Death Star Scientists

When I was reading Catalyst, it came to me how different is the story of the scientists working on the Death Star in current canon than in the EU.

Galen Erso and his colleagues are just doing their job, most of them don’t know what their work is going to be used for, that it’s going to be a weapon. Their knowledge is only on the need to know basis. They don’t have much choice, as refusing to participate is regarded at best as unpatriotic and at worst as a treason. The way they are recruited and how they are behaving is just so normal. Galen himself is a very principled man that cares about bringing positive change to the world.

In comparison, the scientists in the EU are a colourful bunch but without a shred of compassion. Bevel Lemelisk, the head architect of the Death Star, doesn’t have any moral dilemma about building a weapon of mass destruction. It’s actually something he wanted to do and the Empire gave him the green light for it. What Palpatine did to him as a punishment was both horrible and outlandish (and makes a good story imo). Lemelisk in the end was executed by the New Republic for genocide. The scientists at the Maw Installation are apathetic to morals bureacrats and only care about the advancement of their research (and bringing down each other). The only good scientist, Qwi Xux, despite her genius, was just naive as she thought the Death Star will be used to mine ores from asteroids and dead planets. The whole story of Tarkin kidnapping Omwati children and placing them in an orbital education centre where the failure on a test meant watching the destruction of their village makes a tragic backstory for her. Qwi is another victim of the Empire, taken as a child and shaped to obey and serve it with her intelligence, but when she realized the truth she felt responsible and acted to prevent the Empire from using her weapons anymore.

I’m not saying one version of the scientists is better than the other, but it’s interesting to see the differences and similarities. The canon takes a more realistic approach, while EU seems more like a fantasy, though in both some of the scientists thought their work was going to be used for good.

Debunking Myths of the Samurai

I recently attended a lecture on portrayals of masculinity in the age of the samurai. Pretty cool, huh? But something I learnt there was just how little is known about the samurai in the West. After a wonderful lecture, one chap put his hand up and said, “This is all very interesting, but what were they being when they weren’t samurai? Did they have ordinary lives? Could they marry? They couldn’t fight all the time, could they?”

Answers: they were never not being samurai, yes they had ordinary lives, yes they could marry, and no they didn’t fight all the time.

The confusion seems to spring from the western notion that ‘samurai’ is a job description. Moreover, comparisons with European knights abound, and these too can be misleading, so let’s look at some of the main myths about samurai that are widely believed.


False. The samurai were a social class. With few exceptions, people were born and died as samurai.

One famous exception was Hideyoshi Toyotomi who rose from humble origins to become ruler of most of Japan. He, and a few others, were promoted from peasant families. But these cases are rare enough that they are exceptional, and such men were usually promoted because they were extremely gifted or otherwise favoured by their lords.

Another way for a non-samurai to become a samurai was for them to be adopted into a samurai family. In such cases they would give up their old name and old family. Adoption was common when a samurai had no male heir.

There was no test to become a samurai; there was no ceremony at which people took on the role. Indeed it is best seen, not as a role at all, but as a class into which people were born.


Samurai are most often compared to mediaeval knights because they followed strict codes of morality and behaviour. But these codes cannot and should not be confused with the chivalric codes of honour attributed to western knights.

Obedience and loyalty were key to the samurai, but mercy and honour, as it is understood in the west, were not. For example, it was perfectly acceptable to stab an enemy in the back, or kill them by whatever means necessary.

By comparison, it was unacceptable for a samurai to BE stabbed in the back as this demonstrated cowardice.

Chivalric values tend to be characterised by Christian values of mercy and protection of the weak. These concepts were not prominent amongst the samurai. Duty to superiors was paramount, and effectiveness in overcoming enemies, by any means necessary.


'Honour’ is a loaded concept that, as we have seen above, carries with it notions of fair fights and chivalric behaviour.

However, to the samurai, honour meant one thing: loyalty to their lord.

The word 'samurai’ means 'servant’. 'Honour’, if such a concept existed, was something that evolved out of devotion to this service. The word, 'giri,’ frequently translated as 'honour’ is more accurately 'duty’ or 'obligation’, referring to the debt of obedience a samurai owed his lord.


Some were. Of this there is no doubt. The samurai emerged in a time when Japan was fragmented and ruled by warlords. At such a time, strength in battle was of oaramount importance.

They never lost their identity as warriors. However, from 1600 onwards, Japan entered a period of peacetime. While samurai still wore swords and were encouraged to learn the martial arts, skill on the battle field was, in practice, no longer a necessity.

Because of this, towards the end of the samurai period, many samurai shirked martial training and some never truly learned to use their swords. Remember, these were people who were born, not made. Some would have been born with a gift and talent for swordsmanship; others would have found they had talents elsewhere.


The samurai began as a noble elite who gained glory in battle, but in peacetime this all changed.

The samurai retained their wartime values and they were, in law at least, a privileged elite. For example, legally, they were allowed to kill members of the peasant class without retribution (although in practice this was rare, since society still had to function they were not all evil bastards!) Samurai also received a stipend from their lords, for their service as warriors, and this extended into peacetime, so they were paid even if they had no official duties to carry out. In peacetime, most took over bureacratic duties and became administrative officials. They received educations, unlike the peasant classes.

HOWEVER, towards the end of the Edo period, samurai stipends were, for many, barely a third of what a peasant farmer earnt at the time. This means that, although the samurai were an elite in some ways, they were often trapped in poverty. Many starved and died in famines, and others were forced into menial work to supplement their incomes.

Maxwell’s World voice acting auditions

Maxwell’s World needs your help in bringing characters to life! If you’ve got a voice, and a microphone, we could use your help!
Pick any number of characters, and read off the lines below. Send your audition files in any format to pastaspace2@gmail.com. Contributors get advanced access to the mod, their name in the credits, and a shipment of dire bees mailed to the address of their choice!

EDIT: Voice auditions are now REOPENED, but only for Andy and Gale! With well over 400 hundred applicants, the turnout was glorious in how insane it was. Thanks to all for participating!

EDIT: Auditions closed once again.

The characters are:

Paladin Wallace
As heavily clad in bureacratic bullshit as he is in power armor, Collin Wallace likes rules. The last survivor of a Brotherhood of Steel recon team, Wallace takes refuge in rationality and paperwork to deal with the fact that he’s trapped in what is basically hell. Still, once you sign his forms and agree to his contracts, Wallace is the kind of man who will stand by your side and burn down entire buildings while screaming scripture to comfort himself.
Looking for a male VA who can play an humorless, paranoid warrior.
Wallace’s Audition:
“Please be aware that, according to the Brotherhood Codex, section 6, subsection b, article 2.3, that by assisting any Brotherhood endeavors you agree to the forfeit of any and all items deemed “higher technology”, the specifics of which are detailed in article 5, somewhere… here, yeah there. You also acknowledge that you are under an official nondisclosure agreement and the operations of all Brotherhood contingencies are to be kept secret under pain of legal action and any and all fallen members at or over the rank of Paladin are not to be “looted” as defined in the first contract. Any questions? No? Good. Let’s go laser something.”

A carefree treasure hunter, Jenna came to the park seeking the fabeled treasures that Maxwell hid away, but now just wants to get out. Highly opinionated and highly energetic, Jenna is a planner, a do-er, and is the kind of person who hates not being busy. Despite this, Jenna has a strong moral backbone, and will stand fast to help out people even if she doesn’t like them, or finds them boring.
Looking for a female VA, sounds mid-twenties-to-thirties, who can play a rough, fast-talking Indiana Jones style character.
Jenna’s Audition:
“I chided them; told them that if they didn’t seen this coming, as smart as they were, that they were a bunch of fools. Well, actually the exact words I use were “God damned fucking morons who when it comes to foresight are as blind a bat with its head up its own ass and probably should be eating just as much shit”. They didn’t appreciate those commentaries.”

Jenna’s sister, and the woman who hires you to find Jenna in the first place. Gale, like her sibling, is a planner to an almost meticulous degree. She’s no preconceptions about the wasteland, and prefers bribery and straightforward coercion to any sort of diplomacy. Still, it makes her honest, and as long as you’re willing to abide by the unspoken rules, she’s happy to help you.
Looking for a female VA, who can play a calculating genius with no qualms about shooting you in the face if you try and double-cross her.
Gale’s Audition:
“There are 17 turrets currently pointed at you, all primed, all armed. Seven of them are missile turrets, five are laser turrets, and the other five are… Well honestly I don’t know. If you try to shoot me, know that the glass I am standing behind can withstand several rockets. I tested it. So, you can either leave peacefully, and you will leave with your life. Or, you can try something really stupid.”

An ancient, almost skeletal ghoul; Stoat was a teenage janitor at the park, just trying to get some money, when everything went to hell. Fast forward two hundred and ten years, Stoat is no longer the caretaker of Maxwell’s World, but its greatest enemy. Having survived for centuries dodging zombie clowns and malicious rides, Stoat is so completely insane that he’s entered a sort of supersanity, and he uses his knowledge of the park to help people try and escape, while mercifully killing those who don’t. Stoat sees things, and he’s more than a little unstable. But he’s ultimately got your best interests at heart.
Looking for a male VA who can play a wacky ghoul.
Stoat’s Audition:
“I went insane! I went totally insane! Look at me, I’m wearing the uniform of the same things that are trying to kill me! That’s so crazy! But crazy, ahhh, I found out that crazy is like an ocean. There are islands, little oasises of sanity that you can cling to. That’s you. I can’t escape the park, but you can. Or you’ll get eaten by a monorail. No wait, I think that asshole crashed. We’re doing good then.”


Two happy protectrons, that server as vendors in the park. Every vendor. Really. It’s hard to tell if they’re AI that jumps from robot to robot, or if they’re following you.
Either way, Andy and Andrea are here to sell you all the food, candy, and ammunition you can eat! Doesn’t matter if you don’t want it or not, they’ll happily shove it down your throat while telling you what a stupidly useless fuck you are.
Looking for a male VA and a female VA who can play cheerful, but vulgar and aggressive robots.
Andy’s Audition:
“You’re also going to die. You’re underequipped, you need help! But we’ve got what you need! Cotton candy and hot dogs to heal you! Soda to get away some of that nasty radiation! You’ll love it! Go ahead and buy some! Take some! It’s free! No cost, no need to buy! Just eat the food! Eat the food! Shove this food into your stupid fucking face you giant god damned asshole! Eat the food! You really should! You’re going to die!”

Andrea’s Audition:
“Those guns are fucking shit, like you! You need better guns! Why not have Captain Cosmos’s raygun, if you’re enough of a fucking idiot to use energy weapons! Or if you’re a dumbass who is into explosives why not get this firework gun. You definitely need it. You let your family die! After all, you’re such a pathetic waste of space, you really think you can escape without our help? Give in, buy some ammunition! You don’t stand a chance! Come on and buy! You couldn’t protect them! Buy!”

Mister Maxwell
Mister Maxwell was the Walt Disney of Fallout. Kind of literally. The owner of Maxwell Enterprises (itself the owner of Hubris Comics and just about every other entertainment company in the USA), Maxwell was a joyous fellow of unlimited imagination, whose goal in life was to bring happiness as many people as possible. Maxwell’s World was his greatest project, his magnum opus. Unfortunately, the apocalypse happened. Maxwell might be a nuclear puddle, but something else lives on in the park. It wears his face, talks like him, and is still dedicated to bringing joy. But “joy” under Maxwell’s definition now means trapping souls in the park forever, to become part of his army of the dead.
Looking for a male VA who can put on their best Walt Disney impression, or can play a kindly, soul-stealing evil demigod entertainment mogul.
Maxwell’s Audition:
“Why do you persist? Are you afraid of death? Why? I haven’t killed you, not ever. I don’t want to. All I want is the same thing you want. For you to be filled with joy.  I really wouldn’t escape if I were you. The world, out beyond the gates, it’s radiation filled, raider filled, there’s nothing but pain and pointless struggle. Stay! Give into temptation. The preachers act like that’s a bad thing, but I promise you food, I promise you shelter, I promise you fun!”

anonymous asked:

how do u feel about s/tevebucky fans claiming that CW is about their otp's ship and their ship only and not about the war at all

i mean lbr if that were our ship we’d probably be the same so i’m like HAPPY AF FOR THEM that they get to have this bc good god at least it’s a ship with proper history and development unlike brucen*t or the bartons. 

on a deeper level though, ha, well.

it’s hard to say this early bc yeah a trailer is of course cut with the most dramatic scenes possible to get us hyped up and excited. they want to generate conflict to create buzz and thus get ppl talking all the way to may 2016. but i find it hard to believe that a film directed by the russos who were so capable of creating a smart, intelligent socio-political commentary out of TWS would then make a sequel that’s just complete shipper fodder?? which is what CACW is being set up as from the trailer we have. 

even if we don’t take the trailer into account, it’s the budget version of civil war. everything is shallower and less significant bc they just don’t have the key ideas and themes that drove 616′s civil war and made it so compelling. there’s no stamford i.e. the catalyst for SHRA. there’s no one outside the core team cap / team iron man involved in the war. there’s no tony being strongarmed into playing the political game as director of shield and the various military and bureacratic mechanisms there. 

most of this can be partly forgiven because it’s a cap film and i don’t expect them to spend half the amount of time on tony and his motivations. (like….. civil war shouldn’t have been billed as civil war at all. the very thing they’re fighting about is the comic arc ‘the trial of captain america’ like newsflash bucky actually does go to trial, willingly, because he recognizes it as The Right Thing To Do. all of this fighting is just extraneous drama for people who are too deeply invested in marvel to swim out of this endless hell.)

but okay, if you want to foreground the emotional significance of bucky and steve’s relationship and make the political motivations secondary that raises 2 worrying things. 1) you turn it into a war about bucky being waged for bucky and it becomes not a captain america story but one about steve. and that’s fine on many levels, i’ve seen people celebrating it because after all steve’s given up of himself shouldn’t he be allowed this one act of selfishness?? but it’s also counter-productive because sorry steve, we love you, but you carry the cap mantle and its burden. you cannot fight a war just for one man. and that’s what the trailer, and the shipping, has skewed it into becoming.  

which leads me to 2) if you want to argue that steve would risk all of this for one person he’s already compromised. he’s compromised and unwilling to admit that if anyone else were in his position, running from the government and waging war on them, they’d be seen as extremely dangerous. it wouldn’t be okay for any one man to round up a bunch of his friends and be like ‘okay we’re against this particular law’. and in the end we just don’t see ???  enough of steve’s beliefs and ideals and what actually makes him as captain america so worthy of greatness and heroism ??? if you turn his narrative in CACW, or even TWS, into a story that centers entirely around a ship (which people, likewise, do to bucky; or any ship tbh it’s a byproduct of just loVING a ship that much) you take that away from him. you lessen the ‘plant yourself like a tree beside of the river of truth’ impact he has on galvanizing an entire nation to become split down the middle because he is asking damn important questions about politics, ethics, morality, and the very existence of superheroes. 

anti-reg, and the ideals that steve should, in theory be fighting for, are very much things that have to be fought for. these are challenges that need to be made to a government that’s been infiltrated by HYDRA for god knows how long. it’s so crucially important to who steve is and what he represents that he is never complacent, never at rest where there is injustice that could be fought and wrongs to be made right.

to make it all about bucky is great for shipping purposes but tragic for great storytelling and the progression of his character arc. 

Licca Character + Sappy Post by Star

Warning: Sappy post incoming
So honestly Licca and the characters in it mean so much to me. I didn’t really expect anything when I shared my idea on stream, and I’ve always wanted to make this game since I was a little child, so to see the outstanding amount of fanart and other things just touches my heart. Recently, I was describing to hawker a main character that I’ve always had in mind, Andromeda (I call her Ande for short), who is probably the character that I’ve put the most work into and the one I relate to the most aside from my son. Hawker drew this amazing piece of concept art for me, and honestly I cried for like 15 minutes about it. Hawker is an amazing artist and a very very dear friend and to see her create one of my characters touched me really deeply. SO I guess I’m making this post to just share another character of Licca, and to say please give love to hawker for being amazing. 

Seriously, it really means so much to me that you guys have even given any sort of consideration for my silly little characters. This game is extremely personal to me, so I just wanted to thank you all. Especially hawker. You rock hawk <3

For those of you who don’t know the legend of Andromeda, I recommend you go read it, it’s extremely interesting. Actually, I haven’t shared any other characters yet but hopefully I can do that soon, all of the characters are named for constellations, and each constellation has a story that relates kinda to the character. (Except Canis Major and Canis Minor cuz there’s not much to work with lol) Basically, Andromeda was chained to a rock as sacrifice to a monster, but saved my Perseus, who she weds.  Andromeda is a bureacrat, who is the daugher of a rich family. She had a really intense and fiery personality in childhood, but became lost in the later part of her life after battling issues with depression and a lack of any personal connection to her job, as well as a lack of meaningful relationships. Eventually, after an altercation with her boyfriend at the time, she realized that all she was was a cog in a machine, and that no one could ever truly love her for who she was, which drives her to suicide. Basically I wanted to mirror the myth of Andromeda, but Perseus never comes and shes devoured by her own self doubts. When Licca finds her in the game, she works in the galaxy as an extremely popular high-end singer in a jazz bar, as she rediscovered herself through music after her death. At first, Andromeda is extremely reluctant to join Licca, as she’s happy where she is, and refuses to join the others and become just another ‘cog in the machine again.’ I wanted to frame her redemption story to have her realize that there can be a lot of joy found in being with others, and that her music isn’t just for her but for everyone. After all, what is music if no one is there to enjoy it? Thus she realizes that instead of making music for dead people all by herself, she’d rather take charge of her life again and be reborn anew.
She’s got a bit of a rough personality, if it’s not obvious from her sketch, and is flippant and rude but has a soft spot for children, which helps Licca get into her life in the first place. 

Theres obviously going to be more to it than that and it is kinda cliche, but I wanted this whole game to be a love song to creators, and to encourage people that not everyone is a lonely genius, and that the some of the best joy in creating things is getting to share it with the people you love. Inspiring people is the best part of my job, and making things that touch people, so I wanted to share that joy with everyone through a game so I could hopefully make people happy. CALL ME AN IDEALIST IF YOU WANT I AM SECRETLY A SAP

SO YEah, sorry for taking up yalls time, I know I vomited my feelings all over this which is disgusting so please feel free to ignore this XD I just wanted to throw my thoughts out somewhere, and share hawk’s amazing work. Andromeda is my baby, even though she’s like 15 years older than me. I’ll shut up now.

the STATE with a privileged class and network of bureaucrats allows private industry to infiltrate government, our food, our schools etc and to colonize and monopolize all of our land and resources…CREATING poverty. poverty is a lack of resources, a by product of capitalism, that creates desperation. this is the greatest CRIME by the state. it does not serve the people, smash it. :)
Being that you’re a philosophy major and have an ‘A’ average in all your English courses, we can safely assume you know how to write. However, you need to go through a complicated process and submit 15 pages of papers from classes you’ve taken here over the years which must be the original papers with the teacher’s grading and comments on them (hope you’ve saved all those) and the teachers still must sign a form certifying that they are real papers and also you need to complete a separate assigned paper from the writing proficiency office and also you will need to come and take a timed essay and if any of these steps are not completed we will put you on academic probation and not graduate you because now that you only have less than one year left of college we want to make sure you have basic writing proficiency…
—  my college