Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

The Way The Mass Effect Movie Should Be

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

this entry brought to you by tool, "jambi"

It was two years between Mass Effect 2 and 3, and its been two years since the last game and frankly, I miss it. I want another Mass Effect. Since the day I started playing Mass Effect I've thought about it a lot, but now that it's been two years, I'm positively jonesing.

And since I've been thinking about Mass Effect, I often think about what a Mass Effect movie would be like. I was thinking, realistically, if they ever made this movie, they would cast Shepard as a male because movie producers are cowards and this movie would cost 250 million and they'd be wanting a franchise so they'd be looking at 750 million total, and they'd want a box office of a billion worldwide minimum. Whoever was in charge of a Mass Effect movie trilogy would be scared to make the lead character female because of the perception that women can't lead action films, just as Bioware was afraid to make the female Shepard the lead in their marketing for the game because of the perception that an action game won't sell if it has a female lead.

But then I thought, no, you know what? Shepard needs to fucking be a female.

If I were the guy to pitch it, I'd say listen, this fucking movie has to star a female, to separate it from every other 200 million dollar movie. Look at The Hunger Games. Biggest movie of 2013, all on Jennifer Lawrence. If you make an awesome movie with an awesome hero, 13 year olds will still spend their allowance to see it even if the main character has boobs, and if this particular main character doesn't have boobs, what's different about the poster on the wall in the cineplex than the next Star Trek, or the next Star Wars?

Then I thought, if Shepard's a female, if the movie studio is already perceiving that its sticking its neck out with a female lead, there's no way Liara, another female, can be the love interest in this 250 million dollar movie that's going to kick off a franchise. They'd want it to be a pg-13 movie, because pg13 movies make more money, there's no way they'd make the lead character a lesbian.


The thing is, when I played Mass Effect, I played as a female, and Liara, an alien from a species that is entirely female, is her love interest, while the option for the traditional human female and human male option was also available. I didn't choose that because I thought the human male character was boring, but also, who would play a sci fi game with aliens in it that allows you to develop relationships and not pick the cool alien over the dumb human which we see in every other piece of fiction? When we watch Star Trek don't we want Kirk to have sex with every alien he comes across? Don't we want Ryker to nail everything that has a slightly different skin tone? And the fact that Liara is a woman from a species of all women, the sci fi concepts of how she procreates and what all of this means isn't just about horny dudes playing games and wanting to see two chicks doing it, it seemed like fascinating sci-fi. It seemed like sci fi of the 21st century where its not controversial to have a white man kiss a black chick. This was the logical next step in sci fi convention breaking.

I don't even consider my Shepard to be gay. She's not a lesbian, any more than she's an inter species fetishist. She just happened to fall in love with a person who is a blue mammal from outer space that speaks English and has female sex organs. This is how the Mass Effect movie should work. It wouldn't just make for fun sci fi storytelling, it would make for a strong allegory for modern times. Its what would help it stand out from all the other 200 million dollar action movies.


I think the Mass Effect universe is unique, and I think, if handled like it's handled in the game, could easily stand out on its own, despite its surface level similarities to its inspirations. I think it can and would connect to a larger audience, and not just the 8 million or so gamers who love the series. But I think this is the way you have to do Mass Effect as a movie, because the pitch itself-- sci fi future universe with aliens and a human has to save the universe from an evil that threatens everything-- is not unique. It needs something to separate it that is tangible and immediate that doesn't betray the source material, and I think badass space lesbian is exactly the thing you would have to do to make it work.

Its 2014, and a major action movie having a gay hero is an inevitability. It would disappointing if Mass Effect, with its built-in ability to do that, were the second major film to do that, were they to turn it into a film. Or worse, unsuccessful because audiences couldn't tell it apart from any other sci fi movie.

with love from CRS @ 1:21 PM 


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