Monday, October 20, 2008

Star Wars Mythos

Growing up, seeing Star Wars and their sequels at the drive-in, I thought I was seeing the greatest science fiction movies of all time. This is the silly idea of what a child thinks SF is. Star Wars, at least the three 'real' films, are no more science fiction than The Matrix is. In fact, you'd have to tip the hat to The Matrix as far as science fiction goes, but not by much. The Matrix simply has more science fiction trappings to drape over its shoulders. They're both Fantasy, and they're both just simple retellings of the Monomyth, or the Hero's Journey.

Now, I love both trilogies, although the second Matrix movie isn't one I tend to watch when it's on cable. But there have always been things about Star Wars that have always bugged me, and that's what I'm going to write on today. What I hate about them is Droids have no rights.

This is where the Star Trek universe and Star Wars differ. How many episodes have there been where ST writers have tried to establish that technology-created personalities deserve to be recognized as citizens? At least two, one in Next Generation and one in Voyager. The poor Droids in Star Wars have no such recognition.

In fact, if you watch the movies, they're literally treated as little more than smart toasters that can walk/roll. When 3PO has all his fucking limbs shot off, as well as his head, the reaction isn't one of horror but of irritation. "Oh 3PO! You're a mess!" Like somebody just upended his crumb drawer and well fuck now we're gonna have to clean it up.

Or the multiple times R2 is shot up. While 3PO nells it up that his butch top just got a laser labotomy, everybody else is just kind of shrugging their shoulders and going "Oh, well we'll just get him some new circuits or something." I don't know about you, but if I considered somebody a sentient being whose life I valued, seeing their brains shot out would be a horror. Heck, if I came home and my HDTV had a pixel out, I'd probably find religion over it.

It makes me wonder why as a kid I identified with the Droids so much. Of course, I didn't notice how they were being treated at the time, but yeah, that's how people treated me as a kid. I wasn't a real person... oh just ignore him til he stops his crying. Kind of pissed me off, a lot.

I also had a sub-topic dealing with Dark City and how Roger Ebert, in BOTH his commentaries, never mentions the very important line that Mr. Hand (Richard O'Brien) utters on the rooftops: "We use your dead as vessels." Considering we know the true form of the aliens are inside these bodies, it makes the movie a little more horrifying; so they're experimenting on us AND when we die they scoop out our brains and crawl inside to animate us? GROSS. However, it's almost midnight and I need to get up early, so bed time for me.

Also I'm proud to say I've never seen any of the SAW movies.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I'm taking the day off from work because I'm sick. I really shouldn't be sitting here typing this. I should be in bed. I should amend that, I really shouldn't be sitting here in bed typing this, I should be resting. Or, if I insist on sitting up, I should just be mindlessly watching TV and not getting out of bed for anything but peeing and juice refills.

But I have more than just that bug. I have a bug up my ass. That's why I'm sitting up typing this. And this bug's name is Brian Michael Bendis.

I remember when I was first introduced to Bendis; my friend gave me a birthday gift of, among other things, the first Powers trade collection. I'm always wary of this friend, because he tends to do that "well I like this so surely my friend will like it too" kind of gift giving that really is not the safest way to give gifts if you're wanting everybody to be happy in the end. In this particular case he hit a home run.

Bendis had a fresh new voice for comics, and was part of an emerging crew of writers that were really changing the face of modern funnybooks. Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar among others. Yes, yes, Alan Moore and what'shisBatmanface originally changed the landscape of comics back in the 80s, but come on... things just snapped back after that. Does nobody remember Maximum Clonage?

So Bendis comes along and damn, if he's not awesome. Powers? Awesome. Alias? Beyond awesome. Daredevil? The best it's been since Frank Miller (better, I think). Along with the others, it seemed like we'd entered a new golden era of comics.

And then. House of M. Avengers Disassembled. Civil War. One misstep after another, it seemed. It seems the top dogs at Marvel just gave Bendis and Millar keys to the kingdom and said, "Go play! There are no rules." It's like the kid in the sandbox who was the only one who brought toys, and he wants to play with all of them at once. Everybody thinks he's a dickhead.

So now Secret Invasion comes along, and damn if I don't love it. The first book was great. They were all great books. Up until the last one, when nothing happened. Seriously, it's like, did I just read a comic book or not? Because nothing happened. We're at the same place we were in the story before we began. That's the first sign of cracks in the armor.

The second one was it looks like we're going to have to go back and relive fucking House of M again. Yeah, the book is the New Avengers, they're in it about half the time, we have to see House of M through the eyes of the Skrull invaders. Why? Continuity, because some asshole fanboy might question when the Skrulls first invaded and if they'd been replacing our heroes then were they replaced and good God do I hate this.

Is continuity as important as a good story? I was enjoying Secret Invasion just fine. I didn't need to go back a couple of years in New Avengers and see that Luke Cage had figured it out all along! Well isn't he the smartest! He knew they were being manipulated! SEE IT ALL FITS.

I don't care if it all fits. Really, at all. Not anymore. Just tell the story and stop telling the main story in other books. And more than anything, please, please, stop telling the same story from somebody else's POV over and over. I don't care.

Anyway, back to being sick.