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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Pre-Release Discussion - Page 110

post #5451 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post
 


Because I don't think the writers intentionally wrote her to be a Mary Sue - I think they were simply too heavy handed in their attempt to make an empowered female character. Characters have to fail to grow - it's what makes them interesting. I just think they were too scared to have her fail or have her ass handed to her in at least one scene.

 

I can point to countless examples of beloved male characters who haven't followed the failure = growth arc. Han Solo in the first Star War, for example. 

 

This all just feels terribly gendered. 

post #5452 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post


Because I don't think the writers intentionally wrote her to be a Mary Sue - I think they were simply too heavy handed in their attempt to make an empowered female character. Characters have to fail to grow - it's what makes them interesting. I just think they were too scared to have her fail or have her ass handed to her in at least one scene.

I agree with this. A Mary Sue is a very specific thing.
post #5453 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

I can point to countless examples of beloved male characters who haven't followed the failure = growth arc. Han Solo in the first Star War, for example. 

This all just feels terribly gendered. 

He's not the protagonist.
post #5454 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post


I agree with this. A Mary Sue is a very specific thing.

 

Counterpoint that language and definitions evolve, and Mary Sue is one of those phrases that has evolved. 

 

There was actually a fascinating piece I read - I'll see if I can find it - that discusses how using "Mary Sue" as an insult itself is problematic, because of its ties to the (majority female) fanfiction community. 

post #5455 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post


He's not the protagonist.

 

That's not what Elvis was arguing, though. He said characters, not protagonists. 

 

But as pointed out on the last page, where was all this with Pine Kirk in Abrams' Star Trek? It's the exact same arc as Rey, arguably, but what's different? 

post #5456 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

I can point to countless examples of beloved male characters who haven't followed the failure = growth arc. Han Solo in the first Star War, for example. 

 

This all just feels terribly gendered. 


Han Solo is completely one note throughout Star Wars. He shoots first and thinks only about himself.

 

Except, you know, that little bit at the end where here turns up out of the blue and saves the day, showing personal growth and character.

post #5457 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post
 


Han Solo is completely one note throughout Star Wars. He shoots first and thinks only about himself.

 

Except, you know, that little bit at the end where here turns up out of the blue and saves the day, showing personal growth and character.

 

OUT OF CHARACTER!

post #5458 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post
 


Han Solo is completely one note throughout Star Wars. He shoots first and thinks only about himself.

 

Except, you know, that little bit at the end where here turns up out of the blue and saves the day, showing personal growth and character.

 

Except that's not what you said. Where is Solo's moment of failure? 

 

Like, if we're going to be fucking pedants about this, let's be fucking pedantic. 

post #5459 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

Except that's not what you said. Where is Solo's moment of failure? 

 

He pisses off everyone that cares about him. 

 

I think too many of you are basing failure on some physical thing. Remember inner life?  Remember relationships? There's failures there too. 

post #5460 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

Except that's not what you said. Where is Solo's moment of failure? 

 

Like, if we're going to be fucking pedants about this, let's be fucking pedantic. 


Solo goes through the whole movie as a failure. He's set up from the off as a selfish prick. It's when he turns up at the end he has evolved as a character.

post #5461 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

That's not what Elvis was arguing, though. He said characters, not protagonists. 

But as pointed out on the last page, where was all this with Pine Kirk in Abrams' Star Trek? It's the exact same arc as Rey, arguably, but what's different? 

I wasn't posting here at the time, but I was calling b.s. on that as well. I'd argue that pissed me off even more because Kirk as presented was so damned unlikable that the promotion felt like rewarding the movie's biggest asshole.
post #5462 of 6978
Why is that problematic? The derogatory use of the term is inherently about writing deficiencies of amateurs.
post #5463 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by mondguy View Post


I wasn't posting here at the time, but I was calling b.s. on that as well. I'd argue that pissed me off even more because Kirk as presented was so damned unlikable that the promotion felt like rewarding the movie's biggest asshole.

 

It is kind of mind blowing how the movie basically sets up Kirk as needed the captain's chair for destiny's sake instead of earning it the way everyone else does. That said, Star Trek doesn't have a an all mystical, powerful Force guiding everything as an excuse. 

post #5464 of 6978

"But I was going to the Toschi station to pick up some power converters!"

"I was thinking of submitting my application to the academy this year."

"Looks like I'm going nowhere... I've got to go finish cleaning those droids."

"It just isn't fair.  Biggs is right I'm never gonna get outta here!"

"My father didn't fight in the wars, he was a navigator on a spice freighter."

"I want to learn the ways of the force and become a jedi like my father."

 

This all happens in the first act of A New Hope.  Luke has very clearly defined characteristics, traits, hopes, desires, fears, making him a well rounded human person... it is all laid out to be exploited in the next two acts of the movie.

 

People have a problem with Rey because she has none of these rich character beats.  We don't know what's going on with her other than a vague desire to wait for her family... who they might be isn't even hinted at, and that's essential for us to understand WHY she is hell bent on waiting for them (a vague sense of family isn't enough... who are they to her?).  So in the next two acts, there is nothing to exploit or build upon.  Luke's father was a navigator, Luke is a pilot and wants to joing the academy... we understand why it's so important to him... the father he never knew was in the same field.  Simple and effective.  It doesn't take much.  

 

"A young jedi named Darth Vader.... he betrayed and murdered your father.  Now the Jedi are all but extinct."  

 

A plot twist, further enriching Luke's character and setting up narrative complications and creating a sense of urgency since Luke may be the last Jedi after Ben.

 

That is a fuck ton of backstory for the audience to chew on in their imaginations.  It also made Vader not just THE STOCK VILLAIN, but a personal enemy of Luke's and Ben's.  Again, it gives Luke a very well rounded sense of purpose, he has desires, backstory, a goal of revenge (especially after Vader also murders Ben, the only man who's understood him), an obligation to save the universe from the death star, something he never thought possible.... and since he was just a lowly farmboy dreaming of space, it becomes wish fulfillment.  What wishes does Rey have that become fulfilled in TFA?  Nobody has any idea.  Han offers her a job, but she's shown little desire to leave her planet in the first place, so why does it matter?  Maz's "they're never coming back." has little substance since we're missing those pieces.

 

All this adds up to a character who is just sort of there.  Too bad a female hero's introduction in this series is handled so poorly.  

 

I am not sure why Abrams and Kasdan chose to make Rey such a blank nothing.  I am still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that this is leading to something major, but so far they are not doing her any favors.  So far, she is not a worthy character to take up the mantle.  Finn has more going on than she does.  That would be like Han having more going on than Luke.  Completely backwards.

post #5465 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

Why is that problematic? The derogatory use of the term is inherently about writing deficiencies of amateurs.

 

I'll have to find the article, but there's an entire line of argument and critical analysis that basically argues we devalue fanfiction (which is a recent, post-WWII, post-Bono Act reclassification of a style that's existed for centuries) and repurposed work because it's often the work of women, which is seen as "amateurish" and "unprofessional." 

post #5466 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post
 

(a vague sense of family isn't enough... who are they to her?).  

 

She was 6 or 7. They ARE but a vague and distant memory except for when she was pulled away from them. But also, if you can't get behind that all children want the love of their parents, I don't know what you can get behind. 

post #5467 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

 

She was 6 or 7. They ARE but a vague and distant memory except for when she was pulled away from them. But also, if you can't get behind that all children want the love of their parents, I don't know what you can get behind. 

 

That's too bad, because it doesn't do her character any favors.  And that's the problem people have, people aren't making up these complaints.  They should've tried something else.

post #5468 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

I'm still mad that Star War means we are never gonna get Karina Longworth's Marcia Lucas novel.

 

Thanks, star war. 

GAH, I KNOW!!!

post #5469 of 6978
post #5470 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post
 

 

That's too bad, because it doesn't do her character any favors.  And that's the problem people have, people aren't making up these complaints.  They should've tried something else.

 

Fair enough. The jury's still out though. 

post #5471 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

That's not what Elvis was arguing, though. He said characters, not protagonists. 

But as pointed out on the last page, where was all this with Pine Kirk in Abrams' Star Trek? It's the exact same arc as Rey, arguably, but what's different? 

To play Devil's Advocate, I think we did go there when Abrams' Star Trek was still fresh in our minds. Abrams' version of Kirk is so thoroughly chosen by Fate that even the alteration of history by time travelers can't overcome the momentum of his destiny. He's basically King Arthur, inserted into a franchise that used to be about the advancement of equality. It wasn't any major surprised when Abrams copped in interviews to not particularly liking Trek as a franchise.
post #5472 of 6978

If the audience has to fill in the blanks to understand a character, the filmmaker's didn't do their jobs.  It's ad hoc reasoning.

post #5473 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

That's not what Elvis was arguing, though. He said characters, not protagonists. 

 

But as pointed out on the last page, where was all this with Pine Kirk in Abrams' Star Trek? It's the exact same arc as Rey, arguably, but what's different? 

 

Plenty of people levelled that criticism at 09 Star Trek, and it's a perfectly valid criticism to make, regardless of the character's gender.  You're really going to defend Abrams as a writer just so you can make a point about internet misogyny?  Yes, obviously it exists, that doesn't change the fact that J.J.'s films are full of unearned moments and character beats. 

post #5474 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Macken View Post

 

You're really going to defend Abrams as a writer just so you can make a point about internet misogyny?  

 

Yes, because "Abrams as a writer" is usually code for or tied up in said internet misogyny.

post #5475 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

I'll have to find the article, but there's an entire line of argument and critical analysis that basically argues we devalue fanfiction (which is a recent, post-WWII, post-Bono Act reclassification of a style that's existed for centuries) and repurposed work because it's often the work of women, which is seen as "amateurish" and "unprofessional." 

I'm sorry, but this is insane. There's an interesting point about gender in there, but just read 10 randomly selected pieces of fan fiction. 90 percent of it is fucking garbage, fueled merely by extreme passion.

I truly don't believe we devalue fan fiction because of the gender of the author, it's looked down upon because it's often laughable garbage.

I'm all for rah rah feminism arguments, or interesting looks below the surface at gender politics, and id like to see that article for that reason. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
post #5476 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post
 

If the audience has to fill in the blanks to understand a character, the filmmaker's didn't do their jobs.  It's ad hoc reasoning.

 

If anything Rey is just too simple of a character. I don't think there's anything to NOT understand about her.  That's what I'm getting at. We can debate the reasoning behind her sudden growth of FORCE POWER, but how can we debate her reasoning to stay behind for her family?  Surely, that's quite understandable. 

post #5477 of 6978
I think it's reasonable to expect that the audience will have enough of an understanding of how human emotions work that they don't have to have "the abandoned child longs for her parents" explained to them in the opening title crawl. It's not the filmmaker's job to cure Asperger's.
post #5478 of 6978

^ What he said.

post #5479 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post


I'm sorry, but this is insane. There's an interesting point about gender in there, but just read 10 randomly selected pieces of fan fiction. 90 percent of it is fucking garbage, fueled merely by extreme passion.

I truly don't believe we devalue fan fiction because of the gender of the author, it's looked down upon because it's often laughable garbage.

I'm all for rah rah feminism arguments, or interesting looks below the surface at gender politics, and id like to see that article for that reason. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

 

I just posted an article about this that's worth reading, and considering. Let me post it again. 

https://medium.com/fansplaining/mary-sue-975366a18677

post #5480 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

 

If anything Rey is just too simple of a character. I don't think there's anything to NOT understand about her.  That's what I'm getting at. We can debate the reasoning behind her sudden growth of FORCE POWER, but how can we debate her reasoning to stay behind for her family?  Surely, that's quite understandable. 

 

It's not that it's not understandable, it's that it's not given any importance other than a kind of surface level obligation.  Emotionally it doesn't land.

post #5481 of 6978

JJ Kirk probably got away with it to a certain extent because he's... KIRK.  That movie may not have had THE FORCE, but it had CHOSEN ONE/DESTINY/SELF-CORRECTING TIME-LINE all over it, which is just as much mystical hocus-pocus BS.

 

Also, Kirk generally got away with it because he's a dude.  Some may have criticized it back in 09 due to general attacks on overly contrived storytelling, but it didn't get the kind of attention that JJ got with Rey.  And it wasn't gendered in its criticism the same way.

 

And I'll absolutely go along with the gendered nature of using MARY SUE as a pejorative term being deserving of criticism and reflection.  That general sense of seeing women's literature being seen as lesser is baked into that term.

post #5482 of 6978

Also, fellas, my wife had to point this out to me but - 

 

REY GETS FUCKING CAPTURED. HOW IS THIS NOT "LOSING"? 

post #5483 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

Yes, because "Abrams as a writer" is usually code for or tied up in said internet misogyny.

 

Clearly Stale Elvis hates Chris Pine, that toxic misandrist.

 

Can we still dislike the finale of "Lost", or is that forbidden as well? 

post #5484 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post
 

 

It's not that it's not understandable, it's that it's not given any importance other than a kind of surface level obligation.  Emotionally it doesn't land.

 

So we can cross out girl gets abandoned at age 6 or 7 and doesn't remember much except that she longs for her family off the list of accepted character background. Got it!

post #5485 of 6978

Abr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Macken View Post
 

 

 

 

Can we still dislike the finale of "Lost", or is that forbidden as well? 

Abrams wasn't even really involved with the finale!

post #5486 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Macken View Post
 

 

Clearly Stale Elvis hates Chris Pine, that toxic misandrist.

 

Can we still dislike the finale of "Lost", or is that forbidden as well? 

 

Hahaha this is a willful misrepresentation of what I was saying. 

post #5487 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post

I'll have to find the article, but there's an entire line of argument and critical analysis that basically argues we devalue fanfiction (which is a recent, post-WWII, post-Bono Act reclassification of a style that's existed for centuries) and repurposed work because it's often the work of women, which is seen as "amateurish" and "unprofessional."
This is bonkers, and you're bonkers for taking it seriously.
post #5488 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

Also, fellas, my wife had to point this out to me but - 

 

REY GETS FUCKING CAPTURED. HOW IS THIS NOT "LOSING"? 


Because she also manages to escape by using powers hitherto unknown to her, plus the capturing of her leaves no impact on her. So she's essentially had the capture threat reset to zero.

 

She's captured.

She escapes.

It has no impact on her.

 

Think of the times the OT characters got captured - they all lost something along the way.

post #5489 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

 

Hahaha this is a willful misrepresentation of what I was saying. 

 

What you're saying is bizarre, frankly.

 

"Yes, because "Abrams as a writer" is usually code for or tied up in said internet misogyny." 

 

Abrams' deficiencies as a writer have nothing to do with gender/misogyny.  He's always taken shortcuts and failed to demonstrate any patience in an attempt to give the audience what he assumes they want, and Rey being a female character doesn't change that.  


Edited by Kevin Macken - 4/21/17 at 1:26pm
post #5490 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post
 


Because she also manages to escape by using powers hitherto unknown to her, plus the capturing of her leaves no impact on her. So she's essentially had the capture threat reset to zero.

 

She's captured.

She escapes.

It has no impact on her.

 

Think of the times the OT characters got captured - they all lost something along the way.

 

Yeah, but it was also setting up Kylo having no control over the situation. He was the one who was going to get defeated. I appreciate that the movie treats the villain like the fuck up and not the protagonist. It made the movie different from its predecessors. Meanwhile, everyone is arguing about how stories should go and my question is - would you have enjoyed seeing a movie that you've already seen half a dozen times before?

post #5491 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

 

 Meanwhile, everyone is arguing about how stories should go and my question is - would you have enjoyed seeing a movie that you've already seen half a dozen times before?

people did!

 

it was called FORWAKENS

 

BOFFO BOX OFFICE

post #5492 of 6978
Ummm...Stale Elvis, I'll help you put the worms back in the can.
post #5493 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

people did!

 

it was called FORWAKENS

 

BOFFO BOX OFFICE

 

Let's criticize the differences then!

post #5494 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

 

 

She's captured.

She escapes.

It has no impact on her.

 

 

Martha Stewart has no growth arc.

post #5495 of 6978
Boone that's an interesting article and all, but the point once again seems to be "why can't girls who don't see themselves represented in their favorite stories insert themselves into old stories without sexist scorn and belittlement?" Completely and totally ignores the fact that fan fiction is mocked because it's often awful.

They're forefronting gender on an issue that I don't believe is widely mocked based on gender, but quality.
post #5496 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Macken View Post
 

 

 

Abram's deficiencies as a writer have nothing to do with gender/misogyny.  He's always taken shortcuts and failed to demonstrate any patience in an attempt to give the audience what he assumes they want, and Rey being a female character doesn't change that.  

The criticisms of Abrams' RUN RUN GO GO writing and storytelling sensibilities aren't gendered.

 

But the amount of attention that Rey got compared to what Kirk got has a degree of gendered discrepancy to it, I think.

 

Of course, I also think Kirk got away with his nonsensical ascension up the ranks because he also had more character defining moments by being a co-lead with Quinto's Spock.  Their arc going from rivals to friends gives the character something more than JUST the hero's journey.

post #5497 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

 

Let's criticize the differences then!

I don't see those as differences.  I see them as faulty story calibration.

 

It should've been the other way around.  Doing new things by with the same amount of story care.

post #5498 of 6978
Quote:

They're forefronting gender on an issue that I don't believe is widely mocked based on gender, but quality.

 

There's an entire argument that determining what's quality and what isn't is, also, dependent on societial factors, among them gender (and race, and class...how many detective novels were cast aside because working-class people read them? Comic books, an entire art form, was discarded because it was seen of low quality).

 

Anyway, this is fucking exhausting and so I have to bow out of this discussion for the time being because I've had this argument too many times, across too many threads here, and I'm not going to rehash it all over again at this particular moment.

 

That said, I'll leave you with this, also from my wife:

 

Luke flat out admits that there's nothing for him on Tattooine after his aunt and uncle are killed. So running off to join the Rebellion is far less of a risk.

 

Rey, meanwhile, makes the decision to leave a planet she could have gotten off years ago (because we see she's good with machines) - a planet where she is facing literal starvation and death - even though she knows that doing so will mean she might never get to meet her family, who have promised to come back for her. Same thing when she makes the decision to go find Luke. She makes the decision to get involved in this saga, even though she knows she is probably missing the chance to see the only people she's ever loved. This is risk. This is character development. This is an inner life. 

 

So implying or outright saying otherwise does feel gendered and a little crazy. 

post #5499 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

 

So we can cross out girl gets abandoned at age 6 or 7 and doesn't remember much except that she longs for her family off the list of accepted character background. Got it!

 

It's like Anakin's turn to the dark side.  On paper it should make sense.  But narratively it doesn't work.  It's not the thing that's wrong, it's the way it's presented.  

 

The reason I don't feel for Rey's abanandonment is because it's given a three second flashback, and at that point in the film Rey is too busy being a tough female warrior to be emotionally traumatized.  She has virtually no vulnerabilities to speak of, and only grows in power as the film goes on.

 

If you look closely at A New Hope, Luke starts very low on the totem pole...  he is talented, but he is emotionally depressed by his circumstances (whining constantly, yes, but whining is better than nothing), and continually gets his ass kicked...  He is a vulnerable kid with talent who you want to see succeed.  The whole underdog thing.  And by the third act, things start clicking into place for him organically... done in a way that highlights what he's already good at.  

post #5500 of 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

Boone that's an interesting article and all, but the point once again seems to be "why can't girls who don't see themselves represented in their favorite stories insert themselves into old stories without sexist scorn and belittlement?" Completely and totally ignores the fact that fan fiction is mocked because it's often awful.

They're forefronting gender on an issue that I don't believe is widely mocked based on gender, but quality.

I don't see why it can't be both.

 

Yes, fan fiction certainly comes across awful, but the derision it gets is beefed up in a way that is gendered.

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