MovieChat Forums > Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Discussion > Isn't 'Mary Sue' a meaningless term ?

Isn't 'Mary Sue' a meaningless term ?


In story telling any traditional hero is necessarily going to be a Mary Sue aren't they ? A good and virtuous person rather than an evil one and they overcome great obstacles to triumph over the baddies. That equals a Mary Sue doesn't it ?


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Nope.

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Yep.

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maybe

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More likely than not.

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A Mary Sue is a D&D character with unnaturally high stats and the DM is in love with them

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That´s the watered down, simplified version of what a Mary Sue is.

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PER WIKIPEDIA...

A Mary Sue is a character who is so perfect that he or she warps the world around them to display their perfection. It seems as though nothing in this universe except Mary Sue is even real, and is instead a plot device to make Mary Sue seem flawless and loved.

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what you couldnt capitalise your cutnpaste? tut !

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"any traditional hero is necessarily going to be a Mary Sue aren't they ?"

Damn right, except they get away with it because they arnt a woman in a star wars film.

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No, they have a thing called character development. Where they fail, learn, and grow. Mary Sue's are flawless and ridiculously capable from the get-go, like Rey. And male versions of this can exist, this is just the name given to a female character who exhibits these traits.

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Growing up as an orphan on Jakku, fending for herself and doing it successfully would mean that Rey would be high on self reliance and strength of character. Not to mention being as fit as a trout. It's not like she has been sitting in an orphanage basement playing video games and covered in cheeto dust for the duration of her childhood is it ?


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"character development. Where they fail, learn, and grow"
No they dont , look at any action film , with Arnie , van damme etc , chuck norris , Bruce lee.
Remember the Chuck Norris meme? he can anything - right out of the box

In film , the hero comes along and saves the day .THATS the deal , always has been since the dawn of Hollywood.

Suddenly that hero is Woman and the whole illusion comes crashing down .
People be like "Wait , what? woman cant *do* things what the fucks going on here????"
Little realising that the Cary Grants and John Waynes of yesteryear were equally preposterous stories.

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The Chuck Norris movies, and other action movies from the 80s like Commando where the main character was all-powerful were action comedies. You didn't take them seriously, those were movies to watch with friends and beers and have good laughs.

It's a completely different story. Comedies are comedies, they don't have to make sense, they have to be fun.

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Except Rey isn´t an action movie star. She´s a Star Wars character that begins as a scavenger that becomes an all powerful Jedi in about 5 minutes with no training. Those action movie characters you mentioned, have no arc since they are already established as powerful characters with military or green beret history, that´s why they kick ass. Sarah Connor had 10 years before T2 hanging out with green berets in Nicaragua, which is why she was accepted as a bad ass and not a Mary-Sue.

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But, Rey is nothing like what is described a a "Mary Sue," so perhaps it's better to redefine it to express what you are and your ilk are constantly whining: "A Mary Sue is a female character who exhibits traits and/or acts in ways predominantly reserved for male characters."

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I think it only really matters when it's detracting from the plot or the general entertainment of the story/film. If it's so unbelievable that you're repeatedly drawn out of the action and focusing on the Mary-Sue of it all, that's when it has meaning. I especially notice and dislike this when I can tell that a film wants me to like a character - but is not making the character do anything I like.

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It is now, the new industry term is a 'Rey'.

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The traditional hero is somebody that struggles to do what's right. He's often flawed in some way or another. Perhaps he's virtuous but lacks courage. Perhaps he has courage but lacks discipline. Perhaps he lacks self-confidence, or skill, or charisma. Perhaps he's too young, or too old, or too tired, or too damaged, or too innocent, or too cynical. What makes a character interesting is his flaws.

A Mary Sue, by default, has no flaws. She (or he) doesn't struggle: it's the ultimate empowered fantasy. While the hero travels a journey, the Mary Sue takes a promenade.

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Very good explanation. But I don't think Rey sits entirely inside that description does she ? She has certainly struggled on Jakku as an orphan. Her courage failed her and she ran away after encountering Luke's lightsaber. At first she didn't want to help the BB8 so it seems she was just looking after herself. The biggest problem with her character is how proficient a Jedi she became in such a short time. If they can provide a decent explanation for that in RoS I would be happy with her.


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Struggling on Jakku doesn´t count since we don´t see her struggles, so anything about her past is just conjecture. (Scavenging doesn´t count as a struggle.) I think its too late for any justification about her force power. Her perfection as a jedi within days of learning about the force and failing to lose any type of confrontation, lead to her character becoming boring. She had no arc because she never lost. That´s the problem with Rey.

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Rey officially became a Mary Sue to me when she knocked Luke Skywalker on his ass in their little light saber moment in The Last Jedi.

No way...not going to happen. Sorry. Rey is not going to be knocking Luke Skywalker on his ass like that. It's laughable.

Once she defeated the main villain in the first movie, fixed and flew the Falcon, everybody had the "I like this girl" line of dialogue, and she stole Chewy's hug from Leia...I knew she was a Mary Sue, but knocking Luke down and having him looking up at her in awe and shock after she somehow bested him...that sealed Rey's fate as a Mary Sue in my eyes.

That's my opinion. Hate it, love it, shove it up your ass...I don't really care.

Let me know how The Rise of Skywalker is...I'm sure I'll rent it several months down the road, but I really don't care how this trilogy ends.

They killed every character I cared about, gave the original cast NO scenes together...just so misguided. I wish I cared about any of the new characters even a little bit. It's clear they were using the original characters to "put over" the new characters...well, didn't work.

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Rey is a much more developed character than we've seen in previous Star Wars films. We witness her growth and struggles, and we get a much deeper look in to her psyche than we ever got into that of Luke, Obi Wan, Anakin, etc. While those characters were more or less archetypes, and we knew going in what to expect, with Rey we get complexity. We also get her behaving in a manner that is consistent with the Star Wars universe, i.e. using the Force. What detractors mean when they say "Rey is a Mary Sue" is "I'm not comfortable seeing a woman in the lead hero's role." Kuku can blather on all he wants, but just as when he claims Disney buys all the tickets to their own movies to lose money but appear successful, when writes of Rey being a Mary Sue he's spewing ill-informed, biased nonsense to back up his radical political viewpoint in lieu of offering thoughtful, accurate commentary.

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Has nothing to do with Rey being a woman and more to do with poor casting and poor writing. Ripley is a lead female heroine and is adored by action film fans. Claiming that people are sexist for not liking Rey is just Star Wars fans trying to excuse the piss poor writing of her character.

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That's easy to say, because to an extent those are subjective things. I can say I hate Casablanca because of the poor acting, and you more or less have to take it at face value, but you can also offer a strong case in defense of the acting.

When I look at Star Wars and The Force Awakens side by side, I first see Mark Hamill / Luke Skywalker-- whiny, spotty acting ability, and a character who is virtually undeveloped. We have minimal backstory, and we see him wake up in the morning with no idea the Force exists, then blow up the Death Star before bed that evening. He receives nearly no training, doesn't practice, and doesn't develop or change as a person at all. But, the film was the first of its kind, it was a massive blockbuster, and it has been (completely justifiably) beloved by fans for 40+ years.

In Daisy Ridley / Rey, we have a much nuanced and developed character. Time is taken to show us her past, her fears, her motivations. We know she's spent nearly her entire lifetime alone, navigating harsh terrain, climbing through abandoned spaceships and fighting to protect herself. Moreover, when she finally has to stand and fight, she isn't as capable as Luke was. She doesn't "use the Force" to launch a perfect, direct hit on a billion-to-one shot to save the galaxy. Instead, she is nearly bested by her severely-wounded foe, before she is able to harness the Force long enough to push him away. The fight ends in a draw.

If you'd never heard of either film, and both were described to you without mention of gender, you'd select Luke as the Mary Sue, and Rey as the well-developed character.

So go ahead, argue whatever reason you want, but over and over all I see is whining about a non-existent Mary Sue, and an inability to accept a female in a lead role in a Star Wars film.

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Luke is no Mary-Sue. The shot to blow up the Death Star wasn´t 1 in a billion since Luke was already confident when he said he used to bulls eye Womp Rats in his T16. Blowing up the Death Star was more about Luke´s piloting skills than his ability to use the force. Yes he may have used the force to help him target the opening but that´s it.

As far as Luke v Rey in the Mary-Sue standings. Luke gets defeated on several occasions across the OT. Firstly, by the wanted men in the Mos-Eisley Cantina, when Obiwan has to save his ass then by the remote on the Falcon. Darth Vader whoops his ass even after Luke has post Yoda training and is much more powerful. Luke could only start moving objects with the force, 3 years later after ANH, in Empire. Rey was already mind tricking Storm-troopers, moving objects with the force and besting Kylo Ren, a well-trained Jedi within days of learning about it. She actually disarms him before the ground separates them. Curious to know where Rey had "a draw".

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