Some Star Wars fans can't seem to handle the fact that The Force Awakens and Rogue One both feature female leads, despite the former receiving great reviews. The supposed issue is that that the Force Awakens protagonist, Rey is seemingly flawless, and has thus been labeled as a "Mary Sue."
But actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, doesn't understand why her character is a Mary Sue archetype. When speaking on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast, Ridley explained why the criticisms are wrong.
"The Mary Sue thing in itself is sexist because it's the name of a woman," she says. "Everyone was saying that Luke had the exact same [abilities]. 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."
Many people on Twitter agreed with Ridley's take.
It's interesting to point out Rey's comparisons to Luke Skywalker — and Anakin Skywalker, by extension, who was a protagonist-turned-villain in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Both characters were attuned with the Force, and immensely gifted, but neither received such criticisms. The biggest issues for the prequels, in particular, is that they just aren't very good.
Anakin was gifted, but of course, tragically flawed, falling prey to the Dark Side in Revenge of the Sith. (He kills some young Padawans in what's one of the saddest sequences in the Star Wars franchise.) Rey is by no means this problematic, but she isn't a perfect character either.
As an apparent leaked script of The Force Awakens, obtained by Slashfilm, indicates, Rey's lightsaber battle with Kylo Ren subtly tempts her to the Dark Side. Rey holds back in the final moments after gaining the edge, and it's described as her standing "on a greater edge than even the cliff — the edge of the dark side."
The actors have already teased that the still-untitled Episode VIII will have a darker narrative. Perhaps as a result, any facile concerns that Rey is without faults will be put to rest.