amysantiagone  asked:

In Rogue One, Cassian Andor states that he's been fighting for the rebels since he was 6 years old. Assuming he meant literal combating, would his personality be similar to that of a child raised for combat? Would there be any differences?

This is sort of a yes and no, as all children involved in violent conflicts from an early age are affected by it. However, the children who take part in rebellions aren’t in the same category of the child soldiers discussed on this blog before, though they absolutely share similarities.

Kids involved in rebellions are rarely used as frontline combatants. They’re far too valuable for that. Instead, they function as informants, carriers, and, occasionally, saboteurs. They’re not the one who picks up the gun to shoot down enemy soldiers in a safe zone. They’re the ones who move the gun past the security perimeter or receive it from the old man or woman who did and plant it. They’re the ones hanging around befriending enemy soldiers in bars or cantinas so they can tip their friends off about where the troops are moving to next. Children, women, the elderly, those generally viewed as non-combatants, the ones that society overlooks or views as “safe” are often the backbone of any resistance movement.

They get the goods, they move the packages, they carry the messages between resistance cells, they sometimes take care of the equipment, and they do most of the footwork that allows a resistance to engage the enemy. When they do fight, it’s generally in the form of sabotage like finding and slipping poison into the enemy troop’s stew, planting bombs, or because survival necessitates it when their cover is blown.

As a child, Cassian Andor would have a background common with other children in rebellions depicted in media like ‘Phan Duc To’ from Good Morning, Vietnam! (1987) and the children involved in The Battle of Algiers (1966).

If you’ve never seen Good Morning, Vietnam! I just spoiled the movie.

The Battle of Algiers is a great movie if you’re looking for an honest overview of how rebellions function on both sides of the conflict or just a treatment on the French colonization of Algeria. Fair warning, it is not an english language film. Kiera Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space 9 is another decent character to look at when wanting to model a background for a resistance fighter who joined as a child. G’kar from Babylon 5 and the entire Narn/Centauri conflict is also an excellent example of the enduring hatreds and issues brought by colonization.

One of the qualities you see in these children and then again as adults is pure, unadulterated hatred for their oppressors. More so than the other kinds, they hate. Often to the point of becoming a new version of the enemy their resistance was attempting to drive off.

Cassian would’ve spent a lot of time hanging around rebel fighters, doing odd jobs for them until the day came when they were short a man or needed a message run by someone who wouldn’t attract attention.

If this has started to sound like spycraft, well, you’re not far off. Resistances don’t have the luxury of major battle offensives like an army, and even guerilla warfare is actually a step up from what happens on the ground, and there is a common word you’ll find familiar for what they do: terrorism.

The actions of a resistance fighter and the actions of a terrorist are one and the same, the only difference is in who is telling the story. If you want to investigate real resistances without the judgements, study up on World War II, the French Resistance, and the Maquis.

Yes, that Maquis not the one from Star Trek.

On the ground resistances are rough and ready, they’re often split apart into distinct cells comprised of only a few agents, and almost no one knows who is higher up the food chain. This is important because it protects the other operating cells and resistance leadership in case an operative is captured by the enemy.

For the most part, whether you’re writing historical fiction or a foray into science fiction, the philosophy, goals, and strategy of a resistance will remain the same. What changes is how they go about operating within their setting because, like spies, a resistance requires the author have a solid grasp on how the enemy functions, the details in how they hold power, the technology they have access to, and how their army works.

On a literal and literary level, the Resistance is about disruption. Whether they’re sabotaging train tracks, blowing up food transports, or bombing nightclubs, their goal is to disrupt everyday life and make it as unpleasant as possible. They’re ghosts in the system, you’ll never know where or when they’ll strike, and they’re out to destroy enemy moral every way they can. A resistance drives the enemy from their homeland by making the cost of holding it no longer worthwhile. Though, historically, this is often impossible unless the majority of the population joins the cause and/or the tide of public sentiment back home within the enemy’s homeworld or nation turns against the invaders. A resistance occurring against the powerful within their own homeland is much, much more destructive.

What marks a character like Cassian, who grew up in a resistance movement, more than other children engaged in violence is first and foremost betrayal. Betrayal from without, betrayal from within, the people he’s lied to and betrayed, seeing many friends vanish overnight or die, and never quite knowing who he can trust. He probably has very few friends left alive from his early days with the Rebellion, and more than likely experienced the Imperials wiping out his cell(s) on multiple occasions. He worked his way up the ranks until he became an operative working closely within the Rebellion’s inner circle.

Star Wars is functionally much more clear cut than the real resistances that occur throughout the world.

Happy writing!


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I repainted G’Kar (Londo insisted, LOUDLY).

I am most excited that he no longer looks like an orange oompa loompa.

The most time-consuming thing was adding the little metal pieces on his sleeves and boots. The model out of the box is pretty detailed, which I didn’t realize until I went to paint him. Whoever modeled him used a lot of details from G’Kar’s original outfit, but some of them were reversed, presumably from the modeling process. The modeler changed some details here and there, but it is actually quite a nice base model. I didn’t have to drill anything off, like Londo’s plastic vest, but I did break G’Kar’s shoulder when prying him apart to paint him. I didn’t fix the seam though because I would have had to do it after the painting was already done.

The eyes worked out on G’Kar a lot better than Londo, though you can’t really see them here. Suffice it to say, he can see out of two red eyes again.

Samurai Jack: Episode XCV

- And we open to Jack having some sort of flashback-nightmare of one of the Daughters of Aku with Aku’s face that wakes him up after his fall last episode. Glad to see the flashbacks haven’t stopped. And then with all the crows (seemingly) screaming “Murderer”—his guilt over having to kill hasn’t gone away, even if he’s accepted having to kill the assassins as necessary. And it’s such a wonderfully surreal, charged moment, too.

(“They chose the path!” I’m still waiting for the pay-off in the form of Jack finding out the truth about that.)

- …And then we get the whiplash with another one of Ashi’s rants, and Jack’s perplexed reaction. “You… are very troubled.” I laughed.

- And Jack saves Ashi. Because of course he does. He is Jack, after all.

- Ashi laughing about Jack being a dead man walking inside the creature they get swallowed by, even as it’s clear she’ll die too if she doesn’t find a way out is very reminiscent of G’Kar in ‘Conviction’ in Babylon 5 when he and Londo get stuck in that broken-down turbo lift. …I approve of this development.

- Now it’s Ashi’s turn for flashbacks. Glad to see we’re getting some focused on the fact that she’s pretty traumatized, too.

- Glad to see Jack feels sympathetic for Ashi even if he doesn’t know why exactly she’s trying to kill him, even if he’s having to war with his own sense of self-preservation and his own frustration with her.


- “I like the back fur.” “You look hideous.” She just says it with so much loathing; it’s incredible.

- And Ashi appears to have (for now) given up on actively trying to kill Jack, and at least partly because of her mother’s abuse, rather than in spite of it. I actually really like that development, because honestly I really hate the Daughters’ mother and the idea of her horrific abuse of her children coming back to bite her (and hopefully ultimately being her undoing) satisfies me greatly.

(And just to get this out here now: I have no doubt that people will be shipping Jack X Ashi. I have no doubt that people have already begun shipping Jack X Ashi. I do not hold it against you, and I’m not opposed to the idea of it. Indeed, if the show carries it off well, I think I could like the ship. But for right now, I don’t want to see shippiness between them nearly as much as I just want to see the inevitable weird and weirdly heartwarming relationship between a severely depressed samurai suffering from PTSD and the horrifically abused young woman who was only ever taught how to kill and probably doesn’t even have much ability to survive on her own.)

Here is where I’m listing paintings I have for sale from the stash I’ve accumulated in my apartment over the years!  If you have wanted a Banshee or or some of my more well-known DS9 content, here it is!  There’s also some Babylon 5.

There’s a link in my sidebar to other paintings for sale, but this is a collection of just the new things that have been added!

All prices listed in US dollars, shipping costs the same for US and Canada.  Ask me if you want to ship elsewhere!  

Keep reading


No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free.

All right, Babylon 5 tag. I laughed, I cried, I made it through the series for the first time. Lay your fic recs on me. Especially interested in Ivanova-centric fic, alien culture/worldbuilding, and Londo/G’kar.

Vir Inter Veros

Vir had been, as Londo would have put it, ‘Emperor of the Great and Powerful Centauri Republic’, for exactly seven days before the news broke; dominating the ISN news cycle for almost a full day before a scandal involving an Earth senator took over.

Personally, he blamed Commander Ivanova. No, she was a General now. But either way this had her sneaky fingerprints all over it. 

Londo’s obstinate defiance of the Interstellar Alliance would probably go down in galactic history, and it wasn’t hard to imagine Ivanova leaking this in order to establish his credentials as a very different Emperor.

The headline was simple and to the point. 


Vir had always known that his activities during the second Occupation would eventually come to light, that Abrahamo Lincolni couldn’t stay buried forever. He wasn’t ashamed of what he had done, far from it, but it was certainly making things…. interesting.

The news might no longer dominate the galactic news cycle, but it had far from died down on Centauri Prime.

The Royal Court had been abuzz ever since the news had broken, and Vir had been quietly informed that there were movements afoot to have him removed from the throne as unfit to rule.

They’d been happy to have Cartagia sit the throne, but he was unsuitable? He would never understand his fellow Centauri.

The Centaurum had all but demanded he attend them, which would have been unthinkable until recently, and he summoned the Royal Guard before leaving his suite. He wasn’t Londo, but he could still demonstrate that he was no pushover.

They were walking down a deserted corridor when the two guards suddenly collapsed. Vir didn’t even have time to check on them before a hooded figure lunged out of the shadows, coutari in hand.

Vir fell back, almost stumbling over the prone body of one of the guards, and the assassin was upon him. The first lunge missed and Vir was suddenly close enough to wrestle for control of the weapon.

For a long second, they struggled together, but Vir dug into reserves he had all but forgotten about. He had faced down beings that would make this fool soil himself. Mr. Morden. G’Kar. Timov. What was an assassin in the face of that.

Slowly, Vir gained the upper hand, until the point of the coutari was aimed at the assassin’s own chest. As the blade slid home, for a second he was back on Narn, plunging the needle into Cartagia, then he was wrenched back to the present and he fought not to vomit as the assassin collapsed.

Stooping, he took the comm from the belt of one of the fallen guards, calling for reinforcements. Once they arrived he was going to have a talk with the Centaurum.


Five days after the attempted assassination of the Centauri Emperor once again propelled Vir into the news cycle, an unusual vessel arrived at Centauri Prime and requested permission to land.

No Narn vessel had been to the Homeworld since the Narn/Drazi fleets had devastated the planet, and it was sheer dumb luck that a trigger-happy pilot hadn’t shot them down on reflex.

Vir himself had to overrule the military and grant the vessel permission to land once he heard why, and he travelled out to the (distant) landing platform they had been assigned with a retinue of sycophants and guards.

The vessel’s hatch opened with a soft hiss as Vir walked out onto the platform, and a dozen Narn slowly filed down the ramp.

None of them could have been much older than Vir himself had been when he had first been assigned to Londo on Babylon 5, but their eyes were far older than his had been. 

Vir wished he didn’t know why.

The oldest looking of the Narn approached him slowly, and to his eternal surprise raised both closed fists to his chest in the Narn gesture of respect, bowing his head slightly.

Slowly, Vir mirrored the gesture, and heard the susurration behind him as all the courtiers started to whisper at once.

The Narn raised his head again, and spoke softly.

“My name is G’Von. During the Occupation you saved the lives of me and my family.”

He paused and swept his hand back towards the other Narn,

“You have touched all our lives. Either you saved us, or you saved members of our families. We swore an oath that if we had the opportunity, if we ever knew, truly knew, who had saved us, we would repay them.”

His eyes held a conviction that Vir recognised. It was a mirror of that which had always filled G’Kar’s. After a second he also recognised a faint hint of humour, and decided to play along.

“I once overheard G’Kar say that anyone with a Narn bodyguard would live to be one hundred and fifty years old.”

G’Von’s eyebrow tilted upwards, a sardonic gesture that was one of the few to truly translate across the boundaries of race throughout the galaxy.

“A challenge from the Prophet himself? We accept.”

The courtiers whispering suddenly silenced as the Narn moved as one unit, supplanting the Royal Guard to surround Vir in a defensive cordon.

Vir thought somewhat uncharitably that they were suddenly re-thinking any attempts on his life. G’Kar had firmly impressed on the Royal Court exactly how seriously Narn took their duties as bodyguards.

A vicious smile played at the corners of his mouth. Well wasn’t this going to be interesting.

Another ficlet prompted by the Babylon 5 podcast I’ve been listening to. If you haven’t already give them a listen.

been watching Babylon 5 season 4 and basically losing my mind over how good it is. everything about Londo and G’Kar is my ideal tangled web of alien political intrigue and angsty, quite possibly gay feelings. i have never understood the fandom phenomenon of “this is my favorite trash fire. i love my trash fire” until Londo Mollari doomed himself, his entire planet, and my heart.

who to fight on babylon five

Sinclair: you’ll win, but then the Grey Council will wipe everyone’s memories and swear that no one will speak of this again. don’t fight Sinclair.

Ivanova: Ivanova is always right. You will listen to Ivanova. You will not ignore Ivanova’s recommendations. Ivanova is God. And if this ever happens again Ivanova will personally rip your lungs out. Don’t fight Ivanova.

Delenn: she will D E S T R O Y  Y O U. jesus christ don’t fight Delenn

Sheridan: eh, why not. Go the fuck ahead. Interrupt one of his speeches about oranges by punching him in the fucking face.

Londo: please fight Londo. He deserves it. Get him drunk, fend off his awful romantic advances, and then beat him up and steal any important Plot Artifacts on his person. He’ll cry and it will be really embarrassing but just please take one for the team and fight Londo

G’Kar: you could fight G’Kar. You could even beat him. But then Na’Toth would murder you so really it’s not worth it.

Garibaldi: I don’t blame you for wanting to fight Garibaldi but come on he’s the security chief and a Loose Cannon™. Show some genre awareness! At least he probably won’t kill you? I suppose if you’ve got to fight someone, you could do worse than to fight Garibaldi. I SUPPOSE.

Franklin: why would you fight Franklin. Don’t fight him. Poor guy has enough on his plate what with daily crises of space medical ethics.

Kosh: fight Kosh. go on. It’ll be funny. You’ll be dead but it will be hilarious


Lennier: Fighting Lennier means fighting Delenn. What did I say about fighting Delenn

Vir: do you like kicking puppies in your free time too