fialleril: [someday perhaps I will write that AU about warrior!Sif and fosteredJotunPrince!Loki] (Sif/Loki)
Hello internet, I'm back! Another long absence, but not as long, at least? I am trying! And now that it's summer, I should have some actual time and energy to dedicate to this journal, which I am looking forward to.

In any case, [livejournal.com profile] vampirynka asked me if I had seen The Avengers, and if so, what are my thoughts on it and specifically on Loki? And a couple people on Facebook have indicated an interest, as well.

Yes, I have (alas!) seen Avengers. Twice, actually, due to a series of ridiculous circumstances which I will not get into here. As a movie it...wasn't bad, I guess. (LOL, a ringing endorsement to be sure!) As a follow up to Thor, it was bloody awful.

I am not going to do anything like a traditional review. Instead, I will give you a list of things that could have been done differently, resulting in a superior movie. Because I am feeling snarky and contentious. (The list is by no means exhaustive, and I'm only talking changes to the film that leave the basic plot intact. A complete plot overhaul might be the best option, but I shan't attempt that here.)

Cut for spoilers. Trigger warnings for discussion of self-hate, othering, dismissive joking about adoption - all things the movie probably should have warned for too. )
fialleril: [another armed occupation is not freedom] (Cham Syndulla)
Remember that alphabet fic meme waaaaaaay back in the day?

Found this lying around on my computer and realized I'd never actually gotten around to posting it. It's not the greatest, but I like some things about it, and I don't think I can play with it any more, so - here ya go, internet!

Title: faith
Characters: Cham Syndulla, Gobi, Orn Free Taa
Timeframe: prior to the Clone Wars show
Rating: PG
Summary: In the beginning, he’d believed in a lot of things.
Warnings: References to political violence, slavery, and systematized oppression.
Notes: [livejournal.com profile] glassapples requested "faith + Cham Syndulla" way back on that meme, so here it is.

faith. 590 words. )
fialleril: [someday perhaps I will write that AU about warrior!Sif and fosteredJotunPrince!Loki] (Sif/Loki)
Welp I finally saw that Thor movie. And I'mma talk to you about it, but first, there are some things you should probably know about me. 'Cause if you're expecting a balanced account of this movie, well I'm sorry, but you're going to be disappointed. Be warned: you are gonna hear a lot about Norse mythology, as well as the Marvel characters. I'm sorry; I just can't help myself.

So the first thing you should probably know is that I love mythological Loki the most. I know I've mentioned this before, but you don't even understand, internet. If I had to narrow all of the most foundational narratives in my life down to two - two narratives that have been with me for as long as I can remember, that I keep coming back to always, that have pretty much shaped who I am as a person - they would be these two characters/narratives: Persephone, and Loki. I met Loki as a kid, long before I knew words like genderqueer or ambiguity or even trickster, but he caught my imagination instantly. He knew all about the power of stories, and he had a quick tongue and a sense of fun and adventure and he could get out of anything. Loki's defining characteristic is this: when presented with an either/or choice and told that he has to choose, Loki says no. Both hero and villain, both Jotun and one of the Aesir, both man and woman, both mother and father, both human and horse and fly and seal and whatever the hell else Loki wants to be. For a kid who saw herself as fundamentally non-gendered, but who was constantly being pressured to be female (and to be female in a certain way), Loki's ambiguous, gender-fluid narrative was ridiculously powerful. Still is.

What this means, among many other things, is that I can and will love all versions of Loki I come across, regardless of mythological accuracy or actual portrayal of ambiguity. There are more than enough narratives out there that portray him as flatly evil, but whatever, I just reinsert the ambiguity myself.

So pretty much what I'm saying is that this review is gonna be all about Loki. Also possibly about how Odin is the worst ever. Seriously. I once held a contest for myself to see whether Zeus or Odin was the greatest tool of all time ever, and it was a close thing, but Odin won.

So, you know, just clearing up expectations. By this point you know whether you want to read this or not.

Probably some spoilers under here. Also lots of feelings. )
fialleril: [another armed occupation is not freedom] (Cham Syndulla)
Doing it now because it's probably the only day I'll have time.

Anyway, beneath the cut are some supposedly snarky commentaries on the episodes "Supply Lines" (aka "The Return of Cham Syndulla and Jar Jar Binks!") and "Sphere of Influence" (of which I honestly have no idea what the plot is yet!).

Here there be spoilers. )
fialleril: [we do what we're told] (clone)
Yeah, I don't know either. I have to do something to keep myself from combusting with excitement.

So there was some new Clone Wars on Friday! I watch it online, though, so it is new today!

And here are some thoughts of mine! )
fialleril: [my eyes are yours; they are not blue, but they're wide open] (martyr Kitster)
Insert standard "baby, you can tell me about Latin roots any time" joke here.

But come on. The prompt was "seduction." Of course I had to write gen fic!

Title: Seductio
Challenge 2010-18: Seduction
Word Count: 723
Characters: Anakin, Kitster, Shmi, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan (all unnamed)
Rating: PG
Summary: He learns that he must be free of attachment.
Notes: This fic was inspired by the meaning of the Latin seductio, to lead astray. Reposted from [livejournal.com profile] swficchallenge. Original post is here.

Seductio )
fialleril: [a bit like The Idiot, only written by someone much less talented than Dostoevsky] (Jar Jar Binks)
I have finally convinced the awesome [livejournal.com profile] veriond to write a fanfic, and then to post it. And it is awesome!

It concerns Boss Nass and is a post-colonial look at Gungan culture and life in the aftermath of TPM.

HERE IS A LINK. Go forth and read!
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (a history of resistance)
Star Wars isn't exactly teeming with South Asian characters, but it certainly has a lot of characters with South Asian names. Particularly the ladies of the prequels. Observe:

Padmé
Shmi
Ahsoka
Shaak Ti
Pooja

There's also Depa (Billaba), and a number of East Asian names: Ryoo (Naberrie), Riyo Chuchi and Chi Cho of Pantora. But Clone Wars is practically an issue unto itself.

I've been doing a fair amount of thinking lately about the appropriation that's often inherent in the naming of characters in fantasy and sci-fi. It seems pretty clear that Western authors and screen writers often go for "exotic" sounding names, but when those supposedly exotic names are culled from everyday and historically important words and names in other cultures, and then applied to white characters or to alien characters....Well, that's a problem.

Discuss, internet? (Also, feel free to add to the above list.)
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Obi-Wan)
Or, but Obi-Wan's an ace!!!1!

Yes, kids, it's another Clone Wars episode commentary/snark-fest. This one I'm doing on my computer at work, since my laptop is kaplowey. (Shut up, that's a word.)

Now, I usually write these commentaries as I watch the episodes, so I can't entirely predict how it will run. But I'm expecting the snark quotient to be particularly high for these two.

spoilers for The Mandalore Plot and Voyage of Temptation under here )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Ashla)
Yup. Finally, I have seen the latest Clone Wars episode, "Brain Invaders." Why they didn't air these two episodes around Halloween, I'll never know.

So, I normally write these commentaries while I'm actually watching the show, and that's what I'm doing now; I pause periodically to get my oh-so-important thoughts about every minute scene out there. (LOL. Important. Of course.) Also, ugh it took me over two hours to do this, because the internet died in the middle and then I had to load it all the way through what I'd seen on my first try to finish the episode. Fail.

Anyway, this time around, we start with the crazy overview at the very beginning of the episode!

here there be monsters )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (team fail)
Well, friends, the internet came through early this week, so you get my latest Clone Wars commentary tonight! (You're thrilled, I know. Try to contain your excitement.)

There are spoilers for "Legacy of Terror" under this cut! Enter at your own risk.

mmm, delicious brains )

a long way off

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 06:12 pm
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Ishmael Beah)
I live with some really awesome people. This is a general fact, but it's also kind of a preface to things I want to say about Clone Wars, of all things.

Last night I was chatting with my sister [livejournal.com profile] veriond about the episode "Landing at Point Rain," and Amy, one of my community members, overheard some of it. My community is, as stated, pretty awesome, and we talk about geek things fairly often, even though we're all into different fandoms. So Amy knows Star Wars, but not all that well, and so I was explaining to her the basic outline of the Clone Wars show, and who Ahsoka is. And it was...refreshing, in a way, to watch her face become more and more horrified as I outlined the show for her.

See, while she was still in college Amy worked at a rehabilitation program for refugee children in St. Louis, where many of the kids she worked with had been child soldiers. So in many ways, she doesn't have the disconnect that I feel like a lot of Americans do. When I told her about Ahsoka, the first thing she thought of was the kids she'd worked with. And she was absolutely horrified that anyone would make a show like Clone Wars and then call it a good lesson for kids.

Sometimes I think that fandom has grown so used to certain tropes and to the way things work in movies and TV and such that we stop actually thinking about what's happening in the media we digest. It's refreshing to talk to someone who's not at all involved in the fandom and who can therefore respond with that first instinct of absolute horror because it's not "just fiction," because all fiction exists in dialogue with reality and media will always have some effect on the real world.

And with that said, here's my usual collection of "reading against the grain" responses to the new episodes.

the resistance from the natives was stronger than we anticipated )

Anakin in Vietnam

Saturday, February 7th, 2009 06:57 pm
fialleril: [the things they carried] (Chopper)
Actually Anakin has very little to do with this post, but I'm playing off of the book title Achilles in Vietnam (which is a book everyone should read, btw).

I've been convinced for a while that the Clone Wars are basically the GFFA equivalent of America's war in Vietnam. With everything that entails. No matter how much the Jedi like to preach about how they fight for the freedom of the galaxy's people, the viewer and many of the characters know this isn't a "good war." (It isn't really about freedom either, or the Jedi might have made at least a peep about the problem of rampant slavery on Tatooine when they made their deal with Jabba. But I digress.) It's a war about stopping the spread of communism the Separatist Movement. And not much else.

This week's episode of Clone Wars showcased that really well. And for once, I have more good than bad to say about the episode!

here there be spoilers! )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (team fail)
So, y'all remember that part in TPM when Qui-Gon walks into Watto's junk shop, and finds out that Watto doesn't take Republic credits, and then completely fails to ask where the local money-changer can be found, despite the fact that he's in a large spaceport? Yeah, that part. Okay, here's a story.

Qui-Gon walks into the first junk shop he finds. He's not wild about being there, and you can tell by the look on his face. The shop owner comes flying up to him, chattering away in some language he can't understand. Qui-Gon gives a put-upon sigh.

"Hello," he says, slowly and loudly. "Does anyone here speak English?"

"Oh, American, eh?" Watto says. "Well, waddaya need?"

Qui-Gon tells him, and they go out back. Watto has the part, but Qui-Gon is dismayed to find that he doesn't take American Express. He doesn't take travelers checks, either. Barbarian. Qui-Gon doesn't have any pesos, so he leaves the shop. Apparently it never occurred to him to ask where he could find an ATM.

After he's gone, Watto mutters a disgusted, "Gringos" under his breath. Anakin shrugs and says, "I dunno, I thought the girl was pretty cute."

Later Anakin offers to let Qui-Gon's party stay at his house, mostly because the girl is pretty cute. Shmi begs Qui-Gon to take Anakin back to America with him and give him a better life. (She knows that she could just tell Qui-Gon about the ATM, but if he's not smart enough to ask, she's not going to miss this opportunity.)

So Anakin goes to America. He thought he was going to have a really swank life, but instead he ends up...well, in the military. And he doesn't even get to send any money home to Mom.

Yeah. You guys, Qui-Gon is such an American tourist.

No offense is meant to anyone with this post. It just suddenly struck me how well these scenes fit the stereotypes, and I had to share.
fialleril: [another armed occupation is not freedom] (start the revolution)
I'm finally back in the land of the living, but it was a near thing for a while. I managed to come down with a flue during dead week and finals week, the same time when everything was due. But I turned in my last final on Tuesday (German translation - UGH!), had the AAR holiday party that afternoon, and then hopped a plane to Springfield on Wednesday. So now I'm writing this from my sister's dorm room computer. We're headed home tomorrow.

But I'm sure no one is interested in any of that, so let's talk fandom things! On Wednesday night [livejournal.com profile] veriond and I finally got caught up on the Clone Wars episodes.

Kit Fisto's voice is here to have sex with you )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Fema Baab)
A little late for International Blog Against Racism Week, unfortunately...

As many of you know I don't really follow the EU (although I used to, but that's another story), but I lurk enough around the fandom and on Wookieepedia to notice a few things. And lately, something's been bothering me. Namely, the EU treatment of movie!canon characters of color.

There aren't many people of color in the Star Wars universe to begin with (and that's another meta entirely!). But I've started to notice a pattern in how the EU treats them.

Please note: for this meta, I will be dealing specifically with non-Jedi canon Star Wars characters of color. Perhaps some day I'll write a different meta about the Jedi...

continued beneath the cut, with picspam! )

EDITED to add Sei Taria.
EDITED again to add Queens Jamillia and Apailana, handmaiden Rabé, and Senator Bana Breemu.

P.S. Feel free to remind me of any other non-Jedi movie!canon characters I may have overlooked! And emphasis on the non-Jedi and movie canon characters. I stated at the beginning that this meta was about EU treatment of characters from the movies who are not Jedi, but after reading the comments, apparently a lot of people missed that memo...

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