The Star Wars universe is no stranger to dark subject matter in both its live-action and animated narratives. Throughout the movies and shows (and I assume the canonical comics and books that I still have not read), the series takes us to some really gruesome places.
One recurring character in both The Clone Wars and Rebels is Rex. A war veteran, Rex is a capable and valuable member of the Rebellion and probably the most well-developed clone in the Star Wars universe. One of the problems with having a story filled with so many characters, though, is that the narrative doesn’t always have time to fully delve into their issues. At the very least, though, Star Wars tries, and while the story occasionally rushes through certain character arcs, its results are not horrible. This is most definitely the case with a recent Rebels episode “The Last Battle”, where we finally get to see more from Rex and his PTSD from fighting in the Clone Wars.
Here at Lady Geek Girl and Friends, we like recommending cool diverse webcomics, and I’ve come to add another one to our list as this week’s Web Crush. It’s called Bad Bad Things. I found it thanks to a recommendation reblogged by the queermediarepresentation Tumblr (which might be a Web Crush for another week), and I instantly fell in love with the gorgeous art, mysterious dystopian world, and diverse characters.
Let me tell you more about it below, with some spoilers.
It is often the case that this column overlaps with an object of nostalgia: something we loved when we were younger and are now re-viewing with a critical eye. Today’s Throwback is an exception to this standard. We’ve talked about the Jessica Jones series here and there, and our general opinion of it is that it was a fantastic and feminist, if incredibly dark and triggering, show. I recently had a chance to read “Purple”, the five-issue series of Alias that was published in 2004 and upon which the first season of the miniseries was based. And although I rarely say this, I actually think I like the TV adaptation better.
Spoilers for Alias and Jessica Jones and a trigger warning for rape after the jump.
I love Netflix’s Jessica Jones—even though the themes of rape, abuse, control, and PTSD make it very difficult to watch. Despite the fact that stories about female characters who have been violated is an overused and misogynistic trope, I think the way the creators of Jessica Jones approach these issues without romanticizing them is pretty great. I especially appreciate the fact these female experiences are the focus of the story and that this story doesn’t serve merely as a backstory for a “strong female character”, even though Jessica is certainly strong in more than one way. The show explores Jessica’s character and post-trauma experiences in an intimate and chilling way and that makes Jessica quite unique as a female character.
Some spoilers for Netflix’s Jessica Jones below. Also, trigger warning for rape, PTSD, alcoholism, self-harm, and abuse.
I’m starting to question what it is I even enjoy about this show anymore—because I do enjoy it—but I just hate so many of the characters. At the forefront of my hatred is none other than Rick, but even characters I like have started pissing me off this season. I also, until this season, never noticed how much time has, or rather hasn’t, passed in the show. The first eight episodes of Season 6 take place over the course of maybe three days, if that, and that just doesn’t seem like enough time for any of the characters to work through their emotional issues, especially while dealing with a walker-apocalypse. To top that off, some of those episodes feature numerous pointless subplots that amount to nothing.
What I’m trying to say is that Season 6 has not had The Walking Dead’s strongest storytelling. Spoilers below the jump.
A few weeks ago I wrote about raised female warriors and their fight for autonomy. Since then I’ve been thinking on whether male characters are ever given a similar kind of tragic backstory where they‘re kidnapped, as children or even as adults, and their agency is taken away and they are forced to learn to fight and kill on the orders of their captors. I managed to find a few that could fit this trope—Matt Murdock (Netflix‘s Daredevil), Oliver Queen (Arrow), Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier (MCU), and D‘Avin Jaqobi (Killjoys). All these characters have their freedom and autonomy taken away (to differing extents) and, as such, they present a lot of opportunities for nontraditional portrayals of masculinity.
Spoilers for Arrow, Killjoys, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier below.
When I was watching Avatar the first time, I was probably in middle school or high school, and I remember getting into it just for the bending. Each form of bending is based on a different form of Chinese martial art, and because my family is from Taiwan and I grew up in a household where we watched Jet Li movies just as often as any Western action movies, the idea of martial arts giving the martial artist control of the four elements was extremely compelling to me. Upon rewatch, though, I realized that as a kid, I somehow missed a lot of the diversity of the Avatar universe. Though bending is such a physical act, the Avatar universe also went out of its way to showcase many characters with physical disabilities and mental trauma.
Spoilers for all of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra after the jump.