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Three Things to Remember When Studying Adaptations

studying adaptations

Fidelity in Adaptations

When you are studying adaptations, it is important to remember that fidelity is not a valid criterion for understanding them. Fidelity implies a direct adaptation, changing only the actual media platform it uses. This is not a good way to study adaptations because it is impossible to study a work of media, when presented on another media platform, as the same thing. They are entirely different. For example, a book is words on a page that people imagine as they read them.

A movie is a bunch of images strung together: light hitting a piece of film. You simply cannot translate one thing to another without making “changes” to the story. For example, some things are easier to do in literature than in film, like point of view. POV can be used constantly in a written medium, but is very hard to sustain for long periods of time in film because of the viewers need to actually see the protagonist.

Additionally, new insights can also be gained by adapting a work that were not present in the “original,” thereby evolving the story even further. An example would be the short story “Farewell to the Master” written by Harry Bates, which was adapted to the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. This film presents a message that is entirely different from the short story, even though many plot elements remain.

Copies

Plato wrote about the idea that everything that we see is a copy of a perfect copy, and that everytime we adapt a story, it becomes a copy of a copy, thus becoming less and less perfect. This doesn’t work when studying adaptations. First of all, in adaptations there is no perfect or original story. If we looked at Rapunzel, for instance, you might want to assume that the Grimm brothers version of the story is where the story originates, but this is not so. The Grimm brothers were collecting oral traditions of the people, and there were many versions of the story. The Grimm brothers standardized them into one version of Rapunzel. We could consider a film like Inception as an original work, but most of that film comes from the writings of Carl Jung, dream theory, and the collective unconscious. Everything has its root in something.

Another reason why Plato is wrong comes from the fact that each time we adapt a work it has the potential to grow. The newest adaptation of Rapunzel, Tangled, creates a version of the story that is unique to a more modern culture. Rapunzel gains more independence, the prince disappeares, and the story as a whole fits our more feminist and equality-driven society. The story does not diminish, as Plato would argue, but rather modern culture enhances it. Instead of a copy of a copy, it is more like looking into a diamond: every angle brings you a different perspective.

Perception of Story

When studying adaptations, we often think that the story exists independent of the medium we tell it in. This cannot be entirely true. We have already established that there is no such thing as an “original” work, but that authors gain inspiration from many different sources. One could say that the story exists independent of the medium by existing in the mind of the reader/consumer, but this doesn’t acknowledge the fact that every person is different and that the story would not be the same in everyone’s mind.

Let’s look at Rapunzel again. If you asked any two people to relate the story of Rapunzel, it would likely be entirely different each time. Therefore there is no “pure” version of the story. Each adaptation might contain similar elements to the story, even using the same names and places at times, but this does not mean that the story exists independent of the medium.

It is also important to remember that stories only exist because of the medium we present them in. Without oral tradition, we would never have Rapunzel, and that is just one form of presentation. Literature and film, today’s most widely used platforms, are the main vessels to tell a story. Without these things it is impossible to tell stories. Therefore it is impossible for a story to exist independent of the platform or container we present it in.

Ultimate Fandom Timeline: The Origin of Magic

origin of magic

The origin of magic occurred very early on in the timeline of the universe. While you could argue that magic existed in the early years when time had not yet solidified, this would be better classified as simple chaos, not quite magic. Mario might have been able to throw fire balls, but there was little structure to his magical abilities. Magic as we know it didn’t arrive until several billion years later.

The Origin of Supreme Beings

About 9 billion years ago we saw the formation of several supreme beings. They separated and inhabited separate areas of the universe. Their power is what helped form stars and worlds from the magic that simply lay inert around the universe. Some, like Illuvatar, would eventually help create Earth. Others would scatter to other areas of the universe. They have been known by many names: Gods, Celestials, Creators, etc.

Every one of these supreme beings were a concentration of what we call magic. This was the power through which they were able to manipulate the elements and create order out of chaos. Their power continues to permeate throughout the universe, and this effect can occasionally be accessed and felt in our environment.

However, this magic was only accessed through these supreme beings. Mortals couldn’t access the magic. At least not at first. Continue reading “Ultimate Fandom Timeline: The Origin of Magic”

5 Best Companions for Link from The Legend of Zelda Series

5 Best Companions for Link

In many of the games in the Zelda franchise, our main protagonist Link has often had companions to help him out along the journey. Some companions were great, while others were rather frustrating. Regardless there’s been a quite a variety of people that were willing to help our hero on his journey to become a hero. So here is the list of the top 5 companions Link has had.
Keep in mind, this is my personal opinion, so this list may be a little biased.

5. Tatl, Majora’s Mask

We all know and love to hate Nav’i for being annoying and essentially useless, but what about Tatl, Link’s companion in Majora’s Mask? Many people would put Tatl in the same category as Nav’i in that she wasn’t particularly useful other than enabling targeting in gameplay and occasionally giving some insights to enemies. In fact, Tatl looks pretty much exactly like Nav’i except that she’s a different color.

But Tatl was a bit less annoying than Nav’i, and she showed to have a bit of spunk, which was fun. It was also interesting to see her relationship with her brother Tael. The whole reason why she becomes Link’s companion is because she got separated from her brother and she’s trying to reunite with him.

So while Tatl proved to be about as helpful as Nav’i (aka not a ton), she made up for it in having more personality and not being nearly as annoying. Continue reading “5 Best Companions for Link from The Legend of Zelda Series”

Why an Obi-Wan Kenobi Spin-off Won’t be Boring

obi-wan kenobi spin-off film

I’ve been waiting to write about this for a long time, ever since rumors/speculation hinted at an upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars spin-off film. I’ve seen a lot of people supportive of the idea, but I’ve also seen a lot of head-scratching.

“How can they make an Obi-Wan film?” they ask. “I want a film with new characters and storylines. Obi-Wan was just sitting around guarding Luke for 19 years.”

First of all, was he? Second of all, even if he did, there’s plenty of potential stories there. Who knows what kind of trouble might have come for Obi-Wan or Luke in that time.

So with that in mind, here are all the reasons why I think an Obi-Wan movie will not be boring, or in other words, why I don’t think he was just chilling in his hut for 19 years. Continue reading “Why an Obi-Wan Kenobi Spin-off Won’t be Boring”

A Beginner’s Guide to Batgirl

a beginner's guide to batgirl, featuring all the batgirls

Robin hasn’t been Batman’s only sidekick. He’s had quite a few others, and that’s what this post is about! One important alter ego has been the mantle of Batgirl. Like Robin, this identity has been taken up by a few different people.

Here’s a quick look at the different women who took on the mantle of Batgirl and what they brought to the vigilante table.

Batgirl #1, Oracle: Barbara Gordon

Barbara is the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, who worked with Batman often. Barbara decided she wanted to help Batman out and started assisting him in taking down criminals, donning her own suit, and calling herself Batgirl. While Batman initially didn’t accept her help, she eventually became part of the team, and often teamed up with Robin. Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Batgirl”

How Anakin Brought Balance to the Force

force wielders, light and dark, representing balance in the forceOne of the most disputed topics in nerdom is the idea of bringing balance to the Force, in the Star Wars saga. Anakin Skywalker is the one presumed to be the Chosen One, destined to bring balance to that Force. Though even this is in dispute.

Identity of the Chosen One

I’m going to get this out of the way first, since it has the simplest answer. The Chosen One is Anakin, not Luke, not anyone else, just Anakin. Here’s why:

Now it’s always possible that Lucasfilm could change this idea in their new canon. Perhaps there can be multiple chosen ones, such as Luke and Rey. But for now, we’re going with what George Lucas said. So now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to the next debate.

What does it mean to bring balance?

Well, there are several theories.

1) Balance means equal numbers of light side and dark side users.

If this theory works, it means that Anakin brought balance to the Force because he essentially reduced the number of Jedi to 2 (Obi-Wan and Yoda), equaling the 2 Sith (Vader and Palpatine). This doesn’t work very well because, first of all, there are more than 2 Jedi out there, Kanan for example. Second, having equal numbers of Jedi and Sith make it difficult to have any peace at all. Balance implies peace, which brings us to the next theory.

2) Balance means there are no dark side at all and only the light side exists.

This is closer to what I think is the true, but not quite. The dark side has to exist in some form or another for there to be balance, even though this doesn’t mean the Sith have to exist.

In the Mortis arc of the Clone Wars (directly created by George Lucas I might add) it clarifies, slightly, the nature of this balance. In it, the Father maintains the balance between his Son and Daughter, both of whom are embodiments of the dark and light side respectively. The Father choses Anakin as the one to take his place, the one to bring balance.

While these episodes are considered canon, they are also more symbolic of the struggle between light and dark in the galaxy at large. It is implied in these episodes, that both light and dark must exist for there to be balance. You cannot kill the Son and only leave the Daughter. The two must have a mediator, the Chosen One.

You might ask, how can having no dark side be a bad thing? Why can’t light side exist purely on its own? Well, let’s look at an example in the prequel trilogy. The Jedi in that time were becoming arrogant, and more of a bureaucratic entity. According to them, “The Sith have been extinct for a millennia.” According to them, there is no dark side. And what did this do for them? It made them arrogant. It made them think that it’s okay to be generals and leaders in a civil war, rather than remembering the dark side, and how it leads to destruction.

They tried hard to eliminate all trace of the dark side by only accepting the extremely young into their ranks. They shied away from emotion and other things that could potentially cause anger. I’m not saying these actions were part of the dark side, but it was the Jedi’s ignorance, dismissal, and dare I say, fear of the dark side that led to their downfall.

So, I don’t think that only the light side can exist for balance. I don’t, however, believe that any Sith can exist either, which brings me to my personal theory.

3) Balance refers to an internal struggle. Letting the dark side take control causes that balance to shift. Like a disease. 

In the final episodes of The Clone Wars, we see Yoda confront a dark side version of himself. At first, Yoda tries to snuff out his dark side completely. However, he finds that by attempting to fight it, he actually gives it power. After all, “a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” Attacking gives the dark side power, something Yoda realizes in these episodes, and teaches Luke later on.

So what does Yoda do? He accepts his darker self. He acknowledges it. By doing so, he is able to master it. Looking back at the Mortis arc, the Father could be representative of any Force user, keeping the dark side of himself in check, and making sure it does not dominate the light side. But it must be there.

When someone turns to the dark side, they are essentially letting that side of them grow to overpower the light side. They become imbalanced. The Sith, by extension, cause imbalance. We do not determine balance by how many light side vs. dark side users there are. If it’s an equal number it would still remain imbalanced. Dark side users still exist, where the dark side overpowers the light.

The ideal Jedi are not necessarily embodiments of the light side, but they are examples of balance. They are like Yoda, embracing their dark side, and welcoming it as a cautionary reminder. A Jedi who fights too hard against their inner dark side, might end up in an order much like the Jedi we see in the prequel trilogy. They fought so hard to eliminate the dark side from themselves, that they only made it stronger. After all, it was their mistaken attitude towards love that caused Anakin to fall.

How did Anakin bring balance?

Anakin fell to the dark side, as we know. To bring balance to the Force, he would have to accept his own inner dark side, and master it. Although it took a long time, he was eventually able to do so with the help of his son. This didn’t change him from being the Chosen One however. Luke was a help, but not the Chosen One.

Other than acheiving inner balance, Anakin also had to bring balance to the rest of the universe. Palpatine was far gone, without hope of redemption. Therefore, the only way to bring the dark side back to a balanced level would be to kill Palpatine. And this is exactly what Anakin does.

But let’s also look at the light side. I’ve made it clear that the Jedi were fighting the dark side too much. They weren’t embracing it and mastering it like Yoda eventually did. Instead, they were afraid of it. I say this is an example of the light side’s imbalance. It would make sense, then, that Anakin killed most of the Jedi. I’m not condoneing his actions of course, but I would like to point out that Order 66 was essentially the end of the light side dominance of the Force. The Force would no longer remain imbalanced in favor of the light side.

So by killing the Jedi, Anakin brought the light side into balance. By killing Palpatine, he brought the dark side into balance. And finally, by mastering his own dark side, he was able to bring balance to the Force as a whole.

Conclusion

This is my own personal theory. Lucasfilm may contradict it in future installments of the franchise, especially with the whole “neutral/gray” force wielder thing that Lucasfilm has been seeding for a while, which is likely to culminate in the upcoming The Last Jedi. But for now, this is the picture that makes the most sense for me. As far as I’m concerned, this is what the prophecy means by bringing balance to the Force. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. May the Force be with you.

All Timelines is on Patreon!

Hey everyone!

I have big news! All Timelines is now on Patreon! If you don’t know, Patreon is a way for Internet creators to earn a living from the generous donations of those who wish to contribute. Now, I realize that it’s kind of weird to be asking anyone for money, and I hate feeling weird. Instead, let me outline why I’m doing this.

Running a website with the scope and detail of All Timelines is not cheap. It takes a lot of time and effort to create and update each timeline, and the more they grow, the more time I have to devote to keeping them up-to-date. Servers and other added fees also slowly drain my pockets.

I already put in hours and hours of my personal time to make this work. This is a hobby, one I would do without any money. But between what it costs to keep the servers running and the time I have to devote to other important things in my life, I simply can’t make All Timelines everything I want it to be without incentive.

Your contributions, no matter how small, will help me keep the site alive and allow me to devote the time it takes to make it the best geek resource possible! Check out my goals for some of the things I hope to do in the future, with your help.

And I have some great rewards for you! The tiers start at just one dollar per month with additional perks for those of you with the desire and ability to give more. You can view all the rewards on the Patreon page.

No matter how much you decide to give, know that I am grateful for all you do, and for coming with me on this incredibly geeky journey. Your support and encouragement allow me to continue that journey. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my Patreon page and for supporting All Timelines, you fantastic nerds!

If you can’t contribute, that’s totally fine. I realize it’s a lot to ask. Even just spreading the word would be a huge help. Check it out here!

Ultimate Fandom Timeline: The Origin of the Universe

The Beginning of Space
tetris

The first event in the universe was the big bang. Matter and energy were suddenly scattered across space to eventually create the universe we know. But it wasn’t always like we know it.

The universe started out as disorganized matter. Over time, that matter began to form structure. Pieces would rotate, adjust themselves, and connect to form organized matter. Soon, this structured matter began to form life and meaning. However, that meaning wouldn’t make much sense to us now. We only remember these moments through games like Tetris.

Our space-time continuum had not yet formed a solid time stream. Random matter formed into beings and objects reminiscent of events further down the timeline. Together, however, it didn’t make much sense. Still, many of these random conglomerates of space and time would be recognizable to us, such as plumbers, mushrooms, princesses, starfoxes, metroids, giant apes, hedgehogs, furry animals, and a little yellow circle that was scared of ghosts. Sometimes these beings appeared as heroes, and other times they would simply smash each other, despite the fact that they were brothers of a sort. There were no worlds as we think of them. It was all semi-organized chaos. Continue reading “Ultimate Fandom Timeline: The Origin of the Universe”

A Beginner’s Guide to the Robins of Batman

beginner's guide to the Robins of Batman

Despite that Batman claims to work alone, he arguably has had the most sidekicks/partners in DC comics, with all of the sidekicks constantly changing names and outfits. It can get a little confusing to remember who is who and when they came along (a lot of people don’t even realize there was more than one Robin). So here’s a quick guide to the different Robins of Batman.

This blog will be focusing specifically on the Robins of Batman. I will do another blog on the Batgirls and other sidekicks Batman has had.

These Robins will be in the order that they appeared (Tentatively, timelines can get a little wonky). Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to the Robins of Batman”

Ultimate Fandom Timeline: Words and Fiction

The 10th Doctor once told Shakespeare, “The right combination of words spoken in the right place with the shape of the Globe is an energy converter.” At that time, Shakespeare was able to solve their dangerous situation using only the power of words. Words are used throughout the fandom universe. They are used as spells, they are used as curses (some of which come true, see The Lord of the Rings). Names are a great example of the power of words. You’ll see multiple stories where knowing someone’s true name gives you power of them. In the words of Myst, words are even used to create worlds. But, the most important use of words is storytelling. Throughout time, we tell stories of what we have seen or thought we saw. Stories are so powerful that they become ingrained in our timeline, recurring until we call them tropes, stereotypes, or reboots. We do it all the time.

What this Ultimate Fandom Timeline does, however, is prove that these stories are not stories. We think it’s fiction, but it isn’t. The stories are just moments of reality we have almost forgotten. Why don’t we remember these tales? Well we can thank organizations like the MIB or Wizarding World for that. There are many people that would like these stories to remain silent. But this is not fiction. This is real. You know a story is real if it generates a sizable fanbase. Subconsciously, we are aware of the truth when we see it. We flock to it. The more popular a story is, the closer it is to reality. For example, there are fewer stories as true as Harry Potter.

We are surrounded by real events that only show themselves in our stories. Those who would keep us ignorant encourage this storytelling. That way, if we were to witness the truth, we would only call it fiction. DO NOT BE FOOLED. This is not fiction. I will continue to present this timeline using the stories that have already told. There will be many more. You can choose to believe me or not. In the mean time, enjoy the Ultimate Fandom Timeline.

~From the Journal of Alice, foreword.

What is the Ultimate Fandom Timeline:
The Ultimate Fandom Timeline is a hypothetical amalgamation of stories from across all major fandoms. It answers the question, “What if EVERYTHING was connected?” So it places the major timelines in order of how they could relate to each other. It is told from the perspective of a fictional character, Alice, who thinks that all the major stories are somehow real and connected and that it’s a huge coverup that prevents us from realizing this fact.

10 Best Superman Graphic Novels

You can’t talk about DC comics without talking about Superman! In fact, if you think of the word, “superhero,” Superman is likely the first one to pop into your head. He is many’s idea of the ultimate hero.

Superman has been the staple of superheroes and comics for nearly a century and has become an iconic symbol of hope, truth, and justice. So let’s look at what’s considered some of the best Superman graphic novels.

Note #1: These novels aren’t in any particular ranking order.
Note #2: I will be using “graphic novel” and “comic” interchangeably. Continue reading “10 Best Superman Graphic Novels”

Introducing the Epic Timelines

epic timeline screenshot

Hey folks!

Boy have I got something exciting to unveil today. As you’ve probably noticed by now, the site has a new look. But that’s not the only thing I’ve been cooking over the last few weeks…

Ready?

Drumroll…

Introducing the EPIC TIMELINES:

These are a special new type of timeline that I’m adding to the site, one with far more information than I have on the table versions I’ve used in the past. Don’t worry, the table versions aren’t going away. They’re still super useful, but you’ll find a lot more in these new Epic Timelines, including images, more creator info (directors, writers, artists, publishers, etc.), a publisher’s summary, video content (when relevant), and the occasional review. And of course, all the information that was previously available in the table timelines is still there. I’ve started with the following 8 timelines, with more to come:

Continue reading “Introducing the Epic Timelines”

The Ultimate Fandom Timeline

mind blown in the ultimate fandom timelineIf you take some time to explore the site, you will learn that I love lists. I love being able to consolidate all of the things I love into one cohesive timeline. My Star Wars timeline is one of the best you will find on the internet.

And now I’m going to take it to the next level.

So I’ve had some thoughts about how all of the major fandoms can fit together. You might think that there is a lot of contradiction and this isn’t possible at all. In some cases, it’s pretty hard to fit it together, but I have a creative mind, and I already have a few ideas on how to make it work. And it doesn’t involve an alternate timeline for everything. There will only be a few alternate timelines.

I plan on releasing this timeline gradually in a series of blog posts. As the project continues, I will be creating some infographics and a single cohesive timeline page. Follow the category to find links to all of the posts. They will be released every few weeks. I appreciate feedback and pointing out inconsistencies.

And yes, this is nerdy. I know it. But it’s still gonna be awesome. After the jump are the fandoms I will be including. If you have any additional suggestions, include them in the comments. I hope you enjoy this Ultimate Fandom Timeline. Continue reading “The Ultimate Fandom Timeline”

Why a Superman Video Game is the Best and Worst Idea

banner art for superman reading order page.

Almost all well-known superheroes have been adapted into one video game or another. Nothing fulfills the purpose of a superhero story more than being able to step into that person’s shoes and fight for truth, justice, and…high scores. We are inspired by heroes, we want to emulate them, hence the video game appeal. Of all superheroes, none is more recognizable than Superman. He is the epitome of the perfect superhero. Not only is he invincible but he can fly. Who doesn’t want to fly?! I mean really.

The Superman Problem

This is where we get a problem. Even though Superman is the ultimate superhero and the greatest example of goodness, he is almost too good. He is difficult to relate to. He is difficult to find a suitable adversary for. For the most part, his only opposition has either been people who are just as strong as he is or the infamous Kryptonite, or as I like to call it, the short cut. Superman has worked fine as a comic book, but often bombs as a film, and has yet to become a successful video game (despite several attempts). Continue reading “Why a Superman Video Game is the Best and Worst Idea”

All Timelines Gets a Facelift

Hey all,

Just a brief update. As you can probably tell if you’re reading this, All Timelines has a new look! I’ve gone through a couple of WordPress themes in the past, none of which really stuck out to me. There was always something a bit off about the design. They were too busy, or not busy enough. Too old fashion, etcetera, etcetera.

Well I’m proud to introduce its new theme, which was built from scratch! That’s right, this theme was built specifically for All Timelines. And if you’re a Star Wars fan, you might recognize some of the designs, since much of it was inspired by StarWars.com.

I have a lot of other upcoming features coming soon. Many of them are almost ready, and I think you’re going to like them.

And since the theme is brand new, it’s possible you might come across a few bugs or awkward styling here and there. If that happens, be sure to contact me right away. I’m looking for everything I can fix. And I’ll be making a number of smaller changes over the next month or so.

So check it out, and glance through what I’ve got. I hope you enjoy!

10 Best Batman Graphic Novels

Batman: one of DC’s most iconic superheroes, and he doesn’t even have superpowers! So much material has been created involving Batman, from his brutal beginnings, to his lighthearted stages, to the grittier Batman most of us are familiar with. So I thought I’d take a look at some of the best Batman graphic novels. These novels show the different aspects of Batman that we know and love.

Note #1: These graphic novels aren’t in any particular ranking order. They’re all great stories of Batman, and while I personally like some better than others, I decided to not rank them.

Note #2: I will be using the terms “graphic novel” and “comic” interchangeably.

Batman Year One by Frank Miller

batman year one, one of the best batman graphic novels

This graphic novel shows Batman as he’s just starting out as a vigilante. It’s interesting to see him make rookie mistakes and deal with crooks as he struggles to find what works and what doesn’t in vigilantism. Continue reading “10 Best Batman Graphic Novels”

A Beginner’s Guide to the DC Multiverse

banner art for our beginner's guide to the dc multiverse.

To say that the DC Multiverse is complex would be an understatement. It can be pretty confusing to the first-timer. Even most experts end up debating over continuity and what is considered canon.  So, let’s get started on what you should know about the DC Multiverse!

What is the Multiverse?

The Multiverse is a way to incorporate all the different versions and stories of superheroes in the DC comics. (Marvel has one too!) The Multiverse is split into several different versions of Earth. Basically, for different stories the creators told of heroes where the continuity didn’t match up, different versions of Earth were also created. These Earths are still connected and sometimes interact with each other, depending on the story. Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to the DC Multiverse”

5 Best Handheld Zelda Games

a link between worlds, one of the best handheld zelda games

We did the 5 best console Zelda games, so now it’s time to do the 5 best handheld Zelda games. These particular games bring their own unique aspect to Zelda games, particularly in gameplay and story.

One interesting element is that many of the handheld games deal with different villains rather than Ganondorf. In many of the games, Ganondorf, or Ganon, does make a brief appearance, since several of the main villains’ goal was to summon him, resurrect him, etc. As a result, most of the stories in these games would be treated as more of side stories that handle a new villain. Continue reading “5 Best Handheld Zelda Games”

A New Shared Universe!

the first book in a new shared universeHere at All Timelines, we love shared universes. Shared universes pretty much provide the backbone of this site and also make up the most popular timelines here. That is why I’m thrilled to feature our own, new shared universe.

I’ve mentioned this new universe before, but this time I have a cool new cover reveal for the first book set in this universe. It’s a YA Fantasy book, and I call it Out of Shadow. I’m absolutely in love with the cover. Continue reading “A New Shared Universe!”