Star Wars

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Glor » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:05 am

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:
SPOILER: Show
Mary/Gary Stu get thrown around a lot but generally it's not just being poorly written, it's being poorly written in a way that the character can solve all challenges presented to them with basically no effort akin to if they were a fanfiction wish fulfillment insert character. Rey fits this. If you have to explain your character getting force powers with "they watched another character do it so now they can" (The equivalent of Aaron Carter being as good at basketball as Shaq because he watched him do a dunk once) then you're in full Mary/Gary Stu territory. Every single obstacle Rey encounters is easily dispatched by her. In A New Hope Luke required Obi Wan to save him, R2D2 to save him, and Han to save him. Rey on the other hand just is instantly good at everything she touches and then beats the bad guy.


Spoilers 2015
SPOILER: Show
Oh, so that's why she runs from Kylo Ren their first fight and gets captured, and fucks up and let's out the tentacle monsters in the ship!

Wait, why is it okay for Luke to be an Ace pilot despite living on a farm his whole life? Why is it okay he can use the force after a 15 minute "training" session? It's ridiculous and most everything is explained away by 'the force', but I still love it. I mean, this is a universe with Space Sensei, laser swords and literal space magic.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:05 am

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:
SPOILER: Show
Mary/Gary Stu get thrown around a lot but generally it's not just being poorly written, it's being poorly written in a way that the character can solve all challenges presented to them with basically no effort akin to if they were a fanfiction wish fulfillment insert character. Rey fits this. If you have to explain your character getting force powers with "they watched another character do it so now they can" (The equivalent of Aaron Carter being as good at basketball as Shaq because he watched him do a dunk once) then you're in full Mary/Gary Stu territory. Every single obstacle Rey encounters is easily dispatched by her. In A New Hope Luke required Obi Wan to save him, R2D2 to save him, and Han to save him. Rey on the other hand just is instantly good at everything she touches and then beats the bad guy.

I've never encountered the "Mary Sue" trope in my professional studies of the narrative art form, not even as a trope that should be avoided (unlike the "Exposition in a Cafe" trope), mostly because it's proper original meaning is too close to simply being an "Audience Surrogate" common in most stories. The only real difference between poorly written audience surrogate and and the "Mary Sue" trope is the aspect of Authorial Insert. But that aspect of the authorial insert is hardly recognized in the definition of the "Mary Sue" anymore (I doubt Lawrence Kasden is vicariously living through Rey), and the other ways in which the "Mary Sue" is defined apart from the authorial insert isn't unique enough in its own right to be considered an entirely new trope. This is probably why TV Tropes itself, a worthlessly entertaining waste of time on the internet, can't even define the term properly without it having 13 different applications, very few of which have an underlying commonality between them.

At the end of the day, the "Mary Sue" has too many applications to be useful in any conversation about characters in professional narrative art forms made for a generalized audience. It's really only useful in its original context as referring to perfect authorial inserts in fan fictions, in which case the "Mary Sue" is the entire reason why the work exists to begin with, since in many cases both the author and the audience for Mary Sues in fanfics is the exact same person. (AKA: The person writing the fanfic.) This makes the Mary Sue more of an exhibitionist work when the fanfic is published publicly for others to read. ("Fifty Shades of Grey" becomes a tad more interesting when considering this.) This is really the only way the term "Mary Sue" becomes useful in a discussion of narrative art forms. Outside of this context it's too unspecific and therefore useless to be used in a thoughtful discussion of the narrative art form.

Now I do agree that Rey is poorly written, or at least that her character contributes to the poorly written ending. (After all, the writing around Kylo Ren is just as guilty for contributing to the poor writing, as he's just so anti-climactic at the end of the movie compared to his strong and imposing introduction at the beginning of the movie.) But I find the "Mary Sue" term to be utterly useless any labeling any tangible reason as to why the writing doesn't work in this film.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Tarnsman » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:11 am

View Original PostGlor wrote:Spoilers 2015
SPOILER: Show
Oh, so that's why she runs from Kylo Ren their first fight and gets captured, and fucks up and let's out the tentacle monsters in the ship!

Wait, why is it okay for Luke to be an Ace pilot despite living on a farm his whole life? Why is it okay he can use the force after a 15 minute "training" session? It's ridiculous and most everything is explained away by 'the force', but I still love it. I mean, this is a universe with Space Sensei, laser swords and literal space magic.


SPOILER: Show
Oh no Rey gets captured... then promptly learns the force by resisting the main bad guy, easily breaks herself out with basically no effort, avoids detection in the main bad guy base, and then beats the main bad guy because she tried really hard. Meanwhile, ace pilot Luke nearly dies until Han steps in and saves the day, trained jedi Luke gets his shit utterly wrecked in his first battle against Vader in a fight where Vader is basically toying with him, "I trained for six years with the force now by the time of ROTJ" Luke is finally able to overpower Vader in another fight where Vader isn't really fighting to kill him, only to be tortured and nearly killed by the emperor until his Dad saves him.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Glor » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:30 am

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:
SPOILER: Show
Oh no Rey gets captured... then promptly learns the force by resisting the main bad guy, easily breaks herself out with basically no effort, avoids detection in the main bad guy base, and then beats the main bad guy because she tried really hard.


SPOILER: Show
Luke and Obi avoid detection on the Deathstar, so that's a weak comparison and... because she tried really hard? She had skill as a fighter... this is shown to us the first two seconds her and Finn meet. Main bad guy's training is also incomplete, so there's that. Disregarding the rest because you're comparing three movies to one.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Tankred » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:40 am

It was alright, rather entertaining, but the feeling of deja vu was rather strong, at least the cinema was rather quiet besides the sometimes audible rustling of popcorn and mouth noises.

I have to say right now that the use of props was great, I just wish they got back to using models for the space battles, though I guess that's one step too far these days, I have to disagree with Ray regarding the quality vs original trilogy, those are films that have managed to remain fresh while II and III are beginning to languish in their SFX departments.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby A.T. Fish » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:47 am

View Original PostChainsaw Owl wrote:I just care about two things in a Star Wars movie: Lightsaber battles and dogfights. I could really care less about story or characters.


View Original PostChainsaw Owl wrote:Exactly. A lot of stuff to look at. Nothing to think about, except for a couple of questions that already feel horribly shallow.


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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chainsaw Owl » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:25 pm

^ I like my action to be compelling beyond the simple flashiness and the pretty explosions. Like a powerful exchange of dialogue while too people fight, or a secondary character (alright maybe I misspoke earlier) like Wedge Antilles, who seems to be a way better pilot than any of the main characters. I've never cared much for the extended universe except for the ones with Wedge in them, just because he managed to get my curiosity going with minimal effort. Man, I really hate that Denis Lawson refused to reprise his role.

Now that I've had a night to mull it over and sober up, I'm feeling a little better about the movie. Most of it was above-average entertainment, though a couple of things still irk me.

SPOILER: Show
I'm really not vibing with Ren as an antagonist. He manages to come off as poutier than Anakin quite effortlessly. I'm sure we'll understand him better after a nice flashback, but right now I just want to slap him. And all those temper tantrums... The director really should have given some of that excess emotion to Rey. I wish they'd gone with Finn as the "new Luke." Let's hope episode 8 does a good job of endearing her to us. And please, more friendship adventures with Finn and Poe. It's almost worthy of a spinoff.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:52 pm

View Original PostChainsaw Owl wrote:
SPOILER: Show
I'm really not vibing with Ren as an antagonist. He manages to come off as poutier than Anakin quite effortlessly. I'm sure we'll understand him better after a nice flashback, but right now I just want to slap him. And all those temper tantrums... The director really should have given some of that excess emotion to Rey. I wish they'd gone with Finn as the "new Luke." Let's hope episode 8 does a good job of endearing her to us. And please, more friendship adventures with Finn and Poe. It's almost worthy of a spinoff.


These are much more reasoned critiques of the film, yes. I agree on all counts (well, apart from the bit about Finn; I'm happy with the character roles as they are). Regarding Rey:

SPOILER: Show
As I noted here, there's clearly more to Rei than is apparent at face value. Rather than being a "Mary Sue" or whatever she seems to be highly trained, even if she doesn't quite know why she's highly trained. In addition to what I noted in the linked post I think her Force vision is going to prove extremely telling; it indicates she had Force training in the past, and even apart from that it appears her destiny is pretty darn complicated. Our view of her will no doubt benefit highly from Eva-style analysis as people start to pull together all of the subtleties of the film, both said and unsaid, spoken and shown.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Gendo'sPapa » Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:00 pm

I have little to add to the conversation except that Rey is an awful character who far too easily overcomes every obstacle she is given. But, this skill of "specialness" is no worse then it is in any Captain America movie or almost any other blockbuster around today. I won't say her character is a "Mary Sue" even if she does fall into all the traps of such a character & I won't even call her character interesting because she isn't - of the four new leads the most exciting is easily John Boyega's Finn & the one with the richest possible storyline is Adam Driver's Ben - BUT what the awful character of Rey does have going for her is a certain actress named Daisy Ridley.

Rey is a weak character. That's the end of it. Her ability to master everything thrown her way is so badly written & how overpowered she is at the end of TFA is so goofy that I literally can't see what she'll gain being trained by Luke. Sure, he can throw a few of those easy zen platitudes at her - "Feel your center. Focus on the Force. We're stretching things out so I, the protagonist of the original series, have a reason to be in Episode VIII" but Rey is such a non-character that they're going to have to pull a drastic 180 on her character to make her a compelling protagonist.

Thankfully, Daisy Ridley is luminous in the role & makes the character watchable simply through the power of her own charisma. This is true of all the protagonists who are ALL badly written but saved by the charisma of the actors cast - John Boyega's Finn leaves the First Order because he doesn't have the stomach to kill & refuses to take a life.... and then five minutes is loudly yelling "YEAH" as he blows up Stormtroopers in the docking bay. To quote the best blockbuster of the year, Mad Max: Fury Road, Finn should have been telling Poe Dameron that there would be "No Unnecessary Killing!" - & hopefully with Rian Johnson writing & directing Episode VIII we'll have a better movie.

Also, the claims of "Girl Power" still seems premature. This is still a galaxy far, far away where only young, fit, dark-haired white women can grace the screens. Lupita Wyong'o, one of the most beautiful & talented young actresses alive - someone who really hasn't been on screen since 2013's "12 Years A Slave" is cast to play a pygmy CG Yoda. And for all the "positive changes" talk JJ made of Captain Phasma being re-written to be a female she sure was a non-entity. If anything Captain Phasma was incompetent - why she wasn't the Stormtrooper who beat up Finn at Maz's place is beyond me - & really bad at her job.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is easily the best Star Wars movie made in my lifetime but that isn't saying much. It's a strong blockbuster with charismatic leads, a poorly written story & godawful characters. But, the nostalgia is strong with this one so right now The Force Awakens is the BEST MOVIE EVER. It isn't.

But it is a lot of fun & that counts for a lot! Especially for young children who need simplistic characters like Rey & Finn to look up too!

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chainsaw Owl » Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:55 pm

I have a feeling the writers just rolled their eyes and said, "Alright we've alreay spent Empire and Clone Wars training up two seperate young Jedi. Let's just cut to the chase and make her an unreasonably quick learner. Then in episode 8 we'll have Luke tell her she's just crazy strong in the Force, or something."

SPOILER: Show
There's a scene early in the movie where she's seen wearing an old Rebel fighter pilot helmet. Since most pilots customized their helmets, I was trying really hard to figure out if it resembled any of the ones we saw in the OT. It might have helped fill in a couple backstory blanks knowing who the helmet originally belonged to, but the scene ended too quickly. And Google Images is NOT helping me out here...
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:00 pm

SPOILER: Show
It apparently belonged to Dosmit Ræh, a former member of the Rebellion's Tierfon Yellow Aces.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Shinoyami65 » Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:01 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:I have little to add to the conversation except that Rey is an awful character who far too easily overcomes every obstacle she is given. But, this skill of "specialness" is no worse then it is in any Captain America movie or almost any other blockbuster around today. I won't say her character is a "Mary Sue" even if she does fall into all the traps of such a character & I won't even call her character interesting because she isn't - of the four new leads the most exciting is easily John Boyega's Finn & the one with the richest possible storyline is Adam Driver's Ben - BUT what the awful character of Rey does have going for her is a certain actress named Daisy Ridley.



Pretty much my thoughts on the movie. When you get right down to it main characters aren't very well-written, but the performance of their actors/actresses makes it easier to overlook this. Phasma's role could also have been greatly enhanced by simply inserting her as the shock baton trooper who's now becoming a memetic badass.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby A.T. Fish » Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:05 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Also, the claims of "Girl Power" still seems premature. This is still a galaxy far, far away where only young, fit, dark-haired white women can grace the screens. Lupita Wyong'o, one of the most beautiful & talented young actresses alive - someone who really hasn't been on screen since 2013's "12 Years A Slave" is cast to play a pygmy CG Yoda. And for all the "positive changes" talk JJ made of Captain Phasma being re-written to be a female she sure was a non-entity. If anything Captain Phasma was incompetent - why she wasn't the Stormtrooper who beat up Finn at Maz's place is beyond me - & really bad at her job.


One breakthrough at a time, Rey being a woman is already a big step as far as Hollywood is concerned, the fact that she isn't black doesn't detract from the positive female representation she provides. Plus, one of the main characters is already black.

I agree that Captain Phasma was a let down, but I'm sure she will be back.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:56 pm

View Original PostA.T. Fish wrote:One breakthrough at a time, Rey being a woman is already a big step as far as Hollywood is concerned, the fact that she isn't black doesn't detract from the positive female representation she provides.


Yup. SW VII is breaking records all over the place, and Rey is proving to be staggeringly popular with young girls. Regardless of the merits of the film, the character, or Ridley's performance there's no question that Rey is resonating with the masses in a big way. Girls just absolutely love her.

I agree that Captain Phasma was a let down, but I'm sure she will be back.


GP's comment on the matter was so obvious in retrospect that I'm amazed J.J. didn't go that route. It wouldn't even be hard, just give the trooper a different suit of armor and have Phasma deliver the lines. Hell of a missed opportunity there.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby C.A.P. » Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:52 pm

Well, since I'm here, I might as well post some quick thoughts.

Because of The Force Awakens, I decided to sit down and finally watch every single Star Wars film I never saw, which was the majority of them. I even got them all on Blu-Ray as an unexpected Christmas gift! So here's what I think:

The Empire Strikes Back: Every praise given to this film is earned.

Return of the Jedi: It's understandable why some people aren't crazy about it, but a vast amount of good scenes and ideas save it for me.

The Phantom Menace: Terrible. Watching this was a wake up call in approaching Lucas as a director.

Attack of the Clones: Boring. The action scenes were cool though.

Revenge of the Sith: Disappointing. Lot of neat ideas and fantastic action scenes, but they don't give the story any favors.

The Force Awakens: Probably one of the best movies Abrams ever directed. Too much of it works for me to dismiss it as another cynical Hollywood product.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sicarius VI » Fri Dec 25, 2015 4:33 pm

Well I just saw the movie today and wasn't as packed because my family waited so that was good.

I personally enjoyed it, but I already see there a quite a few of you who are already upset with it. So I'll just leave this here.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Defectron » Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:00 pm

Saw this the other day. I do think this is the best thing out of the franchise since the original trilogy, also probably the best jj abrahms movie I have seen.

That being said it did have some issues, the biggest one for me I think was I didn't buy the new deathstar plot. I mean the empire was wrecked at the end of the orginal trilogy, even after all this timehas passed it seemed like kind of a weak premise that they managed to build a bigger and better version with their dwindeling influence and resources. I really hope they don't just rebuild this in the sequals because damn, they just shouldn't be able to do that.

On a completely neutral note, Kylo Ren seems like an 80's guy to me
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sicarius VI » Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:10 pm

Seemingly infinite resources and people has been recurring in Star Wars for a while. Do you even see the shit SWTOR's new expansion is pulling?

Also if the remnants of the Empire searched hard enough, over the course of 30 years their First Order is more than possible.

I bet that the new Surpreme leader already had is own thing going on then he took over the rest of the empire. Or unless it's a burnt up version of Sidious or even more plassuable Plagueis which makes sense in a way.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:11 pm

I saw it again today. It's still a narrative mess toward the end on all fronts, but honestly the I kinda like it overall. I rank it right up there with Return of the Jedi: Fatally flawed but still likable.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:48 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:I saw it again today. It's still a narrative mess toward the end on all fronts, but honestly the I kinda like it overall. I rank it right up there with Return of the Jedi: Fatally flawed but still likable.


I have never understood why people think Jedi is so terrible. It is honestly my favorite of the OT, mostly because it has decent lightsaber and space battles and a discernible ending. The only response I ever get beyond simple handwringing is "Ewoks!" Which is, well, not a heck of a lot to work with.
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People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.


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