If you have to argue whether or not the character of Rey is a ‘Mary Sue’ a full 5 years after The Force Awakens, then yeah, she’s a Mary Sue.
But we can determine this once and for all, by using a simple online test. Thanks to a Reddit thread, I found an online test at springhole.net that promises to measure whether or not a character is a Mary Sue. But this test also tells us more than that. Here’s what the “about me” page of the website said in 2012 when it was first captured by Archive.org:
It wasn’t too long after this point (the very next year, I believe) that I encountered the term “Mary Sue” for the first time. After doing some research into the subject, I realized where I was going wrong with many of my characters. While there were many Mary Sue tests available at the time, there were a few problems – for one, most of my characters were used in roleplays, not fanfictions. For another, most of the tests were for specific works (most of which I wasn’t even familiar with), while I was roleplaying more in original universes at that point. There was only one solution – create a test that would work for anything and everything, and that’s what I did.
But in September of 2019, during the height of the debate over The Last Jedi and the moronic Rey character, the verbiage on that page was changed to this:
Sometime around that point (the very next year, I believe) I came across the term “Mary Sue” for the first time, and after looking into it I realized that I was going a little overboard with some of my characters. I wanted a general test to help me balance any character of mine from any fandom, whether for fanfiction or roleplay, and that’s how I ended up creating the Universal Mary Sue Test. That said, I’ve since come to disavow the term “Mary Sue,” because even though most Mary Sue tests were made in good faith, the term has gained widespread usage in disparaging female characters for completely ridiculous reasons – and besides that, there are better ways to troubleshoot potential problems in a character than a Mary Sue test.
The fact that she has to use the word “disavow” in reference to silly fan fiction terminology betrays just how political all of this really is. So here’s what the revised text actually says when we translate SJW-speak into reality.
The test she devised in “good faith” was probably being used to demonstrate that all of these recent feminist ciphers in modern movies were crappy Mary Sues. The author, as an SJW, couldn’t have that. So she was forced to “disavow” the term in order to maintain her place within the collective, collaborative, cooperative, community. So much so, that she now had to update her online litmus test with the following disclaimer, in October of 2019:
I am no longer supporting this test, nor do I support using the term “Mary Sue” to describe any character for any reason. The test is simply here for archival purposes and to provide this message to anyone who follows a link to this page. Instead of using it, please go to “Does My Character Work Okay?” – How To Tell For Yourself!. This article streamlines everything into eleven simple questions that cut straight to the core issues.
If you still really really really want to use this test for some reason, please at least stop using the term “Mary Sue.” There are far better ways to talk about characters who just don’t work for one reason or another than using a term that’s more often than not just used to tear down female characters simply for having a prominent, active role in a story.
The term Mary Sue, it would seem, was far too successful a shorthand to describe the silliness of the modern feminist ciphers in film. So the order to cease and desist using the term altogether had to be issued.
Having said that, since this test was created in “good faith,” go ahead and apply this test to the Rey character and see what the results are.
Originally published here