Star Wars

Ethics of our Robot Overlords

 

Data-Aida (2)

Is Data a person? Should we feel bad about Han Solo kicking C -3PO around? And whose fault is it that Ultron and Aida turned out so bad?

On this episode, Jacob and Matthew dive into the ethics of artificial life.

 

 

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

 

A New Journey- Star Wars, and Alternatives to the Hero’s Journey

 

Rey Becky FinalAuthor and Star Wars Geek Extraordinaire, Becky Allen, talks with us about the trope of the hero’s journey. How does it help story telling, and how does it hurt? Why is it so important that Rey get’s to go on that journey?

Becky Allen is the author of Bound by Blood and Sand and the forthcoming sequel, Freed by Flame and Storm. She grew up outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the product manager for TheBody.com, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism.

 

 

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

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You can Be Super!

 

Super Face “Comic book heroes are always political, and have always been political.” Our guest this week is Krystal Kara, the creator of the organization Be Super, which strives to use comic book characters as educational tools to understand social justice issues. Be Super aims to show that every individual is a hero.

We talk about Be Super, Wonder Woman, sexism and racism in the comic book and TV/movie worlds, and why Superhero stories need to be more than just escapism.

 

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

What superhero or sci-fi stories have inspired you, or helped you teach someone else? What in our podcast did you agree or disagree with? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

To learn more about Be Super, or respond to Krystal directly, check them out on:

 

 

 

Rogue Ethics

rogue-one-a-star-wars-story

Did Galen Erso make the right choice by helping to build the Death Star, but adding a fatal flaw? What lessons can Rogue One teach us about rebellion, and what it means to find your own way to combat tyranny? Paul and Matthew discuss these issues and more on this week’s episode.

 

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

What would you have done? What are the ethical questions from Rogue One you are still thinking about?  Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Remembering Leia- by Rebecca Rose Vassey

carrieRebecca Rose Vassey, who was recently a podcast guest on Chosen Ones, wrote a wonderful post about the death of Carrie Fisher that I wanted to share with you all.  A great reminder of the power the actress and the character held for so many, and why she will be missed.

“Just got on to FB today to learn that we lost Carrie Fisher. I am heartbroken…I really hoped she might pull through. I couldn’t wait to see how her story continued to unfold in the next Star Wars movie. It really can’t be underestimated, the impact that she made as Princess Leia on girls of my generation. We had her and we had Wonder Woman. Society didn’t care about telling us that we could be brave and strong, independent and centered confidently in our own power. “Princesses” were the things that got pretty dresses and rescued by princes. But there was this little subversive ray of light as we grew up and Princess Leia showed us we could speak truth to power, we could participate in our own rescues, we could rescue others and lead rebellions and be spies and award medals and have stories that matter. Carrie Fisher brought that to life and made it iconic. And then, later, she was authentic and truthful about her many struggles with mental health and addiction. She was a fighter, a survivor, a woman still standing up to ageism and sizeism even as late as “The Force Awakens”. I am proud that her work helped shape me as a child, encouraged me to speak loud in a world that told me to shut up and be pretty. You will always be my princess, Carrie Fisher. May we all look up from time to time and see you shimmering blue-silver and nodding in wise encouragement. Rest in power and may the Force be with you.”

As Diva Darling, Rebecca Rose Vassy is a variety performer with an emphasis on nerdlesque. As a writer and blogger, she’s best known for pottymouth rants and absurdist humor. As a lifelong nerd and geek, she loves subverting tropes and overthinking pop culture. Join her shenanigans at divamojo.com, on Facebook as Diva Darling, or on Twitter at Diva_Mojo.

Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

 

Part 2 of our Podcast on Luke Cage & Identity

luke-cage-bulletsIn this episode, Paul and I finish our discussion of the issue of identity in superheros, focusing on the first episode of Luke Cage along with related questions of identity and race in the  upcoming Dr. Strange and Iron Fist.

 

Download the episode by right-clicking here,  or find us on Itunes by searching for Superhero  Ethics Podcast.

Who are the heroes that you see yourself in? Let us know in the comments below!

The Ethics of Mind-Reading: New Podcast Episode with guest Dr. Greg Haley

prof-xDo you want Professor X poking around in your head? Did the Jedi overuse their “not the droids you’re looking for” hand wave trick? This week, Dr. Greg Haley joins us for a discussion of the ethics of mind-reading, and a discussion of how it relates to discussions of surveillance and civil liberties in our own world.

Spoilers for the X-Men franchise and the TV show Babylon 5.

Dr. Greg Haley holds a doctorate in rhetoric and writing with a research focus in hermeneutics and identity construction.  He writes professionally on a wide range of topics from politics to mental health and philosophy.  His new website, www.theyrejustwords.com will launch Oct 1st.

Click here to download, and follow us on Itunes by searching for Superhero Ethics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Villain as Mirror- Suicide Squad Pt 2.

dookuwaller_edited(This post contains spoilers about Suicide Squad, and the Star Wars movies.)

Recently, I was talking to a friend about the moment when the Star Wars prequels truly lost me.  We had already laughed about all of the bad dialogue and wooden acting, and agreed that no words were needed about the Binxian heresy. But as I explained to him, I wasn’t talking about the worst or the most laughable or groan worthy moment from those movies- instead I was bringing up the moment where I realized these movies had truly abandoned any of the complexity and nuance that had been such a bulwark of the original story.  I was talking about the moment in Attack of the Clones when Count Dooku, leader of the separatist movement, reveals that he has been working all along for Darth Sidious, the man who will come to be known as the Emperor.

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Why I’m a Fan, and Why I Write this Blog

hidingI’ve seen this comic going around, and I like it and think its pretty accurate. But I want to add one more panel- one where the fan comes back out of the Tardis, and starts walking toward that big messy ball of conflict and says something like “ok, I’m back, and now I’ve got some ideas on how to deal with it all.”  Even better if the art shows him seeing some other fans who weren’t able to get away from the conflict the way he did.

Escapism can be pretty great, and is often a pretty basic need, whether you’re escaping the troubles of the world, or just your own home. As a kid, I would re-read roleplaying books or re-watch my favorite scenes from Star Wars as a way to drown out my parents fighting. To this day there are movies and TV shows I will turn on because the conflict between the Vorlons and the Shadows makes more sense to me, and feels less hopeless, than what I read about in the news. And when I need that, I do my best to let myself have it without shame, or judgement, something I still struggle with. Nor is anything I write here meant to shame others who need that escape- this is about my own feelings only.

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