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t209
2012-01-31, 01:02 PM
Many fictional works, such as starwars, show the rebels as good guys who wanted freedom; however, there are may works that portray them as evil or willing to use evil tactics to do good. Can you name one?
My picks are Stormcloaks and Forsworn in Skyrim. Jet's freedom fighter in The last airbender.

Eakin
2012-01-31, 01:16 PM
Problem is that once rebels/insurgents/resistance factions go bad, they usually start getting referred to as terrorists instead. So basically any move where terrorists are the baddies fits your criteria

TheCountAlucard
2012-01-31, 01:50 PM
Wait, you mean the Varden in Eragon weren't supposed to be the bad guys? :confused:

Mr.Silver
2012-01-31, 02:54 PM
Arcturus Mengsk from Starcraft began the game as leader of a rebel force, so that might possibly count. Although he did then go on to declare himself Emperor.

Erm...

There also was one rather ambitious Warcraft 3 mod/campaign series - the name of which escapes me at the moment - where the resistance group turned-out to be worse than the government they were fighting against. Pretty sure mods/fanworks don't count though


That's about all I can think of at the moment, really. It's not a very common trope.


Problem is that once rebels/insurgents/resistance factions go bad, they usually start getting referred to as terrorists instead. So basically any move where terrorists are the baddies fits your criteria
Thing is though, in most works terrorists are usually depicted as being insane fanatics who are mainly concerned with massacring the other side rather than a faction which is trying to affect social or political change. There may be a few exceptions to this, but for the most part it holds true, hence why it might be worth narrowing it down a bit.

Saph
2012-01-31, 03:38 PM
The Wheel of Time comes to mind. The various rebels in WoT aren't necessarily bad guys, but they're rarely better than the governments they oppose and they keep distracting the heroes from doing actually important stuff like saving the world.

The rebel movements in David Weber's Honorverse are about 50/50 as I remember. Some of them end up making things better, some are violent fanatics who make things much worse.

Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series plays with both sides of this - in the first book the protagonists are in the resistance opposing the Evil Emperor and seem to be the good guys. But the resistance leader does some pretty brutal things and at the climax of the first book . . .

. . . the protagonists succeed in killing the Evil Emperor only to find out that by doing so they've helped unleash a world-killing god that the emperor was holding at bay. Nice job, guys. Just to add insult to injury, everyone else promptly starts rebelling against them while they're scrambling to fix their mistakes, giving them the opportunity to see what it's like when they're the ones cast as the Evil Empire.
In general any story where the protagonists are involved with the rulership in some way will treat the government vs rebellion issue as more complicated than black vs white.

Weezer
2012-01-31, 03:44 PM
I think that this is a far more common trope than people think. It's just that when it's against a fair/just government this kind of action is depicted more like a coup or a usurpation than a rebellion. More fantasy novels than I can list have ambitious advisors or jealous nobles who usurp or take over a kingdom from their rightful ruler.

KingofMadCows
2012-01-31, 03:48 PM
The Forces of Chaos are composed mostly of rebels against the Imperium.

An Enemy Spy
2012-01-31, 03:49 PM
The resistance front in the Bartimaeus Trilogy, while not bad guys, are shown in a less than flattering light. They lie, steal, and cheat from people and aren't above killing innocent people for rather petty reasons. They end up getting in way over their heads and are slaughtered by a rogue Afrit.

An Enemy Spy
2012-01-31, 03:52 PM
Another one! The Insurrection from Halo. They're violent extremists who indirectly end up saving the galaxy by necessitating the creation of the Spartan-IIs. While there are certain sympathetic characters on their side, they are mainly shown to be terrorists who sometimes target civilians purely for shock value.

t209
2012-01-31, 04:12 PM
Dagoth Ur Anyone? (Morrowind)

DiscipleofBob
2012-01-31, 04:17 PM
In Warcraft I can think of multiple instances where a splinter faction of orcs goes against Thrall because he's too peaceful and not bloodthirsty enough.

Mr.Silver
2012-01-31, 04:18 PM
I think that this is a far more common trope than people think.It's just that when it's against a fair/just government this kind of action is depicted more like a coup or a usurpation than a rebellion.

If it's depicted as a coup d'etat then it's not a rebellion. A coup d'etat is the seizing, or attempted seizing, of power by an individual or group who are usually already in possession of a fair amount of power themselves. It may well result in a subsequent civil war, and an established rebellion may attempt to pull one off, but it's really not the same thing as a rebellion. Especially not if the civil war breaks out after the usurpation, which I'm guessing is the case in a good percentage of those countless fantasy novels.

Traab
2012-01-31, 04:26 PM
Id say the most common version of this trope is when the main character is a prince and his dad gets overthrown by the bad guys. Of course, the bad rebels dont stay that way for long since they win and become the establishment, but still.

Friv
2012-01-31, 04:33 PM
Rebels are likely to be portrayed as misguided, wanting to do right but ultimately compromising their morals or too quick to move to violence. The Maquis in Deep Space Nine fit that bill, for example.

Oh, wait, I've got one - the Seperatists in the Star Wars prequels are rebels against the Galactic Senate, and they're totally villainous.

Mewtarthio
2012-01-31, 06:02 PM
Thing is though, in most works terrorists are usually depicted as being insane fanatics who are mainly concerned with massacring the other side rather than a faction which is trying to affect social or political change. There may be a few exceptions to this, but for the most part it holds true, hence why it might be worth narrowing it down a bit.

And I suppose that rebels are just delivering lots of perfectly legal petitions that happen to be inscribed on bullets? :smallamused:

Incidentally, terrorists generally do have some sort of political agenda. In Air Force One, for example, the terrorists want a particular political prisoner released (Hans Gruber uses the same motivation as part of his act in Die Hard). The difference between terrorists and "good" rebels is that the latter have more sympathetic goals and are less likely to harm innocents. When you make the rebels evil, you take those differences away.

TheCountAlucard
2012-01-31, 06:17 PM
Oh, wait, I've got one - the Seperatists in the Star Wars prequels are rebels against the Galactic Senate, and they're totally villainous.(shudders) Uuuugh. :smallyuk:

Sorry, anyway, what was I going to say? Oh, yeah...

Truth is, I'd hardly call them rebels in this case - Palpatine's controlling them so thoroughly that they're arguably more his sock-puppet than anything that could be construed as a "rebellion."

Consider that the Separatists commissioned an army that is, with no exaggeration, billions of times larger than the Republic's, and still managed to lose.

Also, apparently the movies themselves argue against your point too, though from a different line, what with the opening crawl of the third movie stating that "There are heroes on both sides." :smallyuk:

Though I'd better find something else to talk about; don't want to turn this into a rant. :smallsigh:

H Birchgrove
2012-01-31, 07:04 PM
Debatably, the Democracy terrorists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_%28Judge_Dredd_storyline%29) in the Judge Dredd comics.

Candle Jack
2012-01-31, 08:03 PM
There was an ongoing storyline in the Conan comics put out by Marvel where Conan worked for a rebel prince of Koth who was just as bad as the emperor he was attempting to overthrow.

The film adaptation of Lost In Space featured an evil rebel group who sabotaged the Robinsons' ship. If I recall correctly, they were against off-world colonization, even though it was humanity's only hope for survival.

t209
2012-01-31, 08:26 PM
How about Jet's Freedom Fighter in Last Airbender? They try to flood the town even though there are innocent people in there.

pendell
2012-02-01, 11:05 AM
Many fictional works, such as starwars, show the rebels as good guys who wanted freedom; however, there are may works that portray them as evil or willing to use evil tactics to do good. Can you name one?
My picks are Stormcloaks and Forsworn in Skyrim. Jet's freedom fighter in The last airbender.

Check out Go Tell The Spartans (http://www.amazon.com/Go-Tell-the-Spartans/dp/9993016446/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1328111619&sr=8-9) and it's successor novel, Prince of Sparta (http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Sparta-Jerry-Pournelle/dp/0671721585/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328111661&sr=1-1).

How to summarize briefly .. in the year 2200 or so, there is a planet with a constitutional monarchy known as Sparta. Unfortunately, it has made a serious enemy in the Grand Senate on Earth -- still by far the dominant planet in the galaxy at this point. The Grand Senator can't simply launch a conventional war, because the rest of the government won't stand for it. But what he CAN do is ignite an insurgency on the planet. Which he does as follows:

1) Make contact with the local rebels. There's always a faction of extremists, in every planet on every society.

2) Donate lots of money to the rebels and provide technical assistance in the form of specialists. These specialists are experts in the fields of computer warfare, espionage, and direct action.

3) Get the Bureau of Relocation to dump overwhelming numbers of refugees and convicts on Sparta. Earth at this point has a population in the tens of billions. Consequently a primary function of the galactic government (The CoDominium, or CD) is to ship as much surplus population off of earth to the various colonies. The senator tweaks the population quotas so that massive, massive quantities of people are dumped on Sparta, far more than they can absorb. This results in poverty, suffering and oppression as the government tries to exert some form of control over the lawless mass of people. This not only gives the rebels more talking points to decry the 'oppressive' government , it also provides a disgruntled population to recruit from.

4) Sparta controls only affairs on the planet proper -- the CD controls orbital space and beyond. The Senator ensures that the rebels receive satellite reconaissance data to assist them while those photos received by the government are corrupted or altered.


How this insurgency progresses through the three classic stages of terrorism, guerrilla warfare, and civil war -- how it is ultimately defeated, and what sacrifices the Spartans have to make to win -- is the subject of the books. It is quite fascinating.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Karoht
2012-02-01, 11:31 AM
In Warcraft I can think of multiple instances where a splinter faction of orcs goes against Thrall because he's too peaceful and not bloodthirsty enough.Thrall isn't in Warcraft 1. He's not in the series until 3. Warcraft 2 features plenty of infighting amongst the Orcs due to Gul'dan and his Stormreaver clan of Warlocks who were traitors. I wouldn't go so far as to call them rebels though, given what Gul'dan's end goal was.
Warcraft 3 features some struggle between Grom Hellscream and Thrall due to Grom and his crew succumbing to the Demon Blood Curse once more.

H Birchgrove
2012-02-01, 11:32 AM
The Werwolf in Gimlet Mops Up by W. E. Johns, Moonraker by Ian Fleming, and other stories in several media. Also IRL, of course. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werwolf)

An Enemy Spy
2012-02-01, 11:47 AM
Thrall isn't in Warcraft 1. He's not in the series until 3. Warcraft 2 features plenty of infighting amongst the Orcs due to Gul'dan and his Stormreaver clan of Warlocks who were traitors. I wouldn't go so far as to call them rebels though, given what Gul'dan's end goal was.
Warcraft 3 features some struggle between Grom Hellscream and Thrall due to Grom and his crew succumbing to the Demon Blood Curse once more.

He didn't say Warcraft 1. He said Warcraft I. As in, "In Warcraft, I can...".

erikun
2012-02-01, 11:52 AM
Many fictional works, such as starwars, show the rebels as good guys who wanted freedom; however, there are may works that portray them as evil or willing to use evil tactics to do good. Can you name one?
Orcs, in pretty much every work they show up in. They are a group outside society that is actively fighting for their freedom. It just do happens that "their freedom" tends to involve killing and pillaging everything within range.

Karoht
2012-02-01, 12:03 PM
He didn't say Warcraft 1. He said Warcraft I. As in, "In Warcraft, I can...".Werps, misread. Point still stands.

To expand on that, in World of Warcraft and related stories (Cycle of Hatred), most of the splinter factions such as the Burning Blade are most often found to be manipulated by agents of the Burning Legion. This is more of an example of a higher power using puppets to do their dirty work, not so much a real rebellion group with a real goal.

To contrast that somewhat, it is very strongly established in Cycle of Hatred, that the Demons wouldn't be able to subvert people if they didn't feel that way in the first place, even just a little bit. So I guess in a way we could say that the group is motivated by an undercurrent of rebellion, even if their direct goal isn't to overthrow the leader so much as it was to stir up open and direct conflict.

DiscipleofBob
2012-02-01, 12:40 PM
Thrall isn't in Warcraft 1. He's not in the series until 3. Warcraft 2 features plenty of infighting amongst the Orcs due to Gul'dan and his Stormreaver clan of Warlocks who were traitors. I wouldn't go so far as to call them rebels though, given what Gul'dan's end goal was.
Warcraft 3 features some struggle between Grom Hellscream and Thrall due to Grom and his crew succumbing to the Demon Blood Curse once more.

By Warcraft, I meant the series as a whole. And in each of his appearances, rebel orcs trying to screw things up for everyone seem to be a running theme.

t209
2012-02-01, 12:40 PM
Orcs, in pretty much every work they show up in. They are a group outside society that is actively fighting for their freedom. It just do happens that "their freedom" tends to involve killing and pillaging everything within range.

Well, Gortwog (Daggerfall version of Redcloak) is pretty nice though he challenge the bretons in fair combat.
except that the armor is familiar to the orcs and his opponent had a large feast before the duel. Not to mention using a giant robot to smash the human kingdom.
However in the Morrowind canon, the orcs became a playable character instead of xp fodder thanks to Gortwog's civil rights movement.

Cikomyr
2012-02-01, 12:51 PM
Orcs, in pretty much every work they show up in. They are a group outside society that is actively fighting for their freedom. It just do happens that "their freedom" tends to involve killing and pillaging everything within range.

I think they easily qualify more as "barbarians" than "Rebels". They simply live outside society rather than change it.

Friv
2012-02-01, 01:19 PM
(shudders) Uuuugh. :smallyuk:

Hey, I don't make the stupid serieses, I just reference them. (Although in this case, I can pretend to be referencing the far superior Clone Wars TV shows, rather than the movies. Seriously, the shows. Watch them both. So much better.)


Sorry, anyway, what was I going to say? Oh, yeah...

Truth is, I'd hardly call them rebels in this case - Palpatine's controlling them so thoroughly that they're arguably more his sock-puppet than anything that could be construed as a "rebellion."

Consider that the Separatists commissioned an army that is, with no exaggeration, billions of times larger than the Republic's, and still managed to lose.

Their army is larger, but their political and population territory is smaller by an order of magnitude, and while they were certainly Palpatine's puppets, they weren't aware of the fact. He created a rebellion strong enough to require crushing - the fact that crushing the rebellion was always his plan doesn't change the fact that the rebellion was crushed.


Also, apparently the movies themselves argue against your point too, though from a different line, what with the opening crawl of the third movie stating that "There are heroes on both sides." :smallyuk:

Yeah, but that was an increasingly blatant lie. Everything that the seperatists do ranges from slightly evil to mustache-twirlingly villainous. There may be heroic civilians who aren't aware of what their military is doing, but the Seperatist Army is about as evil as you can get without invoking Godwin's Law. (And even then...)

GenericGuy
2012-02-01, 01:31 PM
Although its a gray vs. gray setting, the Qunari's Tal Vishoth(sp?) are said by Sten to be just murders and thieves; and you do fight a lot of them in Dragon Age II.

Keeping with Dragon Age, if you're less sympathetic to the mages "plight" in Thedas, you might view the rebellion Anders started as one.

It's definitely a trope not used all that often, maybe its because rebels are less powerful than the government they are fighting, and people naturally gravitate towards the underdog in any fight?

deuterio12
2012-02-01, 02:20 PM
The Nod from the command and Conquer side series would qualify I believe.

Sure they may at first glance like the bad guys using suicide-bombers and assassins and kinda on the fanatic cult side.

But on a closer look, the GDI aren't much better, since they basically close themselves in their shiny cities while leaving the majority of the world population to wither and die in the tiberium-contaminated lands. Nod meanwhile offers shelter, treatment and hope to those same people.

t209
2012-02-01, 07:35 PM
The Nod from the command and Conquer side series would qualify I believe.

Sure they may at first glance like the bad guys using suicide-bombers and assassins and kinda on the fanatic cult side.

But on a closer look, the GDI aren't much better, since they basically close themselves in their shiny cities while leaving the majority of the world population to wither and die in the tiberium-contaminated lands. Nod meanwhile offers shelter, treatment and hope to those same people.

Nod is more like a factional entity than resistance.

The Mad Hatter
2012-02-01, 07:47 PM
In Les Miserables the rebel force were considered villains.

HeadlessMermaid
2012-02-01, 08:21 PM
In Les Miserables the rebel force were considered villains.
If you are referring to the book, the rebels weren't villains at all (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Rebellion#Les_Mis.C3.A9rables). In fact, one of the most memorable scenes was when Gavroche, the street urchin, starts crawling through the barricades and the crossfire to loot dead bodies for bullets (the revolutionaries were out of ammo), only to get shot by the soldiers and die singing for democracy. I mean, it can't get more sympathetic than that.

I don't know about the musical or other adaptations (I've seen at least one the films, with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush, but I don't remember much), but in the book there's no question about it. Victor Hugo really liked these guys, and showed it.

Mewtarthio
2012-02-01, 08:37 PM
They're simply naive in the musical, not bad guys. Heck, most of the protagonists are fighting on the ABC's side.

The Mad Hatter
2012-02-01, 09:00 PM
If you are referring to the book, the rebels weren't villains at all (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Rebellion#Les_Mis.C3.A9rables). In fact, one of the most memorable scenes was when Gavroche, the street urchin, starts crawling through the barricades and the crossfire to loot dead bodies for bullets (the revolutionaries were out of ammo), only to get shot by the soldiers and die singing for democracy. I mean, it can't get more sympathetic than that.

I don't know about the musical or other adaptations (I've seen at least one the films, with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush, but I don't remember much), but in the book there's no question about it. Victor Hugo really liked these guys, and showed it.

I was referring to the musical. But I have read the books. I liked Gavroche too....I was sad when he died...In the musical the soldiers weren't evil either though...

Mewtarthio
2012-02-01, 09:09 PM
In the musical the soldiers weren't evil either though...

You mean that they're "considered" villains, then? That's kind of part and parcel of being a rebellion. The Rebels in Star Wars are also considered villains by the Empire ("You rebel scum!").

Cikomyr
2012-02-01, 10:18 PM
You could arguably argue that Stannis's host was rebel against Joeffrey. And it was arguably evil.

The Mad Hatter
2012-02-01, 10:45 PM
You mean that they're "considered" villains, then? That's kind of part and parcel of being a rebellion. The Rebels in Star Wars are also considered villains by the Empire ("You rebel scum!").

But! Meh...I'm on the soldiers side here. :smalltongue:

Mewtarthio
2012-02-01, 11:46 PM
You could arguably argue that Stannis's host was rebel against Joeffrey. And it was arguably evil.

Stannis did have a legal claim to the throne, though. Besides, most aSoIaF factions are morally grey, but Jofferey is decidedly evil.

SlayerScott
2012-02-02, 09:48 AM
Magneto and the Brotherhood in most incarnations.

hamishspence
2012-02-02, 12:48 PM
Consider that the Separatists commissioned an army that is, with no exaggeration, billions of times larger than the Republic's, and still managed to lose.

Certain authors have noted the logic problem here- and concluded that all references to the oversized figures are in fact propaganda.

Which kind of makes sense, given that in most of the early books it really isn't that big- with people like Mace Windu saying there aren't enough battle droids in the whole galaxy to occupy Coruscant (Labyrinth of Evil).

t209
2012-02-02, 12:51 PM
How about Dagoth Ur and Sixth House from Morrowind? They're fighting to gain freedom for morrowind but they plan to use
Plague and Giant Robot

hamishspence
2012-02-02, 12:59 PM
Rebellions tend to be portrayed unsympathetically in the David Eddings books (Elenium, Tamuli, Belgariad, Mallorean).

Ulysses WkAmil
2012-02-02, 09:29 PM
The Mexican Rebels in RDR? They didn't technically know they're fighting for another dictator, but fighting for a soon-to-be dictator none the less.

Sotharsyl
2012-02-03, 12:31 PM
Problem is that once rebels/insurgents/resistance factions go bad, they usually start getting referred to as terrorists instead. So basically any move where terrorists are the baddies fits your criteria

This is a huge problem for me, if I see the anti establishement faction being constantly refered to as terorists it's clear the author has pegged them as the bad guys if they#re not terrorists it#s clear they#re the good guys there's no moderation.

Terraoblivion
2012-02-03, 01:21 PM
The rebels, formally known as The Gallian Revolutionary Army, from Valkyria Chronicles 2 are quite evil. They are motivated by racism and religious fundamentalism to rebel against the lawful ruler of the land after she revealed that she was one of the setting's totally-not-Jews. They also run concentration camps, perform ethnic purges and attack non-combatants, even from the group they supposedly represent the interests of. In short they're even more nazi'ish than the Zabis from Gundam who the leadership is clearly based on.

t209
2012-02-05, 03:00 PM
How about
phobos loyalist rebel in WITCH.

GolemsVoice
2012-02-06, 07:09 PM
The Nod from the command and Conquer side series would qualify I believe.

Sure they may at first glance like the bad guys using suicide-bombers and assassins and kinda on the fanatic cult side.

But on a closer look, the GDI aren't much better, since they basically close themselves in their shiny cities while leaving the majority of the world population to wither and die in the tiberium-contaminated lands. Nod meanwhile offers shelter, treatment and hope to those same people.

I think it's kind of a vicious cycle, really. Nod hates GDI with a burning passion, (they're the only target left, if you discount intra-Nod conflict) and won't stop terrorizing and attacking their cities, convoys and military operations. As far as I know, there are actual outreach and relief programmes that GDI sponsors (one of their abilities in the world domination game in Khane's Wrath is disaster relief), but Nod attacks them wherever they go, which means that the Tiberium wasteland is deadly ground for the GDI unless they go heavily armed, so they can't get much help going. Nod again uses this fact to feed the disappointed and desperate into their war machine. Although most members at the basis (those not trained in the art of propaganda and inciting the amsses) probably genuinely believe they're doing good.

So while the GDI is certainly not absolutely nice, and reserves a lot of privileges to relatively few lucky people, I believe they are genuinely trying to fight the Tiberium and restore order and safety to the world. Nod just acts out whatever scheme Khane currently plans, mostly unwittingly. So Nod ARE the resistance, and they're evil. Like "using flamethrowers, a scorpion as an insignia and red-and-black-theme evil"

t209
2012-02-11, 06:20 PM
Don't forget about the revolutionary group in Children of Men.
They are just as evil as the oppressive government.

Mr. Pink
2012-02-12, 03:12 AM
What about the forces of John Farson "the good man" in the Dark Tower Series. Despite fighting for democracy and the end to fiefs, baronies, titles and dynastic power, he is a servant of the red and expedites the entire downfall of society. He is opposed by the forces of the white: Roland and company, each of whom are the royal elite of society, being direct descendants of Arthur Eld and having access to guns as their birthright.

(Also, depending on your personal views, project mayhem in Fight Club could count)

t209
2012-02-13, 09:46 AM
Bhelen from Dragon Age 2
Well, mostly he's morally ambiguous since he supports open door policy and end to caste system. He murdered his brothers to gain power.