Few criticize Daisy Ridley portrayal as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but many criticize JJ Abrams writing of the character itself. Mainly that Rey is a total Mary Sue.
A Mary Sue is a (usually) female character who is perfect in every way, liked by all, and in the Star Wars context incredibly overpowered. The lack of flaws usually is considered to be an overreaction by a writer attempting to create a strong female character.
The Mary Sue thing in itself is sexist because it’s the name of a woman. Everyone was saying that Luke had the exact same [capabilities]. 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.
Whether or not the actual term is sexist or not is besides the point, because Rey is still a total Mary Sue. And to compare Rey to Luke, who took three movies to become a real Jedi, is ridiculous.
Just look at the progression of Rey and Luke in the first movies of their respective trilogies. The first time Luke tried out his lightsaber he was awkward and struggled with Obi Wan’s initial tests. The first time Rey picked up a lightsaber, she kicked the ass of Kylo Ren, the main villain of the movie without any training.
Luke’s initial forays into the force where laborious. Rey learned mind control on her own out of nowhere and successfully manipulated a storm trooper.
Luke had initial pilot experience which helped him in the final battle against the death star. Rey had no pilot experience, yet the first time she flew she was able to do crazy aerial maneuvers through small crevices.
Luke was impetuous and naive, while Rey is caring, wise-beyond-her-years, a good friend, a strong leader, and only a tad humbly reluctant.
Ridley did an incredible job playing Rey, but it’s the plot that really hurts the character. It leaves no stakes or sense of urgency to Rey’s training. In the original trilogy, we knew Luke would have to become a full Jedi to defeat Darth Vader. In the new trilogy, we already know Rey can whoop Kylo Ren. So what’s the training with Luke for? So she can beat him harder the next time?
The new trilogy seems like it will just be filled with Rey solving each challenge with increasingly adept and unflawed skill. Like watching a Superman movie (who would be considered the male equivalent, a Marty Stu).
My only hope is Rey could follow the path of Anakin and at least put at little edge into the new trilogy. Like Rey, Anakin was super overpowered, but his mopey evilness kept him out of Marty Stu territory. If Rey could turn to the dark side and become an insurmountable villain instead of an unbeatable hero, the character can lose the Mary Sue.
But something tells me that plot line won’t sell as many action figures.