Empress of Everything

by Erin on September 10, 2006

Advance 6826

Many thanks to Jennifer for sending me this link from Fuzzy Lizzie. (Click on the image to visit the store; it's B33 and $17.50.)

Now, is it just me, or is this dress just pining to be made in silver Lurex and worn by some interstellar empress? Preferably one played by Cate Blanchett?

I mean, if I were the costume designer for the as-yet-untitled Cate Blanchett SF epic that would best set off this dress, I'd make four or five of these, in different Christmas-ornament colors: silver, gold, bright shiny white, garnet red, and that peculiar electric blue that only shows up in SF movies and for three weeks before December 25. I'd make the skirt longer, almost ankle-length, and they'd all be worn with matching scrunchy spandex-topped cap-toed boots, with an odd-shaped low heel. (You can't have The Future, much less The Future in Space, without funky boots.)

Cate could sweep through the bright-white sterile corridors of the spaceship, trailed by flunkies with no eyebrows (no eyebrows also = future), barking commands and dispensing expressionless justice on miscreants & shoving them out airlocks.

I see the plot as being an update of the Christopher Columbus story, with Cate Blanchett in the Queen Isabella role. You see, Future Columbus (played, if I had my druthers, by Dominic West) is a troublemaker on the ship (which, by the way, is a generation ship, taking hundreds of years to reach a new planet for colonization). He believes he can find a better planet than the one they're headed for, and thus have landfall in their lifetimes. Mostly to get rid of him, Isabella agrees. It's either this or shove him out the airlock. This is all complicated by the fact that they are (of course!) lovers, and she knows that she will either never see him again, or, because of the vagaries of near-FTL travel, be an old, old woman when he returns. He goes and finds the planet … but it's inhabited. Columbus thinks that not only can they all just get along, but that it will be super-wonderful-great to have such neato neighbors. (Kiera Knightley plays the otherworldly-beautiful alien woman on Planet X, of course.) He returns to tell everyone the news about the new planet, and incidentally, to say I TOLD YOU SO. Bittersweet scene with now very aged Cate Blanchett. Lots of arguing back and forth — do they stay the course or break for new planet? Cate Blanchett decides to go for new planet. Cate Blanchett (in dress above, made in black) dies of old age before landfall. Dominic looks very, very sad.

Everyone lands on the new planet, to find it deserted! Pretty aliens all dead, from microbes brought by Columbus & Co. Dominic now EXTREMELY sad.

The only thing I'm stuck on is: how does it end? Is it a horror thing, where the ghosts of the original inhabitants haunt them? Or is it more drama-y, where Columbus realizes maybe being Mr. Hothead Right About Everything wasn't worth it in the end? Or something else?

If you have ideas, let me know, because this whole thing needs to be made JUST so that this dress can be in it. Some people build their mental movies around actors; I build them around costumes …

Oh, and sorry for the double post yesterday; Blogger got the hiccups. I made it drink water from the far rim of the glass and eat a spoonful of dry sugar and then try breathing in a paper bag, but nothing worked. (Also, it's impossible to startle Blogger out of the hiccups. I've tried.)

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