

Change in established franchises isn't always bad, but I think you need to be respectful to the source material. 5E is is good in that regard, 4E not so much. Extreme change tends to ruin things or negate the things you like about that franchise in the 1st place and I admit to being a reactionary on this in terms of franchises I care about. For example I only really have 2 RPGS, D&D and Star Wars. The only D&D world I care about is Darksun (they blew FR up and I stopped caring). After that its story and characters, I like Stargate for example gave up on Stargate Universe. I don't like 4E Darksun for example because it came across as sandbox Arabian Nights vibe vs the brutality in the 2E version, 4E Eberron was not to bad relative to the 3.5 one.

Hollywood has bigger problems anyway and we're getting a few high profile bombs in the last few years (Disney outside Marvel has made a few). They somehow made the first Star Wars bomb and the movie wasn't even bad.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
@Zardnaar The data you’re citing is all about the fanbase prior to The Force Awakens being released. Based on that, it’s not surprising to find out that the “average fan” was someone who grew up on the original movies.

But that doesn’t mean that’s who the movie IS or SHOULD BE aimed at.

The goal is to reach a new generation of fans. To get viewers interested enough that they continue to enjoy the films and merchandise for decades.

Now, there’s no reason that the films cannot appeal to both a new audience and the traditional audience. I’d argue that these films do exactly that. But there’s a clear “passing the torch” element in these new films that seems to bother some fans.

Imagine if the episodes had been released chronologically. I would expect many fans would have lost their minds when Obi-Wan was killed off to start the second trilogy and pass the torch to a new hero. The criticisms of Luke would have been very similar to those of Rey...with one significant difference. People would have said the only thing special about Luke is that he’s the son of Anakin.
Trailer for IX, why does it have Lando in it and the Emperors laughing?

TFA relied heavily on nostalgia.

You need a certain amount of fan service in established franchises. Sure you can aim your movie at whoever you like but they took a 700 million dunking on TLJ compared with TFA. People like saying it made 1.3 Billion, it didn't the studio only gets a % of that, TFA made 2 billion apparently the studio made 700 million. They lost money on Solo, the toys are not selling the evidence would suggest they should perhaps be aiming there movie at the fans. Its not like Star Wars was driving away female fans, and kids won't care to much about what type of space wizards they see onscreen. The hard core Star Wars fans probably would not care to much if you had a female protagonist, we've had plenty of them in the last 30 years consuming the old legends material and playing the games like KoToR. Serve up crap its gonna get dumped on (sorry Jar Jar its been 20 years though and much alcohol).

You have to identify your target audience with products and "everyone" is a bit vague. You can also keep the fans happy and get new ones- 5E D&D for example.
 
Last edited:

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Rey repeating Luke's journey is probably a deliberate feature.
The idea of TFA seemed to simply retall the original Star Wars success story. Star War got as popular as it got because it had Luke's heroic journey and the underdog rebellion vs the evil overboarding Empire. If they want to recapture that success and build a new series of movies on that, they need to tell that story again to the "modern" audience. And by making the hero a female, they might also grow the audience a bit, because maybe a lot of men would already watch Star Wars just for the space fights and the "brand" image, but women might need something extra. It's basically dragging Star Wars out of a "male nerd" niche.

But maybe really thatis part of the problem - if there is a problem with a billion dollar franchise at all - maybe it's all a bit too much formula, and not enough novelty. That was something Rian Johnson might have felt, hence "subverting all the expectations". But while Abrams might have gone overboard on the copy & paste, Rian Johnson seemed to have forgotten that the subversion needs to open interesting new story avenues. At the end of TLJ, it feels to me like we sit in front of a big nothing. There is no open question or clear direction where to, except the most generic: "Guess the Resistance has to rebuild itself somehow!" At the end of ESB, you could wonder about how they could get Han out of Jabba's hands, and how Luke would deal with the news about Vader. Did Vaders offer of ruling the galaxy together mean anything?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
@Zardnaar, I empathize with some of your issues with TLJ and don't think questioning whether Rey is a Mary Sue or not is inherently sexist, but I think you are going a bit overboard in trying to line her up with Luke and compare them in every detail. No matter what way you look at it, their "Mary Sueness" is similar.

The only thing that bothered me about Rey's Mary Sueness in TFA was how she could hang with Kylo Ren in a lightsabre duel. I know he was injured, but it still seemed a bit absurd and definitely damaged my suspension of disbelief. But overall she wasn't really any more Mary Sueish than Luke. If she was, it wasn't by much - and not worth getting upset about.

The Mary Sue is a female version of wish fulfillment. Luke, and superheroes in general, are male versions of wish fulfillment. I don't know why female wish fulfillment would be any worse, except insofar as TFA felt like fan fiction and the Mary Sue is derived from fan fiction. The more obvious difference is that it is generally inserted into contexts that have been historically male dominant (e.g. superhero and action films).

I think we can all agree that female characters should have equal or at least simlar place in films, even historically male dominant ones. Or at least I hope we can agree on that!

That said, where I differ from the "orthodox liberal view" is in two ways. One has absolutely nothing to do with sex or gender and is more about creativity. I am all for seeing more female heroes in film, but I would like to see more new properties. Do we need an all-female Ghostbusters, Ocean's 8 or, gods forbid, a Jane Bond? Why not something new? Similarly with Rey: aside from the lightsabre duel, my main issue with her is creative: she's simply too similar to Luke in too many ways. Not exact, mind you, but it would have been nice to see them come up with something a bit different.

Secondly, I think these female heroes end up being too paper thin in terms of to what degree they are actually female; in a lot of cases we are getting female versions of male heroes, but not truly feminine heroes. What that would look like, I don't know, and could be any any number of things - but rather than saying, "Let's do a female Luke," I'd rather see "Let's see what a female force prodigy might look like." Or rather than saying, "Let's wear pant-suits so we can fit into the male work environment," why not say "Let's wear what we want to wear and define ourselves."

Now the potential problem with taking that approach is that it implies intrinsic differences between men and women, which some take issue with (despite, well, biology). But aside from biology, let us remember that Star Wars is based on mythic archetypes; the lightsaber is a sword, which is a rather phallic representation of spiritual will and power. It even becomes "erect" when activated. What might a (non-phallic) female force weapon look like? Would it even be a weapon? There are interesting creative possibilities there that haven't been explored, at least in the films.

Regardless, I think the issue needs to mostly be taken up by women, not men. Women need to decide how the heroine looks, what a female force prodigy would be like. I just hope we see more versions of actual heroines, and not just "female heroes." I don't think Rey utterly fails in that regard (or Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, etc), but I would like to see them go further. Maybe the first step is "female heroes," and then next we can see what a heroine might look like.

But I will throw in one suggestion: how about a heroine that doesn't solve all conflicts through violence? Or at least is maybe more of an aikido master than a boxer? I remember the great Ursula Le Guin talking about this, taking issue with the notion promulgated in cinema and genre literature, that all conflicts must be solved through violence. I don't care if this hypothetical hero/ine was male or female, but all I'm saying is that if a heroine wants to pave new territory and not just remake everything in a female version of traditional male tropes, why not a heroine that says "enough of the violence - there has to be another way."
Maybe I watch a lot more anime and cartoons than you, but from what I’ve seen, the heroine who refuses to solve a conflict with violence, and thereby does what couldn’t have been done through violence, is a very well represented trope. Almost stereotypical, I’d go so far as to say.

Show me a male hero who does that, and I’ll be impressed and surprised. (Well, only in terms of recent works. Cap, Superman, Spider-Man, the Flash, and even Batman, have all done that many times in the comics and cartoons, it’s just more common for Wonder Woman, Magical Girl Heroes like Sailor Moon, etc).

I think it’s more interesting to see heroes like Carol Danvers, whose story doesn’t revolve around her gender, alongside heroes like Wonder Woman, whose gender is relevant but whose story wouldn’t be completely different if she were a guy.
 
[MENTION=6704184]doctorbadwolf[/MENTION], I watch absolutely zero anime or cartoons, so can't comment on that.

And yeah, it would be nice to see a male hero that doesn't solve everything through brute force.

I don't disagree with what you said re: Carol Danvers and WW, but also think there's room for exploring gender-flavored themes and ideas (e.g. "How might a woman use the Force differently than a man?").
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
[MENTION=6704184]doctorbadwolf[/MENTION], I watch absolutely zero anime or cartoons, so can't comment on that.

And yeah, it would be nice to see a male hero that doesn't solve everything through brute force.

I don't disagree with what you said re: Carol Danvers and WW, but also think there's room for exploring gender-flavored themes and ideas (e.g. "How might a woman use the Force differently than a man?").
My issue is, why would a woman use the force differently, in a universe or where they seem to take it for granted that female and male humans (much less other species) aren’t meaningfully different? Regardless of any “liberal orthodoxy” or whatever the phrase was in your earlier post, the SW Galaxy doesn’t pay any mind whatsoever to any meaningful difference between human sexes or genders, beyond some elements of fashion and gendered pronouns and titles.

If you swap Han and Leia in the OT, the audience will feel differently about them, but nothing about the fictional universe actually changes, for instance.
 

Advertisement

Top