When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” premiered to box office records and critical acclaim last December, it did so with a female hero front and center. Daisy Ridley introduced cinema to a brand new heroine worth lauding, but not everyone was too happy with the franchise’s new addition, Rey. Fanboys like screenwriter Max Landis criticized the film for making Rey a “Mary Sue,” a fan-fiction term that generally describes a character that is too perfect. The fact that Rey was a scavenger who could perfectly fly a space ship and wield a lightsaber bothered certain viewers, despite the fact that Rey was obviously learning to embrace a side of herself she didn’t knew existed: A jedi.
During a recent sit-down with Josh Horowitz for MTV News’ “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Ridley was asked about the controversy over her character and admitted that the reaction confused her. “I think Rey is incredibly vulnerable, and nothing she’s doing is for the greater good,” she said. “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.”
Ridley later went on to criticize the very notion of the “Mary Sue” character. “The Mary Sue thing in itself is sexist because it’s the name of a woman,” she told Horowitz, noting that Luke had the exact same capabilities in the original “Star Wars” and never faced criticism. Clearly fanboys are missing the fact that Rey’s fast-learning abilities are most likely force related, and that she’s probably got Skywalker blood somewhere in her DNA.
With “Star Wars: Rogue One” set for release December 18, it’s only a matter of time before the internet has some thoughts about Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso. Daisy Ridley and Rey will return in “Star Wars: Episode VIII” on December 15, 2017.