"My name... is Legion" - Uttered by the alien composite Legion in the extremely funny Red Dwarf episode of the same name.

2002.10.08@01:24
Segnbora-t says You might want to add to My name is legion that it's a biblical quote from Mark 5; Jesus asks a possessed man his name and the demon answers "My name is Legion, for we are many."

***SPOILAGE WARNING***

Synopsis: Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and The Cat stumble uppon a region of space with "reality bubbles" - pockets of space where strange effects afftect the crew of the battered Starbug. After realising that they cannot be affected by the bubbles, they reach a research station floating (apparently) lifeless in space.

Upon docking, they scan for life and detect nothing. Soon, however, get the uneasy feeling that they are being followed and watched. A strange being then descends in a lift - a "man" clad in tight green spandex and sporting a strange silver mask. This being introduces himself as "Legion", and bids them welcome. Legion explains that he was the construct of the most brilliant men in history, and states he is hopefully as useful and brilliant as them, hence the security for the station of the reality bubbles. He proceeds to demonstrate this superior intellect by commenting that Rimmer was an "old" hologram, using soft light. He then reaches in to grab Rimmer's lightbug, amusingly pulls a whole bunch of wires and string and circuitry out of it, and makes a few adjustments with his fingers. Throwing the lightbug back in to the air, Rimmer reappears, apparently unharmed. However, one important difference is that he is now SOLID - he has a tiactile body, and can touch, interact and feel - something Rimmer so desparately wanted after his death and rebirth as a hologram from Holly.

Legion then welcomes them to the station and proceeds to treat them like royalty, showing them rooms which were already made up - perfect in every detail for each crewmember. Legion then engages them in a huge feast, from the planet Mimosia. This hilarious scene involves telekinetic chopsticks, where Rimmer gets some quite repulsive looking food dumped on him, mental wine where the glasses are fixed to the table and wine is "willed" in to the mouth (and Rimmer, trying too hard for his own good, gets wine dumped all over him). All this sumptuous food makes the crew happy, but Lister suspicious. When they request to return to Starbug, Legion simply states that they should rest, and that everything that they need is here, not on some desolate ship. Returning to his filthy hovel with his out-of-tune guitars and beer (the PERFECT place for Lister), he contemplates all he has seen...

In the morning, the crew meet up and describe their rooms - all of them are perfect in every detail. Lister then announces his thoughts - Legion is trapping them on the station, using the "gift" of fantastic surroundings to lure them in to a false sense of happiness. To prove this, he confronts Legion, who forces him to sit and prepare for breakfast. In the struggle, Legion's mask is knocked off, revealing a grotesque composite face, made up elements of all the crew.

With suspicions confirmed and his cover blown, Legion then explains his situation. He is a construct, a "legion" experiment of collective minds - he is formed from the very conscious of the beings around him. His previous "hosts", the brilliant scientists, gave him great knowledge and intellect, but soon turned to old age and then death, leaving Legion to float, empty, waiting for new hosts, hence trapping the crew.

The crew are appalled, and declare their intentions to leave. Legions recommends they not bother, since he is composed of all their emotions - including malice, rage and cruelty, and more importantly his pain is shared by all. In another hilarious scene, he threatens them with a nasty syringe type device, aimed directly at his crotch. Manhood threatened, Rimmer, The Cat and Lister scream "No!", with Kryten looking puzzled at the apparent threat. Legion, satisfied at the crews subjugation, leaves to get dinner.

Lister however does confront Legion, concocting an elaborate plan to ambush Legion when he returns. He manages to get knocked out in the ensuing scuffle, and we see Legion's composite face change from four faces to three. Realising a weakness, Kryten then proceeds to render The Cat unconscious. Another amusing sceme involves Kryten trying to remove the last "living" member of the crew, Rimmer, however he is unable to penetrate or affect the hard light hologram, despite clobbering him with steel, catching him unawares, and repeated beatings ;-). Rimmer then says that the only way of disappearing would be to switch HIMSELF off - and makes the ultimate sacrifice by reaching in to himself and turning off his lightbug.

With the last human consciousness gone, Legion then is composed entirely of Kryten's consciousness, morphing in to a facsimile of him. Despite Legion's protests that the situation is a stalemate, Kryten objects, saying that mechanoids MUST serve humans, and thus Legion, entirely made up of a mechanoid, must help them. Problem soved!

Dragging the crew back, Legion then pouts the funniest line of the episode. Along the lines of "I was made up of brilliant men. When they died, I longed for ANYTHING to come along, simply to exist. However, being made up of their (Lister, Rimmer, Cat) neuroses, personalities, paranoia, oblivion (from not having any hosts) seems like almost, almost a PROMOTION!" Funny. As a last parting shot, Kryten then asks if, in all the time as a brilliant composite, Legion created something to help them get back to Red Dwarf...

Fast forward a little, the crew is back up and running, with Rimmer whole and solid. They are gathered in the engine room of Starbug, with Kryten hooking up a futuristic looking "drive", which Kryten explains should speed them to Red Dwarf in a matter of minutes, not months. With only one way to test it, they switch it on - only to have the drive burst out of its mountings and fly out in to space, rocketting faster than they imagined. The hole in the ship leads to very funny "wind tunnel" effects, and the comment from Kryten - "Well sir, it looks like the drive does indeed work!"



Born David Charles Haller

Within the Marvel Universe, he was the son of Charles Xavier and the Israeli ambassador to Great Britain, Gabrielle Halle. Legion led a harrowing life of torture and dismay and eventually destroyed himself in a time travel plot to prove his love to his father.

Like his father, David was born a mutant, and like Xavier David’s powers are mentally based. He was telepathic, pyrogenic, psionic, and telekinetic. Near the end of his life Haller even exhibited mental powers such as teleportation and time travel. Unfortunately, where Xavier’s mind is strong and stable, his son’s shattered mind could not control the vast powers that it contained. Because of the shock and trauma that David suffered at a young age the various personalities his mind split into controlled his various abilities.

Raised by his mother, David’s parents met when Xavier was traveling the world and briefly stayed to help the American Red Cross efforts in Israel. Xavier left Israel without knowing Gabrielle was pregnant, and Gabrielle kept the secret of his son until many years later. At the age of ten, while living with his mother in Paris, terrorists bent on killing Israelis overran his home. They killed David’s godfather, which sparked a neurological change in Legion. Being a mutant, this released his mutant power from its dormant state. He used this ability to incinerate the brains of the terrorists, but found that he made a psychic connection with each of his victims. He was able to feel the traumatic pain of their death. This placed David in a catatonic state.

During David’s coma, the consciousness of his victims awoke within him. Specifically, the mind of the leader for the terrorist squad, Jemail Karami. Using David’s telepathic abilities, Jemail was able to read David’s mind, discovering it to peaceful and child-like. He also read Gabrielle Halle’s mind, David’s mother, and deduced that she also was a good person. This prompted him to change his anti-Semitic beliefs and begin working on reviving David’s poor shattered mind. He discovered that the trauma to David’s mind split it into multiple personalities, and that each personality controlled a different power that David possessed. Eventually Jemail was able to fuse most of the personalities back together and restore David’s mental stability.

David’s mother sent him to live with Dr. Moira MacTaggert on Muir Island, knowing that Dr. MacTaggert was a mutant research specialist. There, David began manifesting his psionic abilities again, this time absorbing the minds of handful of people. One of these people was David’s own mother. Moira contacted Charles Xavier, who arrived with the New Mutants to try to control the situation. Once arriving, Xavier realized the boy was his son, and attempted to help. Legion (the multiple personalities within him calling themselves this from the quote in the bible, "My name is Legion for I am many".) absorbed most of them, leaving Professor X and Mirage to venture into David’s mind to free everyone. The two eventually freed everyone’s mind to its rightful body, leaving David, his personalities, and Jemail Karami the only inhabitants of Legion’s mind.

After much rest David’s mind began to heal itself, the personalities fusing back together. This enabled the realization the further extent of his power. Although still emotionally scarred, David finally felt in control of his life. He used his new abilities to go back in time in an effort to prove the love of his father, Charles Xavier. He went back to a time in Israel when his parents were just meeting and planned to murder the mutant who would become Magneto, his father’s most heated enemy. Unfortunately, he accidentally killed Xavier instead, thus negating his existence. The events that he had set into action would begin the so-called "Age Of Apocalypse" which was eventually restored by the time-displaced mutant Bishop.

After Legion's death, David's multiple personalities ran rampant throughout Israel until the mutant hero Sabra and hero team Excalibur convinced them to let go of this world.

Although his time in the Marvel Universe was Brief, I always enjoyed reading stories about Legion. Those comics always seemed psychodelic in the art design, while the story reflected this tortured, scared little boy. His death heavily impacted Xavier, and has helped to shape the X-Men books in a more realistic and somber approach.

Spoilers (sort of)

Legion is a 2010 film directed by Scott Stewart and written by Peter Schink. This is not so much a review of the movie as a short analysis on why it fails to be entertaining.

After watching the movie I couldn’t say exactly what was wrong with it because Legion is not a relatively bad movie, not a good movie, but better than what most people pick up for their monthly bad movie night. It ranks above Disturbance, A Dangerous Man, Showgirls, and Bag of Crushed Child, and the like, but this is all even worse as the movie is simply mediocre and won’t even gain cult status. There isn’t, at first glance, anything wrong with the movie. It has a standard teaser with three acts structure common in Hollywood, it has decent acting, dialogue, and a fair story. The characters are well-developed for how many of them there are, and there aren’t any inconsistencies in the plot. The premise is stupid, but there are plenty of stupid movies that are decent even good.

So what exactly is wrong with this movie? After thinking about it for awhile this is what I came up with:

First, it is unfocused. The film strikes me as if the script were a really good first draft. The plot and characters are all there, but the story needs a rewrite, maybe more than one, to really discover its potential.

Early in the movie, the archangel Michael breaks through a wall leaving a cross-shaped hole. This sets up an expectation in the audience that the movie will be an over-the-top fast-and-loose flick featuring angels and ridiculous For Jesus The Power of Christ Compels You tongue in cheek action. The movie, however, doesn’t deliver on this promise and that is what alienates the popular audience. Not delivering on this unspoken promise is what makes it so unappealing.

On a circum-spurious glace at Wikipedia, I noticed that the writing credit for Legion states that it was “written by Peter Schink and rewritten by Stewart (the director).” Indulge me as I tell a fictional story about how this movie probably was written.

Mr. Schink decides that he is going to write a screenplay about people fighting angels culminating in an epic fight between the archangels Michael and Gabriel. Awesome, right? Luck upon luck, the producer/studio/director reads it and likes it enough to buy it. But! Due to concerns about the plot being blasphemous/improbable/incomplete they decide to have the director retool it. He bowdlerizes it, puts in elements from the Terminator, adds bits and pieces where he thinks they should be and leaves the film feeling insecure about important things like its point and purpose. It starts out like it should be unbounded absurdity and ends as a dreary slog. In American movies the only sin is being dull.

There is a larger problem, a more basic issue that relates to conflict. I said earlier that the characters are well developed. That was a lie, or at least a partial one. The characters are well developed for clichés. They are stereotypes, but that’s okay because we understand their motivations and their back stories because they are all so easy to relate to: The pregnant waitress, the father with a shady past heading home to see his son, the bitchy unpleasant couple, the car mechanic with a heart of gold, et al, are like people we might meet at a road side diner. But if you ask me who the protagonist is early in the film I’ll have to shake my head. It could be one of three people: Charlie (the waitress), Jeep (road stop employee with a heart of gold), or Kyle (wants to see his son). The movies tries to have them all be the protagonist with crappy results.

What really kills this movie is more basic still and is something that can be applied to all forms of media that have complete stories.

None of the human characters are equal to the problem presented by the story. They are at the complete mercy of the script, having no say if they live or die. Let’s be clear, to make an interesting story the heroes must be equal to the problem. If they do not or cannot fight the crisis on their own then there is no point watching them. Characters do not need to always be able to overcome the crisis, but they need to at least appear to have a chance. In Legion the only one who has any power is the archangel Michael. The most interesting scene is an earlier one, before Michael arrives at the diner, where when confronted by a possessed old lady, the characters work together to defeat her. Later, when a giant crowd of possessed folks have surrounded the diner, the problem jumps to an unsolvable level (why the possessed don’t bust down the door like zombies is beyond me and apparently the screenwriter).

Now, one last note. Is this movie blasphemous as has been claimed? I’d say yes. Not that it bothers me, but let’s examine why. I went in to this film expecting a pro-Christian message (and expecting a shit fest, Christian movies are usually not that good), but the message the movie’s premise dictates (by making the possessed angels rather than demons) is that God can make mistakes. It also appears that God is trying to kill the second Messiah, but the pregnant waitress’s child could easily be the anti-Christ due to the unclear nature of the script. I don’t think the blasphemy is intentional however. I believe it results, like most things in this movie, from clumsy execution.

Le"gion (?), n. [OE. legioun, OF. legion, F. l'egion, fr. L. legio, fr. legere to gather, collect. See Legend.]

1. Rom. Antiq.

A body of foot soldiers and cavalry consisting of different numbers at different periods, -- from about four thousand to about six thousand men, -- the cavalry being about one tenth.

2.

A military force; an army; military bands.

3.

A great number; a multitude.

Where one sin has entered,legions will force their way through the same breach. Rogers.

4. Taxonomy

A group of orders inferior to a class.

Legion of honor, an order instituted by the French government in 1802, when Bonaparte was First Consul, as a reward for merit, both civil and military.

 

© Webster 1913.

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