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Anakin Skywalker vs Darth Vader: Character Development in Reverse

Many Star Wars fans consider Anakin Skywalker effectively a different character from Darth Vader. However, analyzing Anakin’s character progression from Jedi to Sith can be very interesting, especially depending on viewing order. For fans of the original trilogy, the prequels’ portrayal of Anakin may have been startling. On the other hand, a chronological viewing, especially one that includes the Clone Wars series, may depict a slow but steady character arc for young Skywalker with a tragic but inevitable conclusion.

Compare and contrast the two characters. What traits of Anakin’s remain in Darth Vader, and how are they portrayed differently? Where do we see traits of Darth Vader peeking through in Anakin during the prequel era? Does this change how we see other heroes and villains, like Luke Skywalker or Kylo Ren, and even characters from other franchises?

  • Regarding the aspects of Luke and Kylo, it might be useful to look at things that used to be canon in Star Wars, but are no longer. What comes to mind is the comic that likely inspired the Ben Solo in the new trilogy. – Siothrún 1 week ago
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A Decade of BTS: Celebrating Achievements, Impact, and Cultural Contributions

This topic invites writers to reflect on the first decade anniversary of BTS, one of the most influential K-pop groups globally. Explore and celebrate their journey, from debut to global stardom, and analyze the key milestones and achievements that have defined their success. Delve into BTS’s impact on the music industry, cultural landscape, and fandom culture worldwide. Examine their advocacy work, including social and mental health issues, and discuss how BTS has transcended traditional K-pop boundaries. Reflect on their unique approach to music, storytelling, and the use of social media, and explore the ways in which they have redefined the dynamics of fan engagement. Additionally, consider the challenges faced by BTS and how they have navigated the complexities of fame and global influence over the past ten years.

  • I know absolutely nothing about BTS but from my general understanding their success in the last ten years has catalyzed a growing awareness and appreciation for Korean music (even more broadly, Korean culture) in America (and other nations, I'm sure) in a way not too dissimilar to the Beatles era dubbed the British Invasion. I think a comparison of these two influences could be interesting. – Ryan 3 weeks ago
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Exploring the Theme of Fatigue in Superhero Movies: A Critical Analysis

This topic invites writers to delve into the portrayal of fatigue and its impact on superheroes in movies. From physical exhaustion to emotional burnout, explore how fatigue is depicted in superhero narratives. Analyze the storytelling choices, character developments, and the overall representation of fatigue, and discuss its significance in shaping the superhero genre. Consider the influence of real-world issues and societal expectations on these portrayals. Additionally, examine how filmmakers address the challenge of keeping superhero narratives fresh while acknowledging the toll that constant heroics may take on these iconic characters.

  • It might be helpful to discuss the fatigue audiences might feel after being exposed to so many near back-to-back superhero films. – WriterMan1 2 weeks ago
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  • Interesting topic! I'd recommend for the topic taker to research what fatigue does do the body and then tie that to how that might extrapolate to a superhero based on their powers and how that would potentially compact things. – Siothrún 2 weeks ago
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Shifts in YouTube and the Rise of Short Video Media Like TikTok

Following the departure of the creator of channels The Game Theorists, Film Theorists, Food Theorists, and Style Theorists, MatPat, from YouTube, there has been discussion about the changes of YouTube’s platform and if viewers of the platform are going to see other long-standing YouTubers leave. In MatPat’s goodbye video, he references other YouTubers who have decided to leave the platform and notes that "the platform is changing". We have also seen the trend of short-style videos in the vein of TikTok rise in popularity. The topic taker should address what changes they see taking place, possibly using the host of recent goodbye videos as a jumping off point, for the web-video platforms and analyze what those trends might mean for others looking to get into the content creation space.

The topic taker is free to include the psychological impact of content creation, especially with the constant stream of short-form videos, has on a person. In addition, the topic taker can compare and contrast the platforms of YouTube and TikTok on multiple levels, such as monetization strategies and algorithms if they wish in order to predict where the trends might be going and indicate what those trends suggest for viewers and creators alike.

MatPat’s Farwell: (link)

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    Content-Creation vs. Art?

    As we’ve seen in ‘Star Wars’ and, more recently, ‘The Lord of the Rings’, television adaptations are entering an age in which a story and its characters can be explored ad nauseam without the input of the original author/creator (whether the creator died or sold rights, or whether copyright expired). We can conceivably imagine, then, ‘Star Wars’ films coming out years, even decades from now, even though the mind of George Lucas is no longer involved. I guess I have a number of questions:
    What are the pros and cons of such "content-creation" (i.e. franchises maintained by a company — whose primary goal is profit) versus "art" (or, the subjective, personal production of one or a small group of individuals, limited by their time commitments and lifespan). Is there an argument to be made that ‘Star Wars’ should finally be "completed", and left alone like a painting? Or is content the new art, for better or for worse?

    • I feel like the MCU Phase 4 and onward falls victim to this question, and might provide a third aspect to examine as well. – Siothrún 2 weeks ago
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    Are Superheroes Fantasy or Science Fiction?

    Superhero stories are filled with fantasy tropes: wizards, knights in shining armor, dragons and other monsters, gods of various mythologies, and so on. Meanwhile, many superhero and supervillain origin stories seem like science fiction premises (mutated DNA, aliens, and so on). Most superpowers, even the ones that are supposedly based on science, defy science to the point where they would be indistinguishable from magic in a fantasy setting.
    Consider the characteristics that differentiate the Fantasy Genre from the Science Fiction Genre. Then consider the central characteristics of superhero stories – Marvel, DC Comics, Invincible, pick your favorite – and analyze whether they fall more on one side or the other. If some superheroes belong to one genre and some belong to another, what happens when those superheroes team up with each other?
    What are the implications of which genre superheroes "belong to"? Does this affect the future of superhero stories?

    • I'd consider seeing if superheroes might fall into an in-between category like science fantasy as well. – Siothrún 2 weeks ago
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    The Future of Story-Driven Cartoons

    Throughout the twenty-first century, there has been an increase in the number of children’s cartoons with complex storylines that unfold over multiple seasons. The episodes of this show format are intended to be viewed in a specific order, so that audience members can fully understand the show’s continuity-driven story. Popular examples of this format include Avatar: The Last Airbender, Steven Universe, and The Owl House.

    The proposed article would discuss the future of story-driven cartoons in light of current industry trends. The writer could discuss factors such as: new technologies (eg. streaming services), broader entertainment trends (eg. mass TV show cancellations, resulting in rushed/unfinished stories), and competing forms of entertainment (eg. children spending increased time watching videos on tablets instead of TV). The article would explore whether story-driven cartoons will continue to rise in popularity or if it will be difficult for this format to thrive in the current animation industry.

    • In the case of Steven Universe, it's probably important to note how awful the airing schedule at CN was. Some of the most major plot developments happened during the "Steven Bombs," which were these airing blocks where a new episode would be aired a day for a week straight. There would be such large gaps between these little events, so it was a bit frustrating to follow – Justinv2552 2 weeks ago
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    • The Owl House in particular provides an opportunity to further explore what happens when a streaming company (Disney, in this case) cancels a season when there was clearly more that the creator had planned for the story. – Siothrún 2 weeks ago
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    • I like this topic - as someone who grew up watching Avatar it's been interesting to see this style become more popular! It possibly could also be worthwhile mentioning the impact that anime has had on animators and/or the preferences of kids, as many of the anime targeted at younger audiences have had story-driven structures as well. – AnnieEM 1 week ago
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    Happiness, a exploration of Nihilism.

    Happiness is a vampire manga by Shūzō Oshimi. While on the surface it is a supernatural story it delves quite readily into not just other genre conventions such as science fiction body horror and coming of age romance, but examinations on the very concept of humanity, the nature and purpose of suffering and if meaning can ever truly be garnered from horror.

    The protagonist is spared from death on the whim, his friend and his friend’s lover, not to mention her family, are much less fortunate. The protagonist and his love interest are subjected to grotesque trials for 50 years only for them to escape and resolve to live apart from humans, which begs the question, both textually and metatexually, what was the purpose of this?

    • I think the edits I made didn't process which is unfortunate. To clarify, Nihilism in the common understanding, is the belief that nothing in life matters, that nothing is really real. Within the plot of Happiness the Protagonist is subject to trials and tribulations that don't reveal a greater understand of the world to him within his story, his suffering doesn't better or worsen the world around him. Metatextually, the world of Happiness is similar and dissimilar to the real world, there are horrific science experiments done on people throughout human history that never yielded any medical insight. Suffering for the sake of suffering being all that was produce. What purpose does it serve to feature such a dispiriting element to the story when the ending amounts to, the main character being again isolated from humanity with the one who turned him into a vampire? – Sunni Ago 2 years ago
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    • A digestible yet philosophical dissection of Happiness would be an incredible read, especially if one takes the time to draw real world parallels--it is difficult NOT to feel nihilistic in this day and age, and tapping into that very real feeling of listlessness, one that inspired the concept of nihilism in the first place, and connecting it with the narrative of Happiness would underscore the humanity (both conceptually and literally) the series appears to be examining. – alliegardenia 1 year ago
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    Film

    Corner Office: The Danger of the Isolation
    Corner Office: The Danger of the Isolation
    Click: A Tragic Tale Exploring the Importance of Family
    Alienation in “There will be Blood”
    Nuclear Nightmares in Film and Preventing Eventual Armageddon

    TV

    Mystic Pop-Up Bar: Unearthing This Underrated Gem
    Mystic Pop-Up Bar: Unearthing This Underrated Gem
    How Andor Uses Audio to Explore Oppression and Rebellion
    From Mythology to the MCU: Egyptian and Norse
    Bridgerton’s Reimagining of Regency Society

    Animation

    Superman vs. The Elite: What is Justice?
    Superman vs. The Elite: What is Justice?
    Villains of the Shrek Universe: From Nursery Rhymes to the Grim Reaper
    Laika and the Power of Eyes: A Soul’s Quest for Self-Possession
    Disney Protagonists and the Seven Deadly Sins

    Anime

    Male-Female Friendships in Anime: Can We Really Be Just Friends?
    Male-Female Friendships in Anime: Can We Really Be Just Friends?
    Demon Slayer — The Silent Oppression of Nezuko
    Hallyu & Anime: A More Than Welcome Ongoing Love Story
    Perfect Blue: The Horror of Being Idolised

    Manga

    One-Punch Man’s Saitama: The Alienation of a Hero
    One-Punch Man’s Saitama: The Alienation of a Hero
    Vagabond: Beautiful Lessons in Takehiko Inoue’s Manga
    Exploring the impact of social medias through Helter Skelter and Black Mirror’s Nosedive
    Berserk, Sisyphus, and The Indomitable Human Spirit

    Comics

    Superman, Alienation, and Evil
    Superman, Alienation, and Evil
    Why Don’t Superheroes Change the World?
    Continuity and Connectivity in Comic Book Movies
    Comics in Education: Benefits and attitudes

    Literature

    1984: What Does it Tell us About The Purpose of Life?
    1984: What Does it Tell us About The Purpose of Life?
    Classic Literature’s “Infinity Girls”
    Reinventing Beth March
    Poe’s Horror: Reading “The Fall of The House of Usher”

    Arts

    The Creative Industries in Bangladesh: The Case of Coke Studio Bangla’s “Deora”
    The Creative Industries in Bangladesh: The Case of Coke Studio Bangla’s “Deora”
    Japan: Art, Eroticism, and Religion
    Why Should We Separate Real Art From NFTs of the Bored Ape Yacht Club Type?
    Tehching Hsieh: The Experience of Time and Duration in Performance Art

    Writing

    Is the Pen Mightier Than the Keyboard?
    Is the Pen Mightier Than the Keyboard?
    Whump And Its Role Outside of Fandom
    Movement and Location: A Brief Comment on Meaning in the Literary Experience
    Writing About Place