I'm genuinely interested to know to know which questions Rin got points on in your test (assuming we are, in fact, using the same test). I ran through that test, and I definitely didn't get as high as 31. But I'm always interested in a detached outsider's perspective.
I figured you might ask that, so I kept the spreadsheet around. Here's what I answered yes to for Rin Sakaros:
1) Is the character named after you?
3) Does the character have more than one name?
7) Is the character a hybrid of two or more species?
9) For a magical reason? (Force-related skills count!) (related to a character looking younger than their age)
10) That you plan on making a plot point later? (see above)
12) Is the character beautiful or roguishly handsome?
13) Does one or more of the main characters find the character highly attractive?
17) Does the character have a remarkable trait that either no one has or a major character has? (See, the litany of just about every rare Force power)
19) Does the character have a starship that is at or very near the top of its class, customized by the character?
21) Is the character the long-lost child or descendent or sibling of a regular or recurring character? (canon or non-canonical)
24) Of another original character for whom you intend to write another story or even another series?
30) Does the character have better taste in music/clothes than you do? (For example: Does your character own CDs that you think educated people ought to own, even though you've never actually listened to the music yourself?) (Arguable)
35) Does everyone you like end up liking the character? (Arguable)
36) Does everyone on the "good" side end up liking the character?
38) Does the character often rebel from authority?
39) And get away with it?
41) Does the character have few major personality weaknesses?
44) Is the character a Jedi?
48) Does the character have telekinesis or telepathy? (Twins count.)
49) Does the character just "know things" for no apparent reason?
54) Does the character learn faster than his peers in more than one subject?
59) With another original character? (referencing falling in love)
65) Do you ever pretend, just to yourself, that you are the character, with the same strengths and abilities? (Given that this character was RP'd)
75) Does the character save the day and/or another character's life?
76) Through magical/mystical intervention? (Jedi powers count!)
81) Does the character defeat large amounts of enemies single-handedly, displaying skills greater than Mace Windu and Yoda combined?
82) Does the character defeat most opponents he/she faces with relative ease?
83) Does the character defeat powerful opponents (Dark Jedi, Jedi, Sith, etc.) with relative ease?
84) Does the character naturally pick up new abilities throughout the course of the story?
87) Does the character rapidly gain the support of an army / faction
Interesting. I admit I'm not sure whether you're basing this solely on The Final Judgment, or on her article as well; I think some might apply to one, but be cancelled by the other (see below). I think my approach would be:
1) Is the character named after you? I'm admittedly a little confused about how you came to this conclusion (suffice it to say that neither "Rin" nor "Katherine" is my real name). As far as my user handle, it's almost the other way around; I use "Sakaros" for Tak Sakaros, and Rin has her father's surname (to the extent that she still uses one). The character name came first; the use as a username on SWFanon was an afterthought.
3) Does the character have more than one name? If we're counting nicknames, then I suppose so.
7) Is the character a hybrid of two or more species? Yep.
9) For a magical reason? (Force-related skills count!) (related to a character looking younger than their age) Is it "magical" if it's related to the species to which the character belongs? I see this kind of like a Human showing up on an alien world, and the aliens thinking it's "magical" that the Human has blond hair.
10) That you plan on making a plot point later? (see above) Eh, I think it's kind of a wash (long-lived species live a long time, but of course it allows longer planning), but I'll give ties to the critic.
12) Is the character beautiful or roguishly handsome? Yep.
13) Does one or more of the main characters find the character highly attractive? I guess if you take the whole universe of characters from RP, then yes, but I think most people don't really think about Rin that way.
17) Does the character have a remarkable trait that either no one has or a major character has? (See, the litany of just about every rare Force power) Fair enough.
19) Does the character have a starship that is at or very near the top of its class, customized by the character? "Customized by the character" is what makes me hesitate here, but I guess I'll concede that if you're stretching it to include "customized on the character's orders".
21) Is the character the long-lost child or descendent or sibling of a regular or recurring character? (canon or non-canonical) I'm not seeing the "long-lost" part of this; she knows her six siblings and both her parents, and they her (other than the two half-brothers who died before she was born).
24) Of another original character for whom you intend to write another story or even another series? See above.
30) Does the character have better taste in music/clothes than you do? (For example: Does your character own CDs that you think educated people ought to own, even though you've never actually listened to the music yourself?) (Arguable) This one I wouldn't concede. Not that I think she has bad taste, just that it's not necessarily better.
35) Does everyone you like end up liking the character? (Arguable) This is one that is dependent on the "article vs. story" question. In The Final Judgment, I think there's a very strong case for it, but I think that weakens substantially when her entire article is considered.
36) Does everyone on the "good" side end up liking the character? Same as 35, but perhaps even more strongly. I think there are a lot of what might generally be considered morally "good" characters who would or do reject or even despise Rin; as you justly point out, she's not at all a Mousketeer. Although she often has good intentions and does have a deep sense of compassion, she's also capable of breathtaking ruthlessness and cruelty, or at the very best indifference. Apart from a couple moral absolutes for her, like slavery, Rin is a nearly pure utilitarian, and utilitarians make moral compromises that more moralistic decision-makers could never countenance.
38) Does the character often rebel from authority? This one I have trouble with only because Rin is an absolute monarch—she is the authority.
39) And get away with it? See 38.
41) Does the character have few major personality weaknesses? I think she has some rather glaring personality weaknesses, but again, ties to the critic.
44) Is the character a Jedi? I guess I skipped this one because I was taking it literally, rather than reading "Jedi" to mean "Force user".
48) Does the character have telekinesis or telepathy? (Twins count.) This is the only critique I have of the actual test, rather than our answers to it. Apart from the Halcyon Jedi bloodline, don't pretty much all Force users from the main groups (Jedi, Sith, Dark Jedi, and Imperial Knights) have training in telekinesis and telepathy? I feel like it should be more a point off for not having these skills (e.g., take one off the total for a Halcyon-bloodline Jedi) than giving all Jedi characters an extra point effectively for being normal Jedi. Additionally, the question is in the "The Rest" section. I think either Rin is counted as a "Jedi" for 44 and then this question shouldn't count, or she's not, 44 doesn't count, and 48 does. But having both seems odd.
49) Does the character just "know things" for no apparent reason? Are prophecy and foresight not an apparent reason in a universe with Jedi (at least when the prophet or seer is a Jedi)?
54) Does the character learn faster than his peers in more than one subject? I think it depends on how we define "peers". If by that you mean "all Force users", then oh yes. If it means "Force users of comparable power", then I think it becomes a much weaker argument (taking, for example, Mace Windu, who was a Jedi Master at twenty-nine).
59) With another original character? (referencing falling in love) Definitely an "article, not story" one, but yeah, there's really no getting around that one.
65) Do you ever pretend, just to yourself, that you are the character, with the same strengths and abilities? (Given that this character was RP'd) I had admittedly never looked at RP quite that way, but now that I do, I see the argument.
75) Does the character save the day and/or another character's life? This one must be an article one, because one of the only things Rin actually does in The Final Judgment is killing (not counting things done on her orders, although that's a lot more killing). But based on the article, definitely.
76) Through magical/mystical intervention? (Jedi powers count!) This is another biology one; Rin's half-Qua, so her blood has regenerative properties. Tie to the critic.
81) Does the character defeat large amounts of enemies single-handedly, displaying skills greater than Mace Windu and Yoda combined? It's the second half that makes me pause. Large amounts of enemies? Absolutely. But I'm picturing that scene from the Clone Wars cartoon I never watched (the animated one, not the CGI one) where Mace Windu beat a bunch of battle droids to smithereens with his fists, as well as Yoda and Obi-Wan's re-entry into the Jedi Temple in Revenge of the Sith, in which they kind of mowed down the opposition without much difficulty. I think Rin is on par with Yoda and Windu, but I'm not sure I'd go as far as "more than both combined".
82) Does the character defeat most opponents he/she faces with relative ease? Yes, at least in single combat.
83) Does the character defeat powerful opponents (Dark Jedi, Jedi, Sith, etc.) with relative ease? Eh, "relative ease" is kind of a broad term, but I'll concede this one given her early success against Jedi Knights when they went to arrest her father.
84) Does the character naturally pick up new abilities throughout the course of the story? This one puzzles me. It can't just be learning, because obviously everyone learns. It sounds almost like learning by osmosis, and that doesn't seem to fit; Rin learns things, but it's either through practice and training, or through Drain Knowledge (which is how she acquires most of her languages).
87) Does the character rapidly gain the support of an army / faction In The Final Judgment, yes.
88) Does he lead them to victory? In The Final Judgment, no. There isn't really anyone to lead them against, and most of the killing in that story is done by people who were already her servants. If we look more broadly at the history of the Golden Empire, then yes.
Interestingly, one I included that you didn't:
28) Does the character have a very good singing voice? It obviously doesn't come up in The Final Judgment, and she's not Jira Zaffrod or anything, but Rin does sing well.
So I think I come out at a minimum of 19 (18 of yours, 1 of mine), with a couple arguables that might bump it up to 21-22.
So I was primarily basing this off her article, so we're coming at this from a common ground. Now, mind you, I don't have anything against 'ol (or is it young?) Rinny, so for me, this is just a couple guys shootin' the breeze about a fanon character one of us came up with.
For the ones we agree on, I'm not going to spend the keystrokes, so here's my takes on where we disagree. In particular, I'll be addressing the spirit of the test question and why it's asked, and how I felt Rin Sakaros matched up with. And a lot of them are semantic/dependent on interpretation, so if nothing else, this may drive improvement to the test.
1) I interpret this one as indicative of author attachment to the character. That's why it's there. The test question itself does explicitly say "This can be your first name, middle name, or the name you go by in chat or irc." For example, let's say that Brandon Rhea's SWF username was "Ussej Padric Bac." That would make me more likely to believe that the author is writing a wish-fulfillment fantasy in his character. Is it indicative alone? No. It's a contributing factor.
9) I'm not going to dive into the human-Twi'lek interbreeding controversy, but I considered the fact that you had two species interbreeding and it resulted in a genetically advantageous hybrid to be sufficiently outside the norms to be considered "magical." In other words, it's a cheap plot device to get out of aging normally. Why? Because the character is awesome/has a special destiny. Heck, even the Jedi do this. See Sacrifice cover Mara Jade. She's like 60 in that cover? Why? Because Del Rey wasn't done writing novels about Mara Jade and it was a convenient way to extend her lifespan without her being done with all the Jedi-fu stuff that they're famous for.
13) The prosecution would like to call Keltrayu and Jextar Star to the stand. Why is this question in there. Because it's tied into fantasy-fulfillment. Maybe the fantasy isn't to have everyone/lots of people attracted to them. Maybe it's to have one (or two) people attracted to them and those people are really special.
19) Yes, I am making that stretch. How it happens doesn't matter--the ship could've been a stolen hot rod ala the Ebon Hawk.
21) This question was a bit misinterpreted in that it should be read as "(long-lost child) OR (descendant) OR (sibling) of a…" It's basically "is this character part of the family your entire body of work revolves around?"
35-36) I'll concede on 35. It's arguable, and I made an inference. On 36, let me put it this way: Rin's allies all universally back her up. She's never betrayed. She's never challenged by an upstart rival. Even her grumpy brother and abusive dad make it up with her. You're talking about a despotic, nepotist, conquering dictator who never, ever has to deal with a major upstart to her rule from within her circle. I could buy that for a story, even a trilogy. But over a period of decades…that would be unprecedented from every dictator ever.
38-39) Dathomir. She betrays and swap sides multiple times, causes multiple battles, and eventually is pardoned and allowed to leave, along with Keltrayu. Denarii. She strikes down her father and takes over his fleet with no repercussions whatever. Prior to that, she leaves her father and just says ok.
41) The implied follow-up question there should be: do any of them matter? She largely gets what she wants, wins every (important) battle and is surrounded by a retinue of loyal hangers-on. She's benevolent, off-the-charts powerful. You know the saying about power corrupting? Doesn't apply to Rin Sakaros. You know the saying about uneasy lies the head that wears the crown? Doesn't apply to Rin Sakaros. Her biggest flaw is her willingness to enforce her whims at the point of a blaster/lightsaber--but it never really punishes her aside from Keltrayu's death and doesn't really change the overall tone or direction of her story.
44) The question should be interpreted as "Force-user".
54) Rin learns Force/combat techniques from Miraluka, Aing-Tii, Matukai, Sith, Zeison Sha, Bothans, Chiss, Claatuvac Guild, Nightsisters/Dathomiri, Fallanassi, Followers of Palawa, Baran Do, B'omarr, Echani and Mistryl in a time-span of twenty-two years. At age 30, she kills two Jedi Knights in the first seconds of a battle. But at any rate, I'm going to postulate that just by writing a character described as "second most Force potential behind Anakin Skywalker" should answer this question as yes. And neither Mace Windu nor Yoda could even come close to Rin's abilities. Yoda, at 900 years old, couldn't cut people off from the Force, stop orbits, use Vaapad, or read shatterpoints. He had one or two rare abilities. Same with Mace. He could do one or two things really well and the rest competently. You unlocked virtually every Force power and every combat training for her. If this was a video game, Rin would have nearly every ability from all the classes, including the ones that are class-specific. She breaks all the rules even more than Palpatine and Jacen Solo, who at least are very flawed villains.
76) Perhaps this question should be reworded as "by means peculiar to herself and significantly outside the norms of recovery." You can argue that Khan's blood reviving Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness isn't magic or mysticism. That doesn't change the fact that it's a convenient plot MacGuffin peculiar to the character used to circumvent norms.
81) I can't read your response with a straight face after reading the "The destroyer of worlds" and "The turn of the tide, the fall of a hero" segment of the Rin Sakaros article. I see the quibbble about exact power level referred to in this question, but Rin's powers eclipse all but that of the most-powerful Force users. That means this is a very easy "yes."
84) "Drain Knowledge" is the Star Wars plot device to explain why their character can learn stuff they shouldn't be able to otherwise learn due to logical and natural reasons. That's why it's a "yes" from me. Also, in 29 years, Mace Windu was a Jedi Master. He was not also a Zeison Sha, Sith, Dathomiri, Fallanassi etc. adept like Rin is, and Palpatine/Jacen Solo were very flawed villains. Rin Sakaros is the protagonist.
87) Or that time she took out her dad and the entire fleet just said "Yup, okay with that. We follow you now!"
As you can see, most of my disagreements with your assessment concern the frequent use of plot devices to create a character who is simultaneously the most powerful monarch of her time, with unprecedented Force powers, a loyal retinue of retainers, both an imperialistic, absolute despot who is also (usually) magnanimous and benevolent. She has no noticeable personality flaw that truly costs her, has the best army, all the Force powers, is the best fighter, and is long-lived. She breaks numerous conventions about Force usage, is incorruptible, relational, and has a massive empire. That to me is pretty clearly a Mary Sue.
I think we can safely go with "ol' Rin". We just hit 157 ABY in RP, so Rin would be...122? Even in Star Wars terms, that's not what most species would call youthful. Since it seems like you were worried about it, I'm not taking any of this personally—I don't consider "critic" a perjorative.
Ah, spirit and text. I admit I'm a diehard textualist (which, yes, does causes me to experience despair on a routine basis when reading cases in which the court looks to legislative intent or public policy...but I digress).
Most of our RP takes place in the Golden Empire, so Rin does emerge as a major protagonist, although we tend not to bring her in too much given her abilities. I think the Empire has a lot of weaknesses Rin tries to keep from others—most notably, she needs to keep it a secret, because the Triumvirate is so much larger and has so many more resources that they could obliterate her Empire in relatively short order. She'd make them bleed for it, but she'd lose, and quickly.
She does have a tendency to inspire loyalty. Tariun I don't really count, because he's her brother. Some of that loyalty, admittedly, comes from those in the best position to challenge her knowing they can't beat her in a straight fight. Part of her Sith nature comes out in that she also hand-picks people for top positions based on how much she trusts them. She doesn't always make the right choice (Vessyk being the glaring example), but she's usually good at getting a feel for people.
I suppose I haven't made a lot of articles about groups resisting Rin, although a lot of Chiss hate her and, even a generation on now, a lot of Fyaar still aren't fans either. I've only written up about a hundred of the Empire's worlds; I'm sure there are more species, and maybe whole worlds, who would like nothing more than to see her dead. As a general rule (with some sporadic exceptions), I don't write fanon articles about anything that hasn't emerged in RP; lack of mention doesn't mean it isn't there, just that we haven't gotten into it.
I'm not sure if I find it reassuring or just intriguing that you find Rin incorruptible. One of my other RP partners (who hasn't written on the Wikia) was initially very hostile to Rin. I guess it depends on which aspects of her personality a reader focuses on. Personally, I think Rin is by nature a good person who does terrible things for (what she feels is) a good reason. Sometimes I agree with her, and sometimes I don't. The person who would help build a home for orphans of war is the same person who ordered the extermination of whole species—men, women, and children—for the greater good. I actually see her in much the same light as some people have cast both Thrawn and Revan (before the abomination that is The Old Republic canon, anyway); good endgame, horrifying methods.
It's good to hear your perspective, and I appreciate your open-mindedness on contrary opinions concerning the character. One of my bigger problems with Rin is that if she's by nature a good person who does terrible things, at what point does she turn into a terrible person? The thing about Revan (and to a lesser extent Thrawn) is that their (more-or-less) justifiable ruthless pragmatic utilitarianism eventually led to their downfall. Revan sought power and disregarded the lives of even his followers and it corrupted him. Thrawn used and manipulated the Noghri and eventually it got him killed. Where is that for Rin? I don't really see the fall of Keltrayu as being that pivotal given that it inspires no real change in her behavior or stance. So, as a character, I find her uninteresting because she's pretty flat, and not only flat, but also relatively unchallenged by either her own nature or external pressures compared to some of your other characters. Cheers!
An intriguing question. I think a lot of the reason modern Rin is able to walk the line without taking a running leap over it is because of Dathomir. From Ye`keb's death to, more or less, the massacre at the Frenzied River, Rin was very much traditional Sith. She had some measure of affection for some of her teachers, but she was still very much using them as means to an end. That ultimately culminated in her leading the attack on the Frenzied River Clan and killing a lot of more-or-less good people out of what amounted to personal spite.
It also, however, shocked her conscience back to life. I think that's the sort of event where the killer can either go the Anakin way ("Well, if I just butchered a room full of younglings, it won't get worse than that!") or be forced to take a long, hard look at what got him or her there and make amends. Admittedly, Rin didn't reform in the sense of turning to the light side, but she did reassess a lot of things she hadn't bothered considering before. While you can reasonably say she didn't face many consequences in the long run (at least in the sense that she was allowed to leave Dathomir alive, and Keltrayu went with her), it's been emotionally and psychologically influential on her since. I think seeing the results of her actions on Dathomir (and especially Shessa Vel's death) drove home a long-lasting point about what happens when Rin lets her personal spitefulness get out of hand. Not that she doesn't walk the line, because she definitely does; the Nightmare War alone had several examples (the Anzat hounds, the Shadow Massassi, involving the relatively young Vos'elk'eetash in both of those, and the destruction of Kizav). And I imagine there may be some discomfort with the fact that, at the end of the Nightmare War, she authorized two speciecides inside six years. But I think—both in her own mind and in the majority public view—she's seen to be justifiable in her ruthlessness because the targets of it deserve ruthless treatment. Whether they're all justified in that belief is another matter, but I think Dathomir helps Rin check what might be an instinct to extend her ferocity to people less deserving of it.
I'm not sure if I have this anywhere on the Wikia, but it's definitely come up in RP: during the years when Selkee was a Royal Guard, she was effectively Rin's protege, and Rin, seeing a lot of herself in Selkee (powerful and talented, with people expecting a great future from her, but also prideful and possessed of an explosive temper under the wrong circumstances), talked to Selkee about "keeping the monster on the leash". In essence, she sees the malevolent, vindictive, and cruel parts of her nature as something to be deployed strategically and otherwise carefully constrained, because slack in the "leash" is one thing, but if the monster is ever let off the leash, it will consume its master along with everyone else. Selkee has largely adopted the same mindset since.