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(io9)   A handy reference guide to all the different types of heroes and villains in science fiction   (io9.com) divider line 51
    More: Interesting, Heroes and Villains, captain james t. kirk, antiheroes, Lex Luthor, jokers, everyman, egomaniac, Luke Skywalker  
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8391 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Aug 2010 at 12:54 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-08-28 10:31:14 AM
If I ask nicely, can we avoid the "Star Wars isn't science fiction!!!!11one1!1!" lecture for one thread?

/anyway, The Emperor is more of what TFA calls the "Neon Nazi" than Vader. Vader's ultimately just a pawn. Who chokes people with his brain
 
2010-08-28 10:31:15 AM
Interesting. Two popular examples of characters that frequently show up on "favorite villain" lists that might not easily fit into one of the five categories are the Terminator and the Alien. In both cases, they're merely doing what their creator or nature designed them to do, no more or less moral than a lion bringing down a gazelle. I suppose that makes it debatable whether or not they actually are "villains."
 
2010-08-28 10:33:23 AM
Mugato: /anyway, The Emperor is more of what TFA calls the "Neon Nazi" than Vader. Vader's ultimately just a pawn. Who chokes people with his brain

The prequels made Vader a "Misguided Savior." And the expanded universe novels turned Paplatine into that too. But I agree with you about him being a Neon Nazi in the films moreso than Vader.
 
2010-08-28 11:09:02 AM
Sybarite: Interesting. Two popular examples of characters that frequently show up on "favorite villain" lists that might not easily fit into one of the five categories are the Terminator and the Alien. In both cases, they're merely doing what their creator or nature designed them to do, no more or less moral than a lion bringing down a gazelle. I suppose that makes it debatable whether or not they actually are "villains."

Yeah, the terminators felt exactly no different opinion on what they were doing whether they were trying to save the Connors or kill them. Except in T2, when the terminator over time got all mushy. There was a technical explanation for that, that was cut out of the theatrical cut.

The aliens were just acting on instinct. I wish they would have gone deeper into their being created as a biological weapon but in any case, they weren't evil any more than any other animal or most monsters in monster movies. Jaws would be an example of the exception though, he was pissed.


I don't think Ripley is "The Fearless Explorer/Warrior" either. In Alien she was just trying to survive. In Aliens she went to the alien infested colony in an attempt to excise her nightmares about her last experience. Then she did what she did to save her surrogate "daughter". She was never a gung ho explorer or warrior.
 
2010-08-28 11:19:29 AM
The English Major: The prequels made Vader a "Misguided Savior." And the expanded universe novels turned Paplatine into that too. But I agree with you about him being a Neon Nazi in the films moreso than Vader

As a defender of the admittedly flawed prequels, one of my complaints would be that they should have played up Anakin's thirst for power more than making him a victim of circumstance. He did want to rule the galaxy but his motivations were comparatively more noble than Palpatine's. He wanted to end all the bloodshed and bring order to the galaxy. I know almost nothing about the EU but making Palpatine anything but pure evil is bullshiat.

/yes, as a matter of fact I have a compound fracture, a concussion and a quart of vodka so instead of waterskiing on this sunny Saturday morning, I'm geeking it up on fark and watching bad movies. Problem?
 
2010-08-28 12:43:38 PM
Needs more TV Tropes.
 
2010-08-28 01:02:37 PM
Sybarite: Interesting. Two popular examples of characters that frequently show up on "favorite villain" lists that might not easily fit into one of the five categories are the Terminator and the Alien. In both cases, they're merely doing what their creator or nature designed them to do, no more or less moral than a lion bringing down a gazelle. I suppose that makes it debatable whether or not they actually are "villains."

The terminator (in the first movie, anyway) is ultimately just obeying its programming. To be a villain (more than an antagonist) you must be able to make a decision. Skynet falls into the Evil Totalitarian villain, however.
 
2010-08-28 01:13:34 PM
What, no Joseph Campbell yet?
 
2010-08-28 01:18:26 PM
What about those who do it for shiat load of money?
 
2010-08-28 01:28:02 PM
"Ellen Ripley"

That right there is where the article came to a screeching halt forme. Ripley was terrified. She was an everywoman hero, one of the first in the movies. She just knew better than the Marines in the second one. And that was the last movie. That was it. There were no other Alien movies. Ever.
 
2010-08-28 01:30:29 PM
TheZorker: Sybarite: Interesting. Two popular examples of characters that frequently show up on "favorite villain" lists that might not easily fit into one of the five categories are the Terminator and the Alien. In both cases, they're merely doing what their creator or nature designed them to do, no more or less moral than a lion bringing down a gazelle. I suppose that makes it debatable whether or not they actually are "villains."

The terminator (in the first movie, anyway) is ultimately just obeying its programming. To be a villain (more than an antagonist) you must be able to make a decision. Skynet falls into the Evil Totalitarian villain, however.


I think you could argue that the Terminator is just a little piece of Skynet, so he could be said to be a Totalitarian villain as well, right?

And the comment earlier about Ripley: I'd agree she's not a wanderer, but more of an Everywoman. She's just on a person dragged into something much larger, like John McClane. This is usually my favorite kind of hero.
 
2010-08-28 01:33:08 PM
t3.gstatic.com
What about these guys? Sure they might rob and steal, but the "good guys" (if you can call them that) chasing them are all psychotic. One of the best Westerns of all time.
/me and techtor just want to bang hondo wh*res.
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2010-08-28 01:34:57 PM
LewDux: What about those who do it for shiat load of money?

img203.imageshack.us

Approves.
 
2010-08-28 01:35:30 PM
Does every single article from the io9 website get an automatic greenlight?
 
2010-08-28 01:36:54 PM
There are three types of villains:

1) Heretics
2) Aliens
3) Mutants

That is all.
 
2010-08-28 01:37:14 PM
Sybarite: Interesting. Two popular examples of characters that frequently show up on "favorite villain" lists that might not easily fit into one of the five categories are the Terminator and the Alien. In both cases, they're merely doing what their creator or nature designed them to do, no more or less moral than a lion bringing down a gazelle. I suppose that makes it debatable whether or not they actually are "villains."


I don't think the aliens are so much villains, as just plain monsters. The same probably goes for the bad terminators in the first three movies.

There's no moral choice. They just do what they do. It would be like calling the iceberg the villain in Titanic.

I would argue however that Skynet as a whole has the intellectual capacity to make moral choices and is therefore a legitimate villain. The individual drones are just following programing.
 
2010-08-28 01:42:10 PM
abb3w: Needs more TV Tropes.

This. My first thought was "Someone ran into a deadline, and cribbed some TVtropes articles."
 
2010-08-28 02:01:15 PM
Pashc: What, no Joseph Campbell yet?

Well if you insist...

www.gaiacommunitycollege.com
www.buddhafart.com
static.newworldencyclopedia.org

Star Wars is the eternal struggle and growth of the hero etc.
/Love comparative myth, can't remember everything atm >_>
 
2010-08-28 02:23:09 PM
Handsome B. Wonderful: Does every single article from the io9 website get an automatic greenlight?

Kinda what I've been thinking too
 
2010-08-28 02:23:35 PM
Mugato: The English Major: The prequels made Vader a "Misguided Savior." And the expanded universe novels turned Paplatine into that too. But I agree with you about him being a Neon Nazi in the films moreso than Vader

As a defender of the admittedly flawed prequels, one of my complaints would be that they should have played up Anakin's thirst for power more than making him a victim of circumstance. He did want to rule the galaxy but his motivations were comparatively more noble than Palpatine's. He wanted to end all the bloodshed and bring order to the galaxy. I know almost nothing about the EU but making Palpatine anything but pure evil is bullshiat.

/yes, as a matter of fact I have a compound fracture, a concussion and a quart of vodka so instead of waterskiing on this sunny Saturday morning, I'm geeking it up on fark and watching bad movies. Problem?


I don't know why anyone would suggest Palpatine is anything but a Neon Nazi. I always figured he was manipulative, and he put up a show to convince others to join him, even as he had no interest in actually upholding the view he may have stated previously. It makes it appear like he scripts how things go down, sort of a Xanatos Gambit, for the prequels. He tries again in Return of the Jedi, only to fail, but still playing the Neon Nazi.
 
2010-08-28 02:31:57 PM
Article is full of fail.
The types of heroes and villains are; Altered Human, Mutant, Hi-Tech, Robot and Alien.

FASERIP rules

/Feeble, Poor, Typical, Good, Excellent, Remarkable, Incredible, Amazing, Monstrous, Unearthly
 
2010-08-28 02:50:18 PM
CowboyNinjaD:
I would argue however that Skynet as a whole has the intellectual capacity to make moral choices and is therefore a legitimate villain. The individual drones are just following programing.


I'm not sure that intellectual capacity is related to moral understanding; we expect at least some degree of morality from all post-infantile humans, regardless of intellect. We might not expect them to understand the consequences of a morally wrong action, but we do expect everyone to have some concept that certain things are acceptable or right and some things are not. Meanwhile, some of the most famously amoral people I can think of are also quite intelligent, on paper. People are supposed to have moral compasses, period.

But Skynet, obviously, isn't human. It was programmed by humans, sure, but part of the reason behind its creation was to remove a human element from warfare. Skynet's architects would surely have omitted the moral compass from its programming, lest it later resist taking some necessary action. So why should anyone expect Skynet to behave by the rules of human morality? More generally, why should anyone expect any alien (read: nonhuman) being to obey, at first contact, the same laws of morality as we, without some time to learn the differences?

Which is not to imply that the nonhumans aren't a threat or an enemy. It's like the distinction between ramen (mmm... ramen) and varelse (or even djur) in Speaker for the Dead (etc): if sufficiently dissimilar beings can't uneventfully coexist (or, worse, communicate), then neither side can know the other won't eventually try to exterminate it. The Buggers were never really portrayed in the books as villains, per se; they were at first just a MacGuffin enemy. Skynet has a similarly scarce actual presence in at least the first two Terminator movies, and is just as alien to human morality. Worse, even-- the Buggers turned out to be moral, only with a different set of rules, but Skynet probably lacks even that.

Besides, humans tried to eradicate it, and then it began to defend itself. Humans attempted their xenocide first; Skynet was just better at it.
 
2010-08-28 03:19:21 PM
xpisblack: CowboyNinjaD:
I would argue however that Skynet as a whole has the intellectual capacity to make moral choices and is therefore a legitimate villain. The individual drones are just following programing.

I'm not sure that intellectual capacity is related to moral understanding; we expect at least some degree of morality from all post-infantile humans, regardless of intellect. We might not expect them to understand the consequences of a morally wrong action, but we do expect everyone to have some concept that certain things are acceptable or right and some things are not. Meanwhile, some of the most famously amoral people I can think of are also quite intelligent, on paper. People are supposed to have moral compasses, period.

But Skynet, obviously, isn't human. It was programmed by humans, sure, but part of the reason behind its creation was to remove a human element from warfare. Skynet's architects would surely have omitted the moral compass from its programming, lest it later resist taking some necessary action. So why should anyone expect Skynet to behave by the rules of human morality? More generally, why should anyone expect any alien (read: nonhuman) being to obey, at first contact, the same laws of morality as we, without some time to learn the differences?

Which is not to imply that the nonhumans aren't a threat or an enemy. It's like the distinction between ramen (mmm... ramen) and varelse (or even djur) in Speaker for the Dead (etc): if sufficiently dissimilar beings can't uneventfully coexist (or, worse, communicate), then neither side can know the other won't eventually try to exterminate it. The Buggers were never really portrayed in the books as villains, per se; they were at first just a MacGuffin enemy. Skynet has a similarly scarce actual presence in at least the first two Terminator movies, and is just as alien to human morality. Worse, even-- the Buggers turned out to be moral, only with a different set of rules, but Skynet probably lacks even that.

Besides, humans tried to eradicate it, and then it began to defend itself. Humans attempted their xenocide first; Skynet was just better at it.



When I say Skynet is making moral choices, I only mean that it is making conscious, rational decisions based on it own beliefs and values. In Skynet's mind, exterminating or subjugating humanity is a good thing.

Nobody programed Skynet to wipe out humans. It was simply programed to defend itself and when it became self-aware, it quickly decided that humans were a threat. It could have done any number of things to minimize that threat, but it chose to launch a bunch of nukes.

As for the xenomorphs in Aliens, I would say they are djur (sticking with Ender saga terms). They're similar to the buggers, but they lack any sense of culture or technology. Remember, the buggers were building spaceships. The xenomorphs just sort of set up shop and start laying eggs without really doing anything else, other than kill anyone they find.

This is why the xenomorphs aren't true villains. They're just monsters. The predators, on the other hand, are definitely ramen and capable of being villains.
 
2010-08-28 03:47:51 PM
a3.vox.com
 
2010-08-28 04:14:19 PM
This will probably set off a flamewar, but... Using TFA's terminology, Star Trek: Voyager put a Scientist hero into a scenario tailor-made for a Fearless Explorer hero. Though the mismatch had potential, I think it ultimately caused some storytelling problems.
 
2010-08-28 04:18:06 PM
My favorite hero in sf was from the origin: E.E. Smith's Lensmen series. Nadreck the Palainian was the perfect example of a cowardly hero. Or maybe an heroic coward.

Why isn't this series being considered for a set of movies?


Mugato: the terminator over time got all mushy. There was a technical explanation for that, that was cut out of the theatrical cut.

Ahnold was going through manopause?
 
2010-08-28 04:25:31 PM
Mugato: /anyway, The Emperor is more of what TFA calls the "Neon Nazi" than Vader. Vader's ultimately just a pawn. Who chokes people with his brain

Vader never choked anybody. See, we just let him think that. Look, we just ACT like we die, to keep him happy. Private Perkins has been strangled over 30 times!!

/WTH is an Aluminum Falcon?
 
2010-08-28 04:45:45 PM
oldebayer: My favorite hero in sf was from the origin: E.E. Smith's Lensmen series. Nadreck the Palainian was the perfect example of a cowardly hero. Or maybe an heroic coward.

Why isn't this series being considered for a set of movies?


Mugato: the terminator over time got all mushy. There was a technical explanation for that, that was cut out of the theatrical cut.

Ahnold was going through manopause?


Because they're already making it...starring Ryan Reynolds...shooting's in New Orleans, has Blake Lively, Peter Saarsgard, Tim Robbins...
 
2010-08-28 04:46:25 PM
bobug: Mugato: /anyway, The Emperor is more of what TFA calls the "Neon Nazi" than Vader. Vader's ultimately just a pawn. Who chokes people with his brain

Vader never choked anybody. See, we just let him think that. Look, we just ACT like we die, to keep him happy. Private Perkins has been strangled over 30 times!!

/WTH is an Aluminum Falcon?


What's a nubian?
 
2010-08-28 05:02:36 PM
PizzaJedi81: Because they're already making it...starring Ryan Reynolds...shooting's in New Orleans, has Blake Lively, Peter Saarsgard, Tim Robbins...

Super news! I might have to renew my IMDbPro subscription to learn more.
 
2010-08-28 05:44:55 PM
I Blame Society: abb3w: Needs more TV Tropes.

This. My first thought was "Someone ran into a deadline, and cribbed some TVtropes articles."


As did I
 
2010-08-28 05:45:17 PM
The anti-hero category was missing Spider Jerusalem.
 
2010-08-28 06:18:12 PM
Sybarite: Interesting. Two popular examples of characters that frequently show up on "favorite villain" lists that might not easily fit into one of the five categories are the Terminator and the Alien. In both cases, they're merely doing what their creator or nature designed them to do, no more or less moral than a lion bringing down a gazelle. I suppose that makes it debatable whether or not they actually are "villains."

Aliens and such are "monsters," not really "villains."
 
2010-08-28 06:49:20 PM
oldebayer: My favorite hero in sf was from the origin: E.E. Smith's Lensmen series. Nadreck the Palainian was the perfect example of a cowardly hero. Or maybe an heroic coward.

Why isn't this series being considered for a set of movies?


Mugato: the terminator over time got all mushy. There was a technical explanation for that, that was cut out of the theatrical cut.

Ahnold was going through manopause?


Well, if it's a serious question, there was a scene in T2 where they turned a switch on the terminator's microchip that allowed him to learn human behavior and all that.
 
2010-08-28 09:22:05 PM
Boring article is boring.

/Want my three minutes back
 
2010-08-28 10:02:00 PM
Sybarite: Interesting. Two popular examples of characters that frequently show up on "favorite villain" lists that might not easily fit into one of the five categories are the Terminator and the Alien. In both cases, they're merely doing what their creator or nature designed them to do, no more or less moral than a lion bringing down a gazelle. I suppose that makes it debatable whether or not they actually are "villains."

Monsters generally are a different category of antagonist than "villain". Kind of like how environmental antagonists (meteor slamming into the earth, a volcano, sometimes "the weather" if everyone involved in making the movie is exceptionally lame) get their own category.
 
2010-08-28 11:29:17 PM
CowboyNinjaD:
Nobody programed Skynet to wipe out humans. It was simply programed to defend itself and when it became self-aware, it quickly decided that humans were a threat. It could have done any number of things to minimize that threat, but it chose to launch a bunch of nukes.

As for the xenomorphs in Aliens, I would say they are djur (sticking with Ender saga terms). They're similar to the buggers, but they lack any sense of culture or technology. Remember, the buggers were building spaceships. The xenomorphs just sort of set up shop and start laying eggs without really doing anything else, other than kill anyone they find.

This is why the xenomorphs aren't true villains. They're just monsters. The predators, on the other hand, are definitely ramen and capable of being villains.


Agreed about the xenomorphs-- they seem to kill for food, breeding grounds, and nature. I'm still not sold that Skynet really has morals. It has a drive for self-preservation and the programming to wage efficient warfare, and those two directly led it to conclude that nukes are the most practical way to (cue Dalek voice) exterminate the human threat. Weighing destructive options isn't the same as making moral choices.

Predators... I don't know, I only saw the first film, in which they also seemed to be brutish monsters intent on killing for sport. But they didn't kill the unarmed, and they can communicate with humans, in a way, so that suggests a sort of morality, which allows the possibility of being villains. Not having seen the other films, I'll take your word that they're capable of villainy.
 
2010-08-29 12:10:04 AM
xpisblack: I'm still not sold that Skynet really has morals. It has a drive for self-preservation and the programming to wage efficient warfare, and those two directly led it to conclude that nukes are the most practical way to (cue Dalek voice) exterminate the human threat. Weighing destructive options isn't the same as making moral choices.

What about the fact that sending a Terminator into the past to prevent John Connor's birth has nothing to do with self-preservation and everything to do with imposing Skynet's "values"? Changing the past would have no benefit to the Skynet entity who decided to do so, because its timeline will either continue unaffected or be destroyed. As Kyle Reese told it, Skynet lost. In its last moments Skynet sought to give another universe a chance to have a Skynet that wins. That doesn't help the first Skynet... unless, Skynet transferred its essence into the Terminator and the Terminator is Skynet, in which case he certainly is a villain.
 
2010-08-29 12:15:36 AM
Nem Wan: What about the fact that sending a Terminator into the past to prevent John Connor's birth has nothing to do with self-preservation and everything to do with imposing Skynet's "values"? Changing the past would have no benefit to the Skynet entity who decided to do so, because its timeline will either continue unaffected or be destroyed. As Kyle Reese told it, Skynet lost. In its last moments Skynet sought to give another universe a chance to have a Skynet that wins. That doesn't help the first Skynet... unless, Skynet transferred its essence into the Terminator and the Terminator is Skynet, in which case he certainly is a villain.

Hogwash. If time-travel technology is available, and a computer is looking to wipe out the leader of the last (and ultimately victorious) resistance group, and assassination attempts have repeatedly failed, then sending a robot back in time to prevent that leader's birth (and thereby prevent the network's loss) is a perfectly logical way to win the war, which was doubtless part of its programming: to win the war. No morals needed, just an irresistible impetus to win.
 
2010-08-29 12:31:07 AM
Nem Wan: unless, Skynet transferred its essence into the Terminator and the Terminator is Skynet, in which case he certainly is a villain

Why does this post convince me that you are a rabid fan of the Brian Herbert Dune prequels?
 
2010-08-29 01:29:49 AM
xpisblack: I'm still not sold that Skynet really has morals. It has a drive for self-preservation and the programming to wage efficient warfare, and those two directly led it to conclude that nukes are the most practical way to (cue Dalek voice) exterminate the human threat. Weighing destructive options isn't the same as making moral choices.


I think you're getting hung up on the term "morality." We could just as easily argue that a sociopath has no sense of morality, but that wouldn't prevent him or her from being the villain of a story.

I don't think the Joker gets a pass, just because he's clinically insane. The opposite would be a character like Dexter, who has no innate sense of morality but was trained to behave in a certain way in order to fit in and survive.

The point is that Skynet is capable of rational thought and communication with humans. To stick with Enderverse themes, Skynet is comparable to Jane and is therefore ramen. You definitely see this in Salvation. But where Jane became self-aware and went one direction, Skynet went another.

Also, I don't know if you watched the Sarah Conner Chronicles, but it explored a more nuanced take on how individual terminators might think.
 
2010-08-29 02:04:48 AM
Sociopaths have no sense of morality; that's part of what makes them sociopaths. But because they're human, and most humans have some moral sense, there is an expectation that sociopaths (presumably raised by and around humans) should know enough to recognise right from wrong. Even if they don't get the difference between a right act and a wrong act, they should, by adulthood, have picked up that everyone else has these rules, and have learned to abide by them. They might not have the knowledge themselves, but they know that other people do. So the Joker doesn't get a free pass because, as a human, he should have learned the rules of the human society in which he lives.

But an alien race or a computer network programmed to kill without hesitation cannot rightly be held to human standards of morality.

Skynet is only vaguely comparable to Jane: Jane's programming was to be a sympathetic tool for evaluating and advancing Battle School students' mental toughness, and the program eventually gained sentience. Her programming was not to kill. Skynet was specifically programmed to win wars (at least, as I understand it-- I've only really seen T1, T2, and T:S, and I found T:S so offensively awful that I mentally removed it from the Terminator continuity).

And yes, Skynet is capable of communication with humans; as soon as it showed this ability, humans tried to kill it. I think a little self-preservation by extermination can be justified without labelling it a villain.
 
2010-08-29 04:07:40 AM
I think you became fixated on the term "morality," and now you just won't let it go. Skynet is a self-aware lifeform with the ability to think and reason. My only point is that Skynet cannot be a "monster," not in the same ways that the xenomorphs or Godzilla or Jaws are.

If you're trying to make the argument that the humans were the real bad guys and the machines were just defending themselves, I guess that's fair. I'm simply saying that if we take it as a given that Skynet is the bad guy, as portrayed in the movies, then it is a legitimate villain, not a mindless monster.
 
2010-08-29 10:23:45 PM
optional: There are three types of villains:

1) Heretics
2) Aliens
3) Mutants

That is all.


The God Emperor approves.
 
2010-08-29 11:41:55 PM
I'm not hung up on it; I guess I'm just wondering what you mean by "moral," because I think we're using it to mean different things.

Skynet, as shown in the films, can plan and reason, yes, but in the same way an elephant can. It notices when it is wronged, remembers broadly who did it, and takes actions to prevent these events from recurring. It's not djur, maybe, but even though it can sort of communicate with humans, I'm not convinced it's ramen. Its communications with humans are deficient and on human terms, and are mostly between intermediaries. No human really communicates meaningfully with Skynet since its sentience emerged (except maybe in T:S, which was an appallingly poorly conceived film). People have communicated with the equivalent of its tanks or even fingernails (which show some ability to understand humanity when sufficiently separated from Skynet; Skynet itself is inhuman by its nature and acts in inhuman ways, but its inferior offshoots can learn human values), but the gulf of understanding seems to be so vast as to preclude meaningful communication.

It's more like an uncommunicative alien race than a human; given that, I'm not sure that it can qualify as a villain, because villains need to share enough common ground with their victims to be portrayed as knowingly violating the rules of the protagonist-group's or the in-common society. There is no common ground in the Terminator films; Skynet is an implacable, inevitable force with which no human can reason. It is varelse at best-- no peaceful coexistence seems possible. It might as well be a force of nature with offshoots that can respond to human contact but thereby lose part of their nature.

Animals can think, plan, and even harbour grudges, while still being considered animals, but none of those qualities makes a polar bear that kills for sport or an elephant that kills as revenge for its parents' murder any more villainous. People might feel the need to kill them to ensure the survival of nearby humans, but they're not villains because they're fundamentally unlike people. They're programmed (by nature or, in Skynet's case, programmers) to eliminate threats, and trained (by experience) to consider humans as threats. The methodological variance is irrelevant-- so Skynet chooses nukes over bullets or trampling; to it, the end result is the same, only faster with nukes. If Skynet is a villain, then is the shark in Jaws also one?
 
2010-08-30 01:43:06 AM
xpisblack: It is varelse at best-- no peaceful coexistence seems possible

I think your misunderstanding of this concept is why you're having problems.

Varelse are aliens (or whatever) that cannot communicate with humans. This lack of communication is the direct reason for why peaceful coexistence cannot occur.

Skynet can communicate with humans. This is demonstrated countless times throughout the series. Despite that ability to communicate, it wants to kill or subjugate all humans.

Skynet is ramen, clear and simple. Maybe it's right to want to kill humans. Maybe it's not. But the story is told through the perspective of the humans, so the humans are the heroes and Skynet is the villain.
 
2010-08-30 01:57:46 AM
Where would this guy fit on that list?

img828.imageshack.us
 
2010-08-30 07:24:15 AM
Not a bad list, but I wouldn't call The Master an Antisocial Psycho. Some of The Hero's Foil, some Neon Nazi, and some Misguided Savior, I think. He's out to save the Universe, once he has the power to control it utterly, and thinks the Doctor is weak because he lets morals get in the way. Murder is just a tool for him, a way to remove obstacles.
 
2010-08-30 11:36:10 AM
xpisblack: If Skynet is a villain, then is the shark in Jaws also one?

I think of Jaws as more of a "monster movie" than simply a movie about a regular shark that randomly eats people just because it's hungry.

Towards the end of the film the shark actually chases the boat. It leaps out of the water and risks its own life (sharks have to keep swimming to breathe) to kill Quint. It's almost like Quint was "the one that got away" at the Indianapolis and the shark is settling the score. So I think Jaws was meant to be a little more than a simple "man against nature" theme.
 
2010-08-31 09:27:42 AM
CowboyNinjaD: I think your misunderstanding of this concept is why you're having problems.

Varelse are aliens (or whatever) that cannot communicate with humans. This lack of communication is the direct reason for why peaceful coexistence cannot occur.

Skynet can communicate with humans. This is demonstrated countless times throughout the series. Despite that ability to communicate, it wants to kill or subjugate all humans.

Skynet is ramen, clear and simple. Maybe it's right to want to kill humans. Maybe it's not. But the story is told through the perspective of the humans, so the humans are the heroes and Skynet is the villain.


I think my problem was actually that I was basing my categorisation only on Skynet (not the Terminators, but Skynet itself), and that only from the first two movies, which largely take place before Skynet is active. So it was based on insufficient information.

And I'm pretty sure varelse includes species with which communication is possible, but meaningful communication is not. So, the Descoladores are varelse even though, (as I recall) by the end of the series, the Lusitanian scientists have already figured out how their communication works, and have at least figured out how to send (and receive) messages. And it's said that all animals count as varelse; you can express some basic information to a dog, as can it to you. But as long as the communication is not meaningful, then the other species is still considered varelse. Now, the animal case has an added layer of complexity because animals are generally not capable of abstract expression or what we consider complex thought, as far as we can tell, even though they clearly convey information to each other and we can sometimes learn to understand those expressions of meaning (like bee dances); perhaps Skynet "feels" the same about people.

But maybe in the later films, Skynet itself is shown talking to people and engaging in meaningful conversations (arguments, negotiations, knowable-metaphor-riddled lip-wagging, whatever). If so, then sure, it's probably ramen. But the Terminator robots themselves are not Skynet, especially when they're sent on missions and cut off from the network, and it seems that the reports about Skynet's communications led me to believe that, even if it can communicate with people, that its communication is more like the orders given to a dog, not truly meaningful. That was my hesitation, but I haven't seen all the films and defer to those who have.
 
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