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Utopia Talk / Politics / (Ot) Foundation, again
Paramount
Member
Sat Jul 29 13:52:39
I think there was a thread about Foundation the TV-series, but I couldn’t find it. So here is another thread.

I’m disappointed.

First they swap gender and race on characters, and now in the latest episode they introduce two gay men. I’m pretty sure there were no gay men in Asimov’s Foundation.

The episode also ended with a scene in which two young black females saves an older white man. I think the message was clear: older white men can't manage on their own but needs to be saved. The screenwriters could have easily given the man a more heroic role in this scene, had they wanted to. But clearly they didn’t want to. They made him lay there helpless like a baby.

Gender swapping, race swapping, homosexuals, diminishing the white man. Have they gone too far? Or is it me who is narrow-minded?
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sat Jul 29 17:24:52
It is terrible for many reasons, the cookie cutter molding (evil decrepit white men vs women of color) is unfortunate just one of them. Me and seb had a thread about it.

http://utopiaforums.com/boardthread?id=politics&thread=88636
TheChildren
Member
Sun Jul 30 02:12:23
i have hard time watchin, not becoz of fakewoke.

but story is hard 2 follow, at times also very boring...

shit is timejumpin like crazy
Seb
Member
Mon Jul 31 11:01:46
I don't care about switching up the characters - to be honest none of the actual characters from the novels made much of an impression on me; they were very 1-d and had the bare minimum of characterisation except to move the plot forward.

The more I think about it the norms of a society 10,000 years into the future after earth is forgotten should very much be up in the air. Sexuality and the dynamics of race ought to be completely weird compared to 20th/21st century norms. It seems far less likely that in such a radically distant and above all diverse polity as a galaxy spanning empire 10,000 or more years into the future to reflect Eurocentric cultural and sexual norms is staggeringly unlikely and implausible.

I liked the addition of the religious aspect, and the genetic dynasty. This is the kind of institutional "WTF this makes no sense to me from my cultural context" finger in the face to 21st century cultural as the norm I can get behind. Spirituality seems part of human nature, and the idea that a far flung star empire has several weird as fuck religions rather than a purely materialist/rationalist philosophy, and governance institutions that similarly appear nonsensical seems in many ways increasingly plausible compared to the po-faced extrapolation of post-war concepts of modernity that you see in say, Star Trek.

So sure, set fire to Azimov's crap 1950s characterisation and dialogue and extrapolation of 1930's/40' society as background for his high concept - it's like choosing to make a tool out of a slightly different material - it doesn't really matter.

What I care much more about it butchering of the concepts themselves. They completely fucked up psychohistory in the first one which is to miss the entire point (and which point, you have nothing left but the actual names of some of the characters and coincidental events that no longer connect together with the same causal relationships)

Replacing the *nature* of Hardin's role from a cunning political player to an action hero was far more an issue than casting her as black and a woman. Making her less "just the sort of person that would crop up in an environment and society such as terminus is constrained to be" and more a "look at this special person" completely and utterly misses the point of psychohistory. And having the plot revolve around predicting the movement of a single ship that is moving around randomly is the antithesis of what psychohistory is.

It's like saying "oh, so I understand classical thermodynamics, and that lets me understand precisely where this atom is going to end up".

The whole *point* is while you can't do the latter, you can do the former. If you really CAN predict determinately the future of individual actors or events, then you don't need institutions like the foundation in the first place.
Paramount
Member
Mon Jul 31 11:25:02
”Sexuality and the dynamics of race ought to be completely weird compared to 20th/21st century norms.”


Maybe the basic laws of the universe favor liberalism. The conservatives are bound to lose and the future is liberal.
Seb
Member
Mon Jul 31 11:39:46
There will be conservatives and liberals on the future.

But the Norms that are being conserved and the behaviours liberals will want to tolerate will not be the same.

E.g. there may have been a point where Christian (as an insurgent religious guilt) ideas of sexuality and morality were crazy "progressive" ideas that liberal Romans thought fine to tolerate and co-opt and Roman conservatives thought a terrible threat to a way of life that encompassed buggering the slave boys as perfectly respectable activity.



Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 01 06:34:35
”Sexuality and the dynamics of race ought to be completely weird compared to 20th/21st century norms.”

They are not strange compared to 10 000 years ago, so no it ought not to be if you are using the past to predict the future. Certai ly bot ”completely strange” since biological heritable characteristics don’t change dramatically in that time.

Unfortunatly The series is confused on this issue as well, all the components for the same dynamics are there, obvious ethnic divides, male dominance, even white hetro male dominance. In the one of the earliest episodes it is mentioned Gale’s culture are basically misogynist. So these things are there, but they have zero social and cultural impact on the universe so you wonder why they sre there at all, when they are not using them as devices, just briefly mentioned or presented visually. Of course these things are completely absent in the books as it isn’t an allegory for the society Asimov lived in, but timeless concearns of civilization. So they become like loose frayed threads in the fabric of the universe, like black elves. No explanation why the foundation universe seemingly has all the same norms and social flaws, but none of the conflicts that would naturally arise from said norms and flaws. Sigh, and these things would have been very very very important for the story that gave us a new concept of *social science* predicting the end of civilization. Which yes, they have ravaged and ruined that concept entirely, it is basically magic.

The flat characters work in the book in synergy with how psychohistory is presented, downplaying individual actions. May be difficult to make those people into likable characters, which brings me to the Gale and Salvor storyline. I don’t know what it is, but it is the least enjoyable story even in S2. I don’t understand why they made them related and now 3 episodes in, none of it matters. This was the theme last season, these two went and did all kinds of fantastic things that either had zero material value for the plot (it just happened) or I just didn’t care as far as the drama and characters went.

I started off not caring aboyt these things since they didn’t matter in the books, but the creators can’t help themselves you see. So, I have come to realize that whatever force it is that flips the sex and race of characters, is the same force that ruins the rest of the story. There is no appreciation for the source material, litterally reported that the writers laughed at it. I wonder if they may have hated it all together, but I mean you don’t say no to Apple’s flagship series.
Rugian
Member
Tue Aug 01 06:51:22
"There is no appreciation for the source material, litterally reported that the writers laughed at it. I wonder if they may have hated it all together,"

Sounds a lot like the writers behind The Witcher then. They were openly contemptuous of the source material.

It's a sad thing to learn, but most writing teams are in it solely for the paycheck and using characters as vehicles for expressing their own political beliefs. Very rare do you have writers that are actually passionate about the series they are adapting.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 01 07:10:41
Ops sorry I mixed it with The Witcher writers!
Rugian
Member
Tue Aug 01 07:17:31
Ah lol.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 08:26:41
Nim:

"They are not strange compared to 10 000 years ago"

1. They are - plenty of evidence that hunter gatherers had nothing like a nuclear family - and some groups clearly matrilineal (which makes obvious sense when the thing you can be more sure about is who the baby came out of rather than who the father was - monogamous marriage institutions may be a social technology developed to support patrilineal lines.

And go and look at the greeks and romans approach to sexual relationships.

2. How many people are around now vs how many have ever lived?

There are more people around in the galactic empire than have ever lived on modern earth - of course people are going to do crazy shit. I mean you can't get your head around the idea of people using tech to try and change their gender. You can rail at it as being not right and contrary to what nature intended.

But that trend isn't going to stop and you are looking at a galaxy of planets for such subcultures to become dominant on.

The galactic empire is going to have norms and values that are incredibly diverse and many will look weird as fuck.

"when they are not using them as devices"

I mean sure, but a more purist take on the Foundation would be even worse in that respect. Everything is little more than a device for exploring the concept of psychohistory and how it would be applied and the complications thereof.

Asmiov's foundation books are not an allegory for the 1950's - it's concept based sci fi. The societal background of the empire isn't supposed to be a stand in for 20th c. it just looks like it because he wasn't particularly interested in re-imagining society or world building beyond "Hey, what if you could do for sociology what thermodynamics does for gas kinetics and make chaos predicatable".

The only salient features of the world of the foundation are:

1. Psychohistory exists.
2. There is a problem for psychohistory to be applied to (a societal collapse and dark ages to minimise)
3. How we get plucky terminus to be the centre of a new galactic empire.

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 08:30:14
"The flat characters work in the book"

I don't think they do - basically the books end up be rewarding to people who don't really care about character, narrative or even just the quality of the writing but accept all of that being terrible and flat to try and explore a very abstract idea in a way that is only one stepped removed from being purely abstract.

Even Asmiov, when he came to re-writing a future history series, thought his first books - notably the first few foundation novels - were pretty bad.

Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 01 09:34:31
Yeah, I am not getting into a philosophical “argument” about the semantics of “weird”. Social norms around sexuality and race has had ebbs and flow over 10 000 years, as you yourself briefly mentioned with homosexuality, but they are not strange broadly speaking. Men and women are still men and women, tribal/ethnic tensions still exist, these things lead to social and political, even physical conflict along those fault lines. Ironically the undiverse cast in the books removed these factors entirely from the equation, for practical purpose sexism and racism don’t exist in the books as almost all the characters are white men and have virtually no personality. The opportunity simply isn’t there as it is in the tv-series trying to project contemporary social issues, but vaguely imply they don’t exist. As I said initially I didn’t care about the diversification, in principle I still don’t provided good writting. But it not just swaps, there is a pattern that broadly speaking projects a woke view of the world. Decrepit white men at the top and everyone else their vassals and subjects.

”basically the books end up be rewarding to people who don't really care about character, narrative or even just the quality of the writing but accept all of that being terrible and flat to try and explore a very abstract idea in a way that is only one stepped removed from being purely abstract.”

You horribly misspelled ”seminal work of sci fi”. I am not seconding guessing why the books work, they do, but that does not work as a tv-series, it needed actual characters. There is a bit of world war Z book vs movie elements to the problem. The book has no plot or narrative, but it works.

”Even Asmiov”

I don’t know what the qualifier ”even” means, a genius is allowed to criticize his own works, it only adds humility to and already noble character. Notwithstanding, it does not change the influence and impact of the work.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 09:56:59
"So, I have come to realize that whatever force it is that flips the sex and race of characters, is the same force that ruins the rest of the story."

I'm not sure it's that at all. I see too distinct things going on here and I think they are both necessary - just badly executed.

A "source accurate" Foundation series would be truly dire without these two issues being addressed I think.

The first issue is about making characters and dialogues more interesting than "a bunch of mostly quite boring and largely interchangeable white scientists and a politicians that all sound like they came out of 1950's America save the universe with not very much engaging happening plot wise" a bit more interesting.

The second problem also has two elements:
1. I don't think the writers really understand the concept of psychohistory and that the plot exists to explore psychohistory rather than psychohistory exists to explain the plot.

e.g. None of the things and crises that happen in the plot are actually that surprising and need "psychohistory" to exist to justify them happening - nor is it really clear (other than it being asserted) that psychohistory is needed for the situation to be set up by Seldon. Instead we are to take as given the psychohistory exists, and this is a worked example of its application to forestall ten millennia of dark ages. Within that the crises and their resolution are somewhat unrealistic, other than that they need to appear to follow from societal forces and conditions that can plausibly be claimed to have been engineered which then leads us to:

2. Psycohistory's "crisis" events as an idea aren't actually that interestingly or plausibly demonstrated in the books, and occasionally a bit hokey. For example consider the second crisis resolution "we set our selves up as a religion so the barbarians couldn't understand the tech and so were able to subordinate them".

In the books we are asked to believe the barbarian kingdoms:
1. Use coal to power their spaceships around 50 years after the fall of the empire.
2. Within 30 years (so a mere 80 years after the fall of the empire) understand technology so poorly as to believe atomic power is essentially divine magic.

It's one thing to have them affect a warrior culture that favours hand to hand combat and assume that actually there must be some low status techy folk somewhere on the home-worlds (cf. Klingons).

I think an audience would have really hard time buying the barbarian kingdoms firstly flying around in coal powered spaceships they built after the empire collapsed, but simultaneously that being "so backward" as to not understand the concept of higher technology like atomic reactors and confuse it with being a miracle. It's one thing for technology like a ray gun to be "indistinguishable from magic" to a caveman. But I'm pretty sure if someone who worked with mid to late 19th century industrial machinery were confronted with someone shooting a ray gun at them they would recognise it as some kind of technology (albeit one that defied understanding).

And this is even more bizarre as at this point Terminius tech isn't better than the Empire's, and the empire has only fallen only one lifetime ago.

And then there is another crisis that is essentially resolved by a two folks saying "well, if they do declare a war on us, we will stop selling them washing machines and then their wives will be upset". I mean sure, the concept is fine: we can't go to war with China without fucking up our supply chains - or in the 1950's "If West Germany and France share coal and steel supply chains such neither has complete industrial supply chain, they can't go to war with each-other".

Concept is fine - but the way it was executed in the novel was a bit shit really.

And it doesn't matter it is a bit shit and implausibly executed in the novels because as a literary genre sci-fi of that type and era is about the underlying concept being jolly clever so the fact it is rendered in kids crayons rather than carved intricately in marble and inlaid with gilt isn't a problem. That is never going to hold in the current glut of high quality media.

So it needs to be re-written in some way - however to do that well you actually need to get the concept and be able to structure a concept driven plot. Cf. How in the Watchmen movie they (quite neatly in my view) simplified the plot of getting rid of Dr Manhatten and replaced the slightly ridiculous giant squid thing with "Dr Manhatten blew up the reactors".

But this is:
a. hard to do - after-all Asmiov didn't do it in the first place (arguably didn't even attempt to, just bashed out some really bad plot and character and dialogue to get the concept documented in narrative form)

b. Western TV writing doesn't really do that anyway - they do character written plot. There was a good bit somewhere about why GoT felt so fresh: the first books all have a sociological perspective. These wars happen not just because of peoples personalities and motivations, but also the sociological and political forces at play. Things have a deeper reason than simply "Character A has these personal or thin situational motivations".

So I suspect any attempt to adapt foundation would have the same problem - the industry doesn't have writers used to writing and thinking in this way.

The first book is essentially an exploration of the interplay between religion, trade, political institutions and technology as sources of power within and between states - with psycohistory as a tool for predicting them.

But you know who I think would have done this really well?

JMS.


Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 01 10:29:25
”A "source accurate" Foundation series would be truly dire without these two issues being addressed I think. ”

Like I said in principle there is nothing wrong with this and the characters needed a make over for the show, but they have failed to address these thing without diminishing the world itself and making it confusing. You can’t tell me (largely by omission) that racism and sexism doesn’t exist, and then display to me a world that is clearly divided along ethicity and sex. Come on mate, surely you must have noticed?

We could forget the books entirely, as a stand alone work of fiction it is discombobulated and split. We want to present a far distant future where everything is possible. As if they never decided if they were they were going with it.

Yes it was always a challange and most writers were not up to the task. To do that you need to get what makes the books great. It is obviously psychohistory, this was always what I took away from it. Peter Turchin created cliodynamics, inspired by psychohistory.

“JMS”

Indeed. Not wildly speculative to assume he is very familiar with the source material.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 10:48:17
Re Weird, I guess I'd just stay I would expect culturally a lot of diversity under the conditions and assumptions that seem to hold sway in both the series and the novels (many worlds, longish transit times, communication bandwidth/lags not allowing for a galactic internet/media to homogenise culture).

Just take weird subgenre shit like furies, polyamorous cults, whatever the fuck q-anon is etc. etc.

This is a function of more brains for ideas to occur in, resource constraints lifted and deliberate mechanisms of social control that try to stamp out non-conformity being dismantled, development of the conceptual framework to define and communicate an idea to allow it to replicate, and the ability of people to coalesce around and build on and elaborate an idea. It's a series of ever more complex and diverse branches and permutations thereof created in an ever growing latent space of ideas.

More brains, more complexity - things will get weird in the future.

For me a plausible "lived in" galactic empire ought to be:
1. Diverse socially, cultural and ethnicly
2. These should feel somewhat alien and weird and unfamiliar

But that's before actually being *real* extrapolation which I think will be fucking bizarre and if you tried to use that as backdrop it will obscure the narrative completely.

I suspect when it comes to sex / gender 500 years from now will be weirder than Iain M Bank's Culture.


Take transgender as a thing. Absent stringent social controls that's not going away.

It's not crazy to think that biotech in a couple of centuries will allow genetic changes to be implemented in vivo (initial applications: regrowing limbs/organs, adding traits to adapt to environments, custom organs, life extension, curing diseases etc.) rather than at conception.

If that ever becomes something commodities enough to be as available as say, owning a car, there are reasonably good odds that a bunch of people, perhaps a majority in some societies, give up on the idea of people being defined by their sex and it being being a situational thing, or at least trying different ones out before settling on a preference etc.

And if you can do designer organs I'm just going to cite rule 34 and say you'd be stupid to assume people are not going to design entirely new sexual organs just for shits and giggles.

If it is physically/economically possible transhumanism is going to be a thing and all sorts of stuff we take for granted is going to be things we think of as weird. And things we think of as normal will just look like stuff that people lived with because limitations to actualise otherwise meant we couldn't really imagine not doing so.

One of the examples of sci-fi executing a concept badly in this space was altered carbon.

In the novels at least where people, or at least the very rich, used cortical stacks to change bodies like clothes, it's difficult to see what it would even mean to be someone's biological son or daughter. So why the fuck would the meths even retain ideas like inheritance and biological family? It would likely mean very little to nothing to them. Yet at least one of the books plots hinged on this.

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 10:50:50
"You can’t tell me (largely by omission) that racism and sexism doesn’t exist, and then display to me a world that is clearly divided along ethicity and sex. Come on mate, surely you must have noticed?"

I'm a bit confused here. If the world of the series clearly is divided on ethnicity and sex, then how is it by omission telling you that it is not?

Also, this is situational in reality so may be in the world of the series. The deep south is different to new York which is different from Saudi Arabia.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 10:56:12
I'm just thinking if there is *any* TV series that does what golden age conceptual sci-fi does.

For me, I,Robot is where Asimov nails using a narrative genre (police procedural/noire) to explore the concept of the 3 laws.

And that's much simpler compared to psychohistory to work through with the kind of realism high end TV drama now demands.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 10:56:57
It's not just the writers are bad, it may be nobodies actually figured out this kind of story telling in this medium.
obaminated
Member
Tue Aug 01 11:08:02
Is anyone else surprised seb expects human sexuality and relationships to change dramatically in the far future. Would anyone be surprised if seb isn't conditioning himself to get off to being a cuckold because sharing and open relationships is the "new" way to ha e healthy and fulfilling relationships?

As nim said, man and woman have existed for thousands of years. The general concept of a nuclear family, of a man and wife, has existed for thousands of years and across the world and within pretty much every religion and within countries where religion is outlawed.

10 thousand years from now I am sure the general concept of a committed relationship will not be alien or laughably backwards.

Let's all remember seb has a really hard time accepting that two and only two genders exist. Despite biology and science saying otherwise. So sebs version of "truth" isn't based around science, facts or even faith, it's based entirely on subjective feelings and being polite to the point of absurdity. Seb is a guy who would let the emperor wander around naked as the day he was born all because seb would hate to ruin the emperors good mood by telling him the truth about the conman who fooled him.
obaminated
Member
Tue Aug 01 11:09:48
Tldr - seb bloviating about human sexuality and how it'll change in the future should be understood to be coming from a guy who can't admit only two genders exist.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 01 12:25:29
Seb
Yes, but initially you said sexual and ethnic dynamics, that is what I responded to. If you expand it to other things, then what I said becomes less relevant. 10 000 year isn’t dramatic in terms of evolution. Additionally sexual and tribal dynamics are without a doubt older than our specie as you can find them all over the animal kingdom.

The Expanse does this extrapolation very well. New contexts, but old habits.

“More brains, more complexity - things will get weird in the future.”

Mmmmmaybe. There are philosophical assumptions made here that I am not willing to make, like is there an infinity of concepts to think of? I have my doubts. However, weird is a relative term as much as it is an absolute.

“Take transgender as a thing. Absent stringent social controls that's not going away.”

Well if as you say biotechnology makes advances, it is strange that your assumption is we wouldn’t invent a cure towards thinking you are born in the wrong body, but instead rather drastic and massive shapeshifting genetic therapy. Hmm are you sure we are not projecting contemporary culture war issues on a sci fi future? I have watched sci fi for long enough to know that they have a hard time transcending “the current thing/social taboo”. O

“And if you can do designer organs I'm just going to cite rule 34 and say you'd be stupid to assume people are not going to design entirely new sexual organs just for shits and giggles.”

Anything is possible, question is what the prevailing norm is that helps people survive in bew environment facing novel challanges, which would still be a function of evolutionary processes when it comes to culture and social hiearchy. But to do these things, convincingly in a story, the why and how, very difficult.

“then how is it by omission telling you that it is not?”

Because they are not part of the narrative, plot or the world at all, it is simply embedded in the casting. This is why I compared to black elves, they are there, but there is no explanation why and how? So the world of the Tv series is cast so that the screen shows ne white men vs minorities and women, but there is not iota of such tensions explicitly or otherwise in the world itself. It just looks that way.

“I'm just thinking if there is *any* TV series that does what golden age conceptual sci-fi does.”

Black Mirror?

“nobodies actually figured out this kind of story telling in this medium.”

Very possible, it is partly what I want to encapsulate when I say it worked in the book and compared it to World War Z. That movie flopped, partly because the movie was just another zombie movie but with Brad Pitt. The book, is a totally different creature told in the aftermath through survivor stories/interviews, notes, press releases, there is no character development, not dramatic plot. Hard to imagine how you write this for a movie screen. But it works great in the books and it becomes something far more interesting than a zombieapocalypse novell.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 12:27:49
Obaminated:

"10 thousand years from now I am sure the general concept of a committed relationship"

So in 10,000 years humans will have relationships with each other isn't wildly stunning revelation.

The question is *what* those relationships will look like and be based on.

"Let's all remember seb has a really hard time accepting that two and only two genders exist"

1. You don't understand the difference between gender and sex. The simple fact that people *do* identify as non-binary means phenomenally you have a cultural expression of gender that isn't. It's not the same thing as sex, but it's a thing that definitely and objectively exists as a social construct.

2. You are railing against a group of people that are already seeking ways to alter their sex using what will, hundreds of years from now, look laughably simplistic. How the fuck do you come to the conclusion that somehow as soon as it is actually possible to actually rewrite DNA in situ people won't do exactly that?

I appreciate this makes you deeply uncomfortable, but it's stupid to imagine it won't happen just because you don't like it.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 12:30:43
If we get life extension going, do we think it likely that the norm will be one partner for life?

It's already very common for people to get divorced and have multiple marriages (n.b. this used to *very* uncommon 200 years ago).

You think that's not going to become the norm if people live 100 ish years with the kind of health and body of a 20-50 year old before senescence?

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 13:05:39
Nim:

Sexual dynamics, ethnic dynamics - all sorts of stuff.

"10 000 year isn’t dramatic in terms of evolution."

Yeah but none of this kind of stuff is, I think, really primarily driven by evolution which I think it is irrelevant.

We can already see changes in sexual and relationship behaviours that have happened over our own lifetimes.

"it is strange that your assumption is we wouldn’t invent a cure towards thinking you are born in the wrong body, but instead rather drastic and massive shapeshifting genetic therapy."

Yeah but these people don't *want* to have their belief about themselves changed, they want to change their body to reflect that.

So yeah let's say both technologies exist: one to change your body, one to substantially change some of the things you feel are core to you being you, which one would you elect to take?

Again you say drastic, but if we get this kind of technology people will be doing it recreationally. Drug secreting glands, whatever. The idea that will think their gonads are sacred seems implausible to me and they will medicate to change their preferences to be happy with their body than their body to match their preferences seems to fly in the face of everything we know about technology.


We change the circumstances to match our preferences every fucking time before we change our preferences to match our circumstances.

"question is what the prevailing norm is that helps people survive in bew environment facing novel challanges,"

No, that's nonsense. We drink, do drugs, do stupidly dangerous sports - humans adopt hedonistic indulgence of pleasure at every opportunity even when it actively *harms individuals (let alone society) and then seek to mitigate the consequences.

Btw I'm not talking about stories now, I'm saying that the reality of 500, 1000 let alone 10k is going to be far far weirder than we can imagine unless there's some plateauing of technology.

I mean look as what the fuck ever that gang gang yum yum ice cream thing is - whatever you call that as a thing it's incomprehensible to me. And that's just from weird recursive niche ... fetish? I assume? ... amplifying itself.

"but there is no explanation why and how?"

We don't really need one. We don't have an in show explanation for why there are black and white *humans* in middle earth either. It's just a given. It's only a problem if the audience thinks that elves by necessity *should* all be white, and there's no particular reason to think that either, within the show or even within the wider legendarium it's not at all clear that all elves must necessarily be white and plenty of scope to assume (though he didn't particularly say so) that it's possible. No reason why Eru would make different colours of man but not elves, and the ethnological history of elves allows for the possibility of black elves that didn't go to Valinor in the first place.


"Black Mirror?"

Good shout. Yes it does, and very close to golden age short stories (though focused on a simplistic "what if technology but oh no we use it bad" dystopian where there are pretty simple implications of the technology postulated).

The one shot anthology format works for that.

But if you want to dive deep and try and use a more narrative focused drama and the implications are more complex and nuanced it's a different thing.

"The book, is a totally different creature told in the aftermath through survivor stories/interviews, notes, press releases, there is no character development, not dramatic plot. Hard to imagine how you write this for a movie screen."

I agree. It's a good comparison - what makes the book good is not the narrative, is the literary trick of packaging the (quite derivative) story of a zombie apocalypse *as* a committee report / official history.

Once you take the format away it's really quite boring "oh another zombie apocalypse"

Maybe the issue with foundation is that what makes the books good isn't something that can be done as a multi series 10 hours character driven drama.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 01 13:06:23
Still, even if you can't do it, they could do it better.

Seb
Member
Wed Aug 02 03:28:52
Just reminded of someone who put out the idea that there are three types of sci-fi:

What if ...
If only ...
If This Goes On ... (!)

Things like Black Mirror and Twilight zone and outer limits are normally using the third and a suspense/horror story format to extrapolate the misuse of current or adjacent possible science/tech.

Seb
Member
Mon Aug 07 17:30:24
Oh. S2E02 - they are doing the religion bit.

So, my theory is shot.

They are keeping the shit bits, and adding their own shit bits.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 07 17:31:47
Also, I don't care how cool it is, spaceships emerging from a century under salt water being able to power up and fly, and somehow mysteriously be dry inside after two minutes is always shit.

Makes me think of the futurama episode where their ship is under water.

"How many atmospheres can this handle?"
"Well, it's a spaceship, so I guess somewhere between 0 and 1".
Pillz
Member
Mon Aug 07 17:43:33
"Just reminded of someone who put out the idea that there are three types of sci-fi:

What if ...
If only ...
If This Goes On ... (!)

Things like Black Mirror and Twilight zone and outer limits are normally using the third and a suspense/horror story format to extrapolate the misuse of current or adjacent possible science/tech. "

That's a terrible shallow interpretation of sci-fi... I suppose you can umbrella a lot under the first two that doesn't belong. Maybe we can call most of that science fantasy though, as it is largely devoid of technological or technological ethics and just gives generic stories a setting.

But Japanese sci-fi is imo a separate category. Less a 'if this keeps going' and more a 'this is WHERE we're going'. And just like our dystopian 'if this keeps going' concepts which are clearly reflected in societal trajectory, japanese are too.

We just don't pay much mind to Korea or Japan and don't realize that they inhabit effectively an entirely different reality than we do. We will probably drag them down with us before they achieve their immortal birthless future though
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 08 09:32:12
Pillz:

"That's a terrible shallow interpretation of sci-fi..."

All models are wrong - I don't think it was intended to be a full and complete literary definition of the genre - and the titles are clearly going for soundbite.

In more detail, it is about the authors intent in telling the story.

"I suppose you can umbrella a lot under the first two that doesn't belong."

The first one, "What if..." that is supposed to mean hard sci-fi. Logical explorations where the drama arises from exploring the implications of the postulated science/technology. The purpose of the story is as much to play around with the idea and implications of the technology or science as anything else. A lot of Asmiov's work is like that - though the postulated science is often a bit fanciful - it also covers things like "The Martian" - ok, how would someone survive on Mars then? Often there are licences taken.

It's true you can also write stuff that is more like fantasy that fits this pattern - any ones that are preoccupied with logically complete systems of magic for example. That just makes the Magic a kind of made-up science like psychohistory.

The second is definitely what you would call "science fantasy" - the intent is escapism and wish fullfillment. The technology is there as a mcguffin to remove what would otherwise be mundane constraints. We want to do Hornblower but in spaaace, so we have faster than light rockets. Doesn't matter how it works.

The third is arguably a variation of the first in terms of the logical structure, but the intent is to tell a parable - a cautionary tale. So the science/technology is either there to create a framework that is an analogy for something else (clones as a stand in for races, say) or an extrapolation of existing trends (lot of early black mirror stuff is "Social media = alienation/dehumanisation and commodification of relationships").

"this is WHERE we're going"

That would be category 1 - an attempt to use fiction to explore the future by logically extrapolating the bounds of the possible based on existing and/or plausible advancements in science and technology.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 08 13:14:11
“Yeah but none of this kind of stuff is, I think, really primarily driven by evolution which I think it is irrelevant.”

Ethnic and sexual dyanmics are the product of evolution.

“Yeah but these people don't *want* to have their belief about themselves changed, they want to change their body to reflect that.”

Hence what the prevailing norm is. Just because some tiny minority do, doesn’t mean it is accepted by everyone and it is incorporated into the larger culture.

“Again you say drastic”

Changing your genome is drastic, absolutely.

“No, that's nonsense.”

No it is not nonsense that there is a prevailing norm, with accepted pleasures and pleasures deemed unacceptable, it is universally the case in every culture. There conflicts along these fault lines even, within soceties.

“We don't really need one.”

*You* don’t need one, as someone projecting his contemporary metropolitan sensibilities on to the screen. But it is obvious that the casting doesn’t support the conflict in the narrative. The casting is telling it’s own story, projecting the ideology some people have in 2023. You have this decrepit genetic cline dynasy (think about it) vs a very genetically diverse everyone else. Makes even more sense given that the generic dynasty is completely made up. Look at the new emperial character, a white gay man, he even starts in a prison hellhole, ge is already on a redemption arc. Come
on man, we have not had an allegory so obvioualy reflecting real world drama since BSG depicted the American occupation of Iraq :) lol

“It's just a given.”

Just like african samurais and black Cleopatra. Not even a little. I just saw a new rendition of ninja turtles with my son and April O’Neill was black. A black woman in 21th century New York, that requires no explanation. Black elves and black people in middle earth, like black samurais require a back story, because middle earth is basically western Europe pre-industrial age. Black people come from near the equator. The fact that you are not asking the obvious question, e.g how did an African end up in Japan (making him by far the most interesting character and not an extra in the background at the fish market)? That may say something about how you are suppressing obvious questions in favor of your ideological sensibilities, but if the world you have built more or less works like how we know a world functions, physically, it is something that needs to be adressed. I mean there are black elves (Drow) in D&D, but they are a distinct tribe from the wood elves and other elves who have fair skin. Anything is possible, it’s fantasy! We just demand that you explain shit and make it coherent.

If your theory is that Tolkien populated middle earth with random ethnicities and skin colors, that is completely wrong. Everyone he narrated and deacribed originating in the west was white. Everyone. The only brown skinned people who look like me (not even black) come from about where the middle east is in relation to the western continent. His world obeys the geographical rules of our world. There is no way for me to make sense of the fact that you don’t mind lazy writting and discombobulated diverse casting (that violates geography), because you can’t move past the culture war stuff that inevitabily gets entagled with these shows and movies. I have no problem doing it.

I know I have said this a million times on UP in different topics, read Malazan book of the fallen. Steven Eriksson and Ian Cameron Esslemont managed to craft a world different from ours, where the sexual and ethnic dynamics/conflicts are not reflecting a woke utopia or woke 21th century concearns. The Malazan empire starts on the isle of Malaz sitting at the equator with a tropical climate. The people there are black (also blue) as you would expect. The Malazan empire is an expanding multicultural empire, like ancient Iran or Rome so you will find all kinds of ethnicities, unambigiously as distinct people, and not lazily thrown around.

Anyway these things suck because the final product is terrible more often than not, which sucks for the actors. And I believe it is rooted in the simple fact, if you are willing to undermine the worlds coherency, it will seep into everything else even if unwittingly. Then you call your audience stupid as you drive the show into the dirt (The Witcher).

I look forward to new stories like Malazan and Yasuke, fuck the hand me downs.

“Maybe the issue with foundation is that what makes the books good isn't something that can be done as a multi series 10 hours character driven drama.”

That is my thinking as well. It’s tough though from a studio perspective, would a Black mirror type story set in The Foundation universe have the same potential as a GoT/B5? We fall in love with characters, we hate them, they make us feel invested in the story. How do you keep the thread across the seasons without them? Well you turn them into ghosta and confusing time travellers.

I have a speculation that the Mule is the offspring of Day and I forget her name. That would close the loop so the genetic dynasty is still the bad guys. But, also because that would violate the books, where the Mule is a complete outlier and almost nothing is known about him. Given how little the writters seem to care or understand about psychohistory it seems reasonable?
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 08 17:08:18
Nim:

We already did the elf thing before.

Middle earth isn't "Europe in the middle ages". It's explicitly the world in antiquity before the age of man. There are black skinned folk fighting for Mordor.

The elves aren't stand in for humans, they are elves.

The elves have a long backstory.

The majority of the elves we see in lotr are the noldor, who came East from Valinor to reclaim the silmarils from morgoth.

But long before that, when the elves first woke, they came into being out east of Mordor (geographically, were the black humans come from). The valar led them on a great migration to Valinor, and along the way several groups broke off (and this is where wood elves come from) or just never followed the valar in the first place.

The noldor are described as fair, but it's never said that all elves were, and if Eru made different coloured men, why not elves?

Tolkien does say that when the noldor returned and after the wars, some of the elves that never went west were absorbed into the kingdoms created by the noldor.

The black elf is probably one of such ancestry.

Saying it breaks continuity because you want Tolkien's works to be an allegory of medieval Europe when he's very opposed to allegory as a literary device, is explicit it's not supposed to be an allegory but a kind of mythical prehistory long long before medieval Europe (which is the distant future of the Western part of middle earth) and has given an entire epic prehistory for the elves with between three and five ethnic groupings, languages and migratory history which potentially allows for this... Well I think that's just projection really.

The idea that elves ought to be white and dark skinned elves need explaining doesn't hold up.

For those not familiar with tolkein, it's just "oh, so he's got ancestry from a different part of the world". For those familiar with tolkein, theres a plausible explanation. The only people who find it jarring are those with erroneous ideas in their own head both about Tolkeins work and overly simplistic ideas of ethnicity in Europe during the middle ages (which middle earth isn't anyway) and who are far too fixated on race.

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 08 17:12:12
If we have a drama set in Roman Britain with a dark skinned character, do we head to be clobbered over the head to explain "oh, he's from Africa, where Rome had colonies, and it wasn't unusual for individuals to from one part of the empire to travel as soldiers or merchants to other parts of the empire"
Pillz
Member
Tue Aug 08 20:13:57
Colonies lol

All of North Africa was Roman provinces you hack
Seb
Member
Wed Aug 09 03:52:28
pillz:

What part of what you said do you think is inconsistent with what I said?

Seb
Member
Wed Aug 09 05:33:32
Nim:

"Ethnic and sexual dyanmics are the product of evolution."

The specifics clearly aren't.

"Just because some tiny minority do, doesn’t mean it is accepted by everyone and it is incorporated into the larger culture."

It kind of does actually, unless the larger culture decides it want's to try and isolate and suppress that group. Either you suppress that group, or you let them do their thing, in which case, hey, it's part of your culture. Death metal is part of western culture - despite being a minority preference.

"Changing your genome is drastic, absolutely."

At some point, manufacturing high quality glass and grinding it into lenses would have been quite a drastic outlay of resources just to let someone read. Now it is simple stuff.

Similarly, taking the liver from a dead person, cutting a living person out, removing their liver and sewing in the one from a dead person, stitching them all up, and giving them a course of drugs to supress their immune system would also have been considered crazily drastic stuff.

This is how technology works: our capabilities increase and what was considered dangerous, drastic and utterly unfeasible becomes routine and boring.

"with accepted pleasures and pleasures deemed unacceptable"

Pleasures deemed unacceptable increasingly need to be supported by concrete cases that prohibition is justified by some actual harm.

The whole posit here is that within 500 years, say, we will have cracked the technology that lets us do this kind of stuff: that we can figure out how to regrow limbs and organs and do genetic alterations in adults in vivo (we will do this first for medical use cases) - explain to me what the societal or individual harm is here that would justify "cosmetic" use of this technology, given that nobody serious is right now is arguing to ban Gender Reassignment Surgery for adults.


"His world obeys the geographical rules of our world."

If this was true, and given that canon is that the Elves originated in the far east, clearly they all ought to be Asian? Though at the time Arda was flat (it became round after the Numenor fell), Valinor literally a continent in the west across the sea rather than a closed off realm only accessible through the will of the Vala. Oh and the sun and the moon hadn't been created.

I think we should probably take Tolkien at face value in his letters and other commentary on his own work: Middle Earth *isn't* supposed to represent the demographics of Medieval Europe - it's millennia in the past of Medieval Europe. Elves are not a stand-in for any particular race of man - they are their own thing.

Further, it wasn't the case that middle ages Europe that someone being black or brown skinned would be so bizarre as to require it be explained to the kind of well educated aristocrats that are our PoV characters.

You are certainly smart enough to think of fifteen reasons why there might be a dark skinned soldier in a feudal army of a continent spanning empire in middle ages Europe. So is it really necessary to stop and explain it?

And in the pure context of what we know about the elves of middle earth from the show itself:
1. There is a black elf, so while obviously not common in this group, not necessarily inexplicable.
2. Elves live a very long time and this garrison has been there a long time - whatever the reason for him being black, it clearly is something that's got an adequate explanation and isn't plot relevant.
3. Ditto for the humans that garrison watches over

So the audience ought to be able to conclude "in this world, there exist black elves, it's uncommon, but not inexplicable, and it's not really important for the plot".

Would it have helped the story to have stopped and inserted some exposition to explain it? No.

It would matter if we are then given some explicit beef between black and white elves mirroring contemporary race dynamics in modern humans. Then we would want to know why, in the fictional setting, that analogue exists.
Seb
Member
Wed Aug 09 06:14:29
Addendum:

Mordor - or what becomes it - where the black elf is stationed, roughly corresponds to the Caucuses. So the intersection of Asia and Europe.
Seb
Member
Wed Aug 09 06:43:00
My personal head-cannon for the black elf character in RoP:

The Elves have a very long history of migration. Indeed their migration is what defines their history and culture: not a sense of place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundering_of_the_Elves

He is likely descended from an Avari - one of the groups of the original groups of elves that did not follow Orome to dwell with the Valar in the far west.

Tolkein never describes the physical characteristics of this group - but he does tell us that some of the Avari went off to dwell in the woods and lived wild, but some individuals later joined the Nandor - a group that stopped and abandoned the migration to Valinor - and who became the Sylvian elves of Lothlorien etc.

He also tells us that some of the Avari were captured by Morgoth and twisted into Orcs - who are often described as having dark skin, which suggest that some Avari might have had dark skin also.

Extra-narratively part of the reason for having Avari is to incorporate and explain how north mythology has Light and Dark elves. The Light elves are those that went to Valnior. They refer to those that did not as "Moriquendi". The Dark Elves of North Mythology *do* have a dark complexion. Given the Avari exist in part to allow his world to be an age of mythology precursor to actual European mythologies, it would suggest Avari, or some of them, ought to have a dark complexion also.

So the idea of a black elf can be explained very well within the Tolkien cannon.

But you don't need to go rooting around in the Legendarium for an in depth explanation for all of this.

There assumed non-narrative reason for Elves to be white is if you think they are supposed to represent an idealised version of West Europeans in the middle ages. They absolutely aren't. Tolkein is explicit about this.

Absent an explanation drawn from the incredibly detailed history of the Elves and their language and culture that Tolkein sets out; all you need to assume is that elves with dark skin exist and while most of the elves in the time and place of the show we see are white, it's accepted knowledge that Black elves do exist and this is just one of them and while it might be an interesting personal story as to how this one is here at this place and time, it's not really relevant for the plot. And when a human who isn't familiar with him or elves sees him, they are familiar enough with the idea that black humans exist, albeit not here, that they just assume he's the equivalent.

Like all of the Elves, he's just the product of some migration and it doesn't need further explanation unless you are interested in him enough to know his families reason for migrating.
Seb
Member
Wed Aug 09 09:39:18
Hmm, interestingly Arondir is canonically supposed to be a Silvan elf.

You probably *won't* get to hear much of the backstory like the above as it's largely from the Silmarillion and other works in the Legendarium, and the Rings of Power can only use LoTR and Appendices as per the Amazon licence; but it is possible that the writers are very familiar with the source material and are aiming at this explanation but cannot explicitly say so while remaining within their licence conditions.



Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Wed Aug 16 11:36:28
The mess that is Foundation

Just to clarify something, I didn’t bring up transsexuals or object to it specifically, you brought it up as somehow part of a “weird” future sci-fi or not. I said maybe, but my objection was against the general idea that socially and culturally the future must be weird. Had you said it could be, I would agree, it could be. It could also be very familiar. You specifically chose the current progressive issue of the day as the example and projected that into the future, so the future must be strange (for non-progressives) according to progressive wishful thinking. A sci-fi example that most likely rubs your liberal sensibilities the wrong way is Starship Troopers; you may consider that retrograde. It’s not strange in the absolute sense, but relative to where you thought the trajectory is/was.

What is weird about transsexuals though, in a sci-fi setting? I find hermaphrodite or changeling species more mind-bending. And none of these things, to my knowledge, have been presented in the Foundation TV series.

Ethnic and sexual dynamics are products of evolution; they are deeply rooted, and just looking at the world we live in, it should be obvious that technology doesn’t make every brain fall in line with progressive dictum. This is what many sci-fi stories that depict infinitely progressive attitudes fail to deal with. What happened with all the conservatives and people on the other side of the progressive culture? They seemingly permanently vanish from the gene pool, despite making up a hugely disproportionate part of every military, police force, and gun owners in every country. It’s fine though, it’s fiction, and you can make up whatever fantasy you want. But the question is valid as you have segued into the real future. The Expanse deserves recognition here, for answering many of the "how did things end up they way they did," often counter to where we think it is heading, for instance providing an explanation for why the Earth is overpopulated.

Re: hunter-gatherer social organization, it's important to avoid oversimplification here. There is a diverse array of social structures among such societies, and pointing to a single tribe at a particular time would be reductionist(!), why I raised the question of prevailing norms and what works for the survival of a society. Do any of these things go away entirely? I mean, there are still feudal societies in the world (Saudi Arabia)!

I think all these things are interesting from a world-building perspective, but the idea that "more brains more complexity" beyond the philosophical question I posed earlier seems to assume that "brains" are not working within a finite set/framework that brains emerge from, further that all possibilities in the endless complexity are equally plausible in practice. We can kill that idea at the gate; simple trial and error would reveal only a fraction of all possible ideas floating in conceptual space are possible in practice, and even fewer are plausible. This is a primitive post-modern maze, but it was cleared decades ago. One could lazily insert techno-magic/Deus ex machina to clear any and all hurdles, but often this is unconvincing. Oddly, this is one of the issues plaguing the protagonist's story in Foundation. A bunch of needlessly complex events take place, for what I assume is the writer's desire to create urgency and drama. It ends up being contrived and painting themselves into a series of corners, that they just wash away with some kind of magic/violation of basic reason (moronic tactical decisions) or utter disregard for even the folksy understanding of physics (ship under saltwater for a thousand years).

The humans in Foundation are living under a feudal social organization. They have not transcended their humanity at all, technology or not; they are as petty and small-minded as the worst era in human history. And then you look at the casting, and the casting is essentially mirroring an intersectional conflict, literally white hetero men at the top and everyone else below them. Yet with that intersectional casting and the feudal organization, none of the expected conflicts exist, besides the generic one that you get in the books. None of these things exist in the books, because everyone is male, so the lack of diversity simply removes such questions from the table entirely. This is very straightforward. All evil people are white; not a single character from an intersectional protected group is cast as an antagonist. Gay guy will redeem himself (just watch), and Demerzal is not a human, but there is a clear path for redemption in the books.

I obviously understand that had they acknowledged these things and turned it into Barbie vs. the patriarchy, that would have completely changed the show into something else. As it stands right now, it is Barbie vs. the patriarchy; they just don't talk about it.

Of elves and men:

I didn't say that Middle Earth is an allegory for medieval Europe. My usage of the word "allegory" is about Foundation and BSG.

Tolkien intentionally incorporated fundamental elements from Earth's geography and cultures into his work. The concept of continents, oceans, and mountains is present in Middle-earth, and Tolkien clearly drew inspiration from real-world locations. Therefore, there is a reasonable expectation that certain geographical features would correlate between the two worlds, even if there are unique fantastical elements. Geography and climate are also largely responsible for why people look the way they do. It follows then that how populations are depicted follows historical and geographical considerations. The presence of black individuals in such a context (or Europeans in pre-Columbian America or Iranians in Greenland) should be addressed, as their rarity in medieval/ancient times necessitates an explanation. These are logical expectations for an immersive storytelling experience.

I can make this very simple with a series of questions:

Regarding these black elves and people, who are they, where did they come from, what is their culture, what is their language, how did they end up where they are? These are all questions that Tolkien answered in painstaking detail for every civilization and people he put in Middle-earth, going back thousands of years! And his world obeys the simple laws of geography and climate as ours. To go back to Malazan again, that world has "random" glaciers where glaciers are not possible, in a world with a geography that obeys the laws of physics as we know them. Well, there is an explanation central to the history of the world of where these glaciers come from. it's obviously magic (duh!), but the who that created them and for what purpose is what provides depth and richness.

**The intention here is not that you using your imagination cobble together a backstory (that isn't Tolkien) for all these gaps. The criticism isn't indicative of a lack of imagination on my part; I have half a dozen unfinished worlds under my belt :) We can all invent fan fiction to put in the gaps, but this is widely recognized as bad writing. If I go and buy a shirt and it is missing arms, I mean, yeah, I can google a video and sew arms on the shirt, but I went in expecting a full shirt.**

I don’t know if you saw The 13th Warrior (1999), a movie very loosely based on the life of the Muslim traveler Ibn Fadlan and a mishmash with Beowulf, played by Antonio Banderas. Ibn Fadlan indeed ended up among Varangians in Russia. Does it make sense to you if the movie didn’t at all recognize his heritage and the story of why he ended up among Vikings? Imagine the old Shogun series and random European-looking people all over medieval Japan, speaking Japanese, behaving like any other Japanese, with no explanation.

If one is not asking these (to me) obvious questions, then one simply does not understand world-building, Tolkien, Middle-earth, medieval history, or the fantasy genre altogether. I forgive the uninitiated who exclaims "why not, it's fantasy!" as in arbitrary and randomly cobbled together, but you are not one of those people, and that makes this exchange even more bizarre.

In summary: It is the responsibility of the writers (not the viewer) to create and expand the source material so things cohere and remain immersive. They didn’t though, and that is the _exact_ moment it all falls apart. While your speculation could be true regarding licensing, that unfortunately doesn't solve the problems in the final product; it's just another argument for why the world should have been depicted as it was written or move on to new stories. These superficial recasting and/or post-modern reinterpretation, as observed in the various examples I have mentioned in this thread, undermine the world itself. And in each of these cases, the final products pretty much suck for a list of reasons, all seemingly rooted in the fact that the writers either don't understand the world they are depicting or knowingly intend to corrupt it for other goals and purposes.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Wed Aug 16 11:45:01
I was just reminded that Dune, that does depict a feudal society like Foundation, deals with the tension that arise between ethnicity and sexes in a convincing way. Perhaps because it draws heavily from real world tensions. This may be a division rooted largely in inherently different psychology. When I watch Dune, it's not the type social future I wish for, but I see that these people are human, basically 96% chimps. People hate me for it, but this was always a turn off for me with TNG. Who are these people? Why is everything so fucking clean, is there no dirt in the future?!?
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Sep 14 02:41:01
Wow... The show is become more and more terrible?`

So we now have "The Force" in Foundation. I remember telepathy, but not telekinesis. Am I wrong?

Dear god that space battle was horrible. And the whole scene with the two lovers over the radio, one being condemned. But there you go, Gay guy has now been triggered to turn against the evil white emperor, saw that coming when he turned out to be gay :) and gay people can't be evil on *Apple*-TV.

I have to admit, I have been so bored by Salvor and Gaal, I don't even know what they have been doing. Just a series of getting their asses in trouble and some how, with Gaal being a jedi, using the force the get out, with a constipated look on their faces.

Brother Day is carrying the show, by being the archetype: psychopathic tyrant.

Gooooo Tyrants!
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Sep 14 03:03:52
Oh, and yeas obviously it has now been revealed that Emertsel is a puppet master working for the good of "the realm", while also being a slave to the clones.

There is just a lot to like about the Empire story line, as it is both rich and convincing.
Paramount
Member
Thu Sep 14 03:23:22
” Dear god that space battle was horrible. And the whole scene with the two lovers over the radio, ”

I couldn’t watch it.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Sep 14 03:35:23
The timing was very cringe. The battle scenes so far in the show have been tactically illiterate and wholly underwhelming in their execution. You know, like lets get this shit out of the way kind of attention to pacing and detail.

I still have my money on The Mule, being the offspring of the clone dynasty or somehow related to them.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Sep 14 03:40:33
A mule is a sterile offspring of a horse and a donkey. *taps temple* The pieces are all there! They have already made, in the books, unrelated people related to each other, it would only make sense that the attempt to connect characters across time would be extended to the antagonist story line, for the sake of emotional continuity.
Paramount
Member
Thu Sep 14 04:56:58
The Mule, played by Mikael Persbrandt (a swede, for those of you who don’t know), is the only reason I’m going to keep watching. I want to see him acting to see if he’s doing a good job or not.
Paramount
Member
Fri Sep 15 13:41:38
Did anyone like the fight between Day and the gay General? Lol it was so bad.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sat Sep 16 05:06:28
The action scenes, small or large, have been awful throughout the show.
Seb
Member
Thu Sep 21 18:42:53
Well I've got to episode 10.

I think the best way to approach the TV series is that it is in a parallel universe to the books where everything went fucking wrong from the beginning due Hari meeting an outlier from the beginning and trying to incorporate it into his plan.

Whatever Hari's plan was, it got so derailed when he met Gaal that its created a parallel timeline where actually any apparent success is not due to psychohistory but a mix of it, mentalic powers and timely wimey predestination.

As evidence for this, I cite the Toney wimey shenanigans where Salvor tells Hari about Hobber Mallow creating the predestination paradox.

Clearly in this universe everything hinges not on psychohistory, which by the evidence on screen seems not to work at all; and everything hinging off of actions taken by Gaal and Salvor (both mentalics), and with all three of Hari prime, vault Hari left hand and second foundation Hari right hand seem to have known and planned for.

In this universe, psychohistory is the maguffin. Mentalics is the magic behind the curtain.

Taken from that perspective, the show works a lot better.
Seb
Member
Thu Sep 21 18:44:47
I thought tallen / pa or whatever her name was would turn out to be the mule.

I note he had bright blue eyes though, like a lot of the terminus folk
Seb
Member
Thu Sep 21 18:45:34
Space battle was so so.
Seb
Member
Thu Sep 21 18:48:21
I shall watch 10 tomorrow to see how they get around the small matter of sucking terminus into the black hole.

I suspect it turns out that the vault is actually fully TARDIS, being not only bigger on her inside (TM) and non local but fully dimensionally transcendent but also able to laugh off a black hole.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Sep 22 00:48:14
Yes. I think I said something to that effect in the first thread, like inspired by Foundation. That still leaves us with the lackluster execution of fully half the story and all the other . It’s and Ok show, largely carried by the production value, the clone emperors and their robot nanny.

The piercing blue eyes of those Terminus people is a good observation.
Seb
Member
Fri Sep 22 01:13:39
Unless Tallen / Pa cult leader connects to the creation of the mule, the Gaal / Salvor subplot is a bizarre digression.
Seb
Member
Fri Sep 22 03:03:09
Well some of the things I objected to in the first half of the season turned out to have coherent explanations (the vault demanding to speak to Hober Mallow).

So I'm willing to modify my original view that the authors don't understand psychohistory.

I think they just decided it would be more interesting not to tell Asimov's story exploring psychohistory as a concept, and instead use their own concepts.

They are clearly setting Seldon up as every bit the overbearing idealogue committed to his philosophy; juxtaposed to the Cleon's.

Maybe they have something else planned with the mentalics that make the half season following Gaal/Salvor around while they get into random scrapes to not much purpose?

On the other hand, the whole religious revelation of a Brother Day last season essentially got time jumped over so... *Shrug*.

I agree with you, the Empire thread is by far the most compelling part (it was last season too).

But I think it is better (as in, both to enjoy it but also I think better to understand the intention of the showrunner) to approach it as attempting to tell the same story as the books adapted for TV.

It's very much a reboot of the original story, or perhaps a retelling of the final retconned story (post Brin's books) - with the mentalics/Gaia/robot manipulation of the whole galactic history brought into the foreground in earlier events where they were later retconned in but not visible to the reader (as the author hadn't yet conceived of them as part of the story).

I suspect the magical resurrection of Right Hand Hari and the poet will be connected to Gaia somehow.
Seb
Member
Fri Sep 22 03:13:12
Cleon is all "Big Man, virtuoso, seize the reins of history, and this informs my big hubristic plan for managing human civilisation" - however this is subverted to some extent that he's (including Cleon I) is clearly a puppet of this robot.

Hari is all "nah, it's predictable social forces, individuals have moral worth but don't shape history, here's my big hubristic plan for managing human civilization" - however clearly subverted by setting himself up as a god and having immortal copies of himself running much of the show, and all the key decisions having fuck all to do with PH and outlier mentalics he coopted.

Some of the scenes in episode 9 really hammer this home (the sparing between Hari and Day f.ex).

The show seems to be setting both up for some kind of synthesis. From a conceptual point - Gaia in the novels resonates. Individuals but also a organism?

Meanwhile the actual first foundation seems to be a bit of a thing in the background.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Sep 22 06:07:15
"I think they just decided it would be more interesting not to tell Asimov's story exploring psychohistory as a concept, and instead use their own concepts."

I am honestly not even sure what their version of it is. I would have wanted the math based social science that it was. That hasn't been done, we already have a lot of spooky magical prophecy franchises.

"They are clearly setting Seldon up as every bit the overbearing idealogue committed to his philosophy; juxtaposed to the Cleon's."

I have sensed Seldon may be thrown under the bus since he went a bit mad, while being frozen. This would be quite the subversion of the character, but in line with my expectations for all white males in the show's ensemble. It also fits the prevailing pattern of subverting the classical hero's journey and what they have done to psychohistory. Hari spent his life working tirelessly in his lab to create psychohistory, didn't have children, lost his wife, and ultimately gave his life for his science e.g sacrifices were made. Then this girl comes along, a math genius who can apparently use the force, surpassing other Jed.. I mean mentalics who have trained longer. Hmm, never seen that one before. And then, potentially, Hari is not different from the other evil white people, who are only trying to protect their legacy.

We will see.

The new trend: inherent power and intuition seems to surpass discipline and training to improve oneself. You can see this in recent Star Wars movies and female superhero films. The contrast is clear when comparing the first Mulan movie to the second. In the first, Mulan has to train and work hard to become a hero. In the second, she is already great but held back by her environment (cough men), they are the ones who need to change and improve. Self-improvement is key in the classical journey of the hero, you need get good, while the new (exclusively female) hero trope leans toward being great as you are and shifting the responsibility for your lot in life to the world. Woke AF.

It was already set up in the first episodes, very briefly, Hari mentioned that life was particularly difficult for Gaal on her religious anti-scientific home planet, because she was a woman.
Paramount
Member
Fri Sep 22 07:44:45
Life seems to be more difficult for women than for men. There is a lot of pressure on women. A woman has to look good. She has to be a superwoman. For an example. So life is very hard.

We must therefore pity the Woman and give her love, chocolate and money.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Sep 22 07:53:39
It seems that way, because women naturally whine a lot and men don't and we are naturally wired to look at women as weaker and in need of help and support. That used to be the case in the old times, but not anymore. This behavior is then re-enforced culturally. There are no female analogs for expressions like "take it like a man!", "you are such such a girl!" etc. etc., and they exist universally in every culture.
Seb
Member
Fri Sep 22 12:37:58
Nim:
"You can see this in recent Star Wars movies and female superhero films."

Oh come on. Luke is this farm hand and in the space of a few days he's a shit hot fighter pilot and using the force to lob a bomb down the death Stars exhaust port.

The first trilogy didn't do a lot to establish Lukes power coming from discipline and hard graft. Indeed he runs off mid training to save his friends with his mentor complaining about his lack of focus and discipline.

Star wars was always about special magic wunderkind. Rey is not out of line with Luke. The main difference is that what Jedi can do has been greatly inflated over time. In ESB, wow, Yoda can levitate a fighter jet, and Darth Vader can throw some boxes. And in RoTJ wow lightning from the super powerful emperor.

By the time we get to the sequel trilogy we've had the prequels and several animated series plus the expanded universe cannon all of which have substantially inflated the repertoire of Jedi/sith powers. From that perspective the issue isn't that Rey is oh so powerful compared to Luke. Rather it is that Vader, the Emperor and Luke look pretty weak against the revised canon.
Seb
Member
Fri Sep 22 12:43:15
The whole *point* in RoTJ isn't that Luke has become powerful through hard work and discipline. It is explicitly the opposite.
In a moment's inspiration, he realises that this path is ultimately futile, and that he needs to let go of ego. In so doing her redemes his father.

Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Sep 22 13:35:10
While I did not, nor would put Luke Skywalker as the quintessential heroes tale, I will explain why you are completely off the mark.

Yes there is a "chosen one" element in the stories, that is totally fine. However, the things you mention are trivial for the chosen hero, he is suppose to naturally be more talented, it is defeating Vader and the Emperor that is the real obstacle and his ultimate goal. In a nutshell: He goes and trains with Yoda, leaving to save his friends against Yoda's advise, fights Vader, *fails* and loses a hand, and ultimately *fails* against the emperor, winning _only_ because of the humanity still left in his father. Not the classical heroes tale, but perfectly in line with expectations. He isn't a fully trained Jedi and the outcomes show this. They did that wonderfully.

In the new movies the first fucking time she fights Darth Vader Jr, she is stronger than him and pretty much defeats him, he only escapes because of sheer luck! LOL :) Like the second time she has held a light saber or something.

Conan the Barbarian, that is a great one. His mother and father murdered, his people slaughtered, taken a slave, driven only by his desire for revenge. Trains as a warrior with different masters. And then he gets his revenge, ironically on the guy who is the voice of Darth Vader. Wonderful way to close the loop here :)
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Sep 22 13:58:37
Also, holy shit James Earl Jones is still alive. 92 years old! God bless him :)
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Sep 22 14:15:45
Honestly I re-reading these last posts and I wonder if you have actually watched Star Wars or if you paid any attention to it while it was running.

Luke is trained by Obi won and Yoda, Legends of the Jedi order, he still fails.

Rey is in god mode through the entire thing and receives *some* training by Leia, who was never a Jedi. She could have been trained by Luke, that would have made sense, but see this trilogy was about girl power. The most cringy thing was that scene with Admiral purple hair and that pilot guy. Totally without explanation or logic, just pure magical intuition tells her that they should be doing this instead of that. Oh wow look, turns out she was right and he was wrong. Female intuition 1023013 male logic 0. LOL If you were not confused by that scene, you are likely a woman. Not saying female intuition can't be a thing in a movie, but that it shouldn't be making sense to a man, anymore than your wife's crazy antics.

I mean we can still have fun laughing and these kinds of stories can be very captivating and entertaining for all the right reasons. The laugh here is that you don't see these very obvious things. I mean, you are here debating culture war stuff and still don't see those very elements in contemporary expression of *culture*. LOL :)
Seb
Member
Fri Sep 22 15:10:17
Nim:

"it is defeating Vader and the Emperor that is the real obstacle and his ultimate goal."

I would say the whole point of the cave scene and the eventual moment in the throne room: the abandonment of the goal of defeating Vader and the Emperor. It is only when he abandons the idea of defeating them, will to power, ego etc. and transcends the conflict. Space Buddhism. Through this Vader is redeemed and the Emperor destroyed through Vader's sacrifice of fatherly love.

It is worth noting that it is possibly not what Yoda was trying to teach him - though that is debatable.


"In the new movies the first fucking time she fights Darth Vader Jr, she is stronger than him and pretty much defeats him,"

Well yeah, the whole point about Ren is that he is deeply unbalanced and conflicted within himself. That is weakening him. Even his attempt to resolve that split by killing his father, Han, doesn't help. Compare and contrast his tantrums to Vader's cold controlled fury. They make a big thing about this. Stimpy (I have forgotten space Heffners name, I'll say stimpy as it goes with Ren) makes a big deal about this. You see it in the fight they have, he's lunging everywhere, etc. But it is in his visual design motiff. Crackling unstable lightsaber blade and Vader cosplay. He really wants to be committed dark side vader, but he also really isn't. As a sith, he is a failure.

That is why Ren loses. Its right there on screen. And Stimpy mocks him for it afterwards and IIRC directly ascribes his loss due to his continued conflict and how shit a dark sider he is. Unless that was in the second movie. I forget.

"who was never a Jedi."
From the "get go" (Ok ESB) she had force powers. She was trained by Luke somewhere between RoTJ and TFA.

If you did nothing but reverse the genders of admiral purple hair and poe, it would be "emotionally unstable female pilot wants to help her friends and ignores the pragmatic wisdom of experienced male admiral". If they were both men, it would be "rash male hot shot ignores the wisdom of experienced admiral". I think you are bringing as much framing to this as the movie is.

The thematic point of that whole movie was deconstruction of the idea of individualistic heroes. It had nothing to do with female vs male. It was about the need for perseverance and preservation of the collective, resilience and endurance and preservation of the movement over individualistic ambition and heroism.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sun Sep 24 07:43:42
"I would say the whole point of the cave scene and the eventual moment in the throne room: the abandonment of the goal of defeating Vader and the Emperor. It is only when he abandons the idea of defeating them, will to power, ego etc. and transcends the conflict. Space Buddhism. Through this Vader is redeemed and the Emperor destroyed through Vader's sacrifice of fatherly love."

You are mixing the two trilogies as complementary, while I compared the differences between the story Luke and Rey. So this response isn't valid for what I said responding to what you originally said. Luke only wins because there was humanity left in his father. His training was not enough. The End. Rey was in god mode. The end.

"Well yeah, the whole point about Ren is that he is deeply unbalanced and conflicted within himself."

Does not conflict with what I said about Rey. Her arch nenemy is incredibly weak compared to her, but not anyone else. I mean Anakin was conflicted and hatefilled, yet he owned Luke, but was owned badly by the more senior Kenobi, despite his natural higher potential. Consistent.

"If you did nothing but reverse the genders of admiral purple hair and poe, it would be "emotionally unstable female pilot wants to help her friends and ignores the pragmatic wisdom of experienced male admiral""

That is you projecting your faulty model of my beliefs. It would not have made sense to me regardless of who had a penis or purple hair, because there simply was no explanation or anything semi-obvious. It was obvious that Poe was correct, if that was suppose to be a twist, they made no attempt to explain it afterwards. It just was.

"The thematic point of that whole movie was deconstruction of the idea of individualistic heroes."

That was the *exact* same theme in the first trilogy. Again I repeat, Luke ONLY won, because of his father's last minute existential remorse. Nothing in that trilogy is about an individualistic hero. Han Solo, the clearest instantiation of that character, turns 180. lol it is in fact violations of these themes and story arcs in the new movies, among other things, with the examples given of both Rey as an unstoppable force and admiral purple hairs' *personal* intuitions against logic and reason that obliterates the story. Women saved the day, without much or really any help or input from men who are largely incompetent. Oh and there is a token black guy who does some stuff.

Couldn't be a more clear instantiation of the prevailing cultural zeitgeist.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sun Sep 24 08:19:11
There are few tory where a hero single handedly wins the day. It always involves putting together an alliance of confederatea and friends. So I have no idea where you get this deconstructing the lone hero story. All classical stories involves forging alliances to defeat the enemy. And there is always the hero, who forges this alliance and he has a central role in the final boss fight. But he could not get there without his friends. This is mirroring a male hero fantasy, that you can see in war movies/stories, all the way from Alexander to Band of brothers.

There are lone hero stories, like Taken and Bourne (Man on Fire is a personal favorite), often stories largely driven by a singular drive for revenge by a complicated “hero” with a troubled and dark past (Han Solo type). However this was never Star Wars or any sci fi and fantasy franchise that I can think of, as they involve an ensemble of characters.

Nothing requires deconstruction, as both stories exist in the real world and can be captivating and entertaining on the screen.

There was definitely a theme here congruent with the 6 previous movies, the search for “the one” to bring balance was an error filled race to disappointment after disappointment. But they fucked it up in the execution.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sun Sep 24 09:00:57
Female heroes are fine, I just disagree with the values they are depicting in some recent depictions. And this comes as no surprise as I am on this forums arguing against those very values, i.e the externalization of responsibility as a virtue.

But the problem with SW is more than that, because the raising of female heroes became a zero zum game. The killed all the old powerful males and the new ones are depicted as weak and incompetent. This is for instance not how Leia was depicted in the original movies. Again a wonderful story, being twins, their destiny was necessarily joined and their journey in tandem. Luke rising as as the Jedi, Leia as the leader of the Alliance. Fulfilling what their parents had started. The story was already over, the new trilogy was unnecessary for many reasons.
Paramount
Member
Sun Sep 24 09:11:13
I have decided to cancel my Apple Tv subscription. Foundation is not worth it, and there is mostly shit shows on Apple. Severance was okay but there is no new season to watch. Maybe I’ll subscribe again when Apple Tv has more to offer.
Seb
Member
Sun Sep 24 12:57:11
Vault's a mother fucking TARDIS.

The mule is a result of Gaal.

Predestination paradox.

It's turning into a time-travel story without time travel.
Seb
Member
Sun Sep 24 12:59:56
Nim:

You miss the point. Even stories where the hero is part of an alliance focus on the skills and exceptional attributes of the hero and his sidekicks.

The message of TLJ was different - it was about how you didn't need to be exceptional, you just had to stand in solidarity with your fellow man and each person do their part.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sun Sep 24 13:30:13
"You miss the point. Even stories where the hero is part of an alliance focus on the skills and exceptional attributes of the hero and his sidekicks."

I already addressed this in that text you are responding to. You probably didn't read. This isn't the problem with the new trilogy.

"it was about how you didn't need to be exceptional"

Rey was totally not exceptional in any way. Your posts are becoming increasingly more absurd.

"you just had to stand in solidarity with your fellow man and each person do their part."

O.o?
Ehm...That theme was already present in the original series, it was just on the nose and explicit in a very cringy way in the Rise of Skywalker.
Seb
Member
Sun Sep 24 14:16:36
Nim:

"Rey was totally not exceptional in any way. Your posts are becoming increasingly more absurd."

Yeah, think what actually happens in TLJ. The Jedi story is that Luke basically spends a lot of time telling Rey that you can't solve the societal problems afflicting the galaxy with a hero with a "lazer sword" as he derisively put it (there is even a deleted scene where this is expanded upon RE pirate raids on the not-ewoks).

The Republic turns out to be full of the same banal evil as the Empire (although less overtly oppressive) for most people; because despite the Emperor being a cackling evil dark lord; the empire was and the new order are basically a response to the failures of the republic and the new republic.

Rey and Ren turn out to have a special relationship. Stimpy gets sucker punched - then the ship gets blown up.

Rey does very little exceptional in the movie at all.

And Luke dies pretending to do something exceptional so that the rebels can escape and the story ignite hope across the galaxy; while Rose dies stopping Finn from making a futile sacarfice.

The theme is about a subtle as a kick to the head: traditional action heroes are not the answer - we need the collective courage and solidarity of ordinary people.
Seb
Member
Mon Sep 25 02:58:18
Snoke! That's his name!
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Mon Sep 25 05:24:02
"Yeah, think what actually happens in TLJ."

Yes. Think about it. The resistance fleet was helplessly getting owned by Palpatines lighting magic, surviving only when Rey kills him, with her "lazer sword" as it was said.

"traditional action heroes are not the answer - we need the collective courage and solidarity of ordinary people."

This needs to be repeated: Getting owned like helpless little infants by evil sith lightning, until Rey killed Palpatine with her lazer Sword. This in itself isn't very exceptional, it is a staple of the franchise. The exceptional thing, is that you keep arguing we saw the complete opposite of this on the screen.

Note, as I said earlier: the theme they could have used, which it seems they wanted to use was the chosen one prophecy being futile, one person can not bring balance to the force and galaxy. They failed in the execution on multiple fronts. There is nothing wrong with that theme, or such a story.

I think you are making the same mistake assessing what I am saying as you did with the black elf/people discussion. That I have something against black elves, female heroes or themes of solidarity over the lone hero sage, but I have been very clear all along the way, that it is the blatant incoherence and contradictions in the final product that is the problem. Then pointed out the very straight line for the prevailing progressive culture war to the decisions taken that undermines the stories and the world they play out in.
Seb
Member
Mon Sep 25 06:06:41
Nim:


"Yes. Think about it. The resistance fleet was helplessly getting owned by Palpatines lighting magic, surviving only when Rey kills him, with her "lazer sword" as it was said."

Yeah, but that's a different movie (rise of Skywalker) by a different director and script writer!
Seb
Member
Mon Sep 25 06:22:00
Well in any case I have to disagree.

TFA and TLJ were both coherent in themselves (not with eachother though). My interpretation of what TLJ was saying is different to yours. I think you bringing to much of your view of the culture war to it.

I also forgot RE Rey Vs Ren in TFA - not only was he unstable having just killed his dad, frustrated and angry about his failures, humiliated by his mentor, he was also wounded by big ass bowcaster shot from Chewie.

The fact Rey "beats him" iirc it was more she does enough to get away in the aftermath of the base getting blown up isn't Rey on god mode and more that Ren is very very far from being Vader.


RoS otoh was a total mess - we all agree on that I think.

Seb
Member
Mon Sep 25 14:41:02
Nim:

"one person can not bring balance to the force and galaxy."

TLJ I think was more subversive than that. It is more in line with the interpretation of the prequels and clone wars series that suggests it was a terrible mistake to conflate the affairs of the Jedi with galactic politics and that peace, liberty and equity are things that must come from the solidarity of the ordinary and cannot be delivered by space wizard heroes.

In a way it is very in line with your real world view on interventionism.

Luke has a whole speech (though I cannot now remember if it was in a deleted scene) about how basically the only responsible thing he can do if pirates raid and attack the village is to do nothing and let them sort it out themselves: that he cannot and should not use his power to intervene.

This is actually a pretty good extrapolation of what Luke might have learned from his success in RoTJ and failure in training Ben - and in line with the very strong suggestions from the prequel and clone wars series that the Jedi made a terrible mistake in allowing themselves to become militarised.

The synthesis of the "space wizards to the rescue" of the first trilogy with Lukes pacifism is the a slightly more nuanced "OK, you can't save them, but you can help them save themselves" in Luke's final sacrifice by providing both inspiration and a cover for the rebels escape.

But the responsibility for freeing the galaxy rests with the ordinary masses.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Sep 26 07:29:46
“Yeah, but that's a different movie (rise of Skywalker) by a different director and script writer!”

“TFA and TLJ were both coherent in themselves (not with eachother though).”

How stupid of me to think a three part trilogy is somehow 3 parts connected, with characters and story arcs that are meant to be view viewed in the context of each other…

You have now taken the leap to a new level of absurdity, from your previous fabrication of fan fiction, to now chopping up parts of a whole to arrive at the absurd conclusion, that the pages of an otherwise incoherent contradictory story are coherent if you read the pages as standalone stories.

I mean you are consistent in butchering reality and meaning, I will give you that, star wars, reproductive biology, religious impact on culture, you name it, seb the deconstructing butcher is there chopping away.

“I think you bringing to much of your view of the culture war to it.”

It’s completely uncontroversial that progressive values are instantiated in expressions of culture and art. Hollywood has been doing this for over half a century and you have yet to internalize it? Not many examples in the other direction, but some. So, when I watch some of the movies directed by Clint Eastwood, it’s obvious that conservative and rightwing values are being projected on the screen, in not-so-subtle ways.

Like I said, the laugh here is your mind bending contortion act to avoid, what is the least unquestionable thing. It's really not very complex this one, say like a nuclear reactor. You are overthinking it.
Seb
Member
Tue Sep 26 10:21:04
Nim:

"How stupid of me to think a three part trilogy is somehow 3 parts connected"

Dude, we were talking about how to interpret a scene in one movie, as evidence of the intent of the director, with respect to its themes.

You cited a scene in the third movie which:
1. Hadn't been written at the time the previous movie was aired
2. Was directed and produced by a different person, the director of the previous having been fired from directing it
3. Is famous for being an incoherent mess.

I would say yes, its pretty stupid to make that assumption in context of these three movies!
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Sep 28 06:11:19
"we were talking about how to interpret a scene in one movie, as evidence of the intent of the director, with respect to its themes."

And how those themes and scenes fit in the trilogy and the grander story and the universe. Have been since the start. If you lost track of the bigger picture or abandoned it because you agree the movies in the trilogy are not consistent, then that is that. The internal consistency of 1 page is irrelevant and uninteresting.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Sep 28 06:17:59
Like of course not every scene and character is violating every trope and theme all the time.

Hmm, you remember that seb? Do all muslims rape all the time? Is this some kind of iron law of talking with you, given enough time, things devolve into some form of absurdity? The not all muslim version of Star wars: NOT ALL SCENES!
Seb
Member
Thu Sep 28 07:21:18
Nim:

"And how those themes and scenes fit in the trilogy and the grander story and the universe"

IDK mate, you seem to have this idea that there's an ongoing agenda in the films to push an anti-masculine view.

I'm saying I think you are reading that in to it and it is both not the intention and the things you are citing as evidence can be better explained by different buttons of the director in the context of the movie.

E.g. purple haired admiral busting down Poe isn't a critique of masculinity, it is a critique on what it means to be a hero. The issue isn't that Poe is a man, it is that Poe's idea of what is needed is somewhat childish and simplistic.

Appropriating Poe's simplistic approach and self-indulgence (insubordination in fact) in following through against orders as "masculine virtue" is, in many ways, what is wrong with masculinity.

In actually successful resistance movements and guerilla wars (historically also masculine) the virtues of discipline, teamwork, cold-blooded strategy etc. are all considered virtues.

If purple haired admiral was a man, the scene would have worked perfectly. It could just has easily been a grizzled US air force general and a maveric hot shot pilot. Except a US air force pilot behaving like Poe does would be considered highly unrealistic and they wouldn't get a second chance; but this is ultimately a movie whose substantial audience are children.

And by the end of the movie, Poe has learned the lesson.
Seb
Member
Thu Sep 28 07:25:47
*wrong with the recent trend in people juxtaposing feminism and masculinity I should say.

I think the worst thing to happen to men's view of what it means to be a man is this brittle, braggadocio "alpha male" discourse.

jergul
large member
Thu Sep 28 07:52:49
That we all live up to in this forum every day. Kudos in particular to Cherub Cow.
Seb
Member
Thu Sep 28 09:06:30
Sticking with star wars for shits-and-giggles, in Asokha is Thrawn supposed to be perceived as displaying characteristics that are intended to interpret him as Masculine, or effete/feminie, or neither?

Irrespective of intent on Masculine vs Femininity, *does* he display values that have traditionally been held as masculine (I would argue Machiavelli says yes).

Though interestingly even though these might have been considered virtues that a man should have, they are not always universally coded as uniquely male.

Thrawn's characteristics are very definitely aligned with the aspects of being a warrior assigned to Athena vs Ares (see below for an interesting perspective from Neal Stephenson). Odysseus is manly, just a different kind of manly from Achilles.

cf. Neal Stephenson https://markpasc.org/blog/gems/athena.html

The criticism of Poe is not that he's a stupid *man*. It is that he is being a stupid Ares type, not a strategic Odysseus type.

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