A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 15: Haranea Tarkin

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Haranea Tarkin, The New Republic
SWRPG Wiki Page | Tumblr Gallery

The concept for Haranea came shortly after I created Anne. Originally they shared the same image claim – Majandra Delfino, because Haranea was the clone of Anne’s mother. Haranea was my first clone character – as I now have three of these. At first, Haranea didn’t know much about life, as she stayed with her maker on Bastion when not sent off on secret missions for the Empire. She was indeed created as an imperial weapon by one of their most genius doctors. She came to maturity within a few years and was enhanced, i.e. turned into a cyborg as to make her the most efficient and deadliest possible. She had all limbs and eyes cybernetic, along with internal upgrades, which notably influences her diet. This has always influenced how I write Haranea, because she doesn’t have a body sensitive like a biological one would be, at least in parts. Whenever she is wounded, the pain she can feel also depends on where she got harmed and how she can have greater resilience even if some of her cybernetic parts are damaged.

I knew that Haranea was Force sensitive when I created her, but I didn’t expect the whirlwind that happened in a long thread that was one of her earliest ones. During a mission, she accidentally met a man, one of Tarkin‘s descendants, who also happened to be on the run from the Empire. Despite feeding half truths and some lies about who they really were, the two of them got a rather immediate chemistry and for the first time, Haranea truly discovered what life and love could be. Yet, she promised him that she would fulfill his request and kill him herself before leaving for imperial space again. In the few days they shared, they got married and when she was about to keep her word, they were attacked, because someone mistook her for Anne. Heavily damaged, Haranea was retrieved by an imperial emergency team but wasn’t able to do as she had sworn to.

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Feeling like she had broken an oath, no matter how it wasn’t her fault, Haranea plotted her escape, and much alike to how Anne had deserted, Haranea also ran away in a bloodbath. She knew that the imperials would always be on her tail, that both her husband and her were high on their wanted list, but she was ready to pay whatever price. She reunited with him and they laid low for a few months, before getting into enough trouble that they sought shelter at the Jedi Enclave on Yavin VIII, despite how her husband didn’t want to. They stayed there for a while. Though they had both been accepted for training, Haranea never felt ready to truly begin hers, still feeling like a fraud given the horrible things she had done in her life. She was able to interact with a few Jedi, but she couldn’t bring herself to consider herself a real padawan.

The change of image claim for Haranea happened while she was at the Jedi temple. I had already switched Anne’s, but I hadn’t thought about giving up on Majandra Delfino for Haranea. Yet, the idea hit me while I was watching Once Upon A Time‘s third season. Rebecca Mader felt just right in my head to portray Haranea. So she remained a redhead, but my character went from having a cybernetic red eye and a blue one, to have both cybernetic eyes blue, so she could also blend in better while on the run.

When both her husband and her realized that they weren’t cut to be Jedi, they agreed on leaving for Republic territory, to try to find safety and purpose. Yet, the couple didn’t regret having spent time with the Jedi, for it had been part of their trajectory. Haranea also realized during these few months that – no matter how unlikely it was to happen in a biological way due to her upgraded body – she began to entertain the thought of becoming a mother at some point in the future, should her husband and her find stability and safety.

  • Do you ever write cyborg characters? How did they come to existence?
  • Do you have characters who live as fugitives but can’t seem to find a place to stick around despite several attempts?
  • Do you have characters with special/supernatural abilities who decide not to use their potential?

The New Anti-feminists: Have They Talked to Their Mothers or Grandmothers?

Natacha Guyot:

A very inspiring post by Jennie Sherwin about feminism, how it has helped improving society and how it still has more to achieve.

Originally posted on Jennie Sherwin:

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Thanks to the young bloggers I follow, most especially Natacha Guyot and Jennie Saia, my attention has been drawn to a trend among young women, who are posting photos on Tumblr and other social media sites proclaiming, in effect, that they are anti-feminists. The first thought I had after seeing these photos was a question: Have these young women spoken to their mothers, grandmothers, or aunts about what they encountered as women in society or in the workplace when they were younger? I can’t imagine they’ve had those conversations. As a woman who lived through the decades of the push for equality in the workplace and encountered anti-equality attitudes at various points in her career, I feel compelled to address these young women who don’t know what it was like to pursue a career in an unequal and unregulated work environment.

We need to remember across generations that there…

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Saving Grace, Survivor’s Guilt, and What Happens When A Friendship Dies

Natacha Guyot:

I don’t remember whether I reblogged this post when Rose first posted it, or whether I had included it in a link round up. One way or the other, rereading it today reminded me of how this post spoke to me and I wanted to share it.

Originally posted on Rose B Fischer:

I’ve had a long week.  I’ve been sick for about ten days, and although I am feeling more myself now, I’m still pretty wiped out.

I’ve also been coming to terms with the fact that a friendship I thought would be lifelong — and a person I once considered “my family” —is no longer going to be part of my life.

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Feminist Friday 2014 Finale: All Good Things . . .

Natacha Guyot:

I am so glad for having been able to take part to these Feminist Friday discussions, both as commenter and host. I am happy to see all that happened over the past months and am looking forward to what 2015 will bring!

Originally posted on Part Time Monster:

These Feminist Friday discussions are the coolest thing I have ever done on the Internet. We’ve written 23 posts on 8 blogs. I’ve lost count of the responses we’ve prompted. Some of these discussions ended up with comment threads of 50 or more. At least a couple of threads ended with more than 100. We’ve had discussions that started on Friday and didn’t end until Tuesday. Sabina’s post questioning the value of the Bechdel Test post was Freshly Pressed. Not bad at all for a project that started with three bloggers talking on a discussion thread at blog that was barely a month old. Rather than try and prompt a focused discussion this week, I’ll talk about what the success of this enterprise has meant to me and where I hope it goes from here.

Even though I am stepping away from the organized discussions for a while, I’m not…

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TV Thursday – Letter B

Babylon 5 (1994-1998)

A space station in neutral territory is the focus of a unique five year saga. – IMDb

Source: Babylon 5 Wiki.

Source: Babylon 5 Wiki.

Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)

When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurfaces and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet – the last of humanity – as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth. – IMDb

Source: Battlestar Galactica Wiki.

Source: Battlestar Galactica Wiki.

Beauty and the Beast (2012-Present)

Detective Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk), shaken to the core over the fact that everything she thought she knew about her life has been a lie, is determined to get answers to the secrets that have been revealed about her family. – IMDb

Source: Beauty and the Beast Wiki.

Source: Beauty and the Beast Wiki.

Bionic Woman (2007)

A reimagining of the popular 1970s TV series about a female athlete who is given bionic strength. – IMDb

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

Birds of Prey (2002-2003)

In the future, long after the Batman has driven himself into exile, his legacy lives on in the form of the Birds of Prey–Black Canary, Oracle, and the Huntress. – IMDb

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

A young girl, destined to slay vampires, demons and other infernal creatures, deals with her life fighting evil, with the help of her friends. – IMDb

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

Shows I want to check out starting with a B: Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990).

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 14: Anne Icarus

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Anne Icarus, The New Republic
SWRPG Wiki Page | Tumblr Gallery

When I first created Anne Icarus (née Brocar’do), she was meant to die in her very first thread. The idea was to have her join the Sith but get into so much trouble that she would be killed in her recruitment thread. Safe to say that this plan never happened, and I am very happy that it never did, because Anne became a much more interesting character than the defiant brat I imagined as Sith cannon fodder. The good thing was that even as I changed her direction, I could still keep the background I had created for her, because even for a character who was supposedly going to die in her first thread, I still needed to have her history in mind to be able to make sense of the events.

Anne was born on Coruscant and raised in an imperial orphanage on Bastion. She never knew her biological parents but was told that her father was killed in action, when serving in the military while her mother was a Fallanassi who had become insane and had been placed in an asylum but who died shortly after giving birth to her. Anne had a good life at the orphanage. A precocious and brilliant, albeit a tad wild, student, she joined the imperial military academy in her teenage years. Rumors were spread by her first intimate partner that she was a witch and in an environment that didn’t like Force users at all, it began to cause trouble to Anne and on a few occasions she became wilder and more violent, which earned her a few nights at the brig.

When the anti Force user legislation was set in the Empire, Anne had to fight for her life, because of the allegations made against her. She had to kill members of the team she was traveling with who had decided to have her judged and likely executed because they believed the rumors of her being some Force sensitive witch. She was able to desert imperial territory, no matter how much she had cherished her life there on many occasions. She stayed in hiding in the underworld for a few years, but missed her soldier’s life.

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She eventually was sought out by a Republic spy for information and moved to the Republic capital world of Telos, where she began a new life, both on a personal and professional levels. She was accepted as a member of the Republic army, despite her imperial past and she did her best to prove herself and that her loyalty was now with the people who had welcome her. That was why she always gave her everything on the front line, even when it meant ending at the hospital on several occasions. Yet, her personal life went to hell because of her own doing, as her sense of duty had even drawn her to accept to marry an imperial man during a weird mission on Arkania, as to assure the liberation of a Republic diplomatic envoy. She felt as while she had done her duty, she had wronged her fiancé and broke up. She left for a Republic base on Dellalt, licking her wounds and staying on her own as much as possible, including dealing with the miscarriage that had happened the last time she had been wounded during a mission.

Throwing Anne through all her personal trouble was a very good way for me to get into her head like I never did before. Being able to take my time with getting her back to her feet on a personal level was important. I’m also grateful that she went through this because it allowed me to plot with a friend and finding Anne’s mate in what is the longest thread I ever wrote so far. I didn’t bet so much on Anne being able to believe in love again, or even accept to be vulnerable with someone; but she did and no matter how volatile things can be with her husband, they both do a lot of good to each other. Anne isn’t always easy to live with, but it gives me room to make her evolve and having some direction for her future, both personal and professional is a great surprise, given how I was so close to just delete the character a long time ago.

In terms of looks, Anne is one of the characters I had who went through a drastic changes. She was first created with Majandra Delfino as her image claim. Yet, all images were heavily edited because I pictured Anne with purple hair (due to possible Zeltron ascendancy) and vibrant green eyes. As much as I love Delfino, I realized after a while that she didn’t work so much for Anne anymore, especially after she became an active member of the Republic Army. I just didn’t know who I could switch to, until I realize that Rachel Nichols (as a brunette like she is in Continuum) was just perfect, so I made the switch and used her with her brown hair and blue eyes. I didn’t alter Anne’s personality, but the new look fit how I perceived my character much better and also helped me have greater muse for her. I also recently added Ashley Williams from the Mass Effect franchise as a secondary claim for her.

  • Do your characters ever suffer from bullying?
  • Do they ever have to do horrible things in order to survive? How do they live with the consequences?
  • When it is difficult for a character to find their purpose, do you have certain tips to go past this possible creative block?