Tag Archives: Star Wars

The Strange Case of Spoilers

[This is a post about spoilers. It will contain spoilers]

Remember when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince first came out, and yelling “Snape kills Dumbledore!” being something like an evil meme? Something you would yell to ruin people’s lives, an attack reserved for the most devious of tricksters or most obnoxious of bullies? Wasn’t that a wild time? Do we still, collectively, feel that way about the tricky and weird business of “spoilers”? Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Pop Culture Ponderings

Mary Sues Revisited, Part 2: Practically Perfect in Every Way

PracticallyPerfect

[Mary Sues were the very first topic I wrote about on this blog, some years ago. I’d like to re-examine them with my current mindset, under the hopefully true impression that I’m now older and wiser]

The long and short of my opinion on self-insert characters in teen girls’ fanfiction is really: man, who the heck cares? Writing stories that are deeply self-indulgent, highly autobiographical and borrow heavily from other people’s work is an essential (if sometimes embarrassing) part of the growth of a writer. Maybe these young authors will use their trashy OC fanfic as a practicing ground and eventually move on to write Man Booker Prize winners, maybe they’ll just keep it up as a fun creative hobby. If they’re having fun and not hurting anyone—except for annoying the Fandom Guardians, or whoever it is that gets so up in arms about these things—I see no reason they should not be left to their own devices, especially when placing yourself in a fantasy can often be a great source of safety and self-esteem.

If a Mary Sue is defined as being a) an author self-insert, and b) unbelievably perfect and wonderful and ideal and with great cosmic significance, I’m going to try and examine the second point today. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Pop Culture Ponderings

Mary Sues Revisited, Part 1: Insert Self Here

rey_bddd0f27

[Mary Sues were the very first topic I wrote about on this blog, some years ago. I’d like to re-examine them with my current mindset, under the hopefully true impression that I’m now older and wiser]

People have been talking about Mary Sues a lot these days, mostly in the great kerfuffle of a conversation that sprang up around Rey, the undisputed heroine of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The young lady did very much awaken the force, and it seems to have upset some folks… though equally as many (if not more) folks have been keen to rebut that Rey being a Mary Sue is a ridiculous accusation, mostly pointing out that she’s a perfectly reasonable and un-Sueish character compared to the male heroes of previous movies. And even if she is some sort of Mary Sue, what’s so wrong with that anyway? Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Pop Culture Ponderings

Is Destiny Dead?

You all know the story—a world-innocent but slightly bored peasant boy gets swept into an adventure to save his people. How’s he going to do it? He’s just an everyman, after all, the most relatable archetype out there, that of the well-meaning but gormless youth. However he might protest, however, he really has little to no say in it—he has to go on the adventure and defeat this evil, because destiny dictates he’s the only one who can.

What am I talking about here? Star Wars? The Arthurian legends? Buffy the Vampire Slayer? It doesn’t matter. The idea of the fated hero is older than print, present in everything from Greek theatre to modern sitcoms. But the question that I pose to you is thus: is the concept a bit worn out?

After all, the thing about destiny is that you know what’s going to happen. As if the definition wasn’t enough, we have the added bonus that a lot of these plots march along a certain previously laid-out path, that of The Hero’s Journey. Joseph Campbell was the first to nut this out in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces and if you follow your nose you’ll see it guiding adventurers all across the spectrum of literature.

It starts with our ordinary hero, our relatable everydude, in their ordinary home town, somewhat dissatisfied with their predictable life. Suddenly, in crashes some sort of bizarre happenstance that ignites the plot. Maybe a mysterious girl falls from the sky, or maybe they find a hidden treasure, or maybe some sort of mystical, pun-making wizard appears and calls them to adventure.

The Hero can’t just rush off into the story, however—for whatever reason, be it their loyalty to home or their honour or their wobbly knees, they must refuse the call. In spite of this, they’re going to get roped into the fray anyway, like in the aforementioned and formula-perfect Star Wars, where Obi Wan points out that Luke’s really got nothing better to do than come with him and face the adventure he was born for since his house and family are now on fire.

Luke Skywalker and Yoda

Does destiny really say I have to carry your Muppet ass around?

Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Archetypes and Genre

Kicking Ass in Pink High Heels

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Fashion Concious AND able to Hurt You!

There is a trend in characterisation known as THE DEMONISATION OF FEMINENITY which is a bunch of scary big words reeking of social justice and the topic of this week’s post.

We all remember the good old days right, where women were proper ladies who hid beneath their bonnets and occasionally got kidnapped and let the heroes do all the work? I mean what use is a woman in a fight or an adventure? All those graceful lily white hands are good for is needlework and tea sipping, and of course carrying around her sixteen children. The heroics are the man’s job, and his damsel shall stay on the sidelines being distressed.

Somewhere along the line, it was decided that this wasn’t as capital an idea as people thought, since there was this little thing called the Feminist Movement that politely kicked down the door to the great House of Stories and said “Excuse me, good sirs, but where the f*ck are all the badass ladies?”

So they were granted badass ladies and all was well. Now it was not just the menfolk who could save the day with their rippling abs but the women as well, no longer banished to the background and romance roles to swoon and weep and occasionally die of consumption.

But another problem arose in its place. With these new female heroes (“heroines”, like the drug, because they made everyone deliriously happy) came a new stigma which was the reverse of the old one, much as if when the feminists kicked down the door they had hit the stereotype and belted it inside out. In place of the idea that women should never act like men, there came a new trend, and it forbade women from acting like women. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Fun with Isms