Can a Love Interest Be a Sidekick?

On the last episode of Words with Nerds (available here on iTunes and Podbean) we debated sidekicks and henchmen. One argument has continued in the Twitterverse between Craig and a legendary antagonist (Jar Jar Hater) who insists that love interests can, indeed, be sidekicks.

The first example, I have to say, does not support the cause (and was addressed by Craig on the podcast).

Lois Lane

Kate Bosworth

I’ve got nothing personal against Margot Kidder, but I’ve also got nothing *for* Margot Kidder. So here’s Kate Bosworth.

Lois Lane is many things. A damsel in distress, a mysteriously well-respected reporter and, in only one of the Superman films, attractive.

But she is not a sidekick. The key criteria she fails to meet is joining the hero in battle.

Lois is often the cause of a contest between Superman and his current enemy, or bait to get him to walk into Luthor’s latest lead–lined Kryptonite factory (seriously, did every bit of Kryptonite fall within 50 miles of Metropolis?).

But there is one interesting example.

I’m undecided, though, if she’s the exception that proves the rule.

Marion Ravenwood

If I’m honest, Marion Ravenwood was the first girl to steal my chidhood heart from Princess Leia.

Marion Ravenwood is everything that Lois Lane is not.

Stunning smile, twinkling eyes and the ability to drink opponents into comas. Marion Ravenwood may be Indiana Jones’ love interest, but she’s easily considered a sidekick.

She can shoot a gun, keep a secret and throw a punch. She follows the hero into battle and risks life and limb for what’s right. She uses her sexuality as a tool and a weapon, and almost a means of escape.

Lois, meanwhile, would sit on her ass and wait for Clark to save her.

So it’s something on which to chew. Has an effective counter–argument been provided, thus re–opening the debate?

Or is Marion the rare case that would register as a “false positive”?

Sound off below!

The Importance of Being Music

Sheet Music

I can't read this for the life of me. Hat's off to anyone who can.

With all of my recent Star Wars posts, I started thinking about how important the scores of those films are.

Then I started thinking about how important the music is for other films. So I came up with a Top Ten List of Movie Scores. This is a personal list of favorites of course, and in no way is meant to imply that I’m competent in music. I just know what I like.

I also want to see what others think. At least it’s not all John Williams, disproving at least one person’s prediction about the list (his name rhymes with “Pony”).

I’m going to cheat it out a little bit with one of the slots, as you would expect, while giving clear preference to one of The Six. My uncle Bruce would run me down with how that’s not a fair way to rank things, but it doesn’t have to be fair. It’s my list and I’ll make up any rules I darn well want.


Won’t Someone Think of the Children?

This is a thought that’s been cooking in my head for a while, which was triggered again when I wrote the other blog about my girls watching The Clone Wars.

More than once, I’ve encountered people chastising the violence in the show, stating that it’s shocking to them that it’s rated TV-PG when so much wanton violence occurs. After all, lightsabers slash droids on a regular basis! Grievous kills people! Anakin kills people!

Think of the Children!

Helen Lovejoy

Our Hero, Helen Lovejoy

Do I sift out some of the more intense Clone Wars episodes for my kids, since I’m not sure that the themes (not the violence) are ones for which they’re ready? Sure.

But the funny thing is that this isn’t a new complaint about the Star Wars franchise. In 1999 Katie Couric interviewed George Lucas as a ramp-up to the release of The Phantom Menage, which happened to be in the wake of the tragedy in Columbine. Couric wondered aloud what role violence plays in shaping kids’ actions. Watch the gut-churning questions from Couric here, as well as Lucas’ intelligent responses to her idiocy. Watch the whole thing for the chilling prophecy of the future about attitudes in the media, fulfilled by later Lords of Late Night.

What has bugged me about the whole exchange since 1999, and the many exchanges that have occurred like it, is that the hand-wringing overprotectiveness does nothing than make the hand-wringer feel better about themselves.