We went to see the Valerian Movie. I have been looking forward to this for a long time. After reading some initial reviews, I was a bit worried that it wasn’t very good.
But it was good. Not as good as I hoped it would have been, but still good. Luc Besson has made his own version of the comic Ambassador of the Shadows. In Luc Besson’s version some things have been simplified. Some new elements have been added. There are also some surprises that is quite different from the comic.
The Shingouz doesn’t look like they did in the comic. I liked their double trunk in the comic better. But Rihanna as a Suffuss (Glamourpod) shapeshifter was a positive change.
Luc Besson avoided the complications of having time travel as an option in this film. (It was necessary for the new plot to avoid it.) But that also changed Laureline’s background.
The origin of Point Central (Alpha) was also changed. But that was a really cool addition and was explained in a very nice way in the beginning of the film.
A strange addition was the trans-dimensional market. There is nothing like that in the comic.
But changing the Shadows into the Pearls. That was a great idea.
So overall, there was some bits I liked a lot and some bits that I wasn’t very fond of. I also thought that Dane DeHaan as Valérian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline were too young. There was no good explanation in the movie why they were galactic agents. The CGI was fantastic. I have nothing else to say about that.
But you must also read the comic if you haven’t already done that. Even though this was a good and fantastic film, I like the comic better.
So what can be useful for Traveller?
1: The aliens. There are lots of alien races to be inspired by.
2: The space-station Alpha. That could be an interstellar United Nations in an ATU. (It is like Babylon 5, but bigger.)
3: The Astroship (Alex) that Valérian and Laureline use is a great scoutship for any setting.
Some of us may remember Alan Dean Foster’s terrible Star Wars book The Splinter of the Minds Eye. But it was a long time since I read that book. What I still remember about it was that it didn’t really fit into the Star Wars canon very well. So maybe it was just that problem and it may not have been that poorly written.
Anyway, I decided to give his “The Damned” series a chance. A Call To Arms is the first book. The cover looked cool, but it turned out that the aliens in this book was quite poor warriors. Most aliens was quite poor at most things. They were like 0-points aliens from GURPS Aliens. All aliens had disadvantages. No aliens was good at warfare.
The reason given for the aliens to be bad at warfare was that an advanced race would (normally) have to abandon all sorts of violence to become an advances race. This is something that would normally happen in the race’s prehistory. This is a quite interesting idea.
The problem was that there was a big interstellar war going on… A race called the Amplitur wanted all other galactic races to join what they call the Amplitur Purpose. A number of races think this is a bad idea and has formed what they call the Weave. Neither side has any good soldiers. Then the Weave find the Earth… This is just the start of the book.
The book is really good and the different races are well describes. The plot is interesting. I think there are lots of ideas that can be mined for your Traveller setting here. This may even inspire you to come up with a new Traveller setting.
This book is the first one in The Damned Trilogy. I will try to find and read the other two.
Affligem must be a Zhodani Beer. Just look at that trefoil.