Poll Is Michael Burnham a "Mary Sue"?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Skipper, Mar 17, 2019.

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Is Michael Burnham a "Mary Sue" character?

  1. Yes

    5 vote(s)
    5.4%
  2. No

    87 vote(s)
    94.6%
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  1. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    No, Burnham is not a Mary Sue.

    She is not an obvious surrogate/stand-in for the writer/producer who shows up one day and upstages the regular protagonists, whom everybody falls in love with, and who always saves the day in implausible fashion and can do absolutely no wrong. People are forgetting what the term "Mary Sue" actually means, and just throw it around like a Lacrosse ball for "any character I don't like." :rolleyes:

    Kor
     
  2. Midquest

    Midquest Commander Red Shirt

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    No, she isn't. In what way is she a fanfic character?

    Burnham is professionally competent and emotionally scarred and broken, much like her brother. That's not fanfic; that's realistic. There's a bizarre myth that seems to have been built up around her that she saves the day too much, but I can so, so easily list critical instances in every episode this season in which she doesn't save the day--and at times is even saved by others. In fact, we've seen her actually fail. I cannot fathom legitimate ground on which she can be claimed to be a Mary Sue or even an unrealistic character. She's had far more development, and consistent development, than most Trek characters get in several seasons.

    I guarantee you that if Burnham's role had been played by Spock, no one would be calling him a Mary Sue; they'd just say that Spock is brilliant.
     
  3. Dinosaur Enabler

    Dinosaur Enabler Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I explained why I thought she was a fanfic character type, so check that out.

    I don't personally have a problem with Burnham's level of competence. It seems on par with any other lead character.
     
  4. SJGardner

    SJGardner Captain Captain

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    I'd go even further and say that if the main character was George Samuel Kirk, Jim's literal blood brother, and he had the exact same personality and exploits as Burnham, he still wouldn't be called a Gary Stu as frequently as her. Alright, he's a preexisting character, but there's not much we know about him and by the time we see him, he's already dead.
     
  5. Dinosaur Enabler

    Dinosaur Enabler Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Yes...clearly, this is all about sexism.
     
  6. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

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    I'm assuming you consider Mycroft Holmes a fanfic character type as well, right? he doesn't get mentioned at all for the first 22 Holmes stories even though he's Holmes older brother and closest living relative, forces readers to rethink what they thought of Holmes in a number of ways, and is shown to be every bit as smart as Holmes.
     
  7. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And if all of us who don't like are such sexist misogynist bigots the why are we not complaining about Janway or Kira or Jadiza? All strong competent women?
    We are not, or at least me as I found the interesting characters.

    I just don't Burnham are she is aloof and boring.
     
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  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see why the two are incompatible. He had a human mom too and yet he stilled struggled with his human side. From Sarek's POV, perhaps it was logical to introduce someone closer to his age.

    As for the self-insert, yeah I don't see how. She is only "awkwardly wedged in" because she challenges many fan assumptions about Spock. If Sybok makes sense, then Michael makes sense.

    Since this thread is about her being a Mary Sue, and the lack of consistency towards other characters with similar traits, her being boring isn't the issue. Boring is highly subjective.
     
  9. Dinosaur Enabler

    Dinosaur Enabler Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't know, really, but I doubt you'd like it if I said Ahsoka Tano was a fanficish character too. But she is.
     
  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, she started out as such. But, Ahsoka became a whole lot more. She pissed me right off from the start, and slowly grew up on me.

    It's a funny thing how characters can change.
     
  11. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

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    And honestly, its the people closest to us that we react against. As many of us can see, and clearly Spock can as well, Michael is clearly messed up emotionally, and therefore not only not suitable role model for the kind of person he would prefer to be but the kind of person he would prefer to avoid being. Yes, this makes Spock a more complex and complicated character of increased depth. I don't see that as being a bad thing at all.
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    Unless someone believes that "Mary Sue" and "boring" are interchangeable synonymous, and if this is the case, well, I hope they keep the receipt of their dictionary, because it's clearly defective.
     
  13. Dinosaur Enabler

    Dinosaur Enabler Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I think it would have been better if Michael had been Amanda's daughter from another marriage.
     
  14. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    How dare they make characters more complex!!!!?


    ;)

    How would that make a difference?
     
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  15. Dinosaur Enabler

    Dinosaur Enabler Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    It just feels less awkward to me.
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mr. Bennett and I may disagree on whether or not Diane Carey's "Piper" is even a subverted Mary-Sue, but I think it's very obvious that Burnham does not even remotely fit any accepted definition of the trope, or the character type.
     
  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    How so? Either way, there is going to be a strain between Michael and Spock because Michael will identify more with Amanda as a human, without the expectation of being a Vulcan.
     
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  18. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

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    No more than Anakin or Luke was when they were introduced, as far as I can tell, so maybe you have a super broad definition for "fanfiction". On the other hand, I didn't like the character regardless of whether she might have been fanficish or not, as I am not fond of childishly silly characters. I only watched the last 2 eps of season 5 of the Clone Wars for this reason, because it took that long for her to appear to become of any interest to me. And that's about roughly the same point in her life, as far as I can tell, we get introduced to Michael Burnham, as she too is complex enough to me to take interest of her as a character.
     
  19. Dinosaur Enabler

    Dinosaur Enabler Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I
    Put a pin in that, because my phone is gonna die. I'll answer it later.
     
  20. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Verified Disney Princess Moderator

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    I consider complex to be good, makes a character feel like a real person.
     
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