Star Wars: The Force Awakens : CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Not sure if this has been posted here yet but just wanted to share this video with which I mostly agree. Especially in regards to Rey being considered a Mary Sue.

https://youtu.be/Yrzjbb5aSQM

Something I'll add:
The only reason Mary Sue is a derogatory term is because characters often end up bland because they are meant to be blank slates for the audience's wish fulfillment.

2 problems with this in regards to Rey and TFA.

One, wish fulfillment is not inherently bad. Especially in a universe that from A New Hope onwards has actively encouraged. Plus, all the SW films ask their audience to suspend disbelief and for good reason. Despite being in space, these are fantasy films at their core.

Two, I know this might be subjective but I think Rey's personality and character subtleties make up for her overwhelming strength potentially making her bland. She is at times exuberant, fearful, starry eyed, insecure, surprised (especially at her own strength), sad, contradictory and angry. All of these reactions, in some way, relate to her being left on Jakku. Her strength also ties into the theme of the series. Echoed in Han Solo's reply to Rey's insecure "I think I can handle myself" is "I know you can, that's why I'm giving it to you". Whether she believes it or not, the force, like Han, is with Rey.

I will say I think it's valid to criticize TFA for not defeating Rey in some form so we can root for her in the next film (she probably should've lost the last battle). But I don't believe it's valid on the basis of her being bland or uninteresting.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

The quicker people admit the film is atrociously written, the quicker they can get over it.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

The worth of a character had NEVER been predetermined so dryly using a set of criteria which were formed retrospectively and specifically to denounce characters which did not succeed in enthralling readers of certain fan fictions.

It is a reaction to the shock of the new (for Star Wars) and anxiety over lack of control of the narrative that prompts these totally specious attempts to dictate propriety or otherwise of what they have no control over.

"Who can't use the Force now?! I can still use the Force!" - Yarael Poof

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

The hero of a story is meant to undergo challenges that they find difficult, and in some cases perhaps impossible, to overcome. If you overpower the character to the point that they no longer face much of a challenge at any point, they stop being much of a hero.

And in a story with several major protagonists they should all play some important role. So if you take one of these characters and have her easily do everything and have her overshadow all the other "major" protagonists, you have gone wrong somewhere.

Most good writers would not write such a character, which is why they are particularly associated with bad fanfiction. TFA was written quickly, and the problems with Rey are one of the symptoms.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

I agree with this overall from a story perspective, which is why I said she probably should've lost the last battle even with the force on her side. But from a character standpoint, I think she's strongly written. As far as it being quickly written that's strange as it went from Michael Arndt's hands to Kasdan and characters were still being tweaked throughout production. It might not have had the benefit of Ardt's usual 3 year treatment but it wasn't like it was a first draft.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


I think she's strongly written.
What here is "strongly" written? The Mary Sue writing is strong with her, that's for sure. I have not seem such a incoherent, incongruent and bland god-mode and purity character before.

A starving scavenger in the desert, yet hauntingly beautiful (with perfect make up, posh Brit accent, shaving, personalized wardrobe, shiny teeth etc) and who can do anything better than everybody, from languages, piloting, mechanics/engineering, climbing, shooting, fighting, Force using etc, even when untrained. And an empty mystery box character who is instantly admired and loved by everybody, VIP hugs and positions inclusive.

That is usually what 12 year old kids conjure up.
de gustibus non est disputandum

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

If you've never seen such a mighty Mary Sue before you should really see Sword Art Online. Well, you'll get a Gary Stu, but the principle is the same.

And you should read my reply to ira gaines as to why I think she's strongly written and weigh in there. Just want to avoid redundancy.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Well I make it short, below you ask Ira what the problem with MS writing is; it's not that complicated: it's a hallmark of bad character writing making the characters and story annoying, trivial and unbelievable. Some like it, I don't. I will give you a list of my biggest gripes with the Rey-MS writing in TFA (Rey is just the tip of the iceberg btw), decide for yourself what is wrong with it.

"A Mary Sue is a character (male, female, or otherwise) who is given unwarranted preferential treatment and unearned respect, thereby compromising the integrity and believability of the story and/or its characters".http://www.springhole.net/writing/whatisamarysue.htm

"Spotlight stealing": Rey is instantly loved, admired and desired by everybody including her enemies (BB-8, Finn, Han, Chewie, Kylo Ren, Snoke etc), even when this compromises story logic and character backgrounds. Some examples:
- Leia passionately hugs the complete stranger Rey after the death of Han (and supposed death of her son at Rey’s hand) while old friends Chewie and Leia completely ignore each other. This is classic Sue writing: only the Sue’s POV and glorification counts, the fact that Leia and Chewie are old friends and the emotional link to dead Han, and have always hugged before (Han's carbonite scene etc) is irrelevant;
- Rey takes-over the captain and piloting position on the MF after Han dies (she sits in the pilot seat) – Chewie the 600y Wookie remains the copilot on his own ship of a 19y old woman they just met a few hours before (Sues start at the top);
- Rey the lowly scavenger is sent on the most important Resistance mission to find Luke - but not his sister Leia (who “desperately” was looking for him) or other resistance fighters who know Luke! Rey walks up the island, Luke’s old friends Chewie and R2-D2 mysteriously stay back waiting with the ship (Sue is center). The mission was to bring Luke back, not to send him somebody who he can train there on the island.
- debatable: Kylo removes helmet before Rey, though from the narrative POV it would have made sense that he only shows his face to Han (Sue is center);
- even light sabers and dead OLD MASTERS (Yoda, Obi Wan) call out to Rey, this never happened before with any other Jedi (even “Space Jesus” Anakin) - demonstrating how special Rey is.

"Better than You"/ "Copycat"-Sue: Rey regularly bests other character at their game, or rescues them and/or drains competence from them, thus compromising story and character backgrounds:
- The lifelong soldier Finn looks incompetent and foolish next to Rey (fighting, piloting, languages, Starkiller security and mechanical stuff), is physically beaten by her, and must be rescued by her many times.
- The main antagonist Kylo Ren, the 30 year old Master of the Ren (and Jedi killer), who is established as very powerful, is beaten, maimed and emasculated (broken saber) by Rey physically and on mind-level several times – all that despite of Rey having no proper Force or sword fighting training. He finally has to be rescued by a clumsy deus ex machina plot device (opening chasm) to be save from her.
- Rey constantly advises and bests Han (and Finn) with mechanical and engineering ingenuity regarding Han’s own ship, driving him to angrily leaving the cockpit ("Away Ball"), and resulting in him offering her a job quickly.
- Rey also replaces C-3PO as a translator, BB-8 seems completely useless because Rey does all the mechanics and engineering to repair and improve the falcon, and even hacks Starkiller!

God Mode Sue” Rey has ad hoc abilities and powers, whenever the story needs her to look good, despite her story background of being a lowly, starving scavenger struggling to survive. Characters speak of her as if she was the second coming (Kylo: “She gets more powerful every moment”). Examples:
- Rey has sudden (pop-up) force abilities on Master-level (mind trick, telekinesis, mind reading) that took Luke and other Jedi several movies to learn.
- She has amazing stunt-piloting abilities with a bulky, unwieldy freighter (MF) and without a co-pilot (!) speeding and spinning thorough a graveyard and through a destroyer under heavy fire - without her having ever flown the MF before!,
-Rey has incredible aiming abilities, despite not having shot a blaster. She only misses one single shot, then blasts away all soldiers with one hit at a great distance.
-Rey can even hit with the Falcon turret even when she is not sitting on the turret gun, but piloting the freighter (“How did you do that ? I don’t know!”),
- Rey speaks all languages of the aliens she accidently meets, including "binary droidspeak" (it was establishes in the OT that humans can’t do that - Luke never could except with cockpit translator); she even speaks Wookie though Wookies are not space travelers/are not seen on Jakku.
- She is an ace engineer ("I bypassed the compressor") and rocket science mechanic;
- Rey even knows how to disable the security system on the Starkiller base (“The girl knows her stuff”).
- She is an incredible escape artist: she manages to escape the FO by using her ad hoc Jedi mind trick abilities, climbing and shooting skills.
- Rey despite her frail, half-starved condition is a master climber with great spelunking and stick fighting abilities.
- Despite being set up as a starving lowly scavenger woman, Rey has unblemished looks (typical Sue trait): she is the only young, beautiful woman around; she wears make up and lipstick and sports impressively white teeth and a posh theater accent despite of her background in poverty .
- Rey has a mysterious background, indicating she is very special.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Well to catch you up, the context of me asking what is wrong with Mary Sues was we both agreed that insecurity was a universal trait. The film repeatedly shows her insecurity and therefore circumvents the problem of the Mary Sue trope which is relatability. He disagrees with relatability being an important character element however or that Rey shows that trait at all.

We might have a different understanding of what constitutes a Mary Sue. My problem with Mary Sues is that they're blank slates for wish-fullfillment resulting in bland characters the audience can't relate to. Your problem with the trope is believability correct?

The believability of any SW character's force abilities asks a large amount of suspension of disbelief from the audience. This is fantasy after all and Star Wars has always encouraged wish fulfillment through amazing feats but enjoyable characters. TFA is in line with that philosophy. Also, ironically like TFA haters, Rey herself is consistently surprised at her own abilities which I believe grounds her character and helps with believability despite the hyperreality of her world.

All that being said, I agree she should've been defeated in some way for the sake of dramatic tension in the story and another reason to root for her in the sequel. I can't defend the movie in that regard but I can defend the internal logic of the plot and character of Rey as a entertaining parts of the film.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


Rey takes-over the captain and piloting position on the MF after Han dies (she sits in the pilot seat) – Chewie the 600y Wookie remains the copilot on his own ship of a 19y old woman they just met a few hours before (Sues start at the top)


Never gets old!

I am Djour Djilios. Could you spell that please? I don't think so. Try it with a "D".

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

This list is amazing! if you don't mind, I think I'll save it for future reference! I had many similar issues with the film but none quite so clearly thought out.

"From a phylogenetic perspective, we are all fish!"

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Thanks a lot Tsavo. I've seen this list reposted by other users, and I never filed any cease and desist orders or damage claims (so far) - I do not really mind.

You are hereby irrevocably licensed to freely spread the word as set out in the list on an non-exclusive basis, quotes welcome. And thanks for complying with fair copyright rules. 😉
de gustibus non est disputandum

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


hauntingly beautiful (with perfect make up, posh Brit accent, shaving, personalized wardrobe, shiny teeth etc)

The "posh Brit accent" critique doesn't make sense in a fantasy setting where you don't know what posh people should sound like compared to starving scavengers.

But with this criticism, are you saying you enjoy movies where the lead actress is an ugly, hairy woman who has bad skin and yellow teeth? This just seems like a strange nitpick to me.


who can do anything better than everybody, from languages, piloting, mechanics/engineering, climbing, shooting, fighting, Force using etc, even when untrained.

I didn't see the movie depicting her as "better than everybody" in any of those aspects.

* They clearly explained reasons why she was more familiar with the Millennium Falcon's current condition than Han.

* She was not depicted as a great pilot outside of one specific maneuver, which she couldn't explain at the time, but from precedence established in prior movies, the audience knows was from the Force.

* I don't remember Rey's climbing or shooting skills being compared with any other characters. They weren't that remarkable to me.

* She fought off a couple of unknown henchman. We have no way of knowing how great their fighting skills were to begin with, plus they were probably not expecting any resistance and were caught off guard. In the fight against Kylo Ren, her fighting skills had already been established, and he was badly injured, not trying to kill her, and had her on the run for most of the fight. Even a bad football team can beat a good one on "any given Sunday" as the saying goes.

* She may have a potential for being a powerful Force user, but we can only compare her in this movie to an emotionally immature, unstable character who has yet to finish his training. Again, great Force potential for a specific individual has previously been established in this franchise.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


She was not depicted as a great pilot outside of one specific maneuver, which she couldn't explain at the time, but from precedence established in prior movies, the audience knows was from the Force.


The force NEVER made anyone a good pilot. It ENHANCED reaction time, but they'd still have to actually practice. She goes from bumbling the falcon, to flying like an ace in the same sequence. I'd have been happier if she succeeded in not bumbling, but flying the way she does outshines all other characters in regards to using the force to enhance ability. Additionally, with the information present at time of viewing, the audience DOES NOT know it's "from the force", and I still don't think it was. It was from bad writing.


I don't remember Rey's climbing or shooting skills being compared with any other characters. They weren't that remarkable to me.


She runs away into the woods and I think that's the first time she uses a blaster? She defends herself with it against trained soldiers. No one else is showcased as climbing, so true, you can't say they "compared" against anyone else...still, she climbs her way around the base, while everyone else is using stairs.


She fought off a couple of unknown henchman. We have no way of knowing how great their fighting skills were to begin with, plus they were probably not expecting any resistance and were caught off guard. In the fight against Kylo Ren, her fighting skills had already been established, and he was badly injured, not trying to kill her, and had her on the run for most of the fight. Even a bad football team can beat a good one on "any given Sunday" as the saying goes.


So, unarmed goons skill at combat are equivalent to 15+ years trained Dark Force user? Lets not forget she's also using a weapon she'd never handled before. He should have easily been able to just pull the ligthsabre away from her, hold her in place and threaten her until she breaks. Instead she gets to say "the force" and power up..


She may have a potential for being a powerful Force user, but we can only compare her in this movie to an emotionally immature, unstable character who has yet to finish his training. Again, great Force potential for a specific individual has previously been established in this franchise.


In any other film, emotionally immature or unstable characters are not rewarded with force skill. Nor are they allow some clairvoyance to skills they didn't know existed(Jedi mind trick, telekinesis). Great potential has indeed been established! Until Rey, that potential had to be nurtured. She just has to close her eyes, or want it badly enough, and she gets the skill. Her use of the force in the scenes she used it, and the way she learns it, is counter to everything that's come before.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


Two, I know this might be subjective but I think Rey's personality and character subtleties make up for her overwhelming strength potentially making her bland. She is at times exuberant, fearful, starry eyed, insecure, surprised (especially at her own strength), sad, contradictory and angry.


I don't really understand the principle that her character should be able to make up for her overwhelming strength. Regardless, what you've described isn't a personality, it's just the way she acts in different scenes. That's exactly the problem. The characters in this film are whatever they need to be to fit the scene. Rey doesn't have a coherent personality established at any point in the film. She's everything and nothing.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

I think what you are describing is a personality quirk. Something easily identifiable to contrast with the other characters. That's understandable wanting that in a character. However, Rey does have a quirk that influences her every move. It's insecurity. Sure, she's strong, brave and it seems like she never loses. But she's already lost her parents. She postures for Han and judges Finn for his cowardice only to run away when destiny calls her. She dreams of a life beyond her desert but still thinks she'll end up being alone (interrogation scene). She's surprised at her own strength every single time she achieves something extraordinary. And all this insecurity can be attributed to her being left on Jakku. Everyone experiences insecurity so what you might be seeing as everything and nothing could easily be replaced with her ability to embody anyone.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


Rey does have a quirk that influences her every move. It's insecurity.


An insecure person wouldn't go out of their way to help a piece of technology with no benefit to themselves. The only time she appears to lack confidence in the film is after her force vision. That's an understandable reaction to a supernatural experience. I don't think it counts as a personality trait.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Insecurity is not always a synonym for timidity. In Rey's case, she's insecure about her own place in her world. And the force goes out of it's way to show her the exact opposite of what she believes, that the force is indeed with her and she isn't alone. She's strong on the outside, scared on the inside. Much in the same way you hear extreme sports junkies talk about having fear but doing crazy *beep* anyway. Only replace fear of physical harm with fear of not belonging and you've got Rey.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


In Rey's case, she's insecure about her own place in her world.


That's not a personality trait, that's a universal psychological experience. That's like describing Rey's personality as being afraid of death.

In Ep2 Anakin is portrayed as aggressive and impatient.

Aggressive:

How he talks to the failed assassin
How he talks to Padme
Going after Dooku in rage
Slaughtering the Tuskins
Giving orders to destroy the Separtist ships


Impatient:

Insisting that they investigate the plot against Padme
Complaining about Obi-wan halting his progress
Going after Dooku on his own without Obi-wan
Demanding an answer from Padme by the fireplace
Thinking democracy is too inefficient
Going off to find his mother on his own


Those are examples I thought of in a very short time and I haven't even watched Ep2 many times. I don't think it's possible to do a similar exercise with Rey.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Ah, it is universal. Since the main concern of Mary Sues is they're too strong to be relatable, Rey's universality circumvents the Mary Sue Trope, no?

And while I've provided at least 5 examples of Rey's insecurity, it probably doesn't match with the number of examples for Anakin. But showing an overabundance of a trait does necessarily make for a better character. If anything, I prefer the 3-dimensional subtly of Rey's contradictions over the bombastic anger of Anakin's, especially in Ep. 2.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


Since the main concern of Mary Sues is they're too strong to be relatable


Not to me. "Relatability" is manchild bullsh#t. I would never talk about characters as being relatable or unrelatable.



And while I've provided at least 5 examples of Rey's insecurity,


You provided one, her fleeing from her force vision, and I responded that that's a natural reaction to an unknown supernatural experience. What else is there?

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Then what is the problem with being a Mary Sue if not relatability? Also, I agree relatability isn't the only factor that can make an enjoyable character. But have you never watched a film where you could relate to a character and thus enjoy the film more because of it?

Examples of insecurity: Her response to Han about the gun, her judgement of Finn before running away herself, her dreams of oceans only to wind up on an island alone, she is genuinely surprised every time she achieves something extraordinary, her looking at the old lady wondering if she'll wind up the same way, her telling Finn to stop holding her hand (most seem to think this means she's just asserting her self as independent but like her response to Han about the gun, it also masks her need to be wanted, they're both fronts). So there's 7 for you.

Of note, the reason she runs away isn't because of a fear of the unknown, it's a fear she'll take on this journey and won't be on Jakku for her parents to pick her back up. Maz even tells her this saying "your destiny is front of you, not behind"

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


Then what is the problem with being a Mary Sue if not relatability?


They undermine the drama of a story by making negative plot turns few or non-existent.



But have you never watched a film where you could relate to a character and thus enjoy the film more because of it?



How could I know that unless I saw a version of that same film without the relatable character?


Examples of insecurity: Her response to Han about the gun, her judgement of Finn before running away herself, her dreams of oceans only to wind up on an island alone, she is genuinely surprised every time she achieves something extraordinary, her looking at the old lady wondering if she'll wind up the same way, her telling Finn to stop holding her hand (most seem to think this means she's just asserting her self as independent but like her response to Han about the gun, it also masks her need to be wanted, they're both fronts). So there's 7 for you.


Those are all pretty far reaches to me. The gun thing to me was meant to be a cutesy moment. They repeated basically the same exchange in Rogue One. Same thing with the hand holding moment and her response when she uncovers another of her hidden abilities. Regardless, we're really talking about two separate things here. I'm talking about outward behaviour and demeanour. You're speculating about underlying psychological issues, which are irrelevant in the context of how a character is actually written.


Of note, the reason she runs away isn't because of a fear of the unknown, it's a fear she'll take on this journey and won't be on Jakku for her parents to pick her back up.


I don't see the connection between the two things.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

I agree partially with you about no negative turns. It would've been better with a defeat but this is Star Wars, adventure and fantasy, not a drama. Fantasy can forsake believability for wonder or else it wouldn't be fantasy.

I'm not sure how to address you not enjoying characters through relatability. Since it's usually the easiest step in empathizing and understanding any character. So you enjoy characters purely conceptually? That's cool. Just different strokes.

There's no speculation or reaching on my part with regards to Rey's character. They are all there, though some are admittedly implicit (interrogation scene, her putting up a front for Finn and Han) Except for the explicit ones which might as well be shouting it from the rooftops (The scene with Maz & everytime she's bewildered by her own ability, which is too consistent and numerous to be a coincidence) Also those moments can be cutesy and serve as a character moment too.

Finally, as far as connecting the two, if she takes this new adventure on, she won't be there for her parents return. This is very explicit as Rey literally says it. Again, referring back to her insecurity of belonging. She knows in some way they won't return but doesn't want to admit it to herself. Very clear character moment.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

I am a little baffled that you keep offering up insecurity as forgiveness for all of the other problems, and claiming that she is not really a Mary Sue because of said insecurity. You seem to be using one character trait, and a fairly badly written one, as a blanket, when a cohesive list of all of the things that place her in the Mary Sue category have been presented. Slight insecurity is not a replacement for a personality, and it does not really provide any form of character development in the manner presented. I think the only character in the movie who had any real development was Han, and even that was thin and out of place.

"From a phylogenetic perspective, we are all fish!"

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

I'm offering up no forgiveness. I'm debating that Rey embodies the problem of the Mary Sue which is relatability. The list of problems provided by Jedan are based on believability and therefore is an issue with wish fulfillment. In other words all of SW. We could argue who is more grounded between Rey and Luke all day but they both achieve wonderous things that no human could achieve.

That being said, the whole point of Rey is she is naturally gifted, so of course she would be stronger in every regard compared to Luke in their respective beginnings. In comparison, Rey is often surprised at her own abilities which grounds her and relates back to who she is as a character. Luke on the other hand is cocky as hell, though yeah, Yoda humbles him a bit.

And to be fair to Rey, she's still not lifting X-Wings out of swamps yet. Or any of the crazy stuff Jedi could do in the old EU.

Also, it is not slight insecurity, it influences every facet of her character. It will also be the weakness that Luke will have to train out of her in VIII.

Unless of course, like TFA haters, he doesn't notice it, thinks she's already strong enough and let's her go. She turns to the dark side, destroys the universe and at the end of the movie Luke says "I shouldn't have listened to Jedan!!!" Now that would be interesting.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

blendzwim wrote:

In comparison, Rey is often surprised at her own abilities which grounds her and relates back to who she is as a character.

"Grounds her?" Rey can fly, repair, fight, escape captivity on her own, summon objects with the Force, overpowering another Force user to do so, win a lightsaber duel, receive a hug from a grieving widow, rather than watching it being given to the deceased's friend of decades-standing, and is entrusted with the successful completion of what is the most urgent quest in the galaxy - finding Luke Skywalker.

In what sense is Rey ever "grounded"? She's exceptional in all she does, and inspires awe in all who meet her.

And to be fair to Rey, she's still not lifting X-Wings out of swamps yet.

Neither could Luke in ESB, despite having received what appears to be months of training.

To IMDB, or not to IMDB - because I've got some questions.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Nothing is more grounded than a character voicing criticisms real people in this world have offered. TFA haters don't believe Rey should be able to do what she does and neither does Rey.

In a way, you guys are just Rey's inner doubt. Straight up cynicism.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Oh and I agree about the scene between Leia not talking to chewy at the end. Major goof.

But it's not enough to ruin the sheer joy the rest of the movie offers.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Here's the problem with your explanation. Insecurity is a form of fear and doubt. Throughout both other trilogies, all forms of fear have led to either one of two things: impedance/impairment of mastering the Force; or a path to the Darkside.


"Fear is the path to the Darkside!" - Yoda

"I don't believe it!" - Luke, "That is why you fail." - Yoda

"I won't fail you! I'm not afraid!" - Luke, "You will be... you will be!" - Yoda
(And Luke subsequently failed in his moments of doubt, and fear against Vader)

"You have learned to control your fear. Now release your anger! Only your hatred can destroy me." - Vader


Yet Rey's insecurities, doubts and fears have no affect on her ability to use the Force. It doesn't impair her development in the Lightside. It doesn't form as a temptation to the Darkside. When in fact it should, especially when you marry that to her upbringing as an orphan scavenger growing up in a ruthless, competitive society. Ironically Rey instantly masters things in the Force despite her insecurities being a constant.

But this what happens when you hand over a franchise that has a rich pre-established lore to someone who wants to expand upon it by making a fan-fiction parody of it that looks cool. Now Rian Johnson has 2 choices: devote a considerable amount of time harmonizing Abrams fan fiction back to the lore... or do his own thing and ignore the contrast, potentially reinventing what SW is.


"Silly TFA apologists!" = 🙉🙈🙊

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

It's true none of her insecurities impede on her force abilities but it does make her a bit of a wild card as we don't know what side she'll ultimately choose. (Her final push back on Kylo Ren is very reminiscent of Luke's push back on Vader, which was achieved through anger and therefore darkside) It also makes her incredibly dangerous which makes her journey interesting. If you consider Luke tapped into Dark Side for some of his own abilities then it's possible he really is in fact partially responsible for Ren's attraction to the dark side.

I believe Rian will harmonize the films as he asked Abrams to make changes in his movie to fit his. What they are, I don't know but it is fun to speculate no? And isn't that a fun part of the SW universe? Geek talk and what ifs?

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

That IS the best part of star wars! Thanks for your calm and intelligent contributions!



"Debating a troll is like trying to play chess with a pigeon..." — Modified Quote

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Thanks Agent! I have a feeling TFA haters also enjoy discussing TFA as much as anybody. Even if it's overall negative, I think they're having a blast.

TFA's ability to produce such heated geeky arugments makes it a true Star Wars film through and through.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


It's true none of her insecurities impede on her force abilities but it does make her a bit of a wild card as we don't know what side she'll ultimately choose. (Her final push back on Kylo Ren is very reminiscent of Luke's push back on Vader, which was achieved through anger and therefore darkside) It also makes her incredibly dangerous which makes her journey interesting.

It also eliminates the threat. In other words, with that kind of power Rey has no credible enemies, no one who could pose a threat to her. So under your concept Rey's only real threat is herself.

This concept has some parallels with X-men and Dark Phoenix. But there's no army of Jedi you could pit against Rey (paralleling X-men and other mutants against Dark Phoenix) and there's no Achilles heal character (parallel Wolverine). On the one hand this speculation might make for interesting and entertaining character development for Rey. On the other hand without an external threat Rey's environment and journey could come off as a plaything without any real consequences.



If you consider Luke tapped into Dark Side for some of his own abilities then it's possible he really is in fact partially responsible for Ren's attraction to the dark side.

That's a stretch of a supposition... And it doesn't exactly harmonize with the dialogue in TFA. Han says "(Kylo had) ...too much Vader in him." And Leia said "That's why I wanted him to train with Luke." So it appears that your theory is "putting the cart before the horse".




I believe Rian will harmonize the films as he asked Abrams to make changes in his movie to fit his. What they are, I don't know but it is fun to speculate no? And isn't that a fun part of the SW universe? Geek talk and what ifs?

No doubt those things could be fun. But for me, at this point things are too muddied down with too much wild speculation. I will wait and see what Rian Johnson does with this. And if he takes things in the right direction then I'll speculate what happens between episodes 8 and 9.




"Silly TFA apologists!" = 🙉🙈🙊

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Totally agree with your 1st point. Rey being a threat to herself and others is what I'm expecting and it's possible it'll further alienate her too if she gets out of hand. But like you said, if she ends up having no credible threat (which Ren provided here in TFA) it could make for a boring ride. So here's hoping for an even more menacing villain in Ren in VIII. After destroying 3 planets and killing his own father, he's well on his way.

To your 2nd point, I think Leia just expects the best from her brother Luke and isn't willing to accept that he failed Ren as a teacher. Remember, Leia had to remind Han that it was Snoke, not Luke that was responsible for Ren joining the dark side. Or at least that's what she tells herself.

Really, Rey training with Luke, knowing his past experience with Kylo, could be a recipe for disaster given Rey's abilities. Or it could be a chance at redemption for Luke. I'm hoping for a bit of both :-)

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

That something looks bad on paper does´t mean it looks bad on film, acting, tone of the scene, cinematography ... have a much bigger influence on how a character will be perceived by the audience. That´s the exact reason why young and adult Anakin, Jar Jar etc. are annoying and Luke, Rey, R2D2 and BB-8 are not.

The "Mary Sue" debate is more a problem of over analyzing than theater experience.
Especially not only over analyzing Rey herself but also explanation given by the movie like Kylo being shot. Honestly why do guys think the movie shows this to us, to start a discussion on how a dark side user deals with injury or maybe simply to show that he isn´t at 100% for the fight?

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


The "Mary Sue" debate is more a problem of over analyzing than theater experience.


The operative word being "theatre". A lot of people who enjoined it on the big screen have had a less positive experience on repeated viewings. What should be concluded from that? It's a good film as long as you only watch it once?

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


Especially not only over analyzing Rey herself but also explanation given by the movie like Kylo being shot. Honestly why do guys think the movie shows this to us, to start a discussion on how a dark side user deals with injury or maybe simply to show that he isn´t at 100% for the fight?

The movie fails to convey that the "being shot" actually affects Kylo Ren at all. It didn't impede him in chasing down the duo in the snow as Starkiller is exploding. It didn't impede him from displaying contemptuous ease and full range of mobility and skill and toying around with Finn before slicing him up. It didn't impede him from overwhelming Rey for the first half of the fight. But then he conveniently does nothing for 10 seconds as Rey says "The Force?" and shuts her eyes. This suggests to us that she is getting powered up by the Force. Then she out-duels him, out-Forces him, and physically overpowers him, mere moments after she was being outmatched by him. She won because of "The Force". Cuz she became instantly better at being a Jedi than him.
Still nothing about the gut wound.

"Not all change is progress, as not all movement is forward."

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Kylo is tapping his wound with pain in his face.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Did you not pay attention? It's still irrelevant if it doesn't lead to anything. Sure he hits it, but that is all. Its not like Rey ever noticed and kicked it like dirty fighting.

"Not all change is progress, as not all movement is forward."

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Why should it be necessary to hit the wound, it´s a very bad injury already. We see blood in the snow. How can we not assume that the wound is holding him back considerably, it´s a wound a normal being could hardly walk with.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

WHEN does the wound EVER hold him back? When he chased them down in the snow? When he took his time toying with Finn before killing him? When he was pushing back and dominating Rey and pretty much winning the entire first half of the fight? It wasn't the wound that beat him, it was an asspull.

"Not all change is progress, as not all movement is forward."

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

It impedes him by Finn being able to get a hit on him at all. He can't lift the lightsaber while Rey can. His slumbering walk keeps him from running and his general lack of balance is shown when Rey gets the upper hand through the force. A couple of forceful attacks and you can see him stumble backwards and fall which shouldn't have happened to any Jedi even with her extra force powers. Unless, of course, the pain from his wound was finally catching up to him. The tide of battle was turned because of the force but it wasn't the only deciding factor. There is no reason the force and his wound have to cancel each other out.

Oh and remember Finn and Rey were on a higher floor and had to climb down a ladder whereas all Ren/Ben had to do is just walk out and meet them. Though I do agree it would have benefited from showing this. As it stands it seems a bit bugs bunnyish lol.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Rey's plot-convenient video game power up is a whole other issue.

"Not all change is progress, as not all movement is forward."

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey


It impedes him by Finn being able to get a hit on him at all.

Okay. A few seconds of impedement.



He can't lift the lightsaber while Rey can.

Okay. But let's forget that Rey has never even attempted this before. Let's forget that is still relatively fearful and unfocused (which she immediately resorts back to right after the lightsaber Force pull). Let's forget that Rey just woke up from being knocked unconscious.
So all of Kylo's impediments affected him. But none of Rey's did? (This is why some people say this part of the movie is badly written. It is!).




His slumbering walk keeps him from running and his general lack of balance is shown when Rey gets the upper hand through the force.

Where we even watching the same movie?!? At no point was he not able to keep up with Rey. She never got a comfortable cushion of space between her and Kylo! And half the time she was running backwards and away from him! And when Kylo was engaged in dueling with Rey he owned her, dominated her. Completely one-sided (go back and watch it again if you must).



A couple of forceful attacks and you can see him stumble backwards and fall which shouldn't have happened to any Jedi even with her extra force powers. Unless, of course, the pain from his wound was finally catching up to him. The tide of battle was turned because of the force but it wasn't the only deciding factor. There is no reason the force and his wound have to cancel each other out.

Then why was it portrayed that way. As soon as Rey gets her Disney magic Force power up, all of Kylo's weaknesses affected his ability in their duel. It went from being completely one-sided for Kylo to being completely one-sided for Rey!




Oh and remember Finn and Rey were on a higher floor and had to climb down a ladder whereas all Ren/Ben had to do is just walk out and meet them. Though I do agree it would have benefited from showing this. As it stands it seems a bit bugs bunnyish lol.

That's because it was bugs-bunnyish. When Rey (and Finn) go to remove the part to open the doors for Han and Chewbacca to get inside, you can see a speeder behind them. So Rey and Finn have access to a speeder to get back to the Millennium Falcon but Kylo who was limping after being shot gets ahead of them in the forest and cuts them off before they can reach the Falcon?... Maybe that's a nitpick, maybe not. But it's one more example of bad writing and bad editing.




"Silly TFA apologists!" = 🙉🙈🙊

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Her only impediment during the battle is being knocked unconscious and Finn's battle with Ren is plenty long enough for her to wake up. Not really in the same league as being shot with chewie's blaster.

I agree with the battle being one sided but it still isn't a cakewalk for him, despite scaring Rey away that hit from Finn would have never happened otherwise and it's a very telling blow about Ren's current state. Imagine if he had been at his full potential. He would've taken them both out immediately, taken his lightsaber back and captured Rey again in a most likely futile effort to attract her to the dark side.

The force did play a part in letting Rey have the upper hand but was only one factor. If he had been at top physical condition he wouldn't have stumbled even with her extra force ability. Even Finn only fell once from Ren's blows which are no doubt force influenced. Every attack from Rey's force on the other hand, made Ren fall back into an off-balance mess. I seriously doubt her blows would've made such an impact had he not been bleeding out. There's also no reason for the filmmakers to explicitly show his wound and his very painful reaction to it unless it was gonna take part in the battle.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

He lost in the duel because he wasn´t at 100% and had to fight against a skilled melee fighter who is force sensitive.
What do you want them to do, we se blood dropping to the ground, we see him tapping his wound - thats basic movie language indicating pain and loss of blood is affecting him and his overall constitution.
What other reason could be behind the movie showing this?

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

The wound has nothing to do with it; Rey and Finn were chanceless until Rey had her Mary Sue power-up moment (the Force?). Only then she suddenly rendered him chanceless and emasculated him. The fillmakers have stated that too.
de gustibus non est disputandum

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

I've seen where JJ said she used the force to turn the battle around but never that his wound didn't take a part in the battle. Watch the scene again after she attacks back with the force. He's stumbling and barely able to stay up. There's no reason for him (or anyone really) to be this off balance even with Rey's new found force ability in combat. Again, both the force and Ren's wound take a part in the battle. There's no reason they have to cancel each other out.

I might think she should've lost in the last battle for story reasons but I'll defend the logistics of it any day.

Re: CinemaWins on TFA - Defending Rey

Okay... let's try this on for size. Normally when a person has a wound and is profusely bleeding, the more they exert themselves the worse it gets. At what part of the battle does Kylo exert himself the most before Rey's power up? It's in his battle with Rey where he is running and chasing her. He is locking sabers with her. Blocking thrusts by her; parrying Rey's attack and defending to go wherever Kylo wants it go (watch it again). Why does Kylo never pause, grimace, or thump himself during this period of greater physical exertion? Why don't Rey's meelee skills alow her to sneak in a blow, a push back, a stagger to Kylo? That would've been a realistic portrayal of his impediments affecting him.

But you know why it wasn't done that way? Because Abrams is horrible at attention to detail. He thinks like a fan-fiction writer. The most important element to him is what looks cool. So he approached it like "Wow! Wouldn't it be really cool if Kylo totally dominates this battle with Rey until Rey taps into the Force and convincingly defeats him?... But how do we make it look like the Force isn't the only reason Rey wins (in case some find Rey's victory unrealistic)?... Hey! Let's remind the audience that Kylo is affected by his injury by him pounding on it and show some bleeding!"

A superior writer would start by listing all the factors that are going to affect both combatants, both negative and positive. Sit down and write out the most convincing, honest way to portray all of those factors throughout the battle. Then look over his final work and figure wherever he needs to make modifications to make the battle look as visually and dramatically appealing... as cool as possible.

Obviously some people bought Abrams "subliminal suggestion" that Kylo's injury was realistically portrayed as a factor. And some people didn't.



"Silly TFA apologists!" = 🙉🙈🙊
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