Live Free or Twihard: Bella’s Heroic Journey for Wholeness in Fantasy

Note: this is a paper I did back when I was in Brigham Young University earning my bachelor’s degree. Whether or not you like the Twilight series, there’s something be understood in the psychology of its readers, to understand what makes something so popular.

The Twilight series has undergone nearly every form of criticism known to the written world. And yet, the enormous popularity of the series speaks to it’s value in the psycho analysis of our culture, particularly that of young teenage girls (the series’ primary readership). Despite shallow characters and a lot of cheesy dialogue, there are many core elements that make Twilight more significant. These include myth, the psychological archetypes found there, and the fantastical narratives used to bring them about. For instance, Bella undergoes a version of the hero’s journey, which is an archetype found in practically every culture. In this journey she discovers many other universal archetypes, like the animus (the male side of herself) which once transcended is a big step in the direction her journey is leading her: to wholeness. Continue reading “Live Free or Twihard: Bella’s Heroic Journey for Wholeness in Fantasy”

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Shadow Control: Batman’s Relationship with Himself Through his Enemies

Many would agree that one of the reasons why Batman is among the more popular superheroes is the ensemble of villains he fights, and that he is defined by these men and women. Practically every single villain is insane to one degree or another. Each is also a reflection of Batman, and the question is often raised whether or not he is the creator of his villains, or whether they created him. Many of these ideas and the symbols associated with them tie into the Jungian archetype of the Shadow. Bruce Wayne has many personal demons to control, much as his alter-ego does with villains like the Joker, or Two Face, and the Shadow archetype is representative of this. In Christopher Nolan’s film version of The Dark Knight he brings this idea to fruition. The Joker and Two Face are used to reflect Batman’s darker side and how close he is to becoming like one of them. They are all, including Batman, part of a Jungian shadow complex that is evident in Bruce Wayne. Wayne not only has to deal with the anti-heroes of Gotham, he has to deal with the possibility that his own split personality is one of them. However, in the film, it becomes evident that Bruce Wayne is able to take responsibility for his actions and turn chaos into order, which is what allows him to control his shadow rather than let it turn him into a villain. Continue reading “Shadow Control: Batman’s Relationship with Himself Through his Enemies”

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The Lord of the Rings and Escapism

Note: This is a paper I did for a British literature class. The paper covers escapism found in modern fantasy literature and using The Lord of the Rings as my primary example. I think it’s one of my best papers so far.

In an academic setting, if you ever mention Twilight, or Harry Potter, or Star Wars, alongside The Faerie Queen, A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Beowulf, or even Frankenstein you will quickly be excused from the conversation. This often creates conflict between fans and academics. For instance, The Lord of the Rings has often been both praised and rejected by the literary world. This bias is often attributed to “escapism,” considered an inferior reason to read literature. It would be better to read in order to better perceive reality, to understand, to learn…wouldn’t it? Though “escapist” literature has often been frowned upon in the academic community, a close study of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings reveals that escapism is part of human nature and therefore can enhance our reality, instead of covering it up. Continue reading “The Lord of the Rings and Escapism”

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Why all Storytellers and Businesses Should Consider Cross-platform Storytelling

This is something I think every storyteller and entertainment business should learn, that creating a multi-platform story can only help the success of that story. Generally speaking, in any entertainment franchise, there is a particular medium that is the “core” of the story. For Star Wars it’s film, for Harry Potter it’s books, for Halo it’s video games. However, many of these do not exclude themselves only to these mediums, instead of branching out to include others. These are some of the stories that we specialize in here at All Timelines. And here are some reasons why this should be used more than it is. Continue reading “Why all Storytellers and Businesses Should Consider Cross-platform Storytelling”

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Novelization of the First Scene in ‘Casino Royale’

This is a class assignment that I got to do. The class was a literature and film class, focusing mainly on how one platform is adapted to another. In this assignment we got to take a short scene from a movie and adapt it as a novelization, or short story. I chose to take my scene from the very beginning of Casino Royale the twenty-first James Bond film, and one of my favorite scenes in film. I hope you enjoy. I, of course, do not own the rights to any of these characters or situations. This is posted entirely as a showcase of a school project.

James Bond sat quietly in the dark, waiting for his second kill to arrive. It was dark, after midnight, but he knew the man would show up soon. He always appeared at this time of night to perform his dirty work. Bond had already met up with the man’s contact and there wasn’t much to fear from him now. He had later combed through Dryden’s office and set his trap. There was no way that the man could possibly escape him now. Continue reading “Novelization of the First Scene in ‘Casino Royale’”

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What will the Lord of the Rings Amazon Series Be About?

I enjoy speculating a lot. Especially when we still know very little about the thing I’m speculating about. It’s always fun when something I predicted ends up happening. And when it doesn’t, that’s fine too. It’s just fun.

Recently in the news, you may have heard that Amazon is creating a Lord of the Rings series. Details are scarce, but we know that it’s a prequel series to The Fellowship of the Ring, has the potential for multiple spin-offs, and we also know that they have the cooperation of the Tolkien Estate. What we don’t know is whether it will be canonical with the Peter Jackson films, or if they will be their own thing. Continue reading “What will the Lord of the Rings Amazon Series Be About?”

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Three Things to Remember When 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. Continue reading “Three Things to Remember When Studying Adaptations”

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

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”

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How Anakin Brought Balance to the Force

One 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. Continue reading “How Anakin Brought Balance to the Force”

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Why a Superman Video Game is the Best and Worst Idea

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”

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A Shakespeare Shared Universe: Introduction

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to my read series, where I update you every other week on what series I’m reading and my thoughts. Feel free to follow along. Yesterday, I uploaded my first non-sci-fi/fantasy timeline that focuses on Shakespeare. I’m actually a really big Shakespeare fan, more than any other ancient literature. I hated him in high school (probably like most kids). However, the more I learned, the more I grew to love the Bard.

And that got me thinking: what if there was a Shakespeare shared universe? That’s when I got the idea for my own story, which I am currently writing. The story is called Plots and Errors, and it’s going to be a YA series of books. I plan on competing the first book during NaNoWriMo this year. Continue reading “A Shakespeare Shared Universe: Introduction”

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The Reckoners Readthrough, Part 2

Welcome back to the second and final chapter of my Reckoners read-through. Be sure to check out the first installment if you haven’t already. This is a series where I read through some of my favorite series and record my thoughts in blog form. This post will be relatively short because I only have two books to discuss today. But it was a really great series, and I highly recommend it to everyone. If you’re a fan of Brandon Sanderson, you’ll love it. If you haven’t read Sanderson, you should. I’ll be doing a similar read-through for his Cosmere series later in the year.

Anyway, in the last post I talked about Steelheart, the first book in this series, as well as the short story Mitosis which takes place between Steelheart and the sequel, Firefight. Today I’m talking about the last two books in the trilogy.

3) Firefight

Firefight follows Sanderson’s habit of having a lot of twists and turns in the second act. Everything seems to go wrong in this book and you never see it coming. But you do grow to love the characters even more. Each of them has something that makes them unique (though admittedly sometimes it seems like Sanderson is trying too hard at this). Again the idea that Superheros are the enemy, and the real heroes are those without powers, makes for compelling storytelling.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much the previous short story, Mitosis, actually fit and improved this book. There were a lot of references to the short story that passed over my head the first time I read Firefight. So I can attest to reading everything chronologically. It was a good call. Now this book ends in a really bad cliffhanger (typical of the second installment of a trilogy), so that leads me to…

4) Calamity

This is the book where you realize just how brilliant Sanderson’s world-building is. Everything you thought was just a coincidence is explained. Plot threads that were hinted at in the first book come together. What started out as just a fun story becomes a thriving world. I won’t spoil the ending here, but I thought it was brilliant. Everything came together and it felt like the end of a very complete story. I highly recommend it to everyone.

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The Reckoners Readthrough, Part 1

Hey! So welcome to a new series of posts that I will be doing every few weeks tracking my progress as I read/watch/play-through many of the timelines that you find here on the site. You see, AllTimelines.com is more than just a website for me. I started creating timelines because I loved to experience these franchises in chronological order, and that’s what I’m going to do here. I plan to write a brief (very brief) review of each item and give you my thoughts on the overall progress.

We’re starting with something simple, The Reckoners trilogy, by Brandon Sanderson. There are only three books and one short story in this series, but I thought it would be a good place to start, especially since I plan on reading through Sanderson’s much more massive Cosmere series starting later in the year. And fair warning, this article WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! You have been warned. So let’s get started. Continue reading “The Reckoners Readthrough, Part 1”

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The Future of the Arrowverse

As this site proves, I’m a huge fan of shared universes. Between Star Wars, Marvel, and DC Comics, I have found countless hours of entertainment. One of the biggest shared universes is the Arrowverse, named after the TV show Arrow, which started the timeline. The Arrowverse consists mostly of the shows Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, though it also includes the 1-season run of Constantine and the short animated series, VixenSupergirl, on CBS, was another show that crossed over into the Arrowverse, but only in the form of an alternate dimension that the Flash was able to visit because he can do that. Continue reading “The Future of the Arrowverse”

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DC Essential Graphic Novels 2016 Review

DC Essential Graphic Novels 2016 is a recent guidebook to help you break into DC Comics, or to continue reading the cream of the crop. The brilliant thing about this catalog is that it’s free as an ebook on Amazon. Anyone can pick it up. The book starts with a list of the top 25 graphic novels produced by DC Comics, and I can agree with every one of them. The catalog then lists some of the best graphic novels for individual characters, including those that take place in chronological order, and those considered standalone comics (out of continuity). Continue reading “DC Essential Graphic Novels 2016 Review”

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