Rogue One: Many Bothans Died to Bring Us This Movie

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“So this proves that, if you whine about a plot hole enough, Lucasfilm will eventually make a movie to fill it,” my friend said to me as the Rogue One credits began to roll. She had a point; while Rogue One was an enjoyable movie, if asked what it added to the franchise, the only hard and fast answer is “an explanation as to why the Empire’s superweapon had such an easily exploitable weak spot”. Ultimately, while Rogue One was a good movie with many strong emotional beats, it never quite made it to great.

Spoilers for everything below the jump!

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Sexualized Saturdays: What It Means to Be a Girl in Lumberjanes

Lumberjanes02I have been reading Lumberjanes for a while now. For those unfamiliar with the comic, it follows a group of girls at a camp who keep getting involved in supernatural shenanigans. I love it so much. However, it’s been difficult for me to identify exactly why I love it so, aside from the obvious—the diversity of female characters and celebration of their friendships. But why do I love these characters? What’s so special about the representation of girls in Lumberjanes? I was talking about this with some of our other writers the other night and they helped me realize just how unique this comic is in its portrayal of girls, in how it avoids common misogynistic tropes, and in how it celebrates all the different ways to be a girl.

Some little spoilers for the comic series below.

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Where No Man Has Gone: Women in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

gif via fanpop

gif via fanpop

For a long time, I thought Star Trek: The Next Generation was the end-all and be-all of all Star Trek reboots. Sure, it’s a bit campy at times, but who doesn’t love Captain Jean-Luc Picard saving the day with his wits and idealism? I grew up watching the show. But now that I’m older and marginally wiser, I see re-runs of TNG and I cringe a bit. Sure, Picard is as intrepid as ever, but many of the primary female characters are shoehorned into tired stereotypes. The moment you start googling TNG, you open a Pandora’s Box of sexism from the whole production crew. It seems like despite whatever other role they play, women in Star Trek are first and foremost sex objects. This even bleeds into today’s film reboot of Enterprise, where a sexy female co-star strips down to her sexy underwear in both of the movies. For a show about a wagon train to the stars, set in an idealistic post-scarcity future that was revolutionary in so many other ways, it’s deeply disappointing. And then I started watching Deep Space Nine, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that DS9 does a much better job with its female characters. 

Spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine after the jump.

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AGDQ, Female Speedrunners, and Reasons Why Their Visibility Is Nearing Supersonic

Last Sunday, in the wee hours of the morning with the sounds of Nobuo Uematsu’s score to FFIV lingering in the ears of watchers and participants alike, another AGDQ came to a close. AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) is a yearly charity, alongside its sister event Summer Games Done Quick, that brings together a part of the gaming community that, perhaps, isn’t as popular as some others. These gatherings, while raising money all in the name of good causes, display one of the more technical arts of gaming, speedrunning. If you’re unfamiliar, speedrunning is both when players complete the game at astonishing speeds, and when players have taken it upon themselves to learn where the game is unstable, utilizing glitches to complete the game faster than a normal player could ever hope to achieve (such as beating Yoshi’s Island for the SNES in around three minutes).

Having hit an emotional low, I spent most of last week laying on my couch watching the events and marveling at all this ridiculous shit that I would never have the patience to learn and remembering my own speedrunning dreams.

In addition to adoring this game, I used to be able to run it super fast. Ah, memories... (via kazucrash @ Tumblr)

In addition to adoring this game, I used to be able to run it super fast. Ah, memories…
(via kazucrash @ Tumblr)

On Saturday, watching on and off (because there’s only so much Twitch I can take in a day), something shook me from my haze. I didn’t notice anything strange about AeonFrodo’s 200cc run of Mario Kart 8 at first—except that I didn’t expect that Mario Kart would have been speedrun, especially not 8 because I’m terrible at it and, of course, that means no one else could possibly be good at it either. Suddenly, the announcer read a donation for three hundred dollars that ended with “here’s a hundred dollars for every lady who’s had a run at this marathon”. I squinted at the screen—only three lady runners? Out of the 100+ scheduled showings? Sure enough, though, this was the case, which left me, and many other women gamers, wondering: where are all the lady speedrunners at?

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Everything’s Coming Up Peachy

Nintendo fans and fans of underdogs alike were able to have their cake and eat it too when the popular gaming company announced that 2013 was officially the “Year of Luigi”. The year, which stretched into 2014, celebrated Mario’s oft-overlooked younger brother by giving him a slew of new games and generally showing the green mustachio a lot more love than he’s probably had in decades. Now that the plumber’s party has died down, some people are wondering “what’s next?” Well, wonder no more! Fans of the Mushroom Kingdom and its inhabitants have quickly decided that this year’s festivities will feature much more royal clientele. Yes, 2015 is slated to be the “Year of Peach”.

Though at the moment the Year of Peach is entirely unofficial and driven by fan input—seemingly inspired in no small part by the efforts of Tumblr user nintendopoe—there is some really good reasoning for it. In fact, it’s the same exact reasoning behind the Year of Luigi: 2013 happened to be the 30th anniversary of Luigi’s first appearance (Mario Bros.) and now 2015 is the 30th anniversary of Princess Peach’s first appearance (Super Mario Bros.) as well. I wouldn’t argue that every character deserves a special year dedicated to them. I think we can all do without the “Year of Toad”, for example, despite how much people seem to love Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. However, Peach is such an integral part of the universe (what would Mario be doing if not saving her? Or Bowser, for that matter?) that it would most certainly be a shame for Nintendo to let this chance slide.

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Lady Geek Girl’s Top 10 Feminist Geek Moments of 2014

Wonder woman new yearThis year has been filled with some highs and lows for feminist geeks everywhere, but as we enter into 2015, I would rather dwell on all the great feminist geek moments we got this year. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here is Lady Geek Girl’s Top Ten Feminist Geek moments of 2014!

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The Portrayal of Sisters in Pop Culture or Why I Wasn’t as Impressed with Frozen as Everyone Else

Some of you who read this blog may remember me mentioning that I have an older sister. She drives me up a wall half the time, but I love her dearly, and I’m sure she feels the same about me. Here is my problem, though: I have only seen one sisterly relationship portrayed in pop culture that I can actually relate to. It’s weird, to say the least, but I think there is a reason for that. Women and stories about women are given significantly less screen time than male characters and stories about men. On the rare occasion women have starring, or even just supporting, roles, they are the lone female character. Said female has no sisters, no other female relations of note, and certainly no female friends. Either female characters’ backgrounds and never delved into, or these female characters will only have male influences in their lives. So already at least half the time women are tokenized and/or shown only associating with men. It should really come as no surprise, then, that when female relationships are present, they tend to lack the complexity that male relationships are given.

I see this a lot when sisterly relationships are portrayed. There seems to be only two possibilities for sisters: either they hate each other and can barely tolerate being in the same room together, or they love each other so super much that they are each others’ BFFs 5ver!

So when Frozen came out and everyone praised its portrayal of sisterly love I expected… well, something different than what I got, I guess.

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