What is a Mary Sue to you?

happyninja42

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Rukia. She is the best girl in Bleach.
Yeah, I liked her well enough. None of the women in that anime really stood out as my favorite up to the point i stopped watching. They were all "just fine", is the best way I can define my feelings for them.

ohhh..., the dreaded Tournament Arc. The bane of most shounens shows....and Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. Though with Bleach, it was less tournament, and more convoluted plots, retcons, and a million back up plans, Xanatos Gambit, "I wanted you or planned on you doing this", fucking Captain Aizen. One of the most boring, overpowered villains in anime right next to Hao Asakura and all of the Uchia bloodline. Glad I stopped after the rescue Rukia arc.
Yeah I just use the term "tournament" in regards to shounen for the blanket term of "the point when the story devolves to just being about fighting and getting strong to fight the NEW guy who dwarfs the last one." whether it's an official tournament or not is secondary to me.
 

happyninja42

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Rey doesn't ruin the Force Awakens in the way that Anakin ruins the Phantom Menace, but as a protagonist she's just not relatable or likeable.
You do understand that is just an opinion right? Not a fact. Because plenty of people like her just fine, and relate to her just fine.
 

SupahEwok

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You do understand that is just an opinion right? Not a fact. Because plenty of people like her just fine, and relate to her just fine.
Plenty of people relate to fanfic as well. What was the topic of the thread, again?
 

Eacaraxe

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Wait... so since she didn’t specifically joke about Wamp rats, which is the only credible comment Luke says (not does) about flying, she clearly doesn’t have a flying pedigree. She’s a mechanic, isn’t she? And a scavenger? If she finds and repairs a ship, what do you think she’s going to do. Not mess around with the control to at least test

Yes, Luke says T-14 are similar to X-wings, right before hoping in one. I don’t believe a word of that, because that’s utter plot contrivance. It would be like comparing a crop duster to a 747.
The movie was made in '77 and is allegorical to World War II, and its intended audience were the kids and grandkids of World War II vets who more likely than not grew up hearing war stories.

Try "it would be like comparing a crop duster to a Hurricane, Airacobra, Peashooter, Spitfire, Buffalo, Wildcat, or Mustang". Or, "comparing commonplace, period caterpillar-track farm equipment to the drive trains, controls, and transmissions of Churchills, Valentines, Matildas, Lees, Stuarts, Shermans, and Cromwells".
 
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Thaluikhain

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So? That's still not SHOWING us that Luke has piloting skills.
Didn't say it was, you were listing times he's said to be a pilot and there was another that could go on that list.

See, this is the problem I have with this Luke/Rey comparison.
I'd say a better comparison would be Rey and Finn. Why does Finn know how to effectively use a lightsabre, etc? I'm going with "he's a hero" rather than "he's a Mary Sue", the same probably applies to her.

(If Han wasn't an established character I'd say the same for him, he's way to old to believably getting in gunfights, but he does cause he's a hero)
 

happyninja42

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I'd say a better comparison would be Rey and Finn. Why does Finn know how to effectively use a lightsabre, etc? I'm going with "he's a hero" rather than "he's a Mary Sue", the same probably applies to her.
I actually don't have a problem with the idea that a human being has a rudamentery understanding of how to swing a stick/sword. It's not like he had zero training, he was a stormtrooper after all, and they use melee weapons apparently, as evidenced by that stun baton guy. And Finn at the very least had Basic Training, which means he is trained in the basics of combat, which in SW would include melee apparently.

And it's really not that bizarre of a concept, for a human to understand "hold stick in front of oncoming stick at a perpendicular angle to try and prevent stick from hitting me. I've literally fought children with batons who were able to grasp the basics of "swing/block/dodge" with zero training, within seconds of picking up the baton. So I have zero issue with the idea that Finn is able to just barely hold his own against a guy who is mostly just toying with him anyway, and critically wounded.

What I find really interesting, is that you never really hear anyone call BS on Finn being able to use a lightsaber, and even get a hit in on Kylo. I know you did that very thing in what I quoted, but in the larger debate about the new films, I do find it funny that I just never see that criticism.
 
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Agema

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What I find really interesting, is that you never really hear anyone call BS on Finn being able to use a lightsaber, and even get a hit in on Kylo. I know you did that very thing in what I quoted, but in the larger debate about the new films, I do find it funny that I just never see that criticism.
Sure, but he's not a woman, so people are a lot less incredulous that he knows how to fight. ;)
 

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You do understand that is just an opinion right? Not a fact. Because plenty of people like her just fine, and relate to her just fine.
Come on dude, that's pretty weak. Are we all supposed to state "in my opinion" at the beginning of any post that expresses an opinion?
 

happyninja42

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Come on dude, that's pretty weak. Are we all supposed to state "in my opinion" at the beginning of any post that expresses an opinion?
If the phrasing you use implies you are stating it as a fact, when the thing is an opinion, yes I do think you should actually declare that. Because there are a LOT of people on these forums, who try and pass off bullshit as fact, when it's not. It muddies up the conversation, and conflates objective and subjective things, and often (especially when it's about Rey and the new fucking films) will spiral into a bitchfest between two people, who are both trying to declare their opinion is an objective fact.

So yes, given how often people do that very thing, I think it's prudent to actually state it.
 
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BrawlMan

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If the phrasing you use implies you are stating it as a fact, when the thing is an opinion, yes I do think you should actually declare that. Because there are a LOT of people on these forums, who try and pass off bullshit as fact, when it's not. It muddies up the conversation, and conflates objective and subjective things, and often (especially when it's about Rey and the new fucking films) will spiral into a bitchfest between two people, who are both trying to declare their opinion is an objective fact.
This all the way.
 
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Agema

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If the phrasing you use implies you are stating it as a fact, when the thing is an opinion, yes I do think you should actually declare that.
I think the convention of stating opinion as fact is ubiquitous, and we can all reasonably intuit what's an opinion and what's a fact without it being explicitly stated.
 

happyninja42

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I think the convention of stating opinion as fact is ubiquitous, and we can all reasonably intuit what's an opinion and what's a fact without it being explicitly stated.
No, we really can't, as evidenced by tons of flame wars on this site, and others.
 
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Agema

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No, we really can't, as evidenced by tons of flame wars on this site, and others.
We can, it's just that some people don't.

They don't, because they're not reflecting properly on what other people say and giving it a fair and constructive interpretation, and they're behaving that way because they're too focussed on ramming their own opinions down everyone else's throat and generally "winning" on the internet.
 

happyninja42

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We can, it's just that some people don't.

They don't, because they're not reflecting properly on what other people say and giving it a fair and constructive interpretation, and they're behaving that way because they're too focussed on ramming their own opinions down everyone else's throat and generally "winning" on the internet.
My reply went on longer than I thought, so I put it behind spoilers to try and prevent wall of text.


I agree, but they won't change their behavior if they aren't called out on it, or at the very least having it pointed out. Sure maybe only 1/10 will actually have the self-awareness to go "hmm, they are right, maybe I should alter how I approach my online persona and conversations with people to be more constructive" but we have to at least try and keep the online conversation world civil and on point.

I'm very aware that there are some people who just want to "win" at the internet, so much so that even when they are directly called out on it, they don't even acknowledge the criticism from multiple sources. (not referring to here, but another forum I used to visit regularly , and a guy who is infamous for that behavior, to the point where his name is now a verb for dickish online behavior there) That's not good behavior, and it shouldn't just be ignored. All I can do from my computer, is try and point out when someone is behaving in a way that might benefit from improvement. Because if nobody calls them on it, they won't ever even consider that it might be wrong behavior.

Now that online behavior rant isn't specifically due to the "opinion vs fact" issue that started this quote conversation, though that is a part of the larger online behavior I am talking about. In general, most people are reasonable, relatively balanced on the internet, but a subset are not, and it doesn't take them long to totally devolve a pleasant conversation into a toxic cesspit that has to be locked down by the moderators. We all know this, we've all seen it, but we don't have to just accept it. Sometimes it's just due to the inherent margin of error in online communication that happens when you can't hear the tone or body language of the person you are talking to, so you project emotions that just aren't there. I've had this problem for years, where people would assume I was being rude or confrontational, when I wasn't, due to the way I type. Specifically.......this........ for YEARS, I would use that in chat, just to denote a pause in speech. Like "i'm thinking about the question presented" or "i'm befuddled by what was said, and trying to convey confusion" and other things. But apparently, at least on that chat server, it was commonly assumed that "....." implied attitude, and sarcasm in the reply. So I had a reputation of being something of an asshole on that site I visited daily, and had no idea, until one night somebody blew up at me and I was like "ok where the fuck did that come from?" And the other people told me "the way you type comes off as a smartass." to which I replied "....how? " and they were like "SEE?! You're doing it again!" So now I try and curtail my use of ..... , so that I don't repeat that. I also make a point to slap disclaimers around comments I'm going to make that are often misconstrued to be direct statements at someone, or might be interpreted as fact versus opinion.

It also frequently happens if you use the word YOU when discussing something that is a heated topic. Even if you are using it in the third person context (like I'm doing now), people will often assume that you are speaking directly at them. And then they're like "I never said I thought *insert issue* you're putting words in my mouth!" which is followed by "I wasn't talking about you specifically!" and it's just a gateway for a downward spiral of discourse.

And frankly, after decades of seeing it happen, especially over topics that are ultimately meaningless (like most of the entertainment issues on this site), I grow weary of just accepting it as "part of the online world". Well I don't think it has to be that way. That we can behave like adults and try and help each other out when communicating, to limit the amount of misinformation and hostility we generate, that is then archived for all of time. Maybe it's ultimately futile, but it's not going to stop me from at least trying.

Anyway, that's really all I have to say at this point on what we tangented off on. Don't want to derail the thread any further.
 
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"Mary Sue" is an ambiguous term, but I think if you remove the term from the context and rephrase the criticism of said character while removing the term, the most common idea behind it is "unjustified". It's not only that the main character is a ninja lawyer Captain in Starfleet with whom Kirk, Spock and Sisko all fall in love, it's that none of this is justified.

Rey represents an interesting case. Diegetically, there is little to no justification for why she is an ace pilot, why she can fight a trained* Sith knight in a lightsabre duel, why Han Solo and Leia and Chewey all love her, etc. But non-diegitcally, these things are justified, by the audience expectation.

What sums up TFA for me is this: at a similar point to ANH the gang goes to a sleazy dive bar. In ANH this was because they needed to find a crook who could smuggle them off planet, hence they go to some scuzzy bar. In TFA this was because....they did it in ANH. Even though the scene that follows makes no sense in-narrative to be in a sleazy bar- the hero receives the holy call to adventure from a tiny alien mystical monk- it makes sense to the audience expecting the intertextual reference, even if, in-narrative, there's no reason to have that scene in a sleazy bar, in fact it makes no sense at all if you think about it.

Is that really fair to criticize? That Abrams played fast and loose with the narrative justification because he expected the audience to just get it? Enough people got it that we can't just write him off as wrong. Does a Mary Sue only exist if there is no justification, or if there is no justification specifically in narrative? It's why that movie was so divisive (before TLJ came along anyway).
 

Trunkage

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The thing is, it doesn't really matter if Rey's skills are justified by a line of dialogue or not. The point is that it's difficult for the audience to warm to a character who breezes through the movie being good at everything. Compare her with Luke again -

Luke is brash, outgoing and reckless. He's good at flying but not much else. He goes off on his own to get R2D2 and gets clobbered by the Sand People. He was going to get clobbered again in the cantina if Kenobi hadn't intervened. He blunders his way through the rescue on the Death Star. He doesn't actually use the light sabre in combat. He's involved as a pilot in the final battle, where he would have been killed by Darth Vader if Han Solo hadn't intervened. He eventually uses the force, blows up the the Death Star and saves the day in the climax, but he goes through a lot to get there and has plenty of help along the way.

Rey is great at scavenging and fixing stuff. She is great at fighting. She's great at flying, able to execute complex manoeuvres in an atmosphere in a ship that's supposed to need two pilots. She learns how to use the Force incredibly quickly, and then escapes from the cell on her own. She's then shown to be really skilled with a light sabre, despite never having used one before. She's Little Miss Perfect compared with Luke.

Rey doesn't ruin the Force Awakens in the way that Anakin ruins the Phantom Menace, but as a protagonist she's just not relatable or likeable.
Does Rey get captured? Isn't she shown to have terrible negotiating skills with the merchant? She certainly isn't set up to be charamatic. Doesn't she fail to get the Mcguffin half way through the movie and fail to stop an attack?