beneath this mask there is more than flesh

two years ago when I was rewatching V for Vendetta on november 5th as I do every year, the concept of V’s mask stood out to me the most. at one point when Evey tries to take off V’s mask, he says, “There is a face beneath this mask but it’s not me. I’m no more that face than I am the muscles beneath it or the bones beneath them.” later on in the film when Creedy tries to kill V and yells, “ Die! Die! Why won’t you die?”, V responds, “Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.” 

I find deep parallels between V’s mask and hijab. in the first scene, V disidententifies from his body, knowing that his face, his flesh, “who he is”, is not him. and it is not important to see or know those things, in order to know him. in the second scene, the reason V won’t die is because he has already experienced a death before death- now all that is left are ideas, attributes that he reflects, which are also enhanced by his mask. 

this is how hijab has always made the most sense for me- not an extension of me, or an identification of me, but a negation of me. or rather, a negation of the “I” that is not me. I am most disitentified with my hijab when I try to identify it with my “self”. with “who I am”. those are the times when I am most immersed in my ego and that is the lens through which I see and try to understand most things. but my hijab best serves its purpose when it limits the “I” and it puts forth itself. when the ego is diminished, when it sees no self, no body, no beauty- just a mask, a costume, putting forth ideas and attributes that are reflected, no matter how dimly. 

Fic 518: Smell the Pines

Pyro//Heavy fluff for your enjoyment!


Pyro always forgot how much things smelled without their mask. Air, filtered through charcoal as it came into their mask in gasps, wheezes, or just normal breathing, all tended to smell the same beneath the thick, hard rubber. Not that it particularly mattered to them; the smells at 2Fort weren’t all that enjoyable to begin with. Gunpowder, body odor, charred human flesh… Just the regular sorts of smells you got when nine mercenaries lived in close quarters. Back in Teufort it always smelled of earth. Even on the brightest and clearest of days, the sand and rock seemed to permeate the air along with a hint of diesel. It wasn’t a smell they cared for, and they were more than happy to stay hidden beneath their mask.

But this… Everything smelled so… clean.

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Top 5 - Twilight of the Apprentice

for @jedifest16 Top Picks challenge

The s2 finale of Star Wars: Rebels was *the* Star Wars event of the year for me, the catalyst that sent me hurtling back into a fandom that I had distanced myself from for a long time. This episode single-handedly rekindled my love for Star Wars at a very dark time when I’d thought I had lost it forever.

Nothing can ever capture the tumult of emotion and the intensity of feeling I experienced while watching the now-iconic confrontation between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader. My heart exploded; my soul ascended. The moment Ahsoka slices open Vader’s mask is etched upon my memory forevermore: Vader, brought to his knees, and the voice of Anakin Skywalker, calling out the name of his beloved former apprentice.

Nothing can replicate it, and nothing can ever compare to it. But these five incredible fanworks sure come close. 


1. Over Now by dyingsighs

Hands-down, this is the TotA fan art I reblogged more than any other this year. This piece makes me feel things I didn’t even know it was possible to feel. Even now, all these months later, all I have to do is look at it and I want to burst into tears. The lump in my throat forms as soon as I read the words “And there he was: the man beneath the mask, the flesh within the machine. Anakin, my master, you shall be avenged.”  Just typing it out makes have to stifle a sob. Because this is such an incredibly important but often overlooked element of Ahsoka and Vader’s encounter – the fact that, all these years later, here in the midst of the Dark Times, in the depths of the Dark Side itself, Ahsoka Tano is declaring that she will avenge Anakin Skywalker. That Anakin Skywalker was, and still is, worth avenging.

2. Torn by lledra-fanstuffs

Another gorgeous and heart-wrenching piece that captures the overwhelming emotion of this episode. The composition is simple, yet incredibly moving. It feels almost like a look into Ahsoka immediately after her encounter with Vader. She stands in the darkness, clutching the shining Convor to her chest, a symbol so reminiscent of the Daughter of the Mortis arc—and of the moment when Anakin, via the Daughter and the power of the Force, brought Ahsoka back to life. And at her back, is a figure shrouded in almost complete Darkness, save for the hand that reaches out from the shadows and rests upon her shoulder. The pose is that of a master, reassuring his apprentice of a job well done.  It is ambiguous whether it is Anakin’s hand, or Vader’s. Perhaps it is the part of him that is still Anakin, reaching out from the Darkness to thank her, for trying to free him. And for choosing to remain with him, in his prison, no matter what he might say. 

3. Vader’s Mask in Twilight of the Apprentice by ncfan-1

Much has been written on this ep, but this is the meta that best captures my own thoughts and feelings on the significance of Ahsoka breaking into Vader’s mask. Far too many seem to interpret their entire encounter as something wholly angsty or tragic, but the OP manages to convey everything that I had felt while watching, and more. I often feel as though I hold a much less negative view of this entire episode, its symbolism and meaning, and on its eventual intended outcome than a large portion of the fandom, so it is lovely to know I’m not entirely alone. :) 

4. Time by theredsoxfan18

A fan vid that retells the tale of Ahsoka and Anakin/Vader in a devastatingly beautiful way. Somehow I manage to hold myself together most of the way through….until the part that says “and many possibly futures”, where I completely lose it. 

5. Ahsoka Tano by Darren Tan

Here, I leave you with a rare positive depiction of the Vader and Ahsoka encounter. I like to call it, ‘The Force Strikes Back’. It’s just such a beautiful interpretation of the moment when Ahsoka runs up behind Vader, just before she is about to slice open his mask. What I love is how it shows us the scene from his point of view. With the Convor flying behind her, she leaps through the air toward him, and he turns just a little too late (you can see the edge of his red blade just at the bottom of the composition). Ahsoka is coming for you, buddy. There is no escape. She is going to break into the prison made for the ‘Jedi who had lost his way’, and there she will stay, whether you will it or no.

V for Vendetta quotes #1 || Sentence meme
  • “People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
  • “Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea... and ideas are bulletproof.”
  • “Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.”
  • “Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.”
  • “You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.”
  • “Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.”
  • “Remember, remember the fifth of November of gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gun powder treason should ever be forgot.”
  • “My mother said I broke her heart...but it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it's all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us...but within that inch we are free.”
  • “Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.”
  • “I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one. An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having. we must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.”
  • “Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We've seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.”
  • “Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.”
  • “God is in the rain.”
  • “They say that life's a game and then they take the board away.”
  • “The past can't hurt you anymore. Not unless you let it. They made you into a victim, Evey. They made you into a statistic. But, that's not the real you. That's not who you are inside.”
  • “Love your rage, not your cage.”
  • "Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask."