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Wish Fulfillment And The Mary Sue - Page 2

post #51 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by RexBanner View Post
 

 

I sincerely doubt we'll get anything like that. Amnesia stories are convoluted and inherently filled with drama-killing technobabble. It creates a situation where the protagonist is going through something no human being - or very few - have ever experienced, so it's difficult to relate to. Everyone can relate to wanting something more, feeling like they're wasting their lives, feeling abandoned - less can grasp what it's like to be someone different because of some amnesia spell. It works in a game because you are the character, you've gone through a big chunk of what they've gone through, in a sense; less so in a piece of popular fiction that requires a large section of the audience to relate closely to the character. 

 

I would bet millions I don't have that they will never reveal that Rey was mind-wiped after turning to the dark side. It's dramatically inert and convoluted, and the writers won't want to make the hero of their family franchise a mass murderer. 

Which is a problem, because when several people are jumping through so many hoops such as the incredibly lazy "wind wipe" to explain away how Rey's parents could possibly be such cunts to leave her in slavery to that horrible creature on a dead planet...  We were discussing this on the TFA thread and I came up with the theory that it ONLY makes sense if Kylo was the one to drop her there.  If we haven't even met Rey's parents in the canon yet...  Thanks?  JJ?

 

So we're dealing with either A) Rey finds her parents, and they're dirt bag cunts, or B) Luke is his father, and dropped her there in his sadness and said "peace!"

post #52 of 480
Woah dude. We don't use...see you next Tuesday here. That's so....problematic
post #53 of 480
If her real biological parents left her on jakku with that filthy Simon pegg, they're officially cunts. They earned it. Five stars.
post #54 of 480

Some random thoughts inspired by this most excellent thread:

 

Clearly in an earlier draft of the script, Rey was left in the care of Simon Pegg, was raised by him, thus had to learn about various equipment and why it would be valuable to survive. That's how she knows about the mods to the Falcon.

 

(I say earlier draft because in the film it's clear she's just another nudnik to Pegg).

 

Han Solo realizes she knows what's been done to the Falcon after he's been away from it for years. That and she was able to fly it out of Jakku. I"m sure Han would have no trouble hiring her on to fix up and maintain the ship and let Chewie mack on her (SCOUNDREL!)

 

The part of Jakku Rey lives in is clearly a rough and tumble place. Rey has to learn to fight to survive, because Simon Pegg Monster sure as shit ain't going to protect her. 

 

I swear it's stated somewhere in TFA that The Force has changed. In the TFA thread I speculated that without Jedi the Force has been dormant or uncontrolled....maybe there's a finite amount of Force Juice out there, so anyone who does manage to tap into it has much more POWAH! than Luke did. 

 

Anakin the Prequels IS a Mary Sue, and perhaps that plays into his character. Because if he finds everything he does to be so easy, it makes it that much more frustrating when the Jedi Council and Obi Wan block him from what (in his mind) he deserves. Thus he's setup to believe he can bring people back from the dead and/or make them immortal, and when Palps makes his offer, he's ready to say yes.

 

And maybe what makes Luke the better Jedi in the end is precisely his initial lack of competence (except for being a pilot); He has to earn his use of the Force in a way that Anakin never had to. #LIKEPOETRY

 

Luke being a great pilot: he's taking after his Dad who was "the best Star Pilot in the Galaxy" (New Hope) so right from the start there's that Chosen one aspect. 

 

But Tatooine, or the part Luke lives in, is clearly boring as fuck, so I can well believe he'd spend his off hours tooling around in his Speeder shooting Wamp rats (which after all aren't much smaller than that Death Star vent, plus they move!)

 

And those Speeders don't seem too much different from the X-Wing Luke pilots. He'd have more trouble piloting the Falcon or a Star Destroyer (I know that one's weak, even a tiny prop plane is much more complex than a car)

 

Of course, we're all speculating on this as if TFA were designed to be the way it ended up. We know that isn't the case. The real cause of all these questions and problems is, THEY DIDN'T FILM WITH A COMPLETED SCRIPT!

post #55 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

I think in the case of CREED and FURY ROAD, they're just BETTER films (in addition to both new characters really going through the ringer to justify their existence, as Schwartz indicated).  Moreso in the case for CREED.  I really don't see Furiosa being a Mary Sue since she really doesn't give a shit about Max up until he becomes valuable as an ally.

 

And on the topic of the original definition of Mary Sue... I once again point to...

 

ohohohohohohoho

 

 

 

(can the producer/head of Lucasfilm be considered the source of the Mary Suein'?)

 

 

I recall the Dragon Tattoo books getting criticized for essentially being Mary Sue tales for the author.  I never read them.  So would that also make the Robert Langdon books the same thing?

 

 

But...they DID cast Ms Tran, NOT the supposed Kathleen Kennedy surrogate, so ...point?

post #56 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

Yuuuuup.

So since most of agree about Rey...how does Episode VIII fix her?

 

Well, the bright side is that they don't have to.

 

The three main young characters in TFA may be thinly sketched, but none are screwed up in a way that needs repairing. Really all Ep 8 needs to do is spend more time with them and give them a few moments to delve into their personalities. Basically, they need filling out, not a rewrite, and that's much easier to accomplish.

post #57 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

I said this is the other thread, but retrospectively explain her talents by showing that she was a talented student and Luke's academy who followed Kylo as a knight of Ren and murdered the others.  It can be the gut punch Empire moment.  Kylo was told to kill her to prove his loyalty to Snoke and the dark side as a test, and he can't do it, so he uses his power to mind wipe her and dump her on Jakku. This realization gives Rey something new and different to chew on and deal with about herself.  Not the same old Luke thing of "I could fall to the dark side" but "I DID fall to the dark side, and now I must reconcile with that."  It also makes for a more interesting relationship with Luke, instead of another simple Luke Obi Wan story.

Otherwise this next film will just be Rey even further along in her training to take down Snoke...  Like Luke in Empire.  We need different.
She was approximately ten or eleven years old in the flashback we saw. So you're suggesting she should be a child murderer?

Hahahahahaha

Now that would be BALLSY
post #58 of 480
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

You know who's a huge fucking Mary Sue? Anakin Skywalker in the prequels. Effortlessly the best at everything he tries, beloved and even envied by all other characters, and even his supposed downfall turns him into the coolest cyber samurai badass in the universe.

It's especially egregious in the first one. "What do these controls do? Uh oh, I'm blowing up the bad guy's spaceship! Woopieee!"

 

Anakin is all over the place.  On the one hand, the only pre-established characters that he deals with are Obi-Wan and Yoda, and neither particularly likes him in TPM.  But also, if we are familiar with those characters, we also have the context to know that Anakin's "awesomeness" is setting him up for a fall.  But also-also, he doesn't pop up until an hour in, so even if Qui-Gonn and Padme are "new" characters, there is some of that feeling of the young scamp dropping in and making our heroes go all doe-eyed.

 

Then there's the "oops!" factor.  Is it more obnoxious for the plucky ingenue character to be inexplicably outstanding in the field of excellence, or for them to blunder their way to victory through sheer luck?  I'd say the latter, not that it makes the former less of a problem.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzman View Post
 

 

 

This is the nub, I think, more than anything else.

 

There's a lot of terminology creep here that's hard to navigate.  I understand why, but it seems like the only reason we're saying Luke himself isn't a Mary Sue in this context is that we've got the other two movies to look at for the journey fulfillment, hurdles, failure, trials etc.(and this has probably been discussed elsewhere plenty)

Otherwise he's essentially bulletproof and unstoppable in ANH, despite his Conrad-ian arc.  What gets in the way of that impression?  Acting I guess, as well as having people disagree with him more often and some vocalised self doubt.  So maybe that's what's missing.  But it ain't much.

I guess the filmmakers probably thought that you can short hand all that if Rey is scared enough and surprised/overjoyed at her big wins  and it seems to have worked ok for a lot of people.

 

The Indy comparison is interesting because he's another one that harks back to things before this post modern label.  The old serials were full of guys who were essentially unstoppable and no one really cared (for a while at least):  Doc Savage, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers.  Indiana Jones is one of them.  The difference is really only that Ford manages to show the sweat and desperation in this adventuring, rather than making it look easy.

 

As has also probably been discussed to death, I thinkTFAs everso slightly lighter, breezier tone , as well as its contemporary pacing and character shorthand, is just making it more obvious how easy designated heroes seem to have it at times.

 

Of late I'd say Star Lord is actually the biggest wish fulfillment character.  The whole 'not as famous as he'd like' thing and fact that Guardians is "the funny one" acts a bit of a smokescreen for that.

 

In terms of old pulp heroes, Conan The Barbarian always struck me as the most overpowered, awesome-at-everything type.  

 

As for Luke, I think you're way off to suggest that acting and vocalized doubt from themselves and others "ain't much."  In this context, it's everything.  I do think you're right that TFA's pacing exacerbates its fan-servicing tendencies, because I think the effect reaches past Rey to Poe and Finn as well.  Has there ever been a less earned triumphant moment than Phasma's trash compactor comeuppance? The movie is so desperate to hit a note the audience can cheer that it forgets to actually have the target of the heroes' smirking revenge do anything, other than get wookie-tackled.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

Indy and Bond though. I don't get calling them Mary Sues, because they're literally the center of their respective universes. Wish fulfillment, sure, but in my mind a whole different thing that changes the meaning of the term. Might as well call Hamlet a Mary Sue.

 

That's the thing, because not every hero, or even every Chosen One, qualifies as a Mary Sue, despite being destined for eventual success.  The key is 1) eventual, rather than immediate, and 2) that it really only applies in established franchise scenarios.  It is specific to fanfic, and so it's becoming more prominent in modern times as reboots and infinite sequelizing became the norm.  I would say that Bond's characterization contains all the factors that I think make MS a pejorative term, but since he was the center of his own universe from the very start, I wouldn't apply that label to him.

post #59 of 480

So "Mary Sue" is essentially a successful "Poochy"?

 

And Anakin in the sequels is an actual Poochy?

post #60 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 

Some random thoughts inspired by this most excellent thread:

 

Clearly in an earlier draft of the script, Rey was left in the care of Simon Pegg, was raised by him, thus had to learn about various equipment and why it would be valuable to survive. That's how she knows about the mods to the Falcon.

 

(I say earlier draft because in the film it's clear she's just another nudnik to Pegg).

It's pretty clearly implied in the finished film that she'd helped Pegg on the mods on the Falcon.

post #61 of 480
Rey immediately turning out to be intuitively the best mechanic to work on the Falcon since R2-D2 sticks out like a sore thumb, but I get what that scene would mean to young viewers who get drafted into service as their parents' and grandparents' IT staff every time the remote on the TV stops working. I had to program the clock on the VCR every time the power went out when I was a little kid. I remember it well.
post #62 of 480

 

Quote:

And Anakin in the sequels is an actual Poochy?

 
 
Anakin's not a Mary Sue (he is written as seriously flawed) or a Poochie (he's not an exec's idea of what's cool and extreme). Opinions obviously, um... vary.... on how well George Lucas wrote Anakin, but as a concept - noble and talented knight whose possessiveness and desire for control lead him astray - he's interesting and three dimensional. 
 
The closest Star Wars had to a Poochie is probably, based on the trailers, the first go at Jyn Erso - "This is a rebellion isn't it? I rebel" after her litany of small crimes is read is pretty much 'I'm a kung-fu hippie from Gangsta city'. 
 
 
post #63 of 480
Jar Jar Binks was the Poochy, from his birth as a cynical executive marketing concept to the moment the executives scrapped their plans and ditched the character when the size and shape of the audience backlash became clear.
post #64 of 480

Jar Jar's not meant to be cool though - he's meant to be entertaining and loveable. Jar Jar is Scrappy Doo. 

post #65 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post


But...they DID cast Ms Tran, NOT the supposed Kathleen Kennedy surrogate, so ...point?

Sure! But supposedly Rian Johnson had to push really hard to get her cast.

All of his is conjecture, of course.
post #66 of 480

Wait, people think that producer Kathleen Kennedy is the only person in charge of casting? When they have all sorts of Hollywood bigshots working on this thing, including JJ Abrams?

post #67 of 480
Naw we're not saying that. But as someone with a lot of influence over the direction of these products, she has a lot of POWAH in pushing things a certain way. JJ is a hired gun.

Once again, conjecture!

Another bit of conjecture I hear floating around (but have not found confirmation for)... JJ really wanted Boyega but had to lobby really hard for him. Kennedy was skeptical. And we all know that Finn was initially a white character (simply by default, which doesn't surprise me).

It's like any collaborative and creative endeavor. People will disagree on choices and direction and at some point the ones running the enterprise will likely have more pull in the selection unless they're convinced otherwise.

All of that is to be expected.

The only thing that's being pointed out about Kennedy is that she seems to have a type!
post #68 of 480

I'd heard it was Disney brass who JJ had to fight to get Boyega (probably Horn and Iger), not Kennedy. And Iger supposedly was the one to ultimately pick Felicity Jones as well.

post #69 of 480
AH! More info! More info!!!

Ah the old studio system!

...the more things stay the same...
post #70 of 480
Finn could have been cooler, if they'd cared enough to try.

post #71 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

 

In terms of old pulp heroes, Conan The Barbarian always struck me as the most overpowered, awesome-at-everything type.  

 

 

Conan may be overpowered in a way, but all of that is the result of his upbringing.  If you go by the first movie, you've got a guy who was brought up in a lifestyle that would encourage the maximum of physical strength and endurance.  Also, he was trained extensively in fighting techniques and educated in terms of literature.  Essentially, Conan had the ideal youth to make him the overpowered badass that he is.  There's nothing in Rey's story (as depicted so far) to indicate that she's had any sort of training.  Without that depiction, you kinda have to go on faith that she's a natural.

post #72 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post
 

 

 

 

That's why I don't at all understand why people would call Creed a Mary Sue. Not only does the movie make it feel like he truly has to battle for everything, he also ends up losing.

Adonis may have lost the fight, BUT HE WON THE NIGHT!  AND OUR HEARTS!!!

post #73 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
 

Prequel Obi Wan is maybe absolutely the best thing about the prequels?

I would just say this.

 

 

Anyways, on topic, the trick with Rey in TFA is that it almost works, because of Ridley's excellent performance.  In retrospect, and on paper, the character is absolutely Mary Sue.  And I don't believe it is primarily the wish fulfillment aspect (which many, many, MANY movies are guilty of).   Rey's characteristics are all superpowered riffs on existing Star Wars characters.

 

She can fly as well as Han Solo, fix everything as well as Chewie, use the Force better than Luke (without all of that pesky training), and has the gumption and grit of Princess Leia - an improved version, so to speak, of all three main SW characters (which felt more complementary).  Add to that Han almost immediately treating her like his daughter, and Leia walking right past Chewie to hug Rey after Han's death, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE NEVER MET to that point.  Again, Daisy Ridley played that endearingly, with amazement and grace; it sort of works on first viewing.

 

More importantly, now where do you go with her character?

post #74 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post
 

Wait, people think that producer Kathleen Kennedy is the only person in charge of casting? When they have all sorts of Hollywood bigshots working on this thing, including JJ Abrams?

 

Well, plus JJ has a type... Keri Russel, then Jennifer Garner, then Evangeline Lilly. Considering his age, you could probably even bring it all full circle and say he's been casting Princess Leia in his shows his whole career.

 

And Rey's not intended to be any more a Mary Sue than Leia was. They just didn't nail the depth that Star Wars managed w/ Leia. Rey doesn't have an Alderaan moment, and the film rushes her relationship w/ Han too much to have him act as her version of Luke's relationship w/ Obi-Wan.

post #75 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

Adonis may have lost the fight, BUT HE WON THE NIGHT!  AND OUR HEARTS!!!


"Adonis Creed is not a boxing champion. He's not a boxing champion because he lost his big climactic fight. I like people who win their big climactic fights."

 

- Donald Trump

post #76 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by First Class 782 View Post
 

I would just say this.

 

 

Anyways, on topic, the trick with Rey in TFA is that it almost works, because of Ridley's excellent performance. 

 

More importantly, now where do you go with her character?

SIMPLE

 

YOU PUT HER THROUGH THE RINGER!!!

 

 

also, don't forget Williams' theme for her.  That does so much work for the movie.

post #77 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by First Class 782 View Post
 

More importantly, now where do you go with her character?

 

Considering we're heading into EMPIRE territory, my assumption would be failure on a grand scale.

post #78 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

 

also, don't forget Williams' theme for her.  That does so much work for the movie.

nooj, I almost mentioned that, believe it or not.  She got the best new SW theme, by far.

post #79 of 480
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post

 

And Rey's not intended to be any more a Mary Sue than Leia was. They just didn't nail the depth that Star Wars managed w/ Leia. Rey doesn't have an Alderaan moment, and the film rushes her relationship w/ Han too much to have him act as her version of Luke's relationship w/ Obi-Wan.

 

I don't think Sue-ness is a matter of intent.  The prototypical MS author wasn't aware of how nakedly they were splattering their wish fulfillment onto the page.  On top of which, Leia was a supporting character, and didn't have pre-existing icons to interact with.  As First Class notes, she is kind of a combination of all 3 original heroes' best traits, but Luke is still the better point of comparison, narratively.  

 

FC also notes that Han and Leia and Finn are all instantly smitten with her, but don't forget that she also gets a big destiny shpiel from Maz, and even the bad guys are immediately bowled over by her awesome specialness.  More than any concrete skill with this doohicky or that magic spell, I think the way everyone's priorities immediately realign to her orbit as soon as she appears is the heart of what defines a MS.  

post #80 of 480
While the spirited discussion continues regarding Rey, not a single response has disagreed that Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are Marvin Sue as eff.

I just mention it in passing because it's nice that there are some matters at least on which we can all be in accord, and we can all use a little positive reinforcement in that regard once in a while.

Hugs.
post #81 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

In terms of old pulp heroes, Conan The Barbarian always struck me as the most overpowered, awesome-at-everything type.  

Conan absolutely spoke with his creator's voice, which is one of the things that make Conan and Robert E. Howard two of the most fascinating figures from that period of genre literature, to me. Howard grew up watching the boom and bust cycle of small towns where oil wells were found in Texas in the early years of the 20th Century, and he was obsessed with writing about the life and death cycle of civilizations. (He must have made an amazing pen pal for Lovecraft, who suffered pants-shitting terror at the thought of WASP culture turning out not to be the end goal of God's long term plan for humanity and the universe.)

The world of Conan is our world, before the Ice Age, populated by these colossal empires with marble citadels and golden temples, all of which are destined to be scoured from the Earth's crust by glacial activity long before our ancestors begin writing their histories. Conan's simple, thieving, impulsive nature casts him as Howard's idea of the voice of reason. Conan knows that he's a small-time player, and he doesn't care. His existence makes fun of modern day venture capitalists who build monuments to themselves and think they're Ozymandias. He's calling their ambition folly, and upholding his belief in living for today as the pinnacle of virtue and sanity.

I want to see a movie about Howard, the shaping of his world view, and how that shaped his art, just as much as I want to see a really frank biopic on the big screen about William Moulton Marston, and how his sex life informed the creation of Wonder Woman. There's some drama to put on the cinema during the December Oscar bait season. Let's see Russel Crowe or Idris Elba in that shit.
_
Edited by Reasor - 1/3/17 at 8:28pm
post #82 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

While the spirited discussion continues regarding Rey, not a single response has disagreed that Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are Marvin Sue as eff.
 

 

How can Bruce Wayne be a Mary Sue? His parents were killed. RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM!

post #83 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post

How can Bruce Wayne be a Mary Sue? His parents were killed. RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM!

And Tony Stark was a POW (in Afghanistan in the movie, in North Korea in the comics). While they're both certainly wish fulfillment characters, I think that Mary Sue is a specific enough concept that we can say they don't fit it. It's a semantic argument about what "Mary Sue" means, but I think that's part of the fun of this thread.
post #84 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

I want to see a movie about Howard, the shaping of his world view, and how that shaped his art, just as much as I want to see ....

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

 

Never saw it.  But the prime Zellwegz :} :} :}

post #85 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post


And Tony Stark was a POW (in Afghanistan in the movie, in North Korea in the comics). While they're both certainly wish fulfillment characters, I think that Mary Sue is a specific enough concept that we can say they don't fit it. It's a semantic argument about what "Mary Sue" means, but I think that's part of the fun of this thread.


I also don't think Batman is that much of a wish fulfilment character. Dude seems miserable half the time. Tony moreso, but he has a lot flaws and personal blindspots.

post #86 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post
 


I also don't think Batman is that much of a wish fulfilment character. Dude seems miserable half the time. Tony moreso, but he has a lot flaws and personal blindspots.

 

This gets into exactly what wishes some are fulfilling in enjoying these characters.

 

With certain takes on Batman (since not every take of him is miserable), the misery is probably a part of the appeal for some people.  You can wallow in this operatic misery from the distant comfort of your own home while being awesome at everything.

post #87 of 480
Batman is *totally* a wish fulfilment fantasy for angsty teen edgelords!
post #88 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by First Class 782 View Post

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

Never saw it.  But the prime Zellwegz :} :} :}

And it's a romance? With a Hans Zimmer soundtrack? How in the hell have I never heard of this?
post #89 of 480

Superheroes are interesting when it comes to Mary Sues. I'd say they work on a slightly different spectrum because wish-fulfilment is a bigger part of the appeal of the superhero genre than the fantasy/science-fiction genres: Batman, Iron Man, and Superman are fundamentally intended to be characters we'd like to be.

 

Superman's combination of moral and physical strength is the aspirational point of his character; Batman's single-mindedness at the expense of everything else is also intended to be appealing because it's something the reader or viewer could emulate (by doing some push ups or studying, as opposed to beating up criminals). 

 

Marvel's current version of Iron Man could be said to straddle the line - while he's a bit of a dick, it's that kind of light dickishness that a lot of people find very charming, and his flaws are similarly charming ones. I'm not a huge expert on that character though. Similarly - in terms of being a 'flawed' character whose flaws are actually intended to be endearing - the TV version of Tyrion from Game of Thrones was verging on Mary Sue territory for a while: from Seasons 3-5, he never put a foot wrong morally or intellectually, and, while persecuted himself, never persecuted others, made dumb mistakes out of insecurity, or performed acts of cruelty, like his novel counterpart repeatedly did. 

post #90 of 480
Thread Starter 

Batman is absolutely a wish fulfillment character, but like Bond or Indy, started out as the the center of his fictional universe, so he doesn't meet the criteria for the MS subgenre.  Robin would be the MS of the Batman mythos, but my impression is that he has never been successful enough at pulling the focus away from Bats to fully earn the label.  He and Wesley Crusher are MS wanna-be's; designed from the same indulgent impulses, but the fanbases they were intended to flatter took a sufficient and immediate enough dislike to them that they remained sideline figures rather than bending the rest of the narrative universe to their pluck.  

post #91 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Batman is *totally* a wish fulfilment fantasy for angsty teen edgelords!

 

I get that and I'm not denying that there's a wish fulfilment aspect to him (the games in particular nail it) but it's never felt to me like that was his greater appeal. It's why the villains always seem to get so much more play than he does.

post #92 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post

I get that and I'm not denying that there's a wish fulfilment aspect to him (the games in particular nail it) but it's never felt to me like that was his greater appeal. It's why the villains always seem to get so much more play than he does.

That moment in Batman Begins, when the Scarecrow's thugs become the victims in a horror movie and Batman's snatching them into the shadows, was gold because it reminded me of the EC horror comics. So many superhero movies have flirted with this idea already, but you could theoretically go further with it and structure a Batman picture this way from beginning to end: make the story entirely about the villain, tell the story entirely from his perspective, and make it a tragedy/horror moment when the villain gets his comeuppance. Tales From The Crypt and Vault Of Horror were always full of morality plays.
post #93 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by First Class 782 View Post
 

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

 

Never saw it.  But the prime Zellwegz :} :} :}

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post


And it's a romance? With a Hans Zimmer soundtrack? How in the hell have I never heard of this?
 
 
It's a nice little movie based on a memoir written by the last (only?) love interest Howard had in his life. D'Onofrio is great but the movie is, obviously, focused on Zellweger, a pretty normal girl who is definitely intrigued by the colourful writer, and it kind of hampers the story, I just wanted to see more of Howard and his antics. And Zimmer's bombastic score does not quite work for such an intimate story.
post #94 of 480
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RexBanner View Post
 

 

Similarly - in terms of being a 'flawed' character whose flaws are intended to be endearing - the TV version of Tyrion from Game of Thrones was verging on Mary Sue territory for a while: from Seasons 3-5, he never put a foot wrong morally or intellectually, and, while persecuted himself, never persecuted others, like his novel counterpart did. 

 

I actually was considering that when starting the thread, but it seemed too far out into the weeds to get straight off the bat, because I think Martin is very smart about finding ways to avoid and subvert these tropes.  Though as a quick aside, I would think that Tyrion's most flawless stretch would include

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
his smashing turn as Hand in season 2, and end when he leaves KL at the end of 4.  Once he's in Essos, he's drunk and self-pitying and not sparring with anyone significant for a stretch.

 

But fantasy literature is very prone to MS behaviors, and I think it is apparent that Tyrion is the character Martin relates most directly to.  Some of the ways I think he mitigates matters (spoilers to continue, if you're not caught up):

 

1)  The scope of the thing is broad enough that there are at least 3-5 characters that could be considered MS.  Tyrion, yes, but also Dany and Jon and arguably Bran or Arya. This makes it hard for one character to dominate the entire proceedings (though Dany does manage to do it with one "half" of the show - which is probably more like 20% if you looked at pure screentime, but she does essentially have a continent to herself, so you get the point).

2)  Of those, Tyrion and Bran are saddled with significant physical handicaps that limit their desirability as vessels for pure wish fulfillment

3)  That scope also allows Tyrion to be placed on the "bad guys" team; so as appealing as he can be, we're still rooting against the Lannisters generally, and thus never entirely on his page

4)  That ever-so-important ringer; with the exception of Dany, I've never felt that any of these characters' victories came easy, or without cost.  Tyrion in particular manages to continually succeed downward, which makes it harder to turn on him over narrative favoritism.  But also the Starks may remain the "good guys" throughout, but they take such brutal losses as things go forward that no amount of magical powers can raise them out of underdog status.  

5) Of course, all of these characters are introduced from the beginning, so you don't have that "redshirt ensign blows everyone away with their awesomeness" vibe.  To that end, a case can be made for Oberyn Martell as the most MS figure from GOT.  Having just finished the 3rd book, the show played up his kewlness even moreso; he's a rich, handsome, polyamorous, ninja poet prince on a righteous quest to avenge a wrong that was only ever deep, deep in the background of the first couple books/seasons.  Of course, Martin fits some curveballs into the resolution of that quest as well.  

 

 

/GOT Derail


Edited by Schwartz - 1/3/17 at 12:29pm
post #95 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post

How can Bruce Wayne be a Mary Sue? His parents were killed. RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM!

That's already been covered Evi me old cobber ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Who doesn't want to be a tall, dark and brooooooooody multi-billionaire NINJA genius with the hottest wheels this side of Michael Knight and the sweetest pad this side of Tony Sue ... I mean Stark? Bruce and Tony don't even have to worry about justifying themselves to any disapproving parents. So convenient.

Everybody knows nerds hate their parents and just want to be left alone.
post #96 of 480
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Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

Batman is absolutely a wish fulfillment character, but like Bond or Indy, started out as the the center of his fictional universe, so he doesn't meet the criteria for the MS subgenre. 

 

Doesn't that criteria also exclude Rey? She is the central character of the new trilogy.

 

I mean, if you want to say that the "universe" existed before her, I'd counter by saying that since Batman inhabits the same universe as Superman, he's not the central character of his own universe either.

post #97 of 480
Batman et al only count if you're using MS as synonymous with being a charismatic, competent character, though. If you stretch the definition far enough, even Jesus is a MS ('it all comes so easily to him!')

Poochie does seem a good rule of thumb. Here's this new character that everyone's gonna love! Especially your old favorite characters! Look how awesome they are!
post #98 of 480
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
 

 

Doesn't that criteria also exclude Rey? She is the central character of the new trilogy.

 

I mean, if you want to say that the "universe" existed before her, I'd counter by saying that since Batman inhabits the same universe as Superman, he's not the central character of his own universe either.

 

She's interacting with Han Solo and Princess Leia.  She is not introduced until the 7th film in the series.  Of course the universe existed before her, in every sense of the word.  

 

Batman was not introduced as a supporting player in Superman's mythos, but has always been the central figure in his own (even if eventually the two were merged and unmerged and re-merged over and over).  The only version of him I know that was integrated into a world that originated with another character is the current Affleck version, and I would say he's the central character of BvS anyway.  I'm not sure exactly why you'd want to argue this point; do you not agree that Robin fits the bill as the fan-insertion avatar?  I fully acknowledge that there is a masturbatory fantasy element to Batman, I just don't think that the fantasy was ever about how awesome it would be to hang out with Superman and Martian Manhunter and have them totally fawn over how awesome you are.  That was certainly not how the character was conceived, or even close to how any of his most iconic representations have been portrayed.

post #99 of 480
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Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
 

She even has a line saying something along the lines of she's never flown before, or at least never left the planet?  The implication of that dialogue being included is that she's shocked she's such a good pilot, as in she's NEVER done anything like that before.  Yeah maybe she's flown a Hoth speeder down the road, but she's clearly never flown like THAT.

 

When they're trying to escape she's running for what she says is the fastest ship and when Finn asks what they're going to do for a pilot she angrily retorts that she is the pilot.  She seems pretty confident at that point.  Then they settle for the Falcon when the other one is destroyed.

She demonstrates some familiarity with the Falcon's layout and systems immediately, I guess maybe as though she's been looking around while it's been sitting in the 'car yard'.  I guess

I'm not suggesting they're doing a good job here, but there is something going on other than Anakin blundering into a fighter, through combat and into the flagship for the win more or less by accident.  The post fight exuberance and talking about never leaving the planet isn't really relevant.  Pulling pretty hard moves in a funny shaped and largish ship she hasn't flown before probably is though.

 

Another thing starts to happen there though -and this is a bit of a digression-  and it's the generation gap between the films.  What we have now is the need for your evenly spaced set pieces.  What counts in ANH after the opening?  The (brief) escape from Tatooine maybe?  That's nearly an hour in.  They had to make do with compelling plot and characterisation before that!  How ever did they manage.

Anyway, now they've got to show some goods earlier and if it's going to involve flying stuff it's going to be fairly big time because you're up against every space and flying dogfight type thing before it.  So it's a case of - Of course there's going to some  fwipping around in ways that are kinda fanciful for some apparent skill level.  The skill level of the whole action movie landscape has increased.

So here what happens is I consider what would happen if the original three were made today.  Luke's apparent greatness to the fictional universe doesn't change, but the representation would.  So on paper we can't tally too many slick moves into Luke's piloting record based on what was seen and in that sense Rey looks better.  But he is being sent without a lot of question (that we see) into their big 'dam busters times a million' mission and holds his own.  He's suggested to pull a few hairy moves in there, doing a few dangerous flybys etc.  Naturally all we see is some cockpit shots and exploding Deathstar surface. Today I think this would be represented by a lot CG assisted hot-doggin

 

It's all, like, relative, man, is what I'm saying.

As apologism goes this is fairly weak I suppose.  It's hard to do anything else besides take the objective measure.  It's definitely a factor in the way I watch stuff though.  Really I think it's only been recently that I've watched skill represented in movies as factual rather than symbolic.  If I buy the fiction and like the performance well enough guy X doesn't have to look like a Master Swordsman all that often.  I'm happy to take the fiction's word for it, plus a few good moves here and there.  But these days, if someone is said to be the thing we expect to see it, above and beyond human capability a lot of the time.  So it's tough is what I'm saying.

The Star Wars series spanning several generations of film (and being responsible for that action arms race to an extent) is in an almost unique position here.  Whatever the actual representation is If I'm having an ok time I'm reasonably happy to recalibrate things so that Rey fits where she is supposed to, as a representation of a precocious but somewhat skilled newbie, and not rack up her moves on face value and infer she must be better than Luke ever was or was ever meant to be (and that's not entirely what's going on here, but it's part of it).  Again, this is not a defense of this exactly but an acknowledgment.

post #100 of 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

 

She's interacting with Han Solo and Princess Leia.  She is not introduced until the 7th film in the series.  Of course the universe existed before her, in every sense of the word.  

 

Batman was not introduced as a supporting player in Superman's mythos, but has always been the central figure in his own (even if eventually the two were merged and unmerged and re-merged over and over).  The only version of him I know that was integrated into a world that originated with another character is the current Affleck version, and I would say he's the central character of BvS anyway.  I'm not sure exactly why you'd want to argue this point; do you not agree that Robin fits the bill as the fan-insertion avatar?  I fully acknowledge that there is a masturbatory fantasy element to Batman, I just don't think that the fantasy was ever about how awesome it would be to hang out with Superman and Martian Manhunter and have them totally fawn over how awesome you are.  That was certainly not how the character was conceived, or even close to how any of his most iconic representations have been portrayed.

 

Rey wasn't introduced as a supporting player either; she's the lead from the second we meet her. 

 

To me, even calling Star Wars a 9 film series is disingenuous; it'd be like like calling Tolkien's Middle Earth books a 4 book series. Star Wars is three trilogies (and now some side films) in both design and function. This is Rey's trilogy, not someone else's series.

 

And for the record, Rey's not entirely idealized in TFA - she does attempt to completely bail on her "destiny", and is basically stopped by external forces (ha!). At that point, the real narrative reason for her quick friendship w/ Han kicks in, not to push how awesome she is, but to give her a motivation to stick around.

 

Luke may have started out whiny, but he never went, "Fuck all y'all! I'm out!" the way Rey did. It's not exactly the Mariana Trench of character depth, but it's something.

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