Is Max Landis right in calling Rey a Mary Sue? Warning: this post is filled with spoilers!!!

NO REALLY – I SAY A LOT ABOUT THE MOVIE IN THIS POST – DON’T READ THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN IT OR DO NOT MIND SPOILERS

You Have Been Warned

Recently a man named Max Landis Posted to Twitter and Youtube that he would have liked Star Wars: The Force Awakens more if Rey hadn’t been a Mary Sue. After much backlash about this, he posted another video in response explaining why he thinks she is a Mary Sue, and also making a note that nothing fans of the movie will say could change his opinion, and vise versa. Still, he was met with more negativity. I think it’s a little bit much for people to be saying things about his family like, “Your father killed children.” or comparing him to the guy that hiked up the price of AIDS medication. Come on people, he’s a man with an opinion, not some woman hating white supremacist! The man had an opinion and it’s valid in his eyes. I can even see his side in it, but I believe he’s flawed in his argument and comparisons. He explains that Ray was too good at everything she did. She could kick butt, she was strong in the force and able to use it too well. But was she any better at things than other characters in the Star Wars franchise? Was she really all that perfect?

Lets look on her ability with the Millennium Falcon real quick. She was familiar with the Falcon, had probably been on the Falcon a time or two to work on it, as well as probably scavanged from a star destroyer and whatever else ships that had found their way to the junkyard slum she inhabited. When your whole life revolves around electronics and spare parts, you get familiar with stuff like that. She actually wasn’t perfect with piloting the Falcon in the beginning, either. She was like a teenager learning how to drive a car the first time, running into the ground, flying horribly, but necessity is the mother of invention and they were running for their lives. She got good real quick. Now, she’d lived most of her life near the Falcon. Just like a kid that grows up in a car junkyard near a garage will learn a thing or two about car parts, she wasn’t unfamiliar with different ships. That she was able to bypass the whatchamajig was very believable. How about her mechanical aptitude in general. She’s been scavenging from a Star Destroyer for who knows how long and anything else that doesn’t move and metal. If she turns in junk, that means she doesn’t get to eat. Wouldn’t you learn what works and what doesn’t quick if it’s a matter of starving vs. being able to live one more day? I bet the girl lives and breaths electronics and ship parts. But she wasn’t perfect either, or do I need to remind someone that she let out the rathtars when she was trying to close a hatch?

How about being able to kick butt? I don’t know about you, but the slums she was in didn’t seem any better than the slums in modern times. Wanna know what happens to a girl that can’t defend herself in those situations? I bet you can guess. You either learn to fight or you die. Now, I admit, she was better with a lightsaber than you would expect a girl that fights with a staff, but she wasn’t amazing. For the most part of their duel, she was on the defensive, and she was fighting a wounded opponent. Same could be said about Finn, but that’s a different argument for another post.

But one of the bigest comparisons Landis used was Rey to Luke Skywalker. However, Luke was just as much of a Mary Sue as Rey. He was a great pilot, a crack shot, and was able to wield the force virtually untrained. You mean to say that you believe a farmboy from the remote planet of Tatooine who’d probably only driven a sandspeeder was able to fly an X-wing with no problem, but couldn’t believe that a scavanger on Jakku could suddenly fly the Falcon dispite being more familiar with the ship? What about Luke’s ability with the force? Remember that the only training he’d had was that brief moment in the Falcon with the remote droid and Obiwan, and yet he was able to use his force senses and reflexes to avoid being hit by Darth Vader in his Tie Fighter without even knowing he was doing it, then shoot down a narrow port to destroy the Deathstar. Later on Hoth in the cave in the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back he was able to force pull the saber into his hand, much like Rey did in her final battle with Ren. Virtually untrained, Luke managed to preform seriously difficult tasks in dire situations. Was he perfect, no. When he tried to lift his X-wing out of the swamps of Degoba, he failed, thinking it impossible. If he didn’t concentrate he couldn’t stand on one hand and stack a bunch of rocks into a tower with Yoda on his foot. But then again, some things don’t come as easily to every Jedi. In comparison, Rey gets force-held (is that the term I’m looking for?) by Ren, then he uses the force to make her pass out. Honestly I rolled my eyes at that part. Really? You make the girl pass-out and kidnap her so the guys can rescue her? Really? But right now it makes the point for me that she was not 100% the perfect badass woman. Even Leia got kidnapped (in each movie). In this instance Rey was not imediately able to fight off the powers of Kylo Ren, and we don’t expect her to. When she tries her hand at using Jedi Mind Tricks on the guard, he doesn’t initially do what she wants, nor does he the second time. We didn’t see her struggling with trying to force-pull the lightsaber but who said she hadn’t been after Finn dropped it? And the battle of Force-Will that happened in the interrogation room (the one that’s sparked a plethora of smutty Fanfiction between the two of them) wasn’t 100% either. He saw things in her memories even though she was resisting him. Yes, he failed in seeing the map, but he wasn’t fully barred from her mind. She turned the tables on him, but all she got was something that would be forefront on his mind, don’t you think? Feeling inadequate beneath the shadow of a great relative is something that would stick with you. That was the only thing she got from him. Although, I won’t discount the theory that she got some hint as to how to use the Force while in his head.

Nor in any of this was she one-dimentional. Yes, she’d spend most of her life waiting for her family to come back, and that was her driving motive for getting back to Jakku so that she would be there when she returned. However, she also showed a sense of honor when dealing with BB-8 and getting him back to the resistance first when she heard his calls for help when the jawa thing was trying to capture him, then when the scavenger offered her enough food for a month for BB-8 and finally when they were at Kanata’s palace and Finn was trying to run away. What about when faced with the visions from the lightsaber? She got scared and suddenly nothing else was important but that she get away from it.

Let me pose a question to you though. If the main character was helpless and weak the entirety of the movie/book, would you enjoy it? Likewise, if the main character was the best at everything would you still enjoy the story? A good wordsmith and director give their protagonist a balance of skill and ignorance. They are good at some things, but not all of it. They also make the acquisitions of those skills believable in the character’s background. After that, it really is just a matter of opinion whether or not they were successful.

My verdict? They were no more or less successful than their predicessors. I sure believed her skill with electronics in her young adult years than Anakin’s ability when he was 9. But that’s just it, my opinion, and I’m just as entitled to it as Landis is. He didn’t intend on coming off as sexist just because he didn’t like how Rey’s character was written. He was just stating an opinion, which he is within his rights to have. His critique won’t spoil Star Wars for young girls that see a role model in Rey, nor should it be taken as some anti-female jedi speech. If the main character had been a man, then his review would have been taken as just that. So, I guess I would just like to end this by saying it’s okay to not like the movie as much as some people. It’s okay to like the movie better than most as well. But going after a guy because you both disagree is not right and perhaps you should chill and go watch the movie again to show your support.

Keep it friendly guys, and I’ll see you on the flip-side!

I’m Alive! I Swear!

Just thought I’d take a look at my page and wouldn’t you know, I haven’t hardly done anything on my writing blog! Imagine that. But we all knew I was a slacker, right? Besides, I have my reasons! Well, okay I didn’t have an excuse till November but before then I had been handwriting in a notebook. But here I am leaving you all with something to prove that I am in fact still alive. Pardon any punctuation or odd words, I’m doing this on a phone. Read more of this post

A Blog a Day…

No, that’s not me going for a blog a day goal.  I don’t feel I have that much to say honestly, or at least not that much that should be shared.  I’m not consistent enough to do so anyway.  It’s more of an expression like “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but in this case it’s more like “a blog a day keeps the psychiatrist at bay.”

I don’t expect I’ll ever getting around to eating an apple every day, but I do enjoy one occasionally for a more healthy sweet treat.  Conversely, I don’t blog every day, but when I do I find it therapeutic.  At least I do when I have real life things to talk about that are causing me distress. Read more of this post

Traumatic Cookies

It hit me today how traumatic just making cookies has become for me.  Not traumatic as in they remind me of abuse, but that the thought of making them makes me unbearably sad.  They shouldn’t.  I love to make cookies from scratch.  I use a modified version of my mother’s recipe that we worked out years ago over the phone so that I’d get them just the way I like them.  I’ve since been making this recipe so much that I could very nearly make it with my eyes closed.  I love having to guard the bowl from my little ankle biters, then sneaking a little cookie dough when they aren’t looking, knowing that when it was my mom, she had five kids, their friends, and my father to keep away from the cookie dough.  It’s no wonder that my recipe yields more cookies than hers said it would, I don’t more than half a dozen mouths to fight off.  I love pulling them out, letting them cool a little, then scarfing down three while they’re still warm and the chocolate still melted.  I love taking them to family get togethers and sharing them, coming home with nothing (don’t worry, I try to save enough dough at home to make another dozen).  But it’s taking them to share with family that’s caused my problem. Read more of this post

The Magic Spreadsheet and Open Office!

Okay,  just a warning, this post seems to be full of links.  Feel free to click ones that catch your fancy, or just ignore them as I try to clumsily explain them, either way.  Now I know what you are thinking, but I swear, I’ve been writing off and on, I’m just not using WordPress as my personal word processor anymore.  Used to be, it was the only ‘program’ that I could get both a spell check and a word count since I don’t have Microsoft word, nor do I have the money to buy the overpriced office suite it comes with.  No problems though, I found something better!  I will be posting some of my writing on here, eventually.  For the most part though, I’ve been keeping my work safely wrapped up on a flash drive and my computer. Read more of this post

Spam is getting creative…

Is it just me, or is the spam comments getting more creative? Call me simple, but I get a little bit of entertainment out of reading some of them to see what trick they try to use to make it seem like they’re legit. Two of the four I just blasted could have been, if it hadn’t been for them both being, just vague enough and posted on the same old post. One pretended to have a room mate that was always going on “about this topic” and that they would be sharing the post with them, the other pretended to have a colleague that was doing research on “the same topic” and they treated the spammer to dinner for showing them the post. Again, just vague enough they could go for any post I had, yet story-like enough to pique the writer in me. Besides all that, the grammar was practically flawless!  The post, by the way was Plumbob: the Making.  Anyone out there have an amusing spam story? Write about it in the comments!

Oh My God! YES!YES!YES!

I was perusing Diamond Candle giveaways because I’m in major candle mode, and I came across Peanut Butter and Whine’s Giveaway Blog.  As there were a billion ways to enter her most recent giveaway I started going down the line and making what entry I felt comfortable with.  One entry requires you to comment on one of her other blog posts that weren’t giveaway related (another that you blog about her hehehehe) and I found this Gem, literally! Any red-blooded girl (or guy, I won’t discriminate) that loves earrings, or knows a girl (or guy) that loves earrings should click that link, or click the pic! Remember to put in 0704 in the coupon code for a free pair of $60 Garnet stud earrings! The code is only good till January 28, 2014!  You have to pay for shipping, but seriously, you’re gonna squabble about shipping?  I’m not! And while you’re there, you could check out some of the other earrings, there’s the free pair of Diamond heart studs and Amethyst heart studs both using the 0801 coupon code for them to be free, however I can’t guarantee for how long those are free.

Woot Woot!

Update!!!

 

_01-20-14_803  Got my earrings in the mail Friday and they are FABULOUS!!!

Hope you all enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I’m waiting for the ball to drop here in Iowa, and as I think back on the year I have to say it was the suck…This time last year the family had just put a beloved grandmother in hospice care, then the call that my brother had been found early that morning on the floor, gone.  We lost the grandmother just days later, and my husband and I attended seperate funerals states away.  Then my mother-in-laws diagnosis which has culminated in a very serious surgery that, though she’s recovering from, has left all members of the family beside themselves.  It has finished off with another close family member having a nervous breakdown.

But not everything has been so bad.  My children are growing into stronger young men, my oldest nearly as tall as me now, and catching up quick.  I started playing an online MMO with my other brother and his beautiful wife.  I have met some of the nicest, and most interesting people on the game, and I’m glad to have met them all either through said brother and sister-in-law, or through my husband and our mutual friend.  I am thankful that we more than just make do, though we aren’t rolling in it by any means.  We’re still alive, we’re still together, and mostly happy and healthy.

Considering though, I guess I’ve been a bit out of it this last year.  I’ve been flighty, I’ve been weepy, I’ve been not all there at times.  It’s been a blur on good days, and I won’t even comment on the bad days.

Here’s to a better year with a healthier family, more focus, money, etc.!

A Little Break While I Catch Up With Myself!

I Am A: Neutral Good Human Bard/Rogue (2nd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-12
Dexterity-13
Constitution-12
Intelligence-13
Wisdom-14
Charisma-15

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Bards often serve as negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies. They love to accompany heroes (and villains) to witness heroic (or villainous) deeds firsthand, since a bard who can tell a story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. A bard casts arcane spells without any advance preparation, much like a sorcerer. Bards also share some specialized skills with rogues, and their knowledge of item lore is nearly unmatched. A high Charisma score allows a bard to cast high-level spells.

Secondary Class:
Rogues have little in common with each other. While some – maybe even the majority – are stealthy thieves, many serve as scouts, spies, investigators, diplomats, and simple thugs. Rogues are versatile, adaptable, and skilled at getting what others don’t want them to get. While not equal to a fighter in combat, a rogue knows how to hit where it hurts, and a sneak attack can dish out a lot of damage. Rogues also seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to avoiding danger. Experienced rogues develop nearly magical powers and skills as they master the arts of stealth, evasion, and sneak attacks. In addition, while not capable of casting spells on their own, a rogue can sometimes ‘fake it’ well enough to cast spells from scrolls, activate wands, and use just about any other magic item.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Two Months of Writing Prompts. Day One: Making a list and checking it twice.

Sometimes, I have a little difficulty getting started/back on track with my writing.  This isn’t necessarily the case at the moment, but I came across  a link to R. L. Stine’s Nightmare Room Writing Program that he’s offering free to teachers and students.  At first I thought to use it as a personal Blog filler 😉 You know, take one of the prompts or tasks in the program and make it a blog post for the day.  I quickly thought better of it cause I thought I’d be better served going to a random (like me) writing prompt generator and using that instead!  I didn’t find any single one that I liked the best, so I decided to take 6 prompts from ten different sites and make those my fifteen days of writing prompts. (only the ones I like, mind you!)  For those of you that are interested in finding your own writing prompts I grabbed from Language is a Virus which generated a ho-hum sort of random set of prompts and some really messed up ones posted underneath but I managed to find a few that intrigued me, Prompt Generator which was more helpful in providing prompts I could relate to, Scholastic Story Starters which is a generator for kids, but could net you a pretty interesting prompt anyway, Plinky which also had some decent prompts but not a random generator, Creative Writing Prompts which also wasn’t a random generator, but could very easily get you almost through a year with the list of prompts it has alone (if you aren’t picky and just go one prompt after the other), Always Write’s Writing Prompt Generator which is pretty good, the Almost Totally Random Writing Generator that generated me “250-300 words * porn * sushi” (How could I say no?), Imagination Prompt Generator by this point I was just looking for a competent generator to be honest, Fifteen Minutes of Fiction I perused their weekly writing prompt ^^, and finally Daydreaming On Paper Because why not?  That’s basically what writing fiction is in the first place, right?

This, as you could have guessed, is another attempt (soon to be failed, I’m sure.)  at being more of a daily blogger and to speed up the process of posting every day by giving me something immediately to write about.  I had heard/read somewhere that it takes about two months for a person to take on a new habit.  It was probably a Cracked.com article , gotta love those things!  Well, here’s to getting into new habits! Anyone that wants to work alongside me may feel free to reference my list here.  Now, without further procrastination from me, Day 1: Write a dialog between two of your favorite characters from books/tv/movies. Read more of this post