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X-Men Dark Phoenix

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Nu-D
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Nu-D » 19 Nov 2018, 21:05

That’s why the Shi’ar are not the heroes of the story. The Shi’ar are trying to kill her for something she might do in the future. But in a liberal society, we only hold people accountable for things they have done, not things they might do. And even then, only for things they did knowingly or willingly. Not all crimes need specific intent, but all crimes require general intent,which is why involuntary intoxication, accident and what is known colloquially as “temporary insanity” are complete defenses to all crimes.

The Shi’ar are treating her as a dangerous thing to be destroyed; she’s actually a human being who has no moral guilt, but is uniquely positioned to stop a mass catastrophe through self-sacrifice. It’s only a moral choice if she makes it for herself. It’s not a moral choice if she is murdered to save others.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Cable » 19 Nov 2018, 21:56

What you describe, while nicely worded, IS just another possession story. It is someone who gets possessed by something and does things they are not at all responsible for. It is nice that she chooses to sacrifice herself to prevent loss of life, but this does vindicate the Shi'ar. I think your appraisal of them is too harsh. They let Jean as Phoenix live before she killed all the D'Bari and destroyed a Shi'ar warship. It is THEN that they decide she is too dangerous. It is not just for future actions, it is for these past displays and the ongoing threat of more. It is like someone who shoots people and is still running around with the gun and then the police shoot them to prevent further loss of life. While capture is of course preferred, this defensive action is justified. Jean is still actively wielding the weapon she was using and not surrendering. It is true they have already told her she will be killed, but the Force cannot possibly be removed or contained. You say they are treating her as a dangerous thing to be destroyed: the Phoenix Force IS that, and it is in her. What choice do they have? Jean arrives at the exact same conclusion.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Nu-D » 19 Nov 2018, 22:25

Cable wrote:
19 Nov 2018, 21:56
What you describe, while nicely worded, IS just another possession story. It is someone who gets possessed by something and does things they are not at all responsible for. It is nice that she chooses to sacrifice herself to prevent loss of life, but this does vindicate the Shi'ar. I think your appraisal of them is too harsh. They let Jean as Phoenix live before she killed all the D'Bari and destroyed a Shi'ar warship. It is THEN that they decide she is too dangerous. It is not just for future actions, it is for these past displays and the ongoing threat of more. It is like someone who shoots people and is still running around with the gun and then the police shoot them to prevent further loss of life. While capture is of course preferred, this defensive action is justified. Jean is still actively wielding the weapon she was using and not surrendering. It is true they have already told her she will be killed, but the Force cannot possibly be removed or contained. You say they are treating her as a dangerous thing to be destroyed: the Phoenix Force IS that, and it is in her. What choice do they have? Jean arrives at the exact same conclusion.
You’re making two different unrelated arguments, I think.

The first is that this is a posession story. I don’t really disagree with that, but I do think there’s a little bit of daylight between DPS and the typical posession story. In the typical posession story, the protagonist is possessed by a (usually malevolent) entity. In contrast, I don’t think CC intended the Phoenix Force to be interpreted as either malevolent, or an entity. It was a cosmic force; it did not have will, only drive.

Be that as it may, it’s irrelevant to the second point which is the moral calculus around what to do with the Phoenix. Whether she was possessed by a force or an entity, and whether it was malevolent or merely destructive, it still overwhelmed Jean’s will, and that’s why Jean Grey isn’t morally culpable for the actions of the Dark Phoenix. I think you agree with me on that.

Where we disagree is what you do with a person who is a danger to themselves and those around them, but morally not culpable due to incapacity. Whether it’s from mental illness, posession by a malevolent entity, or by a cosmic force, the person is innocent of wrongdoing, but cannot be trusted not to hurt more people.

I think the analogy is like this: in the first story, the gun owner is the good guy with the gun, and prevents a crime. Everyone says, sure, this guy can be trusted with this power. He’s using it for good. Just like Jean did in the fight against D’Ken. But then the gun owner slowly develops a mental illness. He doesn’t recognize his kids when they come into the house and he shoots one. Well, he’s not morally culpable for that because he’s mentally unwell. But he’s proven himself to be a danger to others, and so we need to take away his gun and institutionalize him.

But then he gets better again! He’s not mentally ill anymore, and as far as we can tell, he’ll stay healthy. Do we keep him institutionalized even though he’s shown himself to be healthy? Do we continue to strip him of his rights?

The Shi’ar answered that question “yes, because she’s proven herself dangerous in the past, we cannot allow her to continue to pose a risk even without evidence of the danger recurring.” They’re not “punishing” Jean, but rather using the force of government to prospectively stopher from future harm. As you say, “they realize she’s to dangerous;” but that’s a forward looking moral question, not a backwards one. Little in the story suggests they want her to “pay” for her past acts; only that they want to prevent future harms. In that regard, I think they’re right. It’s you who I think is being to harsh, because you’re imputing to them a retributive punishment that is not just or moral (or particularly present in the story).

Claremont’s moral judgment (and mine) are different. We agree that she is not morally culpable for the past harms, and also do not accept that the Shi’ar government can prospectively strip people of their life and liberty for possible future harms.

The moral scene changes when the Phoenix force returns later in the story, and there it is Jean who recognizes she is forever a risk to others. It’s at that moment that Jean realizes the gun is permanent and can’t be taken away even if she relapses. The Shi’ar don’t actually know that, and aren’t right to judge. The fact that they guessed right doesn’t retroactively make their guess justified.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Anna Raven » 20 Nov 2018, 05:33

The fact that the best and brightest minds of X-Men fandom can't agree on what this story is all about, is probably one of the reasons its so damn hard to adapt.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Spectral Knight » 20 Nov 2018, 06:17

Not to mention how the canon is to this day still vague on if Jean = Phoenix. It was very clear in the original saga, bit murky following her first resurrection, and everything from Morrison onwards has been very confusing with there being suggestions they are one and the same, and other stories keeping them extremely separate.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Cable » 20 Nov 2018, 15:23

Nu-D wrote:
19 Nov 2018, 22:25
Cable wrote:
19 Nov 2018, 21:56
What you describe, while nicely worded, IS just another possession story. It is someone who gets possessed by something and does things they are not at all responsible for. It is nice that she chooses to sacrifice herself to prevent loss of life, but this does vindicate the Shi'ar. I think your appraisal of them is too harsh. They let Jean as Phoenix live before she killed all the D'Bari and destroyed a Shi'ar warship. It is THEN that they decide she is too dangerous. It is not just for future actions, it is for these past displays and the ongoing threat of more. It is like someone who shoots people and is still running around with the gun and then the police shoot them to prevent further loss of life. While capture is of course preferred, this defensive action is justified. Jean is still actively wielding the weapon she was using and not surrendering. It is true they have already told her she will be killed, but the Force cannot possibly be removed or contained. You say they are treating her as a dangerous thing to be destroyed: the Phoenix Force IS that, and it is in her. What choice do they have? Jean arrives at the exact same conclusion.
You’re making two different unrelated arguments, I think.

The first is that this is a posession story. I don’t really disagree with that, but I do think there’s a little bit of daylight between DPS and the typical posession story. In the typical posession story, the protagonist is possessed by a (usually malevolent) entity. In contrast, I don’t think CC intended the Phoenix Force to be interpreted as either malevolent, or an entity. It was a cosmic force; it did not have will, only drive.

Be that as it may, it’s irrelevant to the second point which is the moral calculus around what to do with the Phoenix. Whether she was possessed by a force or an entity, and whether it was malevolent or merely destructive, it still overwhelmed Jean’s will, and that’s why Jean Grey isn’t morally culpable for the actions of the Dark Phoenix. I think you agree with me on that.

Where we disagree is what you do with a person who is a danger to themselves and those around them, but morally not culpable due to incapacity. Whether it’s from mental illness, posession by a malevolent entity, or by a cosmic force, the person is innocent of wrongdoing, but cannot be trusted not to hurt more people.

I think the analogy is like this: in the first story, the gun owner is the good guy with the gun, and prevents a crime. Everyone says, sure, this guy can be trusted with this power. He’s using it for good. Just like Jean did in the fight against D’Ken. But then the gun owner slowly develops a mental illness. He doesn’t recognize his kids when they come into the house and he shoots one. Well, he’s not morally culpable for that because he’s mentally unwell. But he’s proven himself to be a danger to others, and so we need to take away his gun and institutionalize him.

But then he gets better again! He’s not mentally ill anymore, and as far as we can tell, he’ll stay healthy. Do we keep him institutionalized even though he’s shown himself to be healthy? Do we continue to strip him of his rights?

The Shi’ar answered that question “yes, because she’s proven herself dangerous in the past, we cannot allow her to continue to pose a risk even without evidence of the danger recurring.” They’re not “punishing” Jean, but rather using the force of government to prospectively stopher from future harm. As you say, “they realize she’s to dangerous;” but that’s a forward looking moral question, not a backwards one. Little in the story suggests they want her to “pay” for her past acts; only that they want to prevent future harms. In that regard, I think they’re right. It’s you who I think is being to harsh, because you’re imputing to them a retributive punishment that is not just or moral (or particularly present in the story).

Claremont’s moral judgment (and mine) are different. We agree that she is not morally culpable for the past harms, and also do not accept that the Shi’ar government can prospectively strip people of their life and liberty for possible future harms.

The moral scene changes when the Phoenix force returns later in the story, and there it is Jean who recognizes she is forever a risk to others. It’s at that moment that Jean realizes the gun is permanent and can’t be taken away even if she relapses. The Shi’ar don’t actually know that, and aren’t right to judge. The fact that they guessed right doesn’t retroactively make their guess justified.
I don't think the analogy really works for two reasons.

What Jean Grey does isn't really akin to a shooting, it is more similar to a mass terrorist attack, the most massive in history, and then blowing up a warship. If someone did this in our world, they would receive a drone strike missile through their window and almost nobody would consider it unjustified regardless of the mental state of the individual involved. And yet the Shi'ar do not take this action, but actually confront her and request her surrender (and furthermore even entertain a combat trial through their laws). If she had, at that point, agreed and surrendered, would the morality of the story be any different? No. It would still be Jean coming to the same conclusion. The only change would be she doesn't tragically make Scott do it, but has the Shi'ar do it. And that is why I say the Shi'ar are vindicated. It could end at the point they request it and be exactly the same.

The second reason is any person in our world who commits murder can be safely made harmless. They can be institutionalized if necessary. The Dark Phoenix can never be made safe. She can always kill the whole planet on a whim instantly. It is like institutionalizing someone for murder and but letting them keep a loaded gun with them at all times. Nobody would allow that because it is too dangerous to other people. As far as we know there is no way to separate Jean from the means of destruction. I will concede your point that part of my argument is being made in hindsight. The Shi'ar did not know Xavier's mental blocks would fail. I think it was a reasonable assumption the Phoenix Force could break his conditioning, but I cannot separate myself from the totality of knowledge I have about all the Phoenix's appearances.

It is a complex story and I can see the appeal. But instead of the version of Jean being good, the Phoenix being destructive, and her stopping it, I prefer the other version in which her influence is actually transformative.

While she had not yet gained her godlike powers, note that in Uncanny X-Men #100 Jean was already showing her capacity for self-sacrifice for the sake of others: she guides the ship to Earth even though it will almost certainly result in her own death. It is at this moment that the Phoenix Force duplicates her and then places her safely in stasis. The Phoenix Force is one of destruction, but over time the influence of Jean Grey's essence actually causes the Phoenix to ultimately come to the conclusion that it should destroy itself. Jean's humanity is so great that it humanizes that which is wholly inhuman.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by LimboMaster » 20 Nov 2018, 19:48

One aspect of the argument that 'Jean couldn't help being corrupted so can't be culpable' that I haven't seen play into this discussion is that Rachel wielded the Phoenix force without being corrupted (at least not in any way that caused widespread harm to others … unless you count borrowing team members' life forces that one time). So, I'm not convinced we can conclude Jean (or the Phoenix entity in Jean's form) wasn't culpable just because she was endowed with this unlimited power. I agree that she was out of her mind when destroying the D'Bari system, but I guess the question is "Was that avoidable?". Now I suppose one could make the argument that Rachel didn't have Mastermind warping her into becoming 'dark' so may be that's an out for Jean (but certainly not for Cyke and the Phoenix 5). But, we can't just claim that absolute power corrupts absolutely when it didn't with Rachel. Maybe eventually it would have, but it didn't and she wielded the force longer than any character we know the history of.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Blackcyclops » 20 Nov 2018, 20:13

Well Rachel really only works without invalidating The Dark phoenix saga if you take two things into consideration: 1) Rachel is the child of a Jean (or PF) that never was corrupted and died, so she was just better equipped to handle it and/or 2)Jean never really actually harnessed the PF until Morrison’s run, thus the Dark Phoenix was a force of nature that went “wild” while in the form of a human...

Or you could maybe be like Rachel had a PF that had a better handle on human stuff or Rachel never used the “true” PF
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Cable » 20 Nov 2018, 21:28

In regards to the thread we are in we are only talking about interpreting it for purposes of film, and I feel pretty safe that Rachel isn't making it in any Phoenix movie :lol: It is complicated enough!

As for this Dark Phoenix movie specifically I am over the Fox X-movies and I would prefer they just bury all copies of this in the desert.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by LimboMaster » 20 Nov 2018, 22:06

Cable wrote:
20 Nov 2018, 21:28
In regards to the thread we are in we are only talking about interpreting it for purposes of film, and I feel pretty safe that Rachel isn't making it in any Phoenix movie :lol: It is complicated enough!

As for this Dark Phoenix movie specifically I am over the Fox X-movies and I would prefer they just bury all copies of this in the desert.
Indeed it is. I wasn't suggesting that Rachel should be part of the story. I was speaking to the underlying basis to the story to be told as to whether Jean committed a horrifying act for she may or may not have been culpable. The comment was speaking to that issue just to consider that wielding the phoenix force does not entail lack of culpability for said wielder's actions. That was the direction the discussion had taken in order to motivate the theme of a film about that story. But, in any case, I have no confidence Fox is capable of capturing any of this nuance so I totally agree that it's moot.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Milkshake08 » 21 Nov 2018, 01:34

Regardless of which side you prefer, the arguments you are all making are fascinating. It shows how nuanced and wonderful the story is.

That said, I kind of agree with Cable that I prefer the cosmic-entity-that got overwhelmed by human emotions-and-went-nuts but also destroyed itself because it learned humanity from Jean and the X-Men angle. But for film purposes, that would take quite the set up.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by RingOtaku » 21 Nov 2018, 01:59

I always understood it as Rachel's time hosting the Phoenix Force worked better because A) Her troubled life growing up in the DoFP future had her better able to deal with the negative emotions of life as she had lived with despair and rage for so many years and B) What sentience the Force has itself recognized we didn't need another DP and so made sure Rachel only accessed the power she could mentally handle at the time.

If we assume the force has any kind of sentience on it's own and that sentience had awareness of the DP Saga events, the Rachel/Phoenix era was more like a healthy symbiotic relationship than "two minds fighting for control and both suffering for it" approach that either version of the JeanPhoenix had (a force imitating humanity and that humanity driving it insane or Jean committing horrible acts under the power corrupts concept)

Either way I still stand by the fact that since Hollywood will never do a version of DP that satisfies, just stop trying. Go adapt other X-Stories or heaven forbid, don't copy direct storylines. Isn't that what made the MCU movies so great? Base ideas and "comic inspiration" but telling their own stories.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Blackcyclops » 21 Nov 2018, 02:35

You could really make a great film updating the idea of Genosha/X-tinction agenda in a film...
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by RingOtaku » 21 Nov 2018, 02:53

Blackcyclops wrote:
21 Nov 2018, 02:35
You could really make a great film updating the idea of Genosha/X-tinction agenda in a film...
Oh Def I love that crossover. Problem is it would have to be at the end of a trilogy. Cause first you have to intro Genosha and it's mutant slavery policy. Then Cameron Hodge and have him killed off. So Movie 3 brings them together for X-Tinction
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by tokenBG1009 » 21 Nov 2018, 09:43

I love this thread.

Not because of the movie, I'm sure it'll be a dumpster fire, but just then discussion is wonderful.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Cable » 28 Feb 2019, 10:45

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Flapflop » 28 Feb 2019, 14:11

Spoiler: show
Mystique dies, maybe Quicksilver as well
Looks entertaining. Wil watch it to judge only after seeing the whole film.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by sambadaemon » 28 Feb 2019, 14:45

Wikipedia says Jessica Chastain's character is a "shapeshifting alien". Is there an official comment to that effect somewhere, or is that just a rando making stuff up? Because this trailer just screams Lady Mastermind to me. She even seems to use illusion powers.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Cable » 28 Feb 2019, 16:15

sambadaemon wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 14:45
Wikipedia says Jessica Chastain's character is a "shapeshifting alien". Is there an official comment to that effect somewhere, or is that just a rando making stuff up? Because this trailer just screams Lady Mastermind to me. She even seems to use illusion powers.
This is Fox's X-Men franchise we are talking about. There is no reason it can't be both Lady Mastermind and a shapeshifting alien ;)
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Gremlin » 28 Feb 2019, 20:23

I just assumed it she was playing Lady Mastermind.
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Gibbering Fool » 28 Feb 2019, 22:49

After this I actually think Chastain's a manifestation of the Pheonix in Jean's mind or something along those lines.

Also, the character death? Are we going with the obvious conclusion from the trailer or do we think it's a bait and switch? This is Fox we're talking about so I'm going with obvious conclusion

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Jazzkantine » 28 Feb 2019, 22:58

Maybe she is Lilandra? The Ultimate Lilandra was human too I think? And she belonged to the Phoenix cult
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by EvilMonkeyPope » 28 Feb 2019, 23:34

Why watch Simon Kinberg ruin Dark Phoenix again when you could be watching The Umbrella Academy? This movie is going to make me appreciate The Gifted.

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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Cable » 01 Mar 2019, 03:19

Gibbering Fool wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 22:49

Also, the character death? Are we going with the obvious conclusion from the trailer or do we think it's a bait and switch? This is Fox we're talking about so I'm going with obvious conclusion
The director comes right out and says who the character death is
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Re: X-Men Dark Phoenix

Post by Gibbering Fool » 01 Mar 2019, 03:45

Cable wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 03:19
Gibbering Fool wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 22:49

Also, the character death? Are we going with the obvious conclusion from the trailer or do we think it's a bait and switch? This is Fox we're talking about so I'm going with obvious conclusion
The director comes right out and says who the character death is
Well there you go.

Also, it looks very much like they're going full cgi blue for Mystique this film. No blue face paint for Jenny Lawrence this time. It looked...poor

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