Who are you… Media edition

What fictional character in a movie, tv show, or book do you identify with and why?

I don’t know that I can pick just one. So I will pick the several that resonate with me – even after many years:

Star Wars Anniversary

Yes, Darth Vader himself. I’ve probably mentioned how Darth Vader influenced by 3-year old brain to believe that I am the most powerful creature in the Universe and nothing can stop me from getting my way.

When they re-released Star Wars back to theaters, when the Empire blew open the doors of the ship and he eventually boarded to that theme music (Hum along with me: DUM DUM DADUM DUM DADUM DUM DADUM… it’s a little different in the first movie than what becomes the theme in the latter films but you know it. You just sang along)… in that re-release, I cried.

I was so overwhelmed by the force (ha – get it) and the bad-ass-ness that is Darth Vader.

leia

And same film. Princess Leia. She is smart, driven, will kick your butt just the same. Princess Leia taught me that it is absolutely OK to rebel against authority – even if your hair is silly.

Cinnabons? Come on. No one took her THAT seriously with that hair.

1984-movie-bb

 

Big Brother is watching…

1984 is a book I can go back to over and over and over and never tire of. We read it as a required book in 9th grade English and (being a student who had spent years reading about the Soviet Union on my own) I picked up the themes faster than anyone else in the class, passionately argued about the over-reach of government and its control in our lives.

Winston’s quite desperation to be “himself” and free of the shackles resonated with me. How he wanted to be able to speak his mind – even to just himself… and the misdirection of the State from real issues.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

If you liked 1984, I also recommend “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Some consider that Orwell blatantly ripped off “We” in writing 1984.

Inara_Serra_with_gun

 

This list would be incomplete without 1 Firefly character though I could make a case how I identify with most if not all of the ensemble. Since I pulled out my rebel elements with Leia and Winston, I wanted to highlight a different side – that of the Companion, Inara Serra.

When Inara descended the steps to the cargo bay, I was instantly in love. Beautiful, compassionate, extremely intelligent, and ultra-feminine, she was many things I wish to embody myself (maybe not the prostitute part but… we will set that aside). What I admire about her character is her ability to listen – to not just what’s being said but what isn’t being said and in that, finding truth.

Where’s Serenity?

cover art – Dan Don Santos

It’s happening! Finally happening! New official post-Serenity stories!!!!! The Nerdist has an interview with Zack Whedon about the new Dark Horse Serenity comics: Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.

I cried. People. I cried.

January 29 cannot come fast enough!!!!

Fear is a four letter word

Day 4 of the Single Woman’s Blogging Challenge

Your biggest fear as a single person.

My biggest fear as a single person is dying alone. You know the story – someone dies in their house and isn’t found until it stinks and when they do, their cats have gnawed half their body.

Maybe a slight exaggeration…

But the fear is real. It was something I had to confront when we found my dad. No one had heard from him in 3 days, which was really unusual. So I went to his shop and my brother went to his house. My brother found him in his bedroom. According to the coroner and police investigator, he had a heart attack sometime on Sunday and had rolled off the bed, hitting his head on the dresser while trying to grab the phone to call 911. We found him on a Wednesday.

I had to stare my fear in the face.

What did he think about?

How scared was he?

How alone did he feel?

How much did he hurt?

I am terrified of dying alone.

From “Out of Gas” – Firefly…

Inara Serra: You don’t have to die alone, Mal

Mal Alone

On one level, that is true. We go through the experience of death by ourselves. I imagine it is like being ushered to the door but only you can go through. No one can go with you. You can’t bring anyone to support you. You have to leave them behind.

I know as a Christian I shouldn’t fear death as on the other side, we are reborn to a joyous life with Christ. But this particular fear is probably the ultimate realization of the fact that I fear that I will be alone my entire life.

Reading Is Fundamental

Source

Most of that article and the comments were a high-level of stupid. There are always going to be people who put on airs about liking a particular thing – Star Wars, anime, basketball – but aren’t hobbyists. Should we demean their passing interest? No.

You were a newb at one time, too. Show a little kindness, respect and appreciate people for who and where they are. Just because someone isn’t a huge fan now doesn’t mean that at a later date they won’t grow into liking it later.

I had a similar experience with Doctor Who. For my friend Beth’s birthday, I agreed to watch several episodes because she is a fan. I took an instant dislike to Rose but thought the Ninth Doctor was OK. I watched those episodes and moved on.

Several months later, I saw a couple of BBC America specials on Doctor Who – locations, women of Doctor Who, science of Doctor Who, and villains. It gave me the overview of the series. Then there was the Eleventh Doctor marathon. Matt Smith is adorable as the Doctor, and I was hooked.

Will I love Doctor Who as much as I love Firefly? Eh. Probably not. It’s all good though. Just because someone doesn’t love that thing you love as much as you do doesn’t make them a bad person – just different.

I just realized that most of the posts on this blog thus far center on a ‘being different is ok’ theme. Perhaps I’m trying to re-assure myself of that.

Big Bang Theory – Star Trek Style

A few weeks back, Big Bang Theory had an episode where the guys get dressed up in their Star Trek uniforms and head to a convention (The Bakersfield Expedition – CBS video or the BBT wiki).

To summarize, the guys spend the episode getting their costumes ready for the Bakersfield Comic-Con. On the way the car was stolen and someone throws trash on them. After a long walk, they arrive at a diner, defeated and broke, this conversation takes place:

Raj: Great. We can still make it to Comic-Con.
Leonard: Are you kidding me? After all we’ve been through, I just want to go home.
Raj: Don’t be like that. Come on, Howard, talk to him.
Howard: I’m with Leonard. I’m done.
Raj: Fine, then I guess it’s two against two. How do we decide?
Sheldon: Actually, it’s three against one.
Raj: What? What about the mission? You said we were a real-life landing party.
Sheldon: Yeah, well, we’re not. We’re an imaginary landing party who had real-life garbage thrown at us by real-life strangers who think we’re idiots. And to tell you the truth, I’m starting to feel like one. I want to go home now.
Raj: Okay. Can we at least rent the car from Enterprise? Get it? Enterprise? (Nobody reacts) Screw you. That’s funny.

Sheldon’s reaction broke my heart. There are occasions when we need our friends and family to provide checks to our wacky notions and bring us back to reality. But should those be at the expense of what is fun and what brings us pleasure – even if it isn’t going to be our profession?

Jon Acuff tells the story of a woman who when she was young she loved to dance. Her mom said “you know you’re never going to be a Rockette, right?” And with that sentence, the girl quit dancing. I’m not sure if it is something she took up again later in life but the joy it brought to her as a little girl was stolen forever.

How many of us had our joy robbed from us in that way? How have we done that to other people? In the case of what happened in the BBT, I wanted to scream at the garbage chuckers “RIGHT! So your obsession over football is OK but theirs with Star Trek isn’t?! *expletive expletive*” I’ve never understood why it’s ok for people to deck their homes out floorboards to rafters in stuff from their favorite sports team but when someone wants to re-create the TARDIS, they are crazy and socially unacceptable.

Doctor Who is cool. And so are bow ties. And fezzes.

Fortunately, it is better today than it used to be but it is far from perfect. The Internet gives fans a safe place (most of the time – there are those within fandoms who are still jerks and can ruin it) to connect with one another and say “You aren’t alone.”

“Your creativity is OK.”

I LOVE YOUR KAYLEE FRYE DRESS!

It is unfortunate that the Real World has yet to catch up with our awesomeness. Maybe. Eventually. I doubt it. Just remember – you’re awesome just the way you are. Be yourself.

Unless you can be Batman or Boba Fett… heh.

Shiny!

Tonight’s episode of Castle is a continuation of the show’s long-standing tease of we Firefly (and broader, science-fiction) fans. First, Castle said “Shiny” and the cats jumped because I shrieked.

Then he said “I’m a fan of GOOD science fiction – Star Trek, Battlestar, that Joss Whedon show…”

But my favorite was when they talked about how the murder victim bought the rights of this Star Trek-like show for next to nothing and turned it into a hit on the web that lead to another production company wanting to buy it and make a movie. He said something about it being a wonderful dream. All of which are directly related to things Nathan has said about Firefly in the past.

Aside from that Browncoat-love, the episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes (HELLO!), Kirk and Picard impressions, Kreavers who eat your face off, and closing with “Ideal Woman” from William Shatner… which I danced to! the other shining moment was Beckett talking about why she loved the show centered at their murder investigation and science fiction in a beautiful, open, and honest way.

We Geeks have long been teased as not normal because we have a strong connection to our imaginations. I’ve long felt that those who rip on science fiction/fantasy do so out of a place of jealousy because they killed their imaginations a long time ago and they wish they hadn’t. For those of you that have, come back to the Dark Side… we have cookies…

We never lost the love of fairy tales. Wanting to be the hero. Wanting to be the villain. To discover something bigger outside of ourself or within ourselves. To do something or to be someone great. We may have bills and a mortgage but we still want an audience. There is a movie, The Movie Hero, that touches on that. We would dance or play sports by ourselves but there was an audience… the invisible one. Still waiting for us to be the hero. But we were told “you can’t do that” or “you are too old for that” and eventually that audience fades away to nothing and we don’t dream anymore.

But there is always the Black. The Black is full of possibility. Something new to explore. Systems full of new worlds, races, animals. Daring deeds to be done. Balls to attend. Governments to topple. Standing up for what is right.

In Beckett’s honor, I want to talk about why I love science fiction.

At lunch last week, a co-worker and I were talking about books we’ve been reading. She was telling me about a book that chronicled the generations after slavery and I told her about The Hunger Games.

“There you are Jonnelle. I am seeking the past as I get older – looking to fill the gaps and things I didn’t know at the time these events occurred. You are completely buried in the future.”

“Well, I cut my teeth on the future. Star Wars shaped my world.”

I never wanted to be Princess Leia. I probably played her because she was the only girl when we would play Star Wars and I did dress as her 2 years in a row (Empire Strikes Back costumes)… but I wanted to be Darth Vader. To my 3-year old self, he had everything. He could do what he wanted. No one was telling him to go to bed. He spoke and the world listened. It quaked with fear…

mwhahahahaha…

And he was a total bad-ass when he walked onto the Rebel ship in Episode 4. The Imperial March (appearing first in Empire Strikes Back but something very similar is played in Star Wars) … Duel of the Fates is awesome but it doesn’t hold a candle to that… BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM da da dum DA da dum! (you just sang it – I know it!)

And the breather… GAH! When I saw that in the theater as an adult, I think I cried.

Now that you see my complete and total megalomanic side, what I love about science fiction is that it is the human story. What is Firefly? It’s a group of people struggling to get by – work on a marriage, hide from themselves, find healing, make some money and wear cunning hats.

Doctor Who is, among other themes, a lesson on loss. How do you function when the people you love go? It is about reinvention. The Weeping Angels are terrifying because they hit our deep fears of being alone with one one to talk to, to look at us, to see us in motion and alive.

So, I love science fiction because it makes me think and says it’s OK to be a little different. Or even a lot different.

(Edited to add: I know Star Wars opens with “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” but since time is non-linear and a big bowl of wibbly-wobbly timey wimey stuff, what happened in the past for Luke and Leia could very easily be in our future according to something I saw on Discovery about the universe and time travel and stuff)