Today’s post follows up on previous discussions, then gets distracted by a few fangirlish moments. So hang on, the ending is worth it.
Last weekend LucasBook’s Jen Heddle answered fan questions on diversity in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. On Monday, Del Rey’s Shelly Shapiro chimed in, and Mike Cooper thanked both editors for taking the time to discuss the topic.
“When I was throwing my body around fearlessly and going for gold for our country, I was pregnant. And today I’m 11 weeks pregnant and feeling pregnant.”
Apparently, Walsh Jennings wasn’t alone. Malaysian air rifle shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi competed seven months into her pregnancy. Obviously the mentality about pregnancy is changing as women continue to excel. Other women, for either health or personal reasons, need to slow down. Ultimately it’s about having a choice. Which isn’t something women have always had when it comes to their wombs.
The womb of Star Wars Expanded Universe heroine Jaina Solo has been the subject of much discussion this week between Club Jade and TFN. Fan debate started a few years back when the Legacy comics seemed to have predestined Jaina to become the mother of an Emperor, and she was given the fandom nickname “Imperial Womb of Destiny” or IWOD. As I’ve watched this debate over the years, I’ve often wondered two things. First, are the fans troubled by the IWOD really concerned that the character’s choice to become a mother has been preordained, or that a Solo-Skywalker will be the mother of an Imperial? Second, and more importantly, why isn’t anyone equally upset that the Legacy comics predetermine Ben Skywalker’s fatherhood? Why hasn’t Ben been labeled the Jedi Penis of Destiny?
Ultimately, I think reproduction and pregnancy in storytelling boil down to agency for the characters involved, and that has been part of the discussion. At the same time, male and female characters haven’t always been regarded equally by the fans; even female fans can apply a double standard. My hope is that fans consider what drives their opinions, and to regard female characters just as they would male characters. I’ll definitely be watching the debate as it continues, as well as the new discussion on Allana Solo as a mother.
While I’m on the subject of Jaina – and her husband Jag, actually – I found a quote from actress Stana Katic about her character Kate Beckett’s relationship with Rick Castle on ABC’s hit show Castle. In speaking about why Beckett and Castle work, Katic nailed the dynamic I have always seen in the pairing of Jaina and Jag. From TVLine:
These are two people who are extraordinary as individuals. I mean I hope, in my best version of a love story, they’re extraordinary as individuals. And then because they’re so extraordinary, they’re alone. By being together, maybe they’re not so alone? It’s kind of neat to have two people be vulnerable to each other who are not allowed to be vulnerable to very many other people, you know?
If you missed the season premiere last night, from this Caskett ‘shippers point of view the writers and cast jumped into the romance stage with just the right tone. It’s comfortable, but not too comfortable. I look forward to watching the blossoming relationship develop throughout the season. For Browncoats, the meta-licious Firefly homage episode set at a fan convention might be the next best thing this side of the invention of brownie sundaes.
On Friday, Fringe premieres its shortened final season. While the beginning of the end is bittersweet, the latest Season Five trailer remix has me excited to see Etta’s story unfold as we watch Olivia and Peter’s love mature, and io9’s spoiler-free review suggests the show has “a whole new lease on life.”
With that, I’ve wound my way around to this post’s natural conclusion. Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Princess Bride. In college, this movie was our version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the campus theater was usually standing room only when it played. Imagine a theater full of college students reciting lines with the characters – “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Blastr’s 11 Reasons We Love The Princess Bride captures the magic of the movie, but my favorite has to be reason #11:
The Kiss: For all its comedic brilliance and adventurous plotting, The Princess Bride is at heart a love story, and it ends with an iconic line from writer William Goldman: “Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The End.” And with that, a million hearts melted.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.