Little Green Men
I went and saw it, Warcraft the movie. If you don’t know anything about it, it is based on the video game franchise that has been around for gah, how long has it been now? I want to say since like Windows 95 or maybe even earlier. We are talking the age of dinosaurs. Although, most people know it now through the MMO World of Warcraft. For many WOW is the be all and end all of games. It is probably still one of the biggest communities of gamers in the world.
The game itself bridged a gap that brought in non gamers as well as gamers in a way that no other game had in the past. But this isn’t a telling of the WOW story at all.
Yes, I did play the game. I even played Warcraft the strategy game that brought it all about and opened the way for what we have now. This is all within my gaming history. But it has been sometime since I played any of the games related to the movie.
Which brings me to the movie itself. I saw it with a friend of mine in 3D. That was an experience. Normally, I don’t care for 3D and I don’t care for stadium seating in movie theaters. But as a lover of the big screen sometimes you have to compromise. In this case I thought it worth it.
Part of that is the simple idea of the orcs themselves. These beings are huge, massive, ginormous. Sure you can see that on a flat screen but it is the 3D approach that gives the pure feeling of the experience. I couldn’t believe how intense seeing the movie this way could be. With the massive structures (so common in fantasy movie environments now) and the giant characters it helped to convey the huge scope of the landscapes and environment that the characters were active in.
And this is where I step a bit off the reservation. Well, at least as far as the movie is concerned. See, I also did something else recently that I realized touches on what I was breaking into with the initial portion of this talk. Today I finished the first volume of the Warlord of Mars comic series. By volume I am referring to the first portion of the series collected into a single volume. I am not even sure how many comics this volume covered but what I find is it covered what would have been the first book of the John Carter of Mars series (Princess of Mars).
Now I know what you’re thinking… What the heck does a story written back in the early part of the 20th century have to do with a series of games, books, media tie ins and what not that only came out in the early 21st century? And this is where I remind you that everything is cyclical. I mean seriously, this comic series is an adaptation of the book and it only came out in the past few years. But that part of it is irrelevant.
Where I see the similarity and connection is in the visuals. Just in reading the books (it’s been far too long since I have read them), you may get a picture in your mind of the great white apes, the red humanoids, and the green tharks of Mars, but you won’t really appreciate the concrete view of what they might be outside of those stories. This is an advantage of the comics. We are able to share the vision and collectively we see the same thing. And the Tharks are huge. Their great tusks remind me ever so much of the Orks from the Warcraft movie.
Fiction is based on the influences we see around us and shared stories we experience in what ever way we can come across them. The Orks from Lord of the Rings are different looking creatures than the Orks from Warcraft. Sure they share the same name but the influence isn’t as conjoined as we might think. But when you consider the green Tharks of Barsoom we see a resemblance that can’t be denied. Sure the Tharks have the extra set of arms but their immense size and culture tends to fit with what the Orks were portrayed as in Warcraft and in the games that tie into the movie.
Now I am not saying that this is a direct connection. I am not saying that this in anyway is something that might be any kind of creative appropriation in any way. What I am saying is it is interesting the paths our minds mayT wander down. It is entirely possible that the visions we have of these creatures were an influence in the creation of the others. This is a direct pathway in how our minds work when we create stories and connect them to things we do and don’t know about the worlds we mentally travel through.
The reality of it all comes back to keeping our eyes open and our minds free of doubt and circumstance. You never really know what you might come across to spark an idea for something else. You never really know what will stand out in your mind that may become a part of the stories you tell to the world around you. It can be an interesting ride as you explore the various parts of our world and find something that might have been missed by someone else or maybe seen in a completely different light than what others have seen.
Was there a point to any of this? Hell if I know. I guess I will leave you with this instead. The movie Warcraft was an enjoyable flick, even if you have never played the game (I loved it in 3D). And the Warlord of Mars comics have given new depth to classic stories we might not have read in a long time. Never discount the old stories. There are many of them that are still enjoyable even today.
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