Star Wars: the Force Awakens was a pretty good movie, but Rey might become a Mary Sue. Not because of anything that is wrong with her. Her personality is fine, her actress was fine, but the rules of her own universe are often broken for her, which doesn’t happen to everyone else as much.
Breaking the rules for the hero isn’t unusual. Star Wars stories often break and bend their own rules, just to let the heroes win. When I was watching the New Hope, it was impossible to ignore how badly the stormtroopers shot compared to the heroes. It’s also pretty silly how the Death Star always kept being blown up due to some convenient weak point. But it was acceptable, because all the heroes received the same Mary Sue treatment, and didn’t seem so Sueish when compared to each other. For example, Luke might have had the force and learned fast, but he wasn’t as badass as Han Solo when it came to dealing with bar fights in New Hope. Luke was an equal in his own hero group.
Rey, on the other hand, is better than everyone else. She can fly the Millenium Falcon and fix it, she can fight off anyone who attacks her, she can out-force another force user without former training, shoot well without former training, use a lightsaber without former training, and save herself from almost anything that comes across her. If she only had half of those skills, it would fall within the regular Star Wars hero Sueness, but she has way more of those than the other characters.
Also, Kylo Ren does some pretty stupid stuff, which allows Rey to escape easier. I’m not sure if this counts as Kylo Ren character development or the writers handicapping the villain to make it easier for the hero. Maybe both. First of all, he discovers she’s got the force, and immediately leaves her to be guarded by a regular weak-minded storm-trooper that she can manipulate. And then he makes his own injury worse by knocking on it. And later, when they are sword-fighting, he tells her he could teach her how to use the force better, which reminds her she could just use it against him. He even lets her concentrate and collect her strength for a minute, allowing her more opportunity to kick his ass. It’s almost like he wanted to be beaten.
Actually that was hilarious. Kylo Ren, despite making questionable decisions and being beaten up by someone with much less training, was kinda cool and very entertaining. Not to mention the writers gave him a real personality and motivations. I know many people thought he was an emo brat and not menacing at all after he took his helmet off, but I think he’s great. It’s funny how he’s afraid of not being as good as Darth Vader. It’s almost like the writers know they have a lot to live up to when making a new villain, so they made their villain worry about it, too. That’s both funny and clever.
Another character I really liked was Finn. He has real struggles and flaws, but can also be tough and heroic for the right purpose. I also loved the fact that he was a stormtrooper – those are usually nothing but cannon fodder for the heroes to shoot and the main villain to lose his temper at. Showing that they can be human is not common, and I can’t help but root for him now. Something similar to this happened in Mad Max:Fury Road, which is another movie accused of being feminist propaganda.
So both of these guys got upstaged by Rey, but have more personality. If I was a feminist, I would commend the filmmakers for their effort but not be totally happy yet. Because this movie made the men more interesting than the main heroine (at least in my opinion). And I would want the heroine to become just as interesting in the sequels.
So is Rey a Mary Sue? I don’t think she is yet. The story isn’t over and I don’t know what will happen in the next two movies. Maybe she’s so powerful because she received Jedi training in the past, got her memory wiped, and slowly got it back when she touched Luke’s sword and got those visions/flashbacks. Or maybe her character development will take an interesting turn in the next movie. I’ll have to wait and see.
What did you think?