Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Musings: Rey and the Naysayers

Warning: this blog post will include some spoilers for "Star Wars: the Force Awakens."  If you don't want to know, you might want to skip this post.

Spoiler space for those who are curious...

I'm not kidding, spoilers ahead!

Okay??  All right.  I've been reading about how some people find Rey too perfect.  The term "Mary Sue" has been bandied about.

Sexism charges have been laid against these people.  "It's because she's a girl!" these people say, dismissing the critics and going back to how awesome Rey is.

There is no question that Rey is a great character.  She's multi-talented.  She can hold her own and doesn't need to be rescued.  She's got the Force, for crying out loud!

But is she too good to be true?  Is she unrealistic as a character?

Please remember that we are talking about a character in a movie that includes faster-than-light space travel, Wookies, and the mystical Force, so it should be obvious that we aren't dealing in reality here.

Any hero (or heroine) in the Star Wars universe is going to be larger than life.  Luke Skywalker was a farm boy who could shoot a blaster as well as a Stormtrooper and a crack pilot off the bat.  No one complained that Luke was unrealistic in his abilities - at least not to the extent that people were rushing to defend him as I see many defending Rey.

I've heard the complaint that Rey is perfect.  I'm not sure I agree with that.  She has her own set of flaws and weaknesses.  When first confronted with her destiny, for example, she says "no way!" and runs off alone in the woods, WHEN THERE ARE BAD PEOPLE OUT THERE LOOKING FOR HER.  Finn had said they'd probably been tracked to the planet but she goes off by herself anyway, not telling anyone where she is going.  That certainly doesn't strike me as a perfect move.

And before Rey fans cream me, her having flaws is not a bad thing.  It makes her human.  It gives her room to grow as a character.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they explore her abilities and weaknesses in the next film.

Rey is a good fit for the Star Wars universe.  To deny that because she's a girl...well, that's silly.  And while feminists and I generally don't agree on much (which is another post for another time), this is one case I cheerfully side with them.

Rey is awesome.

Get over it.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah well Finn was a little too adept with a light saber for a lowly stormtrooper.