Is Rey a Mary Sue? Daisy Ridley Weighs In

Friday, 28 October 2016 - 8:57PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Friday, 28 October 2016 - 8:57PM
Is Rey a Mary Sue? Daisy Ridley Weighs In
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was generally well received among Star Wars fans, one of the common complaints among moviegoers was that Rey took a little too well to her new role in the galaxy. In the film, she successfully performs a Jedi mind trick on her first try, defeats Kylo Ren in a lightsaber duel on her first try, and manages to do a whole lot of other things on her first try as well. With not even Luke or Anakin having such a strong, immediate connection to the force, this has led to many fans calling Rey a Mary Sue.  

Recently, Daisy Ridley weighed in on the debate in an interview with MTV News' Happy Sad Confused podcast.

Opening quote
The Mary Sue thing in itself is sexist because it's a name of a woman, and everyone was saying that Luke had exactly the same thing. I think Rey is incredibly vulnerable, and nothing she's doing is for the greater good. She's just doing what she thinks is the right thing. And she doesn't want to do some of it, but she feels compelled to do it. So for me, I was just confused.
Closing quote


Ridley's comments are understandable, as Luke was also unable to go through the rigorous childhood training Jedi Knights were forced to undergo before Order 66. However, the difference is that Luke did train in other ways with Obi Wan and Yoda before he was ever able to do much good in a lightsaber battle. Don't forget - it was episode VI before he ever technically won a duel.  

In all honesty, Rey mostly fits the description of a Mary Sue, and usually, that would be a really, really bad thing. For some reason, however, making her some kind of force wunderkind worked extremely well for the story, and JJ Abrams was able to pull off an absolutely fantastic tale with the character. Most of the time, using a character like Rey is a egregious transgression of the rules of storytelling, but the rules can always be broken for the right story. Rey in The Force Awakens just happens to be one of those exceptions.  

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens