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I can't say agree with you bud. Luke wasn't kicking ass like Rey was in TFA, in fact he was always getting his handed to him, quite the opposite. He always relied on his friends to bail him out. Rey beats a trained dark Jedi with no Force or no Lightsaber training whatsoever. Luke got beat by a Tusken Raider, a Wampa, an Alien in the Cantina, then there's Vader etc.. Infact he doesn't win a single fight. He's brave but he's a bit of wimp, even with the power of the Force.

 

Han has a background in the criminal underworld, and he's a tough guy who can handle himself, (even he get's his ass handed to him) Leia (well she's the daughter of Vader) can use a blaster, but that's about it when it comes to action scenes. She's a strong female character who doesn't need to kick ass to show the audience that she is strong, she's feisty and she gives orders to the men and takes no shit from any of them.

 

Putting female leads in action films is a trend, especially action films, it's being going on for years. The sight of a woman kicking ass, whether it's men, zombies or aliens just doesn't work. I'm not sexist but suspension of disbelief comes in to play here. Men (in general) are stronger than women and the women we see in these films probably weigh around 8 stone at most, and would get snapped in half by the guys / creatures we see them taking on. The only times films really work with these female leads are in films like the Alien movies. You don't see Ripley taking on all these guys with punches, kicks, staffs or whatever like Rey. She's strong psychologically and mentally.

 

 

My favourite show of all time was the Galactica remake (which had no real protagonist) but they made Starbuck into a woman, (no complaints here). That show consisted of plenty of strong female characters and none of them where Mary Sue's. They where tough sure, they had to be to survive, again they where deeply flawed and not all powerful like Rey.

 

Like you just said 'Little girls deserve to see female heroes that aren't Disney Princesses', and I agree, and I think so do the studios, which is why they seem to be pushing for more of this, (Ghostbusters reboot anyone ) ?... plus they also know most of their target audience are 30 / 40 something year old males who don't have a girl friend who get off on watching young skinny attractive women kicking ass ;-)

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Oh thank god. If he wasn't in it, I was going to bail.

I can't wait until we get all of the dish on why she's up there.

That reply was coarse, rough, and got everywhere.

What I should re-iterate is that putting women in what where once male dominated roles is the trend. I don't think I've been conditioned or brainwashed to see that it is more believable that a male character would have better chances of survival in certain situations they often find themselves in, because in reality they would.... In reality, a woman stands much less chance.

 

By putting females in what where once the types of roles designed over the years specifically for men, you might as well say this character has been written as a male, but we can just get a female to play the part, add in a few feminist comments and the audience will buy it.

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I just want to re-iterate something else... ;-)

 

I said...

 

It's an annoying trend to make a female the protagonist these days, they are even doing this with the new Star Trek TV show. It just seems everything else seems secondary now. It's a cheap gimmick to pull in more female audiences

 

Then you said....

 

People who want representation aren't pushing an agenda, they want to see people like them as the heroes and there's nothing wrong with that. Little girls deserve to see female heroes that aren't Disney Princesses and it it's really hard to see how they can get that when any time a woman is cast in a lead role in a genre film, everyone screams that it's pandering somehow.

Both statements pretty much agree that these casting decisions are being made to pull in a larger female audience.

On another note, just to back this up... didn't a Disney exec just order a re-shoot because 'Rogue One' didn't meet the four point quadrant appeal ?

I'm so glad Lucas didn't have to worry about this kind of bull**** back in the 70's ad 80's and let it get in the way of good storytelling. I read a few times that he was actually told to change the title by one exec because less women will go to see a film with the word 'War' in the title. lol !

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I guess I just don't see why making things for a wider audience is automatically bad or hinders storytelling. The idea that men are stronger and more suited to action just seems dated. Even if there's biology science to sort of back it up, movie heroes are bigger than life. Men action heroes are doing things inhumanly impossible already so I don't see why a gender change makes a difference.

 

I get where you're coming from, I just think it's an attitude that's part of the problem. You wouldn't see these things as an issue if things had been more even represented for a greater period of time.

 

As for Star Wars-- I know I can't convince you there's anything redeeming about TFA, so I won't try :)

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Even casual, less critical audiences who watch these types of films always have the same opinion. It all comes down to suspension of disbelief. What could potentially be good is ruined because it's harder to believe.

 

If you're a film maker, storyteller or artist who has a vision to tell, and some exec tells you that you have adhere to their rules and regulations (even if they don't have room for what you have in mind) then it has to hinder your vision.

 

The main difference between truly independent film makers as apposed to film makers working on these big franchises is that the indies are true artists and the latter are the prostitutes of the art world. They make films, sell their souls and change their vision to make money, and that's also the difference between the likes of JJ Abrams and a much younger George Lucas, and it comes across so clearly in the 'Force Awakens'.

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Here's a good thing about working on a franchise-- I bought a house and people will see what I've done. Also, my kid won't starve. Does that make me a sell out? Maybe. Have I taken notes I didn't like and done them anyway? Yes-- because it's a job, and like any job sometime you have to do what the boss tells you. Does that mean I'm compromised as an artist? I don't think so.

 

I'm being flip-- but you're drawing a really harsh line and ignoring a very large grey area. Of course the indie spirit and the art and passion is great, but unless you are crazy rich, no movie is made by a singular voice and vision.

 

Lots of directors, of both genders, are interested in changing expectation. That's not a corporate rule or a choice to make money, it's a creative decision. If anything, studios want to stick to what their business models say work, which again, is white male. You don't have to like TFA, but that wasn't a studio saying WE WANT MORE FEMALE AUDIENCE it was Abrams and Kennedy saying it was time, after 6 films, to have a strong female lead. I know you don't dig on that female lead, but it was a creative decision made not a studio decree.

 

Maybe action heroes isn't great example-- but, again, it's unfair to say that trying to make things equal is an agenda. The only people who think that are the ones that aren't oppressed.

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I guess I just don't see why making things for a wider audience is automatically bad or hinders storytelling.

 

<shrug>

 

In a story I wrote not too long ago, my POV character was a black woman. In the end I decided to scrub the explicit mentions of her race and keep that little fact in my own head because race is such a loaded thing that it felt like a distraction to disclose it to the readers. I preferred that they see the character for what she was instead of being representative of a race. Think of it the same way Rowling didn't disclose Dumbledore was gay until after Harry Potter had ended.

 

You complain about Disney princesses being the only ones little girls have (I'd argue otherwise), but even there you can see the trap of a character representing something. At the beginning of the Disney Renaissance, we got Ariel. A wonderfully flawed headstrong teenager who ruins concerts, makes stupid, stupid, reckless and selfish choices that endangers her freedom and her whole kingdom, and swims by Sebastian with her nose in the air taunting him to go tell her father. She's, by far, my favorite Disney princess to this day.

 

After that... Disney's princesses stopped being allowed to have flaws. Instead you got completely bland characters like Belle who is like the embodiment of what they thought little girls should want to be in the early-90s (now she's way behind the times, but that's another story). She reads books. She sees people's inner-beauty. She wants adventure in the "Great wide somewhere" (way to be vague Menkin!). Who cares that a real girl that acts like Belle would end up in a brothel in Paris back then, this is a role-model for little girls. Same with Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Esmeralda and pretty much all the Disney female leads of that time except Meg in Hercules.

 

Now the boys in Disney's movies? Totally allowed to have flaws. Simba runs away from his problems and responsibilities. Beast is a complete tool. Aladdin spends most of the movie lying to everyone in sight including Jasmine.

 

Why did Disney make the switch from a fully realized character like Ariel to the perfect brigade? Pressure from the outside because these characters represent something. They couldn't be just characters, they had to uphold something, and the movies suffered as a result.

 

What becomes Disney's most successful princess movie in decades? Frozen. A movie where they let the princesses be flawed again. Where Elsa is a downright emotional mess after years of repression and Anna is only a little better. They thought the big twist was that they didn't need a prince, but really the revolution was that the female leads had some actual depth to their character traits. Will Disney realize what it did right? Probably not if the previews for Moana are any indication.

 

And, yes, Rey being a girl probably did lead to them overcompensating and making bad decisions. I'm not saying I wish there wasn't Rey, because she was the best thing in that movie by far, but if she were a boy, they probably wouldn't have felt the need to have him gain power so easily. I know you defend that decision as everyone being a Mary Sue, but, as trumpet player points out, Luke spent the whole movie getting bailed out by the other characters until the climax at the Death Star. It was harmful to the film that Rey was a social symbol in the creators' eyes instead of being an actual character. And, to me, it pretty much shredded Kylo Ren as a credible villain.

 

I'm not saying I don't want female leads in Star Wars. Like I've said several times, I'll take a female lead in pretty much any movie I watch. I just wish the creators could be a little more mature in just telling feminists where to stick it when it comes to their inevitable criticism about their characters unless they conform to the standard set by them.

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Hey, I'm sorry if my statement has offended you, it wasn't intended to. I have no idea of what went on behind the scenes with Leatherface or how much was compromised, if anything. I serioulsy doubt they would be as strict on a film like that (which doesn't have to adhere to the four point quadrant) than say a Star Wars or any Disney film.

 

My point is with regards to art in general. Painters paint what they want to paint, even if they make no money, yet a graphic designer will sell his soul to produce garbage for his client to keep a roof over his head, I've done it many times over the years. I've actually been up all night working for a client and giving him exactly what he requires, which makes me a prostitute ;-). i don't want to spend the rest of my life doing this, but I have to or I'm out on the street.

 

 

JJ Abrams is probably stinking rich enough to make his own films, but whenever he's tried his hand at being original or creative he's failed miserably. His only sucsessful films are adaptations of other peoples work.

 

 

When you look at the history of film, and consider all the Directors who've made their mark on the world, they've produced for Studios but they haven't been controlled by them.

 

My distaste for The Force Awakens isn't the fact that it has a female lead, the racial stereotype side kick was far more annoying. Even in a galaxy far far away black people are liars and thieves . If I where a black person I'd be offended by the portrayal of black people in that film.

 

My biggest problem with that film was that it was a copy and paste film. It lacked vision in every department. Nothing new to add, no memorable lines of dialogue, no iconic designs, far too many over top conveniences and just a complete rehash with nothing new or interesting to bring to the table. It was dumb too.

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I guess I just don't see why making things for a wider audience is automatically bad or hinders storytelling.

<shrug>

 

In a story I wrote not too long ago, my POV character was a black woman. In the end I decided to scrub the explicit mentions of her race and keep that little fact in my own head because race is such a loaded thing that it felt like a distraction to disclose it to the readers. I preferred that they see the character for what she was instead of being representative of a race. Think of it the same way Rowling didn't disclose Dumbledore was gay until after Harry Potter had ended.

 

I think it depends on the story. If race factors into it, obviously you mention it. If it doesn't, you don't. I totally get that-- I'm just saying that we, as a whole, have to stop pointing at any casting decision that isn't a white dude and instantly jumping to saying it's some sort of pandering.

 

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 

You complain about Disney princesses being the only ones little girls have (I'd argue otherwise)...

It was just an example. I could have said a little girl who loved Ghostbusters. Your specifics are on point, again, just trying to break down gender walls and say little girls like Star Wars just as much as little boys and deserve better icons than Padme and Leia who literally need to be rescued in each film.

 

Hey, I'm sorry if my statement has offended you, it wasn't intended to.

Not at all-- just debating. I know you work for a living!

 

My point is with regards to art in general. Painters paint what they want to paint, even if they make no money, yet a graphic designer will sell his soul to produce garbage for his client to keep a roof over his head, I've done it many times over the years. I've actually been up all night working for a client and giving him exactly what he requires, which makes me a prostitute ;-). i don't want to spend the rest of my life doing this, but I have to or I'm out on the street.

 

When you look at the history of film, and consider all the Directors who've made their mark on the world, they've produced for Studios but they haven't been controlled by them.

Here's something I've learned. The auteurs we look up to for having that unwavering voice and conviction-- the Speilbergs, Hithcocks, Kubricks, etc.-- people like that are unique and very rare. Most everyone else has to work their way up. James Cameron had literally every job you can have in production and was a Corman grunt. Filmmaking is still a job. Most people don't walk into a corporation and say they want to be CEO and get it. They start low and work their way up. Most people have to do that and not be the boss for a long time.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I don't get the argument that just because it's Star Wars it has to follow the exact same formula, either. There are a lot of filmmaking and storytelling techniques out there. Let the saga continue with the precedent, so why not let the non-saga movies explore new things?

Like I said, it's not that big a deal to me, but it just will seem weird not seeing the scroll. It's not really needed, true. But, it's sort of a tradition. And personally, I like the Flash Gordon-esque prologue Star Wars movies give at the beginning.

 

Then again, if the movie is a good, I will probably hardly notice there isn't an opening scroll, though.

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Always good to have a little debate Tank :)

 

Film making is a collaborative effort, so one persons vision that makes up the whole can be compromised by co-workers having different ideas. Ultimately at the end of the day they have to agree in order to move forward. I've read countless interviews with Kershner and Marquand who said they where given a tremendous amount of creative freedom whilst directing the OT. Ironically, the exec on those films, (the main man in charge) was the same man who had the vision to begin with. This is rare.

 

I've met producers and directors through work, I know how it works in the low budget films, and it's more or less the same in the big league films, except worse.

 

It's one thing having disagreements with other artists, but another when it's some dick in a suit who only looks at statistics and pie charts etc.. and then say's this is the way it's got to be based on this.

 

A friend of mine worked on Rogue One (we went to the same University and I bumped into him at Pinewood a few months ago). The execs are calling the shots. I heard also that they had to re-shoot 40% of the film.

 

I was meant to be getting an invite to the set but they clamped down on allowing people in. I was a bit gutted after being promised. I got that guy a job a few years ago too :( Not his fault though.

 

On another note, (going back to Rey), I've heard she was in Lucas's original script for the new trilogy.

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Rey is highly force sensitive. In the Star Wars universe, that ought to be explanation enough and, to me, that makes the Mary Sue accusation ring hollow. If Rey was a short little green alien with a funny manner of speaking, then nobody would question her force abilities. But since she's just "a scavenger" and "a girl" (to quote Kylo), people get preoccupied with DOOD NOT EVEN LUKE WAS TBAT FORCE SENSITIVE.

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If Rey was a short little green alien with a funny manner of speaking, then nobody would question her force abilities.

 

First of all, one of the prime purposes of Yoda was specifically the lesson that sometimes appearances are deceiving. Luke himself fell into that trap with his mental image of Yoda as a great warrior. Audiences were supposed to find their expectations deceived when they found out that this little puppet is, indeed, this powerful Jedi Master above even Ben.

 

Second, Yoda was presented as Ben Kenobi's teacher and a Jedi Master (the first use of that phrase) prior to his onscreen introduction. His credentials as a powerful Force user had already been established. His role was to teach Luke.

 

So, yeah, it was a lot less surprising that he could wield the Force competently than it was for a scavenger who thought Luke Skywalker was a legend yesterday. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

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Rey is highly force sensitive. In the Star Wars universe, that ought to be explanation enough and, to me, that makes the Mary Sue accusation ring hollow. If Rey was a short little green alien with a funny manner of speaking, then nobody would question her force abilities. But since she's just "a scavenger" and "a girl" (to quote Kylo), people get preoccupied with DOOD NOT EVEN LUKE WAS TBAT FORCE SENSITIVE.

In addition, as many have stated before, her background as a scavenger on a planet with harsh conditions forced (no pun intended, shockingly) her to become adept with tons of skills, including self defense using a melee weapon, working with machinery in general, but especially Imperial equipment along with familiarity with the Falcon (though not flying it in particular), and, from her dialogue, some experience as a pilot. Combined with her Force aptitude, this background helps explain why she is so good at so much of what she does later in the film.

 

Despite coming from a very similar planet, Luke's background was incredibly different. He was raised as a farmer by guardians who were very much trying to completely shelter him from a non-farming life. He is good with some machines from helping repair equipment and piloting family vehicles on the farm (along with the local adventures with his friends that his uncle certainly didn't seem to be a fan of and sounded like they were few and far between). He is fine with blasters from guarding the farm against local creatures and warning off Tuskens, presumably.

 

In ANH, which is the only fair comparison to Rey at this point, his only real weaknesses are being whiny and having a lack of combat experience, which stems from his sheltered upbringing. Rey, on the other hand, is a bit more flawed, really. First, though it is minor, it is clear that she has no experience with blasters, as shown from her using one on Maz's planet and the previous conversation with Han. Secondly, and far more importantly, despite being quite adept at so many different tasks, she spends almost the entire movie just wanting to run back to her past and avoid her destiny as a Force user. This directly leads to her getting abducted by Kylo Ren since she runs off by herself after receiving Maz's counsel. As such, this act of weakness by Rey drives the story for most of the rest of the movie. It leads to Finn and Han spearheading the attack on Starkiller Base and remaining on the ground looking for Rey even after turning off the shields, which ultimately led to Han meeting up with his son and Finn getting injured badly. Of course, them staying around also led to the destruction of the base, but this all stemmed from her flaw of pulling a Simba and running away from her future, which is a far greater character issue than any shown by Luke in ANH, for instance.

 

She was pretty damn awesome at most things, though, but again her background on Jakku and Force abilities combined to inform that.

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So, yeah, it was a lot less surprising that he could wield the Force competently than it was for a scavenger who thought Luke Skywalker was a legend yesterday. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

 

My premise wasn't "if Jedi Master Yoda himself, who trained Jedi for hundreds of years, trained Obi-Wan, and trained Luke, was the protagonist of The Force Awakens, then nobody would have called him a Mary Sue." That would be stupid. My premise was, "if Yoda had not lived during the Republic era, and had instead been born after the Battle of Endor, and left by his family to raise himself on Jakku, and then taken the same path as Rey, then nobody would have called him a Mary Sue."

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People stumble over Rey's abilities because she advanced faster than Luke. That;s it, plain and simple. Like Luke is end all be all.

 

Try to understand-- she is stronger in the force than Luke. If the movies had come out chronologically, you'd be crapping over the fact that Luke is suddenly strong in the force after a day of training instead of being trained since birth.

 

Each consecutive hero of a trilogy is more powerful than the last.

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A lot of hard core fans are in denial of that the fact that Rey is a Mary Sue, even though it's been pointed out by many film critics, it's like they won't accept anything negative being said about their beloved franchise. Star Wars fans are rabid.

 

The main problem is that it's already been well established in previous films that it takes years of training to reach the level of Jedi, not that Rey is at that level, but she is able to match the main villain and beat him, which just weakens the main villains character. After General Grevious, Kylo Ren is the worst Star Wars villain in any of the films.

 

Even if Rey is more powerful than Luke (which has not been confirmed anywhere) it still makes no sense that she is able to beat someone who has all those years of training. Even Anakin got beat by Dooku, and he had a higher midichlorian count than Yoda..... it's lazy writing, plain and simple. A good writer could still make Rey more powerful than Luke and still have her lose due to lack of experience.

 

What we do know is that Rey is highly sensitive to the Force, because without the years of training or mentoring then the only feasible explanation is that she must therefore have a natural ability, but to be able to take on the Grandson of Vader who's been trained all these years by Luke Skywalker ? hmmmmmm.

 

Take for instance this analogy, two piano players, both very good, top of their game. They both have a natural talent... a natural ability. One is in his thirties and has been training every day for the past 20 years. Some child prodigy comes along who is seven years old and she's able to play a grade 8 piece from memory.

 

Put them up against each other and it's highly unlikely the seven year old is going to beat the thirty year old, why ? Because she's had no training. Put them up against each other in five years time after the kid has had some training, and you would likely see a different result.

 

Narutal talent and ability are one thing (well two if you want to be pedantic), perseverance and training are what get anyone in any profession to the top of their game.

 

Rey just came out of nowhere and is able to do things that trained Jedi's could do. Who the hell taught her the Jedi mind trick for example ? They put that in there as a convenient way for her to escape and it was a feeble attempt at adding some humour to the film. I doubt the writers gave any consideration here at all to what has been established in previous films.

 

Probably went something like this....

 

Kasdan: 'Well how is she gonna know who to use the Jedi mind trick if she's had no Jedi training ? Rey didn't even know the Jedi where real, she thought it was all a myth'.

 

Abrams and Disney. 'Well she has the Force, and it speaks to her and tells her what she needs to do, so we can just skip all the training and stuff... kids these days get bored watching Luke training on Dagobah with Yoda, we can just cut straight into the action, cause the kids love that more'. In fact we can use the Force to explain away all the coincidences and conveniences in the film, Qui Gon Gin said there is the will of the Force, so let's rely on that... let's skip the story, skip the explanations, let's just cut to the action.

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A lot of hard core fans are in denial of that the fact that Rey is a Mary Sue, even though it's been pointed out by many film critics, it's like they won't accept anything negative being said about their beloved franchise. Star Wars fans are rabid.

 

A lot of hard core male fans are in denial of the fact that Rey is a woman and the lead character of the new trilogy, even though female representation in the rest of the saga is kind of dismal and the majority of audience members love Rey as a character. It's like they won't accept anything other than straight white male as the lead character. Star Wars fans are rabid.

 

See? Two can play that game. :)

 

And DEAR GOD this is the Rogue One thread and I got sucked into this stupid Mary Sue argument again. Please forgive me, internets.

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I've not heard any complaints about the protagonist being a female in the new trilogy, though I've heard a lot of complaints about her character in general...regardless of gender, which I happen to agree with 100%

 

I am all for a female lead, in fact I was chatting to a female friend about the film before it came out. She made a point of saying 'She's not going to be one of those all powerful girls who kicks ass is she' ?... and I said no, she probably won't be. She is most likely related to the Skywalkers so she'll have the Force etc...

 

I was actually all for a Force sensitive female lead, I had no problem with the idea, she just turned out to be a shallow character with little depth, (flaws add depth) and the actress they chose was just terrible. They purposely went with a Keira Knightly look alike because audiences seem to like her. I thought they chose her because she had a slight resemblance to Natalie Portman, (Knightley played her decoy) but I was wrong.

 

Like I said earlier, I have a bigger problem with Finn than Rey. The new characters are just awful in TFA, maybe with some good writing they can be fleshed out but I'm not holding my hopes up.

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Secondly, and far more importantly, despite being quite adept at so many different tasks, she spends almost the entire movie just wanting to run back to her past and avoid her destiny as a Force user.

 

Rey's "refusal of the call" is not a difference with Luke. It's a parallel. Luke tried to run home too. At least Rey had a reason for staying. She'd actually been waiting for someone and let people know she had to go home throughout the movie (she's clearly excited for a moment when Han offers her a job before she defers). It wasn't until the lightsaber vision that she realized she had the ability to use the Force anyway.

 

Luke spent the whole movie telling anyone would would listen that he wants off of Tatooine up until the moment that Ben offered him exactly that and suddenly he's hiding behind his curfew instead of blasting off into the adventure he thought he wanted.

 

I suppose Rey's running away was a bit more consequential since it led to her being captured, but that was just plot development, not any extra flaw on her part.

 

Anyway, I really don't know what to say to the defenders who don't see that Rey's sudden progression as a Force user without any explanation or training isn't a flaw in the movie. To me, it's just a ridiculously obvious flaw that leads the list of complaints in the botched last third of the film. To put it off to not being able to handle a girl is just silly in my mind. I'm certain that I would have had the same complaint were it a guy. The only thing missing if that were the case would be that particular crutch of an excuse would be gone.

 

 

 

which ultimately led to Han meeting up with his son and Finn getting injured badly

 

Interesting way of putting that.

 

 

 

My premise was, "if Yoda had not lived during the Republic era, and had instead been born after the Battle of Endor, and left by his family to raise himself on Jakku, and then taken the same path as Rey, then nobody would have called him a Mary Sue."

 

That's a complete assumption on your part, and, frankly, silly.

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