May 15, 2019



Commentary for May 15, 2019:

Originally, this scene was going to begin midway through the chapter. But I realised I hadnít given Eggman any page time, which I felt he needed. Plus, writing Orbot and Cubot is just good fun. I also felt that the dramatic reveal of who and what Sora-Ya truly is and what she intends should come at the end. I think this is also the clearest declaration of intentions the Echidna Empire has ever had in Eonís World. Yes, I think it was reasonably apparent back in Eon's Comic that they were religious zealots who wanted to take over the world because they believed echidnas are the master race, but this was always drip fed and hinted at more so than stated categorically, and it was never put into so many words at the outset. That is something I knew I had to fix with this remaster, so the Echidna Empire and their goals can be better understood. There will be more information about the echidnas in forthcoming stories, so I didnít want to go into too much backstory here, but getting across what the Echidna Empire believe and what they want was very important to me.

But talking of Empress Sora-Ya, I recently had a discussion with a friend about the title of certain fictional monarchs, particularly in Elite Dangerous and Star Trek: Discovery, two works of fiction where the female monarch of an empire has been called Ďemperorí. The idea is that the word Ďemperorí has been stripped of any gendered connotations and made to apply equally to either a man or a woman. (And presumably to an enby, as well, but -- woah there! -- acknowledging non-binary people might be just a bit too progressive for mainstream media in 2019! Thankfully, I'm not remotely mainstream.) I suppose itís fair, since Ďempressí can be understood to imply a diminutive form of Ďemperorí, the consort of an emperor, the wife of (and therefore the property of) an emperor, the lesser form of the imperial monarch for the weaker sex, etc.

I think thatís valid. But I also call baloney on it.

I donít believe that the male form of a title should just automatically be considered the obvious gender neutral choice. Itís that running problem of male being considered the default and female (or non-binary) being the outlier, the aberration, not the norm. So, while I fully respect the decision to use titles like Ďemperorí or Ďkingí even for female characters in some fiction, Iím not doing it. Sora-Ya is an empress, dammit, and she is proud to be so. She does not feel diminished by that title; if anything, itís emperors who should feel lesser compared to her. Similar with Silky being a princess, not a prince, who will one day be a queen, not a king.

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