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I staunchly defended Rey after TFA, but have

Discussion in 'General Sequel Trilogy Discussion' started by kuatorises, May 30, 2018.

  1. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Force Sensitive

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    I'm glad they went away from the whole midi-chlorian thing of the ST. If I never see it/read it/hear it again it will be too soon. I also love the force being a mystical element that isn't easy to understand.

    HOWEVER, they are using it, in my opinion, as a deus ex machine. Got a problem? Just have the force solve it. Rey is captured by the bad guys? Just have her try a Jedi mind trick.

    There's nothing wrong with liking the ST, or disliking it. I love the OT but I realize it's not perfect. But there are issues with the writing of the ST. The story group is supposed to exist to cut out that stuff. Instead it seems as if they have proliferated in Episode VIII. I thought the problem with the PT films is that George had no one around to tell him "That's not good... That sucks." He was surrounded by "yes" men. It appears that same problem still exists. Someone should have told RJ his story had issues, instead of blowing sunshine up his anal rectum about how he was great, his story was great, blah blah blah. A New Hope, this was not.

    I will also say, when it comes to Rey, that I was in the camp arguing she is not a Mary Sue. But in the spring I was talking about her with a bunch of my high school students, and all of them, to a person, male and female, they all felt she was poorly written and a Mary Sue. A couple of friends my age also argued that she is a Mary Sue. Having subsequently gone back and watched the film with a critical eye, I'd agree. She could have been such a cool character, and instead they've given us this.
     
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  2. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    This has literally been the entire existence of the force since Empire Strikes Back though.
    Luke is stuck upside down, frozen in a wampa cave near death? Better just use a new Force Power.
    Luke doesn't have a mentor now? Better have Force Ghosts.
    Luke is stuck on Bespin? Telepathy!
     
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  3. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Was the force ever not a deus ex machina?

    When Luke was dangling off the bottom of Cloud City, did he take out the communicator he'd cleverly stashed in his pocket?
    When he needed to take down the Death Star, did he rely on the technology at hand?

    I'm not saying these are necessarily good storytelling techniques in the classical sense, but they are Star Wars. Even if it's a little cheesey sometimes, we still love it- and I think it's fair to give the Sequel Trilogy some of that leeway too, even if it doesn't appeal to our nostalgia in the same way.
     
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  4. Kylocity

    Kylocity Rebel Official

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    I hear what you're saying, but this is PRECISELY why TFA worked so well. The force "ex-machina", or whatever you want to call it, transformed Rey in the Luke-like character of the ST to root for. As @RoyleRancor and @cawatrooper have explained this use of the force also happened in the OT.

    I think the problem many people are seeing is that Rey, even without the force, is a much more accomplished person than Luke ever was. Rey is more dynamic, agile, resourceful, articulate. But Luke was Luke, friendly and likable that he was, and Rey is Rey, a girl who for me represents one of the many talented girls, sometimes enslaved like her too, overlooked and under appreciated in many counties in our very own planet. I think all this Mary Sue business is a question of not being attuned to or appreciative of this particular social message in these films.
     
    #104 Kylocity, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  5. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    In your opinion.
     
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  6. Perdu

    Perdu Rebel Official

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    Luke's character was given more time to develop.

    Rey splits time with Ren hence neither one has developed to the point where I am comfortable with the who, when, why, how questions and answers of either character.

    I am not able to bond with either character yet. I think this is the root issue.
     
  7. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Pretty sure I saw somewhere that Kylo Ren had like 2o something minutes of screentime in TFA, and maybe 30 something in TLJ, but okay...
     
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  8. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order CPS
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    is screen time really a measure for bonding?
    i was just telling @NinjaRen that i spent two hours actually hating Kylo Ren only to suddenly open my whole heart to him on that bridge at the end.

    seems like the onus to "bond" is on us (and plenty of people do love these characters).
    fair enough if a person don't bond for whatever reason, but it's not necessarily the movie's fault.
     
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  9. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    I wouldn't say it is (some short films streamline this immensely), but I was addressing @Perdu's claim that Rey having to share screentime with Kylo has dilluted them both.

    Unless I misunderstood that comment.
     
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  10. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 First Order CPS
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    yeah i guess maybe i'm not sure what that means either?
    do we bond less with character who share time or spend time alone?
    i guess i never conscientiously considered what causes me to bond with a character.

    i bonded with Poe the moment he insulted Kylo Ren in TFA and he hadn't been on screen for more than about two or three minutes (ha!)
     
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  11. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    I'm sure it's a totally subjective thing. Immersion is certainly part of it, but as you point out some clever dialogue or acting can do wonders.
     
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  12. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Personally, I have no problem with Rey relying on the Force in that scenario. I just found it odd how strangely specific it was. A mind trick? Really? Maybe if it had been foreshadowed a bit more. She sees Kylo use it on someone or even her. Han or Maz maybe mention it to her in passing. Some frame of reference for me to say “oh, that’s right, she would know to do that.”

    I think it should have been avoided altogether though. Simply have Kylo point out to her in dialogue which switch releases the restraints. After he leaves her alone, she concentrates and struggles, focusing on the switch and, with observable effort, manages to flip it and let herself go. Then she can call for the guard, hide in his blind spot, and then whamo! Sleepy time for Daniel Craig. She nicks his baster and it’s business as usual. It’s presented as something more visceral, attainable, and sets up her pulling the saber to herself later on.

    Sorry to fanfic. That scene never ruined anything for me, the choice just puzzled me.
     
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  13. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Force Sensitive

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    I think there is a difference in the way it was used in Empire vs. TLJ. Luke struggles with it until he is trained. That scene in the cave, he's not force pulling the light saber and busting a cap on the Wampa's ass. By Bespin he's been trained. He might not be a full fledged Jedi Knight, but he is far along the path, and has received far more training then Rey had.

    I think there is a difference in that the force ghosts aren't being used to get Luke out of trouble, but simply to move the plot along. I guess you could argue that the ghosts are a sort of deus ex machina, but Obi Wan doesn't get Luke out of a situation in which he's about to die (unless you are going to argue that Obi Wan is somehow responsible for Han finding him just as Obi Wan disappears).

    This is pretty much how I feel. At least take another what, 30 second and give some reference to it. Make it less of a deus ex machina device to get her out of trouble.

    I love the character Rey and it's potential, I just feel like, especially in TLJ, they have truly screwed the pooch so to speak, especially with what could have been an awesome character. Unfortunately, Ahsoka Tano she is not.
     
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  14. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Also, there’s the degree of latitude the audience naturally extends by virtue of a time jump. Luke began learning the Force in ANH. Some noticeable stretch has passed since then. Seems plausible he’d have picked up some new tricks in that time.

    Still though, I can’t imagine there weren’t some folks sitting in a theater back in 1980 saying to themselves “Whoa, what? They can move stuff with their minds now? Why weren’t they doing that in the last movie then? Remember when OB1 had to climb around that tower over a bottomless pit to pull a lever? What the hell?” :D
    They establish that she’s heard of Luke. Maybe expand that a little and let us know that she was aware of some of the Force abilities he was said to be capable of. Things of legend she thought were fantasy, but now is willing to try out of desperation. Just a bit more. Just a bit. Otherwise, it comes off to me like she’s seen these movies too :)
     
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  15. Kylocity

    Kylocity Rebel Official

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    I like fanfic, so bring it on!! :)

    I just took that mind control example as a nod to Obli One’s first display of power in ANH and probably one of the most interesting ones. I did not find it too surprising, mainly because out of the blue Rey had just been able to read Kylo’s mind and it worked for her. I also remembered Obi One explaining to Luke that the force is particularly powerful when dealing with the weak minded (stormtroopers), so I assumed fooling those guys wasn’t that hard... Also kylo explaining to his men what was happening to Rey worked for me. I admit I was completely invested in the character and what was happening. I assumed Rey was just strong in the force and was getting stronger, as it was explained.

    The display of force powers in the ST is more enhanced than in the OT. Vader’s force chokes and Obi One’s mind control have been heightened for a newer younger audience who I suspect are more demanding about special effects. If they used the force in the same manner as it was used in the 70s and 80s TFA and TLJ would probably have felt a bit dated and uninteresting.
     
    #115 Kylocity, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  16. BobRoss

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    I think you have a different understanding of what deus ex machina means. A supernatural solution to a problem isn't a deaus ex machina per se. A deus ex machina is a cheap copout that doesn't require any previous buildup and follows no logical conclusion based on previous information. Telepathic communication via the force has been used multiple times before the events on Cloud City (Obi Wan and Stormtroopers/Vader/Luke/millions of voices crying out in fear...) so Luke is simply making use of the tools that had already been established earlier in the narrative.

    Let's compare Luke's telepathic forcepower (calling Leia fro help) vs Rey's telepathic forcepower (manipulating a Stormtrooper to let her go):
    Luke is an established forceuser at the respective point in the movie, he has witnessed the use of telekinetic forcepowers before => not a deus ex machina
    Rey isn't an established forceuser at the respective point in the movie, she has never witnessed the use of ANY form of forcepower => deus ex machina
    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 22, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 22, 2018 ---
    Really cool idea. Here's the thing though. I don't like to write the script for the movie makers. It's their job. Crucial information like this needs to be present in the movie in one way or another so I'd be great if they mentioned why Rey is mastering the force so quickly in IX.
     
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  17. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Okay, but do we always need to go back to these two points:

    1) The philosophy of the Force has clearly changed between the prequels and sequels.

    2) Rey clearly knows at least something about Luke and previous Jedi.

    Just because JJ Abrams didn't wheel out a chalkboard and explain exactly how Rey knew about the ability of the Force to persuade doesn't mean that Rey couldn't have been aware of it.

    And by the way... in none of your examples was Luke present for witnessing the power to telepathically communicate either... so he's literally still in the same boat Rey is. And I'd hardly call ESB Luke an "established Force User" at that point. Common theory is that he was on Dagobah for a few days, maybe a week or two.

    If that's not a double standard, I don't know what is anymore...
     
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  18. BobRoss

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    Uhm he sat like 30 centimeters next to Obi Wan when he pulled off the mindtrick. He even had firsthand experience communicating with Obi wan during the trenchrun. But I guess hearing some legends abotu the force is the same. At this point I really have to ask myself at what point would you say: Well this is not how the force works. What does it take for you to break the suspension of disbelief? Could she let's randomly discover how to turn back time or lift an entire army of AT-ATs? Because your "the force works in mysterious ways" explaination would apply to these scenarios as well.
     
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  19. Kylocity

    Kylocity Rebel Official

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    Luke may be an established force user, but Leia isn’t and she still answers the call and saves him. So that theory doesn’t hold water.

    And neither JJ nor RJ are using the force as a deus ex machina, if one one wants to be fastidious about this. It is obvious that JJ and RJ want to establish Rey and Kylo as very strong force users and they are using thelepathy and mind tricks quite deliberately to demonstrate it, whilst forwarding the plot and developing character as good writers do.
     
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  20. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    So you're saying the mind trick, telepathic communication, and communicating with a Force ghost are all the same ability?

    Yeah, I do say that we don't know how the Force works a lot, because we don't- and when we conflate all of these abilities and try to use them interchangeably, you'll have to excuse my extreme skepticism that you actually can say this definitively at all.
     
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