Q:Hi Rose, two things quickly: 1) While replaying TP today I got to the scene where the Zora Queen's ghost is asking you to say goodbye to her child and all I could think of was Ruto and I cried a little and I hate you. 2) In WR, Hunter didn't know that the Shardeni don't call the desert "The Deadlands". Is there a particular reason for him to be ignorant on this point? Do the Makan not know the Shardeni refer to their home differently, or do they prefer using the Qaenish? term?
1) Sorry, not sorry.
2) Mostly because most Makan don’t know what the Shardeni call it, mostly because they didn’t really care what they call it. They spent the last couple decades at war with the Shardeni, so their intel gathering was focused on other things, and historically when they’re not at war with the Shardeni they’re quite content to ignore the Shardeni, as they’re on the outside of Qaensgate geographically, and except for that brief issue with Malakai, have historically aggressively minded their own business! A few Makan know what the Shardeni call it - primarily members of their diplomatic group and SOME of their historians. Hunter’s not yet considered an adult, and has been focusing his training / studying on internal affairs, which don’t currently include the Shardeni, so he was unaware of what they called it.
He did not ever think he was going to become a Makan expert on Shardeni culture and customs, but from this point forward basically nothing will go as he thought it was going to. ^^
The Princess is everything Luke wants to be. She is socially conscious, whereas he is thrown into things; intellectually, she is a strong leader, and he is just a kid.
- George Lucas
People often talk about how Han influenced Luke, but we should also look at how Leia influenced Luke.
I’ve always really liked this idea—that they’re the exact same age, but their different lives have given them very different levels of maturity, and Luke is envious, but fascinated, and idolizes her a bit.
It’s kind of weird to think of Han as being a big influence compared to Leia. I mean, yes, they were close. But it’s made reasonably obvious that close male friends aren’t something Luke’s ever lacked. If anything, I’d say they’re mutually influential. Han’s experience and training help temper Luke’s youth and inexperience, and his cynicism demands that Luke account for his own faith. Luke, in turn, cracks Han’s shell with hope and faith, and his earnest belief that Han can be better than what he’s let himself become won’t let him crawl back into the hole he’s dug for himself.
I mean, come on. Luke’s got these vague intentions to run away and do…something. He’s dissatisfied with his home life, he’s dissatisfied with the future he sees for himself, and he resents, in an equally vague way, the expectations of his family. He thinks of joining the rebellion because he’s romanticized it. He thinks of going to the academy because it’s anywhere but where he’s at. All of his ambitions amount to this sort of nebulous, Anything But What I Have aspiration. He goes running after Kenobi on the strength of a shitty, recorded hologram because it seems exciting. He has no real idea about what this sort of mission would entail, or cost, or achieve. It’s an Adventure, and he’s bored.
Then he meets Leia, and she’s literally everything he ever had some mindless daydream about being. Only instead of being a cardboard cut-out hero in some story he’s using to distract himself from a shitty frontier subsistence-farmer life, she’s a real person who’s actually fucking doing it. She’s a leader. She’s a fighter. She’s risking life and limb for a cause she completely and utterly understands and absolutely believes in. This isn’t some thing she ran away to do because she got sick of being a princess and a senator. People look up to her, and follow her, and obey her, because she’s spent her life earning it.
He’s looking around and going “Empire bad? We blow up ships?” and she’s going “Here’s ten political treatises on why the Empire needs to go, here are the details of troop movements and expected reinforcements and supply lines for the upcoming battle, and here are the family photos of everybody in the next ten systems that are going to get stomped into bloody paste in retaliation if we fail here.” He finds her, and within five minutes she’s gone from the princess he’s rescuing because that’s what action heroes do to the person he needs to emulate if he’s ever going to make something of himself.
if it’s late enough and you’re lonely enough, the carly rae jepsen lyric “before you came into my life i missed you so bad” starts seeming increasingly deep and emotionally complex
3:02 AM and this fucking lyric looks like fucking nietzsche
stare into the abyss and the abyss will call you maybe
I’m a huge fan of James Roberts’ work in the Transformers universe. I think the above three panels do a good job encapsulating why.
The first panel comes from The Transformers #22, “Chaos Theory, Part 1,” published in 2011. It’s a flashback sequence to Megatron’s first time in jail, as he’s being questioned by a Cybertronian police officer named Springarm. The second and third panels were published just a few days ago; they’re from More Than Meets The Eye #32, “Twenty Plus One.” Without spoiling too much, Nightbeat (some combination of former hostage negotiator, judge, and detective) is trying to solve a spat of mysterious disappearances, and wants information from Megatron to help prove or disprove his working theory that all of the victims were created the same way.
The first thing I like is Robert’s consistent depiction of Megatron. Four million years (and three writing years) separate the pacifist miner from Tarn and the bloody-handed-tyrant-cum-captain, but Megatron’s response has stayed the same, for the same principled reasons: Cybertronians ought not be obligated to divulge information concerning their creation, because that information can easily be used (and has been used!) by the state to segregate Cybertron.
It would have been easy for Robert’s to let Megatron divulge his creation process in the latter scene, and pointed to this change as a sign of character growth—“it only took four million years and the death of 100 billion sentients, but Megatron has come to realize that it’s okay to answer some questions. He’s learning to trust, and he’s learning when information disclosure is important.”
But Roberts didn’t take the “character growth” cop out, and this gets me to the second, and more significant, reason I like the juxtaposition of these two scenes. Beyond Megatron’s response, look at what else has stayed consistent: in both situations, a well-intentioned police officer is asking Megatron for deeply personal, definitional information. And in their own way, Springarm and Nightbeat’s differing response help explain (and justify) Megatron’s refusal.
In the first scene, Springarm apologizes for asking the “old,” irrelevant question concerning creation type—but his apology didn’t stop the police officer from asking the question in the first place. Springarm asks his question out of an unexamined reliance on tradition, and a seeming ignorance as to how the mere continued inclusion of questions of creation is proof (particularly to Megatron) that the Cybertronian state has not “moved passed” apartheid.
In the second scene, Nightbeat makes it clear that he emphatically agrees with Megatron’s refusal—but that regardless, Megatron needs to divulge this information, because lives are at stake. There’s no reason to doubt Nightbeat or his intentions, but the point still stands: an upholder of the law is evaluating what constitutes necessity and justice, with no eye to how the information he wants will be ultimately used.
The larger point is that in any specific case—Springarm, Nightbeat, even and especially Orion Pax—a
mana Cybertronian might be good and just and principled, but systems are, by their very nature, corrupting influences, and these systems have and will use matters of racecreation to divide and control the populace. This is where Megatron’s opposition springs from. And if Roberts had written Megatron as answering Nightbeat’s query, it would have been a sign that Megatron’s concerns were, on some level, misplaced—that the state doesn’t mean harm, that you should trust it to use personal information in limited ways, to the betterment of all society. And for all of his many, many faults, Megatron is right to doubt that.
(Post script: Megatron’s consistency also returns to some of the ideas brought up in The Transformers #22 and #23—specifically, if the war has fundamentally changed Optimus Prime and Megatron. Prime concludes that he has stayed the same and that it’s Megatron who has lost his way. These scenes make an interesting counterpoint.)
So, hypothetically… if I could take a bunch of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and read books at Barnes and Noble all day… and then be able to display my knowledge and understanding of the subject on an equal, if not higher, level than a college student… then, hypothetically… why is everyone paying for college again?
(Answer: Because a college degree isn’t about education, it’s a class marker. If we cared about everyone being educated, we would accredit free online courses and allow people to achieve intellectual growth and success without going into debt. But that’s not what college is for. I mean, yeah in college you can travel and learn from amazing professors and start your own anything and have access to facilities and resources and money, yeah, college is all that. And I’m not discrediting anyone who loves college but… college, at the end of the day is a business. College is just one more big way to perpetuate the system. But I say f**k the system, man.) #FreeEducationForAll #LearnRadically