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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"10 Character" Meme

There's this meme that's been circulating through some of the blogs that I frequent, and while I haven't officially been tagged, it looked like fun. So I thought I'd give it a try, and challenge Dr. Bitz to try his hand at it as well.

First, select your ten fictional characters (from any medium) by whichever method you like best. Then answer the questions below.
1. Cyclops (Marvel Comics)
2. Captain Benjamin Sisko (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
3. Luke Skywalker
4. Link (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
5. Indiana Jones
6. Sherlock Holmes
7. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
8. She-Ra (She-Ra: Princess of Power)
9. Optimus Prime
10. Noah “HRG” Bennet (Heroes)

1. Divide the list up by even and odd. Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Lancer (second-in-command), Big Guy, Smart Guy, The Chick? If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?

Team A: Cyclops, Luke, Indiana Jones, Willow, Optimus Prime
Team B: Cpt. Sisko, Link, Sherlock Holmes, She-Ra, Bennet

Team A Roster:
Leader --- Cyclops
Lancer --- Optimus Prime (yes, I am saying both that Luke is more powerful than Optimus Prime, and that Cyclops is a better leader. Deal with it.)
Big Guy ---Luke Skywalker
Smart Guy ---Indiana Jones
Chick ---Willow (really don’t like this category. Just “chick”? Not tough chick, or crafty chick, or just a fifth non gender-specific category so the “chick” could go any place?)

Team B Roster:
Leader --- Captain Sisko
Lancer --- Bennet
Big Guy ---Link (not so much big as good with a sword, arrows, flute, etc. She-Ra can help make up for his lack of power, since as a chick, she apparently has little else to do but be a “chick”)
Smart Guy ---Sherlock Holmes
Chick ---She-Ra

Seems pretty evenly matched, all told. She-Ra makes up for Link’s lack of raw power, but Team A probably has more balanced power and better long range attack capabilites, between Cyclops’ blasts, Luke’s Jedi skills, Willow’s magic, and Optimus Prime being a big freakin’ robot. Plus, he can double as the group’s transportation.

But team B is definitely the smarter, sneakier team. Holmes trumps Indy in that department, and Sisko is definitely more of a crafty “gray area” leader than Boy Scout Cyclops. Toss Bennet in the mix and it’s surely the “black ops”, down and dirty, always has a back-up plan team.

2. Gender-swap 2 (Sisko), 8 (She-Ra) & 10 (Bennet). Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?

The most changed would probably Bennet, as he would no longer be a father protecting his daughter, but a mother. Now, that may not be a huge change (and really, not a lot different from Niki’s bit on the show) but it would subtly change the dynamic of the relationship and the way he goes about protecting his daughter, I think.

A female Sisko? Big whoop; a hard-assed female captain isn’t all that different from a hard-assed male one in the Star Trek universe.

And a male She-Ra? That’s called He-Man.

3. Compare the matchups of 1 (Cyclops) & 8 (She-Ra) and 5(Indiana Jones) & 9 Optimus Prime). (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.) Which couple would be more compatible? Which couple would be more plausible to people from either principal's home culture?

Cyclops and She-Ra would probably be a good match up. Scott’s always had a thing for the tough, strong redheads (when he’s not ditching them for other tough, strong redheads or icy blonde headmistresses, of course) so in She-Ra he’d have a likeable combination in the tough, strong blonde. He would certainly be sympathetic towards her mission of overthrowing the oppressors of her people. She-Ra certainly appreciates Scott’s leadership and tactical skills.

The biggest downfall, of course, would be Cyclops’ incessant whining about how he can’t possibly love a woman when he’s cursed with the uncontrollable power of his optic blasts. But he’s gotten better about that lately. And She-Ra’s invulnerability might help shut him too.

Indiana Jones and Optimus Prime? Look, I can ignore ‘canon sexual preferences’ for a moment, but I have a harder time ignoring simple biology. Would Indy make it with a truck if such a thing was possible? Well, if it was a hot and sassy truck, probably. But Optimus isn’t sassy. So no dice.

4. Your team is 3(Luke Skywalker), 4(Link) & 9(Optimus Prime). The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?

Social: Luke, assuming it’s post-Return of the Jedi, Jedi Master Luke, who has lots of experience running a Jedi Order and navigating tricky post-war (and war, and post-war again) politics. If it’s the damn whiny-ass Luke from New Hope, we’re all boned. Get the kid some power converters already!

Mental: Link. Dude solves puzzles and finds hidden stuff in almost all his adventures as is. He’ll do fine. As long as the challenge isn’t figuring out his own complicated continuity.

Physical: He’s a big robot that becomes a truck. It screams “physical” (although really, Optimus could probably ace all these challenges himself-he’s just that cool).

5. 7 (Willow) becomes 1's (Cyclops) boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How's their working relationship?


Three words: Hot. Powerful. Redhead. She’s already his boss, whether she knows it or not.
Cyclops is a man accustomed to giving orders, not taking them. Unless those orders come from:
A. Professor X
B. A hot, powerful redhead.

6. 2 (Captan Sisko) finds him/her/itself inserted into 6's (Holmes) continuity. As far as anyone other than 2 or 6 is concerned, they've always been there. What role would 2 be presumed to have had in 6's story, and could they fit in without going wonky?

Well, I could see Sisko as the captain of a Victorian-era sailing or exploration ship, maybe an old friend of Holmes or someone he goes to for help or advice, who shares Holmes’s wider worldview-certainly not one of the hapless characters that so often set Holmes off on his investigations.

7. 3 (Luke) and 5 (Indy) get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?

1. Knowledge of the past: For Luke, this would mean the history of the Jedi before him,for Indy,definitive answers regarding earth’s past civilizations.
2. Time for love: They’re busy guys, and as Short Round so aptly pointed out, “there’s no time for love, Dr. Jones.” I think both of them would love some down time for lovin’.
3. Man, I got nothing. World Peace? How about world peace...

8. 1 (Cyclops) and 2 (Sisko) are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill 4 (Link). They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can 4 (Link) survive? How?

Link probably has at least one crystal (if not a whole suit of crystal armor or something) in his pouch that can mirror the effect of Ruby Quartz and thereby completely null Cyclops’ blast. Then it’s just one little pissed off dude with a freakin’ armory in his pocket against two regular guys.

But those regular guys are not accustomed to losing and are pretty good at developing tactics and strategies. It would be a dirty fight, and a long one, possibly lasting years as they work systematically to wear down and eliminate Link’s arsenal and resolve. But ultimately I think the tactics and strategies of Cyclops and Sisko would win out over the skill and resources of Link.

9. 6 (Holmes), 7 (Willow), 9 (Optimus) & 10 (Bennet) must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?

Bennet spends weeks carefully profiling all the orphans, building extensive case files determining what presents they most want. Then he and Optimus Prime begin acquiring the gifts.

When Bennet arrives at the orphanage, Willow casts a spell so that he appears to all the kids as Santa.

Holmes, meanwhile, has filled the orphanage will all kinds of ancillary evidence of Santa’s visit, so that long after they are gone and the spell wears off, the kids will still believe Santa was there: boot prints indicative of a grossly overweight man, reindeer droppings, half eaten cookies, bits of red fabric and a jingle bell or two.

10. 3 (Luke) and 8 (She-Ra) are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?

Does She-Ra’s flying horse count as “invented before 1900”? Pegasus, another flying horse, was around during Ancient Greece. And technically, Luke comes from a “long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” so maybe they could use his X-Wing?

I have a feeling She-Ra would question the whole point of the trip, and be somewhat irritated by Luke’s Jedi, zen-like acceptance of the whole thing. But they are both determined people, and are unlikely to get too sidetracked.

Unlike, say, Indy and Link, who would never make it in 80 days, since they’d have to have an adventure every place they stopped, all in the process of reclaiming some lost artifact or weapon.

1 comment:

  1. If Optimus Prime was secretly a nazi (I know, blasphemy) Indiana Jones AND his father would totally nail him. You think Optimus talks in his sleep?
    And dude, Link could totally take out Cyclops and Sisko. His Mirror Shield would reflect Cyclops' blasts, he always has enough fairy's to keep himself alive, and he has enough bombs and boomerangs to keep both of them occupied. And if all else fails...hello...Ocarina of Time. He'd could just warp to the past and kill Sisko and Cyclops when they were babies.


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