December 22, 2009

Separate Worlds

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:53 pm

You know what annoys me? Think of any fantasy or sci-fi storyline, be it a book, movie, video game, or whatever, in which there are separate worlds or universes that somehow end up getting access to one another. One I’m thinking of is the His Dark Materials trilogy. The Chronicles of Narnia is like that to a point. Harry Potter sort of. Such is also the case in the game Kingdom Hearts, which I’m currently playing and is all kinds of awesome.

Yet there is one common theme: the worlds having access to one another is apparently a BAD thing. So in some stories, the very object of what the protagonists are doing is to close the worlds off from one another, because that allows evil to seep through or is otherwise not the natural, correct order of things. Even though the protagonist is often making friends from denizens of these other worlds, they’ll have to separate forever because they can’t coexist when they’re from different worlds.

(I’m going to be giving away ending details to the His Dark Materials trilogy, so if you don’t want spoilers for it, go out and read it before you read this further. You’ve been warned.)

That’s one reason I was disappointed with the ending of the HDM trilogy. Okay, turns out Lyra and Will falling in love with one another ended up saving the universe. Well, was a little predictable that’d happen for anyone who has seen, well, just about any movie in existence. Only to turn around and find out that, for the universe to be totally healed from all the Dust falling into oblivion and for those soul-sucking shadows to go away, all the openings to the different universes have to be closed up, and Lyra and Will, being from different worlds, now have to separate and are devastated. Oh, but it’s okay, because when they die, they’ll turn into Dust and somehow find each other again that way.

Similar thing in Kingdom Hearts, where all the levels are the worlds of different Disney movies, between which travel is now possible because of the evil Heartless beings. Yet the worlds being accessible is just the evil doing of the Heartless, so once they’re defeated, all the worlds have to be forever separated again.

It’s like these new places have been discovered, with wonderful new things to learn and new friends to make. Sounds awesome! But oh no, this discovery is evil and destroying the universe somehow, so you must now be closed off from this great discovery. WTF?

Maybe the idea is to give the reader/audience/player the idea that in real life there really could be different universes inaccessible to us where things beyond our wildest imaginations exist. Well, that’s all fine and good, but I for one much prefer the idea that if such alternate worlds exist, that it is in fact possible, even if extremely difficult and unlikely, to access them, and that doing so wouldn’t be an evil act that must be immediately remedied but just something new and cool that we could enjoy and learn much from. Otherwise just perpetuates the idea that discovery of new and strange things is evil, that interacting with strange people is evil. As much as His Dark Materials is like an anti-theistic Chronicles of Narnia, that sounds kind of fundamentalist when you think about it!

1 Comment

  1. I’d like to move to an alternate universe, personally. This one is teh suck.

    Comment by Lord Galen — December 23, 2009 @ 7:01 am

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