Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-15-2020, 09:10 PM   #31
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Don't forget Bogie. Most of his roles are antiheroic for the time they were written. His stereotyped character is dark and cynical and if he does heroic things it looks as if he is forcing himself. For instance, Rick Blaine is still in a depression over The One That Got Away. He maintains his nightclub by befriending an odious (if charming) petty local tyrant. In the past he was a merc and claims he was merely looking for money in defiance of Ilsa (despite what the movie said the other side would not have paid more in Ethiopia and it was a coin toss in Spain). He is not as natural a hero as Victor. On the other hand he takes good care of his staff, and even lets a young Bulgarian win a jackpot so that his wife won't give her honor for a passport. And in the end he lets The One That Got Away get away again and learns to accept it.

He is more subtle than later antiheros. But Rick, like other Bogies is definitely an antihero for his time.
Over the course of Casablanca, we see anti-hero Rick Blaine cease to be an anti-hero and movie back into full-on heroic character territory, and he reaches this redemption by self-abnegation. He realizes that it's best for everyone, especially Ilsa, if he lets her go, she belongs with Victor, she'll be able to be happy with Victor in a way she cannot be with him, and he loves her enough to let her go. At the end, it looks as if his example might have moved the local petty tyrant to seek redemption as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Jules Pierre Mao in The Expanse saw himself, this way, but he was clearly deluded.

Had he truly wished to protect humanity, he would have announced the discovery on Phoebe, and sought help understanding what his scientists had found.
That makes me think of another character who is arguably an anti-hero: Dr. Morbius, from Forbidden Planet, the old SF movie (still IMHO the best SF movie Hollywood ever did).

Dr. Morbius murdered the entire complement of the starship Bellerophon before the movie opens, sparing only his wife. But at the same time, he has no idea he did it. Consciously, all he knows is that the Bellerophon exploded while trying to leave Altair IV.

Twenty-odd years later, when a military ship from Earth arrives to investigate the loss of the Bellerophon, we find that Altair IV was the site of an ancient super-advanced technological civilization, the Krel, one that perished, after millions of years of advancement and growth, in the course of a few local days, a quarter of a million years before. There's little sign of it left on the surface, after the passage of that much time, but vast alien machines still operate underground.

Morbius is unquestionably an arrogant man. He considers himself more intelligent than everyone else. He's the sort who reminds people of his IQ test scores all the time. And yet...by most metrics, he is smarter than most people, and his IQ has been artificially boosted by an alien machine. He's humble enough to admit that his near-superhuman cognitive power would put him, by Krel standards, at the level of a developmentally disabled child.

The captain of the military ship thinks that a discovery on that scale should be under government supervision. Morbius disagrees, and says he intends to dole out Krel secrets, as he learns them, in accordance with his own judgement as to the 'readiness' of the human race.

Arrogant as heck? Yes. And yet...if I were in his place, I don't know that I'd report the discovery either. I don't imagine myself a qualified to decide what the world is entitled to know or not...but at the same time, that alien super-civilization died out after millions of years of survival in the course of a day. So caution is called for, and as long as nobody but me knew about the alien records or machines, the genie is still in the bottle. Once everybody knows, it's out.

Of course Morbius is an anti-hero because he's blind to his own short-comings. Captain Adams (played by a young Leslie Nielsen in a very serious role) figures out what happened to the Bellerophon, and the nature of the monster that's been attacking them, even though he lacks Morbius' huge intellect. He also lacks Morbius' psychological blocks, and can recognize the Morbius created the monster by the action of his subconscious on the alien machines. It's implied that similar disaster would follow from any human plugged into the Krel machine, only the details would vary.

When Adams forces Morbius to face up to the tragic reality of the situation, Morbius is prepared to die to make things right. That makes him heroic, but he's an anti-hero, or a 'tragic hero' or both, because it was his flaws that created the problem.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2020, 09:15 AM   #32
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
When Adams forces Morbius to face up to the tragic reality of the situation, Morbius is prepared to die to make things right. That makes him heroic, but he's an anti-hero, or a 'tragic hero'
Probably a better example of a face turn -- villain become hero, or at least having a heroic moment, like Darth Vader. Being a villain for a while and then gaining redemption isn't the same as throughout the story being the protagonist, achieving heroic ends by questionable means or as an unsavory person.
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2020, 02:13 PM   #33
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Probably a better example of a face turn -- villain become hero, or at least having a heroic moment, like Darth Vader. Being a villain for a while and then gaining redemption isn't the same as throughout the story being the protagonist, achieving heroic ends by questionable means or as an unsavory person.
Yeah, but Morbius isn't really very much like Vader. Remember, he's a mass murderer, but he doesn't know it. Or at least, not consciously. As Captain Adams observes, he remembered enough to try to warn them off.

When he points out the graveyard for the people of the Bellorophon, he mentions that he dug each grave with his own hands, and has no wish to repeat it. That's probably true. He really would rather Adams and his crew survive.

But at the same time, he did kill the first crew, albeit without knowing it, and he is controlled by his own huge ego in ways he doesn't perceive. He probably really is concealing the discoveries on Altair IV in part to protect the human race, on a subconscious level he knows what would happen if large numbers of people arrive on Altair IV and get access to that machine.

But if he'd been less arrogant, the outcome might have been less tragic, too.

It's hard to untangle the good and the bad in Morbius.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2020, 02:28 PM   #34
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Yeah, but Morbius isn't really very much like Vader. Remember, he's a mass murderer, but he doesn't know it. Or at least, not consciously. As Captain Adams observes, he remembered enough to try to warn them off.
I don't think he's an anti-hero. This is essentially a classic Star Trek episode a decade or two early; the hero is the starship captain (Adams or Kirk). And an anti-hero is a type of hero, at least in the idiom you're using (for the original sense of anti-hero, an example would be Captain Mercer of the Orville). Morbius is the equivalent of the people the Enterprise encountered who'd gotten caught up in some alien culture or unwise scheme, whom the captain had to oppose but who wasn't an actual villain.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2020, 12:15 AM   #35
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post

That makes me think of another character who is arguably an anti-hero: Dr. Morbius, from Forbidden Planet, the old SF movie (still IMHO the best SF movie Hollywood ever did)..
Morbius lacks an essential feature of an antihero. Unlike his prototype, Prospero he isn't the protagonist.
David Johnston2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2020, 09:43 PM   #36
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Morbius lacks an essential feature of an antihero. Unlike his prototype, Prospero he isn't the protagonist.
He isn't for most of the movie, but he sort of becomes one of the protagonists at the end, when he's forced to accept the reality of the situation, and struggles to overcome the monster within.

That said, though, his status as semi-antagonist through most of the movie also puts Morbius into the running for anti-villain status.
__________________
HMS Overflow-For conversations off topic here.
Johnny1A.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.