Saturday, January 6, 2018

31 Day Challenge: The Legion, Day 6: Favorite Villain


Oooooh, this one is actually kind of tough to do, too, because ... well, spoilers. Again. Dammit, I obviously didn't think this through. The first six days have essentially been, "Well, guys, I can't tell you much, but I looooove this particular thing," and that's not really going to change today. Sorry?

My favorite villain, Kimbrell, doesn't show up until the third arc, and he was actually one of the harder characters to write for multiple reasons:
  1. He isn't necessarily a bad guy, but his choices definitely put him in the Big Bad category.
  2. His biggest downfall is hubris, really. 
  3. He was almost too powerful for me to allow in the story. 
For point number one, Kimbrell isn't always in control of what he does. He likes to think that he is, but there are long stretches where his consciousness takes a back seat and he does some atrocious things. Granted, a lot of those actions would be things if, he were to be asked nicely and/or properly compensated (not necessarily in money), he would probably do anyway, and he never denies his responsibility in them. He's not completely morally bankrupt, but he is very much a narcissist, and playing to his ego definitely gets you major points in manipulating him to abide by your will.

Second, oh, god, the hubris. For reasons that I can't get into (spoilers!), he is an exceptionally powerful character, which in turn feeds into overconfidence of his own abilities. He knows that he exists in a morally gray area, but he feels that he will literally face no consequences because he can overpower any of them. And that actually segues nicely into the third point.

Okay, I love the Star Trek universe and have watched every series that has come out on television (well, not Discovery, but I hope to remedy that soon). My favorite is Deep Space 9 - and I may have to do a challenge on that in the future - but my introduction was through The Next Generation. My dad and I bonded over it, and sure, it was cheesy, but Patrick Stewart flew into my heart and remains there as the sexiest man alive*. But then there's the Borg. I have so many issues with the Borg, but it mainly comes from a writer's standpoint. They were this unbeatable force, unbeholden to the laws of humans and devoid of emotion or will other than assimilation of all creatures in the galaxy. Which ... okay, fine. Unless we're going in the direction of Breaking Bad, the writers are going to find out a way for our heroes to persevere, but it seems like this is the conversation that happened in the writers' room.
Writer #1: Oh, shit. Guys. I just realized.
Writer #2: What?
Writer #1: The Borg are going to defeat the good guys. Like ... easily.
Writer #3: You sure, dude?
Writer #1: Um ... yeah.
Writer #2: We'll just tweak them. Give them human weaknesses!
Writer #1: But they got rid of all those by becoming this collective hivemind.
Writer #3: Put a Queen in the middle and let her get obsessed with Picard.
All: GENIUS.
While we did get excellent episodes like "I, Borg," we also were forced to watch the Borg get boiled down into a queen and her drones, which if it wasn't canon that they were a collective - think the geth in Mass Effect - I wouldn't be that irritated by the retcon. What made them frightening was their lack of individuality, but the Queen suddenly used the first person and was not at all what the original concept was.

I didn't want to do this with Kimbrell. I didn't want to have to come up with a way for him to suddenly be vulnerable, but it took me so long to figure out how he could be beaten, and not through backtracking and changing who he was. It's not that I liked him all that much; he reminds me so much of my ex that I found myself hating him with each scene I wrote. But I needed to tell his story. He's not my favorite villain because he's the most memorable; he's my favorite because I was facing my own inner demons that he embodied. After all, our own monsters are the scariest.


BACK TO CHALLENGE

* How on EARTH did Blake Shelton win this? Come on, People. 
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