Fantasy Villains You Should Actually Be Rooting For


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Sauron From Lord of the Rings- It's been pointed out many a time but consider the following: Sauron is only a bad guy if you're afraid of science and hate racism. In the Lord of the Rings, after a thousand years the world of Middle Earth progresses from the Early Dark Ages to like the Middle Ages. You see roughly fifty years of technological development over the course of like a millennium of history. It is a world plunged in ignorance and ruled by idiots who ride horses and hit each other with swords. Then listen to the speech from the movie by that Saruman gives : the world will be consumed in the fires of industry. Like seriously, that's the most evil thing about the rule of Sauron, he lets a dude cut down some trees and build a factory. And how is Sauron and the White Wizrd able to arm and create such a huge army? Using Modern Industrial assembly lines and genetics. The SCIENCE of Genetics.In the movie, Saruman brings down a wall using g%$ d$%ned gunpowder and the people of Helm's Deep cower like it's the end of the world because they have no idea what SCIENCE looks like. And Sauron's armies are mostly Orcs, mostly starving creatures who are killed on sight in every kingdom in the world. Hell when the Dwarves attempt to reconquer a homeland they lost (Moria), the orcs and goblins are demonized as monsters for essentially protecting a home they've lived in for nearly a century. Sauron summons warriors from the East, i.e. foreigners who are quickly de-humanized as an army of evil by their lily white opponents. Sauron stood for equal rights for a series of oppressed minorities, he stood for science and reason over superstition.

The Darkness From Legend- The Darkness in Legend is essentially a cosmic functionary, he exists because that's his purpose, he has to exist. So then you have to ask, if he's not actually the villain, who is? How about teenage sociopath who is so evil she CRUSHES THE DEVIL'S HEART. Because you see the movie Legend is the least feminist movie in history, not simply because Mia Sara's character is a damsel in distress, it's because she's pure effing evil! The entire secret lesson of the film is that beautiful women are inhuman monsters who crush men and make them slaves. First off here's this rich girl slumming in the woods with her sexy boy toy. "Tee Hee, take me to see the Unicorn." and what does she do? She tries to touch one of them. Jack is stunned and he says, this is an unforgivable sin! "Oh whatever." She says and then proceeds to try and kill her boyfriend by promising to marry him if he's stupid enough to nearly drown for her. Then, after the Unicorn is killed, Jack is essentially put on trial for...you guessed it, letting Mia Sara touch a unicorn. Is Mia Sara put on trial? Nope! No consequences. Then she's kidnapped and taken to see the Devil himself, THE DEVIL himself and suddenly he's in love with her and he wants to shower her with pretty things. Can we stop for a moment and admit that if the Devil is attracted to you, you might already be kind of evil. Well the Princess figures out that old Scratch is hot for her and she begins to utterly destroy the guy. That dinner scene is essentially an exercise in watching a woman totally manipulate a guy and he falls for it because here's the devil and he's NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE. She is basically destroying an obsessed virgin's hopes and dreams. Finally you think, "oh no she's switched sides" She tells the Devil, "let me kill the Unicorn." and the sap falls for it. And the worst part is, I'm still not sure if she was going to kill the unicorn or not until the very last second when she thought "Oh let's break his heart, this will be fun." The Devil is actually showing humanity, he's showing the briefest sign of emotion and instead of opening the door to redemption, she humiliates and CRUSHES HIM! She emotionally manipulates him so her much more attractive lover can ASSASSINATE HIM and hide her heinous, unforgivable crime from the fairies who want to kill her! To make things worse, the pixie girl who is totally in love with Jack gets her heart crushed because Jack doesn't realize his girlfriend is an evil psycho so not only does she directly break one person's heart, her manipulative neediness breaks a second person's heart! Legend is the story about two men and the untold havoc they render on the entire world in pursuit of a girl who is totally evil and emotionally manipulative! At the end of the movie, here's Jack and the Princess and the Princess says, "I think I learned something about myself." We all did you psycho!

Palpatine- Okay, so yeah, yadda yadda fascism, oppression, Palpatine was the hero! Fact: The Old Republic was a corrupt corporate oligarchy, run by fat cats and policed by celibate warrior priests who were too self involved to try and stop the obvious corruption rising all around them. According to the old canon, Jedi Knights used to actually rule over the Republic directly and things were a lot more peaceful, eventually they had to give up their rule and the whole thing devolved into frigging nightmarish insanity. Palpatine was able to take over the place because the whole Senate was overrun with cartoonish levels of corruption, which is why Palpatine DISSOLVED the Senate because who needs ugly, stupid monsters running the show when you can have ONE smart monster in charge of everything. And it worked, it was efficient, brutally so. But what about the slavery? Well, slavery was ALREADY semi-legal because criminal Hutt gangsters used the Slave trade to make money in total defiance of the morally upright Jedi knights. The Slave Trade, which existed anyway, was now regulated and orderly because Palpatine recognized that with so many cultures and so many vastly different kinds social structures, it would impractical to impose a single moral vision on the Galaxy, so instead he imposed a coldly efficient, brutal method of law and order. No more mincing samurai moaning about being good as the whole galaxy devolved into corruption and chaos, instead it was legalism and clearly defined order. Obey the law or get shot. That is cold, it's terrible, it's cruel, it's also efficient which is everything that the Old Republic wasn't and is kind of Palpatine's appeal. He's a ruler, not a philosopher. Is he a manipulative monster, sure. But he's also ruling over THOUSANDS of planets each with their own races, legal systems, and traditions. If the alternative is nothing but chaos, isn't efficiency kind of preferable? Wasn't the reason the Republic fell was because none of the Good Guys were smart enough to notice they were being manipulated? Palpatine created a government while the Jedi just whined and meditated. The fact that the First Order exists post Empire means that at least some people actually LIKED the well ordered nature of an Imperial state as opposed to the idiotic chaos of a paralyzed, corrupt senate. Darth Vader's change of heart is literally the worst thing to happen to the Galaxy.


I dunno. Palpatine claimed to bring order; did he actually do so? The Empire seems like it was corrupt, inefficient, brutal to the point of genocide and short lived, dying to an alliance of the rebellions it provoked within a generation. Hitler didn't actually make the trains run on time either; be careful about assuming the truth of propaganda, even when people obviously believe it.


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avr wrote:
I dunno. Palpatine claimed to bring order; did he actually do so? The Empire seems like it was corrupt, inefficient, brutal to the point of genocide and short lived, dying to an alliance of the rebellions it provoked within a generation. Hitler didn't actually make the trains run on time either; be careful about assuming the truth of propaganda, even when people obviously believe it.

Ah but was the Republic any better? It fell over a few well placed words and a some short sighted legislation. And if we're talking about propaganda, perhaps the Rebellion is merely a group of short sighted idealists who are looking at a 2000 year old legacy of corruption through rose colored glasses!


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Well, if we're gonna get revisionist...

Voldemort.

Come on. Five pages in, I wanted to kill Harry Potter and his entire poorly-crafted world. Can't blame Voldy for wanting to snuff the wretched mess.

Thulsa Doom (movie version).

Sure, sure, he did some bad things in the past. In the present, his followers are peaceful, he's good for the local economy, he spreads genuine enlightenment (he does, after all, help Conan with the riddle of steel), and if a few humans get eaten by giant snakes that's hardly his fault.Pity he's beheaded by a psychotic, vengeful thief incapable of appreciating all that Thulsa did for him!


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And you know what? Let's really examine the Jedi: they believe they are the defenders of truth and justice. Without exception, those who stand against them are on the Dark Side, those Jedi who even disagree a little are courting a turn to evil. I mean do you get how tyrannical that sounds? The Star Wars universe is asking it's citizens to either live in a world of endless greed, corruption, and graft that's ruled over by a bunch of fanatical idealists who cut off your hand for believing in moral relativism. Or there's the alternative: fascism. Can we please acknowledge how crappy that kind of is?


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Cole Deschain wrote:


Thulsa Doom (movie version).

Sure, sure, he did some bad things in the past. In the present, his followers are peaceful, he's good for the local economy, he spreads genuine enlightenment (he does, after all, help Conan with the riddle of steel), and if a few humans get eaten by giant snakes that's hardly his fault.Pity he's beheaded by a psychotic, vengeful thief incapable of appreciating all that Thulsa did for him!

Here, here! Thulsa Doom was an architect, he was building a united government while the other useless warlords were just building a petty kingdoms.

Scarab Sages

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Johnny Lawrence.

Liberty's Edge

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* The Facepalming, part two.


thecursor wrote:
Ah but was the Republic any better? It fell over a few well placed words and a some short sighted legislation. And if we're talking about propaganda, perhaps the Rebellion is merely a group of short sighted idealists who are looking at a 2000 year old legacy of corruption through rose colored glasses!

Lasting a couple thousand years does give you some street cred in the 'short sight' department and certainly some periods of peace. Whatever his aims, Palpatine's empire was continuously at war and the failure of his Empire to last tells that the actual ends (rather than any imagined ends) did not in fact justify the means.

The minimal criteria for a state to be admired are 'not too much war' or 'victory in war which leads to less war.' The Empire fails both. 2000 years of existence says the Republic managed one or the other.

The Jedi are crazy because the metaphysics of their universe are crazy. Being magical and not fanatical is in fact a slippery slope to murdering babies in their world. Mass breeding of the creatures which block the Force (ysalasomething?) would be a seriously good move.


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avr wrote:
thecursor wrote:
Ah but was the Republic any better? It fell over a few well placed words and a some short sighted legislation. And if we're talking about propaganda, perhaps the Rebellion is merely a group of short sighted idealists who are looking at a 2000 year old legacy of corruption through rose colored glasses!

Lasting a couple thousand years does give you some street cred in the 'short sight' department and certainly some periods of peace. Whatever his aims, Palpatine's empire was continuously at war and the failure of his Empire to last tells that the actual ends (rather than any imagined ends) did not in fact justify the means.

The minimal criteria for a state to be admired are 'not too much war' or 'victory in war which leads to less war.' The Empire fails both. 2000 years of existence says the Republic managed one or the other.

The Jedi are crazy because the metaphysics of their universe are crazy. Being magical and not fanatical is in fact a slippery slope to murdering babies in their world. Mass breeding of the creatures which block the Force (ysalasomething?) would be a seriously good move.

But the existence of the Republic isn't "less war" it was lots of wars in places we don't care about is that better or just a very special kind of corruption? And the length of it's rule was again, artificially propped up by a ruling class of fanatical space wizards. I love this conversation by the way.


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Imbicatus wrote:

Johnny Lawrence.

He truly was the Karate Kid.


Just wanted to point out, regarding Legend, that if you listen to the Director Commentary from Ridley Scott you're actually getting part of what he intended. That scene at the beginning, with Lily asking Jack to show her the unicorns, Scott describes that as her being manipulative. He originally wanted her to be punished for her transgressions by being transformed into a cat-like monster form before being redeemed by Jack, but it wasn't in the budget.

Amusingly, in a later scene where Jack outright lies to Meg Mucklebones, Scott calls him "clever". So, women asking for something are manipulative, men blatantly lying are clever.


thecursor wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:


Thulsa Doom (movie version).

Sure, sure, he did some bad things in the past. In the present, his followers are peaceful, he's good for the local economy, he spreads genuine enlightenment (he does, after all, help Conan with the riddle of steel), and if a few humans get eaten by giant snakes that's hardly his fault.Pity he's beheaded by a psychotic, vengeful thief incapable of appreciating all that Thulsa did for him!

Here, here! Thulsa Doom was an architect, he was building a united government while the other useless warlords were just building a petty kingdoms.

You do understand... Thulsa Doom was such a great architect that even his STONE TEMPLE was destroyed in a FIRE. =)


Psion Minmax. Because he was right.


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thecursor wrote:
Palpatine- Okay, so yeah, yadda yadda fascism, oppression, Palpatine was the hero! Fact: The Old Republic was a corrupt corporate oligarchy, run by fat cats and policed by celibate warrior priests who were too self involved to try and stop the obvious corruption rising all around them. According to the old canon, Jedi Knights used to actually rule over the Republic directly and things were a lot more peaceful, eventually they had to give up their rule and the whole thing devolved into frigging nightmarish insanity. Palpatine was able to take over the place because the whole Senate was overrun with cartoonish levels of corruption, which is why Palpatine DISSOLVED the Senate because who needs ugly, stupid monsters running the show when you can have ONE smart monster in charge of everything. And it worked, it was efficient, brutally so. But what about the slavery? Well, slavery was ALREADY semi-legal because criminal Hutt gangsters used the Slave trade to make money in total defiance of the morally upright Jedi knights. The Slave Trade, which existed anyway, was now regulated and orderly because Palpatine recognized that with so many cultures and so many vastly different kinds social structures, it would impractical to impose a single moral vision on the Galaxy, so instead he imposed a coldly efficient, brutal method of law and order. No more mincing samurai moaning about being good as the whole galaxy devolved into corruption and chaos, instead it was legalism and clearly defined order. Obey the law or get shot. That is cold, it's terrible, it's cruel, it's also efficient which is everything that the Old Republic wasn't and is kind of Palpatine's appeal. He's a ruler, not a philosopher. Is he a manipulative monster, sure. But he's also ruling over THOUSANDS of planets each with their own races, legal systems, and traditions. If the alternative is nothing but chaos, isn't efficiency kind of preferable? Wasn't the reason the Republic fell was because none of the Good Guys were smart enough to notice they were being manipulated? Palpatine created a government while the Jedi just whined and meditated. The fact that the First Order exists post Empire means that at least some people actually LIKED the well ordered nature of an Imperial state as opposed to the idiotic chaos of a paralyzed, corrupt senate. Darth Vader's change of heart is literally the worst thing to happen to the Galaxy.

Yeah, no. He built a weapon for the exclusive purpose of killing civilians several BILLION at a time. And put a man in charge, who destroyed the equivalent of Philadelphia or York, rather than attacking a military target. Because it wouldn't send a proper message.

He then built a second such weapon.

Someone who considers the population he is supposed to represent as unworthy of life, just because his approval numbers are too low - IS NOT A HERO! Period. End of statement.


But the trains from Naboo always left on time!


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The trains from Alderaan, well, we don't talk about them anymore.


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The Hyenas from Lion King.

Maybe stretching the 'fantasy' criteria, but I 100% support Scar and The Hyenas. The animals' great society is a brutal caste system that functions on the backs of an ostracized and brutalized minority. Scar is not the leader the Lions may want, but he sure as hell is the one they deserve. Scar turned their own gluttony back on them and forced everyone to live in the world they created for the hyenas. Frankly the end of that movie pisses me off still - the fascists are returned to power, having learned nothing. Hooray?

Loki - Thor was a stupid, drunken lout. Odin has a perfectly good, though adopted, son to claim rulership but instead selfishly just held onto power. I don't blame the guy at all for snapping. But that is honestly the least of my problems with the movie Thor.


Ultron. The avengers were bad for the world. He made several very good points.


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Belulzebub wrote:

The Hyenas from Lion King.

Maybe stretching the 'fantasy' criteria, but I 100% support Scar and The Hyenas. The animals' great society is a brutal caste system that functions on the backs of an ostracized and brutalized minority. Scar is not the leader the Lions may want, but he sure as hell is the one they deserve. Scar turned their own gluttony back on them and forced everyone to live in the world they created for the hyenas. Frankly the end of that movie pisses me off still - the fascists are returned to power, having learned nothing. Hooray?

I agree, though I have a slightly different take on it.

Simply put, the "villains" of The Lion King never struck me as very villainous.

As you noted, the hyenas have been unfairly persecuted. For all the talk about "The Circle of Life," it's like everyone forgot that the hyenas - who are scavengers, and thus no real threat to predators like the lions - also have a place in it, and deserve to roam the Pridelands as much as anyone.

But I really have no sympathy for Mufasa, who acted like a complete tyrant. Seriously, you're gathering all these different races - most of whom you eat - to celebrate the birth of your son? Yeah, I get that the Circle of Life bit means that they recognize that they're probably going to be hunted down and ripped to shreds by you when you're feeling a bit peckish, but do they really have to celebrate that system?

Oh, and let's not forget Scar. Under his rule the Circle of Life is supposedly broken...why, because he reintegrated the hyenas into Pridelands society? How could that possibly have destroyed the ecosystem? Seriously, look at how the river near Pride Rock has apparently dried up...how is Scar to blame for that? Yes, he murdered Mufasa, but if we accept that Mufasa was the lion version of Stalin, I have to wonder if a quiet coup was really the wrong way to go. It's pretty clear that Mufasa had numerous followers - most of whom benefited from the system he ruled - and trying to tear the entire thing down would probably have led to open rebellion, which probably would have been worse.

Heck, if you want to run with the whole "the river dried up" thing, I have to wonder who's really responsible for that. After all, Rafiki is pretty clearly a necromancer, able to conjure up the spirit of Simba's dead father. And since dead lions dwell in the sky, I wonder if Mufasa's vengeful ghost was stopping the rain and punishing the whole Pridelands just to spite his brother.

I'm also a bit surprised that no one has commented on how the lions are running a patriarchy, either. After all, all of the background lions are female. What few male lions we see are all major characters, all related to each other (except for Kovu, which was a bit of a cop-out), and most of them die over the course of the series. Yes, one lion with multiple lionesses is how lions actually group themselves in the real world, but if we accept that the lions in The Lion King are sentient enough to understand concepts such as monarchy, ecology, and reverence for ancestors, I have to wonder if they can't question the entire idea of the king having a harem (which is the only way such a system would work, otherwise all of those background lionesses shouldn't be there after one generation).


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thecursor wrote:
Sauron From Lord of the Rings

If you want to see this idea taken to its logical conclusion, check out The Last Ringbearer. I've read it, and it's a great novel.

Scarab Sages

Speaking of "Sauron as the good guy", try checking out Godslayer by Jacqueline Carey. It's a counterpoint to Tolkien, written as a sort of Lord of the Rings from the point of view of Sauron. It's haunting and brilliant and tragic.

Scarab Sages

Illidan and Kael'Thas.

If I had any grand rant for why, I forgot the particulars long ago (and can't be bothered to regurgitate what I remember), but my Blood Elf Mage wanted to fight FOR them, not AGAINST them, dammit!

Scarab Sages

Anyone familiar with Disciples: Sacred Lands? It should seem pretty obvious who the good guys are and who the bad guys are - pseudo-Christian Humans and pseudo-Heathen Dwarves vs UNDEAD and DEMONS - but read the manual: The stories of the Undead Hordes and the Legions of the Damned are of their gods getting flat-out wronged by those of the Empire and Mountain Clans. By contrast, the Empire and Mountain Clans don't really have anything with which to claim the Good Guys mantle except, "Hey, we're not the f*&$ing UNDEAD and DEMONS!"

Scarab Sages

The Evil Talking Magical Grimoire from The Care-Bears Movie.

I don't even remember what it was trying to do aside from teach a lonely and frustrated boy magic....

It was kind of like the inverse of Diane Duane's So You Want To Be A Wizard?, actually.

Does that mean that...the Care-Bears work for the Lone Power? Are they actually Perytons?!? That would bring the concept of a "Care-Bear Stare" to a whole new echelon of terror....

This is getting really weird really fast....


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Sir Toppenhat is pretty f+!~ed up, if you think about it.

Here's this despot on a secluded and self sufficient island, who somehow figured out how to make trains and machines sentient, and if they can't maintain being "useful engines" they're sent to the steamworks, that's some f&%#ed up s+*$ right there.


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Scratchy

may Itchy die of a thousand horrible deaths by his hands.


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GreenDragon1133 wrote:
thecursor wrote:
Palpatine- Okay, so yeah, yadda yadda fascism, oppression, Palpatine was the hero! Fact: The Old Republic was a corrupt corporate oligarchy, run by fat cats and policed by celibate warrior priests who were too self involved to try and stop the obvious corruption rising all around them. According to the old canon, Jedi Knights used to actually rule over the Republic directly and things were a lot more peaceful, eventually they had to give up their rule and the whole thing devolved into frigging nightmarish insanity. Palpatine was able to take over the place because the whole Senate was overrun with cartoonish levels of corruption, which is why Palpatine DISSOLVED the Senate because who needs ugly, stupid monsters running the show when you can have ONE smart monster in charge of everything. And it worked, it was efficient, brutally so. But what about the slavery? Well, slavery was ALREADY semi-legal because criminal Hutt gangsters used the Slave trade to make money in total defiance of the morally upright Jedi knights. The Slave Trade, which existed anyway, was now regulated and orderly because Palpatine recognized that with so many cultures and so many vastly different kinds social structures, it would impractical to impose a single moral vision on the Galaxy, so instead he imposed a coldly efficient, brutal method of law and order. No more mincing samurai moaning about being good as the whole galaxy devolved into corruption and chaos, instead it was legalism and clearly defined order. Obey the law or get shot. That is cold, it's terrible, it's cruel, it's also efficient which is everything that the Old Republic wasn't and is kind of Palpatine's appeal. He's a ruler, not a philosopher. Is he a manipulative monster, sure. But he's also ruling over THOUSANDS of planets each with their own races, legal systems, and traditions. If the alternative is nothing but chaos, isn't efficiency kind of preferable? Wasn't the reason the Republic fell was because none of the Good Guys were smart
...

This pretty much sums it up.

Scarab Sages

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In other words, Palpatine's a Neo-Conservative.

I'll stick to rooting for the Rebellion et al, thanks.

The problem is never Chaos, but fear of Chaos.

*starts fantasizing about FDR with Force powers and JFK with a lightsaber (they do deflect bullets, you know)....*


So, I know I might be ruining the gag, but, OP, is this a gag? Like, how can we misrepresent the event of the stories to make say that the villains are the heroes?

Cause if its not, just looking at the Lord of the Rings (and not the Silmarillion, etc; the events of a book should stand on their own) we can see that Sauron A: sends wringwraiths to summarily execute people that can be considered at worst friends with someone who is in possession of stolen property, B: is instigating unprovoked war on Gondor (whilst using espionage/enchantment to keep a potential ally at bay, and attempting to drive the ruler of Gondor mad with dispait through false portents), and as for C:, lets bring it back to the king of the Rhohirim, as Sauron was doing double duty by also keeping him distracted so that Sauron could invade his land without resistance as well.

As for Saruman, reckless despoiling of the land is enough for me to call him a villain, not to mention the locking of a supposed friend on the top of his tower indefinitely for having he audacity to tell him he is wrong. And lets not forget that the magical genetics program was for the express purpose of creating a conquering army.

The eastern people were never demonized. They are portrayed as being deceived by Sauron. They have little if any characterization aside from being opponents in one battle.

The Orc do kind of become "acceptable targets," though in the book they are all killed whilst on the aforementioned hostile actions. The only exception is the retaking of Moria, which is dicey (do they still have the right to their ancestral home?), and in the epilogue (and thus is irrelevant to the topic of who is the real villain unless it proves that an earlier claim is a lie)

Oh and if we are going down this route, RE: Star Wars, this must be read: The Skywalker Paradigm
Though I like the dramatic opening to his original (this is the revised version)Archived at the insitance of us Portland/Eugene fans :D


Can we not turning Star Wars into a Left vs Right commentary, please?


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It's not the north or the south side, no it's not
It's not the east or the west side, no it's not
It is the DARK SIDE!


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Sissyl wrote:

It's not the north or the south side, no it's not

It's not the east or the west side, no it's not
It is the DARK SIDE!

We got Death Star, we got Death Star...


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Susano-wo wrote:
So, I know I might be ruining the gag, but, OP, is this a gag?

It's a gag, also a fun thought experiment.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

In other words, Palpatine's a Neo-Conservative.

I'll stick to rooting for the Rebellion et al, thanks.

The problem is never Chaos, but fear of Chaos.

*starts fantasizing about FDR with Force powers and JFK with a lightsaber (they do deflect bullets, you know)....*

Keep it out of the real world please, politics are like diarrhea for the soul.

Grand Lodge

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Sometimes you just need to clean everything out.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sometimes you just need to clean everything out.

It would be nice if that were possible. Politics *shouldn't* be "like diarrhea for the soul," and one of the main reasons it has become that way is because people try to run away from it.

Note that I was merely responding to the "pro-Palpatine case," showing how it doesn't actually redeem him as well as some of the other entries on this thread (and let's face it; Star Wars has contained timely political messages from the very beginning anyways, and kudos for that).


thecursor wrote:
Susano-wo wrote:
So, I know I might be ruining the gag, but, OP, is this a gag?

It's a gag, also a fun thought experiment.

Whew. hurray for fun experiments, then :D


Sissyl wrote:

It's not the north or the south side, no it's not

It's not the east or the west side, no it's not
It is the DARK SIDE!

You are correct.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sometimes you just need to clean everything out.

It would be nice if that were possible. Politics *shouldn't* be "like diarrhea for the soul," and one of the main reasons it has become that way is because people try to run away from it.

Note that I was merely responding to the "pro-Palpatine case," showing how it doesn't actually redeem him as well as some of the other entries on this thread (and let's face it; Star Wars has contained timely political messages from the very beginning anyways, and kudos for that).

That is because Star Wars started out just as much political commentary as it did mythbuilding.


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The trouble with trying to always hold politics at arms length is that the personal is political.


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I always felt sorry for the villains in Scooby Doo, there is always something more substantially wrong with their plans then a bunch of college kids and their dog.


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I told my 10-year-old son about this thread, and he came up with another example: Auto, the autopilot.

For those of you not familiar with the Disney / Pixar movie Wall-E, the story is this: In the future the Earth is an ecological disaster, and what's left of the human race is on a spacecraft called the Axiom.

But it's not a sad story! The Axiom is huge, and provides a life of luxury, leisure, and comfort for a great population of human beings, who are clearly happy with their lives. They've survived for seven hundred years on the Axiom, and there's no sign that they're in any danger of extinction any time soon.

Now and then, the Axiom sends out a robot to inspect the Earth and look for signs that life is reappearing there. For some reason, this job is assigned to Eve, a powerful, psychopathic, destructive, trigger-happy robot with a dangerously - I would say insanely - overpowered weapon.

And Eve finds - cue the dramatic music - one plant. That's it. In the midst of a planet entirely covered many times over with garbage, with grey skies, frequently bombarded with deadly and destructive windstorms, she finds ONE LOUSY PLANT! Is that really enough to start celebrating?

But okay, she does her job by bringing the plant to the Axiom. Auto, the robotic autopilot, tries to hide that fact from the Captain of the Axiom. And we soon find out that he's quite right to do so.

The captain gets some romantic notion that he can save the Earth. He draws this conclusion from one plant. He actually thinks he understands life on Earth because he researched the subject for a couple of hours. And he wants to bring the spacecraft to Earth, thus endangering the entire human race to fulfill that dream.

Auto points this out. "On the Axiom, you will survive."

The captain responds: "I don't want to survive! I want to live!"

Um... that's great, Captain. And have you consulted with the thousands of innocent human beings you're endangering with this decision?

Even if I weren't trying to distort the facts for the sake of this thought experiment, I would still insist that Auto's views are perfectly reasonable. His job was to protect the human race, and the Captain was threatening it. A human being in Auto's position might have made the same judgement.

And even then, Auto doesn't actually harm the Captain. Presumably, all robots in this movie are programmed with some kind of Asimov's-first-law to prevent them from harming a human. He only confines the Captain to quarters, feeling - and reasonably so - that he was unfit for command.

And seeing Auto mutiny against him, the Captain enlists the aid of - you've probably guessed this - the psychotic, trigger-happy robot with the overly destructive gun. Oh yeah, there's a hero.

The Exchange

@Aaron Bitman: Have you read Jack Williamson's "With folded hands..."?


No. After reading your post, I read the summary in the Wikipedia entry.

(Actually, it's a funny coincidence that you mention Jack Williamson. I read a few of his short stories, including the first couple of novellas in Terraforming Earth, and Wall-E is about terraforming Earth. But I gave up on Williamson, feeling that although he had some good ideas, he didn't have the writing talent to pull them off. But I digress.)

Are you making the point that it's scary for robots to make the decisions on what's best for the human race, and heroic for humans to take back control? Is that the general idea?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sometimes you just need to clean everything out.

It would be nice if that were possible. Politics *shouldn't* be "like diarrhea for the soul," and one of the main reasons it has become that way is because people try to run away from it.

Actually no it's because people literally try to inject them into everything to the point that it serves no purpose and bums everyone else out but I digress. Let's not have a long winded discussion about real life nonsense on my fantasy joke thread.


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Aaron Bitman wrote:

I told my 10-year-old son about this thread, and he came up with another example: Auto, the autopilot.

For those of you not familiar with the Disney / Pixar movie Wall-E, the story is this: In the future the Earth is an ecological disaster, and what's left of the human race is on a spacecraft called the Axiom.

But it's not a sad story! The Axiom is huge, and provides a life of luxury, leisure, and comfort for a great population of human beings, who are clearly happy with their lives. They've survived for seven hundred years on the Axiom, and there's no sign that they're in any danger of extinction any time soon.

Now and then, the Axiom sends out a robot to inspect the Earth and look for signs that life is reappearing there. For some reason, this job is assigned to Eve, a powerful, psychopathic, destructive, trigger-happy robot with a dangerously - I would say insanely - overpowered weapon.

And Eve finds - cue the dramatic music - one plant. That's it. In the midst of a planet entirely covered many times over with garbage, with grey skies, frequently bombarded with deadly and destructive windstorms, she finds ONE LOUSY PLANT! Is that really enough to start celebrating?

But okay, she does her job by bringing the plant to the Axiom. Auto, the robotic autopilot, tries to hide that fact from the Captain of the Axiom. And we soon find out that he's quite right to do so.

The captain gets some romantic notion that he can save the Earth. He draws this conclusion from one plant. He actually thinks he understands life on Earth because he researched the subject for a couple of hours. And he wants to bring the spacecraft to Earth, thus endangering the entire human race to fulfill that dream.

Auto points this out. "On the Axiom, you will survive."

The captain responds: "I don't want to survive! I want to live!"

Um... that's great, Captain. And have you consulted with the thousands of innocent human beings you're...

Tell your son he's a genius and that in the world of Wall-E all humans died horribly.


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It's showtime.

Bettlejuice

So, a pair of bumbling inept post-living people find themselves with annoying neighbours. These two can't even be bothered to read a single book, so they ask the system for help. The system turns them down and tells them to haunt the people out themselves. They try, and fail miserably.

Enter our hero, The ghost with the most. Be -er this dapper fellow has style, experience, and skill. Most of all, he's willing to help the inept pair when nobody else will. What do these ingrates do? They turn their back on his kindness. Selflessly, he tries to help anyway, and to great effect. The couple interferes to stop him.

Yet despite nothing but negativity from them, this wandering bioexorcist is still willing to save the couple in their time of greatest need. What a great guy. How does the couple repay this rescue? By busting up his wedding and attacking him with savage creatures. Talk about rude.

The Exchange

Aaron Bitman wrote:

No. After reading your post, I read the summary in the Wikipedia entry.

(Actually, it's a funny coincidence that you mention Jack Williamson. I read a few of his short stories, including the first couple of novellas in Terraforming Earth, and Wall-E is about terraforming Earth. But I gave up on Williamson, feeling that although he had some good ideas, he didn't have the writing talent to pull them off. But I digress.)

Are you making the point that it's scary for robots to make the decisions on what's best for the human race, and heroic for humans to take back control? Is that the general idea?

Except in "With folded hands..."

Spoiler:
the humans don't take back control, and most of them are totally find with their new robot overlords; it's just that one paranoid guy who thinks its awful. When he tries to take back control, he fails miserably. Your summary of Wall-E reminded me of that story. That's all.

Actually, it's shown at the end of the film that the humans actually manged to rejuvenate the Earth.
And was the Axiom the only ship that Earth sent out? I thought that Earth actually sent out multiple ships. Or has the Axiom been doing to its sister ships what Wall-E was doing to his fellow robots- cannibalizing them for spare parts?

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