Tags: star wars: prequels

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Padm? and Leia, Anakin and Han

amidala_thrace's post on liking the Star Wars Prequels better than the Originals got me thinking, especially this quote:

- You say you stood up and cheered when Leia grabbed a blaster from Luke and shot down the Death Star hallway before ordering Han & Co. into the garbage disposal? Well, I stood up and cheered when Padmé Amidala planned the successful incursion into Theed in TPM, and I cheered even more loudly when she took an active role in that plan's execution. [*snipped for length*]

Those are just three examples, but I could go on. For almost every point supporting the OT, I can find a counterpoint for the PT.

In the comments, plenty of people mentioned how the trilogies complement each other, and having both enriches our experience of the movies. Add that to the compare-and-contrast idea, and you get some of my favorite parts, where the trilogies echo each other and make everything more awesome. I could name tons of these, but I'll focus on two sets of characters: Padmé and Leia, and Anakin and Han.

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Collapse )I love the way comparing the trilogies like this makes both of them better. And I haven't even talked about Anakin and Luke, or Obi-Wan and Han, or young Obi-Wan and old Obi-Wan! Another day :D
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Character Meme: Padme

1.) Do you like this character?

Yes. I think she's a flawed character - I mean, not particularly minding your crush slaughtering children because he's upset? serious issues there! - but I also find that interesting. I like her dedication to justice and making the galaxy a better place, and I like the tragedy of, for instance, her being in power and in battle too young and never learning how to interact with people normally. (Maybe when you're surrounded by awful things all the time, a little baby Tusken slaughter doesn't look so bad? Or you think that everything comes with tradeoffs that big?) She's also impulsive enough to give Anakin a run for his money, even if she can also restrain herself better when she chooses.

I think one of the best bits of drama in the PT is how Padmé first surprises Palpatine by not being quite as young and naive as he expected (evading the Trade Federation, boldly marching into the Senate and insisting they do something), but still young and naive enough not to notice things like, oh, isn't it odd that Palpatine claims he had no idea he would be nominated for Chancellor when he suggested that vote of no confidence? I wish the PT had followed this up a bit more, with the Petition of 2000 being the final break between Padmé and her former mentor. (Who was it that wrote that awesome drabble about Padme being jealous of Anakin for taking her place?)

I also think that on a meta level, the character was treated very badly. Dying of "losing the will to live"? How do you even do that? If I suddenly lost the will to live, I'd just feel lousy, not drop dead. If it was a stress-induced heart attack or a hemorrhage or something, the med droid would have noticed. I don't think med droids are qualified to diagnose a lost will to live, anyway. And standing around doing not much for a whole movie? (Even in the cut scenes with the proto-Rebellion, Padmé mostly waffles and isn't sure about things.) I can see her growing more cautious and maybe a little scared after realizing how things can backfire (and how vulnerable she is with her humongous secrets)... but this was a bit much. Though I do think her arc over the PT is consistent with someone who's depressed, but trying so hard to cope that even she might not realize it, and finally just breaking. I feel that. (It still doesn't make you just drop dead for no good medical reason.)

Also, why does she assume that the Queen will make her resign once her pregnancy is known? Is single motherhood scandalous for a Senator, or does the Queen think Padmé should be home with her baby, or what?

Finally, I loved Padmé's line about wondering if they were on the wrong side, but it's hard to take it seriously when the Separatists are running around with O HAI WE R TEAM EVIL stamped on their foreheads. Unless she meant that there should be a third side?

2.) What name(s) do you call this character?

3.) What image / color do you associate with this character?
Image: Um. Padmé as Amidala boldly addressing the Senate in TPM, Padmé telling Nute Gunray they'll be negotiating a new treaty in TPM, Padmé climbing that pillar in AotC, Padmé laughing in the meadow, and Padmé crying and dying in RotS all strike me as equally "Padmé." I think this having to play different roles for different people is part of her problem...

Color: Flower colors, like the yellows and pinks in the dress she wore when they arrived at Varykino.

4.) What song do you associate with this character?
"Paradise" by Vanessa Carlton. I saw a Padmé fanvid to this song once and it stuck with me. "As darkness quickly steals the light/that shined within her eyes/she slowly swallows all her fear/and soothes her mind with lies..."

5.) What blood type do you think this character is?
I think the bumps on her head indicate tendencies toward delusion and insanity, which is why she has suddenly turned against the Republic. Let's put her in the sanatorium. Chancellor Palpatine will pay for it. (What? It makes just as much sense as blood type determining personality. Thanks to 4thofeleven for explaining this history.)

6.) From all of the titles that feature this character, what other character do you think makes a good pairing with this character?
Um. Considering Padmé's tendency to accept a lot of silence and lies and genocide to keep a relationship going, I'm not sure she'd do well with anyone just yet. But I think that she and Anakin did start with similar temperaments and ideals and seem to enjoy each other's company, so if they weren't both so damaged, it might have worked out. And if Obi-Wan weren't as committed to the Jedi Order as he is, that might have been a good option too. Him being still occasionally reckless but a bit more stable might help balance things, and they could have more intellectual discussions than Anakin/Padmé. (On the other hand, Obi-Wan has similar issues with overlooking warning signs that HEY INCIPIENT DICTATOR OVER HERE, so maybe they'd just reinforce each other's bad traits.)

I dunno, I'm tempted to tell Padmé to stick with a small circle of close friends and forget romance for a while. Or to find out more about that cute new Senator Mothma, or give Sabé a call. They understand her life and aren't totally broken as far as we know, which is a good start!

7.) What would you want to say to this character?
- No, everything is not okay. You need help. But there's no shame in that - would you feel ashamed of having a broken leg and needing a doctor?
- If you can't talk about the things that bother you in your relationship because you're afraid that will end it, there's a problem. That problem may be him, or it may be that you're more scared of losing him than of facing the fact that maybe he has issues, or both plus more.
- Having made huge mistakes feels horrible when you realize it, but you are awesome enough that you could probably have done a lot to fix them had you lived longer.
- Prenatal appointments exist for a reason. Take advantage of that doctor-patient confidentiality.
- I don't believe that med droid's diagnosis, don't worry.
...I'll stop now. I have lots to say to Padmé.

8.) What do you want to do with this character?
Go through her closet and admire all the shiny things! (I wouldn't want to actually wear any of it, mind.) Then watch movies and discuss them in way more detail than their creators intended. Or watch the BBC Pride & Prejudice.

9.) Please choose five friends with your choice of character.
Just tell me if you want one.

"Grains of Sand Will Wear Away Stone," SW Shmi gen

For fialleril and everyone else who wanted Revolutionary!Shmi. It's short, but I think we can build on it.

Title: Grains of Sand Will Wear Away Stone
Fandom: Star Wars (Disclaimer)
Categories: Gen, G
Word Count: 404
Summary: Shmi's place is on Tatooine... because she has work to do.

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Character Meme: Shmi Skywalker

From fialleril

Shmi Skywalker

1.) Do you like this character?
I do. She's compassionate, kind to strangers in need, wants what's best for her son even when it means losing him, sensible and practical, hard-working (getting up before dawn for mushrooms!), and can find serenity in a tough life while still being quick to seize opportunities to improve it.

On a meta level, though, a few things bother me... This trilogy is about Anakin, so it's understandable that we see most characters relating to his story. However, most of them also clearly have their own stories and opinions about non-Anakin topics: Obi-Wan has relationships with other Jedi and doesn't trust politicians, Palpatine wants to take over the galaxy, Padme is a politician and cares deeply about her people and principles (and would like a family, with or without Anakin), Yoda has younglings to train and a war to run, Qui-Gon follows the Living Force and takes in strays... even Jocasta Nu clearly has her own thing going.

Shmi, though... In The Phantom Menace, does she have any concerns besides Anakin? She never so much as mentions that So-and-So down the street might have Part X they could borrow for the podracer. Between movies, we know she got freed and married Cliegg, so she must have had her own life. But we don't even know whether the 30 neighbors tried to rescue her for her sake or for their old friend Cliegg's, or whether it's hard to run the farm without her (things that might legitimately come up in conversation onscreen). Other things that might legitimately have come up: when she says "[Anakin] deserves better than a slave's life" and "My place is here," is she slanting her message to her audience, or is she really resigned to deserving/belonging in a slave's life? Does she fight slavery in small ways, like fixing machines and selling handicrafts once she's free to help her friends in the Slave Quarter save toward their freedom and then hiring them as farmhands? Did she ever try to contact Anakin?

Shmi seems to exist in a bubble, relating to nothing, until Anakin shows up. And then she dies horribly to further his storyline. So while I think she is great and does a lot with the role, she still kinda is a Woman in the Refrigerator.

2.) What name(s) do you call this character?

3.) What image / color do you associate with character?
Image: Demeter
Color: Rich earthy browns

4.) What song do you associate with this character?
Hm. Maybe "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Croft? I don't know a lot of songs about quiet but strong motherly women. Anakin might think of Sting's "Desert Rose" in a non-romantic sense, maybe?

5.) What blood type do you think this character is?
How would I know? It's not like you can tell by looking! Uh, I'll say O- then, the universal donor.

6.) From all of the titles that feature this character, what other character do you think makes good pairing with this character?
Well, she and Qui-Gon seemed to hit it off - they both have that concern for the small living things. Doesn't have to be romantic, though. Cliegg is down-to-earth and practical. I think she and Breha and Bail might have been friends if they had known each other. She might have liked talking to Yoda - they'd disagree on a few things, like the nature and value of attachments, but I bet he would listen to her. I would also totally love to see how Han would react to her - he never ran into a mother-figure in his trilogy.

7.) What would you want to say to this character?
You deserve a better life too.

8.) What do you want to do with this character?
Bake cookies for great justice! We could have a fundraising/awareness-raising bake sale/craft fair/quick-stop electronics repair service to start a fund to buy slaves' freedom and find them jobs. We would branch out to secretly teaching slaves useful skills they can use to earn money while continuing the low-profit bake sales as a front. (Hey, you've got to travel to sell stuff, right?) We'd organize the slaves into neighborhood associations and such so they can work together to improve their lot - maybe make neighborhood pools to free each other one at a time.

And of course we'd also help them work together to figure out how to disable those dratted exploding implants.

9.) Please choose five friends with your choice of character.
Just let me know if you want to do the meme.
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Fun times with General Grievous

I caught tonight's Clone Wars. Fortunately it was more or less stand-alone, since I've missed... uh, most of the episodes. Comments in no particular order:

- Yay, two aliens are the main characters this episode!

- ...and they both speak non-American-or-British (or Canadian or Australian or otherwise dominant) varieties of English. Iiiinteresting. At first it threw me - "Wait, why so Earth-specific in the accents, thus shaking me out of my immersion in this galaxy far, far away?" Then I went, "Duh, Anakin and Obi-Wan also speak very Earth-specific accents, but they're ones I've been trained to hear as unmarked and universal."

- Which of course led to, "So, the main characters in Star Wars, who are mostly white and/or male, are either American or British, ie of dominant English-speaking groups. They are our Everypeople. (Well, less so if they're British, because everyone knows the USA is the center of the universe. It's where the movies come from.) But if they are aliens or clones - ie other - then they speak the Englishes of non-dominant groups. Uh-huh." (Except Ahsoka, but she is closely tied to the American-accented Anakin and also the Everyteen.)

- This also raises the question of how the Jedi, all educated in the same building on Coruscant, end up with such wildly divergent accents. Especially with Kit Fisto and his FORMER APPRENTICE.

- Right, the plot. Dooku is being all cunning and chess-masterish! I love it! Using three sides against each other in a way that makes him the winner no matter what!

- Grievous designed this fortress with game designers in mind, didn't he? Shadowy corridors, doors to break down or otherwise circumvent, trapdoors leading to pits, monsters in the basement, a control center, princess Viceroy in another castle sry... check!

- Separatist hospitality? Separatist hospitality? Go on, throw in some more allusions to Earth wars that make no sense in context. Break that fourth wall.

- Dead Meat (Former) Apprentice quotes Vader while showing he's growing all hard and angry inside. I got it already, guys. Put those anvils down gently and no one gets hurt.

- Say, other than the holograms at the beginning, there are no women in this episode. Is/will there be an episode with Ahsoka and Luminara (was it her? just barely caught the beginning) doing whatever they're doing too?

"Motherhood Is Deadly: Bonus Crossover Epilogue," gen

Title: Motherhood Is Deadly: Bonus Crossover Epilogue
Fandom: Star Wars, Harry Potter (Disclaimer)
Characters: Shmi, Padmé, Breha, Beru, Teneniel Djo, Mara, Merope Gaunt, Kendra Dumbledore, Tonks, Lily Potter
Categories: Gen, PG, Crossover
Word Count: 564
Summary: Mara and company wander into another section of the afterlife and discover that they aren't the only fandom with a Dead Mothers Club.

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"Motherhood Is Deadly," mothers of Star Wars gen

I figured this was an appropriate week to finally post this. (Especially after just reading that Neil Gaiman hasn't noticed his friend Harlan Ellison being sexist. Oh, Neil. Sometimes you are so cool, and other times...)

Many, many thanks to fialleril for helping me sort through all the thematic messiness in this fic! Any remaining messiness (and EU errors) is purely my fault.

Title: Motherhood Is Deadly
Fandom: Star Wars (Disclaimer)
Characters: Shmi, Padmé, Breha, Beru, Teneniel Djo, Mara
Categories: Gen, PG
Word Count: 2556
Summary: One by one, the mothers of Star Wars find themselves in the afterlife - and there's something disturbing about how they all end up there...

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This is the complete story, but there's also a bonus epilogue that I'll post later. ETA: Here you go.

*looks at posted version of story* Gee, do I have enough tags on this?

"Shmi's Sons," Shmi and Owen gen flashfic

The post-Christmas blues have hit. Several days of junk food plus little activity is just not good for me. Tomorrow might be nice for a long walk...

But for now, I'll have to rely on other methods, namely writing and editing something... well, maybe not exuberantly happy exactly, but at least not depressing. So - Shmi and young Owen, before Shmi's manumission.

Title: Shmi's Sons
Fandom: Star Wars (Disclaimer)
Categories: Gen, PG
Word Count: 480
Summary: Owen isn't Anakin, but he's still a special boy.

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