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  1. Does this quote read as ungracious and entitled to anyone else? The doctors are human beings, not gods who can simply reshape someone's body. I thought the doctors were very clear that they would do the best they could, but that Jazz's lack of penile growth meant an experimental surgery with no guaranteed results. I seem to recall Dr. Bowers, in particular, strongly recommending an alternate path with testosterone cream that Jazz refused to do because she didn't want to push through her dysphoria around her genitals.
  2. I don't think we'll ever know how Abrams hoped the story he started in TFA would be developed. Everyone is too professional to get that explicit (I think!). But I wouldn't be surprised if this was exactly his intention, and it was a fairly common way of seeing Kylo Ren (hence the popularity of the emo Kylo Ren Twitter). I definitely shared that interpretation, too. I suppose we do know from Adam Driver's hints that some form of redemption was always expected for Ben, but I don't think Abrams had any plans of it being through Reylo. I think he expected it to be through Han and Leia (and maybe Luke), letting Kylo Ren know it was never too late to metaphorically come home. In case it wasn't clear, I don't mean that Ren's victims are nobodies within the context of the fictional universe. I meant that they are literally not actual people, as in this is a fictional story. One of the things that's been interesting for me in all of the sequel trilogy discussions is seeing the very different ways we all respond to fiction. And there's no wrong or right with this--there's simply what's personally satisfying. But I do think it's important to acknowledge that Kylo Ren fans are probably not actually arguing that murder is no big deal but rather that they're responding to the symbolic journey. Even the Ben Solo-deserved-better people, IMHO, aren't handwaving away massacres... they're seeing Ben as a child who was abused and manipulated into doing horrible things that he didn't want to do and who never had a chance to live independently. That's why I'm personally more bothered by the handwaving of Poe's mutiny than I am the Bendemption. I get how Kylo Ren's story can function on metaphorical level for people who have hurt friends/family members because of potentially forgivable things (e.g. addiction, unrealized neglect), so I can respond to it symbolically. But I don't get how Poe's story functioned that way, and so I can only respond to its literal level.
  3. I was under the impression that many fans do ship Finn and Rey and that the main reason there aren't more is that people were too busy shipping Finn with Poe. In any event, Kylo Ren is a classic Beast for a Beauty and the Beast type of relationship. I don't know why anyone is still surprised by the popularity of this arechetype. I'm no fan of it, including the original fairy tale and Disney's spin on it, but I get that it's a thing. Kylo Ren isn't joyously evil... he's TORTURED by his evil. That's catnip for many viewers. (and in true confession, while I'm generally not a fan of that type of relationship, I have certainly loved some specific instances of this in the past.) This! No actual people were murdered to create Kylo Ren's story. The atrocities he committed in the film are symbolic signposts of his despair and struggles. Not caring about them is just about viewing the symbolic realm of the story as more important than judging a work of fiction by real life morality. I 100% expected to see this in TLJ and was so disappointed that instead we got Rose showing Finn that the First Order does evil, oppressive things... as though Finn didn't already freaking know that. It's part of why I like the Jannah/Finn dynamic so much better. My impression is that the production schedule on TRoS was really rushed. If JJ had had more time to breathe into it, I wonder whether he would have cut down some of the MacGuffin chasing stuff in the beginning and done more with Finn/Jannah/First Order and Rey/Kylo/Exogel at the end. I did like the movie, but there are a lot of storylines that feel almost-but-not-fully-there.
  4. I felt that was more of a TLJ thing. I thought TFA ended very clearly with Rey repulsed by Kylo Ren and rejecting him. I also thought it clearly portrayed Ren's interest in Rey as creepy and unhealthy. But then TLJ made Rey bizarrely receptive to Ren and the whole thing sexy. Ridley and Driver also have fantastic chemistry, which doesn't help. Sure, Rey slammed the door at the end when Ren stayed dark instead of coming to the light side, but a single scene at the end of the movie never undoes the visual power of the entire rest of the film. So I saw the Reylo in TRoS as trying to keep that continuity with TLJ, clarify Rey's emotional stakes (in the possibility of Ben Solo rather than Kylo Ren as who he was), and give the message that it is never too late to repent and try to make amends. I thought it was important that it was Leia's love that ultimately brought Ben back to the light and not Rey's. I don't even think it's canon that Rey DID love Ben... I think she gave him acceptance and forgiveness, but I think it's ambiguous about whether there was anything stronger. I think the message is consistent with Ren's portrayal as trapped by his previously made bad choices and healthy (on the metaphorical level at least). In as much as I'm troubled by anything, it's the handwaving over Poe's (and sort of Rose and Finn's) responsibility for so many Resistance deaths with their mutiny.
  5. Yeah, once again, I feel a little confused by what the critics are seeing here. The influence of Trevorrow's structure on Abrams' final product is very clear. This doesn't seem like a wildly different movie in terms of its originality, concepts, or even fidelity to TLJ. There are some ideas in Trevorrow's that I think could have been better depending on how they were fleshed out on screen (like if Rey really does end up creating something new with the Force), but I also think Abrams made some really great changes.
  6. Ha, I'm so used to this sort of thing with TV that I didn't even process how weird it was for her to be covered at the waist. But there is a small justification in that the magical cosmetic surgeon put the potion only on the parts of her body that he transformed, so he needed access to her twisted spine but not her legs. Tissaia only trains female sorcerers. There is a different school for male sorcerers. I don't know why the makeup artists didn't do more to uglify the actors playing the female mages in their student days, so we could get clear contrast with their beauty transformations. It wouldn't have taken anything dramatic... it's TV, so just put less makeup on them in the first place and let the lighting make them look washed out/sallow. Then do normal TV makeup post-transformation so all of a sudden they look more eye-catching.
  7. You can use phyllo, but the traditional bastilla has layers. I think the warqa is thinner than phyllo. Although I'm not much of a baker, so maybe that's not true. Anyway, the atrocity that Paul had them make wasn't like a real bastilla at all. I though technicals are supposed to be real recipes representing real foods that people eat, so I'm still annoyed about it (I just saw the episode today, though, so it's not that I've been annoyed for months). Bastilla is such an important and special food in Moroccan cuisine that it really bothers me to see it misrepresented like on GBBO like this. Paul's thing might have tasted fine, but it was NOT a bastilla.
  8. The MCU has had director turmoil turn out okay before, right? Or was it that director turmoil gave us Dark World? I was pretty cold about the first movie, but I like the concept of the multiverse, horror, and Scarlet Witch being involved.
  9. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    I think the Star Wars saga as a whole suffers from this reluctant to fully acknowledge the logical conclusions of their portrayal and critique of the Jedi. It's a shame because the saga as a whole does a great job complicating the good/bad binary. But it's feels like each individual work always has to pull back at the last minute and reduce the conflicts into a straightforward one side = good and the other side = bad. Like Clone Wars had this amazing mini-arc complicating the main POV of Republic = good/Separatists = bad with "Heroes on Both Sides". But then a little later (or maybe a season later?), they walked the portrayal back and had one of the main Separatist POV character literally say that the Republic was the right side to be on. (of course, there was the dramatic irony of us as the viewers knowing that he was acting on incomplete information and that the Republic was just as manipulated as the Separatists). I feel that happened in Revenge of the Sith, too. One of the great things Lucas did was set up a genuinely complex political situation in which the Jedi were doing some pretty darn shady things. But instead of having Anakin turn to Palpatine because of disillusionment with the Jedi, Lucas made it be about fear of Padme dying. Yes, that's why I'm such a Clone Wars fan. It shows how good the underlying ideas for the prequel trilogy are. Unfortunately, Lucas didn't have the writing skills to execute them properly.
  10. Zuleikha

    The Star Wars Saga

    Was there ever an explanation for why the Jedi didn't free the slaves on Tatooine? IIRC, slavery was illegal and Tatooine only got away with it because it was an Outer Rim planet.
  11. Yes, but you have to be hella good with names to catch them. In Ep 1, Renfri mentioned Queen Calanthe having just won her first battle at Hochebuz. Meanwhile, over in the Ciri timeline, Calanthe mentions winning her first battle at Hochebuz when she was Ciri's age. In Ep 2, we see Stregobor with Istredd at the end. At the time, I picked up on that as a sign that Yen's timeline was earlier than Geralt's because I thought Stregobor was kicked out of the mage's council after the events of the Black Sun. While I was ultimately correct that Yen's timeline was before Geralt's, it seems like I misunderstood Stregobor's fate because he was back in the Council post-Renfri. So I'm not sure if there are other clues in that episode that solidly place Yen as pre-Geralt or if those don't come until the later episodes.
  12. I had the sense that Yennefer wanted Aedirn specifically because she's from there, not because it was the A-List Kingdom. She wanted to lord her success and power over her fellow country folk. I may have misunderstood that, though. I had a hard time following the arguments in the Council, although I thought they were funny. Like I didn't follow why Stregobor and Vigo were able to argue successfully that Yennefer's Elven blood would be an issue for Aedirn.
  13. They did explain this, but not very well, IMHO. In that initial flower/rock scene, Tissaia explains that they need to take the energy from somewhere in order to have the magic. That's her whole "sometimes the best thing a flower can do for us is die" speech. The energy can come from within the mage, but then there's a cost to the mage. Fringilla had no idea what she was doing back when she floated the rock, so it's possible her hand withered because she was inefficient with her chaos rather than because it really takes that much energy from a mage to float a rock. During battle, we see Triss take energy from the ground before she casts her spells, but I didn't understand that's what she was doing until I read someone else's explanation. I thought she was just touching the ground because she was using earth-based magic. However, that's the only time I remember seeing a mage clearly taking energy from somewhere else to cast magic. More observant people than I have said that Yennefer took the already existing fire from Sodden in order to unleash it on the Nilfgaard. There was still some unknown cost to her, but she was doing something different than the captive mages who used their own life energy to create the fireballs for Fringilla. Yennefer's portals may be an exception to the general rule because it was implied her quarter-Elven blood gives her an advantage to the specific magic of portals, but not what that really means. Do elves not need to take energy from somewhere to use magic? Or is it just that Yennefer has an affinity for portals?
  14. Maybe I'm accidentally fanwanking, but I swear the floating thing is something that can only be done for short distances and while meditating. Jedi have always been portrayed as able to float and to use the Force as a booster for jumps, but not to be able to fly as such.
  15. Doesn't Geralt age slowly because of Witcher magic? Jaskier is a problem, though. They probably should have done some aging makeup on him. I don't mind the betrothal vs. the djinn lack of aging because I think Jaskier was at the age where some people really don't show the passage of time. But then later Yennefer comments on his crow's feet, and he's clearly supposed to be older.
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