All of us as women have a friend, or a relative, or have gone through [some kind of abuse] ourselves. There are all of these playful sort of comments on Big Little Lies about women’s manipulation or women’s dirty secrets, but in fact the biggest little lie is how we carry shame about what men have done. We have to learn to use our voice to protect ourself and each other, because there is no shame in what another person has done to us, and it’s time to defend ourselves and demand to be treated with respect. That’s such a profound thought—I just felt privileged to be a part of that story.
I wrote a 25-page paper on Star Wars arguing that “bringing balance to the Force” didn’t mean “the Jedi will be 100% in control” (and of course not the opposite) but bringing the two aspects of the Force into alignment, using Anakin as a case study. Brief recap of my paper:
The Jedi literally don’t know that slavery still exists in the galaxy and are shocked when Shmi says “The Republic doesn’t exist out here… We must survive on our own.” So like… the fuck.
Anakin asks Qui-Gon “Have you come to free us?” and Qui-Gon says “No, I’m afraid not,” to which Anakin replies, “Why else would you be here?” Here we can see the innocence and goodness in Anakin juxtaposed against the moral ambiguity of the Jedi. They’re there for repairs on their ship - nothing more, nothing less. Witnessing slavery does nothing to change those priorities.
The Jedi take a child away from his mother, and when Anakin is (rightfully) scared for his mom, who has been left in slavery, the Jedi are still like well, you know, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, enforcing the laws against slavery seems kinda like a lot of work so we’re just not gonna get involved. That’s like… not quite what you would expect from the “Light” Side.
Anakin is literally a child whose mother has been left in slavery and, understandably, he’s kind of freaked out. Instead of acknowledging Anakin’s pain as legitimate and working with him, the Jedi take an oppositional stance, telling Anakin that “Fear is the path to the dark side” - a phrase that was much more apt in the Original Trilogy than it is here, where Anakin is only nine, and his fears are 100% rational.
Obi-Wan asks Anakin if he’s sleeping poorly because of his mom, Anakin basically admits yes, and Obi-Wan says “Dreams pass in time.” Uh, Obi-Wan, I’m sure you have good intentions and all, but the problem isn’t in the dream world. Anakin’s dreams are a reflection of the actual, legitimate, very real danger his mother is in, and Obi-Wan’s response only dismisses Anakin’s fear and drives him further away from the Jedi Council. And, again, the Jedi could have fixed this entire situation by either rescuing his mother or actually trying to stop slavery instead of just paying lip service to the idea.
Anakin and Padmé fall in love, and Padmé is like “yo is this, like, allowed to happen for you??” and Anakin says “Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is central to a Jedi’s life, so you might say we’re encouraged to love.” So… Taking a woman’s child so he can fulfill their prophecy and leaving that woman alone and enslaved on a desert planet is compassionate behavior now? Right. Sounds fake, but okay. Also, Anakin is literally pointing out the hypocrisy in that statement - so you can love humanity and people, but you can’t love a person? That’s super weird.
Falling in love is like… not really something you can help? Especially not the first time. Just, you know, speaking as the classic lesbian who has fallen for a straight best friend… just saying “don’t do that” is not really going to help. At all.
At this point, the Jedi have created a situation where if Anakin falls in love (as he is wont to do as a literal teenager who was not brought up in the Jedi Order of his own volition), he has to keep that love secret or a) risk expulsion from the Jedi and b) prove them “right” that he can’t be trusted. Which, you know, nobody wants to do.
Padmé tells him that he “had a nightmare again last night,” and Anakin says, “Jedi don’t have nightmares.” Yo, what the fuck. This kid is a teenager, his mom is on a desert planet and enslaved, and now he feels like he’s not even allowed to have nightmares? Which are not conscious? I get that the Jedi are supposed to have total control over themselves, but first of all, that’s a completely unrealistic expectation to have of anyone, much less a teenager, and second of all, that’s a real fucked up thing to imply on a mental health level. “You’re guilty, even for the pain that your brain is inflicting on you from childhood trauma in situations (i.e., unconsciousness) that you can’t even control!” Yeah, no. There is no way that could possibly go well.
If Anakin is made to feel guilty for being scared or having nightmares or missing his mom from whom he was taken when he was not even ten years old, and Jedi are pointing to those feelings as evidence that he is dangerous and untrustworthy, he is put in a situation where he cannot admit that he needs help and therefore cannot access help. Like, just get the kid a shrink! And maybe rescue his mom! There are ways to address this and help Anakin stop having feelings, if that’s something we really have to do, without shaming him, which is gross and also distinctly unhelpful.
Anakin goes back to Tatooine to find his mom, she’s been kidnapped and tortured by Tusken Raiders, she dies in his arms, and he slaughters the Tuskens and vows to become so powerful he will be able to stop people from dying. Which, like, is not ideal - not condoning murder - but he’s also seen his mother for the first time in years, like at least half a decade, and he is a) completely overrun with survivor’s guilt and b) rightfully grieving and c) also rightfully pissed the fuck off that he finally sees him mom again only to have her die in his arms. Like, I’d be pissed, too. And you know what helps with grief? Talking it out!! Therapy!! Friendship!! You know what Anakin doesn’t have? Literally any of those things. He can’t admit that he’s grieving his mom because it would threaten his place in the Jedi Order. The Order’s strictness continues to place him in a catch-22 where admitting he needs help is already condemning him.
Anakin beats Count Dooku in part because he is furious that Palpatine has been “captured” and taps into the Dark Side with that emotion. THEN, Padmé’s like “surprise, I’m pregnant,” and Anakin (again, understandably) flips the fuck out. He has nightmares about her dying in childbirth, and guess who he can’t go to for advice or help or even consolation? The Jedi!! Wow, this is going so well for everyone, what great policies we have here.
The Jedi Council want Anakin to spy on Palpatine, and Anakin (correctly) points out to Obi-Wan that this goes against the Jedi Code, against the Republic, and asks why Obi-Wan is asking this of him… to which Obi-Wan replies, “The Council is asking you.” So, you know, this doesn’t exactly endear Anakin to the Council, who have already been pretty shitty to him and are now seemingly hypocritical as well.
Palpatine says to Anakin, “Be careful of the Jedi, Anakin. They fear you. In time they will destroy you.” and yeah, he’s playing on Anakin’s confusion and suspicions and totally using him as a pawn here, but he’s also right. The Jedi have proven themselves to not have Anakin’s best interests at heart, even if they have good intentions. And they do fear Anakin, so, you know, that whole “non-attachment prevents fear” thing isn’t really working out for them either.
Palpatine tells Anakin that the Dark Side can allow you to control death, and Anakin (who, let’s remind ourselves, has watched his mother die in his arms) begs to know how so he can save Padmé should his nightmares come true and she die in childbirth. And, again, since he can’t go to the Jedi for any help with this, he feels he has no choice but to trust Palpatine.
Here we get to a real fun sequence of events. Palpatine tells Anakin he’s a Sith. Anakin threatens to kill Palpatine, but doesn’t, so he can maintain the possibility of learning how to save Padmé. He goes to tell the Jedi, who rush into action and don’t allow him to join them because they think his fear will cloud his judgment, ignoring the fact that a) they’re scared out of their asses too, and b) he literally just betrayed someone close to him??? for people who have really been nothing but shitty??? So I feel like Anakin’s doing surprisingly well rn and the Jedi are basically like, “Yeah, great, but also fuck you and stay here.”
Soooooooo, Anakin goes to save Palpatine (again, to then save his wife), and in order to save him he kills a Jedi. At this point, Anakin’s like “I’m completely fucked,” which is true (although he’s been fucked from the beginning because the Jedi suck), and he pledges himself to Palpatine because he doesn’t think he has any other option.
Okay, then he goes and murders a bunch of kids, so like. That’s not great. Not gonna condone that. This was A Mistake™. I think we can all agree on that. Moving on.
Obi-Wan and Yoda see footage of Anakin’s fun murder time and Obi-Wan goes to try to find and defeat Anakin. In order to find him, he tells Padmé what happened and then hides away on her ship.
Padmé talks to Anakin, flips out when she realizes Obi-Wan was telling the truth, and as she tries to talk Anakin down from his panic- and grief-fueled descent into insanity he says, “I won’t lose you the way I lost my mother! I’ve become more powerful than any Jedi has ever dreamed of and I’ve done it for you. To protect you.”
Side note, at this point I get annoyed because, like, Anakin, she literally Did Not Ask. Buddy, pal, friend, she specifically told you not to do this. I know your heart is in the right place, but like, this really could have all been prevented if you’d just listened to your wife. Why are the women in Star Wars consistently the only people who know what the fuck is going on?
Obi-Wan reveals himself, Anakin thinks Padmé betrayed him, and Force-chokes her. So, like, again, the anger is understandable, the Force-choking is not. Not going to defend that.
As Obi-Wan and Anakin fight, Anakin says something extremely telling: “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.” He isn’t lying. He isn’t even exaggerating. The Jedi have fucked him over at every turn. And the point that is being made here is that Anakin descends into madness because he, like the Jedi, lives at moral extremities. He goes mad and gives himself over to the Dark Side because the Jedi have thoroughly erased any possibility of a middle ground.
The utter distrust that the Jedi Council have of “Gray Jedi” and the fact that “Gray Jedi” means both people who walk the middle ground of the Force and people who don’t answer to the authority of the Jedi Council also point to this. We can see this with Jolee Bindo and Qui-Gon, among others. If you walk the middle line, the Jedi will turn their backs on you. (Pro tip: if nobody is allowed to disagree with you, you’re probably not the good guys.)
Aaaaaaaaand finally the whole fight ends and Anakin becomes a weird lava-deformed creature of the night and when he finally wakes up and asks Palpatine if Padmé is okay, Palpatine says, “It seems in your anger, you killed her.” So, Anakin at this point a) is consumed with self-hatred, b) has nothing to live for because all of his loved ones either hate him (Obi-Wan) or are dead (Padmé, theoretically), and c) feels like he has no way out of the horrifying mess he’s put himself in. And here the prequels end.
What I’m trying to say here is that the Jedi aren’t perfect, and they don’t always use the Force for good. (See: “slavery is cool, we guess.”) Their emphasis on shutting out your emotions is ultimately what drives Anakin to the Dark Side because they allow no room for mistakes and therefore erase the possibility of Anakin ever getting help. Or, you know, compassion, which is supposed to be the Jedi version of love. So… The Sith suck. But the Jedi also suck. Not as much, for sure, but they are definitely guilty of some real fucked up things.
Now for the fun part!!!!! Rey, in Ep. VII, wins her battle against Kylo when she gets pissed. You can also see in that scene that when he’s overpowering her, you can see both the red and blue light reflected in her eyes, and when she closes her eyes and thinks “use the Force” and opens her eyes again, you only see the red.
What that piece said to me, and what this trailer and the poster say to me, is that “balancing the Force” means recognizing that emotions are not evil unto themselves, that you can love people and use that love to fuel goodness. Rey has the potential to balance the Force because she has already proven that she can harness emotion, be driven by emotion, and still use that for the Light Side.
Anyway, I fucking love Star Wars, meta is great, Rey can kick my ass any day, and if I’m right and these trailers are backing up my theory I am literally going to lose my mind.
We had a new player once. He decided “Hey cool, barbarians sound awesome. I want to be a barbarian trapper. I shall regale you with his antics :
1. Upon entering a dense forest in search of some Kobolds who were preparing to attack a nearby town, Steve rolls perception and spies a deer. He’s bringing up the rear and veers away from the party. We find him later, playing checkers with a band of Pixies in a clearing. Apparently he had rolled a Nat 20 for animal handling and the deer led him here. The deer is nearby just watching. Everyone in the circle turns to look at the party.
Steve : Oh hey guys. These are my friends.
The rest of the party : *Bewildered stare*
Steve : We can’t really talk to each other. But I’ve named them. This little guy is Peter. That one is Vicky. And that little bugger over there is Steve Jr. I’ve always wanted a Steve Jr.
Tiefling rogue : Uh… Steve… We have a mission.
Steve : Oh! Right! *looks at the pixies* Bye guys! We’ll catch up later.
Dwarf Cleric : You sure you’re not a druid?
2. Steve was with the party in a goblin cave. He’s a bit ahead scouting as a meatshield/warning bell. After a few moments we no longer hear him moving ahead of us. We stop, the rogue stealths ahead to find Steve in a side store room sitting at a table with a few goblins. They’re playing some form of poker on a rickety table of explosive powder. Steve is smoking a pipe we’ve never seen before. The rogue brings the party up.
Steve : (in goblin) Oh don’t mind them. Those are my friends. (To the party) Hey guys! Check it out. These dudes are super cool!
The goblins smile and wave.
Tiefling Rogue : Steve… We need to have a chat.
Steve : Sure. What’s up?
Tiefling Rogue : Okay first of all, We think you have a wandering problem. And a gaming problem. Where the hell did you get that pipe? And you -DO- realize we’ve been paid to kill these goblins right?
Steve : Aww… But these dudes are super cool! See? We’re playing poker.
Rogue : Steve. We have to kill them.
Steve : Shame… *turns to the goblins while unlimbering his great axe, aptly named The Axe of Steve* Look fellas. I’m really sorry about this.
3. After arriving at a local farming community and meeting some locals, Steve wanders off to set some traps to check in the morning. The farmers have agreed to purchase anything he catches. It’s been a rough harvest season. The next morning he goes to check the traps. Alone. And finds an owl bear.
Steve : Oh man. Check you out! What a magnificent beautiful bastard you are! (ooc) I’d like to roll animal handling to see if we can be friends. *rolls a Nat 1*
There is a cairn stone in the clearing where we found him with the Pixies. Steve died that day. The owl bear proved to be too much for his gentle nature.
*Solves a Puzzle* Yeah, you like that shit? You fuckin' like that?! Does that make you horny? Does that make you want to fuck me? 'Cause it does for me! If I saw myself doin' that shit, I'd be like "Damn, I'd fuck that dude!"
*Silence, Followed by Giggles* It's just a shame when we don't have facecam. Like, that just sounded like a moment of silence, but what it was, in reality, was me very slowly turning to look at Arin with my eyes wide and mouth agape, speechless.
You don't know that, Armin! Come on, we still know nothing about the world out there! You still haven't seen the ocean, right? There's so much to learn about the world, you can't give up! If we just go beyond the walls-
*Flashback to what happened to Faye when she went beyond the walls*
*Ceremony where Historia gives out rewards commences*
Eren, in his thoughts:
I know that our situation is bleak, and if I can change I'd be willing to sacrifice my life. And yet, I can't bring myself to sacrifice Historia.
This is a reference to how Eren know that, when he activated the coordinate, he was touching a titanized royal (Dina), so they might be able to activate it by titanizing Historia. But he didn't tell anyone.
*Kisses Historia's hand*
--------Memory is awakened in Eren----------
*Back when Grisha was confronting Freida, before he ended up killing them all*
Come on guys just use your powers to kill everyone trying to kill the people I love so the people I love don't have to die.
*Glares at Grisha*
Anyways so the guillotines pretty much got rid of all the titans and they retook wall Maria. And there's almost no titans left on the island.
So I guess all the titans are killed. One thing off Eren's bucket list.
SO a lot of months passed and they set off to find the ocean.
Another one off the bucket list. Productive day.
*FLIPS THE FUCK OUT*
*Somewhat sullen, contemplative*
So... on the other side of that ocean, there's people who are going to try to kill us.
We aren't free yet. Is killing the people who oppose us what it takes to finally be free?
Also who does your hair it's fabulous
Sorry this wasn't as funny. hopefully it's easy to understand, at least.
❝ Ah! Good, you are here. I was just about to go out and look for you. So I have a good one for you, even though it’s arguably a story better kept for a good round of Wicked Grace. I was just strolling about the walls of Skyhold a few hours ago, and I suddenly get the urge to go and say hi to our Commander. So, I knock on his door, walk in and there he i, in nothing but his underwear, polishing his armor like there is no tomorrow. He looks at me, his face twists in pure horror and then drops to his knees underneath his table. Did I ever tell you I absolutely love it here? ❞
A young girl climbed up a step ladder to stand at the podium before a tense Charlotte City Council meeting.
Petite in size, with braids in her hair and hearts on her t-shirt, Zianna Oliphant collected herself and delivered her message loud and clear.
“It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed and we can’t see them anymore. It’s a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side.”
some thoughts on rory and logan in the revival, since i am forever confused and emotionally anguished about that whole ish, but in a way where i simultaneously find the writing oddly exquisite because if nothing, at least the revival seems to have clearly decided that logan is rory’s The One, but rory just can’t have nice things because [footage not found, who knows what asp was thinking there]??:
on one level they’re clinging to each other because they are each other’s strongest memory of being young and fancy free and defiant and full of possibility. their relationship represented a time in their lives when they were free, and taught each other how to be freer; they both gave each other the courage to be bold and try new things and cast off the familial obligations and expectations that shackled them, and i think when we meet them again in the revival, they miss that desperately, especially considering where they are now in their lives.
logan is the heir to the family business, the exact future he dreaded; his engagement is an extension of that dutifulness. rory is failing at the one thing she has always based her future, her whole identity, her value around.
i think neither of them like themselves very much when we meet them again in the revival, and so they don’t feel worthy of being together in a real, ‘take a chance on me’ kind of way. instead, they’re being shady assholes about it. but what they do still really like is each other.
and it’s obvious from the way they act with each other that this isn’t a no-strings-attached hookup situation. they talk about drycleaning and work; logan gives rory thoughtful feedback on her work prospects; they go out to lunch together to talk about their days; rory keeps boxes at logan’s place. calling logan when she’s upset is a reflex for rory, and as soon as she calls, logan says, ‘talk to me, i’m here.’ they are acting like married people, not hookup buddies.
but neither of them can admit it. because logan is stuck in the dynastic plan, and rory is determined to be rootless, because if she’s being rootless it means she hasn’t failed, and she cannot admit that the only roots she’s put down tie her to a person instead of the career she has always aspired toward. i think that logan is way more consciously willing than rory is to throw it all away and get back together, but rory won’t, can’t go there, because she’s failed and this isn’t where she was supposed to be and maybe she doesn’t want it to seem like she’s falling back into his arms out of necessity because she can’t take care of herself.
and so they have this grand goodbye that is a testament to their wild happy youth together, and they’re so sad to part at the end of it, but they both feel that they’ve wandered so far away from the people that they were when they were together that there’s nothing holding the current versions of themselves together.
they’re on such separate paths (and have failed their young selves so severely) that they feel like there’s no way to navigate their way toward what they each secretly want, which is to be together as adults, to be moving into the future together instead of clinging to the past together.
and then rory finds out that she’s pregnant, and obviously logan is the father. the universe handing them a future.
and i would just love it if the revival had gone on for, oh, i dunno, twenty more minutes. and we could see emily at luke and lorelai’s formal wedding (walking lorelai down the aisle! this will be forever canon to me!), and the whole town gathering together for one last celebration, and rory deciding to tell logan about her pregnancy because hey, actually, history doesn’t have to repeat itself. and you know logan wouldn’t hesitate, because all he needed was for her to say the word.
sure, we wouldn’t have the same final four words (what … a shame … ?), but we could have a sure, happy, hopeful ending for rory, where she’s figuring out where she wants to take her career, but at least she’ll have the person she loves by her side.
(hypothetical new final four words: lorelai, rory, and emily are hanging out together on the couch in the gilmore-danes living room in their pajamas, picking at leftover wedding cake. the final four words are lorelai’s epiphany. “i’m the grandma now.” rory smiles, tickled. lorelai balks, for comedic effect [or IS it?]. the camera lingers for a moment on a shot of our three gilmore girls, just as emily begins to smirk the world’s queenliest and most satisfied smirk. cut to black, THE END.)
You know, given that prince Adam was 11 when he was turned into the Beast, it is a damn shame we don’t have more artwork of a younger Beast.
Just imagine how cute he’d be with these short, stubby horns and soft, downy fur. His mane would still be small and fuzzy and sticking up all over the place. Imagine his lil toe beans.
We know that he was quite a lil brat (which is why he was turned into a beast in the first place), but after having such a traumatizing experience as being turned into a beast, I’d imagine he’d be in a rather vulnerable headspace, leaving him to rely more heavily on his servants.
So while he’s all lost and confused, his servants would step up to the plate and look after him. Not out of any sense of love or anything, he is an annoying brat after all, but because they’re decent human beings and they’re not just gonna leave a little kid to fend for himself, even if he was the reason they’re all under the curse.
So imagine Cogsworth taking up tutoring him - just because they’re all under some potentially eternal curse is no reason for him to fall behind on his studies.
Imagine Ms Potts nagging at him to wash his fur properly and having steaming cups of tea ready for him after his bath.
Imagine Lumiere telling him bedtime stories and watching over him while he sleeps, keeping at least one of his lights on all night because he knows Adam is still afraid of the dark even though he insists he isn’t anymore.
Imagine Fifi knowing all the places he’s especially ticklish so that she can make him laugh whenever he’s feeling especially depressed about missing his parents or not being able to leave his castle.
Imagine that over time, this bratty little prince comes to respect his servants, whom he used to look down on. He treats them nicely and listens to what they say and looks forward to his company.
And the servants, they come to adore their little prince who is now so bubbly and bright and in some ways, so much happier than he was as a human.
Imagine Adam is 15, and he’s sitting in the library one day, not really paying attention to whatever Cogsworth is trying to teach him. And when Cogsworth notices that his pupil’s attention has wandered, he smacks the child upside the head to get his attention, and begins lecturing him about how important it is to put effort into his studies.
For a moment, Adam is stunned, because once upon a time, Cogsworth wouldn’t have dared lay a hand on him, or speak to him so disrespectfully. Once upon a time, Adam would have had him banished from his kingdom for so much as disagreeing with him.
Now he only feels a kind of fond exasperation.
He’s come to see his servants as more than just tools for his using - he’s come to see them as humans with lives and thoughts and opinions of their own. And he loves them all deeply, and they love him in return.
And it’s just as he makes this realization that everything explodes in a warm rush of glittering gold magic.