So I have decided to address one of the most controversial issues on Star Wars today and that is the character of Rey played by Daisy Ridley and the idea that she is what people call a “Mary Sue”. First impression of the movie were mostly favourable and I remember talking to a lot of people who loved the Rey character. Yet as time passed I started listening and reading a lot of complaints about how Rey was overpowered, how she was too good at everything she did basically becoming a Mary Sue character. I am and will ever will be baffled by this argument, at least in regard to the Star Wars Universe since this is something that can be stated about other characters in the Star Wars mythos but no one has ever brought it up.
I remember quite well the day I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was the first showing of the movie on the theatre in New York I used to go. It was a rainy day and I was incredibly lucky to be the first person to get to the theatre and enter the cinema. I clearly remember the anticipation of all of us waiting, the expectation, and the nervousness we all had at finally seeing a new Star Wars movie after so long. I remember the joy we all felt when it finished, unknown people cheering and celebrating. During the movie the greatest cheer I heard was when Rey finally defeated Kylo Ren, it was deafening. The fact that now this has become a controversial, frowned upon moment by many fans still to this date surprises me.
The whole theatre rejoiced so much at this exact moment
Let’s first state something, Rey was able to defeat Kylo for one simple reason and that was the fact that Kylo was heavily injured from the bowshot he received from Chewbacca. Kylo was weak and very hurt, which resulted in Rey, a very skilled warrior on her own right, getting the drop on him thanks in part to her discovering the Force.
But this is beyond the fact, people complain about the fact that Rey should not be such a skilled pilot (even though in the novelization we learned she had been practicing for a long time), she should not have been able to sneak away, she should not be able to fight like that…every time I hear those complaints I can’t help but think about the stupidity of them. Star Wars has always had characters like that, characters that without any formal training are able to do incredible things.
If we review we see that in the Phantom Menace a 9 year old Anakin was able to somehow destroy the confederation ships where many other more experienced pilots couldn’t. Padme Admidala, a politician, was somehow an incredible shot and a skilled figher. If we jump to A New Hope, Luke Skywalker was able to sneak around a highly manned battle station, shoot down several TIE Fighters and somehow become the ACE pilot in the Rebel Fleet whilst using a type of space ship he had never used before, was able to survive a fierce space battle and somehow do a “one in a million” shot and destroy the Death Star. Luke did all of that within the first days of becoming a rebel…yet no one has ever complained about how ridiculous it is.
Why has no one complained? Because this films are for fun, they are not meant to be taken too seriously and most of all because Luke is a man. Let’s not allow ourselves to be distracted Rey might be a “Mary Sue” but so was Luke. The only reason that we get complaints about Rey is due to the fact that she is a woman and people are not used to seeing a woman in such a position. Rey is a great role model for girls around the world and it is incredibly refreshing to see such a strong female character in this types of movies, a woman who is a warrior and a good one at that.
It is time we stop complaining about this issue and just rejoice in how wonderful Rey was. Heroes in Star Wars tend to be overpowered and very skilled but the importance of the story and the characters are what matter. In Rey we are given a vulnerable yet powerful warrior, a role that is rarely seen in women in film and I really think we should appreciate that. We don’t need to call her a Mary Sue because within the rules of Star Wars she fits perfectly the role of a hero, just like Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker.
Let’s all stop hating on this character and enjoy this rebirth we are having of the Star Wars saga. Right now this are great times to be Star Wars fans since we get to enjoy great fun movies at a pace we have never had before. I propose we all sit back and enjoy this wonderful amazing ride we are currently on.