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The Germans in Wonder Woman are not Nazis.

I just saw a troubling comment on a gifset of Antiope and her badass three-arrow stunt shot at the three german soldiers on the beach. I love that moment as much as anyone. However, this comment referred to her ‘killing Nazis’. And those men were not Nazis. 

Wonder Woman is set in WW1. Hitler would not come to power for over a decade after WW1 ended. Fascism had not yet become a political force in Europe. In fact, Germany’s treatment as a defeated aggressor instead of as an equal party in the armistice negotiations - and later the Treaty of Versailles - despite the Allies’ equal culpability for the war, directly contributed to the rise of fascism and nationalism in Germany.

Stop calling the German soldiers in Wonder Woman Nazis. One of the greatest tragedies of WW1 is that the soldiers on both sides of the trenches were hungry, young, sick, poor men, who had no stake in the war. This article talks about the experiences (at least early in the war) of both sides on the Western front meeting on no man’s land and finding little difference between one another. 

There’s a lot to love about Wonder Woman, and I very much enjoyed it. I also loved the points in the movie when the violence done by Americans and British - such as when Diana speaks to Chief about the death of his people - were addressed as well, but they were brief. The presentation of Germans As The Bad Guys - especially since Aries’ influence was inconsistent as a plot point - has led to people mistakenly reading it as a movie about Nazis, when the Nazis did not exist in 1918. A WW1 setting does not sustain a narrative of one side being ‘heroic’ and the other ‘villainous’, especially if one takes into account the atrocities both sides had committed during the quarter century leading up to the armistice. It troubles me that this movie allows WW1 German soldiers to be read as Nazis. 

Please stop referring to Nazis in the context of Wonder Woman.


This is important

I think this lends to an underlying point that Aries was trying to cause chaos on all sides apparently including the audience

As Steve points out in the movie, World War I isnothing like World War II… the whole thing was just a big mess…there was no one country that was on the “right” side, just callous people in power all over the world sending kids off to get massacred and not caring about the damage it was doing and the lives it was destroying

It’s worth noting that Steve’s side isn’t really shown to be any more “Right” or heroic than the Germans are…while Ludendorf and Dr Poison are cetrainly villains as well, when we meet them the people in charge on Steve’s side they’re a bunch of clueless, cruel, self important, sexist old men who don’t care about the troops on their own side which is pretty much 100% accurate to what World War I was like…the people giving the orders back then were all basically General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Fourth except even less rational…hell the only person who showed ANY compassion among those in power on Steve’s side turns out to be the GOD OF WAR and only be doing it to further his own evil plans 

Diana doesn’t side with any country in the conflict either…she works with Steve and the team he puts together because they’re good people not because they’re not German…

What I also found fascinating is that the God of War is literally the dude who put together the armistice.  The one that lead directly (with a combination of other factors) to the rise of Hitler and Nazism. He outright tells Diana in the climax that the armistice has been put together to deliberately provoke continuous war in an attempt to get humanity to destroy itself, which … if you factor in the Cold War and the US battles against communism and foreign terrorism, is basically what we got. 

The villain in Wonder Woman isn’t the Germans, Diana only assumes that Aries is posing as a German because her entry into the war is through Steve, an American soldier working with the British. The villain is really very literally war itself, and with the framing device we see very clearly that this is a battle that will never end. 

We see the soldiers hugging each other, no matter their affiliation, at the end of the war. They were relieved. They were soldiers stuck in a war of no one.
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Like, yes, yes, they are supposed to serve the same narrative purpose, but they are not? the same? thing?? and it actually matters enormously to the logic of the situation for the characters.

Quick and dirty summary of Registration (based entirely on stuff I know by osmosis and from Wikipedia, so comics readers bear with me and feel free to clarify in reblogs): the whole point of the Registration act was that for the most part no one knew who the superhumans were, because secret identities are a thing in the comics. Steve himself was an exception, because historical record and whatnot, and his principled stand against registering was especially on behalf of people like Wanda, who in the comics is a mutant, born with her abilities and unable to give them up the way Tony could give up the suit or Sam could give up his wings. 

So the choice of registering or not was a meaningful one: it meant voluntarily putting yourself down on the list of people who would now be monitored as superhumans. But in the MCU, the cat is out of the bag for EVERYONE. Nobody has a secret identity–not Natasha, not Clint (whose decision to actively hide his family… doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable when you think about his abrupt transition from secret agent to One of the Six Most Famous People on Earth, like, maybe he just doesn’t want paparazzi bugging his kids), not Sam, not BUCKY, who is casually identified by full name as the Winter Soldier. 

So they couldn’t DO registration and have it mean anything: everybody already knows who the superhumans are in the MCU, and everybody knows where to find them. So instead the MCU Avengers are presented with the Sokovia Accords and told to … sign them?


What does that even MEAN?

Keep reading
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Realizing this guy

is going to help raise this guy

Alright, assholes.

I don’t usually defend Tony Stark. But this “Something went wrong” bullshit really rubbed me the wrong way. Wanna know why? Because the “Something that went wrong” was Howard Stark. The man that Tony idolised, and the man that abused him. And don’t give me that crap that in the MCU universe, Howard didn’t neglect or hurt Tony — he did. It’s very evident in the tie-in MCU comics.

But in both universes, Tony was raised by Edwin Jarvis. In 616, he has a father — Howard — who is constantly aggravated with his son, both as a result of his own drinking and because of what he feels Tony should be.

While Jarvis might be sensitive, thoughtful, intelligent and occupy roles that aren’t traditionally occupied considered “masculine” (which is bullshit in itself) if Tony ever displays anything remotely indicative of  a “softer side” he is ridiculed, called a sissy, told that Stark men are “made of Iron” and abused by his father: 

In the MCU, things aren’t depicted of being much better: 

And in the MCU Jarvis, often, tried to soften the blow of Howard’s words an actions. But don’t think for a second that Tony didn’t internalise all of that. That he didn’t think that Howard Stark was the man he was supposed to be, and the man he wanted to be most like. 

Of course, generally speaking — when Tony is the most like Howard — like at the Stark Expo, or during the senate hearings — it’s almost 100% preformative. That’s not who he is, or who he ever was, it’s who he thinks people want him to be, because it’s who his father wanted him to be.

I would go so far as to say that a lot of Tony’s womanizing ways, his alcoholism, his struggles with self-identity and importance all stem from the fact that he is often torn between being the man that he assumed his father wanted to be, and who he actually is.  

If you look at Tony when he’s alone, or when he’s with the people he cares about the most, what you see is the caring, compassionate person who Jarvis raised, and that he is a lot more capable and a lot more loving than his father ever was. And it took him a long time to be okay with that, and with showing other people that that was who he really was

So yes… Just a reminder, Jarvis helped raised this man:

  Don’t confuse the armour….

with the man who wears it.


always reblog the best takedown ever.

I know I reblogged this before, but it deserves ANOTHER reblog.

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I was wondering what the CERN guy meant by ‘we’re saving the world’ on my first rewatch of Extremis today, but on this second rewatch, I think I understand.

It means they were the ones to send it to the White House, probably with the message to pass it on. To pass it on and on until everyone has seen it, until everyone knows whats going on, know that everything they know is fake and that the real reality is threatened.

And by everyone knowing this and everyone dying it will send a message to the Monks: that humanity will not go silent into that good night and that if their own simulations can and will rise up in defiance, even if death is their only means of doing so, what hope do they have of conquering the real world?

That’s how the people of CERN hope to save the world.
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I keep coming back to the “You don’t have to be real to be the Doctor” line from Extremis, because it is just so damn good, especially if you take it out of the context of the episode, and look at the casting of Pearl Mackie, and Bill being made explicitly gay. I think if it had been in any other season, it wouldn’t have been nearly as poignant. Yes, it still would’ve been sort of an uplifting “the Doctor doesn’t have to be a real person to do good” type of message. Which is nice, and true: there’s lots of stories of people for who the show is a source of inspiration and happiness. 

But take into account the recent push for better representation on the show, and then think about all the people who say that it’s SJW nonsense, that it’s pandering, that it doesn’t matter who the main character is because they’re fictional. They don’t affect people, because they’re not real.

Except we know that’s bullshit, of course. When Pearl Mackie was cast people were really happy, and when Bill was revealed to be gay, people (including me) were ecstatic. I’ve seen lots of people who said they were watching the show again just for her. There are so many people who identify with her, for who seeing someone like themselves as a main character is so important. 

Bill is a fictional character, yes, but she doesn’t have to be real to matter.
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Because I apparently have some inner fount of Martha Jones meta that wells over periodically.

- On Martha hate: the vast, vast majority of this seems to come from people who not only got their introduction to the show with Rose’s seasons, but weren’t… familiar with the way the show works, the revolving door of companions, and the way the Doctor and the TARDIS are the only true constants.  It’s a perception shift: Rusty billed the series so hard as The Doctor And Rose Show, probably trying to get as broad an audience as possible, dispel the old stereotypes of DW being fanboy fodder with disposable eye-candy companions, and grab female viewers who weren’t necessarily sci-fi fans already.  And so he gives us Rose, an everywoman character who knows and cares about sci-fi shit about as much as the audience Rusty’s trying to reach, but who is totally in love with all the aspects of the show that transcend genre–and he reassures us that she is integral to the fabric of the show.  She’s not going to get sidelined so the boys can play.  She is just as central as the Doctor himself.

Which is great for getting the show re-established, but then Billie Piper leaves.  And I can easily see how, if s1 and s2 are all you’ve got to go on, this is tantamount to trapping the Doctor in a parallel universe and letting Jack Harkness step in as the main character, or grinding to a halt halfway through Romeo & Juliet and replacing Juliet with some girl we’ve never heard of.  It’s the same principle that drives hatred of Mary Sues in fandom: “I don’t care what this new character is like, I’m in this fandom to read about the further adventures of the characters I love, not to watch your OC skip in and steal the show from them and warp the fabric of the fictional universe so everything revolves around her.“  It’s the exact same “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” fault-finding that produces ludicrous “is your OFC a Mary Sue?” checklists and causes Rose stans to excoriate Martha for all the ways she’s similar to Rose (“you’re just trying to replace her, but you’re not as good at it!”), then criticize the ways she’s different from Rose as character flaws.  The only difference is that in fanfic, no offense, we are all here bonding over an existing fictional universe and not over your OCs, but Martha hate is caused by a skewed perception of how that fictional universe itself is constructed.

Full disclosure: it took me a while to warm up to Rose.  Partly because I was always one of those sci-fi geeks that RTD specifically wasn’t aiming for with Rose, because he guessed (rightly) that we’d all be latching onto the Doctor instead.  And you know, that’s cool and the Doctor is awesome, but it annoyed the piss out of me that the female lead was there to be the pathologically non-genre-savvy ~emotional core~ of the show, which usually translated into the person making me yell advice at the screen as the writers tossed her the Idiot Ball yet again.  I did warm up to her, and will even confess to crying like a baby the first time I saw Doomsday, but the instant Martha walked onto the screen I was bouncing and punching the air in glee, because she articulated all the things I’d been yelling at the screen all this time.  It was a huge relief to discover that Rose was the emotional core of the show because she was Rose, not because that’s the only thing the writers knew how to do with the female lead.

- Anyway!  On to my girl Martha.  One of the accusations frequently leveled against her by the haters is that she’s “clingy” or “dependent."  For the longest time I thought this was utterly bonkers and they couldn’t be watching the same episodes as I was, but I think there… could be some kernel of truth in there?  In the sense that the haters are taking legitimate character development and casting it in the most negative possible light.

Here’s the thing: Martha relies on external validation and guidance.  This is not necessarily a bad thing!  It’s a double-edged sword, like Rose’s reliance on gut instinct and snap judgements.  Martha is fiercely analytical, and if she feels like she doesn’t have enough information to assess a situation, she’ll go after that information like the dickens but she’ll also be at a bit of a loss until she obtains it.  And if she thinks there might be a higher authority or someone more knowledgeable than she is, she won’t necessarily defer to them, but she will seek out information and advice.  Martha needs to feel like she knows what she’s doing.

Think I’m pulling this out my ass?  Smith and Jones.  Yeah, she’s endlessly speculating, trying to figure out what’s going on, questioning the Doctor, but the most telling moment is when he goes "Martha, when I say now, push the button!” and she says “Which button?” and immediately runs for the instruction manual.  Would Rose have immediately gone for the biggest most prominent button?  Probably.  Would it have been the wrong one?  Quite possibly, given that this was basically how the writers kickstarted half the plots in s1–but this is not a companion pissing contest, it’s an illustration of how differently Rose and Martha react to things.  Rose might’ve gone for the wrong button, Martha might not have found the correct instructions in time–double-edged swords all ‘round.

Shakespeare Code.  Martha gets her first chance to time travel, and spends the first ten minutes grilling the Doctor on how time travel works and what the rules are and how she can operate safely without causing a fuckton of paradoxes.  Ten is flippant to the point of rudeness even though these are all valid, intelligent questions, because he’s used to traveling with someone who trusts herself to wing it and trusts him to warn her if she’s about to fuck something up.  And here we have prior examples of how Rose approaches this stuff: Father’s Day.  In an analytical light Rose did something incredibly dumb, but what matters to the Doctor isn’t that it was smart or dumb, it’s that she acted on instinct and did something incredibly human.  One of the other accusations leveled against Martha is that she’s a “stuck-up bitch” or a “know-it-all” or “thinks she’s better than everyone else,” and while I have yet to see any TV canon that supports this, I do see where the defensiveness comes from.  If you judge Rose by the things Martha values or the standards Martha sets for herself, Rose comes off pretty poorly.  On the flip side, if you judge Martha by the things that made Rose awesome, Martha starts looking insecure (because she has to analyze before she can act, because she looks to the Doctor for knowledge and validation) and overly willing to go along with the Doctor’s views instead of stubbornly wandering off and looking at things from her own perspective.

I could go on. “Blimey, did you have to pass a test to fly this thing?” “Yes, and I failed!” The mere fact that he thought to leave video-recorded instructions for Martha in 1913, and her frustration when she encountered problems way beyond the scope of the video.  But we’re not talking blind deference to authority or lack of initiative here–if Martha knows she’s the most competent person in the room, she will totally step into a leadership role, going right back to the scene where she tells everyone to shut the fuck up and calm down when her hospital ends up on the moon.

And she analyzes.  She puts pieces together.  Once she has a sense of what’s going on, she and Ten can pull off brilliant two-prong plans: he can just wink and pass her the psychic paper and let the Daleks take him prisoner, and she will figure out they’re off to the Empire State Building and bluff her way in to investigate what the Daleks are using it for.  She can lure the Lazarus monster up into the belltower to put it in a position where Ten can get at it, in symmetric payback for that one time she figured out he was using himself as bait to get the plasmavore in a position for Martha to bring smackdown.  As the series goes on, he starts abusing the privilege somewhat, and Martha ends up on her own for long periods–not executing half of a two-prong plan, but doing all the work while he’s incapacitated.

And that right there is Martha’s character arc.  She starts out needy, yes, and desperate for the Doctor’s validation.  Because she needs to feel competent, she needs to understand things in order to deal with them, and she’s just been tossed into a whole wide unknown universe where her only guide–her only external source of knowledge and context–is a moody overgrown teenager who keeps weighing her in comparison to his ex and finding her wanting.  What she learns over the course of the season is that even if she doesn’t know the rules of time travel or the customs of the time period she’s in, she is good.  She can figure shit out on the ground and come up with a plan, and she doesn’t need 900 years of experience to be a brilliant fucking badass.  The Doctor’s validation?  It’s nice when he gives it, but she doesn’t need it, and if he wants to be an ungrateful ass that’s his problem.

And yeah, her crush is fuelled by desire for validation more than anything else.  It also only happened in the first place because Ten spent half a season being Mr. Mixed Signals Alien Tease and Martha, true to form, didn’t reject the possibility of a romantic entanglement until she had enough evidence to be sure he wasn’t interested.  By then it was waaaaay too late to nip it in the bud.  I don’t like the unrequited-crush subplot and I think it distracts from what’s really going on with Martha, but it develops for reasons that are consistent with her character, and she sure as hell deals with it like a mature motherfucking adult.
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6) Tolkien’s hero was average, and needed help, and failed.

This is the place where most fantasy authors, who love to simultaneously call themselves Tolkien’s heirs and blame him for a lot of what’s wrong with modern fantasy, err the worst. It’s hard to look at Frodo and see him as someone extra-special. The hints in the books that a higher power did choose him are so quiet as to be unnoticeable. And he wouldn’t have made it as far as he did without his companions. And he doesn’t keep from falling into temptation.

A lot of modern fantasy heroes are completely opposite from this. They start out extraordinary, and they stay that way. Other characters are there to train them, or be shallow antagonists and love interests and worshippers, not actually help them. And they don’t fail. (Damn it, I want to see more corrupted fantasy heroes.) It’s not fair to blame Tolkien for the disease that fantasy writers have inflicted on themselves. […]

Fantasy could use more ordinary people who are afraid and don’t know what the hell they’re doing, but volunteer for the Quest anyway.

It’s misinterpretation of Tolkien that’s the problem, not Tolkien himself.


“Tolkien Cliches,” Limyaael

(via mithtransdir)

The whole point of The Lord Of The Rings… like, the WHOLE POINT… is that it is ultimately the hobbits who save the world. The small, vulnerable, ordinary people who aren’t great warriors or heroes.

Specifically, Sam. Sam saves the world. All of it. The ultimate success of the great quest is 100% due to a fat little gardener who likes to cook and never wanted to go on an adventure but who did it because he wasn’t going to let his beloved Frodo go off alone. Frodo is the only one truly able to handle the ring long enough to get it into Mordor - and it nearly kills him and permanently emotionally damages him - but Sam is the one who takes care of Frodo that whole time. Who makes him eat. Who finds him water. Who watches over him while he sleeps.

Sam is the one who fights off Shelob.

Sam is the one who takes the Ring when he thinks Frodo is dead.

Sam is the one who strolls into Orc Central and saves Frodo by sheer determination and killing any orc who crosses him. (SAM THE GARDENER GOES AND KILLS AN ACTUAL ORC TO GET FRODO SOME CLOTHES LET’S JUST THINK ABOUT THAT). And then Sam just takes off the Ring and gives it back which is supposed to be freaking impossible and he barely even hesitates.

Sam literally carries Frodo on the last leg of the journey. On his back. He’s half-starved, dying slowly of dehydration, but he carries Frodo up the goddamn mountain and Gollum may get credit for accidentally destroying the ring but Sam was the one who got them all there.

Sam saved the world.

And let’s not forget Pippin and Merry, who get damselled out of the story (the orcs have carried them off! We must make a Heroic Run To Save Them!) and then rescue themselves, recruit the Terrifying Ancient Powers through being genuinely nice and sincere, and overthrow Saruman before the ‘real’ heroes even get there.

Let’s not forget Pippin single-handedly saving what’s left of Gondor - and Faramir - by understanding that there is a time for obeying orders and a time for realizing that the boss is bugfuck nuts and we need to get help right now.

Let’s not forget Merry sticking his sword into the terrifying, profoundly evil horror that has chased him all over his world because his friend is fighting it and he’s gonna help, dammit and that’s how the most powerful Ringwraith goes down to a suicidally depressed woman and a scared little hobbit.

Everything the others do, the kings and princes and great heroes and all? They buy time.  They distract the bad guys. They keep the armies occupied. That is what kings and great leaders are for - they do the big picture stuff.

But it is ultimately the hobbits who bring down every villain. Every one. And I believe that that is 100% on purpose. Tolkien was a soldier in WWI. His son fought in WWII. (And a lot of The Lord Of The Rings was written in letters to him while he did it.)

And hey, look, The Lord Of The Rings is about ordinary people - farmers, scholars, and so on - who get pulled into a war not of their making but who have to fight not only because their own home is in danger but so is everyone’s. And they’re small and scared but they do the best they can for as long as they can and that is what actually saves the world. Not great heroes and pre-destined kings. Ordinary people, doing extraordinary things because they want the world to be safe for ordinary people, the ones they know and the ones they don’t.

Ordinary people matter. They can save the world without being great heroes or kings or whatever. And that is really important and I get so upset when people miss that because Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli and Gandalf and all the others are great characters and all but they are ultimately a hobbit delivery system.

It is ordinary people doing their best who really change the world, and continue doing so after the war is over because they have to go home and rebuild and they do.

If nothing else, I have to reblog this for the phrase “hobbit delivery system.” So accurate it hurts.

(via elenilote)

What I love too is how even the foretold king and the assorted great heroes themselves all come to recognize that their main (and by the end, only) role is to distract Sauron. To the point that by the end they’re all gathered up before the black gates of Mordor in order to keep his attention focused on them, with only the hope - not the certainty - that they can buy Frodo whatever remaining time he needs, if he’s even still alive.

One thing the movies left out but has always been such a key part of the books for me was how when the hobbits returned home, they found that home had been changed too. The war touched everywhere. Even with all they did in far-off lands to protect the Shire, the Shire had still been damaged, both property and lives destroyed, and it wasn’t an easy or simplistically happy homecoming. They had to fight yet another battle (granted a much smaller one) to save their neighbours, and then spent years in rebuilding.

(via garrusscars)

In many ways, the entire POINT is that homecoming.
A quest, an adventure, is defined by the return home, and the realization that not only have YOU changed, so has your home.

(via mymyriadmusings)

“My friends, you bow to no one.”

(via sorrelchestnut)

“I will take the Ring", he said, “though I do not know the way.”

(via thegreencarousel)

How many hero quest stories have you read where the protagonists go out, save the world, and then come back so depressed that they can’t even return to their regular life? Ordinary people are wounded and traumatized by war - Tolkien lost the majority of his childhood friends in WWI and he wasn’t the same afterwards. 

(via redheadgleek)
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“The Princess is everything Luke wants to be. She is socially conscious, whereas he is thrown into things; intellectually, she is a strong leader, and he is just a kid.”

- George Lucas

People often talk about how Han influenced Luke, but we should also look at how Leia influenced Luke.

(via apolla-savre)

I’ve always really liked this idea—that they’re the exact same age, but their different lives have given them very different levels of maturity, and Luke is envious, but fascinated, and idolizes her a bit.

(via another-skywalker)

It’s kind of weird to think of Han as being a big influence compared to Leia.  I mean, yes, they were close.  But it’s made reasonably obvious that close male friends aren’t something Luke’s ever lacked.  If anything, I’d say they’re mutually influential.  Han’s experience and training help temper Luke’s youth and inexperience, and his cynicism demands that Luke account for his own faith. Luke, in turn, cracks Han’s shell with hope and faith, and his earnest belief that Han can be better than what he’s let himself become won’t let him crawl back into the hole he’s dug for himself.

But Leia?

I mean, come on.  Luke’s got these vague intentions to run away and do…something.  He’s dissatisfied with his home life, he’s dissatisfied with the future he sees for himself, and he resents, in an equally vague way, the expectations of his family.  He thinks of joining the rebellion because he’s romanticized it.   He thinks of going to the academy because it’s anywhere but where he’s at.  All of his ambitions amount to this sort of nebulous, Anything But What I Have aspiration.  He goes running after Kenobi on the strength of a shitty, recorded hologram because it seems exciting.  He has no real idea about what this sort of mission would entail, or cost, or achieve.  It’s an Adventure, and he’s bored.

Then he meets Leia, and she’s literally everything he ever had some mindless daydream about being.  Only instead of being a cardboard cut-out hero in some story he’s using to distract himself from a shitty frontier subsistence-farmer life, she’s a real person who’s actually fucking doing it.  She’s a leader.  She’s a fighter.  She’s risking life and limb for a cause she completely and utterly understands and absolutely believes in.  This isn’t some thing she ran away to do because she got sick of being a princess and a senator.  People look up to her, and follow her, and obey her, because she’s spent her life earning it.

He’s looking around and going “Empire bad?  We blow up ships?” and she’s going “Here’s ten political treatises on why the Empire needs to go, here are the details of troop movements and expected reinforcements and supply lines for the upcoming battle, and here are the family photos of everybody in the next ten systems that are going to get stomped into bloody paste in retaliation if we fail here.” He finds her, and within five minutes she’s gone from the princess he’s rescuing because that’s what action heroes do to the person he needs to emulate if he’s ever going to make something of himself.

(via theharlequinrose)
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Why did you say six months? This matters. This is important.

This is such a great moment. Amy is angry, she is furious at the dashing of all her hopes. At the childhood spent chasing after the Raggedy Man. At the fact that he dares to come back and ask where she went.
And yet.
She goes along with him, follows him on a madcap adventure, gets left behind again, and still chooses to go with him. Because she wants something more than her ordinary existence. Because he’s lonely. Because he did, after all, come back.
Because she forgives him. She has a huge, ferociously loving heart which she carefully hides, and she forgives him. It’s the first step on the long road Amelia Pond will take towards finding peace and accepting love, and it is one big leap of faith. Amy Pond was left behind for fourteen years but she forgave the Doctor anyway. That’s who she is. She loves with her whole heart or not at all. She is willing to forgive.
But everything that comes at the end of this episode wouldn’t mean as much if this moment at the beginning hadn’t happened. Amelia has raged at the Doctor, at the universe, but he is so sad and lonely and she wants those days in the Tardis so much that she is willing to risk loss for a new friendship. Her rage is never invalidated by the narrative, but she is able to rise above it and decide that she wants this friendship more than she wants vengeance. Being strong doesn’t mean being unforgiving; sometimes, forgiveness is strength. What a powerful message to send.
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“By the first world war, soldiers swore so much that the word “fucking” came to function as no more than “a warning that a noun is coming”. “

Guardian review of Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr 

i would like to take this opportunity to present my headcanon about that infamous “language!” line: steve and the howlies had such dirty mouths that they had to be constantly reminded to clean it up for the reporters that followed them around. so steve heard a swear word over the radio and had a kneejerk stop that we’re being filmed for the folks back home reaction.

in other words, he said “language” not because he never swears, but because if he’s not on guard he swears way too much. :D

“the word ‘fucking’ came to function as no more than “a warning that a noun is coming”

And the interesting thing about actually dealing with people who do swear to that degree, which I have, is that eventually your brain completely tunes the word fucking out.

You basically don’t hear it. It becomes unimportant noise.

I was actually just talking to someone last night about how when I was a kid (the 80s), no one said “fuck” or “shit,” ever, but people casually tossed slurs around like nobody’s business. Now people use “fuck” and “shit” like punctuation, but slurs are increasingly taboo–and that’s exactly how it should fucking be.

You can tell we were kids in the 80s in different places…


When I first saw this post go around, I was traveling, but I had something I wanted to say and I could never find it again.

Okay, so, this post isn’t wrong, but what the original gifset doesn’t take into account (though some of the commentary touches on it) is how incredibly situational swearing was in the 1940s.

So, yes, men swore a lot – around other guys, in certain contexts. But they were very heavily conditioned not to swear around women and kids.

I think this might be one of the big reasons why a lot of people my age and younger got the idea that people didn’t swear during the 1940s. Most of us fell into the “kid” or “female” categories, or both, and guys our grandparents’ age would never, ever say “fuck” around us. And those words weren’t usually used in media of the era for similar reasons, so we got the idea that people that age were very prim and polite, when it’s more that they were prim and polite around us.

I remember as a young woman walking in on groups of old blue-collar guys talking among themselves, with profanity flying freely, and then noticing me in the room and immediately clamming up and apologizing to me for swearing around me.

There’s a bit in the Douglas Bader biography I was reading a month or so ago that demonstrates this in a WWII context. According to the book, the squadron pilots swore freely in their radio chatter to each other in the field, to the amusement of the WAAFs (female service personnel) who were listening to the radio in an ops room as they moved counters around on maps (much like we see Peggy doing in TFA) and the embarrassment of their commander:

After awhile, to the regret of the Beauty Chorus [the WAAFs], Woodhall disconnected the loud-speaker in the Ops Room, feeling that some of the battle comments were too ripe even for the most sophisticated WAAFs. (“They laugh, you know,” he said, “but dammit I get so embarrassed.”)

… so, right, even in the middle of a war, pilots saying “fuck” over the radio was something the female staff had to be insulated from.

Say what you will about the baby boomers, but they largely demolished that wall between “swearing around men” and “swearing around women”. Most guys my dad’s age don’t do it anymore, at least not to that much of an extreme. By the time you get to my generation (I’m 40), people might swear or they might not, and they usually don’t swear around young kids, but swearing around men but not around women is just not a thing anyone does anymore. At least I don’t know anyone who does it specifically and consistently who’s not elderly.

It’s not really an individual-sexism thing, more of a socialization thing – sexist on a societal level, sure, but I don’t think Steve would balk at swearing around women, kids, or in a refined or professional social setting because he’s a sexist or a prude. It’s just something you didn’t do as a polite person. Like blowing your nose on the tablecloth in a fancy restaurant. I think he could and probably would unlearn that, but it’d take time.

So, to me, about half the examples up there work just fine (“now why the fuck would I do that” to Bucky – absolutely! Or “Is everything a fucking joke to you?” to Tony) and several jar horribly, because they’re not the right context (like the “there’s only one God ma'am” bit – noooo, you aren’t going to get “fuck” and “ma'am” in the same sentence! not for a Steve fresh from the 1940s! – or “we have our fucking orders” … in a polite, professional context like that, no). Steve would never. Or, I should say, someone from Steve’s culture – who tries in general to be a polite and respectful person, as Steve does – would never. Maybe after he’s had a few years to acclimatize to the more relaxed social climate surrounding swearing in the 21st century, but I think it’d take him awhile; he would sort of instinctively jerk himself back from doing it in all but the most relaxed sort of “palling around with your teammates” environment.

(Headcanon-wise, I could see Steve very quickly incorporating someone like Natasha into his mental schemata as “one of the guys” – not consciously, but on a subconscious level: like, he doesn’t hold back from swearing around her pretty quickly – but taking a LOT longer with someone like Wanda or Pepper.)

tl;dr disclaimer: not a historian, was not alive in the 1940s, so please correct me if I’m wrong on things here.

I’m so glad someone said this, because this is something I think a lot of the Steve meta about swearing misses. Situational profanity, exactly! He wouldn’t cuss in anything he’d consider ‘polite company’, because you didn’t do that. I’m absolutely sure he’s capable of having a very foul mouth in some circumstances (he was a soldier who grew up in working-class Brooklyn, so… yeah), but in the cultural context where he grew up, you sure as hell didn’t say ‘fuck’ in front of a lady, not if you had any manners to speak of.

/speaking as someone who cusses like breathing, even.

This is the best explanation of Steve’s ‘language’ line I’ve ever seen.
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snape could’ve been an awesome teacher if he wasn’t a disgusting waste of a human being. he knew from age 16 that the instuctions that the textbooks were giving weren’t as good as they could be. he improved the potions and recorded his methods at age 16. if he weren’t such a shitbag, he could’ve either written the damn textbooks himself, or taught his students his alternate methods. he could’ve revolutionized how potions were being brewed, teaching whole generations a superior method of potion brewing. instead, he spent his time bullying children. 

He could have become rich and famous and been one of the most well regarded wizards of his age with his knowledge of spells and potions

But instead he decided “The girl i hurled racial slurs at put me in the Friend Zone so I’m gonna go become a Magic Nazi and then spend the remainder of my adult years emotionally abusing twelve year olds”

He could have become everything a Slytherin should have been instead of the epitome of what everyone else thinks they are.

Yes! Rebloging for the original post and the comments. This is gold!
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suggested by @resting-meme-face​

Rhodia’s whole thing with intent and morality is so fascinating.

For one thing, Charlie says that he’d have “tried to be a fair leader,” which means, in his own eyes, he was one. The fact that he never actually ruled is irrelevant to him, because he would have been different, so why is Quill so unpleasant to him? He didn’t put the arn in her head, no, he was different, because he intended to be. And because a wish is an action, in his own eyes, he was better, and thus free from blame.

Quill, meanwhile, has a totally different perspective – that of someone who’s constantly being told one thing by people who are constantly doing another. “We’re being reasonable and just,” say the Rhodians, as they put genetically-engineered telepathic monsters in the brains of her people. “This is not slavery,” the Rhodians add, as the monsters control their every waking moment. Say one thing, do another. She has no patience for words; as she says to Dorothea, “An enemy is decided by their actions, not their intentions.”
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See, I didn’t read it at all that his parents were afraid of him or afraid of what he might do – Owen pretty obviously treats him exactly as a teenage son would be anywhere else. He gives him chores, calls him on his shit, firmly reminds Luke that he needs to honor his commitments; yes, he’s holding him back from applying to the Academy, but I’m sure that’s in part because he doesn’t want Vader finding him. 

I asked Nakki “Wait, so how exactly DOES Vader know that Luke is his son?” and she said “Well he’s been running around the galaxy calling himself Luke Skywalker” which was a good point. I would imagine applying to the Imperial Academy under the name Skywalker is sooner or later going to draw some attention. 

I think Owen is afraid for Luke more than anything – when he’s afraid he’s like his father, I figure it means Luke is too curious and adventurous for his own good, and wants to be out in the world instead of staying safely at home. It reads (and always did read) more like the concern of a parent who wants what’s best for their child and knows that child is endangering themselves, not someone who is afraid of what that child might do to them. 
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Class Appreciation Week, Day 7: Post whatever you want!

“… at the end of the day, they’re just children. They can’t cope with this.”

The Doctor’s appearance is a strange moment, really. Sweeping in with a few quick and supposedly easy lessons to teach before abandoning Coal Hill to the care of a few scared teenagers is a discordant note in a melody that will prove far more complex. Of course, in these brief moments, we are offered only a simplified version of this character, but it serves as an interesting counterpoint, contrasting the basic tenets of Class and Doctor Who..

In a Doctor Who setting, dangerous aliens are fun, words and clever ideas make for entertaining resolutions an putting four teenagers in mortal peril on a weekly basis could be just an adventure. As serious and as complicated as Doctor Who can get, in the end, the next story will likely start with a Doctor and a companion, happy encounter a new source of danger. Here, this is juxtaposed with the grittier, less fantastical reality of our five protagonists.

Keep reading
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Now, technically my favourite alien is Quill (and her species in general), but I’ve written so much about her already. And doing her for favourite character and Charlie for favourite alien is fitting because it’s Charlie’s “alienness” that I find so fascinating. 

This will be part Charlie and part to do with the Rhodia in general because it’s impossible to understand him without understanding his culture. 

Charlie Smith. My boy. A source of never-ending frustration and inciter of very complex feelings. Where do I even start?

(His funny little moments of not understanding human culture are funny, but not particularly significant on the level I want to go into here, so I’ll acknowledge here that I love them, and leave it at that.) 

I think I’m going to start with his core trait, which is his good heart and intentions, and his genuine belief that he is always working in the best interest of the people around him. We’ve seen how kind he is from the beginning, when he refuses to sacrifice April even though it could mean killing Corakinus.

Now, kindness/goodness on this level on its own is nothing to be sniffed at, but it’s not exactly groundbreaking either.

The key is in his belief. He’s so completely sure of his own goodness (which does exist, certainly, Mr “I Don’t Like Knives” and “I Would Hesitate From Killing a Friend” and “You Are Lonely”). And, of the goodness of his own people, even though his people normalised slavery of another and “lesser” species as part of their justice system.

I tend to think that Charlie had a very rose tinted idea of what Rhodia was like. That his parents fed him all that “civilised” bs so that he would never stop and wonder things like “wait, but if it’s so civilised, why do we never use the arn on our people?” and other such things.

Because what’s one thing we know? Prejudice isn’t something we’re born with - it’s taught. And we know that Charlie indeed carries a racial prejudice in him against the Quill.

“You are heartless, like all Quill.”

This line confirms what had already been very strongly implied: that Charlie doesn’t see Quill as people on the same level that he does other Rhodia and humans. We know this because Charlie is so kind to everyone he meets, and cares about the people close to him so much that he never even thinks bad thoughts about them, ever. 

But not Quill. 

Quill can be in front of him, in tears, openly grieving, openly devastated, and he calls her heartless for wanting to get revenge for her people, the people she did everything for. He is stone. He doesn’t feel for her at all, just as he ignores the word ‘slavery’ every time that she says it, because he just doesn’t believe for even a second that she could be right and he/his people could be wrong. 

In the end, given how caring he is to literally every other person around him, you can only conclude that he just doesn’t quite see her as a person in the same way he does everyone else. 

I mentioned how he is intent on saving April, but remember what he says to Quill later in the episode in regards to getting April’s heart back - “Sacrifice yourself if you have to!” He’d sacrifice Quill over a human he barely knows in a heartbeat. 

It’s hard to know whether it’s a prejudice he’s aware of or not, but I tend to lean towards him not really being aware of it because of his belief in himself. To him, the Quill being a violent, more primitive, and lesser people is just a fact. He never wanted them wiped out, he wouldn’t have wanted to see them hurt, he would have simply never seen anything wrong with turning the ones who broke serious laws into slaves “servants”. 

Next there’s the matter of that oh so fascinating Rhodian mentality of “a wish is the same as an action”. 

Consider his line: “I would have tried to be a fair leader!”  

This, as I saw someone point out, is really interesting when you consider the Rhodian mentality of a wish being the same as an action. Because Charlie wanted to be a fair leader, as far as he is concerned, he would have been and is one. 

Again, it all comes back to the possibility of not believing that he can be wrong, of Rhodia apparently having no room in their philosophy for personal error. They don’t make moral mistakes, because their wishes are the same as their actions. 

Except, you know, that’s not how it works. The Quill knew that, and no wonder they wanted a revolution if the Rhodia were (perhaps unintentionally/accidentally) taking all of their resources but claiming innocence because it was never their intention. 

But now consider all the stuff from episode six as well. Charlie, based on his own belief system considers himself: 

A fair leader

A person who is righteous and good

A mass murderer/committer of genocide

A possible hero

By the time the latter part becomes an action as opposed to a wish, we don’t see him feel guilty for it, because he’s been carrying the guilt with him the entire time. 

We only see his devastation at failing to bring his people back.

He had been so sure he would be a fair leader, he believed he could save his people which means he had to have thought he would. 

In other words, holy shit, what an awful shock for him in those final moments of the season.

Think about it. He hasn’t just lost his people, he’s lost his most fundamental belief, that wishing and intention is the same as an action - because he believed he could save his people, that if he intended to he would, and he was wrong. For the first time in this life, he is forced to confront the fact that he isn’t always right. That his people aren’t always right - perhaps that they never were. 

I really, really wish we could have gotten more of a look at how he acts immediately after this. Assuming we get a season 2, imagine how much of a change we’ll see? 

If I were to guess, I’d say that he’ll be a lot less confident in himself, he’ll be grieving and he’ll be uncertain of almost every aspect of his life. (I can only hope Matteusz will be around to help him with this, but it’s hard to know where their relationship sits at this point.) For the first time, we’re going to see Charlie when he is aware of the fact that he can do and has done wrong. 

I can’t wait. 

I also think, and hope, that we’ll see an immediate shift in how he treats Quill. That he’ll consider that maybe it was slavery, and listen if she tells him about how she got the arn out, and why she risked it (because her life as a slave, without being able to fight which is the foundation of her culture and identity, was so unbearable, and maybe if he listens he’ll actually understand why). That they can begin to move forward, sharing their loss, finally on equal ground and working through their differences. 

I just… I need more of this boy. 

A morally grey slave-master being portrayed as a sympathetic main character? Who is in pretty much all other respects a lovely person, one of the most openly kind and well-meaning characters in this show? Who also ends up committing genocide? And to top it off, is a gay alien prince? 

When I say he’s the character that fascinates me the most, I mean it. I’ve never been so torn between wanting to fiercely hug a character and wanting to slap them around the face, depending on the episode and scene. But that’s why I love him. It’s because I know how good he is capable of being that I get frustrated when he acts like a dick. I’m SO keen to see him grow and do the learning he so desperately needs to. 

So yeah, Charlie Smith, what a guy. What a complex, lovely, utterly frustrating boy. I love him. 

Thanks to Patrick Ness, for giving us such a fascinating character! 
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ok so Leia was heading to Obi-wan before the Battle of Scarif, and before she ever knew she or anyone would have the plans. It wasn’t just a last resort, “vader’s bout to get us we gotta go somewhere” decision. the fact that she was going to Obi-wan is probably the reason she was with the rebels and not on Alderaan.

so think in the context that a) Bail was knowingly sending his daughter, who has the genes of one of the most powerful force users ever, to go get a Jedi, b) Bail knew that he was sending the biological child of Anakin to Anakin’s former master and friend, c) Obi-wan definitely would knows who Leia is, d) Bail knows that Obi-wan is keeping an eye on Luke.

I’m not saying Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother, but Bail Organa knowingly sent his force sensitive daughter to the only fully trained Jedi he knew how to get in touch with and also her force sensitive brother. Because he and Mon Mothma decided things had gotten to this point.

Someone in the tags said “Bail didn’t send the plans to Obi-wan. Bail sent Leia.”

YES. The Death Star plans were a last minute bonus. Bail’s actual plans for dealing with the Empire and the Death Star was LEIA

Could you imagine being Bail and making that decision, though?

There he is, sitting on basically the last hope of the galaxy. Or rather, she’s sitting on him, because she’s two-and-a-half years old and her adopted father’s shoulders are the very best place in the world. They’re listening from Alderaan as Palpatine announces that the senate will be stripped of even more power, that the never-ending series of emergencies across the galaxy will continue.

Time feels broken, somehow. The planet rotates, the sun rises and sets, but the galaxy is frozen in a slow slide into oblivion.

Not yet, is all he can think. He’s working with the young Senator from Chandrila, spinning the wheels, trying to buy more time. Years and years more time.


There he is, introducing his family to a man with a black uniform and absolute control of the sector. Leia is six, and looks up at him suddenly serious, a far cry from her normal mischievous self.

“And my daughter, Leia,” he says, while his thoughts race between please don’t question her adoption and please get off my planet and the Jedi were insane to start training so young, she isn’t ready.

Bail has trouble sleeping. He’s waiting for a signal from Obi-Wan, that the time has come for him to give up his daughter. It doesn’t appear.


There he is, watching as his dark-eyed daughter hurls a datapad across the room in a sudden fit of rage. He’s tried to teach her peace and calm, she’s learned the watchful patience and silent stalk of a hunter.

She’s nine. He hasn’t beaten her at Dejarik in a year.

He takes her for walks, out into the parts of Alderaan where the downtrodden live and the refugees gather. He shows her what suffering is, what the Empire means. He tries to avoid thinking about her father. He tries to give her the education he thinks Jedi needed more of.


There he is, lying to Tarkin’s face as they walk through the halls of the palace. Leia, thirteen, is following them. Bail knows it. Tarkin does not.

See who he really is, Bail is wishing, even as he says words that toe the line of compliance with Tarkin’s demands.

The Rebellion is starting to rise. He keeps telling Mon Mothma he needs more time, that they’re moving too fast. He doesn’t tell her why.


There he is, welcoming his daughter back from Coruscant. She’s a rising star, already accumulating power as a junior legislator. She’s fifteen - one more year before she can run for Senate, and he knows she’s already planning it.

She has staff now, and her pretty smiles and polite manners almost perfectly hide the casuality with which she issues orders.

He’s not sure if she reminds him more of her mother or father.

Obi-Wan remains silent. Bail’s agents tell him that Tatooine is quiet, a backwater, no Imperial activity. He doesn’t find it reassuring. He waits.


There he is, talking to Mon Mothma. She’s laughing, charmed by his daughter, the Senator, the rebel. It’s a rare moment of levity - the Senate’s days are numbered, even as the token body it has become. The Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy is unquestionable now.

And his daughter is nineteen. Her father had been a Jedi by now, roaming the galaxy and falling, falling towards the darkness.

The galaxy is full of darkness now, and Bail makes up his mind. Maybe it’s too late. Maybe it’s too early. He’s not Jedi, he doesn’t know, but it feels right.

“Go to Tatooine,” he tells his daughter. “Find Obi-Wan Kenobi. He can save us all.”

He thinks, but does not say, you can save us all.

Reblogging for that last addition.

Here’s another thing:

Bail Organa sent Leia away from Alderaan right before it was destroyed.

But he was not sending her away from danger.  He had no idea that Alderaan would be destroyed–nobody did. Even the people who knew that the Death Star existed could not have guessed that Tarkin would destroy Alderaan simply to spite one young woman. Alderaan was a peaceful planet, a core world, a major galactic hub. No one could have predicted that the Empire would destroy, of all places, Alderaan to display its power.

Tatooine, though?  Tatooine was a backwater, ruled by Hutts and crime lords and Hutt crime lords, where the major population centers were wretched hives of scum and villainy, and the places that weren’t major population centers were bleak wastelands in which one might easily die of thirst, if one wasn’t killed by Tusken Raiders first.

Bail Organa’s actions did in fact accidentally save his daughter from that breathtakingly evil moment in which “a million voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.” But he didn’t mean to send her out of harm’s way. As far as he was able to know, he was sending her away from a relatively safe core-world planet, to a dangerous edge-world planet run by the mafia.

And he sent her anyway.  He trusted her with that–he didn’t just trust her with his life, but with her own life. He had faith that his daughter could handle herself, wherever she ended up. 

And he was right.
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Class Appreciation Week, Day 4: Favourite Relationship

“Too big. Feels like it’s going to consume you. Well, the trick is to keep on living while it does.”

So much about humans must be entirely alien to Quill, but Tanya’s loss is something she can relate to. We see how Quill turns hesitant, withdraws. She does not know how to soothe Tanya’s fears over her brother’s fate with words. But Tanya pulls her back in, over and over again. It’s surprise. “I want to use the Cabinet.”  “Show me how to fight.”  It’s recognition.

Tanya has proved herself to be smart, a creative thinker, full of bravery. In the face of grief, when the first tears have dried, she is strikingly calm. It is revealing now, to look back at her interactions with the Lankin, the anger she is capable of, the rage she could turn into a weapon, even as she kept steady. Now, she has lost a world - her home. There is desperation, there is violence in her need to to protect her brothers, to seek the destruction of those who murdered her mother and threaten her family. It is an echo of another story, of a freedom fighter who went to war for her people and who will have her revenge, even if it kills her.

And so they fall into a dynamic that is as strange as it is natural. Mentor and student. The leader of an army and her only soldier. Fellow warriors, who do not merely share the same fight, but who look out for each other in battle. Companions on what might be, in some way, the same journey. With strength to give. And legacies to shape.
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Class Appreciation Week, Day 3: Favourite Villain or Alien

“My army. I’ve sent them into shadow.”

Appearances are tricky. Creatures of spring can be full of danger. Flowers can have teeth. April is far from nice - she chooses to be kind, to prevent the darkness from festering in her, to keep from being broken by a world which hasn’t been kind to her. Through the impossible, through the violence they have witnessed, she had so much strength to give. Pieces of serenity, that she earned on her path till there.

It takes a pair of scimitars to bring her off-balance. Corakinus’ rage is theatrical but projected through April the effect is striking. How much does this anger reveal about herself? How much anger has she hidden within herself, against her father and what happened to her and her mother? Does Corakinus’ temper tantrum against supposed cowardice resemble April’s own resentment of being perceieved as weak and breakable? The scariest villains can sit inside ourselves, in our own hearts, shared or not. Old injuries are healed, but only through darkness, no consent asked or given. The world is saved, but only through genocide committed by a dark army, ordered by their new King. A day filled with of short-lived, flawed triumphs.

Watch out for pretty things. They might be more complicated than you think. And they might bite.
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mcu meme  - 4/10 scenes.

It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation.

I see this scene reblogged a lot off the one Hiddleston blog I follow, but it almost always ends with Loki’s “There are no men like me” line, which is completely missing the fucking point of the scene. And I get that it’s about the Hiddleslove, which is great, but it’s completely missing the fucking point of the scene. And it is a very important point.

This is one of my favourite moments in the whole MCU because of its incredible power and strength. This is not Captain America with his super soldier serum juice standing up to a god. This isn’t even a young man who might think he’s somehow got a chance against the prick with the horns. This is an old, old man who knows, who knows, that he’s probably going to die because of what he’s doing, but he is not going to kneel to another man like Hitler.

Maybe he did, seventy years ago. Maybe that’s why he would rather die now than remain on his knees. Maybe he *didn’t*. Maybe he fought against his own countrymen, because he wouldn’t kneel to a man like this. Maybe he’s always been one to stand up. Maybe he lost everything once because of it. Everything except his integrity, and maybe he’s ready to die instead of risking losing that now, at the end of his life. Maybe his integrity cost him so fucking much seventy years ago that he hopes he’s going to die for it now because he almost wishes he’d have died for it then, but if he’s going to die for it, he’s goddamn well going to die with it.

Maybe he’s a Holocaust survivor. Maybe he’s Jewish. Maybe he’s gay. Maybe he’s Romani. We don’t know.

We don’t know anything about this man, except he’s the bravest goddamn person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And that’s why it bothers me every time I see this scene go by with his response cut from it. Because it’s missing. the. point.
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you know, if palpatine ever showed vader the death star schematics, wouldn’t vader - being a mechanical genius - have been able to pick out the flaw with the reactor shaft?

imagine palpatine launching an evil monologue while vader stares at this gigantic flaw, sweating

#you know i get the feeling vader really wanted the death star to get blown to smithereens (via @jerseydevious)

well, i got the same feeling. imagine vader just standing there, not listening anymore, only staring right at this super. obiovious. (to him) USELESS FUCKING FLAW and just not saying anything. maybe he should say something. sheev’s probably testing him or something. 

but as emperor’s monologue drags on, the fact that no one here, besides vader, is aware of the issue is becoming more evident. 

darth “everything proceeds as i’ve foreseen” sidious didn’t notice it. he’s staring right at the reactor shaft. he’s not seeing it. so vader keeps mum.

then rebels steal the plans and send a couple of x-wings against the friggin’ death star. as far as tarkin’s concerned, it’s like sending a couple of flies to stop an avalanche. and our man vader in that moment is like, “welp, i suddenly discovered my new calling as a flyswatter,” and gets the fuck out of that station


“Is… Is no one else seeing this? Someone on the design committee must have seen this. Tell me you’re all seeing this.”

“Seeing what, Lord Vader?”

“The huge obvious…”

You know what? Screw these guys. I told them this budget-killing monstrosity was a bad idea.

“Obvious lack of any place to get a decent coffee. This thing is the size of a small moon. Would it kill you to call Starbucks and tell them to open up a location in it? I hate Imperial-issue coffee.”

“We’ll get right on that, sir.”

@tmwrighting that’s beautiful.

But imagine this is a meeting with the engineers, including Galen Erso (Krennic was not invited, of course. Mostly because Vader doesn’t feel like dealing with his simpering).

Galen is already sweating bullets, trying not to think treasonous thoughts, lest Vader picks them up with his Sith Magic.And then the seven foot tall monstrosity asks:

“Is no one else seeing this?”

Erso is about to quietly hyperventilate. He couldn’t say anything even if he wanted to. Fortunately, the other engineers are innocently clueless.

“Seeing what, Lord Vader?”

“The huge obvious…”

There’s a suspenseful pause. Galen takes advantage of it to plan what’s he’s going to say to Lyra, if they meet beyond.

“…obvious lack of any place to get a decent coffee,” finishes Vader.

Erso is too shocked to do anything. Which is fortunate, otherwise he might’ve collapsed to the floor right then and there.

After the meeting, Galen stumbles into his room and retrieves a bottle of space vodka from its hiding place.

This is why I hate the Empire, he thinks hysterically, chugging the alcohol straight from the bottle.

He hopes Vader chokes on his coffee.

Darth Vader: the most quietly yet violently nettled person alive.
Forget about hatred and widower-grief and regret and all that. At this stage, it’s just pure annoyance at being (evidently) surrounded by complete and utter simpletons. Very Faustian, really.

I like the idea that sometimes when Luke is bored he’ll go to a place strong in the Force and ask Anakin’s force-ghost something about the Empire. Then listen to the disgruntled ranting with satisfaction, because his father’s experience confirms everything the Rebellion always thought about the Empire, with added emphasis on the incompetence.

And that sometimes, in a place strong in the Dark Side of the Force, where Luke has brought some poor padawan for their trial like Yoda brought Luke to the cave, and Darth Vader’s spirit unexpectedly emerges–not part of the trial but because this sometimes happens when Luke is around–and it looks like this is too much for the poor trainee too soon, Luke will step in and say “Hello Father. We were wondering if you’d tell us your thoughts on the Death Star.”

And 3 hours later, Luke and the padawan would emerge from the Dark Place, emptied of fear and marvelling at the boundless stupidity and banality that permeated every eschalon of the Galactic Empire.

Y’know, I feel like being the killjoy here.

I never saw the exhaust port as a giant, obvious weakness that the Empire was stupid to build in.

It’s a tiny two-meter wide exhaust port on something the size of a small moon, located in a recessed opening, with shields over it, surrounded by turbolasers. Oh, and the station it is on has a whole fleets worth of TIEs on it.

Complaining about it as this giant weak point always seemed to me the equivalent of pointing at a tank and going “that thing is a death trap. If someone walks up to it and puts a grenade down the barrel while there’s a round in the chamber, the whole thing will explode!”

And it’s like… yes? The idea is to not let that happen? The reactors have gotta have their exhaust ports somewhere. It’s an impossible shot even if you get past the swarms of TIEs and the flak cannons.

Sure, they didn’t count on the force. You can’t design your weapons based around the possibility of some Jedi making impossible one-in-a-million shots that’ll destroy them. Nobody would ever build anything, they’d just give up.

The problem wasn’t the exhaust port. It was Tarkin not having a better CAP.

The poor Imperial inspector who used that logic. “But.. but.. who would’ve thought someone could actually make that shot? It was a million to one shot!”

“A Jedi could!”

“But we killed all the Jedi! Blame the dudes who were hunting the Jedi!”

The next day an Inquisitor is at Vader’s lava palace conference platform pleading “Okay, we missed one. And it was a big one, a.. a… Skywalker but ALL the records said Anakin was the last of that family line! Who knew he had kids? Who could have thought to check around to see if a celibate warrior-priest had kids?”

1) The small reactor shaft above the main shaft was protected. It had ray shielding, and Red Leader’s direct torpedo hit was stopped by that shielding. 

It started defended.

2) At the point of assault, the trench had cannons lining it, so somebody sat down and said “When an enemy attempts to fly down here, have them meet a faceful of blaster fire”. Lots of blaster fire, that fires down the line of a trench, and for which the sides of the trench must have been armoured to take a hit from those guns.

So it was defensible.  

3) Y-Wings got murdered as they attempted the run. X-Wings got well murdered as they attempted the run. 

It was capable of being defended.

4) Galen Erso was a terrible saboteur who built a giant fuse on the heart of the Death Star, and it took Jedi Junior backed up by the WeedDealerSpeedWagon to light the damn thing up… from a free throw line with an untargeted shot.



I figured Galen thought they’d send a team to infiltrate the place, not try to attack it with starfighters.


You are all giant nerds and I love every one of you.

@zamboni-whisperer @shes-a-voodoo-child


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