The Force Awakens’ Rey Is Absolutely Not A Mary Sue

There have been many articles circling the internet since Star Wars: The Force Awakens released in cinemas that have sparked a complex debate about its lead character, Rey. At the forefront of this discussion has been the frequent accusation that the character is a “Mary Sue”*. Just how valid is this complaint?

As is unfortunately commonplace with a lot of current media nowadays, a lot of discussions about the strengths and failings of our favourite characters are being made from very subjective viewpoints, loaded with wordplay and expression that often seem more interested in pushing the writer’s personal agenda than actually taking the time to take a critical and analytical look at these characters.

With this article, my hope is to dissect this “controversial” subject as objectively as possible, whilst also keeping my analysis free of bias and rooted within the established lore and canon of the Star Wars Universe. I will try my best not to inject any gender politics or moral bias into this article.

As should be a given, this article will contain a tonne of spoilers for the movie and the franchise in general, so consider yourself warned!

*The term Mary Sue has a number of interpretations. Originally it was coined as a phrase to describe a female character that resembles the author but is often portrayed as perfect and infallible, who is then self-inserted into a fan-fiction. Nowadays it is generally used simply to describe a character that appears to lack flaws, weaknesses or depth.

I will tackle as many of the major complaints as possible; hopefully I can make a compelling argument against the numerous criticisms that her character has received.


Rey can manipulate The Force despite a lack of training

The most common complaint that has been made against Rey in The Force Awakens is that she seems unnaturally talented at manipulating The Force, especially for someone who has presumably never been exposed to it. Some point out that she is capable of feats that go well beyond what either Luke or Anakin were capable of in their respective films.

This is simply not true.

It’s very heavily implied during The Force Awakens that Rey is Luke Skywalker’s daughter. Why is this relevant? Because she almost definitely possesses repressed Jedi abilities.

During a particularly important scene around the middle part of the movie, Rey has a Force Vision. In it, we see that the Millennium Falcon (more on this later) brought her to the planet of Jakku as a child, where she has lived ever since.

The likely reason for this, based on the other visions that we see in this scene, is that she is the only surviving Jedi from Kylo Ren’s massacre at Luke’s temple. It is very likely that that she is the last, and only, Jedi (besides Luke) left in the galaxy, having had her memories of these experiences wiped and her abilities locked away in an effort to hide her from The First Order.

It’s clear from all of this that Rey isn’t just some sudden magical hero. She simply regained abilities she already possessed, Abilities which aren’t actually as powerful as people are making them out to be…


Rey’s Force abilities are too powerful

Are they really?

The first time that we really see Rey knowingly tap into the Force of her own volition, she is being held captive. In this scene, we see her successfully apply a Jedi mind trick on the Daniel Craig-sized stormtrooper guarding her cell, convincing him to unlock her restraints and leave the room.

We’ve already established the very likely fact that Rey already has some repressed Jedi abilities, as explained in the previous point. Despite  this, we see that she is initially unsuccessful at applying the mind trick on him, and only succeeds after multiple attempts and deliberate focus.

This isn’t exactly Jedi Masters level of manipulation she is displaying here.

The only other time we see her display any sort of competent Force abilities in The Force Awakens is during her battle against Kylo Ren. When people try to criticise the fact that she was able to stand toe-to-toe in a lightsaber battle against a trained Sith, they seem to inescapably ignore a very crucial part of this scene: Kylo ends up severely wounded and is bleeding out. The one hit she got in on him was pure, blind luck. He isn’t physically capable of fighting at his best, and the fight ultimately ends in a draw.

Also, Lightsabers are not a magical weapon that only trained Jedis can wield, as Finn displayed in that same scene. Though Jedi training goes a long way in helping to craft and wield them effectively, they can be used by anyone.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Ph: Film Frame ©Lucasfilm 2015

Rey shouldn’t be able to fly the Millennium Falcon that well

This is another common criticism, but it is also one of the easiest to explain. There are in fact two reasons why Rey’s ability to fly the Millennium Falcon so well isn’t that big of a deal.

First, we have to look at the visual story-telling employed in the first act of The Force Awakens. Through numerous character building scenes, we are explicitly shown that Rey has an interest and passion for tinkering with machines. It’s only through this tinkering that she is able to improve the stability of the ship enough to make it fly at all. It was falling apart.

If anything, this only helps to emphasise Han Solo’s ability to fly the beloved spacecraft, because he never needed to do this sort of tinkering to master her navigation. He was able to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs after all. I’d like to see Rey try and do that!

The second reason seems to be an often overlooked one, but it’s one which requires us to look outside of this particular film and into the wider franchise for answers.

If we support the idea that Rey is Luke’s daughter, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that both Luke and Anakin also displayed exceptional piloting skills in their premier films, with little to no prior experience.

Their superior hand-eye coordination skills have have long been attributed to the fact that they are force-sensitive. If we’re going to attribute this line of reasoning to Luke and Anakin, we have to attribute it to Rey as well. Within her lineage, this is not an exceptional ability. To single out her natural Force sensitive talents while ignoring theirs feels like a case of very selective bias.


Rey has no character flaws

The staple of a “Mary Sue” character is their lack of personal flaws. They project themselves as being perfect at everything, and incapable of failure or limitations. This is the crux of the arguments made against Rey… but it simply isn’t true.

The lovely Angela Night goes into great detail about this particular topic in her own analysis of the character (though she’s far more critical of the character than I am), but it boils down to this – on the surface, Rey is incredibly impulsive, reactive, and stubborn.

She deliberately keeps her distance from people, having spent her entire life on a planet where kindness doesn’t appear to be in common supply, and self-preservation is the only way to stay alive. When faced with the offer of support , she expresses the need to do these things herself, and only accepts help with reluctance. People are a burden to her.

This is highlighted not only by her interactions with Finn on Jakku, but for a good 20 minutes in a specific part of the film. During our hero’s stop at Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana, she is so overcome by her fear of the horrors she has to face that she runs away from them. This is her most defining moment of weakness in the film, and it a huge one, because it ultimately ends in her capture.

Rey has many moments in the movie where her flaws are shown to us and explored, but this seems to have been largely glossed over by most critics for some reason. Am I reading into these scenes too much, or do you think these are valid observations? Please let me know!



I do not think The Force Awakens is a perfect movie. My biggest gripe with the film is in how heavily it relies on nostalgia, retreading practically the entire plotline of the original, with only a handful of minor changes. I do not think it’s a terrible film either. It’s biggest strengths for me are the new characters that it introduces to the series, especially Rey. They are provided with interesting situations and character development that add a lot to the Star Wars universe, in a natural and compelling way.

Why is Rey being so heavily criticised? Is it because she is legitimately a badly written character? Is it because she is a lead female character in possibly one of the biggest films ever made?

I have no concrete answers to these question, only my own views. All I do know is that I genuinely enjoyed seeing Rey on the big screen, and I think there’s a lot more about her to be revealed than what we know so far. Until that happens, I will be keeping my eye on that galaxy far, far away, waiting to find out more….

What about you?

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Michael O'Connor

Michael is a pretentious Irish geek who has been gaming since he was old enough to lift his fingers. When he's not busy over-analysing the latest video game and movie releases, he can be found drowning his 100th hour into whatever new RPGs are trending.

You can find more of his ramblings over on Twitter.

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  • Mack Doggs

    Rei is absolutely a Mary Sue. Anakin was one even worse. The movie is a disaster. Not quite as bad as prequels, but coming across the millennial falcon, just happen to be picked up by Han Solo. I mean do people not understand how large a galaxy is?

  • chris

    She is Mary Sue

  • JimmyJ

    I believe the reason why Rei is so widely viewed as a Mary Sue is due to the lack of screen time given to the idea of her training. Whether Luke spent 2 days or 2 weeks on Dagoba is immaterial. Significant screen time was given in all three movies to his “training” and it was a major plot device for the over arching story. Anakin in Ep.1-3 even more so. Nearly zero screen time is given for Rei’s training. This could be easily solved by stating “Rei was trained as a Jedi” and no need to explain. The problem is in keeping Rei’s past hidden as a plot device spread over multiple movies we are left with a first entry that seemingly breaks established canon. It seems painfully obvious that TFA was never meant to stand alone. We are left to suppose the memory wipe/clone chamber/time machine/birth certificate doodad is out there somewhere. So I’m going to call that bad writing more than an actual Mary Sue.

    • ewokingdead

      no she is viewed as a Mary Sue because MRA groups really don’t like that Star Wars has a female lead… no really look up Rey Mary Sue on youtube and 99% of the videos will be from MRAs

      • JimmyJ

        Well I’m not an MRA d-bag. I have been waiting for and absolutely love that a female lead force using badass has been incorporated in the star wars mythos canon. I just wish it was executed better. I thought Ahsoka in the Clone Wars series was done way better. Her character arc from padawan to proper badass and struggling with the pull form both dark and light is how it’s done. I figured hell if a kids show can get it right Disney should too….

        • ewokingdead

          ok post the defintion of Mary Sue then use examples from the film that support this

          • JimmyJ

            For this I think we can just run with the wiki page on Mary Sue/Gary Stu. You should have access to this. And the post just below this one by Pax does a pretty good job detailing why. I’d rather not reinvent the wheel here.

            For me I think people get hung up on the “over powered” aspect of a Mary Sue and miss the point and genesis of the term. It came about as a term related to fan fiction specifically. It is about fantastical wish fulfillment when reader becomes author. To me Rei has all the hallmarks of such a character. It’s almost as if Rei is the narrator and is without risk, development, conflict or denouement.

          • ewokingdead

            that works for me, i just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.

            If we go with that defintion then she doesn’t fit. as one of the key points is ” who saves the day through unrealistic abilities. ”

            She doesn’t save the day, that’s Han, chewie, Finn, and Poe that destroy the Starkiller base.

          • JimmyJ

            Well that begs a much larger issue with plot structure.

            Indeed she did not destroy death star 3.0. But she did save the day and find Luke through unrealistic Jedi abilities for her apparent level of training. There are two movies here. ANH vs. Lost Luke. Once the McGuffin (the data BB-8 is carrying aka R2-D2) is shown to have nothing to do with destruction of the new death star (which should culminate the ANH story line) the nostalgia sober viewer is left chasing two nearly inconsequential diverging plot lines. The denouement of each has nothing to do with the other. There is no resolution because there is no tension due to 1.We know the death star will be destroyed a la ANH and 2.We know Luke will be found due to his casting. The two plot lines never re-converge together. The ANH story is a rabbit trail with no payoff and no real reason to be in the movie at all from a non fan boy perspective. So destruction of DS3.0 is inconsequential to saving anyone’s day and indeed the one matter which will allow further progression of the plot is the discovery of Luke. From that point of view she very much saved the day and very much is a Mary Sue.

          • ewokingdead

            ” But she did save the day and find Luke through unrealistic Jedi abilities for her apparent level of training”
            how do you figure she found luke through unrealistic Jedi Abliites? She had a freaking map and Chewie had to help her fly there.

            No Destruction of DS3.0 is important as it saves the resistance and it would have destroyed the map to Luke Skywalker.

            So no from no point of view is Rey a Mary Sue.

        • ewokingdead

          oh really the arc of a character over 121 30 min episodes is more detailed then a character who was in 1 2 hour movie… SHOCKER!!!! who would have thought.

          • JimmyJ

            It’s not so much a comparison of medium but proof it can be done. The writers for TFA are choosing to not show on screen at least the progression of Rei from normie to Jedi. They may have more interesting stories they want to tell about her and that’s fine. But they cannot just skip over what has become an integral piece to any Jedi’s story with contrived plot devices, jazz hands, and canon defying characters.

            I could name a hundred movies (and you could too) with more character development than anything in the Clone Wars. 120 Min is plenty of time for a good writer. Caveat here is a “good” writer.

          • ewokingdead

            no they are chosing to have her arc cover all 3 movies. It’s probably what Lucas would have done if he know it was going to be a Trilogy.

            Nothing she does defies that Canon of Star Wars. In fact everything fits pefectly in it.

          • JimmyJ

            If I were to attempt to try to put a window on jedi training I would say it takes longer than a week to attain even a rudimentary level of force powers. This assumption is based on ep 1-6. This movie clearly violates that with Rei. I don’t think it is too much to ask to not violate canon with respect to jedi and their powers given this is a STAR WARS MOVIE. Add to that Kylo’s force freeze of a lazer bolt. Never seen in any movie before. Not by obi, yoda, vader, etc… Immediately the only thing we can assume is that this guy… this villain is on a whole other level. But he’s not. He gets his ass handed to him by someone who thought the force was a myth two days ago. Forgive me for not forgiving this kind of brutal butcher of star wars canon. Now maybe the follow on episodes will address this. My personal favorite is that she is a fully trained padawan but luke memory wiped her and stuck her in hiding given the First Order/Kylo shenanigans. But unfortunately that doesn’t help this movie. And as it stands Rei is a Mary Sue just like little annie in ep 1 and everyone lost their sh*t over it. What’s good for the goose and all that. Rei’s arc may indeed cover multiple movies. However right now she doesn’t have a beginning. Every hero’s tale has a beginning and Rei has none. She is dropped into the universe fully formed with no reason or justification for her struggle. Sure she may get more powerful, she may learn more about herself, but with the skills already demonstrated she will never be in danger and already has all the coping mechanisms needed. Literally the only direction for her character to go now is to the dark side. Wouldn’t that be a trip?

          • ewokingdead

            how do you figure? Luke had at most a week of training. And that consisted of running around and stacking rocks.

            Do you think Yoda taught him Force Choke?

            Rey had the same training Luke had with Obi Wan. She was told to close her eyes feel the force and listen to it. That’s the same thing Obi Wan told Luke in their 5 min training session on the falcon.

            Luke then did Force pull completely on his own in Empire with out even knowing the force pwoer exsicsted.

            Its the same way with Rey.

            Yes Kylo Ren is Poweful in the force but unfocused and untrained because he is still just an Aperentance and he IS NOT A SITH LORD. The Sith are dead, he is just a darkside force user.

            When he fights Rey for the second time, he got shot in the stomach, is bleeding out and dying, got his dominate arm sliced by Fin, just killed his father so he mentally all over the place, AND he has orders to take Rey alive.

            Yes he is not trying to kill Rey while Rey is trying to kill him.

            So there is no way Kylo could beat her.

          • JimmyJ

            Gotta go by screen time. Calendar days in movie time is never explicitly stated. One is left to conjecture. The assertions you make have no way to validate one way or the other. You are interpreting the movie to support your point. Never a good way to come to meaningful conclusions.

            Significant screen time over three movies was given to the idea of Luke’s training. It was a major plot device. Significant screen time was given to Anakin’s training in the prequels. It was a major plot device.

            Nearly zero time was given to anyone’s training except Kylo in TFA. Apparently the writers needed to justify Kylo’s abilities by including he trained under Luke and Snoke. For whatever reason the same consideration was not given to Rey. It would be simple to solve. Simply state when and where Rey learned to fight, fly, and be a bad ass.

            I saw her on a hover bike and swing around a staff for a bit. Then BAMB she’s force flailing with the best of em and piloting the falcon better than Han, Chewie, and Lando combined. I am hoping there is more to her abilities than just being a Mary Sue. I am hoping there is a cool revelation on who she is and why she is so powerful. That way Rey can properly be included in the Jedi club and we can write this confusion in TFA off to confusing writing.

          • ewokingdead

            yeah and you need to pay attention. That means Han, Leia, and Chewie were on the falcon for weeks wearing the same clothes.

            Nope not possible.

            “Then BAMB she’s force flailing with the best of em and piloting the falcon better than Han, Chewie, and Lando combined”

            I hate this talking point so much because its clear you didn’t watch the movie. She crashes the Falcon 4 times while trying to fly it. Does that sound like something Han would do?
            It’s hyperbole at its worst.

          • JimmyJ

            Not possible? How would you know? Were you doing laundry on the Falcon? It’s very possible given the circumstances that none of them had time to pack for their interstellar vacay and were stuck with what they had.

            Truth is I don’t know. See it’s easy. Repeat after me. I don’t know.

            Nobody knows because it’s not explicitly stated in any way. Which is why one must go with dedicated screen time or explicitly stated facts to judge the efficacy of a Jedi’s training.

            Yes it does sound like something Han would do. Given that both Han and Chewie had great difficulties at times even getting the Falcon to fly it’s more than a little preposterous that anyone could show up and know how to get the Falcon repaired, running, and out fly tie fighters especially after being derelict for decades. The sequences where the Falcon takes some damage with expert pilots aboard are too numerous to mention.

            It’s a sorry existence to confuse hyperbole with reality but hey at least you own it.

          • ewokingdead

            no because I paid attention to the movie. Han comes out of the cockpit saying “i told you i’d lose those imperals” meaning that just escaped.

            Immeditdly after Obi Won tells him how to use the force ie feel it all around you and he blocks the blasters they arrive at Alderan and are captured.

            They don’t even cut away giving the positilbity that they were doing it for longer.

            “Given that both Han and Chewie had great difficulties at times even getting the Falcon to fly it’s more than a little preposterous that anyone could show up and know how to get the Falcon repaired, running, and out fly tie fighter”

            Han flew it through a Asteroid Field… that is mathmatically impossible.

            So no you are wrong on this one.

            No saying she flew the Falcon Perfectly and ignoring the times she crashed it IS hyperbole.

            Perfectly means with out flaws. Getting hit by tie fighters and crashing isn’t perfectly

  • Pax

    People focus too much on a definition of Mary Sue forgetting that at its core Mary Sue is a poorly constructed character that bears all hallmarks of a work committed by an amateur writer.
    The problem with Rey is she just does not seem right. It is not about making detailed technical analysis and writing a 50 pages PhD dissertation. it is about people in the theater, watching the movie and suddenly feeling like the movie makes no sense anymore.
    It is not about “strong female characters” because nobody has ever had any problems with Buffy Summers or River Tam. The difference is that there is a good reason as far as Buffy-verse is concerned for Buffy Summers to be who she is as there is a good reason for River Tam to be the most powerful weapon in the ‘verse in the Firefly universe. River Tam is awesome and her awesomeness just flows with the development of the story and the fact she was able to beat up Janie never gets old… and everything is shiny…
    Rey’s problem is the incredibly cumbersome storytelling of SW7:TFA. Her character no more amateurishly constructed than Kylo Ren or Finn characters, it is just that everyone focuses on her because you cannot accuse people who say Kylo Ren sucks of misogyny, so why would you even write an article then? There would be no clicks…

    But the truth is that “Darth Snowflake” and “Rey Norris” suffer from the same sickness: JJ Abrams is an incredibly bad storyteller.

  • PlatinumStar

    Since we’re here, I suggest you to make an article like “Hitler wasn’t racist, only a visionary”

    • Toriel

      I fail to see the correlation here.

      • PlatinumStar

        The correlation is that it is outrageously ridiculous. Of course she is a Mary Sue

        • Toriel

          I would be more than happy to read your points as to why you think this is true.

  • UnBFishburne

    It seems like alot of the excuse for Rey’s level of jedi power comes from the assumption that she is luke’s daughter.

    Even if this is the case, Luke was the son of a powerful force user and required training to even exhibit basic use of the force.

    The Mind trick taking three tries felt flimsy as a way to show her as inexperienced, since she takes on a sith with zero lightsaber training.

    And she very much feels like a Mary Sue, especially if she’s Luke’s daughter. That’s the ultimate insertion of a flawless character with a pedigree

    • Toriel

      I find Anakin in the prequels is much more guilty of being a “Gary Stu”. Luke at least had a somewhat charming awkwardness to him.

      • UnBFishburne

        They at least tried to train him and he wasn’t force controlling people before any training.

        • Toriel

          No, but he was piloting insanely dangerous land vehicles (and a spaceship later one) and building autonomous, fully functional droids,. He was a “child genius”, and it was all attributed to one thing – the force.

          And all before even hitting puberty.

          Rey is quite a more down to earth in comparison.

          • UnBFishburne

            1. He was also the equivalent of force jesus (dont get me started)
            2. It’s not like he picked up a droid and just made 3P0. it was clear he’d worked on it for some time.
            3. They were all current vehicles, not old spaceships. He also had droid help in piloting those ships as where rey just picks up the sticks on the falcon and goes nuts

          • ewokingdead

            1. so you admit he is a Gary Stu.

            2. and?

            3. R2 didn’t help him pilot that was all him. This is an 8 year old kid flying a military space ship against an entire droid fleet.

            Rey had at least flown before and staying low to the ground messed up their sensors. That and she crashed the falcon like 3 times while trying to fly it.

  • I think we disagree somewhat in our conclusions, but largely agree on the “facts”
    I still think she’s very “sue like”

    Her flaws are largely CV quality “I just work too hard, it’s a real weakness” and sold very poorly. Her constantly knocking away Finn’s hand displays distrust, but she mostly shows a naive desperation for connections throughout the film.
    The “lack of real flaws” isn’t a particular problem for me. I adore Leia. Her major flaw is what? Being a bit bitchy? That’s literally it. She’s great at basically everything, a competent fighter, general, politician. Resists torture and force manipulation, murders the giant space slug that enslaves her with the chains she’s bound with, is basically irresistible to men (including her secret twin brother) and we could go on for days… It could TOTALLY be argued Leia is a “Mary Sue” but she wears it well!

    To me, the dissonance in Rey’s character comes from wanting to signal “she’s not a damsel”
    It’s ham fisted and unnecessary. I honestly don’t think Rey, as a character, would give enough of a shit to tell Finn off for grabbing her hand, she’d just take it and lead him without comment. To me that was just inserting gender politics nonsense to score some points with the “girl power” crowd and it felt out of place.
    Now, Leia would DEFINITELY have made that kind of comment and it would have fit her perfectly.

    The best case on her behalf is the allusions made in the film.
    But that relies on the next film (or other media) filling in the gaps.
    I honestly think that without the occasional pandering I saw, her character would have been consistent and the criticisms of her far weaker.

    • Toriel

      The characters in Star Wars have always been very larger-than-life in their presentation. The amazingly talented smuggler, the Jedi Master, etc. etc. It was the three films combined that fleshed them out to be deeper, more complex, less cliched overall character. Han showed his vulnerabilities (and even needed to be rescued), Leia showed her softer side (don’t even… =P ), Luke grew from a awkward, naive child into an experienced, hardened Jedi.

      Without the two movies that followed the original, we never would have discovered those nuances. And I think the writers for this movies are smart enough that they have these characters planned out with a certain direction in mind.

      At least, I hope they do.

      Pandering? I’m curious what you mean by that.

      • The example I gave was the “I don’t need my hand held” nonsense.
        I don’t think Rey would give a shit.

        She’s strong, confident and independent. She would not need to “prove” it by snatching her hand back like some insecure school girl and telling him off. It just didn’t fit with her overall character, she was naive to the point of absurdity and quick to trust, but then cold and distant too? I think in those circumstances Rey would have felt gratified that anybody gave a shit about her. Maybe snatched her hand back in embarrassment or fear. But anger because she’s “not a damsel” just doesn’t make a fucking lick of sense to me.

        It just seemed forced. Modern gender politics imposed on a the fantasy, rather than the fantasy used to explore our assumptions.
        It’s, perhaps, a subtle distinction, but it has grown into a monster in recent years. A desperation to appease a politically motivated minority that will NEVER be pleased.

        • Toriel

          Oh, no, these are all great points. The film was far from perfect.

          And yeah, that was a great scene.

        • ewokingdead

          it’s not different then Leia grabbing the blaster and rescuing herself in ANH

          • It’s different bc women don’t share identical personalities.
            It’s not wrong because of the act itself nor its connotations, it’s wrong because it doesn’t fit REY’S character.
            She didn’t knock the hand away in embarrassment or confusion, she was offended by the offer.
            That would make ABSOLUTE sense for Leia as a career politician. You could even argue for the inclusion of our gender politics, maybe the galactic senate is male dominated? (still a bit ham fisted, but fair)
            It just makes ZERO sense for an orphan that is entirely self sufficient, assured and isolated to be offended by being offered a hand. Why would it occur to her that her competence was being questioned?
            I honestly think it was a problem with direction given to Daisy (or perhaps her own assumptions?) It just didn’t… fit, not in the way it was shot.

            The later joke at Finn’s expense when he’s trying to be heroic and rescue Rey, but she’s literally climbing out of danger right behind him on her own?
            THAT was great. THAT fit the characters.

          • ewokingdead

            it fits Rey’s character completely She has been alone on this planet. She has little to no interaction with people her age and her is this guy who is grabbing her for no reason.

            “It just makes ZERO sense for an orphan that is entirely self sufficient, assured and isolated to be offended by being offered a hand. Why would it occur to her that her competence was being questioned?”
            Actually you just explained why it makes complete sense.

          • No, it really doesn’t.
            This is a girl that wouldn’t even question being fucked over her salvage…

            The problem here is you seem to think being a boring character is a good thing. If you want every female character to be the same bland mary sue, go right ahead.
            I’ll be waiting for the better characters. I don’t need to wait long, because they already exist and have since before I was born.
            Wanting better for Rey isn’t some controversial position, and the fact you cant concede on some pretty minor nuances of character motive/expression is very telling.

            “grrrl power!!” is fun, when it is appropriate.
            It’s boring as fuck when applied to Rey.

          • ewokingdead

            yeah it really does. What do you expect her to be? Living on a planet by herself?

            ” boring character is a good thing”

            Never said that and she is far from boring

            ” If you want every female character to be the same bland mary sue, go right ahea”

            Also never said that, and being bland has nothing to do with being a Mary Sue.

            I don’t think you understand what a Mary Sue is.

          • I think one of us doesn’t understand characters, personality traits or sensible correlations based on inferred experienced.
            It’s not me.

          • ewokingdead

            says the guy who lacks basic reading comprehension.

  • Travis

    First off, the Falcon is not the ship Rey is screaming at in her vision/flashback.

    The idea that Rey has a mental block on her force training is reasonable, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still purely within the realm of speculation. The movie makes no effort to confirm that this is the case, it’s just the best answer to explain what is otherwise a plot hole.

    • Toriel

      If not, I will have to look at the scene again, but I’m almost certain it was the Millennium Falcon

      You are right in that the theory regarding her abilities is entirely speculation, but I feel that the number of sccenes in the film that lead to these conclusions are far too numerous and many to be a coincidence, and the story certainly appears to be constructed as just one part of a larger arc.

      I could be completely wrong of course! =D We’ll have to wait 2 more years to find out!

  • Mike Nunyabizness

    Nice piece, I myself have used these same arguments against her being a Mary Sue.

  • Elfa

    I have to agree with your assessment. Though your point about neither Luke or Anakin having having little prior experience is arguable. Anakin was a podracer and Luke used to bullseye womprats in his T-16. They were exceptional pilots already because of their strength with the force.

    The tinkering and mechanic knowledge is most likely linked to how she spent her time taking apart Imperial starships on Jakku.

    I agree her force powers were likely learned before Luke wiped suppressed her memories to hide her from the First Order.

    You didn’t even hit on the fact that she speaks wookie. It’s almost like she spent time growing up around one.

    Overall, she is far from flawless and if anything, she’s a faux Mary Sue. She only looks like the perfect hero from what has been shown but it will all fall into place later and reveal her to be a more tragic and human figure.

    • Toriel

      Thanks for the input, Elfa.

      While its true that they had experience piloting crafts, neither had ever stepped inside an actual spaceship until their first films, and yet they both possessed exceptional skills in flying them. Anakin was portrayed as early as childhood as having exceptional hand eye coordination skills, a good decade earlier in her life than Rey displayed hers.

      If every there was a Mary Sue (Gary Stu) it was Anakin.

      Exceptional hand eye coordination skills are like the most basic signs of possessing Jedi abilities, because its an inherent talent that all Jedi possess. The Force always exists in them, whether they realise it or not.

      I didn’t go into the Wookie thing because, as much as its an obvious hint to her past, people speaking alien language isn’t even remotely special in Star Wars. Characters do this all the time in the Star Wars universe, often speaking both languages at the same time. And considering where she worked, knowing other languages would not only be a common occurence, but an essential skill.

      • Elfa

        While I’d agree that knowing alien languages in Star Wars is probably as normal as knowing multiple languages in Europe, even Finn seemed startled she new wookie, most likely not a common tongue in Star Wars at least at that time. So I don’t exactly disagree with you. 😉

        • Toriel

          Well yeah, but Finn is also the embodiment of uncultured. He was essentially a slave since birth. He doesn’t *know* what the wider world is like.

          • Elfa

            Good point.