Ace Watches Alien: Covenant

I’m obsessed with space and all things science that I don’t understand. Ever since I was a young girl, space fascinated me and still does to this day. I devoured nearly every story I  could get a hold of if it was even remotely connected to outer space. As such, there are a few franchises I’ve been in love with all my life, such as the Alien movies, a sci-fi series featuring alien creatures called Aliens eating their way out of people’s chests. The series is also supposed to be horror, my least favorite genre, but despite that, something about them makes me love all of them, even the bad ones. Well, almost all of them.

I think the first Alien movie that I actively hated was 2012’s Prometheus. Prometheus is the first movie in the prequel series, followed by this year’s Alien: Covenant, and well, Covenant is also really bad. It’s got all of the shitty pretentiousness of Prometheus, in that it thinks it’s being deep and meaningful when it’s really just being stupid, not to mention that its plot is also completely driven by illogical decisions on the part of the characters. But unlike Prometheus, it actually features Aliens, which means I adore it.

An Alien on fire? Fuck yeah! (screenshot by me)

Spoilers below and a trigger warning for sexual violence.

Continue reading

A Fairytale from the Day After Tomorrow – Raumpatroille, die Phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumshiffes Orion

Today’s guest post comes via LGG&F fan Star Chicken. Star is a European nerd who specializes mostly in old sci-fi series. She is still figuring out her place in the world together with her narcolepsy, autism, and imaginary best friend. You can find her on her Facebook page, Ace Multifandom!


I am a big fan of old television series. Watching them is a little bit like time travel, with their old special effects and stories about issues that mattered at the time. Also, just imagine that you can sit down, watch, and get excited over something people watched and got excited about 50 years ago!

With the exception of some German nerd circles, most people have forgotten about one of my all-time favorite miniseries, Raumpatrouille – Die Phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion (Spacepatrol – The Fantastic Adventures of the Spaceship Orion). For simplicity reasons, I will call it Raumpatrouille in the rest of this post. (That’s also the tag used on AO3.) As you may have guessed from the title, it is German, and as such it is completely different from my usual English or American series. Okay, maybe not completely, but it is definitely one of a kind.

The series first aired in 1966, when Germany was divided in two after World War II. It was made in West Germany, but also watched in the East, and I know from what my family has told me that it was also very popular in Hungary. It was a huge project; the best of the best worked on it, and it was also really expensive, which is why they made it in black and white and didn’t do a second season.

The Orion crew exploring a new planet. (screencapped from Raumpatrouille)

Spoilers for the series from here on!

Continue reading

Sexualized Saturdays: Matriarchy Shouldn’t Just Be Patriarchy-But-With-Women

Our society has a poor relationship with gender, which is bad for reality, but gets interesting in fiction. This dynamic is pushed to some possible conclusion in works such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Bitch Planet, or Stepford Wives. In these stories, the degrading treatment of women in the present day becomes far more explicit and sinister. We aren’t just looking at microaggressions and lower pay, but being forced into servitude or stripped of all agency. Stories like these are both good cautionary tales and thought experiments, and they can more easily highlight some of the harder-to-see marginalizations women face. But sometimes, an author wants to shock the audience by flipping the gendered treatment of the characters. In some stories, we get to see matriarchal societies and how they tend to operate, which is useful for examining our own biases. But whenever I see these, I wonder if this is how things would actually go.

A month or so ago, we saw some of the drafts for a Wonder Woman movie penned by Joss Whedon. To put it lightly, it caught some flak. Within the droves of criticism, some commenters pointed out that Diana would most likely not resort to insulting someone by telling them to “be man enough.” First off, she was previously unfamiliar with the concept of men in general. Second, as an Amazon her frame of what is strong would include only women. So if anything, she would say to “woman up,” but again, the gender thing wouldn’t come up the same way, because she doesn’t even know men existed. Third, would a society completely comprised of women still value strength as one of its key tenets and judge someone’s value on their bravery and toughness? For a warrior society, maybe, but not necessarily. Would their values be roughly the same as our more patriarchal society, just with a gender flip? I started thinking about it, and then I got to thinking about other times this theme caught my attention.

Content warning for sexism and assault below.

Continue reading

Trailer Tuesdays: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Summer is upon us, and with the hotter weather comes summer superhero movies and trailers for all sorts of upcoming action-adventure fare. The trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, for example, seems like it could be a fun video game, with its bright, oversaturated CGI colors, and it definitely seems like a great summer flick for the kids. However, the film’s plot looks like the standard defeat-the-evil, save-the-world kind of schtick, and I’m not sure if there’s anything else about it to make it seem more interesting.

Continue reading

My Mom Doesn’t Know “Mr. Blue Sky” and Other Things I Had Feelings About During Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Well, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sure was a thing I watched.

I should start with a positive, right? It had a great soundtrack. (Although I was shocked to discover that I recognized some of the songs and my music aficionado mom did not.)

Also, I’d definitely argue that it was better than its predecessor. If you’ll recall my review, I left Vol. 1 deeply disappointed, and I felt like this movie offered a lot of the character beats and emotional high notes that I wished the first film had hit. It also improved the representation on the team by giving us the first MCU team-up with some semblance of gender parity.

That said, I’m not sure what this story adds to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe worldbuilding, and being a band-aid for the previous film’s issues isn’t necessarily a good look for a sequel.

Spoilers after the jump!

Continue reading

Throwback Thursdays: Cat-person Lesbians, Homicidal Robots, and Captain Janeway; Representation in KOTOR

I’ve played quite a few video games in my day, often coming back to the really good ones repeatedly over the years. But only a select few have crossed over into “I set my Steam profile to private so my friends don’t know how much I play this game” territory. Of all those titles, perhaps the most enduring are the Bioware Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games from 2003/2004.

There’s something about KOTOR that gives it a staying power very few story-driven games, even the truly great ones, have ever achieved. The two games combine a massive narrative depth with a mature treatment of the Star Wars universe that sets a gold standard for the franchise, at least in the realm of gaming. They have proved so enduring in their popularity, in fact, that KOTOR was re-released for mobile and KOTOR II was recently patched (after over a decade) to support modern PCs, add Steam Workshop support, fix bugs, and officially support the Restored Content Mod. For those who are not familiar, KOTOR II was rushed to make a physical release date, and as a result, a great deal of content was cut. Rather than removing it, however, the devs left it there for modders to find. Over the years, that resulted in a near complete restoration of that content. The game has remained popular enough to justify a complex, years-long project involving dozens of coders and artists, and it has continued to sell well enough to justify an updated Steam release with official support for that mod.

KOTOR-Darth Traya

Back where it all began… Malachor. (Screenshot from KOTOR II)

Falling thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars prequels, KOTOR showed us a universe where the galaxy is plunged into massive and bloody conflict with the Mandalorian Wars and then almost immediately into the universally disastrous Jedi Civil War, in which Jedi are not trusted, are hated by many, and are ultimately hunted to near extinction. It’s dark and chock full of moral ambiguity and some of the best Star Wars content out there. While these games are technically no longer canon, the general framework and many of the characters from this period, KOTOR games included, did “make the cut.”

The KOTOR franchise also serves as a clear spiritual predecessor to the best of both the Mass Effect franchise and Fallout: New Vegas. Many of the same people worked on many of those titles, and there are themes that almost seemed to carry over directly. While far from perfect, these games dealt with complex racial, ethical, and sexuality/gender identity issues in ways that were often groundbreaking, if occasionally facepalm worthy.

Continue reading

Trailer Tuesdays: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

So I have this problem.

This is the problem: a younger, more naïve Saika was so, so excited for the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The trailers were so good; it was a different and new premise from the typical Marvel formula… and then she was massively disappointed by the movie itself.

An older, wiser Saika then sat down to watch this trailer. And found, to her great surprise, that she was once again interested in the shenanigans of these space-faring assholes. Is it too much to ask for that this movie will be the GotG we deserve and not the fratsplosion we got last time?

My fingers are Pollyanna-optimistically crossed.

Continue reading