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.
If you haven’t yet seen the new Wonder Woman movie… seriously, why haven’t you? It’s fabulous. After we gushed about its awesomeness while coming out of the theater, I mentioned to my group that Diana Prince seems like an awesome unconventional Christ figure. They were a little confused, because (spoiler alert) Wonder Woman isn’t crucified, and she’s certainly not a man. I couldn’t really explain it well then, but I can now.
Wonder Woman might be the most famous female superhero. While her story makes references to Greek myths, it doesn’t seem like her creators were Greek, and her writers didn’t really bother for accuracy when it comes to those myths. On the other hand, Christianity is so influential to Western culture and its history that Christ figures show up all over the place in our stories. We’ve already talked about how Disney’sHercules draws from Greek myths but still turns Hercules into a Christ figure. Nearly all fictional Christ figures are male. So while making Wonder Woman into a Christ figure doesn’t do much for Greek mythology, it breaks new ground in the way we can understand what a Christ figure can be.
Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of those books that appears on every serious science fiction lover’s bucket list (or, at least, it should). It’s a winner of both a Hugo award and a Nebula award, and it deeply influenced the whole science fiction genre. I could make a strong argument that without Dune and its two sequels, there would be no Star Wars, though I’ll save that for another time. Yet Dune doesn’t occupy that kind of place in pop culture; we don’t often hear “Herbert” accompanying names like “Asimov” and “Bradbury” (although we should).
Dune is the story of Paul Atreides and his ascendancy to the Messiah-like Muad’Dib during a geopolitical conflict known as the “Arrakis Affair”. That may sound pretty dry; I assure you it’s not. It’s more like dropping Warrior Jesus into A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones for you HBO peeps), set on Tattooine. There are many things I can say about Dune. But since today is the day Western Christians celebrate Easter, I want to examine how Paul grows into his role as a Christ figure, limited to the first book of the trilogy. In fact, it’s the ways in which he breaks the stereotype that make Dune so interesting.