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Star Wars' Daisy Ridley calls 'Mary Sue' talk about Rey sexist

Contributed by
Dec 21, 2017

Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

The Force may be with Rey in a big way, but if you're Daisy Ridley, that doesn't mean she's a poorly developed character – or as some netizens negatively put it, a "Mary Sue."

In an interview while making the publicity rounds for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the 25-year-old actress hit back at such critics who argue her orphan alter ego is merely the continuation of a long-running sci-fi archetype in which a female character is seen as  the embodiment of perfection given her amazing abilities and how easily things come to her.

In Rey's case in her debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, those included being able to pilot the Millennium Falcon despite never having left the junk planet Jakku, wielding lightsabers like a Jedi, and controlling stormtroopers' minds.

Ridley, however, wholeheartedly rejects the comparison.

 

"I don't buy the Mary Sue thing anyway. I find the term sexist in itself because it's Mary Sue. I don't think there's a thing called Ryan Craig," Ridley said in the sit-down. "When I was doing it … playing her I never felt sure of what was going on. It wasn't like this was happening and now I'm powerful and look at me go."

In fact, our heroine is full of uncertainty, particularly about her family. In the new trilogy, Rey isn't any sort of "Chosen One" a la Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace. In fact, The Last Jedi reveals that her parents were essentially, in the words of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) "nobody" -- junk traders who sold her for drinking money.

So for Ridley, such criticism is way off base.

"Essentially all I found Rey trying to do in the first one was she was trying to do the right thing. Like, she was trying to help BB-8. She was trying to help Finn. And now she's trying to help the Resistance," she added. "It's not the sort of self-centered power she's exhibiting. 'Cause also she didn't ask for anything in the first one. Like she wasn't asking to go on this adventure, she was just an orphan."

It's worth noting this criticism isn't causing any problems for The Last Jedi at the box office. The latest Star Wars installment has racked up a whopping $494 million and counting in global ticket sales in just five days in release.