What do you think of the Star Wars Sequels?

Joshua Jones

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A waste. I see the sequels as a complete waste of my time and one movie ticket (I waited until TLJ and ROS came out on Disney +, so I was even more apathetic than Night_Eternal above!).

The strength of the original trilogy, in my mind, has always been the compelling characters. Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Yoda, Vader, Lando, Boba Fett... even the stupid teddy bears are iconic in their own way. The prequels swung at compelling characters and sometimes hit, sometimes missed. The sequels took the returning characters, summarily shot (or stabbed) them in cold blood, then unleashed a botched Han clone, a possibly interesting stromtrooper who absolutely nothing is done with, a trifecta of suck villains who Vader likely would have executed for sheer annoyance factor/ throwing tantrums and breaking expensive equipment. Hux feels like a chastised college student, Snoke is literally a stand in for an actual villain pretending to be Palpatine (whose cardboard stand-in place is then filled by, of course, Palpatine ex machina), and Ben is as far from menacing as I can imagine. Scratch that; he's menacing in the worst possible way, like a toddler's mind being grafted into a grown man's body and given a laser sword, only to get partially bested by a STORMTROOPER with a weapon he had barely seen before, much less used, then a rando girl from the desert.

But, I hold a special place in my heart for Rey, a Mary Sue so Mary Sue that a Mary Sue should now be called a Rey. That place, btw, is entitled "unending hatred and manifest rage". Rey is literally (and make no mistake, I mean the dictionary definition of literally) the embodiment of everything I hate about modern female SFF characters. In an attempt to make her seem "strong" they made her have no real weaknesses and no means of defeat. She can pick up a lightsaber and best a former student of Luke and current Sith with no training whatsoever, which can only mean that she is more powerful than ANY who have gone before her. Qui Gon. Obi Wan. Anakin. Luke. Palpatine. Mace Windu. Yoda. ANYONE, because they all needed training. Set aside how much this strains credulity for a moment; it makes her battles incapable of being interesting, because she can't lose. To put it another way, they tried so hard to make her the archetypal strong female action hero that they failed to make her what she needs to be most, an interesting character with real stakes.

I've already used up just about all the antipathy I can muster on the last two paragraphs, so I'll just list a partial, representative list of what else bothers me before my apathy kicks in...
  • That TFA is almost identical to A New Hope from a plot standpoint.
  • That RoS was a MacGuffin quest to unlock the final boss level...
  • How in heck did the First Order rise to power anyway? And where is the New Republic during the first two movies?
  • The development conversation that went something like this...
"We need to make some all powerful battle station the heroes need to destroy."
"You mean, like a Death Star?"
"No, nothing like a Death Star! It's got a big ditch around it... and... climate on the outside..."
"O...K... so what does it do?"
"Destroy planets."
"Like... a Death Star?"
"No, nothing like that! This one can destroy [starts counting fingers] 5! 5 whole planets!"
"... OK... gotcha boss... what should we call it?"
"Starkiller base!"
"...because... it kills... planets... right?"
"Oh, just make up something about how a star dies every time its used or something..."
"...Right..."
  • That Rey is only competing with JarJar for first place in the "Worst Star Wars Character Deathmatch" (ok, I kinda already said this, but that's how much I hate that character!).
  • That any potentially interesting character they wasted entirely.
  • That the directors basically sabotaged each other and failed to optimize the potential present.
  • That none of the returning characters were in any way similar to their previous roles apart from maybe Chewie, and only minimal effort was shown to explain why, say, Han was now an absentee dad in a mid-life crisis.
  • Leia in space. Full stop. Please.
  • WHY THE CRAP WAS HAN A FORCE GHOST!!!???
  • On force ghosts, if they can actually do stuff, why didn't Obi-Wan make an effort to help Luke? Or Yoda... or any of these other dead Jedi/non-Jedi... And how does whatever reason one could give her not equally apply to Rey?
  • Force matter teleportation/wormholes. What started as a means for soccer mom fanservice...
  • The Holdo maneuver... not so much that it happened. I can wrap my mind around the premise. What I want to know is why on earth no one thought to weaponize hyperspace drives before and slap them on missiles.
  • Bombs. Ok, maybe a Star Destroyer has enough mass to have meaningful gravity to pull in the bombs. But in what universe does it make sense to fly near enough a giant spaceship to drop something on it rather than launch a barrage from afar...
  • That moment when Snoke pushed Hux around on the bridge... Which looked more like slapstick than a malicious action. I would have taken the moment about as seriously if Snoke grabbed Hux's hand and started striking him about with it, asking him, "Why are you hitting yourself?" repeatedly...
Ok, apathy has kicked in. The only redeeming idea from the whole series is the fever dream that Mystery Science Theater 3000 might, one day, review one of these movies...
 

Vladd67

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I went to see Star Wars when I was 10, I saw all the others at the cinema even the prequels. Then after many years I went to see the first of the sequels and haven't seen a Star Wars film since. I couldn't even tell you the plot of the first sequel, in fact I have no interest in watching more such has my interest been killed.
 

Toby Frost

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I thought The Force Awakens was entertaining enough, in a safe way. It felt like shuffling a small pack of cards. Overall, innocuous and forgettable. Solo was pretty good in points but weak and overlong in others. Rogue One was good, although it could have been trimmed down a bit. I thought the ending was especially good. I've not bothered with the two other direct sequels, but I'll probably watch them if they're on TV.

To be honest, I just think there's been enough Star Wars and I'm a bit bored of it. It doesn't help that there are so many noisy wackos among the fanbase on Youtube, Twitter and the like. It feels both sour and stale.

EDIT: re-reading this, I think the problem is that the franchise both wants to give people something new and to repeat for them the experience of discovering the original trilogy for the first time - which for a lot of people is a really important memory. I also suspect that there are bits of the fanbase that want both of those things too and are disappointed that they can't have it. The Force Awakens does feel like a slightly updated and rearranged version of A New Hope, and isn't terribly original, especially in how it focuses on Rey. Finn seemed a really interesting sort of character - a low-ranking insider who'd had enough - and I wonder if it would have been more interesting from his point of view rather than a sort-of retelling of Luke's story from the original trilogy.

But I can't help feel that it's just been done now. Certain elements of the Star Wars world feel really tired to me: in particular, the need for characters to be personally related, and the whole turning to the light and dark sides. For some reason, it just doesn't resonate the way the first trilogy did. But it might do to a younger audience coming at it fresh, which might mean that despite growing up with the original trilogy, I'm no longer the intended audience.
 
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Joshua Jones

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I thought The Force Awakens was entertaining enough, in a safe way. It felt like shuffling a small pack of cards. Overall, innocuous and forgettable. Solo was pretty good in points but weak and overlong in others. Rogue One was good, although it could have been trimmed down a bit. I thought the ending was especially good. I've not bothered with the two other direct sequels, but I'll probably watch them if they're on TV.

To be honest, I just think there's been enough Star Wars and I'm a bit bored of it. It doesn't help that there are so many noisy wackos among the fanbase on Youtube, Twitter and the like. It feels both sour and stale.
Hey! Noisy wackos? I represent that remark :giggle:, except that I'm not creating content on YouTube...

While I disagree about Force Awakens, I will grant that it is better than the latter two, and I agree with your assessment of Solo and Rogue One. For me, if Force Awakens had executed Rey, Ben, and Han better, I probably could have at least tolerated it as a stand alone movie, but I found their characterization so off-putting to make it unenjoyable for me. I'm glad you were able to find some enjoyment in it!
 

Toby Frost

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Oops! I didn't mean you, honest! Apart from the (depressingly inevitable) "political" stuff, I think a lot of it comes from people being disappointed by what's new and also missing what's old. TFA was fun and I enjoyed it at the time, but not much more. I only remember small bits of it. I had to really think to remember who Ben was, which doesn't bode well!

Maybe it's because I'm older, or that I know how Star Wars works now, or that it just wasn't that good, but I wasn't surprised by anything in TFA, and it all felt a bit by the numbers. There's a moment where a villain is giving a ranting speech to rows of soldiers, in a black uniform with big red flags, and I thought of that Mitchell and Webb sketch where one Nazi says to another "Are we the baddies?". It all felt a bit like that, somehow.
 

Joshua Jones

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Oops! I didn't mean you, honest! Apart from the (depressingly inevitable) "political" stuff, I think a lot of it comes from people being disappointed by what's new and also missing what's old. TFA was fun and I enjoyed it at the time, but not much more. I only remember small bits of it. I had to really think to remember who Ben was, which doesn't bode well!

Maybe it's because I'm older, or that I know how Star Wars works now, or that it just wasn't that good, but I wasn't surprised by anything in TFA, and it all felt a bit by the numbers. There's a moment where a villain is giving a ranting speech to rows of soldiers, in a black uniform with big red flags, and I thought of that Mitchell and Webb sketch where one Nazi says to another "Are we the baddies?". It all felt a bit like that, somehow.
Lol, I didn't think you meant me, which is why I made a joke about representing that remark as opposed to resenting it. I certainly am noisy at times, and my wife can attest to how much of a wacko I am. :giggle:

TBH I've never really been much of a Star Wars fan outside of my adolescence, when I was enamored of the original trilogy. I try to keep up with it because I make attempts at writing SF, and readers will inevitably make comparisons (even though I'm of the Star Wars is Fantasy in Space rather than proper SF, but that's an argument for another time.). But as far as actual enjoyment goes... well, it's business, not pleasure. But, is it too much to ask that business and pleasure be mixed in ENTERTAINMENT!?

And yes! I completely agree TFA was entirely by the numbers. Those who went with me can attest that I pointed to the screen and whispered "Now" at the exact moment Han was stabbed, and I felt much the same as you during the Saruman... oh, wait, Hitler... no, I'm really bad at this... General Hux... speech. But I can set aside past experiences and try to enjoy a by the numbers movie for what it is, if there is something else redeeming to it, like great characters. But, without that, I have nothing but scorn and hatred remaining. The dark side of the Force are those...
 

thaddeus6th

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Toby, I think the reason so many dislike the latest trilogy is that it retcons both the significance of major events and the way the force works.

Vader's sacrifice, the pinnacle of the original trilogy, was augmented by the prequels (which weren't perfect but certainly look better now). Yet that's diminished, as is the cause of his fall, by Mary Sue nonsense in the most recent trilogy.

Luke Skywalker, King of Hopefulness, becomes Embittered Old Failure. He risks his life (and very nearly loses it) trying to save his father, yet is willing to contemplate child murder on a maybe. It doesn't stack up.

And that's before we get to the total lack of consistency and coherence across the three films.

The trilogy both fails by itself and weakens the original trilogy. Reminds me a bit of the nonsense Doctor Who's been doing. Can't add to the lore. Gotta retcon it.
 

CriticalCarrot

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They're a huge disappointment in my opinion, they rely way too much on the nostalgia factor when they should be focusing on creating a compelling story. Not to mention each and every character is written terribly apart from the occasional good Kylo Ren scene. Rey is way overpowered, she can do things that many master jedi's couldn't do and she never even completed her training. Overall they're pretty bad, they could have been great too so it's honestly a shame.
 

Margaret Note Spelling

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One sentence: They ditched the Expanded Universe's canonicity for this?

I do mean it. I've always considered the strength of Star Wars to lie primarily in its immense and intricate and complex worldbuilding. That's what always brings me back to it. And that's what they left behind when they declared the tie-in material non-canon.

I know people who would prefer not to admit the prequels exist. I'm not in that boat--I like them well enough, even while admitting their numerous structural flaws--but if it's a choice between the Expanded Universe (sorry, Legends) and the sequels, well....

What sequels? :p
 

biodroid

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I like TFA and TRoS the most, TLJ was a mess. Why would star destroyers fire continuous warning shots to remind the rebels they are behind them for half the movie when they clearly could blow them out the sky? And Finn and Rose going on an adventure that in the end does nothing to the story except to let Finn and Rose do something while the others are on the main plot because the writers did not know what to do with Finn etc.
 

soulsinging

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Luke Skywalker, King of Hopefulness, becomes Embittered Old Failure. He risks his life (and very nearly loses it) trying to save his father, yet is willing to contemplate child murder on a maybe. It doesn't stack up.
This did it for me too. I made allowances for TFA in that it was trying to right the ship after a disappointing prequel trilogy. It was overly familiar, and yeah Han was underdeveloped and cast aside quickly, but Ford wanted out, I liked Finn, I thought Rey had potential and a good banter with Finn, the notion of an angsty teenage Vader who's maybe not as evil as he's trying to be... there was stuff to work with.

Then TLJ gave us a Luke that made no sense, separated Finn and Rey for the entire movie, stretched a decent arc for Leia past the breaking point, and generally was an unfocused mess. I've not even bothered seeing RoS. Lando and the emperor are enough to tell me they were both out of ideas and totally overcorrecting.

That said, I like Solo and Rogue One better than any SW movies outside the original trilogy. Solo walked a good line between new era grit and old era adventure, and Rogue One is basically a stellar war movie set in Star Wars.

Abandoning the extended universe was a huge mistake, and very puzzling given how successfully Disney was at drawing on a vast mythology for the Marvel franchise.
 

sule

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I sometimes wonder what the fandom would have thought of the original trilogy if the prequel trilogy had come first (and if the prequel trilogy had been good--a big ask, I know).

"So Obi Wan lets Owen and Beru die then decides that it's time to teach Luke about the Force? And then Lucas kills him not even 2/3rds of the way through the movie! This is OBI WAN KENOBI! I can't believe how poorly they used his character in this. Does Lucas even know what he's doing? And how is Obi Wan the first Force user who can be a ghost? How does that work? They never did that in the original trilogy. These sequels are just awful."

"Not to mention how much of a Mary Sue Luke is. We're supposed to believe that this guy who grew up on a farm can outclass trained Imperial pilots in a dogfight in space?"

"And it's convenient how the Millennium Falcon loses the ability to go to light speed in Empire when that's literally never been a problem before. And how come the Star Destroyers didn't just blast it out of the sky immediately?"

"How can you kill Bail Organa off-screen? Bail Organa, the leader and founder of the Rebellion, and they replace him with Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar? Those guys are the most useless military leaders I've ever seen. Thank you for your incredible insight, Ackbar. We would have no idea otherwise that it was a trap."

"And why does it take three movies for Palpatine--Darth Sidious himself, the big bad of the entire series--to even show up? He only uses Force Lightning once, then gets dumped down a reactor? Wow, what a way to waste the most powerful villain in your franchise, George."

"And where was the Pod-racing?"

(I originally was only going to do like one or two of these but once I got started it became too fun and I couldn't stop).
 

sule

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On a more serious note, I want to take a second of your time to defend Rey. She certainly has her flaws, but I wanted to share my reasons for why I think she works as a character--that she does have weaknesses and the strengths she has make sense for who she is.

First, a small semantics quibble. A Mary Sue is by definition an author stand-in (Wesley Crusher is a name I've seen used to exemplify the Mary Sue trope) and I don't think JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were trying to insert themselves into the story as Rey. I think I understand the reasoning behind a lot of people labelling her as a Mary Sue (it's a feminine name and she's a girl who is probably too powerful) but feel that the real reason this caught on is because Max Landis came up with a catchy hashtag. Not that the label really matters either way. On to my actual defense:

Rey is a very competent character, and some would say that competence isn't earned. But what do we know about Rey? Well, we know that she grew up basically alone for most of her life, having to scrabble and survive on a bitter planet run by criminals and scavengers. She had to learn to do things, and learn quick, or else she would have died. So physical competencies: acrobatics, fighting, etc., were things she absolutely would have developed over her lifetime. Maybe it seems strange that a scavenger stuck on Jakku would have learned to pilot--but is that any more strange than Luke learning to be a pilot on Tatooine? So she's a good fighter and flyer and she is very powerful in the Force, and maybe that seems like too much. But let's talk about what Rey struggles with.

What is Rey bad at? You might think she has no weaknesses, but that's only because you're looking at the physical things she does. Because Rey is an emotional wreck. She has no interpersonal skills. She trusts anyone who is nice to her because she's lived her entire life on a planet where everyone was awful. In TFA, she longs so much for someone to care about her that she stays on Jakku to wait for her parents when it's obvious they aren't coming back. She begins to trust Kylo Ren (with nearly disastrous results) because he opens up to her in a way that no other person in her life has ever done. Her lack of emotional maturity is her true struggle as a character.

I understand that I didn't change your mind about Rey, that you still think she has too much power too quickly and I'm OK with that. I mostly just wanted to share my reasonings for why I think the character of Rey works (at least in TFA and TLJ) and why a character's strengths and weaknesses can be something other than physical.
 

Joshua Jones

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I sometimes wonder what the fandom would have thought of the original trilogy if the prequel trilogy had come first (and if the prequel trilogy had been good--a big ask, I know).

"So Obi Wan lets Owen and Beru die then decides that it's time to teach Luke about the Force? And then Lucas kills him not even 2/3rds of the way through the movie! This is OBI WAN KENOBI! I can't believe how poorly they used his character in this. Does Lucas even know what he's doing? And how is Obi Wan the first Force user who can be a ghost? How does that work? They never did that in the original trilogy. These sequels are just awful."

"Not to mention how much of a Mary Sue Luke is. We're supposed to believe that this guy who grew up on a farm can outclass trained Imperial pilots in a dogfight in space?"

"And it's convenient how the Millennium Falcon loses the ability to go to light speed in Empire when that's literally never been a problem before. And how come the Star Destroyers didn't just blast it out of the sky immediately?"

"How can you kill Bail Organa off-screen? Bail Organa, the leader and founder of the Rebellion, and they replace him with Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar? Those guys are the most useless military leaders I've ever seen. Thank you for your incredible insight, Ackbar. We would have no idea otherwise that it was a trap."

"And why does it take three movies for Palpatine--Darth Sidious himself, the big bad of the entire series--to even show up? He only uses Force Lightning once, then gets dumped down a reactor? Wow, what a way to waste the most powerful villain in your franchise, George."

"And where was the Pod-racing?"

(I originally was only going to do like one or two of these but once I got started it became too fun and I couldn't stop).
Ok, first off, hilariously well written! Brilliantly well done.

I think the point you bring up here is valid, but it only serves to illustrate exactly the point many people (myself included) make about the characterization between trilogies; that it is woefully inconsistent. If your starting point is the prequel trilogy, the characters in the original trilogy are going to be strange for the precise reason they are seen strangely now. This is also a good explanation of precisely the problem with perpetual sequels. With better acting, Anakin not having an emo phase complaining about beach sand, and Jango Fett brutally murdering JarJar (ok, representative list here, rather than exhaustive one...) the pre-trilogy could have been a very solid set of movies. It's primarily disappointing because of the expectations from the first trilogy. One could expect teenage Anakin to be a little weird (not...that... I was a bit strange as a teenager or anything...), but when that is contrasted to the coldly efficient Vader, Anakin not only pales in comparison, it doesn't make sense as a character.

That said, I don't think Luke could constitute any definition of a Mary Sue (or Marty Stu/Gary Stu, as the male version is usually referred to) character, which I'll explore below.
On a more serious note, I want to take a second of your time to defend Rey. She certainly has her flaws, but I wanted to share my reasons for why I think she works as a character--that she does have weaknesses and the strengths she has make sense for who she is.

First, a small semantics quibble. A Mary Sue is by definition an author stand-in (Wesley Crusher is a name I've seen used to exemplify the Mary Sue trope) and I don't think JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were trying to insert themselves into the story as Rey. I think I understand the reasoning behind a lot of people labelling her as a Mary Sue (it's a feminine name and she's a girl who is probably too powerful) but feel that the real reason this caught on is because Max Landis came up with a catchy hashtag. Not that the label really matters either way. On to my actual defense:

Rey is a very competent character, and some would say that competence isn't earned. But what do we know about Rey? Well, we know that she grew up basically alone for most of her life, having to scrabble and survive on a bitter planet run by criminals and scavengers. She had to learn to do things, and learn quick, or else she would have died. So physical competencies: acrobatics, fighting, etc., were things she absolutely would have developed over her lifetime. Maybe it seems strange that a scavenger stuck on Jakku would have learned to pilot--but is that any more strange than Luke learning to be a pilot on Tatooine? So she's a good fighter and flyer and she is very powerful in the Force, and maybe that seems like too much. But let's talk about what Rey struggles with.

What is Rey bad at? You might think she has no weaknesses, but that's only because you're looking at the physical things she does. Because Rey is an emotional wreck. She has no interpersonal skills. She trusts anyone who is nice to her because she's lived her entire life on a planet where everyone was awful. In TFA, she longs so much for someone to care about her that she stays on Jakku to wait for her parents when it's obvious they aren't coming back. She begins to trust Kylo Ren (with nearly disastrous results) because he opens up to her in a way that no other person in her life has ever done. Her lack of emotional maturity is her true struggle as a character.

I understand that I didn't change your mind about Rey, that you still think she has too much power too quickly and I'm OK with that. I mostly just wanted to share my reasonings for why I think the character of Rey works (at least in TFA and TLJ) and why a character's strengths and weaknesses can be something other than physical.
I appreciate your argumentation here. Quick note about the semantic use of Mary Sue; what defines a Mary Sue is a bit debated, with some arguing the factor of being an author expy being essential, others arguing that having no plot relevant weaknesses, preternaturally skilled at everything they attempt without explanation, and sidelining existing characters in the story are the core part of the definition. I subscribe to the latter, but as this is not a significant point in your argumentation, I'll be using my definition to argue that she is a Mary Sue, as the thrust of your argument responds to this definition.

As an aside, I have no idea who Max Landis is... from context I assume he is a big name on social media who doesn't like Rey?

I will certainly grant that Rey ought to have particular talents based on her backstory. I have absolutely no issue, for example, with her being talented fighting with her staff and rather acrobatic. However, so far as we can tell, she has subsisted on collecting junk from downed craft and has never flown before, yet is able to step in and not only pilot the Millenium Falcon, but do so with incredible skill. Also, while combat experience with her staff may help her in picking up on lightsaber combat, a sword type weapon requires a completely different fighting style from a staff or polearm, and it has been demonstrated in canon that becoming proficient in lightsaber combat requires intense training for an extended duration. Unless, of course, you're Rey. And that's where the Mary Sue part starts to come in... she can just up and do incredibly technical things which every other character over the course of 6 movies has had to train to do, with precisely zero hints she has ever done something like this before.

Now, I would agree with you that she is emotionally everywhere. The problem here is that her emotional issues either aren't actual barriers to her (as in, they don't cause much relational strife between the heroes), or they are directly her motivation. In other words, her issues aren't barriers to overcome on the way to her objective, but either side notes or what actually pushes her toward her objective. So, I would argue that they aren't character flaws so much as characterization oddities.

And, I don't think it needs to be said that she sidelined the existing characters...

As such, I argue Rey has no plot relevant weaknesses, preternatural, unexplained abilities, and sidelines all other characters. Based on the definition given above, she is a quintessential Mary Sue.

Contrast this to Luke... Luke's piloting background is expressly stated as a companion of Biggs and Wedge recreationally flying a T-16 while shooting womp rats and flying through Begger's canyon. So, it's established that he has flown before, and done similar things to what he would be doing on the Death Star run. He actually doesn't dogfight much... he shoots one fighter while its pilot was focused on another fighter, and managed to not die long enough for Wedge, then Han to save him. The only other time he's fighting in a vehicle is on Hoth, where he's targeting walkers. In other words, his combat flying doesn't take much more skill than he is established to have flying a T-16 on Tatooine, as he is not doing things like taking out other fighter pilots solely through skill like Rey does... with no established experience.

Regarding lightsaber training, Luke doesn't fight anyone with a lightsaber until Empire Strikes Back, which is after he received training from Obi Wan and had time to play around with it between the movies. He then fights the Abominable Snowman (I honestly can't remember if they named it in movie and I haven't looked up the name...) and chops off one arm before running, uses it to stab an ATAT, and then gets training from Yoda. After an indefinite period of time under Yoda's tutelage, he flies off to confront Vader at the protest of both Obi-Wan and Yoda, who are proven right when he is curb stomped by Vader. It is only in Return of the Jedi that he is competent with his lightsaber, which is after significant self training between movies and the construction of a new lightsaber on top of past training. To put it another way, Luke had to work hard during and between two whole movies before he killed a single person with his lightsaber and could stand toe to toe with Vader. Rey, in contrast, merely picked one up and bested Luke's student in the first movie she encountered one, and never properly lost a fight after that either.

I think that is why Luke is a more compelling character to me (not perfect, mind you, but more compelling). He loses fights. He has to work hard to gain the ability to get what he wants. Rey just does, and no power in the 'verse can stop her.
 

sule

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I think you make a lot of good points: Rey does feel like she does too much too soon at least in terms of the Force. I think the scene where she pilots the Falcon is establishing her piloting skills considering that it comes less than thirty minutes into the first movie she's in (Luke in contrast says a couple of times early on that he's a pilot). But I think that if, after piloting the Falcon, she had then struggled to grasp the Force, fewer people would have a problem with that specific skillset because it wouldn't be endemic of "well, she can just do anything, can't she?"

And again, I'm not looking to change anyone's mind. I don't know if you've seen the Disney Gallery series on Disney+ about The Mandalorian (it's basically a roundtable discussion by the creators of the show) but on one of the episodes Dave Filoni goes into this long dissection of the Duel of the Fates from Phantom Menace: about how it is the turning point of Anakin's progression as a character, how much Qui Gon means to that character development and how it changes Anakin's entire arc going forward. He does this to a table full of Star Wars experts, people who have grown up on Star Wars and know it pretty well--and they are completely floored by this explanation because The Phantom Menace was so horribly botched from a story perspective that the importance of Qui Gon as a father figure to Anakin never even crossed their minds. That's basically how I feel defending Rey's character: I think I see something in how the movies wanted Rey to be perceived, but a lot of how they use her character is so scattershot that people aren't going to see it unless they want to see it. (I hope that doesn't sound self-congratulatory because I don't mean it to be. Sometimes I think I'm just reading into something that's not really there but I want it to be.)

And my first post, while mostly for fun, illustrates kind of my understanding of the growth of a fan's expertise: that when you first get into a series the author is the expert and you roll with a lot of what they throw at you because they're the ones who know the rules of the world and how everything works. But as you go further into the series, you become an expert and can begin to pick out the things later on that don't go along with the truths that were earlier established when the author was the expert. (And yeah, I agree that there's way too much inconsistency between the trilogies).
 
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