so, I'm going to go ahead and admit I browse /tv/ over on 4chan. I would not recommend it. But between all the baneposting, shitty memes, and intentional hyperbole, sometimes people actually try to hold some discussion.
Early today there was a thread that asked "how do you fix this character?", with the image being Rey from Star Wars 7. Star Wars 7 isn't particularly well liked on /tv/ (though it's hard to gage since everyone is always being "ironic"). One of the biggest complaints is the main character, and I have to agree. I did not find her annoying like some people did, but I did find her boring. There was little tension by the end of the movie since it was clear that she could handle anything on her own (despite constantly acting concerned). I think I counted only two times in the entire movie when she actually needed help from any other character. Compare that to Luke from episode 4. That whiny, bumbling kid was all heart and no brains. The supporting characters mattered because it wasn't just Luke helping them: they saved each other's asses all the time.
>but this isn't the same movie!
Bullshit. They copied and pasted everything they possibly could have from episode 4. So as long as they're being lazy, they might as well stick with what worked.
Is Rey a Mary Sue? Depends entirely on your definition. She certainly has unexplained proficiency at everything she does, all the other characters immediately like her for no reason, and she (despite being a fish out of water character) always seems to do perfectly fine on her own. Again, only two times in the entire movie did she need help from any of the other characters. There was never any tension in the movie for me since the main character was totally self sufficient and the bad guys were so inept .
I tell you all this to put my response to the thread in context. Here it is (with minor edits considering that this is not 4chan)
"She needs to get her ass kicked.
No really, hear me out: it's clear that after seeing how much people hated the prequels, they are playing it safe by copying and pasting as much as possible from the original trilogy. Which means in episode 8, Luke is Yoda. One of two things must happen for her character to be salvageable, and both involve her not listening to Luke.
1. She thinks Luke is taking things too slow because he is afraid of losing her to the dark side like Ren. She leaves for whatever reason and is almost captured by the bad guys, saved only by her friends. She learns that she isn't hot shit after all. This needs to happen, because Luke got his ass kicked by Vader in episode 5 after training with Yoda. He ignored the rules of the force to try to save his friends. Yoda knew that this is how Anakin became Vader, and tried to tell him this.
This fuck, on the other hand, defeated New Vader with zero instruction in the first movie. It needs to be established why the force must be handled with care and how you must train to be good at it.
2. Like in the first example, she gets angry that Luke seems to be holding back. She sees her friends in danger and decides that Luke's teachings are useless if she can't save her friends. So she leaves, and is now being seduced by the dark side which promises to teach her faster (at the cost of corrupting her). By the end of the film, Snoke has decided to replace Ren with her since she seems more powerful. Ren, realizing that the seductions of the dark side were just Snoke using him and throwing him away, now turns to Luke. Luke knows that Ren has truly learned his lesson by joining the dark side and now rejecting it. He agrees to teach him.
So now, we have an underdog hero and powerful villain again, and a nice twist.
But this won't happen. Instead, Luke will be unreasonable with her because of his experience with Ren. In the end, she will be portrayed as having to correct Luke rather than the other way around. Because she's always right, dammit! It's the current year!"
Yeah, I'm totally speculating with the last paragraph. But it seems likely to me.
Anyway, one last comment on the problem with Rey as a character: she acquired mastery of the force as if it was the x-gene. One day, it just manifested itself and she learns how to use a light saber, how to manipulate objects, and how to manipulate people with the force in a matter of like 24 hours. Despite knowing NOTHING about the force and having ZERO instruction.
Just think about that for a moment.
Luke took a whole movie just to make a shot with that proton torpedo. And he had Ben guiding him. It took YEARS of training and three movies to learn how to use the Jedi mind trick. And he had the greatest Jedi teacher ever. And we SAW the training. Yoda explained the force, and that is what made it so mystical and charming: the force was life force that had to be understood and appreciated to use. It required sacrifice and training.
Then, in episode 1, they shit all over that by explaining that ultimately you were limited by your fucking midichlorian count.
And now, they've finally killed it. There's nothing magical, endearing, and admirable about the force anymore. Now, it's just like a superpower that you're born with. That was what offended me most about the movie. That, and throwing out 40 years of the biggest expanded universe in the history of fiction (while ripping it off for Rouge One) like it was bad tuna.
But in truth, this was just one issue with episode 7. As a standalone movie, it probably would have been fine (well, apart from the issues I mentioned about there not being tension). But they made a conscious decision to take a beloved franchise to capitalize on its dedicated fanbase, and then preceded to shit on what made it so beloved in the first place. Believe it or not, I wanted to like episode 7. I was so desperate to love Star Wars that I was willing to lose most of it. And that is how they repaid me.
Now I know people are going to hate me for this, because for some reason you're not allowed to not like this movie (even though most people said it was just okay). But I don't care about whether the movie was bad or good so much as analyzing WHY the parts that didn't work didn't work.
P.S. I really liked that opening shot with the silhouetted star destroyer eclipsing that moon. That was tits.