star-wars-force-awakens-rey_0

So the hot topic in screenwriting at the moment is that The Force Awakens sucks because its main character (Rey) is a “Mary Sue.” I don’t know if Max Landis is the one who started this argument or he’s just the most prominent person to weigh in on it, but his involvement has brought more attention to the “problem” either way.

Basically, a “Mary Sue” is a female character who is great at everything and experiences no resistance in her journey. Rey can easily use the force. Rey can easily fly a ship. Rey can easily fight a lightsaber battle. The big issue here is that nothing is “earned.”

The roots of this go back to fan fiction, where [mainly] female writers would write themselves into Harry Potter or Twilight storylines and, as a form of wish-fulfillment (along with being bad storytellers) made their characters amazing at everything. Cause, you know, it’s funner that way!

I will say that I never thought about this while watching The Force Awakens. Nor had I ever heard of this term before yesterday. So is this a legitimate concern? Or is it yet another thing the internet masses had to make up as a “legitimate” excuse to hate something?

It’s funny, I look back to one of my favorite scripts, The Equalizer, and you could argue that that protagonist was a “Gary Sue.” He was great at everything. He encountered no resistance. So apparently this isn’t something that bothers me that much.

What may have happened here is that JJ Abrams had such a mandate to write a kick-ass female character, that maybe he went overboard? He made her too kick-ass? Or is there nothing to see here? Internet trolls determined to take something down that’s universally beloved? What’s your take?

  • Shawn Davis

    “Internet trolls determined to take something down that’s universally beloved”?

    Reminds me of the three bears…

    Too hot…
    Too cold…
    Juuuust right.

    Only with internet trolls, there is no just thing as just right.

    Shawn…..><

  • brenkilco

    Considering the apparent belief here that no protag is complete unless he’s incomplete, the possessor of a nice juicy flaw, it seems to me that in ordinary circumstance- if Carson weren’t viewing things through midi-chlorian colored glasses- he’d be all over this.

    That said, the supremely resourceful, self sufficient hero goes back a long, long way. And unless critics are also carping about Dirty Harry, James Bond(old school Bond), and pretty much every character John Wayne and Clark Gable ever played this all has the ring of sexism. Although the age and circumstances of the character do make the contrivance more glaring.

    • carsonreeves1

      It only became apparent to me that Rey didn’t have a flaw yesterday during the Mary Sue argument. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on this other than to say I just really liked her character. She was written to be so damn likable. And I root for likable people (sort of like how you rooted for Forest Gump – another Gary Sue?) Maybe the movie doesn’t hold up on repeat viewings like Star Wars because of this. That’s something we’ll have to wait for and see.

      One of the reasons may be that unlike the original trilogy, which didn’t start focusing on the villain’s flaw/inner conflict until the second film, Force Awakens starts into Kylo Ren’s flaws/conflicts immediately. So maybe he’s the character we’re supposed to put all of our “will he overcome his flaw” focus into.

      • fragglewriter

        I think there are external and internal flaws. Wouldn’t Forest Grump’s flaw be his mental defect as well as his ability to see the good in others?

        • Scott Crawford

          Gump sees only what’s REALLY important – his friends, his family. All the historic events around him he ignores except for “somebody shot that man.”

      • brenkilco

        I think maybe in coming of age stories, which in a way the first three Star Wars movies are, the protagonist isn’t trying to overcome a flaw but simply to grown and mature, accept responsibility, recognize his place in the world, and, in the case of Star Wars, reconcile with Dad. This new series may follow a similar pattern.

      • ThomasBrownen

        If the film doesn’t hold up after repeat viewings, I think it’s more likely because Episode 7 comes really, really close to just being a beat-for-beat remake of Episode 4.

        If you sit down and watch the original trilogy and this movie, 3 out of the 4 movies are about blowing up a Death Star. That seems like it could get boring and repetitive really fast, in a way that we don’t notice when the movies are released years/decades apart.

        But time will tell….

        • Scott Crawford

          Has anyone done a beat-for-beat comparison yet? I remember someone once did one for You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me – it was quite humorous.

      • Eric

        It sounds like Rey’s journey in this first movie is really one long ‘refusing the call’, and I think that counts as a flaw (wanting to push off responsibility rather than excepting the lightsaber, acknowledging your talents and putting yourself on the line). I also think this makes sense structure-wise, because the first movie in a trilogy is really Act One, so at the end of Act One, Rey is accepting the call. J.J. came up in TV so I’d be surprised if he wasn’t playing the long game knowing two more movies would follow this.

        • carsonreeves1

          Hmmm, that’s an interesting take.

      • Bfied

        If Rae had been written to fail as much as Lukes was written to fail in the first film, we’d be calling the film sexist because Luke basically can’t do anything on his own in A New Hope.

        We’d be absolutely infuriated if Abrams took her character in the polar opposite direction of a “Mary Sue” and made it so she was always failing and needed to be bailed out of her predicaments with the help of other characters.

        We see they made a major point of it to go against this type of Damsel in Distress archetype when Finn tries to grab her hand and she refuses multiple times. I think it’s pretty obvious they’d rather lean towards her character being too competent than not competent enough.

        Personally, my issue was less with her coming off as a Mary Sue and more with Kylo Ren and the First Order. I mean, how incompetent are they that they lose their most valuable prisoner of war, not once, but TWICE? Are they so understaffed they can’t put another guard in the torture room?

        And Kylo Ren. How does he nearly lose to Finn, a janitor? And then definitely lose to Rae, who has never used a lightsaber and has only accessed the force once to fool a guard? Not to mention that when she DOES decide to access the force in the duel, she does it with her back to a cliff and just kind of closes her eyes and is like, “Ok, time to kick some ass now.”

        And then she proceeds to kicks Kylo’s ass.

        I can’t help but think Kylo could have been a stronger villain to make Rae — who is also a strong character — pale in comparison so that we can see her fail. When she does finally succeed after her failures, I think it’d feel more earned than it feels now.

        I’m pretty sure Kylo will get the best of her in the future movies, but I can’t help but think I would have liked to see Rae’s character struggle a little more to earn this victory.

      • zhezhune

        My bet is Rey’s being so likable and great becomes part of her mission arc – she doesnt need saving, its her job to save others. To stop looking back on how she missed out (parents, food, misery) and look forward to what she can give to others (her uncanny force power, friendship, love) She finishes what Han started in bringing Kylo Ren back from the dark side and her being more powerful in light than he is in the dark is what attracts him.

        People want to be around winners, and the chemistry between the Ren and Rey was electric and far more interesting than the puppy-dog crush FriendZone Finn has :P

        • filmklassik

          “People want to be around winners”??

          Well, the film is making a TON of dough, so audiences around the world seem to agree with you… but heck, aren’t these sorts of movies more enjoyable, not to mention more SUSPENSEFUL, when the hero spends most of the story being badly overmatched?

    • filmklassik

      Disagree, Bren. Sorry. Bond was frequently overmatched in the first few Bond outings (see Oddjob, for example) or at the very least, forced to square off against someone every bit as formidable as he was (see Robert Shaw’s villain in FRWL).

      Likewise, Dirty Harry makes a few mistakes in his (wonderful) first outing. And if you remember, Andy Robinson’s psychotic villain gets the drop on him at one point, and proceeds to pound him into submission.

      That would never happen to Jason Bourne. But the job description has changed, apparently, and we now want our heroes divested of any kind of flaw that would interfere with the Job At Hand… except, y’know, for the fashionably broody, psychological kind. Inner torment is fine. It’s sexy, even (Hi, Matt!)

      But when it comes to fighting and fucking and planning and killing, no one is allowed to touch them.

      • brenkilco

        Actually, though Bond appears mock heroic, superhuman and incapable of losing, you could argue that he does have one teeny flaw. He’s dumb as a box of rocks. He winds up getting captured by the villain in every single one of the first ten movies. He may end up getting captured in every one of the movies. Don’t remember for sure.

        • filmklassik

          Ha! I think you’re right.

          But my point is that Bond isn’t really superhuman in those early outings. I mean, yes, he ends up winning the day, but the same could be said for every pulp hero in movie history. But in the best Bond outings, Bond has to sweat the victory. Odd Job kicks his ass. Robert Shaw NEARLY kicks his ass. That dude Peter Franks? — the one he fights in the elevator in Diamonds Are Forever? He nearly kicks his ass, too.

          Bond has to sweat the victory.

          In fact, I have no patience for adventure stories where the villain isn’t *at least* the physical equal of the hero. Just one o’ my quirks.

    • davejc

      John Wayne? The Searchers, Red River, True Grit? I’m having a hard time thinking up a film where JW didn’t have a major flaw. Maybe Stagecoach?

      Anyway there’s nothing wrong with writing a Mary Sue character in and of itself. But it’s a cheat if those unearned skills assist the character to acheive goals and/or drive the plot. This is so basic, it’s a Screenwriting 101 no-no. We’ve entered the realm of plot convenience theater.

      • brenkilco

        In his wartime prime- Fighting Seabees, Flying Tigers et al and in his later avuncular roles-from Rio Bravo to True Grit- he was pretty flawless. It was his character in Red River, his first really flawed one, that allegedly caused John Ford to comment ‘I never knew the sonofabitch could act.’

  • Paul Schellens

    A hero needs a flaw – unless it slows the story down!

    • Scott Crawford

      Pilar Alesandra has a really good idea, and I’ve adopted it, that the MC’s major flaw ultimately becomes a skill that saves the day. Or rather, in a Joseph Campbell-type way, the character becomes the master of two worlds.

      Flaw: Not a team player
      Skill: Independent
      Example: John Kruger in ERASER

      Flaw: Paranoia/Lack of trust
      Skill: Caution
      Example: Bob Lee Swagger in SHOOTER

      Both Kruger and Swagger end up working with others (the mob, the FBI) to save the day. By the end of the story, Kruger is still a loner and Swagger is still a paranoid. They still have their flaws, their change is represented by their ability to sometimes go against that flaw.

      Flaw: Dependence on technology, ignorance of The Force
      Skill: Uses The Force (magic) to guide his photon torpedoes (technology)
      Example: Luke Skywalker in STAR WARS

      • Erica

        There are so many movies where the main star (male) doesn’t have a flaw.

        Predator –
        Flaw: Human
        Skill – Bullets and guns and knives
        If it bleeds, we can kill it.

        • Scott Crawford

          Dutch in Predator is a mercenary. It’s not explicit but its there, the team picks which missions it takes, and he says at the beginning that they’re not assassins which is why he takes it so bad when he’s sent on a “kill mission.”

          But he has to become a “hunter” (the original title Hunter, though less catchy than Predator, is slightly more thematically accurate) if he is to defeat the predator.

          Steven Seagal (in his bad movies, which is most of them) never had a flaw and it became tedious. In his better written films, like Under Siege, they could at least turn his bad personality into a flaw.

          “I see that you completely disobeyed my orders. Correct?”

          “Sorry. You can court-martial me if I live.”

        • brenkilco

          flawwise his accent comes close.

          • Scott Crawford

            If you watch him in his early films he was pretty graceless when he walked (due to his size), bumping into door frames, etc.

            Commentators from Germany can confirm this, but the story goes that when Schwarzenegger offered to dub his own voice into German for Terminator they turned him down as his Austrian accent makes him sound like a farmer.

            (In some of his movies he claims to be East German, again I guess because the accent couldn’t pass for West German. Don’t know myself.).

    • filmklassik

      Disagree. Flawless heroes, no matter how much humanity they possess, still need a damn flaw in my book.

      But it looks like nowadays, my book isn’t being read very much.

  • Magga

    I did think she learned everything too quickly, which is part of what I meant by the story moving too fast. It wasn’t just her abilities, but the arcs of the other characters too. It was in quite a rush, IMO. Never thought about it in terms of a female protagonist, only that it didn’t make sense in light of Luke’s training in the OT. Everyone’s answer was that this will all be revealed in the sequels, which is part of why I’m generally not into franchise movies. Don’t know how much we’re worried about spoilers anymore, but VAGUE SPOILER it was more annoying that the main thing that was promised for this movie (not by the trailers) was promised again as a cliffhanger.

    • ThomasBrownen

      Yeah, I didn’t think of her newfound abilities as her being a woman, just that they came about too fast and without being set up.

      I could understand her knowing mechanical parts. She salvaged scraps from abandoned ships. So I bought that she knew how to repair the Millennium Falcon.

      But flying the Millennium Falcon? That went too far for me. Does she have any flying experience? Not that we know of.

      And I also didn’t buy that she knew how to hide on the new Death Star. Remember that scene where she climbed down into a canyon or something, then pulled a lever to open a compartment? I’m not sure I quite understood what was going on, and that type of technology would certainly have been foreign to her.

      But she wasn’t perfect. She did accidentally release the monsters on Han Solo’s ship. But then again, she quickly knew how to fix her problem too.

      Still, these were minor issues. And I would have been skeptical of the character’s talents regardless of Rey’s gender.

      • Nick Morris

        I felt the same way. She did tell Finn that she was a pilot as they ran toward the 1st ship, but no further explanation was offered.

        • Scott Crawford

          I suppose it’s the equivalent of someone who can drive a car trying to drive a truck, but then it is just make believe.

          Q: Is Leia co-piloting the Falcon in New Hope when Han and Luke are shooting at Tie-Fighters?

          • Nick Morris

            I always assumed she was. But she was in Han’s seat, wasn’t she?

        • carsonreeves1

          The original Star Wars also explained Luke’s piloting away rather quickly (“Who’s going to pilot it though kid? You??” “You bet I could, I’m not such a bad pilot myself.”).

          The reality is it’s hard to convey that someone is a pilot without physically showing them piloting. However, due to the overall complexity of plotting, you sometimes don’t have that time to show it.

          • Nick Morris

            That reminds me of Obi-Wan’s line in ROTJ about “When I met your father, he was already a great pilot…”. As a result of that one piece of expositional dialog and the decision to introduce Anakin as a child, the whole podrace story line was born.

          • CCM30atWork

            Now this is podracing!

          • Scott Crawford

            Story goes that Lucas’ friends felt the original beginning of Star Wars was too like American Graffiti with its “boy racers.”

        • ThomasBrownen

          One thing I REALLY liked about Rey’s introduction: After she finished ripping parts out of that giant ship, she hopped onto a sand-sled and rode it down the hill.

          I thought that showed just how resourceful and creative she was. The could have had her hover craft parked right outside the big ship, but they threw in that extra shot to make a point about her ingenuity, and for me, that really worked.

      • CCM30atWork

        Idk why it’s unreasonable to believe she could pilot a ship. It is a sci-fi setting after all, I’d say its pretty commonplace to have some sort of an idea how to pilot the ship. Plus iirc she wasn’t particularly good at it anyway.

        The Death Star hiding sequence seemed convenient, I’ll give you that. But it did help set up the fun little moment between Han and Finn so that was fine.

        Also why is it unreasonable that Finn would be able to use a light saber? I mean, he didn’t win the fight, he wasn’t good at using it. And you don’t need the Force to use one. He could be force sensitive like Leia and Han. But I don’t see why its out of the question for him to pick up a light saber and be like well fuck guess I gotta make due.

        • Scott Crawford

          Stormtroopers use lightsabers (for crowd control?), it’s just that Jedi’s use them better. Han uses a lightsaber in Empire.

        • ThomasBrownen

          In Episode 4, wasn’t there a scene where Han had to help Luke learn how to shoot with the Millennium Falcon’s guns? And then it led to the “don’t get cocky” line?

          I thought a little bit more of a learning process like that could have been good.

          • Scott Crawford

            There’s a sort of tracking computer on the Falcon, same as in the new film, that locks on to fighters, so you don’t have to be an incredible marksman to shoot them down.

            https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6124/5937682941_67bb3ca408_m.jpg

          • CCM30atWork

            Yeah but Luke was just a kid. Makes sense to have that scene.

            Rey’s been a loner for a long time and surviving on her own for a long time. She has nothing else to do but hone the skills that allow her to survive. I assumed one of those would be piloting ships.

        • Caivu

          That riot trooper that shows up pretty much confirms that Finn probably has melee training. Not the same weapon, but it’s something.

  • walker

    The lack of danger to the protagonist in The Equalizer made that script a cartoon.

  • ripleyy

    But she IS perfect. Attractive, capable and all-round bad ass, she is the woman of many men’s (and teenage boy’s) dreams. She also happens to channel the Force rather well. That’s a bonus.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      You thought Rey was attractive? WHAT!! She had her hair all frizzled throughout the show. Personally, I think J.J. and crew toned down Daisy Ridley’s look because in future shows her arc will expland and a type of princess will emerge.

  • Erica

    This is what happens when they create a successful Female lead. Isn’t jealousy great.

    The great thing about this movie for me is, I loved it so much that the trolls don’t bother me at all. I would bet, most of those trolls actually liked the movie but they are just too cool to say JJ did a good job. Box office numbers don’t lie. It’s Clear that Max Landis really wanted to Direct Star Wars and is mad that he couldn’t. I mean have you seen his movies.

    If nothing else, this movie brought a lot of people (families), back to the movie theater for the first time in a long time.

    • Scott Crawford

      “Box office numbers don’t lie.”

      Too true. And nor do Cinemascores. It’s not just that a lot of people have seen the film, it looks very much like people are seeing it again and again. And again. Let’s look at J.J’s Cinemascores:

      Mission: Impossible III: A-
      Star Trek: A
      Super 8: B+
      Star Trek: Into Darkness: A
      The Force Awakens: A

      And Max Landis:

      Chronicle: B
      American Ultra: B-
      Victor Frankenstein: C.

      • Magga

        With the added 3D pricing, Avatar became the best movie of all time :)

        • Scott Crawford

          The most impressive number of the weekend for TFA is $57,000 PER SCREEN. That’s more than ten times what Sisters did per screen.

    • charliesb

      I’m glad you loved it. But I don’t think it’s about jealousy. Max can be a real ass hole, but some of what he’s saying is true. That doesn’t change your enjoyment of the movie, or mine, but it does make me think twice when examining the characters I write in my own screenplay. I think it’s important not to dismiss criticism as trolling. I have some pretty big issues with the film despite still thinking it was pretty good as a whole. I don’t think pointing out problems I have with it makes me a troll. YMMV.

      J.J is a great screenwriter, and a great director, but he’s not perfect, (and he wrote this screenplay in like 6 months (if I remember correctly). I think Rey is the beginnings of a great character but I think she does need stronger flaws, and to make some mistakes.

      “Box office numbers don’t lie.”

      I guess this is true. But I still hated Jurassic World… like really really hated it.

      • Erica

        The great thing about debating the movie in a place like here, is the lack of trolls. All of the comments on here are great and valid in a lot of cases. I have to admit that I’m seeing the movie there rose coloured 3d glasses. I do say nice job to JJ for writing that in 6 months if not less. There is was no doubt a lot of pressure there. Not just from the studio, but the fans as well. If it wasn’t for the fans, Lucas would still own Star Wars.

        I don’t thing people here are being called trolls for not like the movie or pointing out flaws on this forum. Here people can comment and back up their comments. And from a script writing stance a lot of them have great arguments. The sad reality is it doesn’t matter what you or I believe a great script should be, if the people love it, it’s done.

        I spend 5 months pre planning, shooting and editing a 1 hour Halloween, haunted show. What do I get, that was good (pat on the back, great). Someone shoots a video of a cat, puts it on youtube, and bam, fame and glory (even if it’s only 10 mins). My point is, it’s really hard to tell how the general population is going to receive something.

        The troll thing in my opinion is on say news, twitter sites or gaming sites. There people will post things like “movie sucks”, just to get a rise out of the fanbase. I believe in those cases, they do really like the movie, but would rather spend there time on the internet causing people grief for their own pleasure.

      • filmklassik

        “And to make some mistakes.”

        Indeed. The best heroes are flawed BEYOND the now-required broody psychological torment from their past. In other words, with the best, most relatable heroes, there is shit THEY JUST CAN’T DO AS WELL AS THE VILLAIN.

        But they find a way to overcome that.

    • filmklassik

      Erica, it’s very easy to object to the rendering of a MALE protagonist without being accused of pettiness or jealousy or as someone who, you know, “doesn’t like men.” I do it all the time. But Rey seems to present a special problem: How does one go about objecting to the rendering of a FEMALE protagonist (in this case, Rey) without coming across as petty or jealous or misogynistic or what have you?

      Because if I *could* do it without fear of blowback or rancor or even an eye-rolling “Whatever” or “Okay first of all, calm down”, I’d raise the same objection about her character that I’ve raised about Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher, and Denzel Washington’s character in The Equalizer: She’s too formidable.

      There ought to be a villain in the story who is at least her physical equal, and preferably stronger than she is (as in THE TERMINATOR movies, for example, and the best Bond films, and the Rocky series) which would make her ultimate, come-from-behind victory that much sweeter.

      But there isn’t.

  • fragglewriter

    I’ve always said the same thing about movie characters but never knew the name for it until I listened to Max Landis yesterday.

    That’s the reason why I didn’t like the Bourne series cause I felt Bourne was a Gary Sue. I always ask “how come he never makes a wrong turn.” I think I might be used to older action movies where there was so much against the tough guy that anything easy seems lame. You can also add-in all the Superhero/Comic Book series.

    • charliesb

      Bourne made wrong turns, and got a lot of “innocent” people killed. He also got his ass handed to him a few times as well.

      What I liked a lot about him (and those movies) was that he was convinced that he was a bad guy that had been done wrong, but as those movies progress he (and we realize) he is the bad guy.

      • fragglewriter

        But that’s it. I never felt he was in danger, just that the woman he met in the first film died.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julien.deladriere Julien Deladriere
    • Scott Crawford

      TV tropes is an excellent resource (or dangerous timewaster?) for writers.

  • leitskev

    The Gary Sue in Equalizer was a tormented soul, if I remember. Killing came easy…it was the only thing he was good at. But he was tired of killing and no longer sure if he believed in the cause. His wife had caused in him a desire to change, but he never moved toward that while she was alive. Her death prompted him to begin reading the world’s greatest 100 books. And we see him eating alone late night at a diner, so we sense he is a lonely figure. All of those are solid attempts to make him dimensional and vulnerable and to give him a strong need.

    I have not seen Star Wars, so I’m not comparing it to that situation. Is Rey the protagonist?

    In the original, Han needs to overcome his cynicism and selfish impulse. Luke doesn’t really change or need to, but he does need to learn to “use the force”, which represents personal growth on some spiritual level. IMO, the central dramatic need in Star Wars I is for Han and Luke to bond in friendship. That’s what we want to see happen. And the only obstacle in the way of that happening is Han’s cynical selfishness.

    I am kind of against the current on this, but personal growth should not be seen as an end in itself in storymaking. Growth is just another obstacle to be overcome in the way of what we want to see happen with the story. Note I did not say on the way to the character goal, though that can be the case. The essential thing is what does the AUDIENCE want to happen. Let’s take Star Wars. What does the audience want most: the destruction of the death star? The rescue of the princess? The defeat of Vader and the Empire? Or Han Solo and Luke to bond? I would say it’s a combination. We want them to bond in a way that leads to the final triumph. Which is what happens. And it’s the bonding that makes that triumph meaningful and satisfying.

    I agree a character should not have it all come too easy, but there could be other things that don’t come easy, such having an audience desire to see her bond with another character and having something in the way of that.

    Also, isn’t this a case of be careful what you ask for? The pc critics that have descended over this industry like the Empire itself will complain if a female character is given weaknesses or if part of dramatic need is linked to a man. I mean I agree that a female character should be fully dimensional, but I think this fear of offending someone somewhere is part of the problem. People live to be offended now.

    • filmklassik

      I hear ya, but soulful inner torment is almost irrelevant to the qualities under discussion here: Namely, a hero engaged in a largely physical conflict (which sums up every action movie) who is never physically overmatched.

      The best Bond outings avoided this trap, serving up villains who were faster and stronger and tougher than Bond was (see Oddjob).

      Likewise, tough-but-human robot fighter Michael Biehn squaring off against Ah-nold’s nearly indestructible robot from the future in the first TERMINATOR flick… and outmoded robot Ah-nold squaring off against the deadly and state-of-the-art T-1000 in TERMINATOR 2.

      • leitskev

        Just to be clear, I agree, and I was not suggesting she should be a flawed or tormented character. I was merely pointing out that the hero in the equalizer was such a character, so he had much to overcome, even though the fight stuff came easy to him.

        In fact, everything I have argued is that such characteristics are not necessary. All that is necessary is to create something the audience wants to see happen and put obstacles in the way. That can take many forms. In Star Wars I, Luke does not change nor do we want him to(other than learning to accept the force). It’s Han Solo that changes. Even his name, Solo, reveals his flaw, and he changes in the end. This is satisfying because we want Luke and him to bond as brothers. So the thing that has the arc is actually the relationship(though Solo arcs too).

        The Hero’s Journey(an awesome book) has caused a misdirection in our perception of many stories. Because of it(and Aristotle) we focus on the hero, when often it’s the hero’s relationship with others that matters most to the audience. Think of Hattie in True Grit. It’s her relationship with Rooster that counts most to us. Their stubbornness is their strength…but also the obstacle which must be overcome.

        In T-2 and subsequent T movies, it’s largely about the terminator learning how to bond with humans in a believable and fulfilling way. Character arc is irrelevant except to the degree it is essential for that bonding.

        Thanks for your comment, Happy Festivus, and these are of course just my amateur rambling opinions. Enjoy the holiday!

        • filmklassik

          You too, but just so *I’m* clear: I wasn’t talking about arcs or The Hero’s Journey or facing one’s fear or conquering one’s inner demons etc etc etc just now — not at all — merely the fact that heroes in adventure stories are far, far more interesting and relatable when they are overmatched by a PHYSICALLY STRONGER VILLAIN.

          That’s it, my friend. End of thesis.

          But when David IS Goliath (which is becoming all-too-common in movies right now) the air goes out of the balloon. At least for me.

  • ChadStuart

    I think there’s going to be a painful lesson to be learned over the next few years regarding “Star Wars”. So many people hold “Star Wars near and dear because it was so special. When the first one came out, it was lightning in a bottle. We’d gotten something we always wanted but didn’t know that we wanted it. Then the second one came out, didn’t adhere to formula and just grew the characters, the story and the world in such a brilliant way. The third wasn’t quite so wonderful, but it wasn’t so bad that it tarnished the series’ reputation.

    And that’s how it sat for 16 years. Three movies that seemed like a once in a lifetime event that younger kids were jealous they didn’t get to experience first hand. A mythology formed around the movies. Not the actual mythology of the story itself, but a mythology of the cultural impact. Stories about how the movies had “changed my life” began springing up. It coincided with the rise of the film geek culture and exploded when those film geeks got the internet and could discuss the “importance” of the films in cinema history as well as personally to their lives.

    There was a slight hiccup in their reputation come 1997 and the Special Editions, but by the time “The Phantom Menace” opened in 1999, the luster really began to wear off, but that only really showcased how important “Star Wars” still was to so many people. They had to love it to be so betrayed by it.

    Still, by the time “Revenge of the Sith” closed in 2005 there was a feeling that this was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Lucas told his story completely and that was it. There would be no more. So, even though there were chinks in the armor, it was still a special experience.

    Not so anymore. We are now faced with the undeniable reality that there may be a new “Star Wars” movie every year for the rest of our lives. Besides the spinoff films, there is the real possibility that the Skywalker saga stretches on well beyond Episode IX. There’s no guarantee that there won’t be a new trilogy comprising X-XII after this. Or that they’ll abandon the whole trilogy aspect and just keep adding Episodes until we get to some odd number like Episode XXII.

    And, as we all know, the more you have of something, the less special it is. So, “Star Wars” will never be special again. Soon, they will have no more cultural importance than any Marvel movie. That’s not to say they won’t still be entertaining and worthy of a ticket. I enjoy Marvel movies as the escapist entertainment they are.

    But I liked that “Star Wars” was different. For a time, I bought into the cultural mythology that they “changed my life” and were the reason I wanted to make movies. In reality, it was so much more than that. It was a combination of movies and filmmakers over the course of my childhood. But, due to my age, “Star Wars” was first.

    It’s gonna be a hard change for many of us. We all came of age on the internet discussing “Star Wars”. But we’re going to be besieged with it soon. More so than just the merchandise which has always been a bit crushing, but by the movies themselves. And, in reality, “Star Wars” is going to quickly become no big deal.

    And that makes me a little sad.

    • Nick Morris

      Agreed 100%. The excitement and anticipation for Star Wars, or maybe anything, will never reach these levels again. Nothing captures the collective attention of the world anymore like this has, unless it’s something really catastrophic. I’ve had a blast just waiting for this damn movie and I’m happy to have been able to share that experience with my kids this time around.

      • Citizen M

        Star Wars is for the Yanks. For us in the British Commonwealth, a Royal Wedding fulfills the same function.

        • Scott Crawford

          I didn’t think you South Africans cared for our Royal Family.

          • Citizen M

            I am of the older generation, who fondly remember when two Rand would buy a British Pound. Now that we have to shell out 22 Rand for the same privilege, I don’t think the youngsters care quite so much for Betty Windsor.

    • Acarl

      VERY well said and I believe you’re correct.

    • http://apairoftools.wordpress.com/ Sebastian Cornet

      Well spoken. Echoes my feelings exactly. I never thought I’d live to see the day when Star Wars would become mundane.

      Oh, and if we are talking about Gary Sues, too, how about Poe’s character? This guy can shoot down 5 o 6 TIE fighters without breaking a sweat. WTF? I’m sure if he attacks a Star Destroyer he can blow it up with one laser burst.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Great insight, jedi master. Yoda lives, indeed!

    • T Jess

      Well said. The good news of pumping out a new Star Wars movie every 12 months for the foreseeable future is that we will lose the reverence for the franchise. We will be able to analyze the movies without all the hype and anticipation getting in the way. Without the emotional baggage, we will demand good Star Wars stories that are original, exciting and rich with character depth. So making Star Wars “no big deal” might not be so bad after all.

    • Linkthis83

      Star Wars could certainly be special again if the story that is created is done so without the cultural self awareness built in. If there weren’t so many nods and winks and giving away reveals for free.

    • Pugsley

      Well, there’s always Ghostbusters, which still only has three.

    • Thaddeus Arnold

      Why don’t you ruin Christmas while you’re at it?

  • http://vimeo.com/adamwparker Adam W. Parker

    For once, I agree with Landis. It is what it is. The movie is still good though. This is what they set out to do. This movie isn’t trying to make you ponder human nature, it’s a power trip and that is fine in my book. Worth the price of admission.

  • Kane

    I’m always baffled by stuff like this. I got blasted in comments for my female lead during an amateur Friday review. She was too much like a man, too violent. I took the criticism and improved the script but there was an ugly undercurrent of you’re a sexiest and don’t know how to write a woman character. A few jabs that were, in my mind unnecessary and a little ironic. People telling me what a woman would and wouldn’t do. Really? You met them all? You get to define them. Focus a little more on if the character entertains and less on their gender. Not saying Rey couldn’t have been improved but what does that have to do with sexism. She was very entertaining in this story, flaws (or lack there of) and all. Yes, she was great at everything she did but so was Poe. Finn went from trained at childhood killer to all around nice guy in minutes, not minutes of screen time, but minutes of story time. Sure, these characters arcs could have been a little more fleshed out. That had nothing to do with their gender. Sexism is not the problem with Force Awakens… It’s racism. Finn was the only black man on Jakku and how was he greeted, getting chased and accused of stealing Poe’s jacket. A brother can’t even catch a break a long time ago and far far away.

    • http://vimeo.com/adamwparker Adam W. Parker

      OT: Lol it is a funny thing. We want gender to be fluid. But then also defined. Goes for race too. It’s tricky.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Kane, amatures and those yet to be discovered will ALWAYS have their art held to a higher standard than pros with established track records.

      The trick is to get discovered…

  • Eddie Panta

    I’ll agree w/ the Equalizer as a “Gary Sue” but I was bored out of my mind watching Watney in The Martian as “Gary Sue”. Actually, he was more like MACGYVER SUE. Yeah there was some resistance, but the atmosphere around Mars is thin…

  • CCM30atWork

    Considering Mary Sues have been a thing for a long time and I never considered it to be a gender-fueled thing despite the name Mary Sue (if anything I see way more Gary Sues). For anyone who’s written a fanfic I’ve bet you’ve done the Mary Sue test that’s on the Internet somewhere with like a bazillion questions to answer. As a kid I’d always use it just to see if my protagonist was too generic or something.

    Rey isn’t generic. She’s just really damn good at what she does. Because she’s a resourceful scavenger. She has to be good or she’ll die of starvation. And not everything she does is easy. Sure she may not slip up all the time but it’s not like she does everything non-chalantly. Nothing she does is ‘easy’.

    But ultimately it was a methodology just to allow the author to occupy the world they’re writing in.

    Either way all of this has nothing to do with Mary Sues because people are just mad that there’s a new awesome SW protagonist and it’s not a guy. Who caaaaares. She’s awesome, she’s active, she gets shit done.

    Like, I really don’t think Rey is a Mary Sue at all, in the actual meaning of the term. She’s just a strong, able protagonist. Her background and lifestyle justifies her ability to do stuff. It’s not like she’s lazy and unskilled or something but still somehow gets things done because the story makes it so. She struggles just like everyone else does.

    People just have an opportunity to parrot a term they’ve never heard before based on a tweet someone made on their timeline or something.

    Most importantly, Max Landis…idk what’s up with that dude but I guess he feels the need to interject himself into everything. He’s not like the end-all, be-all master of writing. He’s just mad stuff didn’t go his way all the time. And now he’s jumping on something to stoke the flames, just like any random internet user. Like bruh, give it a rest.

    There’s no foundation to this “Rey is a Mary Sue” argument and it’ll die in a week or two. Guarantee it.

    • CCM30atWork

      Like…fuck it’s a Star Wars movie, not Citizen Kane. It’s supposed to be a simple, light-hearted adventure full of hype, excitement, and pew pew pew. That’s exactly what the movie is.

      Ppl need to calm tf down lmfao

      • Scott Crawford

        There’s always going to be a bit of suspicion when the lead character is a woman (or black, though fortunately not many people seem to have a problem with that) as to whether it’s just a token gesture, giving what would normally be a male character to a female lead (“Rey is like RAY, right?”).

        I will say this: Daisy Ridley is very beautiful. Is that sexist?

        OK, so is John Boyega.

        • CCM30atWork

          Hopefully we get past that point of suspicion because I know I have.

          Yeah Daisy Ridley is beautiful, that’s cool. And John is a handsome dude. I deduced that pretty quickly. Daisy also shares a last name with the name of my favorite video game villain so I am obligated to like her regardless.

          But I signed on to them as characters because they made the pewpewpew and awesomeness happen, same with Poe’s actor (forgot his name), not because of what they look like or their identities.

          However, it’s easy for me to dismiss identity because it doesn’t bother me personally. It’s great that more groups of people get representation in major films like these. And it’s great to see characters that anyone can enjoy regardless of who you are. So that’s pretty awesome, too.

      • filmklassik

        Okay, but would the Awesomeness and PewPewPew have been, like, a gazillion times MORE awesome if Rey had had a few Luke Skywalker/Indiana Jones/Sarah Connor-type vulnerabilities and wasn’t necessarily the toughest kid in the universe? In other words, if she had to, like, get her ass kicked by someone even STRONGER and TOUGHER than she was before managing a come-from-behind underdog victory?

        Wouldn’t that have been better?

        (I hear a “Nope” coming.)

  • mulesandmud

    The issue here is not the Mary Sue question or even the ever-present danger of internet trolls.

    The problem is that a portion of fans are so impossibly protective of this film that any major criticism is treated as dissent.

    Did you like THE FORCE AWAKENS? If so, that’s a wonderful thing.

    Now please refrain from treating it like a religion.

    Hollywood has cultivated a special breed of fascist fanboy for exactly these occasions. These fanatics swear allegiance to their chosen franchise, and offer up their critical faculties (along with their money) as proof of devotion. They then form a human shield around the franchise, and lash out at anyone who approaches it with anything less than piety.

    In fact, the same thing happened when THE PHANTOM MENACE came out, but the internet was a little younger and journalism wasn’t quite in its death spiral yet, so critics were less cowed by the studios. And Lucas bungled the fan service, which gave many believers a glimmer of doubt, though of course there were still fanatics who held the line at all costs.

    But JJ Abrams is a marketing exec at heart, and he kept the message consistent. THE FORCE AWAKENS was, if nothing else, a fantastically effective commercial for itself. Longtime fans hoping to exorcise the prequels finally got their chance, and so they’ve latched on to this inoffensive new chapter as a form of salvation, swelling the ranks of the faithful.

    The end result is that a vocal minority of viewers appoint themselves as unpaid apologists for a major studio, and take over the conversation. Anyone who wants to participate is pressured to either walk the party line, or to dismiss their own criticism as quibbles.

    Too bad. There’s a great conversation to be had here, since THE FORCE AWAKENS is riddled with storytelling failures.

    The original STAR WARS trilogy was formative for me; without it, I wouldn’t love movies like I do. That didn’t change the fact that the prequels were embarrassing to behold. And it doesn’t change the fact that this new film is self-evidently mediocre.

    It’s frustrating to me that we have to wait months or years for the dust to settle on this film before we can have a fully productive discussion about it. And if Disney has their way, we’ll never get the chance: they’ll just keep pumping out new additions to the saga to keep us docile and distracted.

    And as for Rey’s implausible excellence at everything she did, it’s a perfectly valid complaint, and just one of many weak story choices that made the entire experience unengaging for me.

    • Scott Crawford

      I’m sorry, if I like Star Wars I’m a FASCIST?

      • mulesandmud

        No, Scott. If I meant that, I would have said it.

        In case I failed to make it clear, I like the original trilogy very much myself.

        But if you or anyone else is part of the vocal minority who seeks to shout down those who find THE FORCE AWAKENS overhyped and undercooked, then you are certainly part of the problem.

        • Scott Crawford

          “Hollywood has cultivated a special breed of fascist fanboy for exactly these occasions. These fanatics swear allegiance to their chosen franchise, and offer up their critical faculties (along with their money) as proof of devotion.”

          These are very strong words to describe what sound to me like very ordinary Star Wars fans. And sounds to me like you’re trying to silence this “vocal minority” with your insults.

          You’ll forgive me if I don’t bother to read the rest of your post. You lost me at “fascist.”

          • mulesandmud

            In fact, ordinary Star Wars fans are perfectly reasonable folks with a wide variety of tastes, and are very open to both hearing and giving criticism. I know because I’m one of them.

            The dangerous folks are the ones who attempt to limit conversation, whether in the name of brand loyalty or ideology or any other dogma. If you think I’m doing that here, it’s probably because you’re responding to a post that you admit you haven’t read.

            I have no interest in silencing anyone, and couldn’t do so if I tried. I look forward to lucid debates on this film, just like any other.

          • Scott Crawford

            All right. Who are these “fascist” “fanatics” trying to silence people? Can you name them?

          • mulesandmud

            For example, those misguided persons who sent death threats to conservative columnist Katherine Timpf or liberal film critic Andrew O’Hehir because of their perceived criticisms of the franchise.

            Extreme, yes, but not entirely uncommon. As I’m sure you are aware, the internet is a breeding ground for intolerance, and conversation suffers as a result.

            And now, Scott, I will no longer be responding to you, here or in general, because of the defensive nature of your replies and your general unwillingness to engage with my responses.

            I wish you better luck in other conversations.

          • Scott Crawford

            What? That’s it? A few idiots send death threats and you think that is representative of anything? That’s not a “vocal minority,” that’s hardly anyone.

            Your description of these “fascists” was people who “offer up their critical faculties (along with their money),” in other words people who have opinions and watched the movie. Sounds like ordinary fans to me. Nothing about death threats. The internet is awash with death threats, that’s nothing to do with ordinary Star Wars fans having a disagreement.

            I’ll gladly ignore you in future if that’s what you wish, but please refrain from using incendiary terms like “fascist” unless you

          • filmklassik

            I’m a first amendment absolutist, so I believe people should be able to say anything they want without having to fear for their very lives.

            But taking rights and homicide off the table for a moment… anyone who threatens a movie critic for the “offense” of publishing a review they don’t agree with is a full-tilt asshole who needs to have their jaw broken. Should such an act be legal? Of course not. But it would be just. Therefore, anyone who kicks the crap out of the person making death threats to Timpf or O’Hehir (a writer I despise, by the way) should feel free to use me for an alibi.

            Yeah, I remember it well, actually. I ought to, I lost almost 200 bucks! We were in my apartment playing poker at the time of the assault. All day, in fact. Jeez officer, I hope no one was seriously hurt.

      • walker

        Come on now, that is certainly not what the commenter was saying. It is an absurdly defensive and contentious reaction that unwittingly illustrates his point.

        • Scott Crawford

          If he thinks there are fascist Star Wars fans then he needs to name them. I don’t know who he’s referring to.

          • walker

            Sorry, but asking for them to be named misses the point entirely and, it seems, almost willfully. This paragraph:

            Hollywood has cultivated a special breed of fascist fanboy for exactly these occasions. These fanatics swear allegiance to their chosen franchise, and offer up their critical faculties (along with their money) as proof of devotion. They then form a human shield around the franchise, and lash out at anyone who approaches it with anything less than piety.
            is a perfectly reasonable and accurate description of an easily observable cultural and critical phenomenon, it pointedly avoids making the issue personal or specific, and it is in fact purposely not limited to Star Wars films. Sadly it is widely applicable to contemporary discourse in general.

          • Scott Crawford

            He claims he was referring to a few people who sent death threats. Horrible people, for sure, but not representative of even a fraction of ordinary Star Wars superfans and not worth bringing up. Vast majority, VAST majority of people defending TFA online are not “fascists,” and – no – I’m just being critical of mulesandmud’s choice of word. His description of fascists was FAR more encompassing that just people sending death threats – it’s people who “lash out at anyone who approaches it with anything less than piety.”

            Who, if anyone, is that describing? Because, according to mulesandmud, those people are fascists.

    • carsonreeves1

      I’d argue that internet trolling and excessive criticism is way more prominent than any film protection community. The internet has pretty much become the place for people to go and unload their criticisms.

      • writebrain

        Yet none of them could make a script or film that’s .00001% as good as TFA.

      • mulesandmud

        Trolling can be a major problem for constructive conversation on the interweb, no doubt. When you do all of the math though, I find obsessive brand loyalty to be much more dangerous and insidious.

        Trolls make bad arguments or inflammatory remarks that offer no argument at all. Brand loyalists attempt to marginalize all criticism, killing serious debate entirely.

        Personally, I’ll take contrarians over ideologues – better to have a difficult conversation than no conversation at all.

        When you take the kind of brand loyalty that corporations cultivate with IP and apply it to politics, the results get scary fast:

    • Magga

      I’ve been criticizing both this and basically all Star Wars movies on this board, everyone seems fine with it.

      • Scott Crawford

        You’ve done so very respectfully. And with only a HINT of scorn!

      • ShiroKabocha

        The scriptshadow board is a haven. One of the very few places on the net where commenters can give their opinion and engage in respectful and insightful discussions about movies and the screenwriting craft. ‘course there’s the occasional troll and inevitable rants (of which I myself am guilty), but hey, that adds up to the fun :)

        Bless you all :)

    • Eric

      I agree with much of this, but I think the fan boy defensiveness extends to the original trilogy as well. I don’t think they’re bad movies, but the kind of reverence and philosophical dissection they inspire has always seemed a bit silly to me. It also seems that so many people consider them formative movies because they were seen during their formative years. In this sense, the only people who are truly qualified to judge how The Force Awakens stacks up to A New Hope are teenagers. If they come out of this movie feeling like they want to be make films and create vast worlds, than all the plot nitpicking and Mary Sueing will mean next to nothing, just as it did before.

  • L. T. Truong

    Was John Wick a ‘Gary Sue’ as well? I really dig Keanu’s movies (Speed, Point Break, Matrix. Sweet November) but I found myself not enjoying John Wick as much as others did. I guess his only flaw was emotional with losing a loved one. Other than that he was almost perfect.

    Really enjoyed Force Awakens and fell in love with Rey’s character as well in the beginning when we saw her struggle on Jakku. The only problem was as the movie went on, she handled almost all of the obstacles and villains thrown at her with ease. There was no struggle town, hence the Mary Sue tag. And since there was no clear explanation for this in the film, the audience was forced to extrapolate reasons for this…

    • CCM30atWork

      Maybe people’s expectations are skewed?

      Because I went into John Wick hoping for “Keanu shoots a lot of people for about two hours” and that’s what it was.

      Sometimes I just wanna watch someone get some shit done, I don’t need every character to have flaws and emotions and reminding me that they do.

      Maybe that’s just me idk

    • Scott Crawford

      One really important thing – probably obvious but worth bringing up – people react differently to films to characters based on their own experiences. Some people will relate more to the John Wick character than others. Also, he’s OLD, too old to have some of the flaws we traditionally associate with younger protagonists. It’s like Maslow’s hierachy of needs. The older one gets, the further down the list we go:

      1. Physiological needs
      2. Safety needs
      3. Love and belonging
      4. Esteem
      5. Self-actualization
      6. Self-transcendence

      People have argued over how accurate that list is but I’ll say the older you get the more esoteric become your needs and subsequent flaws.

  • carsonreeves1

    10 years? Try 3!

  • Eddie Panta

    BREAKING:
    Steve Harvey tapped to announce Script Shadow 250 winner.

    • CCM30atWork

      That night was crazy. Was watching Melee and talking Star Wars, then checked my timeline and the entire planet was roasting Harvey. Did not expect that.

      Kinda feel bad for him, he made a pretty innocuous mistake and got blown up for it. Ah well, comes with the job.

      • Citizen M

        Then he apologizes to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines via twitter, and MISSPELLS BOTH THEIR NAMES! (Columbia and Philippians)

        Truly, a worth presenter for SS scripts.

        • CCM30atWork

          Yeah that I can fault him for. If I were him, I would’ve quadrillion-double-checked that tweet before sending it. I probably wouldn’t have even typed it up, would just be too scared to fuck up again.

    • Scott Crawford
      • Erica

        I thought Miss Universe was a script, there is really a contest still?

        What’s funny is they think it’s really important and they are doing something that matters.

        • Eric

          That’s racism ;)

      • GoIrish

        There was some mention it may have been the teleprompter.

        • Scott Crawford

          It’s very small writing for a man in his (just checking) 50s (58).

          • fragglewriter

            He’s also an author, so he should know better.

      • Malibo Jackk

        What?
        You’re going to RANT on the guy
        because he has one drink??

    • brenkilco

      I’d take him as a 250 judge now. He’s learned the importance of reading all the way to the end.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Maybe, IF there ever is a Script Shadow 250 winner that is… Come on Carson, how long is this going to take?

  • leitskev

    I read his words twice, I don’t see the words sexism or racism.

    There are other ways to establish dramatic need besides flaw. Flaw is just an internal obstacle to be overcome, but there are internal obstacles that are not really flaws. For example, a character could feel isolated and alone because of circumstances, creating a dramatic need where the audience wants that character to find friendship or love.

    Luke is the protagonist of Star Wars I, right? Does he have a flaw? Does he change? No. Yeah, yeah, he learns to trust in the force, big deal. Luke never changes. He’s always the believer in fighting for the cause, always the heroic warrior at heart. It is Han Solo that changes by discarding his selfish cynicism. That allows Luke and Hans to bond, which is the dramatic center of episode I.

    • Eric

      SPOILERS

      This is what I was thinking. Luke Skywalker didn’t have a heck of a lot of training either before stopping laser blasters with a lightsaber, or making a “one in a million shot” after turning off his targeting systems. Everything Rey is good at is something Luke was good at, but she’s better. Luke fixes droids, she fixes Millennium Falcons. Luke flies an X-wing, Rey flies Millennium Falcons. If we allow everything Luke is improbably good at to be explained away by his connection with the force, why can’t we explain Rey by saying she has a greater connection to the force?

      And this is likely the point, is it not? That Rey has the potential to be a greater Jedi than Luke himself (and possibly also a clue to her parentage).

      • leitskev

        Sounds more than reasonable. I have not seen it yet.

        I think at its core structure is simple. A story creates a desire within an audience for something to happen, and then throws obstacles in the way. Those obstacles are internal and external. External: Darth Vader. Internal: flaw or some other dramatic need.

        If there was no Han/Luke relationship in Star Wars, the story would completely fail. Luke’s “hero journey” to accepting the force as his guiding light does not move us. We don’t care much about it accept that maybe it’s kind of cool. Star Wars is all ‘set up’ until the crew is finally aboard the Falcon. That’s when the story finally finishes creating a goal for the audience: we want to see Luke and and Han become bonded as true brothers as they defeat the bad guys. There are obstacles in the way of that. Luke is the idealistic hero, Han is the cynical pirate out for himself. One of those things has to give. And we DON’T want the hero to change(funny how that works, huh? Hero’s Journey people miss that), we want Han to change.

        So when I look to this new movie I really just watch for what desire is created in the audience…what do we want to see happen…and what’s in the way. Giving Rey internal obstacles to overcome would be a great way to do it, but it’s not the only way.

  • carsonreeves1

    I’m always so backed up with script reads. It’s tough. But that’s awesome to hear!

    • Peter Fedorenko

      Carson, come on. I know you’re busy- It’s the price of popularity. I’m telling yo this is something you’ll like. I know there aren’t that many good ones. I wouldn’t trouble you if it was not worth your time and effort.

      Pete

      • Kirk Diggler

        If you found an investor, why do you need Carson to read your script?

        But hey, I give you points for originality, you’re the first screenwriter in the history of screenwriting to insist his work is really good and if only “Mr._____ took the time to read it he’d discover this as well”.

        • Peter Fedorenko

          Kirk Diggler? Talk about originality. What an asshole you are.

      • andyjaxfl

        What about submitting through Amateur Weekend?

  • Magga

    Star Wars is the story of how George Lucas, sorry, Luke Skywalker, took what he learned from his mentor Francis Ford Coppola, I mean Obi Wan Kenobi, and teamed up with another rebel called Steven Spielberg, ooops I mean Han Solo, who seems to care too much about box office, I mean money, but is actually a great man and amazing at what he does, and they use the messages sent to them by Pauline Kael, dammit, I mean Princess Leia, to infiltrate and blow up Old Hollywood, no what’s wrong with me, The Death Star, and defeat the studio head, sorry, Darth Vader, using his creative spirit, no, make that The Force. By doing so, he became Anakin Skywalker, who became what he hated, and seemed to defeat his own empire by revealing how little was behind the mask. And yet a fanboy who grew up worshipping the mythology he created, I mean Kylo Ren, tries his best to re-enact what he did. Hell, (SPOILER WARNING) his best friend Han Solo, trying to connect through Bridge of Spies, i mean shared humanity, is destroyed by the power of the re-enacting fanboy.

    And though he tried to run away from what he’d created, JJ Abrams reminds Lucas that he can never escape, by having a fan-created character hold up his Light Saber to him. His look says it all.

    So if this character is a Mary Sue, see, it is subversive and genius. Therefore my money is on it just being a result of a fast pace and too much to reference.

    • Scott Crawford

      The Empire = Hollywood
      The Rebellion = Independent cinema

      Targeting computer = Formula
      The Force = Instinct

      Jar Jar Binks = ?

      • Magga

        Well, this may be Alex Jones levels of paranoid conspiracy theory, but LOOK AT JAR JAR’S FIRST TWO INITIALS

        • Scott Crawford

          Dun-dun- DUN!!!!

      • Erica

        Jar Jar Binks = Reality TV

        • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

          Good one!

    • writebrain

      It’s absolutely fascinating, isn’t it?

  • brenkilco

    Not to mention fanaticism.

  • carsonreeves1

    Someone’s probably already posted this but here’s the THR screenwriter roundtable you’ll definitely want to watch. http://www.slashfilm.com/thrs-writers-roundtable-aaron-sorkin-amy-schumer-more/

    • Scott Crawford

      Where?

    • Magga

      For something more relatable, watch this (warning: painful for people who don’t like watching nerves)

    • klmn

      I posted this late yesterday. I don’t know if you saw it or not, but knowing how much you love this guy I’ll post it again.

      • carsonreeves1

        lol, I did see this. Psy is one of the people I need to meet before I die.

  • fragglewriter

    Yes!! I love Indy. Even when he tries to do the right thing, it always backfires.

  • Scott Strybos

    I had never heard the term Marry Sue. When I saw the headline about Rey being a Marry Sue I thought they were referring to a character in the Star Wars canon.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      I think Carson and the greater screenwriting comunity of gurus and skeptics out there are coining a new sterotype as we speak. The “Star Wars” universe isn’t the only place where things happen at light speed!

  • Erica

    Well enough of all this debating, I’m going to go do something constructive, I’m going to play Star Wars Online…

    See you on Coruscant.

    • CCM30atWork

      There we gooooooooooooo

      +1

    • Shawn Davis

      Some great stuff in the news this week…

      Shawn…..><

      • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

        That guy is such a hack clown. Thanks for the post, Shawn Davis.

      • BoSoxBoy

        Never would have even known the Miss Universe Tangent had taken place had it not been for this glorious f-up. Is it too much to hope that it was planned?

  • Divdiv

    A Mary Sue isn’t only a female character, although nowdays they call male ones “Gary sue”.

    The Equalizer is a Mary sue, and could be shown to be more flawed, or less competent, but that’s not so big of an issue because he’s meant to be a mary sue.

    Tha’s kindda his thing.

    He’s supposed to be highly trained. Just like James Bond. That’s why people don’t care when those types of characters are good at pretty much anything, because they’re expected to be. It’s part of their character makeup.

    The problem with Rey’s character isn’t that she’s great at everything, it’s that the story doesn’t establish a reason for her to be great at everything.

    If it had, then this wouldn’t be an issue.

    But her ability to fly ships without having (or establishing to us that she has) experience in that field is a smaller problem compared to the story logic problem that was made when they had her beat Kylo Ren EASILY.

    It made no sense. The movie tells us he’s a character who’d spent YEARS training at being a Jedi, and Rey as to having absolutly zero training. Same goes for Fin’s fight with Kylo, although his is a more desperate attempt.

    Still, neither of them should be able to give Kylo a fight, which is why I think Landis’ idea on how the Kylo Ren fight should have been handled (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdEIzRUos4g) is actually very good, and would also help the viewers accept the rest of Rey’s over-competence, because she’d be shown amatuerish at something that it would logical story wise for her to be amatuerish in.

    It’d be easier on our suspension of disbelief.

    Because superficially we’re watching movies with Aliens and Robots and what not because it’s fantastic and exciting and different from our mundane lives. But those movies don’t work (well, at least) without us having some kind of emotional/logical connection with the characters/story.

    So the issue is not about Rey being a strong female character. It’s about her strengths making no sense in the story. People are misinterpreting Landis’ issue with Rey as to him hating on the fact that she’s a strong female character, which — if you’ve bothered checking the guy’s online presence for like five minutes — is pretty far from the truth.

    I feel like people are being blinded by nostalgia and don’t notice how they’re compremising on the story here. Or worse (in my opinion anyway) they’re “giving Rey a pass” BECAUSE she’s a girl and we don’t get many strong female protagonists, which is kind of a reverse sexism in a way.

    Movies being the art of visual storytelling, and us being movie fans who crave for great engrossing stories, we ought to want filmmakers to strive for the most complete or “unpunctured” stories they can achieve.

    I.e – no silly plot holes. No logic-less storytelling.

    • CCM30atWork

      Other than Kylo Ren wanting to die because he killed Han – which doesn’t make sense iirc Kylo wanted to kill Han? Why would he regret that decision? Maybe I’m getting it wrong – that would have actually be an awesome fight scene. Pretty much never agree with Landis but that would’ve been cool. Would’ve been a way better version of TPM’s Darth Maul fight.

    • filmklassik

      In the best Bond movies, 007 is tough and highly capable, but far from perfect, and he runs up against villains who are every bit as formidable as he is (if not more so), and he has to sweat the victory. In other words, in the best Bond movies, Bond is not a “Gary Sue.”

  • Trent11

    I wish Fox News would give Max Landis his own talk show. That seems to be his life’s calling.

  • Scott Crawford

    Bitter? Yes. Produced? Yes. Successful? Not really.

  • suminator

    Guys, I am over criticizing FA and will buzz off.

    As long as we are in Max Lendis territory I would appreciate if someone could pass me his American Ultra and Frankenstein scripts if they are out there. I saw AmUltra few days ago and feel that the source material hasn’t been transferred to the screen as good as it could have and would love to check that one out, so thanks in advance you great scriptshadow people :)

    suminatorATgmailDOTcom

    • Eddie Panta

      Instead of waiting for the screenplay to American Ultra, just read read the script to Long Kiss Goodnight and then watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory and that’s it.

      • suminator

        I get it :)

        Anyway it is a great lesson seeing a film and compering what is being written… So the request stays :)

  • carsonreeves1

    I liked the death scene. I was on the edge of my seat. I mean, it was better than anakin’s “burnt to a crisp” scene (“I have the high ground now, Anakin!”) and Boba Fett’s lame death scene, and Mace Windu’s strange lightning reflection-turn-face-ugly scene.

    • Anthony Dioniso

      What did Solo bring to this movie? Unless the “need a shield on a planet taken out, guy, then I’m your man,” was good enough. I mean he didn’t even know where the controls were on his own ship. Really didn’t have anything to offer Rey except: “The force is real, kid.” And, 40 yrs of adventuring with the carpet and he never fired chewey’s crossbow? Dumb.

      So much better if Captain Phantasm-remasterd had killed Solo.I hope he’s still alive, maybe he was hiding underneath a zombie body like Glenn.

      I wonder what scene it was where Ford broke his leg? I’m guessing introduction scene when he ran into his own ship and forgot where that step was.

  • S. Douglas

    If somebody sets up a list in their mind before they sit down in a movie seat and demands that movie meet every check-box on that list, they honestly don’t have any interest in enjoying that movie. They are just snarky, hyper-critical, self-satisfied twits who feel superiority in their misguided belief that they know something that other people do not. There are a lot of people who read scripts the exact same way. “Oh I stopped after 6 pages because I couldn’t tell who the hero is….” Lame-o’s. — Star Wars TFA was awesome and if you didn’t enjoy it, I honestly feel sorry for you. Maybe you should stick to depressing European movies about sufferance instead.

  • Jonathan Soens

    I think “This character is too good at things they have no business being good at” complaints make less sense in a story where that character is given The Force (which is a storytelling device to explain people being too good at things, really). Anakin used the Force to do things before being properly trained. Luke too, if you don’t count his lesson on the Falcon as proper training that justifies what he’s able to do in the end of that film.

    It seems like half the struggle with the Force is believing in what it can do. This feels like less of an issue with Rey, because she’s had the perfect confluence of events to prove to her that the legends were true and that she has those powers inside her (evident after she bested a Force-trained villain in that mind-reading scene).

    It makes sense to me that she’d be bursting with confidence and might be experimenting with different Force tricks that perhaps she’s heard about from the legends.

    An important line of dialogue is where Finn says they’ll blow up the new death star using the force, which Han explains isn’t how the Force works. I think, in the aftermath of the original trilogy, the kids like Rey (and Finn) grew up hearing exaggerated legends about the Force. So she doesn’t seem hesitant like Luke often did. She seems to have already won half the battle simply because she believes the Force can do huge things and she believes she is strong/gifted with the Force.

    It’s kind of like if, tomorrow, you realize that plain water from your faucets and showerheads is turning into wine as soon as it touches you. Immediately, you might think to yourself, “Oh boy, I turned water into wine. Does this mean I have the powers of Jesus? This means the bible is real? I know from the bible that he had other powers. I’m gonna try some of those. I won’t try ressurection from death, because that’s too much too soon. But I can try something smaller, right? Like walking on water?” And then you’d fill up your bathtub and try to stand on the surface of the water. That’s the equivalent of Rey attempting to Jedi Mind Trick on a lone stormtrooper when she has nothing to lose because she’s restrained anyway. Worst that happens is she feels like an idiot because it doesn’t work.

    • Logic

      Does it make sense that Kylo Ren worships a villain who turned good at the end of his life?

      He says I will complete what you started, but Darth Vaders arc was complete, from bad guy to good. Kylo doesn’t know grandpa turned good?

      You’d think he’d know that.

      And this will take some serious rationalizing as well.

      • CCM30atWork

        Would he know that? He may necessarily know the details of Vader’s death. Wouldn’t be surprised if he knew only the bad he did, hence being misled because he didn’t know Vader redeemed himself in the end.

      • S_P_1

        +100

      • Jonathan Soens

        I assume they’ll dig into that, but it doesn’t seem that hard to explain. Dumb kids often idolize the wrong kinds of people for the wrong kinds of reasons.

        I think it could be like writing a kid who idolizes a junkie rock star more than he admires his quiet-natured music teacher. What one guy does with his talent versus what another guy does with it makes one path look sexier and makes the other seem lowly. I could see a young kid with the force being more tempted by the Emperor than by Yoda, more tempted by Vader than by Luke.

        Or maybe it’s something darker. Maybe the Force wasn’t as strong in him as with some of his Jedi classmates, so he turned jealous and dark and power-hungry. Or maybe it’s a mental health matter, he just wasn’t right in the head.

        I bet the next episode will explain that Luke sensed the kid wasn’t good. Maybe he didnt pick up on it until he was around him a bunch or maybe he had a vision the first time he held him as a baby. Either way, I think Luke will turn out to have known the kid had explosive, evil potential, and he thought he could contain it or teach him calming wisdom. I don’t know why else the kid didn’t learn to make a proper light saber and seemingly hadn’t been trained to fight with one.

        • Eric

          I assume anyone who’s predisposed to the Darkside wouldn’t just take Luke’s word on everything that happened. Luke walked into a room with two sworn enemies who were like blood brothers with each other and walked out saying, “They’re both dead. I didn’t do it, they killed each other. Oh, and Vadar turned good right before he died and denounced his entire life’s work… he also said I get the coffee maker.”

          I mean it sounds like bullshit. If I didn’t see it with my own eyes I’m not sure I’d believe it either. I imagine many people in the galaxy would be in the same boat. It’s why Han refers to them as legends rather than recorded historical fact, and the only reason he’s in a position to positively assert that it’s all real is because he and his friends lived it and he knows Luke wouldn’t lie about a thing like that.

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    Interesting area to critisise. Can’t say I disagree, either. I thought Rey’s transformation into this great figher who had a mastery of the forse with no prior exposere was a stretch. But then again that’s what shows like this forse the audience to do, buy their MANY contrivances, and not ask a lot of questions.

    IF you really think about it, “The Forse Awakens” has a RIDICULOUS central plot: a piece to the map where Luke is, is missing–and everyone’s desperate to find Luke! First off, why would ANYONE make a treasure map of where they’re hinding, then hide a piece of it in a droid? If Luke wanted to go into seclusion, why create a map of where to find him? OR if someone else made the map, why? This is a prety huge WHY, and it is NEVER addressed in the movies, even by the end of it. And YET this is the central question of which the entire ballance of structure for parties invoved are all worried about.

    Now from a VERY SIMPLISTIC mindset, this a twist on Star Wars I, where Obi One is off in Tatoine off in the distatnce keeping an eye on young Luke Skywalker. Now as an adult Luke’s arc has come full circle and now he’s the one in seclusion–only with this RIDICULOUS map thing EVERYONE is looking for him.

    Carson, this whole person missing in treasure map, is one of the most ludiacrist central plot device I’ve ever heard of. Definately the weakest starting point of any movie in the “Star Wars” franchise, and yet EVERYONE is overlooking this. Why? All I can up with is the ride of “Star Wars” trumps the logic behind the ride. Give the people enough whiz-bang, and desperateness to see their beloved heros again and they’ll overlook a lot of things.

    I liked Rey, but I TOTALLY am with you and any “Star Wars” skeptic who takes issue with how easily she become a bad-ass Mary Sue.

    • CCM30atWork

      I don’t think it was a literal treasure map to Luke, but a map that contained the location of the Jedi temple that people thought/knew he’d be, and the part of the map with the location of that specific temple is what was missing. So it’s not like he went into seclusion then someone made a map specifically to find him.

      • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

        CCM30atwork, shit with insight like that YOU should gotten a screenwiriting credit for this movie!

        If you buy this utterly riddiculous CENTRAL PLOT off which everything flows, god bless your heart. I don’t. It took me a day of thinking back over this movie to realize how silly the whole thing was.

        Still, glad to read you’re a fanboy and at least giving it some thought. May the force be with you!

        • CCM30atWork

          I’m not necessarily buying it, I was just offering what I was pretty sure was the reasoning presented in the movie. I definitely thought it was silly, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the movie.

          And also with you ^_^

      • ThomasBrownen

        When I heard of a jedi temple, I had flashbacks to the temple from Lost.

        But… a friend told me that the map and temples were leftover from Michael Arndt’s script. Way back before Abrams came on board, the plot was more about Luke and finding pieces leading to old Jedi locations or something.

    • S_P_1

      Did anyone else catch the line when Kylo Ren said the empire had the missing star charts in their library?

  • Scott Strybos

    How can you already pre-order Star Wars The Force Awakens on iTunes BUT NOT Sorkin’s Steve Jobs. This makes NO SENSE.

    • Magga

      Ironically, the makers of a Steve Jobs movie are less technologically competent

    • witwoud

      Out of curiosity, what’s the deal with pre-ordering stuff on iTunes? Is it cheaper than buying it when it comes out or something?

      I know I could find out the answer for myself but I’m just sooo damn lazy. Help me out here?

      • Scott Strybos

        I don’t think when you preorder on iTunes prices are cheaper. And if they are the differences are negligible. I just really enjoyed the movie and want to buy it. I can’t really explain this need and I have never preordered before.

        I think part of it is frustration–why can I order every single movie that has been released to date, except for the film I liked most.

        • witwoud

          Ah, thanks. Got it.

          I suppose one advantage is that it stops you spending the money on beer instead :)

  • Jonathan Soens

    I think they (Snoke and Kylo) assume the awakening was merely the discovery of Rey. She clearly has the gift, but it was wasting away, mostly dormant, while she was stuck on the sidelines of that dusty planet. She probably channeled the Force into smaller applications (the way she’s oddly intuitive about complex machinery, and the way she goes spelunking around dangerous wreckage — I assume her Force played a part in her being as successful as she was in those endeavors).

    I imagine others may be awaking as well, perhaps as they come into contact with Rey or with Kylo (who is oddly responsible for both Rey and Finn becoming such strong adversaries — if he hadn’t accidentally showed Rey how strong she is with the Force, and if he hadn’t given that order to kill the entire village, Rey would probably be far more hesitant and Finn might never have defected or freed Poe).

  • adialectofnotes

    I never connected with any of the characters. Rey was too likable. Until this internet debate got going I wasn’t aware she was what you call a “mary sue” but boy is she a big one. She just has it so easy. SPOILERS And the fact that it was basically a carbon copy of A New Hope. Hollywood not wanting to take a risk on any original ideas I guess.

    • CCM30atWork

      I mean, it’s a reboot for today’s audiences as much as it is a sequel. And what’s similar to ANH is really just a backdrop for the real conflict at hand.

  • Lucid Walk

    Rey is independent, brave, compassionate, active, and a better hero than Luke.

    • witwoud

      Definitely not a Mary Sue, then.

    • CCM30atWork

      This guy gets it.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Didn’t know Mary Sue, but in fact I wrote a screenplay with her in. I think when a character is good enough; funny, exceptional and likeable it is OK when she has all the downwind there is. We like to see Mary Sue win. May be Star wars is Mary sue?

  • klmn

    OT. Enough about Star Wars. There’s big trouble right here in the US of A.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/florida-woman-dawn-meikle-attacks-husband-for-farting-in-bed-police-say_567990d4e4b0b958f6582c2a?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

    This woman sure ain’t no Mary Sue!

    • BoSoxBoy

      Gone With the Wind II

    • HRV

      He should have kicked her out of bed long ago. Eeewww!

  • CCM30atWork

    Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis.

    This is a great comment. Absolutely agree.

  • S_P_1

    Responses to today’s article.

    Hmm is this the second time I’ve made a controversial post that has people riled up?

    I didn’t read or know of the Max Landis post prior to posting yesterday.

    Second I don’t twitter, facebook, snapchat, instagram, kik, or any other social media to see anything on my timeline in order to use the term Mary Sue.

    Most of the current hip terminology being thrown around I was already familiarized with reading superherohype forums since the mid 2008 – 09.

    I have no problem with a strong female lead. If anyone read my review of Mad Max 3D I gave the movie praise from start to finish.

    FURIOSA is a strong person who happens to be a woman who also has flaws, handicapped, and overcomes her distrust of men and becomes a stronger character in the end.

    REY is a flawless woman who can do anything.

    I did see the Equalizer and did feel Denzel’s character was a Mary Sue.

    I can accept a KICKASS character not a FLAWLESS caricature.

    I also accept the internet troll tag I’ve apparently earned for not embracing TFA in the utmost esteem.

  • Levres de Sang

    Carson… Just a thought: Seeing as we’ve had both Star Wars and Weird Scripts Weeks in the past, how about a MAX LANDIS week?

    I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but we could be missing a trick by NOT studying a writer who claims to have completed NINETY-THREE (93) scripts!!

    A week’s worth would represent only a fraction of this output, but it could be instructive all the same. Even if he’s not the reincarnation of Balzac, he must be doing something right in terms of spec sales.

    • Guest

      yes, that sounds great. Very very interested in read and hearing reviews of his scripts. One of his concepts inspired me to write my own script inspired by his version. Well two actually.
      *******************************************************************************************
      I’m not sure if it was just I, but I was extremely inspired while watching. I felt the urge to write and start attacking my own scifi screenplay. Just wondering…also how can you write monk like swordmen characters in a future landscape – without being compared to jedi’s? Mine are more 70s Kung foo warriors with sword staffs. Sort of Jedi meet characters from films like yojimbo, seven samurai, crouching tiger/hidden dragon. With special swords that we’ve seen sort of with specific charater on Game of throwns (wont say who). But it’s not like any weapon we have seen before (or I’ve seen as of yet). Also, how to write a gigantic open world that is contained in a place like a building or a train?

      • Guest

        Was thinking about it’s actually three concepts that inspired me, two an action dramas, and one a historically-based (setting wise) fantasy drama. I’d love to get to read these that inspire me. I am inspired by the writer and creative person, but not the man that is MAX LANDIS. He has a crazy list of ideas…..http://www.maxlandiswrites.com/a-list-of-every-script-ive-ever-written-for-those-crazy-enough-to-read-it/ Love to get some of the scripts from there to read or see reviewed here.

        • Guest

          The thing is, I’ve read his last two scripts and I thought they were borderline terrible. I’m afraid if I reviewed his scripts for a week, it would be a Bash Fest.
          ************************************************************************************
          Maybe he’s better as a pitcher and concept guy then actual writer. But I’d like to read a few of his unmade scripts. Because, regardless his concepts and ideas, inspire me to write…And That Is NEVER a BAD Thing!

    • carsonreeves1

      The thing is, I’ve read his last two scripts and I thought they were borderline terrible. I’m afraid if I reviewed his scripts for a week, it would be a Bash Fest.

      With that said, someone told me his latest script was really good. I’ve forgotten the title. Anyone want to help me here?

      • walker

        Le Pere Goriot Ultra?

      • Levres de Sang

        It was just a thought… :) His latest one is called DEEPER and sounds like Gravity under water.

    • suminator

      Interesting fellow this Landis guy, he is being honest and brave besides being prolific writer, and he represents new gen kids who uses internet naturally as we do door handles, so I think he is good for the scriptwriting world. He is kinda new pop-rock star and I really like him, I am waiting for his new comic book on Superman to get collected so I can delve into it…

      If someone could fetch me American Ultra so I could compare it to the film please, I already asked around but nobody shares…

      suminatorATgmailDOTcom

      • Levres de Sang
        • suminator

          Thanks a bunch :)

          I saw AUltra and it was fun due to the sillyness of the script, but feel that it could’ve been much much better with a slightly different approach, like Kingsmen was. Max Lendis is a comic book nerd and it shows in this one and I want to check it out how it was written.

          Thanks again :)

  • CCM30atWork

    While I don’t agree she’s a Mary Sue, I do agree that I would have loved to see Finn as the main protagonist due to his unique background and perspective. There was a lot more they could’ve explored down that avenue.

  • Erica

    Well and the end of the day at least Kevin Smith didn’t Direct the New Star Wars…

    Okay, I really did like that movie, but I thought I would do a change of pace. Oh maybe this is one for obscure Sunday?

    • CCM30atWork

      E you’re killin it with comments today, this movie is great, and damn what a scene!

      Maybe in Episode 8 or 9 when Luke finally fights, it’ll just cut to this scene. I’d be okay with that.

      • Erica

        If only there was a way to channel this Comedy, into the flux capacitor, I mean a script…

  • CCM30atWork

    Just because they are related doesn’t mean he would know. They never met. And Han and Leia may not have ever told him because:

    1) it could’ve influenced him going to the dark side (even though he did anyway)
    2) he may have been too young as far as they were concerned, at least when it may have been opportune to tell him
    3) they split up so they may not have had an opportunity to tell him or weren’t focused on telling him
    4) not many people may actually know what happened anyway
    5) it may not have been information Luke wanted to be shared
    6) neither of them were there so even they don’t have the actual specifics. how do we know luke told them or anybody the entire story of what happened that day?

    I mean, there’s a possibility either way. But it’s not definitive that he would absolutely know the fate of Vader. I’d say it’s just as likely that he doesn’t.

    It seems pretty clear to me that all he knows of Vader is what he did on the dark side and not that he redeemed himself in the end. That’s pretty much what “I’ll finish what you started” is telling us, that Kylo does not know the whole story and is operating on limited information.

    • Logic

      Why? Did he stop watching “Return of the Jedi” before the end?

      Why wouldn’t his parents, both of whom are good decent people set him straight about grandpa?

      You’re doing a lot of filling in the blanks yourself.

      Are you female by any chance? Just a hunch.

      • CCM30

        I’m not filling any blanks, I’m just giving possible reasons as for why he may not know, which as far as I’m concerned are all fair and feasible reasons.

        Just because someone is good or decent doesn’t mean they’ll tell the truth.

        Not sure what my gender may have to do with anything but okay lmfao

        • ShiroKabocha

          “If anything, I don’t know anyone who explicitly knows that moment happened that’s still alive other than Luke. And for all we know he may
          not have told a single soul about what happened.”

          That’s a really good point actually. It would be great if he didn’t tell anyone and was still reeling over the event after all these years too.

    • Logic

      Why wouldn’t people know what is legendary?

      Han says to Rey, “Its true all of it”, not “some of it”. The implication being its widely known lore.

      • CCM30

        The Jedi are legendary. The Sith are legendary. The Force is legendary.

        But the actual moment in which Vader redeems himself is not legend nor was it ever implied to be.

  • Happiness Space

    Denzel Washington in the equalizer was definitely a Mary Sue, and I find it weird that it doesn’t bother you at all, Carson. What really makes us care about a film is when our hopes and fears are engaged. When we’re not sure how the protagonist will succeed. If, for a moment, even us film nerds have the brief thought “Are they NOT going to win??”, the writer has succeeded.

    Neither the Equalizer nor TFA achieved this. I refuse to believe, no matter how much anyone loved TFA, they for a single moment were genuinely worried that Rey wouldn’t succeed.

  • Cambias

    I consulted with my wife and daughter, both of whom (like me) are huge geeks, about this issue.

    They agreed that whatever the character’s shortcomings, Rey is _not_ a “Mary Sue” because she is definitely not a self-insert proxy for Kasdan, Abrams, or Arndt.

    BUT: my daughter did point out that Rey _is_ a “fantasy girlfriend” character. She’s not who the scriptwriter wishes to be, she’s who the scriptwriter wishes to date. Another example cited is Danaerys, in Game of Thrones, as a likely fantasy girlfriend for GRRM. Fantasy girlfriends are smart, beautiful (but not sexually aggressive), tough, competent, often have magical powers — and have the same recreational interests as the author. In this case, Rey would almost certainly enjoy sitting around playing Star Wars computer games, since we see she’s a skilled pilot.

    • MPDG

      > my daughter did point out that Rey _is_ a “fantasy girlfriend” character.

      Or a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” in archetype/trope parlance, which is a terrible choice for a protagonist (I have not seen the latest Starwars, so I have no opinion on its hero, but since a lot of people don’t seem to be familiar with the term “Mary Sue”, they might want to know about MPDG, which is a fairly common archetype as well).

  • carsonreeves1

    So I’ve been thinking about this all day and I realize now why I never considered Rey a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is, apparently, someone who has a solution for everything and is easily able to solve all problems without “earning” them. The thing is, it’s made very clear at the beginning just how miserable and difficult Rey’s life has been up to this point. She works all day long, every day, to get 1/4 of a meal. If that’s not “earning” something, I don’t know what “earning” means. And since it’s those scenes that introduce us to her, I always thought of Rey as someone who’s fought through some really tough obstacles to get to this spot.

    • HRV

      I thought it odd that she had all these skills as well — especially being able to fly a star ship. But we’re really not sure how much training she’s had up to this point and just how much influence the Force has on her.
      O.T. It was mentioned as to why the hype for the new Independence day movie. I think it comes down to the anticipation as to how the hell are the humans going to defeat the overwhelming return force?

    • charliesb

      I think she earned those moments on the Millennium Falcon where she was amazed that she was able to fly it so well, I also think she earned that moment when she saw Maz’s planet and couldn’t believe how green it was. I even think she earned that moment when Han asked her to join his crew, because I think there’s more going on there then him just being impressed with her knowledge.

      After that, I think her “earning it” kind off fell off a bit, and everything that happened next became motivated by where the story needed to go and not what necessarily made sense for her character.

      In my mind she probably should not have escaped Ren’s grasp, and Finn should have been the one delivering the lightsaber to Luke. Snoke ends up training both of them, though Daisy is always using the light side of the force and looking for a way to escape…

      A light side force wielding Jedi trained by a Sith Lord? Damn, if only I wrote fan fiction.

    • Avatar

      She might not feel like a Mary Sue, but she’s definitely a Janet Rambo. She reminds me of those roided up action heroes of the 80s like Rambo, Commando, etc, that pretty much just kick butt and take names from start to finish with virtually no change other than a few bruises, or temporarily being captured. Those type of characters can work if we enjoy the ride along the way enough and they keep the story fun. Would we have liked more depth like Empire Strikes Back (Luke, I’m you’re father. What?!!!! Oh my God!!!!), yeah, but it works in that it at least brings back the nostalgia of that universe.

    • harveywilkinson

      The “earning” refers to the character’s growth and achievements and obstacle-surmounting we see during the story, not that in the prior life they worked hard for a dollar.

  • jw

    Or, we could worry about something that actually makes a difference in the world.

    “At the end of the day, this is just a movie. He’s not curing cancer or anything.” – Abram’s Wife (brilliant woman)

    • Erica

      Sadly, those who compete in the Miss Universe, think they are. I mean really, how does one train for the Miss Universe?

      • klmn

        I suggest Kung Fu.

  • peisley

    The real Force was nostalgia. They brilliantly tapped into that. Once it wears off, though, no saying how many will turn to the dark side.

  • BoSoxBoy

    Wikipedia has a page devoted to the genesis of the “Mary Sue” (a/k/a, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Mary Sue But Were Afraid to Ask ).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue

  • lesbiancannibal

    “no, there is another…”

    If she’s going to bring balance to the force, she’s got to be pretty kick ass.

    She’s been fighting to survive in a hostile environment since she was about seven years old.

    The way she uses a lightsaber is similar to how she uses her staff and she’s getting caned until she taps into the force.

    She also strips down ships, so basically reverse engineers stuff.

    And she says she’s never flown off the planet before and can’t believe she could do it.

    Basically the force is so strong in her she can get shit done.

    Finally a good strong female lead and everyone’s crying about it.

    I’m sure she’ll be tested and also found it difficult to love/trust etc in future episodes due to abandonment issues.

    I watched it again last night – even more awesome a second time.

  • Avatar

    It somehow works for this movie. I think audiences are so familiar with this story, you pretty much have to speed up her journey….she can’t be lingering around rediscovering the force.

  • charliesb

    Let’s put aside the term Mary Sue for a minute and talk about whether or not Rey is a well written character. One we as screenwriters can can learn from for our own writing. The problem with her character is not that she’s strong, or a quick learner, or that she bested Kylo in a lightsaber fight, it’s that she has no balance, no real flaws or stuff to overcome throughout the movie. Her one vulnerability (fear of abandonment) which is actually a huge opportunity, was played down probably because they didn’t want to make her seem like a character that NEEDED to be saved. As likeable as she is (and I think a good deal of this is because Daisy is so damn likeable) she’s not as well rounded, and believable character (on paper) as she could have been.

    She doesn’t trip or stumble, she doesn’t fail, start again or have anything she thinks or believes in challenged or disproven, in fact for a character so young she spends a lot of time teaching others. And with her background and past, her attitude and level of knowledge doesn’t really quite jive. If you grew up on a planet abandoned by your family, in a place where you needed to fend for yourself to survive (and with the worst possible guardian), would you really be teaching others the value of friendship and duty? Maybe, but then why not show where these values came from.

    IMO, her past should have had stronger direct effect on her choices, and at least once negatively. Not one of her actions had a negative or even profound outcome on the story. And everyone liked her immediately, even Ren. Where was the emotional conflict? I don’t think that’s ok for a memorable main character. Strong female representation on screen is important, but these characters need to have the same flaws, nuances, and human characteristics that we demand for their male counterparts.

    I think with more time, and maybe a little less pressure from above, J.J would have fixed this. He’s written well rounded female characters in the past, and if he was writing the next part, I’m sure he would fill in some of these holes. I can’t help but think the format of this trilogy where none of these films are complete stories in themselves didn’t help.

    And I’m not saying that you have to make a ton of mistakes and fall/fail a lot to be a good character. I like her strength, I really liked her intelligence. I just think they could have gone a lot further with her by linking what we see of her before the story begins with what happens after.

  • Avatar

    Kylo Ren seemed to have a more interesting story than Rey. Let’s face it, the fact that Daisy Ridley is super cute factors into how she’s perceived. The male fans are probably already pre-disposed to like her. If we’re just talking about what’s on the page, yeah Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo had more of an emotional arc as we see them change through each movie.

    [Spoiler]
    And, God I hope they find some way to bring Han Solo back from the grave like they did in Return of the Jedi. He’s the best actor in that franchise! I felt a bit of nostalgia as soon as he entered the Millennium Falcon.

  • Avatar

    I liked Force Awakens…..but Darth Vadar was such a badass. And the Emperor was delightfully wicked. There weren’t any villains in this movie as scary as those two. Also, they need to find another character as charismatic as Han Solo. Han had so much swagger, he carried all 3 movies…. I don’t see a character like that in this movie.

  • scriptfeels

    First time hearing this term, but never thought about it this way before. Although Rey is great at a lot of things without too much resistance, she still struggles to achieve her goals and learn how to use her powers. I think the struggle was about her learning how to control and use the force versus being bad at using the force for example. Kind of the opposite of Fin’s character, he is bad at using a light saber and fails in combat. He fails to initially save Rey from being captured, he fails to save the village of people that died in the beginning. We care about Rey for a multitude of reasons and because of this when she is successful at fighting and surviving we don’t question it as much because we want to see her succeed. This ‘Mary Sue” term doesn’t bother me because I liked Rey as a character, but its an interesting way to look at protagonists in different stories and ask if their work is undeserved because they are too talented or too strong. Even if a character is ‘overpowered’ within a story’s universe, they can still struggle to achieve their goals. One thing audiences love are characters who are great or amazing at specific things. In star wars, Rey is an amazing engineer for the Millenium Falcon, along with other things. It’s because of her abilities that we think she is amazing. If she had to struggle for each of her skills to eventually arc into being great at them, it would also be an enjoyable experience, but we don’t have time to focus on watching her fail and develop her smaller traits. We move quickly through the story and her talents are used to push the story forward through action. Its interesting to look at and I’m curiuos to break down other scripts I love and search for the “mary sue” type protagonist traits. Overall, I’m with Carson on this one. It doesn’t bother me. Watching a character be great at something is part of what makes a character so entertaining.

  • Brainiac138

    Landis is just a douche. Let’s just ignore him and hopefully he will go away.

  • Poe_Serling

    A bit of OT from all of the Star Wars chatter:

    With QT’s Western entree just about to be served up, I was curious if anyone else sampled The Ridiculous Six appetizer over on Netflix…

    “An outlaw (Adam Sander) discovers that he has five half-brothers (Terry Crews, Taylor Lautner, Luke Wilson, Rob Schneider, etc); together the men go on a mission to find their wayward dad (Nick Nolte).”

    With that cast, how could anything go wrong?

    Oh, I’m just kidding.

    It was one of those no laughing out loud/maybe a smile or two pics. A weird, weird spoof of the Spaghetti Western squeezed out through the Happy Madison comedy filter.

    The oddest part for me: Adam Sandler’s character, Tommy Stockburn, seemed to be in an all different Western. For the majority of the running time, Sandler just played his part as a wannabe Man with No Name.

    The budget listed for this one is 60 million. I’m not sure if Netflix picked up the whole tab or not…. all their money must be burning a hole in their wallet.

    This project made me really appreciate the inspired craziness of a flick like Blazing Saddles.

    • GoIrish

      This is pulling in the first negative score I’ve ever seen on RT.

    • Kirk Diggler

      60 million? Jesus banana-balls titty-fucking christ!

      Talk about a loss-leader.

    • andyjaxfl

      I’m going to show my wife your comment when she inevitably tells me that she wants to watch the Ridiculous 6!

  • Scott Chamberlain

    Never heard the term Mary Sue? Seriously? It came up in reviews of an AWO winner – the one about the lesbian WW2 bomber pilots, I think. Something about clouds…

    Rey isn’t a Mary Sue because I’m pretty sure JJ isn’t projecting his fantasies onto her to make her a fictional representation of his perfect self. Calling it a Mary Sue is kinda sexist (my view) because the term is not applied to flawless male characters – they are explained away as unflawed heroes who change the flawed world rather than flawed ones who are changed by it. James Bond and Indiana Jones would be pilloried as Mary Sues if they were female…

    But Rey does have a lot of unearned moments. That is a legitimate criticism. Because everything is rushed. Because he’s delivering a fan boy porn. Because in squeezing Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back into a single movie he’s got no room to allow her to grow slowly.

    And yet, it was a fun movie. It was a Star Wars movie. It did a great job of re-establishing the franchise and standing on the shoulders of the better stories that had come before it.
    But as a stand alone movie it’s not so strong, It’s not a great template for writing your sci-fi epic sans existing (phenomenally well-established) IP.

    • The IOS

      Well Gary Stu is the male equivalent and I do think ppl are focusing more on the title as opposed to the definition. If it was all about her gender than yes it’d b sexist, but if you’re looking only at definition, than yeah she could be considered a flawless low-ranking hero who saves the day (whether she’s a JJ projection idk, but I could see that considering how much a fanboy he is; this is basically like his fanfic). Also Ppl today love CASINO ROYALE which shows James bond being this guys who isnt invincible or great at everything and it was his FIRST TIME OUT. Older bonds establsh him as a known badass agent so Gary Stuness can be attributed to that; same with Inidana Jones (but those films are like live action cartoons anyway with NO real ppl to be found). Unlike Rey who’s first time out she’s the Sean Connery Bond instead of the Daniel Craig one.

      P.S. I hate bond and INdiana Jones. Skyfall is the only one i like. Maybe that is an issue with those films as well. Also TFA was really good, and i really liked Rey. Not trying to attack you just offer a different perspective.

  • Erica

    Now I know where JJ got his Direction from,

  • Daniel C.

    For me the main problem is not within the new characters
    flaws, they are okay and interesting enough. But that’s not the case with the
    old characters. They didn’t have any clue about what to do with Leia, besides
    presenting us a botox version of herself, which is a lost opportunity in a
    movie that cares so much with diversity. Most importantly, If Han Solo was
    going to be that crucial for the villain arc, I wouldn’t make him also a
    decadent corpse mimicking his younger self. He should be deeply changed,
    exhausted by the burden of a Sith son. What the hell, even Chewie should have
    some grey hair by now. That’s why the dialogue between Han and Leia is the most
    awkward of the year. They are the weak points in the center of the narrative.

    When Han Hijacks the
    Falcon, he is abducting the movie from Rey and Finn precisely at the moment they
    are set to go on their own adventure. And that cut marks precisely the
    beginning of fan service mashup, ceasing the first act presentation of a great
    new vision for the franchise: the wreckrage of the imperial destroyer, the insubordination
    within a fascist order and the aerial strike (drone) on civil targets in a god
    forsaken desert.

    So all those problems
    we see in Rey happen because Han stole the movie in a bad way. She can’t
    outstand and develop naturally in the second half marathon through the main
    setpieces of the old trilogy. By the time Han dies I could just roll my eyes
    and say a candid good bye. Maybe for the yougsters it’s okay. It’s not just
    that they have the new guys to rot for. While tenagers will be moved by the
    parricide act, and Adam driver is good enough to convey that feeling, they don’t
    have maturity to identify with the burden of parents with a deeply misguided
    offspring responsible for terrible deeds. Actually, I think most of the public
    can’t do that, that’s why this central flaw still goes unnoticed. If they were
    truly paying attention, instead of going along with the music and lasers, the pieces
    would start to fall apart.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Great job briging up, Adam Driver, Daniel C. Wow, what a STUD. I LOVED the way he conveyed Kylo Ren’s struggle with his facial gesutures. NOT an easy thing to do. Takes an actor with some serious moixe to pull this off and make it beliveable, which it was for me.

      IF you liked the Kylo Ren chacacter, there’s more to it than just the new suit of evil. This new installment of Darth Vader was kinda interesting, huh? Left you wanting more, and THAT’S a good sign of high-end character construction, then given to a highly capable actor who can pull it off. Didn’t know much about Adam Driver until this movie. But now I’m very currious and eager to see more of him. GREAT ACTOR! Good job casting director and J.J. Abrams identifying Adam Driver to star in this role.

  • lesbiancannibal

    good strong female lead

    take a look at the IMBD top 250 and tell me how many there are in there

    • ShiroKabocha

      What does the IMDB top 250 has to do with anything ? Were you talking about a female lead in a blockbuster movie ? You should have made it clear then that that’s what you wanted to see happen.

      Also, may I remind you that, in domestic numbers adjusted for inflation, Gone with the wind still tops the box office ? But maybe Scarlett O’Hara is not a badass heroine enough for you ?

      http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm

      Personally, I don’t care about numbers. I just wish there were more great heroines like there used to be back then. Of course I wish these films were more successful too, because that would incite studios to produce more of them. At least that’s how it should be. Because let’s face it, Hollywood is still a misogynist boys club and if they don’t want to produce female vehicles they’ll always find excuses not to. You only have to look at how they responded after the various successes of the recent years (I remember Bridesmaids was dismissed as a one-off, and studios didn’t exactly rush to produce more movies for lead actresses after Gravity…).

      One more thing. You seem to love excelling all-around badass heroines. I don’t. I find them one-note. But that’s my prerogative, as is yours to want to see more of them on screen. I personally think there are too many of them already (Lucy and Luc Besson’s movies, The Hunger Games, the secondary characters in James Bond, Mission Impossible, and so on… they’re everywhere in action / sci-fi geek flicks !). Maybe a little variety / originality next time would be good ?

      You obviously loved Rey’s character. Other people who are not sexist trolls didn’t. No need to get defensive about it.

  • Jason

    Dang, Max is an outlandish, passionate dude. I had a friend just like him. And, good Lord, is it exhausting getting into an argument with someone like that.

    Dude likes his hair, too.

    More power to him, for explaining his point of view. But, I disagree.

    • Casper Chris

      I like how you chose your words. “I HAD a friend just like him”… :)

      • Jason

        Ha. Subconscious, how I love thee.

        True. He was actually among my brother’s friend. Our friendship could be described as ‘fair-weather,’ definitely.

        We made several attempts at musical collaboration, that were best suited to short-term; never long.

  • witwoud

    My thoughts:

    1) Rey is not a Mary Sue, because she’s not a self-flattering author-insert.

    2) Perhaps she is a bit too good at everything, but this isn’t necessarily a flaw in this sort of story. Harry Potter was the same: guy could hardly take a wiz without everyone declaring it the best wiz they’d ever seen. It’s the other characters who provide the colour and the laughs.

    3) Anyway, judging from the photo above, she’s not all that competent. She can’t even tell the difference between a real gun and one of those fake guns that turn out to be cigarette lighters. What a ditz.

    • ShiroKabocha

      Strictly speaking, if you stick to the original definition, then no, Rey is not a Mary Sue (although who knows how the character was created precisely ? maybe some female exec insisted on making Rey the character she became in the movie ? we don’t know for now). But as has often happened, its meaning has evolved over time and gradually expanded to signify all characters, female and male (even though the term Gary Sue, then Gary Stu was later coined for male characters), main and secondary, in works of original fiction and not just fan fiction, in different media (not just literary form), who are “too good to be true”. Thus causing the non suspension of disbelief. If you thought Rey’s actions and abilities were believable (because of hints of the Force or whatever), then good, you were able to enjoy her character and the movie. But for some, the suspension of disbelief was just not possible.

      “Mary Sue” is still a recent phrase (40 years old), and it might evolve again over time, and probably become obsolete at some point and replaced by a better one.

      • Eric

        I think the real problem is the Force itself as a plot device. Whenever you have an invisible plot device that can only be used by the characters closing their eyes and “feeling it”, you open the door for all sorts of cheating. This is why I’ve never been a fan of stories that overly rely on magic. The rules often seem made up on the fly to service the plot rather than existing apart from it and actually restricting the characters. The things Rey does may seem too easy compared to Luke, but wouldn’t the things Luke does feel too easy for almost any other characters in existence?

        Luke trains with Obi-Wan for like, ten minutes, then blindfolds himself and is somehow able to hit bullets out of the air. I was with Han Solo on that one, it’s ridiculous. Then he can make a one in a million shot by, once again, closing his eyes and “feeling it”. Are these things really easier than overpowering a wounded Sith-wannabe? Is training in an X-Wing for ten minutes then somehow surviving all out war easier than flying the Millennium Falcon? Maybe a little depending on the maneuvers, but not by much.

        Any Mary Sueing that happens with Rey I don’t think is a problem with how they wrote a female character. I think it’s a problem with the Star Wars universe itself. The Force has always been used inconsistently in nearly every movie and at its worst is a get out of jail free card masquerading as a spiritual theme.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Rotten Tomatos:
    TOMATOMETER 95%, AUDIENCE RATING 92%

    Still not sure screenwriters are the audience.

    • brenkilco

      The lead positive review on RT is by Anthony Lane of The New Yorker. The lifted qote says the movie zips along. Read the review and he compares seeing the new Star Wars to going back to a restaurant that has given you food poisoning three times and finding that the food is finally edible and won’t make you sick. Not exactly a rave.

      • Malibo Jackk

        (Never really thought of the critics as being the audience either.
        As far as I know, critics are shown the movie AFTER it’s made.
        I’m not aware of a movie being tested with critics
        — the way they test movies with unbiased audiences.)

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Sadly, always been the case…

  • ShiroKabocha

    It seems to be the trend yeah. Personally, I don’t get the sense they’re in any real danger. The current action heroes are way too skilled / resourceful. Too many superheroes. Plus I’ve always prefered the “zero becomes a hero” stories :) Guess I don’t like watching characters who are great at what they do while I’m mediocring my way through life lol.

    Plus I think I’ve seen too many of those stories where “the superhero gets angsty and doesn’t want to be a superhero anymore but you can’t change your stripes so superhero overcomes emo phase to reclaim his superhero status”. This arc feels too artificial to me and it’s become really tiring / cliché.

  • Alex

    “Rey can easily use the force. Rey can easily fly a ship. Rey can easily fight a lightsaber battle.” – okay, so she can basicly do the same things that Luke did back then.

  • CCM30atWork

    “Are you just making stuff up and hope it lands now?”

    Not sure why I’d make stuff up about a movie, not sure if there’s an end goal there.

    “Why wouldn’t Darth Vaders death be part of his legend?”

    Because he was on the losing side of the war? Because only two people were there when he redeemed himself and the other is dead? Because we have no actual proof that anyone besides Luke knows what happened in that moment?

    “Why wouldn’t Kylo Ren know how his hero died?”

    Sigh read my other posts, I already made points to this.

    “Wouldn’t his mom tell him that?”

    How do you know she knows?

    “You say his death wouldn’t be included in his lore, yet you conjecture in the most preposterous way why Kylo wouldn’t know the truth about turning to the good side.”

    I don’t see how its preposterous. You have no proof anyone living besides Luke knows the exact details of his death. You’re assuming that it became part of legend when that is never explicitly shown or said or proven otherwise. I’m working off the information that’s actually present in the movies.

    “I think you’re grasping for anything because you don’t have an adequate explanation.”

    I’m just giving what I think could possibly be the reason why Kylo may not know the exact details of Vader’s death. I’m not saying “KYLO ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT VADER’S DEATH OBVIOUSLY” because I don’t know that.

    “He even has his melted helmet. You think Leia would let him believe he was evil after killing Palpatine and saving Luke?”

    Except we don’t know that Luke told Leia what happened. Luke could have taken his helmet and then Kylo took it from Luke when he was training under him.

    “Wow what a bitch she would be if that were the case.”

    Again, assuming anyone other than Luke actually knows what happened. If Luke didn’t say anything, which he may not have, then there’s no way that info would have spread because no one else was there.

    You’re assuming Luke just went and told everybody the exact details of Vader’s death. And it’s not like the Empire stuck around to sing his praises and share the fine details of his death with the galaxy. I’m not assuming that because there’s no proof that that happened. Instead, I’m giving pretty fair reasons as to why Kylo may not know. You may not agree with them, that’s fine, but imo they are pretty feasible within the realm of what we know from the movie. It’s not entirely out of the question that Kylo doesn’t know exactly what happened. And it’s not entirely out of the question that Vader’s legend does not include his death because it wasn’t a public event and we have no proof that that information was shared with anybody else by Luke.

    By now I’m just repeating myself, think I’ve made my point lol

  • Logic Ninja

    Every single solitary YA-novel-based movie stars a Mary or Gary Sue. Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Divergent, City of Bones….check check check check check.

    • suminator

      Hahaha, good one with the marinated VFX, brilliant :)

    • witwoud

      Ha, yeah. And don’t forget the grotesque adults whose only job in life is to bully and humiliate the protagonist. Which is pretty much how teenagers see the world.

      • klmn

        The problem is a lot of adults see the world this way. It’s the culture of victimization.

    • Paul Clarke

      I agree, with one exception:

      Hunger Games – unlike all the others, Katniss isn’t ‘The Chosen One’ – She volunteers so as to save her sister. And her skills come from years of sneaking out of town to hunt as a form of survival. At least that’s how it works in the books. I’ve only seen the first movie.
      Because of this I think it makes her a better hero, I hate the ‘chosen one’ crap. That’s not real life, what lessons are we teaching kids, you’re born special, or you’re not. Screw that, actions are what matters.

      • Logic Ninja

        Maybe Katniss is an exception. Though are we ever really in doubt about whether she’ll win the Games? Miss Expert Bowhunter with the Perfect Dress and Not One But Two Handsome Suitors?

      • filmklassik

        Well said. The Chosen One thing is bullshit, and impossible to relate to.

  • suminator

    If somehow James Cameron was signed instead of JJ and delivered the same film we are discussing for days I think everybody would just be mad at him how dared he to do almost the same film we’ve seen 30 years ago… What I wanted to say is that expectations couldn’t be higher for Disney man as he doesn’t have as great films as Cameron has, and I don’t care about box office numbers ’cause they don’t speak quality, just quantity.

    • Avatar

      Actually, I would have loved to see a James Cameron Star Wars…..he would have blown it out of the water. He owns the sci fi genre.

      • suminator

        Yeah, he doesn’t compromise much and producers do not dare to interfere. But enough of this TFA bull, it is a safe-do-not-steer-a-family-adventure where no rules can be applied, let’s move on people.

  • CCM30atWork

    Just bought my tickets to see TFA in IMAX 3D a third time tonight. I wasn’t completely sober the first time I saw it, and I enjoyed it so much more the second time. I’m hoping a third viewing will really bring out the details and solidify my experience of the film fully.

    Now if only I could see Mad Max in theaters again. That’d be fantastico

    • Malibo Jackk

      Best viewed while intoxicated.
      (You’ll never forget your first time.)

      • CCM30atWork

        Honestly it was A LOT of fun watching it while fked up, but I feel like I missed a lot. Second viewing I was less fked up and enjoyed it a ton more.

        I’m hoping now I’ll really get the full experience and see all the details for what they are. Plus I really want to be knowledgeable on like every second of this movie as best as I can.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Quoting an Io9 article on the subject, “Over time, the term “Mary Sue” has broadened until it means “any female character who is unrealistically talented or skilled.” Which is insane for a couple of reasons: It makes this “trope” so vague as to be meaningless, and this is also purely a way at tearing down female characters who are good at stuff.”

    • Jason

      I’m sure it used to, simply, mean ‘a character who is an idealised version of the writer.’

    • filmklassik

      Please see Carson’s description of Denzel Washington’s character in THE EQUALIZER, who Carson has dubbed a “Gary Sue.” In other words, this syndrome afflicts male protagonists too: Near-perfect heroes whose skillset renders them impervious to serious injury or failure.

      If Mary Sues and Gary Sues have any flaw at all, it’s usually that they are nursing a fierce, inner torment. Swell. But when it comes to fighting and planning and being one step ahead of the bad guys, nobody can touch them, which dilutes the suspense.

      Another recent example of this (ridiculous) phenomenon: Matt Damon’s character in the BOURNE series. Sure, Bourne can frown soulfully and brood with the best of them (he’s wracked with guilt, y’see) but he’s never met an antagonist he couldn’t subdue, and he is always 12 steps ahead of the villains.

      Two examples of wonderful heroes who AVOIDED this trap: Indiana Jones in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, who makes several mistakes along the way, is frequently overmatched, and often gets his butt kicked… and James Bond (particularly in the early outings).

  • klmn

    I think the real question is, “Has Carson managed to get a Darth Vader toaster, or has he been shut out at the stores?”

    How can his life be complete without one?

  • Jason

    Such all-consuming, spirited debate…

    Anyone else wish Force Awakens would open tomorrow, so we could do this all again?

  • Frankie Hollywood

    Movies and music. 100 Movies Dance Scenes Mashup (and Vote For Pedro)

    • Erica

      Keep with the spirit

    • lonestarr357

      That was a good one, but how about this:

      • Frankie Hollywood

        And there’s also, Uptown Funk Sung by the Movies (and seriously, Vote For Pedro)

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Watched a new hope, the empire strikes back and the return of the jedi, at last! Still not a fan but I liked it!

  • Eric

    SPOILERS

    Finally saw the movie with all this in mind and I honestly think people are mistaking a Mary Sue for a Mary Clue. As in, Rey’s powers are a clue that something bigger is going on here. It’s hinted in the movie all over the place. Unlike the original Star Wars, the future existence of sequels is a certainty. Like it or not, this isn’t a self-contained story. It’s act one of a trilogy and Rey’s past is shrouded in mystery. So first…

    1) Kylo Ren is not Vadar. He’s not fully trained or mastered the force. He’s an understudy. A student. At the end Snoke specifically says that he needs to “complete his training”. One may wonder why Snoke bothers with him at all, but then you remember he’s one of the few force sensitive people known to exist and his lineage is proven, so you take what you can get. Ren is more of a talented and promising draft pick than an unstoppable force.

    2) It’s not a stretch at all to think that Rey may be Luke’s daughter and therefore extremely force sensitive.

    3) (And this is the important one) Rey may very well be trained. Ren’s backstory is that he was one of many young Jedi being trained by Luke Skywalker until he was seduced by the Dark Side, blew up the program and killed all the Young Jedi. So here’s my theory: Rey and Ren are cousins, and they both trained together in Luke’s program. Ren’s turn to the Darkside was likely brought about by how painstakingly obvious it was that Rey was the true heir apparent, and his assassination of Luke’s trainees was ultimately an attempt to kill her specifically. In an effort to protect his daughter, Luke uses some mind trick to wipe/replace her memories while allowing her to retain her skills, drops her off in the middle of nowhere and disappears so that he can’t be captured and used to find her.

    It might be curious that Ren doesn’t recognize her, but she would’ve been pretty young when he last saw her, and as far as he knows she’s dead. We’re also shown that his attempts at reaching inside her mind are unsuccessful, so it’s doubtful his force skills would reveal this to him.

    If this is true, then Rey wouldn’t be learning new skills as much as remembering past training, which would make her more like a Bourne character who wakes up knowing how to kill, but not knowing why.

    Lastly, it’s just kind of assumed Rey’s highly proficient skill set is naturally a good thing, but I’m not sure it’s that simple. Having access to an immense amount of power without having to earn it doesn’t necessarily lead to the best outcomes, and I think Rey would be more vulnerable to the Darkside because of it. She seems like a generally decent person, but she’s also an unchallenged youth. If her entire past were revealed to be a lie constructed by her father/mentor at the very moment when she’s gaining confidence her abilities, it could lead to a very unstable outcome. So while it’s tempting to write off the character so soon, it’s also useful to note that there’s a lot going on with this character that was intentionally unexplored. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t given a clear flaw and more acute challenges in the second film.

    • AstralAmerican

      There is actual SW lore to support your theories, believe it or not. I think some ppl went into the movie NOT wanting to like it, yet be a part of the overall conversation. The movie is laced with clues, yet some viewers needed a complete experience and had to inject Screenwriting 101 and/or their film studies into the viewing, missing the entire point.

      • Magga

        You’re at least right that I wanted a complete experience. I know that that’s out of fashion right now, but I still felt cheated for having paid for a ticket to an extended teaser/New Hope-re-enactment

        • AstralAmerican

          You do realize SW wasn’t complete? And EMPIRE? All chapters of an epic story, just like TFA. And for all of the critics boo-hoo’ing Rey and Ren, I’d love to read their own written version of a bad-ass heroine and villain.

          Yes, a challenge in good fun. While I’m not a SW disciple, I’d enjoyed the hell out of TFA and plan to see it again soon. Guilt-free. Conscious clear.

          • Magga

            The first one felt complete to me, but sure thing, they were all incomplete. I went with some people and we all left unsatisfied, but as I’ve said before, we’re at a moment in cinema where people don’t expect everything in one go and every big movie is an ever-expanding story, like a TV series. Doesn’t mean the movie is bad, just that for me, personally, the franchise is something I can comfortably Netflix going forward

    • Casper Chris

      I like this theory. This just put all the Mary Sue talk to rest for me. At least until we’ve watched the next two installments.

  • Avatar

    Slightly off topic, but JJ Abrams, Daisy Ridley both have said the script for VIII is really good. While Abrams is solid, I think the next director will take more wild risks…. No more of this safe filmmaking.

    • Casper Chris

      I think Rian Johnson will take more chances as well.

      But I think playing it safe with the first one (TFA) and pushing all the nostalgia buttons for the diehards was a smart decision. Faith has been restored.

      • Avatar

        I’m hoping for an Empire Strikes back, which basically blew my mind. Empire didn’t just repeat the first film, it pretty much took the story to another level. He seems to have original thinking and clear vision so I’m really curious about what that film would look like….but I hope he keeps the fun and the humor that Star Wars is known for.

  • brenkilco

    Completely OT because I’m Star Warsed out at this point and I haven’t even seen the movie. Got a credit from a streaming service yesterday that I used to rent something I probably would have waited to see on cable otherwise, Guy Ritchie’s Man From Uncle update. One of the most sheerly pointless pieces of cinema I’ve seen in a while. Not exactly that it’s awful. It’s just nothing. No plot worth following, a ridiculous lack of action- and what there is Ritchie sort of presents in an ironic, throwaway manner-, lame dialogue like something dimly recalled from a bad sixties sex comedy, and for those who care barely a passing reference to the old TV show. I missed that tailor shop. I don’t think they even used the theme song. The soundtrack seems to be a lot of super obscure, too cool for the room, sixties stuff. Nina Simone and people like that.

    My takeaways. Ritchie has never gotten one whit better than he was in his Lock, Stock debut. Cavill actually has some star chops. An when she isn’t acting hard Alicia Vikander looks like she’s fourteen.

    This thing was in development for like a decade. And this is what they wound up with? Hollywood is a truly strange place.

    • suminator

      Phuh, I walked out after 20 mins. It was one of the few films I couldn’t force myself through, other example was Oblivion even I brought in two beer cans, nothing could’ve saved me from Tom Cruise clones.

      Loved Lock’nStock and Snatch :)

      • brenkilco

        And it got worse after the first twenty minutes. Good call.

  • http://j.nelsonleith.com/ John Leith

    We live in a society where real-world women hailed as badasses, like
    Amelia Earhart and Boudicca and Anne Bonny, are famous largely for
    Failing While Female or, worse, played up as heroic because they were doing what lots
    of dudes were doing without being a dude. This is the “gold star for
    participation” that identity politics equates with empowerment, but
    which is really an insidious treadmill of self-esteem sabotage.

    (But, a treadmill that keeps a lot of activists and politicians in business…)

    All the while, genuine women badasses like Nancy Hopkins get relatively little play. Who is Nancy Hopkins, you ask?

    Unlike 1930s aviator Amelia Earhart, who famously went missing doing what men had already done (whoopty-flippin’-do!), 1930s aviator Nancy Hopkins climbed onto the wing of her plane to parachute to safety after her plane went into a supposedly terminal flat spin, but when her weight on the wing tilted the plane out of the spin, she crawled back into the cockpit (all of this while the plane is spinning and plummeting toward the ground!) and regained control of the aircraft with fewer than 100 yards of altitude to spare.

    Two take-aways from this explain the recurrent Mary Sue in action genres:

    1. Because Hopkins’s badassery was about doing something awesome as a pilot, rather than doing something female in a traditionally male role, her narrative doesn’t feed the political grievance myth that constructs our concept of gender, the perpetual War of the Sexes that keeps rhetorical weapons manufacturers in business. There’s no profit in Hopkins’s badassery for activists and politicians, because there’s no outrage, nobody to target and hate and organize against. There is only wonder and admiration.

    2. The real-world Nancy Hopkinses of the world are rarer that their real-world male badass counterparts (Bass Reeves, Miyamoto Musashi, Bhanbhagta Gurung, Teddy Roosevelt…) due to gender differences in the statistical distribution of mental characteristics. Again due to the same myth-wallowing politics of sexual warfare, it’s heresy to openly recognize these differences, but they’re fairly well settled science.

    In the real world, men have more outliers who are exceptionally good or bad at things, and outliers are what fiction is written about. Female real-world outliers like Hopkins are less-well-known both because they are statistically rarer than their male counterparts, and because ragebait gender politics suppresses their stories of genuine female excellence in favor of Dolchstoss narratives targeting men.

    With such a tenuous connection to the real world, fictional female badasses often lose all connection with reality and become absurd Mary Sues.

  • CCM30atWork

    Third viewing was better than the first and second!

    Anyone who thinks Rey is a Mary Sue may need to watch the movie again because I don’t think they were paying enough attention. Very little, if anything Rey does is “unearned” or “easy” or handwaved in any sense.

    Honestly I really really love this movie. Literally my only two gripes are:

    1) Leia and Rey never met before so why did they hug? Why did they know who each other were? I mean I don’t think they ever actually met each other in a scene before that so Leia would have just been a random person in the crowd to Rey so why did Rey walk over to her? Maybe because they’re both force-sensitive?

    2) Han Solo’s death didn’t feel representative of his character. Wish he died doing Han Solo things rather than what they had happened instead.

    I think maybe there was one another thing but I can’t remember so it probably isn’t bugging me too much.

    Either way this movie was fantastic and all this “Mary Sue” stuff was blown waaaay out of proportion for something so unfounded. Practically everything Rey does or can do is justified at some point in the movie.

    Not surprised that people who don’t know what a real Mary Sue is or just learned about it with the release of this movie were so quick to jump on the bandwagon.

    Seriously, go see the movie a second or third time. It’s a big movie, there’s a lot to take in. Seeing it once just isn’t enough.

    • Jason

      3rd viewing is on the calendar, for this coming week; after Christmas.

      In the mean time, since the last viewing of FA, I’m revisiting each of the other SW movies; 1 per day.

      It’s pretty dang sweet.

      I’m on Day 4.

  • CCM30atWork

    She says she’s piloted ships before, and it’s not like piloting the Millenium Falcon would be that much different from piloting most other ships.

    Plus she wasn’t a “great pilot,” she was just capable enough to get stuff done and not crash.

  • CCM30atWork

    Luke may keep it a secret because it was a pretty personal moment. Did you see him tell anyone in any movie? I didn’t. If you did, let me know, I’ll take it into consideration.

    Leia may want to know how her father died, but that’s not what I said. I said, “How do you know she knows?” not “How do you know she wants to know?” There’s no proof Luke told anybody. I’m sure Leia would want to know but if Luke didn’t tell anybody then went into hiding then tough shit, nobody else would know.

    Again, only three people were present. And the news of his death wasn’t broadcast by the Empire or the Republic. Or Luke. So how again do you know for sure that anybody else alive but Luke would know?

    Because you know I’ve already said you’re possibly right, because there’s a possibility for each. Because we don’t know the exact details or answer. I’m just making a potential point in the other direction because Kylo not knowing makes more sense to me. Maybe it doesn’t to you. Oh well.

    Anyway you seem pretty defensive when you’re just making assumptions whereas I’m using the information (or lack thereof) presented in the movies. You know what they say about assumptions.

    Stay mad, fam. GG no re

    Really though like who tf are you lmfaoyou’re worried about what my identity is?

    Bruh

    Work on your own stuff, your time will be better suited that way.

  • CCM30atWork

    But really though.

    1) Everything I’ve said is perfectly feasible. Just like what you said is too. Never said you were wrong.

    2) Nothing I’ve said is illogical.

    3) Don’t insult women with this “you argue illogically you’re using a lot of words to make it seem like you have a point” bs, fuck outta here. Idk who taught you that shit but that’s some cowardly shit, some stupid ass shit, some generalizing sexist ass shit, and it’s not welcome. Not gonna tolerate that shit, especially around here where we have women community members as we have men community members and likely people of other identities.

    4) There’s no definitive proof Kylo knows everything about Darth Vader.

    Plus, like what the fuck do you think Kylo means by finishing what Vader started? If Kylo knows that Vader redeemed himself, then he knows that by doing that he brought balance to the force. Vader completed his destiny. He finished what he started.

    But if Kylo doesn’t know he redeemed himself, and thinks that Vader was still trying to destroy the Jedi and the light at the time of his death, then that would explain Kylo wanting to “finish what [Vader] started” and is why he’s working for Snoke.

    You don’t have to agree but it makes sense.

  • Poe_Serling

    Tomorrow is not only Christmas but Rod Serling’s birthdate.

    How does that tie in to all the Star Wars mania?

    If you recall, J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot secured the rights to develop Serling’s final unproduced screenplay – The Stops Along the Way – as a television miniseries.

    With Star Wars under his belt, perhaps this other project will make its way to the front burner on Bad Robot’s production slate.

    A good friend of mine is also a good friend of J.J.’s. I guess Abrams is a huge Serling/Twilight Zone fan. From what I hear, he even has a large portrait of RS on his office wall.

    I’ve had the opportunity to meet J.J. on a couple of occasions in the past. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve talked to him about TZ and so on.

    Maybe next time. ;-)

    • klmn

      A company that calls itself Bad Robot should be making robots.

      Sexbots.

      • Poe_Serling

        Here’s a bit of good news: a new season of Mountain Monsters kicks off this January.

        It’s eight new episodes featuring the fearless AIMS gang – still on the hunt for the elusive Bigfoot of the Appalachian Mountain range.

        Last night I watched an old episode where the boys where trying to capture a werewolf. As usual, the creature escaped from one of their homemade traps just as they arrived on the scene.

        Those guys are a hoot!

        During the investigation, the leader of the group, Trapper, was dealing with a bad tooth. Forget the dentist… he decided to yank the tooth out with a pair of pliers and continue on with the hunt.

        Now that a badass!!! ;-)

        • klmn

          I like how they all go out with guns, but whenever they think they’re getting close they take off like rabbits,

          No point in catching Bigfoot, cause then what would they do? Go back to tobacco farming?

          • Poe_Serling

            “… whenever they think they’re getting close they take off like rabbits.”

            Hey, that’s part of their strategy. They trying lure the beast back to their trap. ;-)

  • filmklassik

    Agreed. They want to be entertained. But when it comes to action stories, isn’t the plight of an overmatched hero who is forced to overcome a genuine PHYSICAL hardship (Uh oh! Apollo Creed is tougher than me… That robot from the future is tougher than me… The T-1000 is tougher than me, etc.) more entertaining to watch than the story of a psychologically tormented but physically unstoppable hero whose victory is never in doubt?

    Isn’t a 15-14, come-from-behind victory in the 12th inning much more entertaining than a 15-0 blowout?

  • filmklassik

    You realize, of course, that what you are describing now is basically The Birth Of A Goddess… which is why Rey’s character didn’t really work for me. She’s basically invincible. There is no single person who represents a bona fide threat to her safety. And when your hero or heroine is the most powerful being in his or her universe, the tension flatlines, and the suspense factor drops down to zero.

    Imagine at the end of TERMINATOR 2 if Arnold discovered that the T-1000 was *weaker* than he was, and Arnold proceeded to just smile and mop the floor with him.

    Movie would’ve sucked.

  • Eddie Panta

    In the spirit of the holiday season, I hereby pledge, that for every screenplay I sell in 2016, I will donate one screenplay to charity.

  • filmklassik

    The most insightful comment I’ve seen so far. In fact, I just cut-and-pasted it into an email for safekeeping.

    You’re right, pal: Rey IS a Mary Sue — all but invincible, nearly infallible, and never in any kind of real jeopardy — which is exactly the kind of protagonist audiences want to see these days.

    Which depresses me no end.

    But I don’t think it’s just a function of our being afraid of terrorism, economic uncertainty, etc. People were every bit as afraid of Stalin and Khrushchev as we are of Isis and Al Qaeda. And the ’70s were a FAR more tumultuous time politically and economically than the times we’re living in now. (50 thousand dead in Vietnam, anyone? Watergate? 10 percent unemployment? The energy crisis? A President resigning?)

    And yet our heroes were far more flawed back then.

    In other words, I don’t know WHAT the hell can account for this ridiculous new trend we’re seeing, I just hope it burns itself out in the next few years because I miss that wonderful staple of old-school storytelling: The overmatched hero.

  • klmn

    I never thought about this before, but most superheroes look to be Gary Sues. Except for Batman, they don’t do anything to earn their super powers. Get bitten by a radioactive spider, or come from another planet, bang zoom, you’ve got super powers.

    Not that it matters.

    I think the real lesson is to tell the expected story in the expected way. Give the audience what it wants.

    • Erica

      Not totally true, Superman had to walk from Kansas to the Arctic before he learned how to fly ;)

      • klmn

        And what about that guy whose birthday is tomorrow?

        • Erica

          You’re right, I forgot, it’s Rod Serling’s Birthday tomorrow, Happy Birthday Rod!

          • klmn

            I think Rod had to work his ass off. Not a Gary Sue.

  • klmn
    • Poe_Serling

      Someone call the AIMS guys. There’s bigfoot in the corner!!! ;-)

  • Lucid Walk

    So tell me, Carson…
    You loved THE FORCE AWAKENS, but you hated LOOPER.
    How do you feel about Rian Johnson doing Episode 8?

  • Paul Schellens

    I liked it a lot. I know how great (and educational) it is to see your work filmed.

    If you’re looking for suggestions, I think it lost a little for me once he shot the first guy. You set up the guy at the back as a great antagonist, so I would have loved the battle with him to escalate more – then he could have unloaded all six shots into the one guy!

    So, if you’re expanding it, make sure to keep it personal to the characters as long as possible. Make the protagonist suffer as much as possible so we love it when he releases the rage.

    How to do that I don’t know. You’d have to be careful of repetition. The class talking and not obeying was already shown twice in here, so you’d have to come up with more variety of ways that the students could torture him psychologically.

    Good luck with it!

  • Frankie Hollywood

    “Star Wars: A Drunk History” (by someone who hasn’t seen the films)

    • Malibo Jackk

      Who knew wine could damage brain cells.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    A short is something different than a feature. I don’t see how you, based on this nice short, make a bigger story? I agree with Paul that it is difficult to expand the class room scene without beiing repetitive. Or you should do something like The Principle?

  • Erica

    Merry Christmas All!

  • shewrites

    I wish you all SS followers and Carson a very merry Christmas!

  • Logline_Villain

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Carson & the world’s greatest online community!

  • Shawn Davis

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    On my way to spend time with my grandchildren.

    It doesn’t get much better than that.

    Shawn…..><

  • klmn

    A long time ago, before Disney bought Star Wars…

    http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20151112-when-disney-got-adult-and-trippy

  • Tyler Givens

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the Scriptshadow community! Have a productive 2016!

  • CCM30

    Merry Christmas everyone! ^_^ <3 <3 <3

  • Erica

    This just makes Christmas

  • Lucid Walk

    Merry Christmas! God bless us screenwriters, and everyone else.

  • Caivu

    No combat skills? She defeats a group of thugs on Jakku fairly easily, and it’s not much of a stretch to think she would need to know how to fight to survive on a harsh world like that. She doesn’t have lightsaber skills. But even then, she has melee experience what with her staff and all.

  • Caivu

    I think while Kylo was trying to extract information from her, she realized that it was possible to use the Force to control people. Since she was imprisoned, she figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it on a guard so she could escape.

  • RayFinkleLacesOut

    What you don’t think a poor junker girl who can barely afford to eat has tons of flight experience?

  • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

    Finally saw the movie today so I can weigh in. “Mary Sue” is the equivalent of all the criticisms about Finn’s character being black. If the hero was a white male, you wouldn’t hear anything at all.

    How is Luke any different than Rey? He’s able to do everything she does on the first try, too.

  • leitskev

    Saw it yesterday. Entertaining. Fun. Forgettable.

    It works because of the little things. It works because of the bonding between the characters.

    Daisy’s youth and expressive face made Rey very effective, from the moment she’s first on the screen scavenging. Something appealing about her intensity. It was easy to feel whatever it was she was feeling.

    Finn was extremely likable. The bond that developed between Rey and Finn was too contrived to feel believable except for the fact that the convincing acting made it so.

    The story was a total mess. Didn’t the rebels defeat the Empire not so long ago? And yet already a new Empire is rising from the ashes and this new dark force controls the stormtroopers? Shouldn’t those stormtroopers be under Senate(good guys) control? Yeah, that would ruin the whole Finn angle, but to do it this way cheapened the final victory of episode III in such a way that it cheapened the stakes here in episode VII.

    And then the plotting was one contrivance after another. Finn crash lands on the planet so he can find the droid…just a random crash, no idea where the droid is…but there it is, on the first stop! The very first thing he sees in the first little outpost! Nice! The contrivances don’t end there, it’s a nonstop string of them, no point in listing here.

    And the world felt small. This is a galactic war, yet the Senate forces feel tiny, I think ISIS could kick their asses, and the new empire forces don’t feel much bigger either.

    And I don’t mind following the model of the original to a point, but come on. Luke Skywalker is now Rey, the abandoned girl on the sand world. The evil dude is a shrunken down Darth Vader with acne whose inner conflict is meant to be deep but is really unexplored to the point of being just another mask. And the stakes involve a bigger death star? Really?

    The movie was fun because of the action and humor. And it’s true that many people take the original Star Wars too seriously. Still, this story was nothing like it could have been. That’s not a cynical complaint, I’m glad they are making these, it’s still fun. Just wish it could be more.

  • dawriter67

    Just got back from Star Wars…liked it lot and didn’t really view her as a Mary Sue except when she pulled a jedi mind trick on the storm trooper – that is for someone who might be more experienced in the force but all in all, a good flick with a caveat.

    My caveat has really nothing to do with the plot but how it was filmed. The big difference for me is that in how wide George Lucas shot Star Wars – he used a lot of wide master shots to draw us slowly into the world – the shots were just wide and generous – less hurried or frantic but full of battles and stuff.

    JJ uses a lot of quick shots and tight shots that had me struggling to “get into this world”. There was nothing extra ordinary about his direction but I do appreciate his use of puppets and less reliance on CGI yet he is missing some of George Lucas vision which was more exotic and rich and broad…

    I don’t know if anyone will understand what I mean..