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Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Eventual Spoilers)

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4 minutes ago, DanteRotterdam said:

You guys keep finding things to misinterpret in what I mean. And that means I must not be bery eloquent in how I make my point. 

No, misinterpreting things in search of opportunities to take offense is a thing with some people here.

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This kind of sums up why I think Rey is a boring character (at least in the first one; she improves a bit by Last Jedi:

"You want to give me a lightsaber? The one that was Luke Skywalker's first lightsaber, hand-crafted by Anakin before he went over to the Dark Side? I'm flattered, but I couldn't possibly. In untrained hands, a flashy laser-sword would be more dangerous to the person wielding it than-- What's that? I can also have the full compliment of Jedi skills without any training or special effort? Well in that case, sure, I'll take the lightsaber.

"But you know, as cool as a lightsaber is, I might also need a blaster. Just saying. Oh, Han Solo's blaster? I get that too? Cool. And the Millennium Falcon as my very own personal ship? Does it come with Chewbacca as my loyal sidekick? It does? Hooray! Oh, but wait. The Falcon is a notoriously temperamental ship that would require constant maintenance by a master mechanic and the piloting skills of a master starship captain. I couldn't possibly--what? I just happened to pick up those skills as well, on my own, while scavenging around the same junkyard where I learned the language of droids and taught myself to be a professional mountain-climber? That must have been some junkyard!

"And now you say the Rebellion has a map to Luke Skywalker's secret Fortress of Solitude, and you need somebody to be the first person to meet up with him in years and years? That's a tough one. It should definitely be someone who's been with the organization for longer than five minutes. Someone who actually knows Luke, and has a chance of convincing him to return. Someone he cares about. Someone who has proven themselves as trustworthy and capable, time and again. It really can't be anyone other than Luke's very own long-suffering twin sister. And since the Rebellion has some downtime, they can certainly spare Leia for a few-- What's that? You all had a vote and decided that I should be the one to meet Luke because everyone thinks I'm just so awesome? Sure, I guess I could fit that into my busy schedule…"

 

Rey's what I've always called a 'GM's Girlfriend' character (and I say that as someone who's had boyfriends and girlfriends, and dated my players of both genders).  Okay, you have your RPG party, and they're a bit of a motley crew. They have a few injuries, mismatched weapons and skills, they're not min-maxed or optimised as well as they could be.   But hey, they have heart, they've clearly been played from first level and have organically reached this moment through months or years of play.  They've quarrelled and bonded and made mistakes and history together.

Then the GM decides to bring their Significant Other into the game. And guess what - that person's character is obscenely powerful compared to everyone else. They have max stats, all the best items and skills and generally reduce everyone else in the party to a supporting role. They're awesome just because and everyone else is told they must love and adore the new character and basically accept their new positions as flunkies.

TLDR; you're welcome to like Rey if you wish, but personally I've always found her a rather dull character with no personality or story arc beyond 'I'm so awesome'.  She can do everything better than anyone else and it doesn't matter how she learned these things because she's a badass female character and you just gotta roll with it.  

When you have a character who can only ever roll Triumphs, the story is diminished because there's little struggle or weight to it when success is always assured.

And the idea that if you dislike her, you're some horrible sexist dinosaur is really insulting my intelligence.

Edited by Maelora

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I don’t see how disliking a character would make you a “sexist monster” and I also don’t see anyone making that claim.

 I do think the general usage of Mary Sue is often sexist and seeing how it is a direct attack on female characters (marty stu was invented only as a counterpoint somewhere down the line) its usage is almost always a way of attacking strong female characters. 

I really believe that most discussions here are addressing generalities and hardly anyone is making personal attacks so let’s try to not find fault in things people say. 

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6 hours ago, DanteRotterdam said:

I do think the general usage of Mary Sue is often sexist and seeing how it is a direct attack on female characters

There are good male characters. There are bad male characters.  There are good male writers, and bad male writers.

There are good female characters. There are bad female characters.  There are good female writers, and bad female writers.

I believe that giving bad female writers and characters a pass simply because of their gender diminishes us.  I don't like tokenism or being treated like a five year old.

I want good female characters (of which there are a great many, from Ripley to Furiosa) and I believe the only way we are going to get them is through critique and reasoned debate.

Honestly Dante, I respect your views but we disagree on a great many things, and I think this is just gonna be one of those things.

Edited by Maelora

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15 minutes ago, Maelora said:

 In untrained hands, a flashy laser-sword would be more dangerous to the person wielding it than--

 

Han does fine with it, as does Finn.

 

15 minutes ago, Maelora said:

What's that? I can also have the full compliment of Jedi skills without any training or special effort?

 

Like when Luke levitates a lightsaber without any training?

And without special effort? Rey displays at least as much effort mind-tricking someone as Luke does getting the saber.

15 minutes ago, Maelora said:

"But you know, as cool as a lightsaber is, I might also need a blaster. Just saying. Oh, Han Solo's blaster? I get that too? Cool.

 

And then she lies about knowing how to use it, and doesn't use it correctly.

15 minutes ago, Maelora said:

The Falcon is a notoriously temperamental ship that would require constant maintenance by a master mechanic and the piloting skills of a master starship captain.

 

If Lando can do it, it can't be that hard.

15 minutes ago, Maelora said:

I couldn't possibly--what? I just happened to pick up those skills as well, on my own, while scavenging around the same junkyard where I learned the language of droids and taught myself to be a professional mountain-climber? That must have been some junkyard!

 

Yeah, hard to imagine that climbing giant starships would teach you how to climb. Or that flying a ship would teach you how to pilot.

Are there no droids on Jakku for her to learn the language? News to me.

 

15 minutes ago, Maelora said:

"And now you say the Rebellion has a map to Luke Skywalker's secret Fortress of Solitude, and you need somebody to be the first person to meet up with him in years and years? That's a tough one. It should definitely be someone who's been with the organization for longer than five minutes. Someone who actually knows Luke, and has a chance of convincing him to return. Someone he cares about. Someone who has proven themselves as trustworthy and capable, time and again. It really can't be anyone other than Luke's very own long-suffering twin sister. And since the Rebellion has some downtime, they can certainly spare Leia for a few-- What's that? You all had a vote and decided that I should be the one to meet Luke because everyone thinks I'm just so awesome? Sure, I guess I could fit that into my busy schedule…"

Leia IS actually busy, what with running the Resistance. And sending Luke a potential pupil is how Leia thinks she'll get Luke to come back.

What is Leia going to tell him, anyway? "The pupil you failed to spectacularly has murderer his father, my husband, your friend. And since you went into exile out of shame and a broken heart, I can't imagine how this won't drive you further away at all." Yep, that is gonna go so well.

 

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11 minutes ago, Maelora said:

There are good male characters. There are bad male characters.  There are good male writers, and bad male writers.

There are good female characters. There are bad female characters.  There are good female writers, and bad female writers.

I believe that giving bad female writers and characters a pass simply because of their gender diminishes us.  I don't like tokenism or being treated like a five years old.

I want good female characters (of which there are a great many, from Ripley to Furiosa) and I believe the only way we are going to get them is through critique and reasoned debate.

Honestly Dante, I respect your views but we disagree on a great many things, and I think this is just gonna be one of those things.

Again... There is not a single thing I disagree with in what you just posted. Somehow you seem to believe we are diametrically opposed on this issue and we are not. 

It is almost like you are debating a preconceived notion of my point instead of my actual point because nothing in your reply feels like it is directed at the thing I said. 

Edited by DanteRotterdam

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1 hour ago, SEApocalypse said:

You don't want to see it, you have to because your brain triggers those memories which are in recent memory based on other media you have seen recently.

Lucky me then - I may have seen Mary Poppins sometimes, but don't remember. And the Superman movies made me sleep rather sound until the end credits. :D As I did hate the Kryptonian since the very first comic book I read with him in it, there's not much to reference for my brain, it seems. The Punisher and Moon Knight aren't going to be referenced in SW, I guess. :D

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2 hours ago, Maelora said:

When you have a character who can only ever roll Triumphs, the story is diminished because there's little struggle or weight to it when success is always assured.

That is actually a good point you are making. But it does not fit this RPG forum. :D

My counterpoint is that the system seems to be built around the idea that specialists are rolling in half or even nearly all of their skill checks triumphs, because that is how the dice and talents work. The struggle comes from the despairs and actions of the opposition which actually can roll those Triumphs as well on a very regular base. 

Furthermore star wars as a setting is build around larger than life characters, they maybe struggle with their larger than life antagonists, but in general they do very well in a lot of things and are awesome in their main profession. Rey starts as a scavenger in a harsch environment and she is a protagonist. Larger than life melee skills, flying and mechanic skills are basically expected by the setting alone. 

Personal adding to that force powers so strong that they make other protagonists look weak in comparison was ... well too much.  But as I said, you did make a good point. :)

Edited by SEApocalypse

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I don't find Rey to be anymore of a Mary Sue than, say, Luke or Anakin are/were. The new trilogy is about the passing of the Force torch from the old guard to the new one. And she is the new Luke with bucket loads of natural talent thus making her the new hero. I mean Luke was deflecting blasts blind after one lesson and corn-holing Death Stars in an X-wing from nothing. They are the heroes because of their innate talent. 

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3 hours ago, DanteRotterdam said:

I don’t see how disliking a character would make you a “sexist monster” and I also don’t see anyone making that claim.

 I do think the general usage of Mary Sue is often sexist and seeing how it is a direct attack on female characters (marty stu was invented only as a counterpoint somewhere down the line) its usage is almost always a way of attacking strong female characters. 

I really believe that most discussions here are addressing generalities and hardly anyone is making personal attacks so let’s try to not find fault in things people say. 

Their are as many male euphemisms for male characters as their are female. I don't see an issue with applying a female analogy to a female character without it being some politically incorrect trope. As with the Mary Poppin Leia to Mary Sue Rey. I think the point is to employ certain phrases to describe these characters and not having to explain these cookie cutter similarities between these stereotypical archetypes without this degenerating in a battleground over the terms by the PC Police.

I for one am a Rey fan but I'm hoping that their is a storyline gap of a few years between 8 and 9 that will lend some gravitas to the somewhat superficial character that she has become.

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5 hours ago, Maelora said:

Not only am I sexist, I'm a plagiarist too.  :( I'm a terrible person. 

Yes, apparently snarky comments are now subject to ™.............I wasn't trying to bypass any trade law or fail to cite properly in my post..............:huh:

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I'm kidding, Mr Pirate.

You should probably know by now I'm a bit of  a smartass :) Not insult intended to you or even to Dante.  I respect your all of your opinions.

 

Anyways, I think there are valid reasons to like or not like the character.

However, not liking the character is an opinion, and doesn't necessarily mean that person is a misogynist who hates all women.  

Just as it's possible for a white person to dislike a black character without being racist, or a straight person to not like a gay character without being homophobic.

Insults get slung around a bit recklessly sometimes, when most things are just a difference of opinion. 

Edited by Maelora

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6 hours ago, Maelora said:

from Ripley to Furiosa

Two comments on this.  One, you're awesome.  Two, fun fact about Ripley:  a big part of why she worked so well is that she was never written or intended to be a 'strong female character'.  All seven characters in the original movie were written to be unisex, and the part just happened to go to a tremendous actress who completely nailed it.  

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6 hours ago, DanteRotterdam said:

 I do think the general usage of Mary Sue is often sexist and seeing how it is a direct attack on female characters (marty stu was invented only as a counterpoint somewhere down the line) its usage is almost always a way of attacking strong female characters. 

I wonder how much of it is due to perhaps, a bit of emphasis on making a strong female character, but the writer in question makes the mistake of making them too good, in an effort to...I don't know, make up for lost time when it comes to female protagonists?   Because while I don't agree with the Mary Sue claims for Rey, I don't think that every time someone calls a female protag a Mary Sue, they are doing it simply because she has a va-jayjay .   Sometimes sure, but sometimes, yeah the character IS poorly written, IS a Mary Sue, and happens to have a va-jayjay.    So I am curious, if some of it is simply because of the influx of female leads, which is a big thing right now (and is fine by me).  And now we're just seeing more badly written female protags, simply due to increased number of them presented.

As to the comment about "always a way of attacking strong female characters", considering the term is, by definition, a criticism of the design of a female character, yes, this would kind of go without saying.  

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Hm, Slave boy wins podrace as a pre-teen, goes on to destroy a capital ship in a starfighter he's not only never piloted, but never piloted a starfighter before.

Hm, Farm boy blows up space station with his second shot in his first time flying a starfighter.

Hm, Scavenger girl survives lightsaber battle with dark apprentice.  Crashed a lot in her admittedly not first attempt to fly a starship.  

Hm, seems this whole Mary Sue concept is familiar territory in Star Wars.  Further, it seems like Rey is the least Mary Sue of the protagonists in the films, to boot.  

Still doesn't mean anyone has to like them, just sayin'.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, 2P51 said:

Yes, apparently snarky comments are now subject to ™.............I wasn't trying to bypass any trade law or fail to cite properly in my post..............:huh:

Snark all you want, at least I never accused you of something you didn’t say and then ignored you when you tried to explain you had no bad intentions. 

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39 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

I wonder how much of it is due to perhaps, a bit of emphasis on making a strong female character, but the writer in question makes the mistake of making them too good, in an effort to...I don't know, make up for lost time when it comes to female protagonists?   Because while I don't agree with the Mary Sue claims for Rey, I don't think that every time someone calls a female protag a Mary Sue, they are doing it simply because she has a va-jayjay .   Sometimes sure, but sometimes, yeah the character IS poorly written, IS a Mary Sue, and happens to have a va-jayjay.    So I am curious, if some of it is simply because of the influx of female leads, which is a big thing right now (and is fine by me).  And now we're just seeing more badly written female protags, simply due to increased number of them presented.

As to the comment about "always a way of attacking strong female characters", considering the term is, by definition, a criticism of the design of a female character, yes, this would kind of go without saying.  

Not the point I was making. 

Plain and simple strong female characters get called out for being Mary Sues (whether or not they are is not the issue) a lot more then male characters are. The Mensch illustrates that quite eloquently. 

Edited by DanteRotterdam

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52 minutes ago, Maelora said:

However, not liking the character is an opinion, and doesn't necessarily mean that person is a misogynist who hates all women.  

I would appreciate the acknowledgment that I never said you did that. I get that it has now become a discussion where people really want to disagree on things but I have explicitly stated this not to be the case in our discussion at least twice and now I read the implication that I made that argument again. 

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15 minutes ago, themensch said:

second shot

Is there some special cut where he makes a failed first attempt?  (I'm not trying to be snide, I'm actually asking; I loose track of all of these deleted scenes and special editions).

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1 hour ago, Maelora said:

I'm kidding, Mr Pirate.

You should probably know by now I'm a bit of  a smartass :) Not insult intended to you or even to Dante.  I respect your all of your opinions.

 

Anyways, I think there are valid reasons to like or not like the character.

However, not liking the character is an opinion, and doesn't necessarily mean that person is a misogynist who hates all women.  

Just as it's possible for a white person to dislike a black character without being racist, or a straight person to not like a gay character without being homophobic.

Insults get slung around a bit recklessly sometimes, when most things are just a difference of opinion. 

Absolutely agree ma'am.

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7 hours ago, Maelora said:

This kind of sums up why I think Rey is a boring character (at least in the first one; she improves a bit by Last Jedi:

I don't buy any of what followed that.  You could sarcastically describe any hero's arc that way, from Luke, to Anakin, to Frodo, to...you name it.  If you replaced "Rey" with "Frodo", any synopsis of LotR would sound absolutely ridiculous.  Trust the most powerful artifact of the 3rd age to a hobbit...are you nuts?!  Oh, because conveniently they're resistant to Morgul Blades and magical domination, and really good at hiding.  Boooooring.

So your summary seems kind of trite.  The story is about her.  If she didn't have these abilities, the story would be about someone else.  Unless you want to rewrite the story completely, in which case:  let's hear it.  What exactly would make her less boring, but still the lead in the story?

 

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