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  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    And to be blunt, neither The Force Awakens nor Rogue One suffered from having female leads at all. And I’d even argue that “redoing” the OT with a female lead isn’t a bad idea... but let’s face it, after TLJ, the story was handicapped, because the film was simultaneously arguing that Rey shouldn’t be a Skywalker but that it should totally get a pass to pimp her out to a Neo-Nazi School Shooter because he was a Skywalker.

    It’s just a small pet peeve of mine - The Star Wars Sequel trilogy was actually significantly healthier and more interesting when the undisputed lead characters were Rey and Finn, and woman and a black man.

    It was the weird, spastic decision to prostitute the entire story for another broken white boy that screwed it over - though, to point this out, it was more that they were so damn lazy, presumptuous, and enamored with Kylo Ren and so damn apathetic and scared of Rey and Finn that caused the issue.

    People complaining about Rey as a “Mary Sue” when TFA came out just had their panties in a knot over nothing. People who complained about Rey as a Mary Sue after TLJ came out were ignoring she got pimped out to Kylo... who’d usurped Finn’s spot... and who was having all the original characters dragged through the mud to try and make him sympathetic with.
    You cannot compare Rey to Jyn Erso. Rey had everything Luke’s abilities far advanced compared to the first trilogy and most of Han’s skill set as well. That didn’t leave much for Finn. OTOH Jyn couldn’t do everything herself and thus others were important. Rogue One was better for it.

  2. #212
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    People will call any competent or semi-competent female character a Mary Sue. That's why i don't use that term

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by regnak View Post
    You cannot compare Rey to Jyn Erso. Rey had everything Luke’s abilities far advanced compared to the first trilogy and most of Han’s skill set as well. That didn’t leave much for Finn. OTOH Jyn couldn’t do everything herself and thus others were important. Rogue One was better for it.
    I’m not arguing that Rey is as good as Jyn Erso.

    I *am* arguing that it wasn’t Rey’s power level that hurt her character, or even Finn, really, as her male lead; hell, he ran most of the story in TFA, and there’s a reason Boyega liked making that film and had his biggest criticism for marketing. Strong, competent characters can still be central to good to great stories if they’re given good internal struggles, and allowed to react in an interesting way, whether as a power fantasy or and Everyman. Rey’s power level in TFA didn’t stop her from having a denial-based freak out that got her knocked out, captured, violated, and contributed to one of her found family being murdered and the other maimed... *and* actually had an entire mini-arc to justify Kylo’s loss to her there. She was a more engaging (and in my opinion, more successful implementation of the same idea as) Captain Marvel.

    TLJ was trying make her Kylo’s unfunny Harley Quinn, and the crappy, codependent and clearly reshot Harley from the theatrical Suicide Squad cut, and trying to kick Finn as far down the totem pole as possible, likely out of some fear that he was too close to Rey and jealousy that he’d taken the spot they’d intended for Adam Driver.

    I *do*get the argument that the power fantasy character is harder to pull off well than the Everyman (even if I think it’s overblown as an accusation against Rey in TFA)... but I also think “Neo-Nazi School Shooter fangirl and Neo-Nazi School Shooter’s abused and excessively dumb girlfriend” would kill *any* character stone dead.

    TROS is still crap on its own, mind you. But there’s a reason the bigger box office drop and the bigger divisiveness went to TLJ first, and why John Boyega doesn’t include TFA in his criticism, and it all comes down to the same character they brought Palpatine back for and submitted as Best Actor even when he still only came in 4th in screentime: Kylo Ren.
    Last edited by godisawesome; 05-13-2021 at 04:32 PM.
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  4. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mik View Post
    People will call any competent or semi-competent female character a Mary Sue. That's why i don't use that term
    I disagree. Rey didn't have to work to gain the abilities she obtain in the ST. She just did them as the plot demanded and didn;t have to learn any of it. I haven't those complains leveled at Furiosa in Fury Road when her competence matched that of the titular hero. Lara Croft in the newest Tomb Raider movie where she spend like half of it kissing the ground. When it comes to Star Wars, may I remind you that Gina Carrano's character was a fan favorite in Mando.

  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Weapon View Post
    I disagree. Rey didn't have to work to gain the abilities she obtain in the ST. She just did them as the plot demanded and didn;t have to learn any of it. I haven't those complains leveled at Furiosa in Fury Road when her competence matched that of the titular hero. Lara Croft in the newest Tomb Raider movie where she spend like half of it kissing the ground. When it comes to Star Wars, may I remind you that Gina Carrano's character was a fan favorite in Mando.
    I still think “abused badly written girlfriend to a shallow-ass Diet Anakin” is a worse problem than having too much power - and that Johnson ignoring training in TLJ was a much bigger deal for the story, and came more from apathy towards her character than a desire to make her powerful. For a character who was so unchallenged physically, it’s rather stunning her actual function in the story is only to help Kylo become Supreme Leader and be an audience member to Johnson’ pissing on Luke.

    On Carano in Mando... I’d actually argue that by the time of Season 2’s finale, she wasn’t a fan favorite in the same league as Bo-Katan or Fennec Shand - Carano’s limitations as an actress made her easy to be overshadowed by better actresses with more interesting characters. There’s a reason most of the complaints about Carano not having her contract renewed come from people thirsty for “cancel culture” bullshit, and not the story fans. The story fans are salivating at Bo-Katan getting a larger role, Fennec getting a Bad Batch arc, or even speculating about characters like Sabine showing up in The Mandalorian - a character who’s MO is being a freakishly competent prodigy, like Rey, but actually executed well by Filoni in Rebels.
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  6. #216
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    The Gina Carano thing was hilarious because as soon as she got fired some of the same morons I saw bitching about how Cara was another of Kathleen Kennedy's forced girl power Mary Sues were changing their avatars to pictures of her in protest.

  7. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Weapon View Post
    I disagree. Rey didn't have to work to gain the abilities she obtain in the ST. She just did them as the plot demanded and didn;t have to learn any of it. I haven't those complains leveled at Furiosa in Fury Road when her competence matched that of the titular hero. Lara Croft in the newest Tomb Raider movie where she spend like half of it kissing the ground. When it comes to Star Wars, may I remind you that Gina Carrano's character was a fan favorite in Mando.
    I didn't like everything Rey did. But I didn't think she was a Mary sue. She didn't magically win everything. She did rush through a lot of power ups. But Anakin did that too. And her pseudo-romance with Kylo is far more problematic

    And plenty of people complained about Furiosa, Croft and Cara Dune. I remember it all when those characters first came out. Frankly I don't even know what Mary sue means

  8. #218
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    I definitely remember that.

  9. #219
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    This part was a point I've been making for years.

    Taylor Kitsch can headline John Carter and Battleship in the same quarter of the same year. Armie Hammer can headline The Lone Ranger and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Despite those financial disasters, both were considered bankable names or worthy of “from blockbusters to indies” redemption narratives. Talent, charisma and apparent decency notwithstanding, Chris Hemsworth has been bombing in “not Thor” movies for a decade (In the Heart of the Sea, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Black Hat, Men in Black: International) yet continues to get new franchises to squander. Will John Boyega get another shot at a big franchise after Pacific Rim: Uprising? If (hypothetically) Dungeons and Dragons bombs, will Justice Smith and Regé-Jean Page get downgraded while Chris Pine and Hugh Grant emerge unscathed?
    The stakes for actors of color and their white counterparts tend to be different, which is part of the reason for the shortage of non-white leading men and women mentioned in the article.

  10. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mik View Post
    I definitely remember that.
    Part of the problem is that “Mary Sue” is easily abused by people to describe their own sexist issues, so even those who try to use it honestly have to deal with “argument hi-hackers.”

    One thing I would say about diversity is that it’s rarely the issue in a bad film; people who find that the problem are usually just missing the more substantive issue. It wasn’t TLJ’s problem that it had more POC cast members and female characters - it was that it hypocritically didn’t want to actually use them well. You have BDT, Dern, and KMT, and you have three skilled actors of various renown but clear skill, but you put them in bad stories then you’re going to waste them... and because he was ostensibly trying to be feminist and inclusive, he stained the messages.

    Of course, if he actually genuinely cared about his messages, he wouldn’t have stripped Rey of her spine and basic humanity for a crappy romance with Kylo, or demoted Finn and stuck all his new actors in ultimately ancillary tales while the only people truly impacting the conflict were Kylo and Luke.

    In contrast, I’d say The Mandalorian fields a somewhat less impressive set of actors in terms of awards... but uses them much better, so the inclusion and diversity actually become a benefit to the film. If you have Pedro Pascal, Temeura Morrison, Kate Sackhoff, and Giancarlo Esposito and you actually use them... you’ve got a stacked roster for a sci-fi show.
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  11. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Part of the problem is that “Mary Sue” is easily abused by people to describe their own sexist issues, so even those who try to use it honestly have to deal with “argument hi-hackers.”

    One thing I would say about diversity is that it’s rarely the issue in a bad film; people who find that the problem are usually just missing the more substantive issue. It wasn’t TLJ’s problem that it had more POC cast members and female characters - it was that it hypocritically didn’t want to actually use them well. You have BDT, Dern, and KMT, and you have three skilled actors of various renown but clear skill, but you put them in bad stories then you’re going to waste them... and because he was ostensibly trying to be feminist and inclusive, he stained the messages.

    Of course, if he actually genuinely cared about his messages, he wouldn’t have stripped Rey of her spine and basic humanity for a crappy romance with Kylo, or demoted Finn and stuck all his new actors in ultimately ancillary tales while the only people truly impacting the conflict were Kylo and Luke.

    In contrast, I’d say The Mandalorian fields a somewhat less impressive set of actors in terms of awards... but uses them much better, so the inclusion and diversity actually become a benefit to the film. If you have Pedro Pascal, Temeura Morrison, Kate Sackhoff, and Giancarlo Esposito and you actually use them... you’ve got a stacked roster for a sci-fi show.
    Basically it's all a performative first step, without actually going any further. Yet a bunch of regressive people complain about diversity ruining films despite that diversity being mostly surface level, as you pointed out.

    I agree about Mando, too. It has a diverse cast and uses it

  12. #222
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    Even the article goes out of its way to note that. The last Terminator didn't bomb because it had female and Latinx leads. It bombed because there hasn't been a good Terminator movie since the early 90s, and the last attempted reboot had already bombed just a few years before. If you look at it, there are relatively few successful attempts at rebooting old 80s and older franchises for modern audiences. Star Wars is more the exception than the rule, and even then, it was a franchise that held a semi-consistent pop culture footprint even when the films were no longer being made. Even though there weren't movies, there was a popular TV show on Cartoon Network, numerous video games, a steady supply of toys in stores and much more. Younger audiences still had some level of familiarity with the franchise before The Force Awakens brought it back to cinemas. That wasn't really the case for something like Terminator, or Ghostbusters or Charlie's Angels.

  13. #223
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    They flopped because the storylines were repeated too mich

  14. #224
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    I realize it's an unpopular opinion, but I kind of liked Terminator: Dark Fate. I didn't see it initially because of all the hoopla around the central guy being offed right at the start -- and because yeah, the franchise was really just old and busted, at this point.

    But, it was a pretty fast-paced popcorn flick with plenty of cool fight scenes, just fast-paced enough to keep you from lingering too long on plot holes or internal inconsistencies or the sheer silliness of time-travelling robots trying to kill humanity's future savior. In other words, it pretty well recaptured what make Terminator and T2 good in the first place, and I think part of why it was able to do that was that it didn't stay locked into the rules of the franchise, like the other movies in between did.

    I think the first two movies just aimed to be entertaining, not so much to try to create the framework of a franchise that could continue to be milked 30-40 years later. I mean, more than diversity, that is probably what chokes the effort out of all the attempted reboots and franchise-building and all that -- like, sure, if you can pull it off, stuff like Infinity War and and Endgame and into the Disney Plus shows is awesome, for being able to tell stories that benefit from world-building done in previous movies. But the MCU is pulling from decades of comics already written, for these stories ... and I dunno, I guess I'd just say, don't aim quite so high. Just aim to make a good, entertaining movie. Worry about how you can make it a franchise (or keep up a franchise) after you've done that.
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  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Allen View Post
    I realize it's an unpopular opinion, but I kind of liked Terminator: Dark Fate. I didn't see it initially because of all the hoopla around the central guy being offed right at the start -- and because yeah, the franchise was really just old and busted, at this point.

    But, it was a pretty fast-paced popcorn flick with plenty of cool fight scenes, just fast-paced enough to keep you from lingering too long on plot holes or internal inconsistencies or the sheer silliness of time-travelling robots trying to kill humanity's future savior. In other words, it pretty well recaptured what make Terminator and T2 good in the first place, and I think part of why it was able to do that was that it didn't stay locked into the rules of the franchise, like the other movies in between did.

    I think the first two movies just aimed to be entertaining, not so much to try to create the framework of a franchise that could continue to be milked 30-40 years later. I mean, more than diversity, that is probably what chokes the effort out of all the attempted reboots and franchise-building and all that -- like, sure, if you can pull it off, stuff like Infinity War and and Endgame and into the Disney Plus shows is awesome, for being able to tell stories that benefit from world-building done in previous movies. But the MCU is pulling from decades of comics already written, for these stories ... and I dunno, I guess I'd just say, don't aim quite so high. Just aim to make a good, entertaining movie. Worry about how you can make it a franchise (or keep up a franchise) after you've done that.
    Killing off John was actually a novel idea. The rest of the movie just followed a lot of the same tropes established by the previous movies and wasted the potential of the opening act. It was decently entertaining and I liked the new evil Terminator's abilities. The other new characters were a bit "meh" though.

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