Lion of the Blogosphere

Rey in The Force Awakens

I agree with the quote below from James Delingpole’s review of The Force Awakens:

In the original Star Wars movie, the ONLY interesting characteristic about the ineffably dull Luke Skywalker was his battle to overcome his innate milquetoastness and somehow become the saviour of the universe. With the new heroine, Rey, we don’t even get that small consolation. Basically she is AMAZING from the off.

Why is she amazing? Girl power, of course. Girls can just do the most incredible shit that boys never could. They can fly ageing space cruisers they’ve never once flown before, mastering the controls in seconds to the point where, just a minute later, they can steer them through near-impossible dog fight manoeuvres. They’re good in hand-to-hand combat situations too. They’re so naturally brilliant — because they’re girls, obv. — that they don’t even need to undergo lengthy training sessions on Dagobah in the use of The Force. (Bollocks this is).

And they’re great mechanics, too, because, again, girls are like that: their minds are so geared to engineering and spacecraft maintenance and stuff, they can teach guys like Han Solo a thing or two, just you listen. Oh, and they’re also fluent in robot. Some critics of the old school might argue that a heroine who can overcome every obstacle without difficulty is a heroine without interest or entertainment value or, indeed, plausibility. But that’s just sexism.

Even after Luke had some Force training from Yoda, he was still utterly schlonged by Darth Vader at the end of Empire Strikes Back. He only lived because Darth Vader was trying to convert him to the Dark Side instead of killing him.

I would also remind you that Rey’s mind control abilities vastly exceeded those of Ben Kenobi who was the galaxy’s most senior Jedi Knight. Ben was able to make a bored stormtrooper not pay close attention to two droids (there were zillions of droids at the spaceport) but Rey was able to make a stormtrooper act directly against his orders and even against his own survival instincts by freeing a prisoner and handing over his weapon to her. (These aren’t the droids you’re looking for has become a classic movie quote. I guarantee you that nothing anyone said in the Force Awakens will be quoted 35 years from now. [And if you click on the link and watch the YouTube clip, you will also hear C3PO make a racist comment.])

I also wonder how Rey even learned to fly spacecraft. Luke Skwyalker grew up in a middle-class household where his foster parents were able to pay for his education and pilot training, but Rey was an orphan living alone and surviving by scavenging for junk.

I also agree with the following about Finn (played by John Boyega):

Boyega has only two functions: 1.) be black 2.) be scaredy-cat and useless so that the Rey character (see above) can show how feisty and amazing and not-scared-of-anything and omnicompetent girls are by comparison.

I am now convinced that all of the weaknesses of the film were overlooked by mainstream reviewers because the movie had diversity.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 6, 2016 at EDT am

Posted in Movies

20 Responses

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  1. I was disappointed in it, and that’s an opinion that is damn near heresy if you state it publicly, I won’t give away the big spoiler of the movie but it was one that was designed to bring out emotion and raise the stakes…and I felt nothing. And I was surprised by not feeling anything. How do you screw THAT up?

    Mike Street Station

    January 6, 2016 at EDT am

    • By making the movie about diversity and rehashing old themes. Just think about how many repeats there were between New Hope/Empire and Force Awakens.


      January 6, 2016 at EDT am

      • Scar Wars was always about diversity. Lately, the human characters in of the White race have taken a backseat in ST. Mark Hamill was and is still a one trick pony to bolster the fame of others.


        January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  2. OT, the Norks just got the H-Bomb.

    Trump is all over this, saying this is China’s problem to solve and saying we should get tough on trade with China over this until they deal with North Korea.

    Which is exactly the perfect answer. China is now feeling the rhetorical heat and they are probably already putting pressure on the Norks over this. Meanwhile Obama knows what the right answer to this problem is because Trump just said.

    President Trump is already implementing excellent foreign policy with his words even though he has no formal office.

    Further, Trump called out North Korea in the second debate. Nobody else anywhere mentioned them.


    January 6, 2016 at EDT am

  3. Lion, this is my criticism exactly. Sometimes, when it comes to space magic, less is more. Obi-Wan’s “Jedi mind trick” was cool because of its subtlety, which aids suspension of disbelief (a precious resource in sci-fi/fantasy).

    In Return of the Jedi (oft-criticized, but now looking much better as the 3rd best film out of 7), Luke’s use of the Jedi mind trick was more brazen than Obi-Wan’s. But that scene at least served to highlight that Luke had greatly improved in the Force over the course of the prior 2 films and the interim between ESB and ROTJ. He never used it in ESB, let alone ANH.

    Rey’s use of the ability was almost self-parody. Actually, the whole character is almost a self-parody of the Mary Sue powergirl.


    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  4. “I am now convinced that all of the weaknesses of the film were overlooked by mainstream reviewers because the movie had diversity.”

    Actually its probably payola.


    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  5. The other ridiculous thing about the Rey character is that she was abandoned as a child and grew up without any friends or family and this somehow turned her into a plucky underdog (with ridiculously perfect diction in addition to all her other ridiculous and improbable skills) rather than a raving lunatic smearing excrement everywhere. It’s this mindless thing where if you feel bad for Luke Skywalker who had to grow up with his aunts and uncle then you’ll feel even worse for someone who had to grow up with absolutely no human contact whatsoever.

    We saw something very similar with Mad Max Fury Road which was crippled by the boring, uncharismatic, and almost entirely female protagonists.

    It’s become a very viable strategy to make a film with a feminists message, trumpet that message extensively, dare anyone to criticize the film, and then step back and watch as anyone who does so is tarred as a misogynist. Paul Feig has centered his career on doing this for comedies.

    Lloyd Llewellyn

    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

    • Incidentally, the worst you can say about Luke’s uncle is that he didn’t understand Luke’s youthful desire for adventure. He genuinely cared about Luke which is why he didn’t want Luke to wind up as a soldier on either side of an intergalactic war.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  6. 1000 Times yes.

    The reason I’ve grown to hate diversity in contemporary entertainment isn’t because I can’t bear to watch women or black people do interesting things. It’s because Hollywood finds it impossible to make women or minority characters complex or interesting with real challenges, weaknesses or moral failings. They don’t want to offend the SJW pressure groups by violating the PC narrative that these are perfect and can do no wrong. If Hollywood endowed these characters with something interesting, it would show that we view these people as equals and value their humanity. Instead we get empty cocoa colored ciphers and Mary Sues.

    Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  7. Also what only rarely gets pointed out is that the derivative rehashing of the original trilogy is not only evidence of lazy writing but also undermines the original trilogy far more than the “George Lucas Raped my Childhood” prequels ever could. All of the events of episodes 4-6 and the intervening years appear to have had, with exception of aging everyone to a really depressing degree, no political or personal effects for the galaxy or any of the characters. Every bit of personal growth they undertook was an illusion. Every political victory they achieved was meaningless. The rebellion is just as small and scrappy as in episode 4 and the first order is if anything more powerful than the empire. Han and Leia are just as they were at the beginning. Luke, it’s implied, has changed but for the worst since he’s abandoned all his friends, the rebellion, and the Jedi order.

    Lloyd Llewellyn

    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  8. Dramatic fantasies reflect the culture. King Arthur had to prove himself worthy before he could draw the sword from the stone. The Ninja had to train for years in isolation before they had the power to defeat others.

    Now, the EBT card is automatically loaded if you have the proper SJW cred. You just have to show up and grrrl power, etc. is yours.


    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  9. Who cares about PC in movies. It’s Hollywood, hardly a bastion of merit anyway. And if any realm should be a place where unrealistic ideals are played out, it’s there. Whining about how unrealistic it is for a girl to be mechanically-inclined in a movie with a sentient fish military commander is more than a little ridiculous. But maybe I’m not nerd enough to be outraged by it.

    Asian quotas in the Ivy League e.g., that’s where PC is damaging. Or in police matters. Something like that is worth complaining about.


    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

    • “Whining about how unrealistic it is for a girl to be mechanically-inclined in a movie with a sentient fish military commander is more than a little ridiculous.”


      We don’t live in a world with sentient fish men – we do live in a world with girls. There’s no implication of “well, this is an alternate universe where women are mechanically competent”. It’s straightforwardly meant to be normal and realistic. Same with all the women pilots and soldiers in the movie.

      Steve Johnson

      January 7, 2016 at EDT am

  10. Funny how the Force chose to be so strong in a hot, sexy, white young female.

    It would have at least added an interesting curveball if the girl had been that fat African-American girl from the film ‘Precious’ or the girl in the witness stand when that nasty white ‘Hispanic’ guy shot that innocent little Skittles boy (I’m not American and I can’t be bothered to remember or look up their names).

    Either of them having the Force would be hilarious. Maybe it would make them be able to read and write?

    ‘Ten out of ten on your spelling test….Shaqqwinza….have you been using the Force again?’

    prolier than thou

    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

    • It would have at least added an interesting curveball if the girl had been that fat African-American girl from the film ‘Precious’…


      Proof that there is more creativity in ten minutes of internet message board than ten hours of Hollywood.


      January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  11. I thought it would have been interesting if Rey had been turned to the Dark Side. What with being so strong in the force, so suddenly, and having no mentor, it should have been explored as a danger.

    But no, she has to be perfect….

    Raoul Duke

    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

  12. We don’t give black people enough credit. They’re not buying into this crap, either. As baked as this guy is, even he recognizes p.c. bullcrap.

    Raoul Duke

    January 6, 2016 at EDT pm

    • If I made an anti-weed commercial, it would look like this.


      January 7, 2016 at EDT am

      • The funny thing is, he makes pretty much the same points as every other person who disliked the movie.

        Raoul Duke

        January 7, 2016 at EDT pm

  13. I also wonder how Rey even learned to fly spacecraft.

    This is evidently explained in greater detail in the novelization:

    “#30: Rey used to sneak onto the Millennium Falcon — and other ships — at night to study them. Which is how she knew so much about the ship’s layout and internal workings. As a pilot, she’d been flying ground vehicles of all sorts since she could remember but she was fascinated by all things mechanical.”

    That said, Delingpole is right. Rey is a Mary Sue of ever there was one. All things come too easily to her.


    January 8, 2016 at EDT pm

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