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Given that we have 21 days before the full reveal of Shadow of the Tomb Raider I want to go over what plot threads and character arcs I would like to see in resolved in the game that is the supposed end of the Origin Story Trilogy. I've gone over most of these in other articles so I will be repeating a lot of what I've said in the past so if you wish you can go ahead and skip this one, I won't take offense if you do so don't worry. :)

The End of Trinity

Okay, basic stuff first, as this is the end of a Trilogy of sorts then this is were Trinity should meets it's end. Trinity has been a constant thorn in Lara's side ever since Secrets and Lies and Rise of the Tomb Raider and are responsible for a lot of Lara's problems, with the most notable bit being killing Lara's father and Lara's surrogate mother, Ana, being revealed to have been working with Trinity all this time. Constantly hunting Lara and hurting Sam which resulted in Himiko gaining full control of Sam and her almost dying.

Why I Think This Will Happen: Everything from the ending of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Choice and Sacrifice, Survivor's Crusade and the upcoming Inferno have all been hinting at that Lara and Trinity are coming to their ultimate final confrontation where Lara will meet the man who ordered the death of Richard Croft who is likely the mysterious voice we've heard throughout the series. And with his death Trinity will either fall or be thrown into chaos which will, at the very least, render them harmless for a time.

Why I Want This to Happen: As of the time of this writing Trinity has been a sufficient threat to Lara and her loved ones but TBH they're running out of things to do. Lara's connection to them is almost entirely personal and that sort of plot thread running long after Shadow is, to be blunt, not something anyone wants. Rise was the story of Lara trying to vindicate her father's good name and trying to let go of him while Shadow is, I think, a revenge story as Lara tries to get revenge for the death of her father and for them hurting Sam. Lara's ultimate goal is to get at the One person who is responsible for all this and finish him off once and for all. Also Trinity being the one and only enemy Lara has will get very tiring very quickly so for the longevity of the series I think it's best if Trinity comes to a end in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Will it Happen?: I honestly don't know at this point, as I said it will likely be better for the series if Trinity is stopped here and now as there are other threats out there and facing them will be more fun then just fighting the same group of enemies that fans don't really seem to be all that interested in to begin with. Then again it was stated that Trinity has connections that lead all the way to the Vatican so who knows maybe the series has other plans but at the very least I hope Trinity is put out of commission for at least a little while so Lara can go and fight other enemies.

Putting Richard Croft to Rest

Why I Think This Will Happen: The whole point of Lara hunting down Trinity down is that she has learned they are responsible for the death of her father and the tie-in comics have been making it rather clear that Lara still blames herself for what happened and that killing the person responsible for her father's murder will allow her to finally put her father's ghost to rest and allow her to, hopefully, move on with her life.

Why I Want This to Happen: As I stated before, one of the issues with Lara's father being constantly involved in the series in one way or another is that it has been overplayed and we are getting tired of it. It was a major plot point in the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Rise of the Tomb Raider and in the most resent film adaptation of Tomb Raider was pretty much the main character while Lara was his fumbling sidekick. And in Shadow Lara is going after Trinity to get revenge for his death. None of these plots are bad per-say but it has been over used so hopefully after this the series will focus more on Lara Croft instead of turning this into the Richard Croft show featuring Lara Croft.

Will it Happen?: Again I honestly don't know, it does seem like this is the direction the series is going but then again Square Enix might just go the way of the most resent film and not only make Richard Croft the one and only reason Lara does anything but just make the series more about him which is something NO ONE WANTS! We want Lara to move on with her life and we want Lara to put her father to rest so he stops being her soul motivation for doing anything in the story. While I want Sam back it's for what they have not what Lara and her father had. Richard Croft is dead and I think he more then anyone else would want his daughter to move on with her life and be with the people who love her and not give into her obsessions as that is what ultimately destroyed him and the Croft family name. Lara should be allowed to avenge him and vindicate his name in some way. But she shouldn't have to live for him. It's plot point that has been over used and it needs to stop.

Resolving the Support Cast

For the most part the comics have been largely self contained with most of them having a beginning, middle and end so they do not step on the games toes. With that said there have been a few characters from the comics that have yet to have proper resolution or who's resolution/absence will likely will need to be addressed. Jonah for example seems to have left the series and while his apparent exit was very well handled his absence will likely have to be addressed. There's also Kaz and Reyes, with the former not being mentioned or talked about in Rise of the Tomb Raider or any of the other comics and Reyes, who after the Season of the Witch arc has only made one or two cameos here and there but other then that just despairing.

Unlike the other things on this list this is rather minor as, while I like these characters, their absence can be easily handled like the player finding a news paper of Kaz getting married to someone showing that she's moved on from her dead wife, or a letter from Reyes that shows that she's with her daughter and has moved on from Roth's death. As much as I hate to say this but Reyes and Kaz are not really that important, Reyes had, arguably, concluded her confrontation with Lara twice, the first in the first game when she admitted to being wrong and when she choose to trust Lara to go and save Sam instead of trying to escape the island. And in the comics when she directly forgave Lara for Roth's death. As for Kaz she forgave Lara in the very arc she was introduced in so all the issues she could have had were resolved as soon as she met Lara. And finally, we have Cuddy, Grim's twin brother, who also pretty much forgave Lara for what happened to his brother.

But then we have Jonah, Cortez and, of course, Sam and their plot points. As stated in my review of Surivor's Crusade #2 Jonah actually does seem to have a pretty good exit from the series and most of the plot threads connected to him were pretty much all resolved and to be perfectly honest there wasn't much Jonah could add to the series and I'm honestly surprised he stayed as long as he did. But still he was a part of the series and his absence will likely need to be addressed I for that I think the best we're going to get, and I hate saying this, is a recording of either Jonah leaving one last message for Lara where he says his goodbye but that he can no longer watch him destroy herself with her obsession. Or Lara leaving Jonah a message for driving him away and that she understands why he left.

Cortez on other hand is another issue altogether. As I've mentioned before I think there's a good chance of her returning as a major character in Shadow given that she is the only villain, so far, to have survived her first encounter with Lara, has a connection with Lara's father and given that she was last seen in Mexico and Shadow seems to be mainly set in Mexico and she was nearby the Mayan Pyramid that likely has some sort of connection to the Star Phenomena it's like that she will play a big role in the next game. As I have also mentioned I would like her to be someone who starts off as Lara enemy but over the course of the game becomes Lara ally and even a possible surrogate mother to he and even encourages Lara to let her father's rest in peace and move on with her life. Also it would be nice for Lara to have a parental who doesn't die as that trope is getting a bit tiring.

And finally, you all saw this coming, there's Sam who out of all of Lara's supporting cast has a character arc and plot revolutions that have yet to be resolved. As I mentioned in my very last article the way for her return has been left wide open given how similar the ending of the first game parallels the ending of Choice and Sacrifice and that it wouldn't take much effort to work around most of the comics major plot points like Sam being possessed by Himiko or Sam being tortured by Trinity both of which are likely to come into play in the near future given how significant Sam was in those stories. And of course, Lara and Sam relationship has yet to be mended and this is a point the series itself has drawn attention to so hopefully Sam will return and both she and Lara will be able to mend their relationship and finish off Trinity once and for all.

Why I Think This Will Happen: Well this is the ending of a trilogy so to give a proper sense of finality I do think characters like, Reyes, Kaz and Jonah should at least get mentioned while Sam and Cortez seemed to have been set up for future plot points and are, let's be honest, just to interesting to be kept out of the series.

Why I Want This to Happen: I know that a lot of fans of the classic Tomb Raider feel that Lara should be a lone wolf with no one in her life and that the series should just be her raiding tombs and doing so because that's want she does. But as the saying goes, times change and we change with them. The reason Lara was alone in the classic games was because that's just how games were done back then and as the series went on Lara started to have more popular in her life. And remember Batman also didn't have anyone when she started out, he didn't even have Alfred as a surrogate father. In fact Alfred came after Robin and was originally just a butler Bruce hired who found out that he boss was Batman. Obviously that changed over time and now Alfred is a key part of Batman's mythos to the point that no one can conceive of making the series without him. That's another reason why I think Sam should return, she has the potential to be like Alfred and become part of Lara's life and Tomb Raider's mythos and honestly I don't see how that could be seen as a bad thing.

Will This Happen?: Once again, I have no idea. On the one hand Sam does have a huge following and Cortez has lot of potential and if this is the end of this part of the story I would figure that Square Enix would want to make this as epic and as personal as for Lara and the players as possible and bring back a fan favorite character and making good use of a rather under used character and using both to their fullest potential would be awesome. On the other hand you have fans who want Lara to be more like the classic Lara who was is less of a character and more of a icon.

And that's about it, Hopefully these plot points and character arcs will be properly resolved in Shadow and help make it the kind of finally that makes you want to go back and replay all the games and re-read all the comics. So here's hoping for the best.
Because my last two articles were kind of downers I decided to talk about the endings of both the first game in the series A Survivor is Born and the fifth comic arc Choice and Sacrifice and why the latter paralleling the former gives me hope that Sam might return to the series. For this we're going to go over the final battle in ASIB where Lara saves Sam from Himiko and the final confrontation between Lara, Sam & Himiko in C&S where Himiko's soul is drawn into the Mirror of Wei and thus freeing Sam of Himiko.

Fighting Through Hell

Okay not literally through Hell but given everything Lara and Sam have gone through I'm sure it felt like Hell for both of them.

So first off we have the final level of Hell Lara has to fight through to get to Sam. In the game this was Lara climbing the tallest area yet in the game, the Ritual chamber and Lara fighting through two armies just to get to Sam. A key point here is that needs to be taken into account is when Lara reaches the top of the tower the Ritual has already begun and as Himiko begins to "Pour" her soul into Sam Lara calls out to Sam and then fights through the Solarii, The Storm Guard and Himiko's control over the weather itself trying to reach Sam. As this goes on Lara calls out to Sam to hold on as she tries to reach her. After a brief fight with Himiko's two most dangerous servants, the big Storm Guard and Mathias Lara is finally able to reach Sam and Himiko.

In the comics Lara has to outsmart Himiko and Trinity's respective forces, which doesn't seem to be to hard as both seem to be running on Bond villain logic, in order to follow Himiko's minions in order to find what where she's hiding while Trinity also follows Himiko's minions to do the same. Lara arrives at Himiko's current base of operations with Trinity right behind her which results in Himiko and Trinity's forces fight one another. As the two armies fight one another Lara uses the chaos in order to get to Himiko, even calling out to Sam as she sees her, and force her out of the battle. The two struggle briefly as Lara attempts to reach Sam within Himiko, begging her to fight back against Himiko's control. However, Himiko pushes Lara off her and is able to escape but Lara follows her and eventually runs the van Himiko is driving off the road and with her now unconscious Lara is now able to safely take Himiko away from the battle and to the barn where Jonah has set up the Wei Mirror.

Now the parallels here are fairly obvious, from the smaller things like Lara calling out to Sam when she finally reaches her to fighting her way through two armies that are fighting each other in order to get to Sam and Himiko and Lara reaching out to Sam while she struggles against Himiko. The big difference with the last part being, of course, that in the former's case Himiko was transferring her soul into Sam and Lara was begging Sam to hold on while the latter Himiko has already taken full control of Sam and Lara is begging Sam to fight against Himiko's control but in terms of key differences that's pretty much it.

The Ritual

The next key point is the ritual itself and fun bit of trivia, in both the game and the comic we've never seen the whole ritual. The game showed us how Himiko transferred her soul to her new host while the comics revealed that the Wei Mirror was needed to remove the soul of the new host before Himiko could possess them. Not really all that relevant but I just thought it was something fans of the series might find interesting.

So the parallels here are pretty straightforward though it does use elements from two parts of the game instead of just the ending, the first of which being the fire ritual where the Solarii attempt to burn Sam at the stake to see if Himiko will allow her to be burned alive or will save her and in the games ending when Himiko begins to transfer her soul over to Sam. In the comics Sam/Himiko are tied to a stake as Lara and Jonah await for the sun to come up which will activate the Wei Mirror which will then remove Himiko soul from Sam which leads to the Battle of Wills the two have as Sam begins to regain control of her self and forces Himiko to look upon the mirror.

In a nice bit of character development in the game when Mathias began the fire ritual Sam was, justifiably, screaming in terror as Mathias set the fire to see if Himiko would save her. For obvious reasons Sam was clearly terrified and who could blame her as burning alive is not something anyone would want to go through. But in the comics, when in a situation where it is entirely possible for her to loss her soul Sam remains calm and in control and simple tells Himiko that she will not allow her to control her anymore and will not allow her to hurt anyone she loves. Himiko actually seems to be unnerved by this and begins Demanding that Sam obey her, only for Sam to regain enough control and stab herself in the stomach. In the game Himiko was clearly the one with all the power and Sam surviving was down to just her choosing to spare her but in the comics, while Himiko has been controlling Sam for months in the end its Sam who is the one with all the power and Himiko losing is all down to Sam refusing to let her get out of that barn alive.

But back to the ritual in the game and the comic, another key plot point is that Himiko is stabbed which, for obvious reasons, is a bit of a glitch in her plans as all her plans depend on her not being stabbed. In the game Lara stabs Himiko in the heart with her torch, as in a actual torch not a flashlight, while in the comics, as I stated earlier, Sam stabs herself in the stomach to insure that no matter what Himiko wouldn't make it out of the barn.

In the end Lara prevented Himiko from fully transferring her soul over to Sam and in the comics Sam was able to get Himiko out of her soul by making her look upon the very mirror Himiko had used to in-prison the souls of the priestesses she possessed for centuries.

The Aftermath

And then we have the ending proper, in both game and the comic Lara holds Sam in her arms while making sure she is okay as Sam has been greatly weakened by her confrontation with Himiko. Lara and Sam are then taken to safety while a friend of there's drives them to a place were they are safe. However, Lara realize that there is still much work to be done and there is something she must do. Both Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born and Tomb Raider: Choice and Sacrifice end with Lara alone and away from her friends and she prepares for the next part of her journey.

The key difference between the two is that in the game it's strongly implied that Lara and Sam are going to be okay while the comics leave their relationship unresolved and open for debate whether the two would ever fully recover or meet again. On the other hand both the game and the comic make it clear that both have suffered a great deal of trauma and that it will take time for them to recover, if they ever do.

Why this is Important

So you might be asking why is this important, what does this have to do with anything? Because when you break it down, as we did just now, you see that the two endings are virtually identical to one another. Sure there are several difference between the two both minor and major but the bare bones are the same basic plot. Lara and Sam go through Hell while trying to rid themselves of Himiko as she does what she can to take control of Sam and kill Lara.

The biggest difference between the two endings is Himiko, both her role in the story and how she is ultimately defeated. In the game Himiko is more like a Lovecraftian monster who's presents can be felt throughout the game given her control over the weather and that every single bad guy on the island works for her while in the comics Himiko is more like a Bond villain who has a more active role in the plot and she isn't the only threat out there. Even her number one Henchmen feels more like a Bond Henchmen with her having a specific gimmick, in this case a sword, (I wonder if that's where Square Enix got the idea of Lara using a sword for the next game?) but that's besides the point.

Then there's how Himiko is ultimately defeated, in the game Lara is able to get to Sam before Himiko finishes transferring her soul and Lara wins by just stabbing Himiko in the heart. In the comics Himiko has succeeded in possessing Sam and in the end Sam is the one who has to be the one who defeats Himiko by forcing her to look upon the Wei Mirror as the sun hits it.

But here's why this is so impotent, see not everyone reads/watches/plays supplementary material so including a key plot point or character that was included in said supplementary material is always a risky move as you need to explain something or otherwise your going to just end up confusing the viewer. For example, the appearance of Phasma in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is something that was confusing to most fans as her appearance made no sense unless you read her tie-in comics which explained how she escaped Starkiller Base and fleshed out her character. Hell her appearance was confusing as she had no real character and no reason to be in the story to begin with outside of her sorta, kinda, rivalry with Finn.

I know I said I wouldn't talk about the Disney Era of Star Wars again but this is the best example of how you shouldn't use supplementary martial as Phasma was really only there for fan serves and nothing more. She's only in the movie for about 5 minutes, I think, and her return is never explained and makes no sense unless you read her tie-in comics and those in turn won't work very well unless you saw The Force Awakens.

But the ending of Choice and Sacrifice has the potential to be the exact opposite of what happened with Phasma in TLJ as you don't really need to know the fully detail about what happened during the comics as the two endings are, again, almost identical to one another. And Rise of the Tomb Raider pointed out that Lara and Sam were not on good terms and you don't need to go into the whole possessed thing because the reason Sam was angry at Lara was simply because Lara left her without so much as a goodbye and that Lara was treating Sam less like a equal and more like someone who always needed to be protected.

The only thing that would have to be address that could confuse fans who haven't read the comics is Sam stating that she fought against Himiko's control. But this could be worked around as one could assume that Sam was fighting against Himiko while she was transferring her soul over to Sam in the first game before Lara was able to stab the Sun Queen. Hell even Sam have knowledge that only Himiko knew could be chalked up to her "hearing" Himiko's thoughts while she was transferring her soul to Sam.

I mentioned in my Will the Comics Effect Tomb Raider article that a number of events that occurred in the comics could be chalked up into a few Noddle Innocents like Lara preforming on stage for a play in a brief bit of dialogue but the thing about Himiko possessing Sam is something that is a lot harder to work around for one very important reason, character development. As a consequence of Sam being possessed by Himiko she has greatly changed as a person, she is more serious and willing to risk her life for a fight against forces that have the power to kill her or worse and yet she has grown stronger as a person. True she has broken a bit but so did Lara and that's not something that can, and really shouldn't, be swept under the rug. So if Sam does return in the games that development HAS to be addressed and used.

I've said in the past, many times, that Sam has the potential to join the ranks of Ellie, Garrus, Ciri, Varric and Cortana as one of the best companions in video games but for that to work she has to retain all the character development she has undergone in the comics. But as I've also said before, not everyone reads supplementary marital so including something as big and important as Sam's character development would be something some of the best writers would be hesitant to take on because you need to write the story in such a way that if you have no knowledge of the series you can still follow the story with little to no difficulty.

The worst things Square Enix can do is bring Sam back and act as if nothing happened and she acts no different then she did in Survivor or to directly address everything that happened in the comics which could result in confusing fans and new comers to the series who never read the comics. The best compromise is to muddy the water and have the dialogue be a bit more vague without directly mentioning things like Himiko taking over Sam or Trinity experimenting on Sam to strength Himiko's unknown connection to the Divine Source.

To off series again in Raiders of the Lost Arc Marian and Indy have a conversation that implies that Indy used and manipulated Marian for his own gain and while it's clear that the two still have feelings for one another but whatever Indy did it's clearly not something Marian can easily forgive him for. Later in The Last Crusade we are shown earlier on that Indy and his father have been estranged from one another for a long time though we are never told the exact details in the movie itself. All we know is that Henry was obsessed with finding the Holy Grail and because of that he was rather neglectful towards Indy which is presented in a quick scene at the start of the film during the opening prologue which is a flashback and later when he is talking about his father Indy becomes notably more aggressive and puts on a rather forced smile.

Remember what I said about Noddle Incidents in Uncharted 3, strange or funny situations that we are not privy to but the characters are that is explained in a few words, this is similar as whatever happened between Indy and Marian or Indy and Henry is not something we get the full picture for, but instead of being used as a quick joke it is used for more dramatic purpose. For example when Indy is talking to Henry on the Zeppelin Indy talks about the last time they had a drink together and noting that they didn't talk, that they never talked and that it was lonely living with his father.

Henry attempts to justify his, very poor parenting of Indy by saying that he respected Indy's Privacy and taught him self-reliance. But Indy points out, correctly, that was Henry really did was neglect his only child so he could bury himself in his work to find the Holy Grail which itself was likely a means to deal with the loss of his wife, Indy's mom. Something similar could be done between Lara and Sam to help explain why the two had a falling out with Sam calling Lara out on her obsession with finding the lost history of the world and destroying Trinity. And that Lara choosing to push Sam out of her life to protect her, from Lara's point of view was her protecting her.

But Sam, like Indy, could point out that doing so was not Lara's choice to make and that while one tries to paint their actions as in the right said actions hurt someone they loved and as the scene in TLC showed you can do all this in one or two minutes and this can be done without clearly addressing the comics. Sam notes that she remembers the last time they just sat down and talked to which Lara also remembers. Sam then calmly, without getting to emotional, talks about how she wished Lara could have trusted her.

Again this can be done in a two minute cutscene when Lara has some down time as she and Sam start to reconnect with each other and rebuild their relationship and it can be done with as few direct reference to the comics as possible as all the hang ups Lara and Sam have with one another is purely character driven and not event driven.


The point here is that given how similar the ending of Choice and Sacrifice is to the first game in the series it would make it easier on the writers to write Sam back in the story and as for the more direct story elements like Sam being possessed by Himiko and her own possible connection to the Star Phenomena is something that can be handled by a vague bit of dialogue that can reference either the time Sam was possessed by Himiko in the comics or when Himiko attempted to transfer her soul into Sam. It is something that could be done and I really hope that this was the intent of Square Enix and everyone writing the series.
I just realized something in relation to my Star Phenomena Theory, which ties back into the whole connection between Himiko and the Divine Source. In the thread arc of the comics, The Queen of Serpents, as Lara, Sam and the others make their way to Mexico for the first time in almost a year Himiko finally starts to gain control over Sam and it gets worse the longer Sam is there, she is more prone to violent outbursts and gets usually angry at Lara.

As I said this was likely Himiko fueling Sam's own insecurities in order to weaken her will so she could take more control over her. However, Sam did get better when she got out of Mexico and according to one of the nurses from the Asylum Sam was taken to Sam seemed to have been getting better and was acting more like her old self and even talked about Lara in rather high regards and it was only when Trinity began to try and strengthen Himiko's connection to the DS that she started to lose control.

Now we know that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is taking place in Mexico and in preparation for that I have been re-reading the comics. Specifically QoS which is the first time Lara ever went to Mexico and upon re-reading it I noticed a few things that I didn't really pay that much attention to before as I was more concern with Sam but now there are things I can't help but notice.

Case in point, in issue 15 Lara, Sam and Jonah meet a old woman who is preparing a ritual to ask spirits for help. As they appoarch, however, the woman says that she sees Sam for what she really is but before Sam can ask her what she means she faints. Later Lara finds a Mayan Pyramid like the ones we see in Shadow and this Pyramid, it's not far from the village where Sam and others are.

If this is the same place Lara goes to then it backs up my theory that this area has some sort of connection to Himiko, the DS and the Star Phenomena, one Trinity may not have known of at the time. To revisit a few things I've mentioned in my article Will the Comics effect Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Leticia Cortez and her group are so far the only villains to have survived Lara and in fact let Lara get away. In fact Lara or any of her friends killed any member of Las Serpientes Que Caminan during the whole arc. In fact the only person who was killed was done by Himiko after she managed to gain enough control over Sam at the end of issue 17.

Though from what I've seen Cortez doesn't seem to take this personally but that's besides the point. As I mentioned before it has been established that there is a connection between Himiko and the DS and I suspect that Shadow will revile what this connection is. I also said I doubt that Square Enix had planned everything out but given the what happens to Sam in QoS and C&S I do wonder if this idea had been something Pratchett, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix had put together when plotting out the games main story and used the comics to set it up as soon as possible.

Given that Sam only started getting worse when she got close to Mexico and the fact that they were so close to a Mayan Pyramid and that said Pyramid might actually be in the next game does support my theory.
So happy Easter everybody and sorry for that little prank earlier but it's also April Fool's so I had to get one prank in for today and I figured I use it to go over a number of things that I'm worried might happen in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and what better way of doing it then by making a bad joke but in all honesty, yes those are the things I'm worried about happening in Shadow, that Sam will be killed off screen along with all of other survivors from the first game, that Whatshisname will be made into Lara's love interest despite him being so forgettable that I have honestly forgotten his name. And why I do start to remember anything about him I'm reminded that he is a terrible character on par with Dorian Grey and wonder why the Hell anyone would ship him with Lara as he shot her and left her for dead in The Ten Thousand Immortals.

And yes I am worried about it being revealed that he is some kind of Reincarnation of Lara's' father and the reason for that is Hollywood's rather rampant use of dumb plot twists that have become annoyingly popular today. Case in point Mass Effect 3 and the Resent Far Cry 5 endings both included "Clever" Plot Twists that were both stupid and poorly thought out and that's not how any series should end. Shadow is reportedly the of Lara's origin story so hopefully endings like ME3 and FC5 won't come to pass and Lara will able to put her father's ghost to rest and move on with her live and her next adventure.

As stated before when it is fully released I will be covering my thoughts on Tomb Raider: Survivor's Crusade but the long and short of it is I like it but it is so utterly frustrating to me because I like it so much even though I really shouldn't. Basically it's doing a number of things that I'm not a big fan of, making Lara more isolating making her suffering even more, having Jonah leave and still letting her father's ghost haunt her. And yet it's all very well written, nicely thought-out and doesn't feel forced which helps you feel for the characters and their struggle and makes me like and respect Jonah more then I originally did before.

At the same time I Don't want Lara to end up alone with only her father's ghost to keep her company and pushing all her friends away and letting no one in so they never get hurt and what I like about SC is it does just that and shows that it is the most emotionally unhealthy thing Lara can do to herself. And it also shows that having only the dead for company isn't as fun as one might think.

I get classic fans who want this Lara to be more like the Lara they grew to know and love, I do, I have the same feeling about the most resent Star Wars films as I much prefer how Luke, Han and Leia were written in the Thrawn Trilogy. But this Lara isn't the classic Lara much like how Christopher Nolan's Batman isn't Tim Burton's Batman, their two different versions of the same character and trying to turn one version of the character into another version of that character isn't always going to work.

Classic Lara Croft was a badass thrill seeker with no real ties and did what she did because she was a badass. And there's nothing wrong with that, any more then Burton's Batman being someone who is socially awkward while dealing with people and seems to get a true enjoyment out of being the Caped Crusader. The Lara Croft of the Survivor Timeline is a awkward history geek who has suffered sever trauma but still cares for those around her and is still a badass through and through.

But most important of all is that Lara this Lara has people she loves and her pushing them away to protect them will not make her more of a badass but will only end up hurting her more then anything. And, to go off series for a moment, in Uncharted 4: A Theif's End a young Nathan Drake and his brother Samuel Drake meet Evelyn, a old archeologist who their mother use to work for.

Evelyn is a very clear Expy of Lara Croft a British proper lady archaeologist with her hair pulled back and who spent her life as an adrenaline junkie. However, she ended driving the people she loved away from her and spent the last few years of her life with nothing but but the artifacts she discovered and a lot of regret. She dies soon after meeting the Drake brothers who are the only ones who end up morning her as her own son had come to hate her for her years of neglect due to her obsession of finding treasure and unlocking the past.

In universe Evelyn is clearly meant to represent what Nate might become if he let's his obsession with adventure consume him and let's it drive away his loved ones. Out of universe, as she is a clear Expy of Lara Croft, she also represents what may happen with the current Lara if she let's her obsession with avenging her father and love for adventure over take her, and it's already happening. She has driven away two people she loves, Samantha & Jonah and in the case of the latter it's uncomfortably very reminiscent of how Evelyn drove her son away from her and ending up with only a empty house with only a ghost and the relics they have found to keep them company, Lara with her father and Evelyn with her husband.

And that is my greatest fear in regards to Shadow of the Tomb Raider and this version of Lara in general, that she will die alone and forgotten and that no one will moron her in the end. However, one thing that must also be noted is that what Evelyn was truly missing was people who she could share in her love for adventure which is what Nate had with Elena and Sully. Nate didn't have to give up what he loved to be with Elena but rather he And Elena had to discovered something that was missing because Elena and Nate were happy with their lives before the adventure started, they loved being with each other but it was very clear that there was something missing and that they both knew it but neither of them wanted to say it. That's why Nate didn't tell Elena the truth when Samuel dragged him back into the adventure one more time because he didn't want to lose what he had build with Elena, not because he didn't want her to get hurt but because they both had foiled themselves into thinking that they didn't want the adventure anymore because it would endanger what they had build together. But in the end what brings them back together is they remember why they fell in love with one another again.

When Elena is watching Nate go over what happened to the other founders of Libertalia Elena sees the man she fell in love with back in Drake's Fortune, Nate loves discovering what has been lost and seeing the world that others would leave to turn to dust and you can see what's going through her head as she listens to him. And for Nate, when he sees Elena kicking ass he remembers what made him fall for her as well as this was someone who not only shared his love for what was lost but was someone who could keep up with him, someone who could be his equal and he kicks himself for pissing her off in the first place.

That's what Lara and Samantha have, that's why they worked so well together. Sam loves Lara for the same reason Elena loves Nate, they love how they're respective partners see the world that time has seemingly forgotten and Lara loves Sam for the same reason Nate loves Elena as this is someone who not only shares her love for what was lost but is someone who can keep up with her. These are characters who are perfect for one another and why Lara pushing Sam away is so frustrating because it's the exact same mistake Nate made with Elena as both are choosing to keep someone they love out of their lives for without giving them a choice in the matter.

As I said before, the reason Jonah's apparent departure doesn't bother me all that much is that it was his choice to leave and it is easy to see his point of view and to be honest there wasn't much his character could really offer to the series. He went as far as he could go and when things became to much he realized that he could not follow Lara any further and it felt natural. Sam, however, is the opposite she is someone who was forced out of the series without getting a say in the matter and there is so much more she can offer to the series, more stories she can provide to Lara and her adventures and it's not like she doesn't have any fans. Six Years after the first game and people are still talking about Sam, some articles even noting her absence from the most resent film and the fact that all her accomplishments were handed over to someone else.

But back to my fears, Sam is someone who adds to Lara and my greatest fear is that she will be killed off screen in order to turn this Lara isn't someone she's not. This isn't the classic Lara Croft who was an adrenaline junkie who does what she's does because she is just looking for her next big adventure, this is the Lara Croft who had friends and a life outside of her adventures and had someone to come home to. Someone who loves her enough to be willing to die for her and to be honest, both Lara and Sam deserve better then that.

Please, let Lara and Sam find each other again. Let them mend their relationship and let Lara have the one person in this world who understands her and let them go on to have more adventures. Nate has Elena and Batman will soon marry Catwoman, why can't Lara have Sam?
So by a series of random events that I will not be elaborating on I managed to get a hold of the script for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and I now know how it all ends. Now under any other circumstances I wouldn't dream of spoiling this for anyone who is a fan of the series but for this case I'm making a exception mainly because I AM SO FUCKING PISSED RIGHT NOW!!!

So first off remember all that fantastic character development from the first two games and the tie-in comics, you can forget it all, has no baring on the plot as a whole. In fact the game goes out of it's way to mock said character development along with all insulting Sam who is killed off screen by someone who ends up being Lara's boyfriend. And yes it's Whatshisname from The Ten Thousand Immortals and his just as boring and uninteresting as he was in that book. Also, are you a fan of Lara and Sam relationship, regardless as to whether the two are friends or lovers? Well good news, it turns out that Sam was actually a Trinity agent in this game. Oh she wasn't one from the start of the series that would be stupid no. She started working with the first game. Yeah Shadow actually wipes the comics from canon and instead only treats TTTI as canon and even goes as far to recon Rise of the Tomb Raider as Lara reveals that she was totally in love with Jacob despite the fact that he was not only old enough to be her father but who's daughter was only a few years older then Lara.

Oh and not only was Sam evil but she actually was into the idea of becoming the next vessel for Himiko and that's why she turned on Lara but also went out of her way to kill Jonah, Kaz and Reyes for some contrived plot reason so the writers can have a lazy excuse to kill off everyone Lara ever knew and loved from the series as why have characters who were actually popular with fans when you can have a generic white guy who is so boring and generic I actually keep forgetting it.

So to my fellow fans of Samantha Nishimura, turns out that all that time we spent getting invested in her character was for nothing as she killed off screen but was made completely evil and hated Lara for reasons that don't even make sense in the game itself. And then they kill off everyone else we've come to know and love because why would anyone want characters who have actually proven to be rather popular with fans when you can have someone from a book that no one read be not only Lara's love interest but the real hero of the series.

Yeah remember how much I "Loved" the resent Tomb Raider movie, with Lara being made out to be more incompetent with all hers, and Sam's, achievements handed over to her father who was revealed to be alive in this version, well it turns out that wasn't just lazy writing but a tease for Shadow as the series pretty much stops being about Lara and gives as much attention as it can to Whatshisname who has to keep saving Lara from her own stupidity. And let's you think this is as bad as it gets, you ain't seen nothing yet as Lara has forgotten EVERYTHING she knows about archaeology and other cultures and showing respect for that culture as Lara and Whatshisname makes some rather terrible comments about the Mayan culture. And the worse part of this, this is used to buildup the romantic relationship between Lara and Guy Number 1. The romance is so bad in this it makes 50 Shades of Grey look like The Last Naruto Movie, it is so forced and so uncomfortable to just read this got past the development stage.

There's more things wrong with this relationship but let's go on to how the game ends and if you thought the ending of Mass Effect 3 was bad, oh boy you ain't seen nothing yet. Yes really so it's implied that Whatshisname might actually be... (sigh) Richard Croft reborn but lost his memory and that Lara is and this is right after Lara is revealed to be with child. Or maybe that was just all in my head as I'm pretty sure I burst at least three vanes after reading that, or I got a concoction from smashing my head through by TV Screen.

So, yeah, Lara is made into a secondary character in her own game and her reward for all Hell she went through is to enter into a relationship with her reincarnated father. I can only imagine that the writers of this game were huge fans of 200th Anniversary of the Avengers comic and the TNG episode The Child as that really is the only explanation that makes ANY sense.

God This Games Suck!!! ARGH

Oh and happy April 1st.
I'm going to be honest, I am simultaneously exited and worried for the up coming game Shadow of the Tomb Raider, for a number of reasons. I'm exited as it is the next part in a series I have come to love and while I wouldn't list either Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born or Rise of the Tomb Raider as my all time favorite games, same goes for all the tie in comics, I would count both Lara Croft as one of my all time favorite character and as you could probably tell from my many entries on this series that I also have come to really love Samantha Nishimura and see her as Lara's equal.

However, the series has not gone the way I would like due to Sam's repeated parking and a few story choices in regards to Lara's character arc but and I'll be getting into my thoughts on that when the finally issue of Survivor's Crusade is out so I won't go into detail on that subject here other then to say that these choices frustrate me as I'm worried for the well being of my fictional peeps and want to see them get a happy ending with them finding each other but I can't say that these story choices haven't been well written. But that's not what this article is here for, this is just me going over a theory I have in relation to the next installment in the series and that is the what ties the games and comics together.

As the marketing has made clear the Shadow in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a eclipse that is taking place during the story of the thread game. And that's pretty much all we know, despite a few leaks that made their way online, which might have actually been intentional on the part of Square Enix as a sort of Gorilla Marketing strategy, we know next to nothing about the plot of Shadow other then what I just told you. It's set in Mexico and takes place during a eclipse. However, I do think I know how this is going to tie into the over arcing story of the series and for this I'm going to need to go over a few key plot points in both the first two games and one of the comic arcs Choice and Sacrifice so it goes without saying Spoiler Warning is in order so if you haven't played the games or read the comics stop reading this go back and check them out and then come back. Don't worry, I'll still be here when you get back. :)

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Okay, now that your caught up let's go over this little theory of mine. Now the first point of this theory we need to take a look at the hidden message from that Lara finds after gathering all the GPS caches that are scattered throughout the game which unlocks a hidden document which reveals that the GPS' were left behind by a Trinity agent that was sent to locate something called the Star Phenomena and to investigate a threat to Trinity's interest. He had encountered Mathias and his cult but did not believe that he was capable of unlocking the Star Phenomena but learned quickly that he was wrong and was mortally wounded before he could kill Mathias.

What's interesting about this is that the agent refers to Himiko as the Star Phenomena which at the time I didn't think much about because the name still fit, she was called the Sun Queen and the sun is a star so it made sense but then came Rise of the Tomb Raider and with it the Divine Source. Now the DS was seen by many fans, myself included, as just another McGuffin that Lara and Trinity was after, nothing more nothing less. that is until we got to the end of the game when Ana used to DS to cure herself of cancer and the DS was revealed to have a very familiar blue glow. See as Himiko was transferring her soul over to Sam she admitted the exact same glow that the DS did in Rise, suggesting that the two have some kind of connection.

Now at first this could all just be a massive coincidence and that the blue glow was just something that the developers just thought looked cool as contrary to popular belief writers do not, in fact, think of every little detail. Sure they may have somethings worked out like knowing where the plot of the series might be going, like in Star Wars Lucas did know that the main goal of the series was Luke becoming a Jedi, that the Empire would be defeated and that Han and Leia would be the ones to end up together but other things like Vader being Luke's father, the history of the Empire and Luke and Leia being twins were thing that he came up with while he was writing the films as they came out.

I don't say this to insult George Lucas as I love the man and will likely remain so until my dying day but it is the best example I can think of for a series that makes things up as they go while still having a basic idea for how it will all end. Which leads us back to Tomb Raider which has also, (probably) had a basic idea laid out for the plot of the series but there are clearly things that their making up as they go.

Enter Sam. I've mentioned this before but original Sam was intended to die at the end of the first game in the series but this idea was scrapped as test players hated the ending for a couple of reasons. The first being that test players ended up really liking Sam and her relationship with Lara and it was felt that Lara had suffered enough and that losing Sam was the step to far so the ending was changed so that Lara would get to Sam in time and save her from Himiko instead of failing to get to her in time and being forced to kill her. So you may ask, Okay Winter that's all well good but what does that have to do with this Star Phenomena theory and how does it tie into Shadow's plot?

Well because Sam was suppose to die and Rise was likely already in development it's very likely that there was, in fact, no real plan for Sam to appear in the next game in the series. Not helping matters is that Sam was growing in popularity thanks to the tie-in comics fleshing out both her character and her relationship with Lara so she couldn't be easily written out without fans not noticing. Rhianna Pratchett has stated in a number of interviews that Crystal Dynamics had order her to "Park" Sam in a way that would give her a concrete reason to not be involved in Rise's plot but could be undone if they ever needed her to return. It was Pratchett's idea to go with it being revealed that Himiko had successfully manged to get a bit of her soul into Sam and was able to at least partly possess her which eventually resulted in Sam getting sent to a mental asylum.

Remember what I said about George Lucas making up a number of major plot points in Star Wars while he was working on the films, this is the same thing as, well, Himiko still being around was not actually planned and Pratchett had done it mostly as she felt it would open the door for more interesting stories instead of Sam just leaving as that didn't fit her character. The reason this is important is because Himiko still being around and Sam being partly possessed and thrown into a asylum leads to the next major component of this theory as these series of events lead to a rather big revelation and its' here where my theory comes into play.

See after Lara destroyed the Divine Source Trinity seemed to learn about Sam and that she had a piece of Himiko's soul inside her and bought out the asylum where she was now locked up at. There they began to strengthen Himiko's hold over which eventually resulted in Himiko taking full control of Sam and escaping from the Asylum which lead to Lara locating the Wei Mirror and Sam finally defeating Himiko and freeing herself from her once and for all. But of course why did Trinity strengthen Himiko's hold over Sam, what was the point of that, other then tormenting fans of the character by putting her through even more hell then she had already gone through? Because, there's some sort of connection between Himiko and Divine Source and Trinity was trying to use Himiko to get at it.

Now I've actually mentioned this a few times in my other articles on this series and Sam in-particularly but as of the time of this writing, this is a plot point that has gone completely unanswered in the series as it was only mentioned in one scene in the second issue of Choice and Sacrifice and to be honest, at the time, most fans didn't really care as we were more concern about Sam then whatever plan Trinity had. Still, this is a major reveal which of course begs the question, what is the connection between Himiko and the Divine Source?

Well recall for a moment what the Trinity agent called Himiko in Survivor. He called her the Star Phenomena, not the Sun Queen so the question naturally becomes was the Star Phenomena just a fancy name Trinity gave to Himiko or was is the SP something else. Cue Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

I know it took me a while to get to this point but that's only because the series did the same thing cause as of right now, outside of that bit with the comics, the series has never really talked about the connection between Himiko and the Divine Source as it has always been more focused on the characters and their journey but as this is the end of this Trilogy its time to answer all those questions and I think the answer lies with the eclipse in Shadow. After what is a Solar Eclipse but a rare Phenomena? I'm willing to bet that whatever made Himiko and the Divine Source the way they are was the result of a Solar Eclipse and that what Lara and Trinity are after this time is the rare Phenomena that creates one of these same beings.

My bet is that the game will answer all the unanswered questions of the series, how both Himiko and the DS were some how created at a sight of great magical power during a Solar Eclipse giving them both their powers and that Lara's goal will be to stop Trinity from getting their hands on this power. This will also involve the lead of Trinity who is here personally to gain the the power of Immortality but as we've seen with Himiko and the DS having this power does not make one unkilliable and Lara will be able to kill him in the end and finally avenge her father's death and, hopefully, move on with her life.
I touched upon this a bit in my review of the 2018 movie adaptation of Tomb Raider but never directly talked about it so I guess now is a good as time as any and I'm just going to cut to the chase here. Tomb Raider (2018) is sexist. Not sexist in that it objectifies Lara like how women are objectified in, say, a Michael Bay movie but sexist in a completely different way which I will explain in this article.

As I said back in my review of the movie proper all of Lara and Sam's contributions to the plot are handed over to Lara's father Richard Croft who turns out to be alive in this movie. Lara's own contributions to the film's plot are rather minor and do little, if anything, to advance the plot in a meaningful way and for the most part she only makes the situation worse instead of better. Now in A Survivor is Born Lara is the reason that everyone is in danger as it was her idea to sail into the Dragon's Triangle in the first place to find Yamatai but in terms of making things worse that' pretty much about it.

For the most part Lara actually solved more problems then she caused and in the grand scheme of things there was enough blame to go around. It was Lara's idea where to go but it was Whitman who started this whole voyage to begin with, Sam who encouraged Lara to tell the others about her idea and Roth who supported Lara's idea to sail into the Triangle. Hell you could also give some of the blame over to Grim as he stated that he would have no real issue sailing through the Triangle to begin with. Please note that I'm not saying Lara is blameless I'm just saying that she is not the only one at fault for things going wrong in the game.

In the movie, Lara is told by a recording of her father and the captain of the ship she hires that doing this is a bad idea and she shouldn't do it. Richard's specifically tells Lara burn his notes so that Trinity never gets their hands on them, and the captain of the ship also tells Lara that going into the Devil's Sea is a bad idea. Lara ignores both and only makes the situation worse as by ignoring both she ends up giving Trinity what they want and nearly gets the captain killed and gets her father killed.

In the game Jonah, Alex, Whitman and to a lesser extent Reyes, all voted against going into the Dragon's Triangle, Jonah because he had a bad feeling about the place, Alex because of how bad the storms were and Whitman because he didn't want to put his reputation on Lara's hunch. Reyes doesn't quite count as she wasn't really sure about going into the Triangle but did admit that she felt that Lara's ideas might have merit. On the flip side Lara, Sam, Grim and Roth voted for going into the Triangle. Lara because she theorized that because the legends of Himiko had control over the weather, and myths are often based in some forms of fact, then Yamatai might be located in the Triangle due to how bad the weather was there. Sam because she felt Lara knew what she was doing, Grim because he was felt certain of his skills in sailing regardless of the weather and Roth because Lara was the only one actually suggesting new ideas and had confidence in Grim's sailing.

I'm harping on this point because while in the game there was plenty of blame to go around in the film everything that goes wrong is because Lara doesn't like being told what to do which is apparently her arc for the movie. Stop trying think for yourself and just do what you are told. Because really Lara has no other arc in this movie, she clearly doesn't feel estranged from her father as the two have little to no problem getting along when they meet up and her learning to trust herself is clearly not her arc as her trying to do things her way is what makes everything go from bad to worse. So really Lara's arc for this film is her just doing what she is told for once instead of doing what she thinks is right because the only time she succeeds is when she final does what she is told.

And again there's the fact that all of Lara and Sam's contributions are given over to Richard up to and including destroying Himiko which was done by Lara in the first game Sam in the comics. Now I get that as a adaptation things have to be changed, some characters have to left out all together but this film changes things to drastically as you could have kept it pretty much the same story without having to cut out Sam and hand all of her and Lara's contributions over to a character who wasn't even in the damn game to begin with. Want to see what I'm talking about, here is a fan film called Tomb Raider: Legacy which itself is a adaptation of A Survivor is Born.



Now this film does cut out Jonah, Reyes, Grim and Alex but I'm willing to except their departure as, A) This is a 48 minute film so it had to keep focus on the characters that actually mattered to the plot and B) Aside from defending Whitman from Lara's accusation everything Sam doesn't take any of Jonah, Reyes, Grim or Alex's contributions to the story. And in terms of characters who could be cut from the story then Jonah, Reyes, Grim and Alex do make the most sense.

Now for fans of these characters let me just say this that in the grand scheme of things I Wouldn't think of removing any of these characters from the series as the comics really helped fleshed them out and led to some of the best parts of the comics. Without the deaths of Alex and Grim then Lara trying to protect their respective family members wouldn't be as strong as it ended up being and Reyes building up a friendship with Lara wouldn't have been nearly as engaging as it was without the baggage the two had from the first game. Please do not interpret this as me saying that I dislike these characters and felt that the series would be better off without them.

However, just in terms of adapting the first game and the possibility of adapting Rise of the Tomb Raider after that then the characters that make the most sense to cut are Jonah, Reyes, Grim and Alex as they contribute the least to the overall plot. When you break it down and focus on the characters who are the most relevant to the plot of the first game are, Lara, Sam, Roth, Whitman, Mathias and Himiko. Now admittedly this does make the ending a bit more depressing as Sam ends up being the only member of the Endurance Lara is able to save as Roth still dies and Whitman's own stupidity ends up dooming him like it did in the game.

But honestly it's still better then the actual film as Lara is able to save Sam and because the fan film made the smart choice of keeping the focus on her and Lara's relationship then it actives the same effect as you end up wanting both Lara and Sam getting off the island. Whereas the film you don't really get to know Lara or Richard and the actors barely spend any time with one another until the last third so when one dies it barely registers with viewers. Not helped by the films ending where Lara buys two guns and acts like a badass which makes it appear that the death of her father has had zero impact on her as she seems more interested in getting some killing done for the fun of it instead of anything else.

But back to the point of this article, which is the rather insulting way the film handles it's lead and the treatment of women in general. This film has no real respect for the series leads and the message it ends up conveying is, do what you are told and stop trying to do what you think is right. You are only going to make things worse for the people who actual make a difference in the world.

This film may not be objectifying women but it is doing something that is just as insulting and that is making them seem useless while handing all their achievements over to a male character who wasn't even in the first game. Oh sure the film says that Lara is a badass that is a great hero but when you look at the actual film it's very clear that what it says and what it does are two different things.

If you want a see a adaptation of Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born check out the Legacy fan film. Sure it's not perfect but it does hit most of the major plot points and it clearly gets what made the game work while the film is, at best, a brainless action flick that with no real staying power and at worse a sexist piece of crap that treats women with little to no respect while given over all of their contributions to a male character who wasn't even in the game the film is supposedly based on.
So as I've mentioned a number of times I am a big fan of Tomb Raider and the character Samantha Nishimura and during my completely unbiased opinion of the film that is based on the newest version of the series (and by based on I mean barely resembles it and ripped off the plot of Uncharted 1) I mentioned just how much better of a character Sam was then most of the characters in the newest movie (though to be honest the charcter's in the first TR movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider were better as a character then most of the characters in the most resent film). However, I wanted to highlight just why Sam is a good character by examining just what is needed to make a three-dimensional character and see if these points are hit with Sam in Tomb Raider.

Now some of you may know or heard of Red Letter Media's character test in which the following question is asked, describe a character Without, talking about their relationship with other characters or talking about their role or job in the plot and without describing their costume. Now while this is a interesting idea I don't think this is the best method of testing if a character is a fully three-dimensional character as you can have a character who's entire character effectively revolves around another and not only still be loved but be just as well rounded another character. Hinata is a good example as her journey is about winning Naruto's heart and as it's rather hard to describe Hinata without talking about her relationship with Naruto and yet Hinata is well loved in the Naruto fandom, some even liking her more then the Sakura who was one of the main characters. Hinata's character effectively revolving around her relationship with Naruto isn't a bad thing as her character isn't bland or weak in any way.

However, just to be far lets see if we can talk about Sam without talking about her role in the plot or her relationship with Lara so here goes.

Does Sam Pass The RedLetterMedia Character Test?

Sam is a social butterfly who has a love for adventure and parties. Because of constantly switching schools, and even continents, she feels a bit out a place in the world which is why she is so social and seeks to make friends wherever she goes as she hates feelings lonely. Sam is also remarkably strong willed, fighting against forces that are almost Lovecraftian and winning against them despite the odds. She is also loyal to a fault and is willing to sacrifice even herself if it means she can protect the ones she loves.

And there you have it, that is Sam's character without talking about her role in the series or her relationship with Lara. Now while this might not seem like much it should be noted that some of the best characters in fiction are also not very hard to describe. Hamlet, Mara Jade, Captain Kirk, Batman and yes, our own Lara Croft are all characters that can be summed up just as easily. Of course what makes or breaks a character really down to answering the next upcoming questions so let's continue shall we?

Does Sam have a Memorable Personality?

Yes this is actually important as a character needs to be memorable if they are truly going to stand the test of time. It doesn't matter if they're stoic, a jokester, or somewhere in the middle a character must have a memorable and constant personality to make sure that they leave an impression on fans. For example, Batman and Geralt are both really stoic but also deeply care about those they love and the world they fight for. They're both huge play boys and love flirting with women but at the same time respect women and will act like gentlemen.

So how does Sam have a memorable and constant personality? Let's give it a shot.

As stated before Sam is a social butterfly, she loves getting to know people and is the first two make a joke in order to lighten the mood. This is best shown in a flashback when she first meets Lara and asks if she can take Lara's picture and when Lara says that she doesn't like having her picture taken Sam offers to put the camera away so long as Lara shares some of her Jaffa Cakes and then proceeds to introduce herself and asks Lara if she wants to go dancing. However, after Yamatai Sam becomes somewhat colder and she tries to deal with nightmares about what happened on in A Survivor is Born and much like Lara is attempting to cover this up by continuing to act like herself and while its not all a mask we see that Sam has changed and is still recovering from what happened.

This isn't inconstant which leads us into the next key question.

Does Sam Grow and Develop as a Result of the Events of the Story?

Short answer, yes, the events of the story in the series has defiantly had a effect on Sam as much as they have on Lara, for both good and for ill. Sam at the start of the series is a far cry from the person she has become now and it's not just limited to the comics. Sam has clearly effected by what happened as while she still makes jokes to lighten the mood, like commenting on how she was thankful on there not being any mirrors as she must look awful. However, she still shows signs that she is just absolutely terrified by what is happening which is understandable as she was almost burned alive, has lot some she knew and had to kill to survive. This continues in the comics as Sam is force to kill, this time against her will as Himiko takes control of her and she seems to develop a inferiority complex as a result of all the times Lara has saved her.

However, contrary to what Sam may think she has not gotten weaker from these events but has actually become stronger. As I've mentioned many times now, one of my all time favorite moments in Tomb Raider is Sam's battle of wills with Himiko in the last few pages of Choice and Sacrifice and the reason this is one of my all time favorite moments in the series is that it helps show why Sam is such so awesome. The young woman at the end of this arc is a far cry from the girl we met at the start of the series as she is able to over power a monster who can control the weather and at the end it was Himiko who was screaming in terror while Sam remained calm and in control.

Like Lara Sam was clearly, and understandably, terrified for her life while on Yamatai and like Lara her experience with Himiko and what happened on the island left her scared, both emotionally and mentally. Yet in the end she proved to be stronger when she refused to let what happened ruin her life. She stood up and did what she could to move on with her life and proved that she does have what it takes to face the horrors that are out there and also has what it takes to over come them.

Now, here comes the big questions. While having a define personality and development what really proves that a character is a three dimensional character all comes down to three questions. So let's ask this questions and see if Sam really is a three dimensional character on par with Lara herself.

What does she want, what goals does she seek to achieve?


Why does she want this, how does it further her own happiness?


What are the obstacles both internal and external that stand in the way of her goal?



These are the questions that must always be asked above all other as these are the questions that lays the foundation for making a three dimensional character. And these goals can be about one character be about wanting to be with someone else, find their place in the world or just trying to survive so long as the character is able to answer all three questions then they pass the final test that proves that they are a fully realized character. So does Sam pass this test?

Sam's goal is that she wants Lara to see her as a equal and to be there for her when she needs her to be. This has been her goal since the second arc in the comics Secrets and Lies when Sam insisted that she went with Lara and was continued in The Queen of Serpents arc and Choice and Sacrifice. Said goal has yet to be really accomplished but its is her goal and one we can relate to. We all want to prove that we can stand on our own and we all want to be seen as a equal either to those we respect or those we love so that's the first question answered now on to the next one.

The reason Sam wants Lara to see her as a equal is because they use to be and she hates feeling useless and being a burden to her friend and because she, whether romantic or platonic, loves Lara and wants to be there for her. So that's two so onto the final question.

What are the obstacles, both internal and external, that stand in Sam's way of her goal? For the latter the remnants of the Solarii who planned to her as bait to draw Lara into a trap, Trinity who torture her to draw out Himiko and Himiko possession of Sam threatens to hurt Lara and everyone she loves. As for the former Sam seems to have developed a inferiority complex and likely fears that she is useless despite all she has accomplished.

And there you have it, Sam has passed every test that is needed to prove herself to be a fully realized character and it's why she's still well loved and remembered more then half a decade later while the characters in the most resent film of the series will likely be forgotten in a month or so as of the time of this writing as they all lack most if not all of what made Lara and Sam such memorable characters.
While we wait for the final issue of the most resent arc Survivor's Crusade to come out next month I wanted to talk about SC's 2d issue of the series which I personally feel is the best single issue of the Tomb Raider comics to date. Before we go any further let's go into a bit of backstory to get anyone who hasn't read the comics or played the games up to speed so it goes without say that there will be spoilers for the series so if you haven't read the comics or played the games stop reading now and go check them out as I feel that they are worth your time.

Okay so first off issue 2 of SC is about the apparent departure of Lara's close friend Jonah, who has been with Lara ever since the end of A Survivor is Born. Throughout most of the series Jonah has been nothing but supportive to Lara, helping her in anyway he can like hanging out with her asking her to preform in his play of Pride and Prejudice and just being there for her in anyway he can. However, in Rise of the Tomb Raider for the first time Jonah seemed to have finally lost his temper with Lara as she was continuing to let her obsession with finding the Divine Source and vindicate her father's name rule her life which.

At the time I felt that this was a rather pointless scene as it didn't really go anywhere as Jonah came right back and went from disapproving of Lara's actions to agreeing to help her find the lost city of Kitezh. Only for him to pretty much disappeared from the game altogether only to reaper again just in time to get captured by Trinity. And then, after being saved by Lara and healed by Jacob, Jonah then just to disappear for the rest until the ending cutscene and wasn't even mentioned for the rest of the game.

And what made this even weirder is that the developers made a big deal about Jonah being the only returning character from Survivor to appear in Rise and yet he was only in the game for about 12 minutes, 15 if you count all the documents you can find after he gets captured. Which for a game that's main story is 10 hour long with 20+ hours of side content is like making a having a 1 minute cameo in a film. Not helping matters is that all Jonah did in Rise that was actually plot relevant was helped Lara climb a mountain and got captured by Trinity with the Atlas, a map that lead to the city of Kitezh itself, and was healed by Jacob to confirm that he was the Prophet, something everyone playing the game already figured out.

So at the time I thought that you could have cut Jonah from the story and you wouldn't have lost anything especially that his relationship with Lara had less screen and development then Lara did with Sam in the first game or any of the characters in Rise. But without this set up then issue 2 of SC wouldn't have made any sense as it is, in many ways, the conclusion to Lara and Jonah's argument from Rise.

SC takes place about a month of so after Choice and Sacrifice where Sam was finally freed of Himiko only for Lara to leave her again without so much as a goodbye. I've already gone over my issues with this plot point so all I will say is that I don't like how Sam's parking was handled as if this is the end then I feel it is a waste of a perfectly good character and a perfectly good plot. However, this isn't about Sam's being forced out of the story this is about Jonah leaving the series and this is actually a important reason as to why his leaving.

SC started with Lara hunting down Trinity and trying to find out who ordered her father's death and why he was killed, but what is most important for us right now is that throughout the entire issue Lara kept trying to send Jonah a message only for her to keep deleting them as she didn't know what to say. This was a good way to get into Lara's head and see what she was thinking/feeling in a way that felt natural. Issue 2 picks up with Lara meeting Jonah at the diner he works at and while he is at first happy to see her he quickly starts calling her out on her leaving him in the dust and we cut to a flashback that shows that Lara had used Jonah to help her find a old temple where suspected that Trinity was trying to find and at one point Lara left Jonah to go and hunt down Trinity and he hasn't heard from her in at least a week.

Now here's where things get good as the conversion between Lara and Jonah is very well handled as this is where Jonah official calls a end to their friendship and leaves. Jonah gives Lara choice, stop hunting Trinity, give up her quest to avenge her father and just live her life. Only for Lara to refuse as this quest, this obsession has taken over her life to the point that she just can't walk away so she refuses Jonah's offer and the two go their separate ways.

What I like about this is that the writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly had it were both sides are right and both sides are wrong. Jonah is right that Lara is letting this obsession ruin her life and that he will not stand by and watch her fall if she refuses to be caught and Lara is right that Trinity has to be stopped and her wanting to hurt them for killing her father and hurting Sam is not something you just let go of.

And it's easy to see both points of views, Jonah hasn't really witnessed anything Lara has, or even Sam for that matter, Jonah didn't see a storm that came out of nowhere that took down a plane she called in for help. Jonah never saw the Solarii try to burn Sam alive or watched as Himiko tried to possess Sam or saw the ruins of Kitezh and why she had to destroy the Divine Source. He didn't have to destroy the Divine Source and watch as a man who she had come to see as a father turn to dust because of her destroying the very thing that was keeping him alive. And Jonah didn't hear about how Trinity tortured Sam just to find a way to fine the Divine Source. With all that it's easy to see why Lara can't let this go and why she has to see this through to the end.

But at the same time Lara has let this ruin her life, yes Trinity has to be stopped but there is no reason she has to lie to or hurt her friends to complete this task. Trinity didn't make her lie to Jonah or push Sam away and whatever they are planning it is clear that Lara cares more about making them hurt then anything else.

The comic does not frame either Lara or Jonah as in the wrong but instead lets us see both sides of the argument and let's us come to our own conclusions. And if this is the end of Jonah's part in Lara's story, while I'm sad to see him go I do feel that it is a good end to his character that ties in nicely to everything that was established before. This was actually has been building up for a while both with the argument both Lara and Jonah had in Rise and Lara wondering what she would do if Jonah ever left her.

So yeah, this issue fits with Jonah's character and the journey he has been on and while I feel that more can be done with Sam, her role in the series and her relationship with Lara I feel that Jonah has gone as far as he can and that this really was the best exit for his character. He cares for Lara but he refuses to see her destroy herself and if she won't let him help her then her refuses to watch her fall.

I really don't have any complaints about this issue, it's well written and it's a good exit for Jonah's character if this really is the end of his story. Hats off to Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly for a well written issue and while I still hope for Sam to return I am okay with Jonah's departure if this really is where he gets off. A good ending for a good character.
Yup, it's going to be one of those articles. So last time I talked about why the issue that Sam leaving Lara wasn't something she chose as much as it was chosen for her because the writers did to good of a job in fleshing out her character that Sam leaving Lara wouldn't fit her character so instead she was put into situations where she would be forced to leave Lara.

I don't blame the writers as they are only doing what the studio is telling them to do and they are the ones who demanded that Sam be parked and to the writers critic they have made it a point to not forget Sam as shown in Rise of the Tomb Raider where there is a document that directly addresses Sam's absence and in the comics Spore showed Lara thinking of Sam whenever she was left alone with her thoughts or on the edge of death and in issue 3 of Survivor's Crusade it's flat out stated that Trinity hurting Sam is one of Lara's key motivations for wanting to take down Trinity.

And it's not like they've made it impossible for Sam to ever return, with Lara and Sam having lines that imply that they want to be together again, Himiko's soul being removed from Sam which was the biggest factor for keeping Sam out of Lara's adventures. Plus the fact that Sam defeating Himiko in a battle of wills shows that she has what it takes to be Lara's partner making a Demigod scream in terror is a pretty awesome feat when you get down to it.

But on to what this article is really about and that's the issue with Sam's parking and this time we're going to look at another superhero story and that's Spider-Man in the infamous One More Day, in which Peter Parker makes a deal with the Devil to end his marriage with Mary Jane. Now please note I don't think that Sam's parking is as bad as OMD as A) It's not loaded with pointless padding and B) The characters are at least acting like themselves instead of whining about how hard they have it. Also Lara's solution to getting rid of Himiko doesn't break her character by making her make a deal with a demonic force. Not to mention that unlike OMD Sam is the one Lara is actually trying to save unlike Peter who was more concern for his always dying aunt instead of his wife.

However, the core issue here is the same and that is Lara and Peter deciding to give up someone they love for someone who is either dead or dying, Lara with her father and Peter with his aunt. Again it's not as bad as Lara is clearly shown to be unhappy with her choices to leave Sam and Jonah behind and her only company being a ghost and her enemies isn't as comforting as you might think. Meanwhile over on Spider-Man, Peter has been with at least 4 different women since his deal with the devil and there is no sign of him ever regretting that deal.

But the problem with both is the same, that they shouldn't have made these choices to begin with. Peter making a deal with the devil goes against the core principles of his character which is with great power comes great responsibility and Peter making a deal with the devil to save his dying aunt and abandon his wife is irresponsible of him and he is pretty much rewarded for that action.

Lara is similar in that one of the core focus of her character is her protecting those she loves and being there for them when they need her. But Lara choosing to leave Sam when she did is her leaving someone who clearly needs her as Sam is going through a lot of emotional trauma right now and Lara is really the only person who fully understands what Sam is going through. She can't exactly tell anyone she was possessed, her parents never saw what she saw so Lara is the only person she can talk to and she just left without even saying goodbye. Though unlike Peter Lara is clearly not being rewarded for this chose which is both a good and a bad.

Good because I like the fact that Lara hasn't just gotten over her friends is now just spewing one liners and killing just for the fun it unlike Peter who is frankly acting more self centered then he ever was in the past. Bad because to be perfectly honest, Lara has gone through enough shit right now and there really isn't any reason for her to keep suffering. Tomb Raider is teetering on the edge of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy and while making characters suffer is fine if that is all that is happening then you are going to end up alienating your audience as it is just tiring after a while.

And that's the other issue with parking Sam, it is forcing Lara into a dark place that she shouldn't be forced into and with the upcoming Tomb Raider: Inferno it's clear that there is even more suffering for Lara to come and it's just so exhausting for the fans. Sam needs to return, not because fans want to see her and Lara become a couple but because Lara needs someone like Sam in her life to give her something, someone to fight for other then her father's ghost or just getting the shining McGuffin of the week.

Same should not reprise her role as a Damsel in Distress as that role has been done and no one wants to see it again. Sam is more then capable of being Lara's equal and standing along side her in her adventures and shouldn't be forced to stay out of Lara's life because it's dangerous to be Lara's friend. Lara shouldn't be punished for having someone she loves in her life and Sam shouldn't be punished for being Lara's friend. They have both suffered enough, they both need each other in their lives and they should't be forced apart just because Lara is a lone wolf as that is forcing a narrative onto a character who it really doesn't fit.

If Batman, Kratos and Geralt can both admit they need help and have others in their lives who helped them then why can't Lara?
So as many of you know I didn't much care for the resent Tomb Raider film, and while I am exited for the upcoming game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and the tie-in comics Survivor's Crusade and Inferno, I am still bothered by the "Parking" of fan favorite Samantha Nishimura and after seeing the film I think I know what it bugs me and I also think that this is one of the reasons most fans are likewise annoyed by said parking.

First off the question must be asked why was Sam parked in the first place? There are a number of theories, with them ranging from her haters being very vocal about disliking her, (Which I find dubious as I honestly have seen very little of this hate dumb and have, in fact, met more fans who love Sam then those who dislike her), the developers being worried about addressing Lara and Sam's sexuality, (which I doubt given that one of the studios working on the game is Square Enix which has published a number of games with gay leads like Life is Strange and it's prequel Before the Storm) or the developers not wanting a game who's core relationship was two women regardless if they were romantic or not (again not sure about this as, again, one of the developers is Square Enix and LIS is all about the relationship between two women regardless if they are friends or lovers).

Now the most likely theory I've come across however is that the series is trying to turn Lara into more of a lone wolf like she was in the classic series under the assumption that this will make her a stronger character. I find this to be the most likely one because it does seem like the direction they are taking her in with the most resent comics as Lara has cut herself off from her friends completely and I'm just going to come out and say it, if this is their plan then its a bad plan. What helped make the newer series so popular was that Lara was more human and relatable then she ever was before and while it's true Lara didn't have anyone to help her in the past one of the problems was she wasn't someone players could relate to.

Classic Lara Croft is a iconic character and helped show that women can be awesome and kick ass with the best of them. But here's the thing, the same thing can be said about the Golden Age of Superheroes. Superman was someone the reader could look up to, he was powerful and did things we wish we could do, he was super strong, could fly and had heat vision, (yes I know Superman couldn't fly until much later but I'm on a role here so shut it). But what made Superman Superman wasn't his powers it was his desire to do the right thing simply because it was the right thing. But times change and we must change with them, and Superman changed as well. Yes he remains insanely powerful, he's still a Boy Scout and is still someone we look up to but what has changed after the Golden Age. He told Lois Lang who he was, married Lois and today he and Lois have a son who they are working as a family who save the world together.

Same thing with Batman, he has a family from his adopted children like Dick and Jason to his Biological Son Damian, his best friends is the aforementioned Superman and Wonder Woman. And most importantly of all he recently purposed to Catwoman who excepted and by all accounts DC seems to plan to go through with this marriage.

I'm not saying that Lara can't emulate classic Lara at all, one of my issues with the most resent Star Wars films is their mentality of letting the past die as that gives the impression that everything that came before is something to be embarrassed about. Hell even with the changes with Superman and Batman they still hold onto a lot of their old traditions. Batman still as broody as ever, and Superman is just as much a boy scout now as he was 70+ years ago, and that's nothing to be embarrassed about those elements are what made them so popular.

But to quote Linkara, Nostalgia can be toxic, not saying that is is toxic but that it can be toxic. There are some, not many as you might think though, fans who see the newer version of Lara as weak and whiny, who want the classic Lara Croft back as she was so much better then this newer version. But from my point of view, classic Lara was not a character I really cared about as a character. She was someone I found awesome and badass, I actually think the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider did a excellent job of adapting her character. She had all the cool one liners, cool stunts and was just a badass through and through.

And yes I would like to see some of that in the newer games. But I also don't want the newer series to throwaway all the good this incarnation of Lara accomplished. One of my issues with the newer film is that it tried to merge classic Lara with the one from the Survivor series which resulted in a number of rather poorly handled scenes that were filled with mood whiplash. The best example of this is best shown in the films very last scene as after Lara losses her father after just learning he was alive the movie ends with that scene you've seen in the trailer, with Lara grabbing her iconic twin hand guns and saying she will take two.

Like with the game she was forced to kill a man and broke down as a result of it and during her first few hours she kept trying to reason with the Solarii and not fight and was clearly uncomfortable with how easy kill people was. And at the end of the game the trauma of everything that happened on Yamatai has clearly left its mark on her. This has continued to be a recurring theme of the series as Lara still doesn't enjoy killing and Rise even game players the option to just get through areas without killing anyone if they so chose to. Lara can be a badass and a vulnerable human being which is once again shown with characters like Batman and Superman as both have people in their lives who help them out in big ways. They are still the heroes of the story but there is nothing wrong with them having help in saving the world.

Now that's all well and good, you might say, but what does this have to do with Sam being parked? See as Superman grew and developed so to did his supporting cast with the most notable example being Lois Lang. Now Lois is often regarded as a Damsel in Distress who is only there for Superman to save but as time went on she grew into a hero in her own right. She fell in love with Clark Kent before he reviled that he was Superman and excepted his proposal to her and is now a action mom who has taken on enemies as strong as her husband which includes her putting on a Batsuit that was designed to fight Darksied! Yes Really! Sure she gets captured ever once and a while but so does her husband and son, and the truth of the matter is that every hero gets captured and needs to be rescued regardless of gender.

Which leads me to one of dumbest moments in Superman History, the New 52, where Superman lost all his character development, his marriage with Lois was undone and started having a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman because the two crossed each others line of vision. So why did DC split up Lois and Clark, and par Superman with Wonder Woman. Simple, DC now had a heavy anti-marriage rule now and Superman and Wonder Woman are the most powerful Superheroes in DC so they should obviously get together. So why not just have Lois and Clark get a divorce in the reboot? Once again its a very simple explanation and here's where Sam's parking comes in, because Lois and Clark would never hear of it.

Over the decades Lois Lang and Clark Kent have become fully fleshed out characters and a consequence of that is that it makes it a lot harder to do things like make them break up as it doesn't fit their characters as neither one would hear of that. And it's the same thing for Sam, because of the comics Sam has shown herself to be a true companion to Lara. She supported her more then anyone else in the series, up to and including Jonah. She is the only person Lara is willing to listen to and the only one who can change Lara's mind on anything. She convinced Lara her theories had real merit, that she could preform on stage and is, to date, the only person to convince Lara that she needs help. Add to that Sam was literally willing to kill herself to ensure that Himiko would never hurt Lara and it helps show that Sam knows Lara better then anyone else in the series.

The reason I keep bring up Sam winning a Battle of Wills with Himiko because that shows just how strong willed Sam is and that she has what it takes to be Lara's partner and that she is someone who will only complement Lara's badassery not diminish while also adding a more human element to Lara by giving her something else to fight for other then her dead father and whatever McGuffin she is looking for. Just like Lois in Superman.

And that here's the real problem with Sam's parking, it is something that is forced upon her as there is no way Sam would ever willingly leave Lara. Spoilers for those who haven't been reading the most resent comics but Jonah actually ended up leaving Lara because she wouldn't let go of her obsession and while I hate that Lara is losing yet another friend I have to admit that I actually do like how Jonah's departure was handled. Ever since Rise of the Tomb Raider Jonah has been trying to get Lara to let go of her need for revenge and move on with her life and not only has Lara continued on her quest to take down Trinity she has left Jonah in the dark for months at a time and he was just sick of her always lying to him. Jonah gives Lara one last chance to leave Trinity be but Lara refuses and with that Jonah wishes Lara good luck and hope she finds what she is looking for but if she won't let him catch her then he can't force himself to watch her fall and says goodbye.

It's a well written scene that fits with his character and the story that was set up in Rise. So why is it that Sam is forced to leave Lara by first being possessed by Himiko and later her parents pretty much refusing to let Lara near her and Lara asking Sam's parents to take Sam somewhere safe? Because Sam would've refuse to listen and if she and Lara ever met face to face Sam would make it clear that she is sticking with her to the end and she is not going anywhere. Sam is strong willed and is not someone who will just except Lara's request to leave so she has to be put into situations where she's forced to leave Lara. It's the same reason Lois and Clark were now no longer married in the New 52 because if they were there was no way they would ever be separated even if this was a reboot the writers knew that idea would never stick, EVER! Same thing with Sam, the writers did such a great job at fleshing out Sam that her just leaving Lara of her own volition would never work as Sam was to loyal to Lara for that to ever happen so they had to find a way for her to be parked that didn't break her character.

And much like with Lois and Clark being married again in DC Rebirth I do think that Sam will return as, just like the Lois and Clark we all grew up with, Sam is just to well developed and well rounded to ever be kept down. And as resent articles on other websites have shown, people have noted Sam's absence in the resent film and they are not happy with how her part in the story was taken over by Lara's boring father who had little to no character.
So it's not official, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the title for the next game of the Tomb Raider series as was shown in the very first, and very short, teaser for the next game in the Survivor time line of the Tomb Raider series and I wanted to share my thoughts on it real quick.

So right off the bat let me just say Praise be the God No X-Box Timed Exclusive for this entire in the Tomb Raider series! Everyone will be able to play Shadow come September 14 regardless if you own a PS4, a PC or a X-Box One. Speaking of which yeah, Shadow is apparently set to release this year though whether this is the actual development time or whether they have been working on the game since Rise of the Tomb Raider I don't know though I hope its the latter as a AAA game that has a development window of only seven months can cause massive issues with the games.

Now because of the leaks we can assume that they have been working on the game sense mid to late 2016 as that was when the first leak was posted online thanks to a Reddit user managed to take a picture of laptop screen on a subway in Montreal which is where we first heard the name Shadow of the Tomb Raider. So at the very least Shadow was being worked on in some fashion for at least 2 to 3 years. Hopefully all that time was put to working out a good story along with some good gameplay as Rise of the Tomb Raider was criticized by fans for having a weaker story then Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born.

If you've been following me for a while then you know that there are a number of things I've wanted to see in Shadow with the most notable example being the return of fan favorite Samantha Nishimura, I've talked about this in depth in a number of other articles I've posted so all I'll say for this right now is, I hope Sam returns, I hope she's given a big role and does not reprise the role of Damsel in Distress. She's a great character and if Batman, Indiana Jones, Major Chief, Wonder Woman, Buffy Summers, Geralt and Nathan Drake can all have help in their adventures why can't Lara?

But back to the teaser I like the fact that the game is set in Mexico and has more of a jungle setting rather then a desert like a lot of fans were speculating which is nice and hopefully means that the graphics are going to be top notch if they plan on including as much foliage as is shown in the teaser. Now the the teaser does state that what we are looking at isn't footage from the game itself this is just something to give us a idea of what the game will look like so don't expect the graphics to look as good as they do in this trailer. Now saying they will be bad just not as good as we see in the teaser which I'm fine with.

But what about the plot, well based on yet another leak this will be the finally of Lara's Origin story, and based on a comment from one of the developers during the making of Rise it does seem like we will get another game after Shadow but that is really going to depend on just how well Shadow itself sells. We know Lara is still going to go up against Trinity and going off the summery of the comics Lara will be going up against her greatest enemy yet, someone who is just as lethal as she is. Also it turns out that the titular Shadow is referring to a solar eclipse that will take place during the the game. It's very likely that the eclipse will take place during the finally of the game.

As this is being set up for the finally of Lara's origin story I also hope that Shadow is where Lara puts her father's ghost to rest and moves on with her life. As I said before I don't hate this plot point as it's a very common trope in the Indiana Jones sub-genre and was used in Uncharted 4 and Uncharted The Lost Legacy but I do think it has been overplayed in Tomb Raider and needs to be put to an end so expect Lara's enemies to have some sort of connection to her father or for Lara to finally confront her father's killer.

As stated in my other articles I suspect that the tie-in comics will be playing a bigger part in regards to Shadow's story. With things like Inferno possibly setting up Lara's main antagonist, the possible return of Sam and given the setting I wonder if Leticia Cortez and her group Las Serpientes Que Caminan to appear in Shadow. Reasons for believing this are as follows, Inferno's contribution is rather obvious as the whole point is about setting up this deadly new enemy for Lara. The whole point of Sam being possessed by Himiko was to give her a concrete reason to stay out of the games and that plot point was just resolved in the fifth arc of the comics Choice and Sacrifice so the only thing stopping Sam from returning is her parents telling her she can't go. And Cortez and Las Serpientes Que Caminan are the only villains to have survived their encounter with Lara and are located and last seen in Mexico which is where Shadow's story is being set. The comics did a wonderful job at fleshing out Sam and Cortez is a great character in her own right so I do hope we get to see them in Shadow and I hope Lara's adversary from Inferno lives up to all the hype Dark Horse is giving him/her.

And that's all I got for right now and while there are a lot things I want to see in Shadow what I want most of all is just a good story that draws this chapter of Lara's life to a satisfying close. And show Lara's journey go on after this I hope she continues to have great adventures and that she doesn't continue to cut herself off and lets her friends back into her life.

For right now, I'm mostly just relieved that the game isn't going to be Exclusive to one system for a year before I get to play it. :)
Warning I'm about the spoil the hell of of the upcoming movie so if you haven't seen it I recommend skipping this article as I'm going to give away the entire plot.

Okay first off this movie sucks. So first off let's talk about how this film represents Lara and strong female characters the same way a Dachshund represents a Wolf. They're technically the same thing but if you look between the two they're some notable differences.

So first off, Lara in this film is a idiot. Because of the Trailers and clips I assumed that Lara was going to Yamatai because her father told her to so she could stop Trinity and thus removing Lara's personal agency. Well I was wrong as it turns our Lord Croft gives Lara specific instructions to destroy all his research as if Trinity finds it they could find Himiko's tomb and get a deadly weapon that will destroy the world.

And after hearing this Lara, for no good reason, takes her fathers notes and uses them to find Yamatai and locate Himiko's tomb because... there is actually no good reason for her to do this other then the plot demands it. In Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born Lara was going to Yamatai to make a name for herself but she wasn't aware of the supernatural threat and once there Lara was trying to save her friends as it was her idea to travel into the Dragon's Triangle instead of following in the footsteps of others who had failed to find Yamatai.

In Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara was searching for the Divine Source as it was the only way to redeem her fathers name and was aware of just how dangerous it was and that it couldn't fall into Trinity's hands.

And in the comics most of her actions are driven to protect her loved ones and avenge her father. In the movie she is made fully aware of what is happening and that destroying her fathers research is the best way to protect the world. But Nope, Lara doesn't like to be told what to do so she's decided to find Yamatai and brings her fathers research along with her, (and needs to be told something so obvious that I figured it out just my knowledge of anime (the symbols on the paper being clearly Japanese clock hands)) because shut up!

And then we have the plot of the movie. For those of you who were told that it was a Amalgamation of A Survivor is Born and Rise well your sorta right. It does take elements from both games like the basic premise of getting stranded on Yamatai and several scenes are copy and pasted straight from the first game but in terms of the actual plot it's a ripoff of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Yes Really.

Himiko in this version is just a corpse who has some sort of plague that turns people into mindless zombies instead of being an almost Lovecraftian monster who was capable of controlling the weather itself and saw humans as tools to be used and discarded when of no further use.

And then there's the removal of Samantha Nishimura. The film pretty much hands over all of her contributions from the original game to Richard Croft who turns out to be alive in this version. Having knowledge of Yamatai and the connection with Himiko are now something Richard was looking into for reasons that are never elaborated on, or he was just so boring that they were elaborated on and I just forgot about them. And yeah not helping matters is the fact that Richard in this movie is so bland and forgettable whereas Sam had more personality and character then the entire cast of this movie combined.

And as I said before, Lara is pretty much a secondary character in her own movie. Here's a list of all of Lara's contributions to the plot of the movie that aren't a action scene, (which makes up about 90% of her screen time BTW).

She finds her fathers research. Goes against her fathers wishes to destroy said research and searches for Yamatai which only succeeds in give Trinity what they want. Goes against her father's commands yet again when he tells her to ignore Trinity which results in her getting captured and allows Trinity to unlock Himiko's Tomb and stops Vogel from getting Himuko's thumb off Yamatai.

('' Sarcasm Mood Activate'') Well done movie, you removed one of the series most popular characters who is still loved to this day, made Lara an idiot who puts ignores simple instructions that almost results in Trinity getting what they want. And the one time she does something that is actually helpful is when she actually does what her father tells her to do. (''Slow Sarcastic Clap'')

Look I want Lara to have help in the games, I want Sam and Jonah to join a Lara on her adventures as what drew me to this character was her humanity and her relationship with her friends was a big part of that and that is completely absent in this film. Here 90% of Lara's screen time is just a series of action scenes and I'm sorry but I honestly don't care for that if I don't care about the character.

Alicia Vikander and the rest of the cast are doing the best they can but there is nothing for them to really work with here and I hate how they not only didn't properly adapt the games this film is supposedly based on, ripped off the plot of another game from a completely different series. Removed one of my favorite characters and gave all of her contributions to someone else because God forbid we have two strong well rounded female character. And the fact that this film is more concern about action then it is about story and how trauma can effect someone.

GOD I HATE THIS MOVIE!!! At best it's on par with Mortal Kombat as a fun yet brainless action flick and at worse its a insult to a series I have come love with "Characters" who only loosely resemble the characters the ones they are based on.

(Deep Long Breathe) There is one good thing that can come out of this film and that's the fact that Lara's lone wolf thing is once again shown in a rather poor light as Lara has help from the Roth substitute and her father who are key in helping her save the day but even this is poorly done. In the comics while Sam was pretty much the Deuteragonist of the series Lara was still the focus as she was the one who pushed the plot forward in some way and the villains saw her as the main threat. Case in point in Rise Konstantin states that Lara's father was, in his mind, weak but that Lara was a threat and had to be taken care of as she could undo his operation and in the comics the only villain who looked down on Lara was a the exception and was more because he was a misogynist. Mathis saw Lara as weak at first but quickly took her as a seriously threat once she started causing him real problems.

In this film Lara only survives because others are doing most of the work for her. Sam contributed a lot to Lara and her adventures but never took attention away from Lara, even in Choice and Sacrifice, which was all about freeing Sam from Himiko and had Sam being the one who ultimately defeated Himiko in a battle of wills but Lara was still the one we were mostly focusing on and we see just how much this means to her. But not in this film, in this movie all Lara really does is go from action scene to action scene she has no character and in the end she only made the situation worse and it was her father who ultimately saved the day while Lara was playing the role of Robin to her father's Batman.

I honestly say skip this movie and just play the games or read the tie-in comics, play the original games, watch Lara Croft: Tomb Raider staring Angelina Jolie, also check out the fan made film Croft it actually really good. And while you're at it check out the the video game this film ripped off, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, in fact go check out all the Uncharted game, watch Nathan Drake's journey that is on par with Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider, both the original and the newer games. Then check out the next chapter with Uncharted 5: The Lost Legacy as Chloe and Nadine take over as the series protagonist now that Nate is retired. Go watch Indiana Jones films, yes even The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as I don't think its that bad. All these games and films have better character development, (IE they actually have character development) and the lead character is actually the focus instead of some boring father character who has even less character then his daughter if that was even possible.
Oh, I am PISSED right now. I mean I am really, Truly, FULLY PISSED RIGHT NOW!!!

Okay I know they were likely going to remove Sam's role in the film and Lara's personal agency but OH MY GOD I never thought I would be THIS ANGRY after seeing the clips. My previous post was my overall optimistic view point on how and why Sam could return even if she didn't appear in the next two arcs in the comics or Shadow of the Tomb Raider but for this, THIS is me when something TRULY annoys me.

As expected they have pretty much butchered the story from A Survivor is Born by including plot elements from Rise of the Tomb Raider where they aren't needed but they also have removed everything all of Lara's achievements and have given them over to other characters they're also given all of Sam's achievements to other characters as well!!! WHAT! THE! HELL!!!

To catch you up for the film to remove Sam's overall contribution despite the fact that she might actually be in the movie, for the movie it turns out that Lord Croft is the one who was following up on Himiko which is how Lara apparently hears of it and in his video recording of him telling her what to do he also gives her instruction to destroy all his research on Himiko which is how Lara learns about the island in the first place.

Also Lara needs someone else to point out that the symbols on the pages of her fathers notes which are obviously Japanese clock hands, I watch a lot of anime so I'm use to seeing what Japanese clock hands look like. The boat captain is also able to figure this out in one second but Lara, someone who should have been able to figure out the moment she saw these symbols has to be told by the boat captain what the symbols are. Let me repeat that, Lara Croft, someone who has spent her life researching other cultures in order to uncover history needed to be told the blindingly obvious on something that most teenagers in high school know due to just watching anime.

The reason for this, unprecedented lack of common knowledge, is because the film makers are trying to make Lara seem imperfect and what better way to do that then for her to miss something that should have taken her seconds to work out? And characters flaws have nothing to do with thing like feeling of personal guilt, making mistakes, or a sense of self hatred due to the feeling that you let someone you loved down. Nooo!!!! It's about making your character look really stupid because Heaven forbid Lara has her own agency or competence, or the characters she had know for years vs. some random asshole who she barely knows but he seems to know her father which of course didn't happen in either Survivor or Rise as the people who knew Lara's father also knew her so we could see how losing them was equivalent to her losing her father all over again except for Sam and Jonah who were her own person circle of friends who had no real connection to her father because the clearly no one wants that touchy feely crap which is actually something a lot of fan actually loved about the reboot series and GOD THIS MOVIE IS STUPID!!! ARGH!!!!

And For Fuck Sake How is Mathias Shirt Still So Fucking Clean!?! Why The Fuck Did Lord Croft Think That Keeping That Stupid Key In A Box That I Could Open With Small Saw A Good Fucking Idea!?!

I knew this was likely going to be bad but this is just cartoonish! While I don't like that they parked Sam for a second time or that Jonah has left Lara, for the time being I do still feel that the Tomb Raider tie-in comics are really good and if you are a fan of TR I would recommend checking them out. Buy the Trade Hard Back Library Edition of the series which includes the prequel comic leading into Survivor along with the first three arcs of the comics. Buy Choice and Sacrifice, last four pages aside it is a good story that brings the Himiko arc to a rather awesome conclusion. Check out Survivor's Crusade as it is a interesting look into Lara's character and Inferno at the very least sounds interesting.

Vote with your wallets! Show support for Samantha Nishimura and good storytelling by checking out the comics and show Hollywood that we're not going to tolerate this crap anymore!!! GOD I NEED A SHOWER!!!
As Han Solo once said, Whoa! Wait a minute! Let me explain.

If you're new here let me introduce myself, I'm Winter and I'm a crazy person who writes articles about Star Wars, Tomb Raider and anything story related that pops into my mind. Among the things I write are Tomb Raider, what I want to see in Tomb Raider's future and one of its leading characters Samantha Nishimura or Sam for short. Sam was a major character first introduced in Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born who was written with the soul intent of being killed off but given how depressing the game was already and because of how much fans ended up caring about her the ending of the game was rewritten so that Lara just got to Sam in time to save her from Himiko instead of arriving to late and being forced to kill her to save the world.

Because Sam was not meant to survive writers Gail Simone and the series original writer Rhianna Pratchett worked to flesh out her character in the tie-in comics set between A Survivor is Born and Rise of the Tomb Raider. There was no official reason as to why Sam was "parked" for the series, (Pratchett's words not mine) but needless to say her absence did not go unnoticed and fans of her have been doing what we can to make sure that Sam is not forgotten and for her to get back into Lara's life.

So, you may be asking, why I am writing a article about me being okay with Sam not being in the next game in the series which us supposedly called Shadow of the Tomb Raider when, as a number of my articles have made very clear over the past few years, that I most certainly want her back in Lara's life and I'm not overly found of her being written out of the series in the first place?

Well I was reading the most recent issue of the Tomb Raider tie-in comics, Survivor's Crusade, when I think I figured out why Sam was written out of the series and it all comes down to one simple thing, Sam is the only person who can change Lara's mind and make her see reason. Throughout the series Sam is the one character Lara is willing to listen to, she is the only character who can get Lara to believe in herself as shown in the first game when she tells Lara that she should show her findings and go forward with them and take charge or in the second arc in the comics, Secrets and Lies, when Sam gives Lara the encouragement to preform in a play of Pride and Prejudice in a very well written speech that shows that she really understands Lara in a way that Jonah, Roth or her own father never really did. Sam is also the only person who has ever been able to convince Lara that she needs help in her adventure as best shown in the Queen of Serpents arc where Sam convinced Lara that she was going to need help to save a friend of there, sort of, and that Lara was not going to convince her, Sam, otherwise. And finally Sam is the Only person who Lara was willing to put her quest to avenge her father when she heard that Sam was in danger and needed her help.

Why bring this all up, because it seems that the games are trying to take Lara down a very dark path and the only person who can bring her back from that is Sam. Said dark path is Lara, and by extension Crystal Dynamics, Lara cutting herself off from her friends and becoming more of a lone hero which we pretty much see in Survivor's Crusade and is implied to be the case for the next arc in the series Inferno.

But here's the thing, while several fans have been requesting this the comics themselves seem to be painting this as a bad thing, that Lara cutting herself off from those she loves is something that is causing her more pain as without Sam or Jonah, (Lara's other best friend who recently just left her as she wouldn't listen to him about turning away from Trinity) Lara's life feels empty and hollow. With her friends gone Lara finds that all that which brought her joy are now just things. She finds a sunken ship filled with treasure that has been lost for decades, and it brings her no joy. She goes to a temple in what I think is Tibet seemingly just so she can get the shit beaten out of her despite her teacher there trying to convince her to stop. She goes to a island that was abandoned by the people who lived there as it was over run by cats just to get away from the world. And then she goes to a place where her father had taken her when she was a kid to try and reconnect with him only to end up feeling more empty and more miserable then she did before. Even the summery for the Trade Pager Back of Survivor's Crusade states that Lara needs people in her life as they are the one who can help her the most.

And Inferno, the writers make a point of how driving her friends away has ended up hurting Lara more and that she seems to be losing her humanity and seem to be making a point that this is a bad thing. Fans wanted Lara to break away from her friends and, for right now, that's what they got and it seems that the series itself is making it clear why Lara needs her friends back.

A while back I had asked the co-writer if there was a chance Sam could return, this was his replay.

twitter.com/cpkelly/status/943…

While I don't agree with everything he said its still a interesting point and it does state that Lara Does need her friends if she intends to survive her battle against Trinity. Is it possible I'm reading to much into this? Maybe but then again for most of this I'm only repeating what the writers and the series itself. For right now the series seems to be saying that Lara as a lone wolf is not something that is as awesome as you might think.

And thus we come to the purpose of this article, why would I be okay if Sam doesn't appear in Inferno. Simply put, I sincerely believe that Sam will return and become part of Lara's life and adventures again and there are a number of reasons for that.

One: As stated before the whole point of Sam being possessed by Himiko was to give her a concrete reason to not get involved in Rise of the Tomb Raider and said plot point was just resolved in the 5th arc of the comics Choice and Sacrifice. Sam has been freed of Himiko and while Lara left her again and Sam has some legal issues to deal with she is still out there and may yet return.

Two: Contrary too what some fans claim, as I have shown Sam is very popular with fans even after five years with several fans still voting in her favor and bits of fan art still being made of her to this day.

Thread and Final: Sam is just to good of a character to stay down. She is one of the most three-dimensional character in the series with only Lara matching her and is frequently talked about whenever the reboot series is talked about with even several of the series writers referring to her as a favorite of theirs. Which helps explain why she has gone through such Hell because as Varric from Dragon Age once said, "If you love a character you give them pain, ruin their lives and make them suffer." And Hoo Boy does Sam fit that description.

But if she doesn't appear in Survivor's Crusade, Inferno or Shadow it won't be the end as there's always the next story and as Sam has shown many times, just like Lara she's use to have the odds being stacked against her. Yes I want Sam to return and I do think she can/will return and if or when she does it will happen in a big way that is befitting of such a great character that has formed such a strong connection with so many fans.
A while back I wrote up a number of issues I had with the trailer to the 2018 movie adaptation Tomb Raider with the biggest issue being Lara's lack of agency in her own damn movie. And more recently I've read a number of articles from fellow reviewers and fans of TR going over their issues with the film with many of them saying the same thing as I did. However, one thing I've read again and again is that Lara following in her fathers footsteps in anyway or form removes her agency altogether as all she is doing is just following in her fathers footsteps and on this point I can't really agree and there's a simple reason for that. Following in the footsteps of others is one of the most reoccurring plot threads in the Indiana Jones adventure genre.

Let's take a quick look at some of the most well known, and most loved, stories of this sub-genre, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Indy is following in the footsteps of a former teacher as he seeks the Arc of the Covenant, while doing so he follows the notes of his former teacher and teams up with his old girlfriend who is also the daughter of Indy's former teacher as she also wishes to finish her fathers work. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it's really more about Indy's father Henry Jones Sr. fulfilling his life work as he seeks to find the Holy Grail and reconnecting with his son. Uncharted's 1 and 3 are Nathan Drake following in the footsteps of Ser France Drake in an attempt to match, or even surpass, his legend and find the treasure the old pirate never could. Uncharted 4 is about Nate helping his brother prove that a treasure their mother found was real and more over about Samuel Drake finding said treasure with his brother. Even Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, aka, Uncharted 5, story is driven by Chloe trying to finish her fathers work and reconnecting with him.

And most fans would agree that these are some of the best stories in their respective series and in all of them the lead character has their own personal agency. Indy's love for discovering the undiscovered is what drives him to find and protect the Arc in Raider and him wanting to reconnect with his father is the main focus of Crusade. While Nate trying to find the treasure is is main goal in U1 and U3 drives him for most of the game he is more focused on trying to protect his friends and loved ones and they are in danger. And in U4 and U5 Nate and Chloe personal stories are them reconnecting with their family and finding a new family in Elena and Nadine respectfully.

And in Rise of the Tomb Raider and the tie-in comics TR: Survivor's Crusade and Inferno this also doesn't bug me as the reason Lara is doing all of this is because she thinks that she is indirectly reasonable for her father's death and her driving away her friends is shown to be a bad thing with even the comics questioning her decision of driving the people who could help her most. Now whether this leads to a good story is yet to be seen but what I like about SC in particular is the fact that Lara is clearly unhappy without Samantha and Jonah in her life and that her turning into a lone wolf is just something that is making her miserable as all the joy she has when discovering the unknown is now hollow and empty without her friends to share it with her. For me, and I hope I'm right on this, it seems that the narrative path the story is taking is Lara learning to let go of her father's ghost and move on with her life. After Trinity is dealt with of course as they are a threat and need to be stopped.

And that's why, I think, Lara's motivation to stopping Trinity has to be tied into her father cause without that it seems that she is only hunting down Trinity just because there evil. Having her hunt them down for his death gives Lara a personal reason to destroy them which is much more relatable then just her stopping them just for being evil.

Though the problem here is that this plot point has been over played in the Tomb Raider series as it was the focus of Rise, the Angelina Jolie movie and is the focus of the 2018 film and, if I'm correct, was the focus for a number of plots in other TR games. So the problem with this plot point isn't so much that it removes Lara's personal agency its that its been overplayed and fans are getting rather tired of it. Hopefully this plot point will be fully resolved in Shadow of the Tomb Raider along with, hopefully, resolving the Trinity arc and ends with Lara reconnecting with Samantha and Jonah and moving on with her life.

But as for the 2018 film Lara trying to resolve her fathers unfinished work isn't the problem, its the fact that Lord Croft is telling his daughter to finish his work and to answer the question as to why its a problem here let me ask you a question. In ALL the stories I just mentioned, from Indiana Jones to Rise of the Tomb Raider, how many of the characters going on their quests to find the treasure was a result of someone else telling them to do this?

Answer, one Uncharted 4 as Samuel pretty much guilt trips Nate into helping him and even then its reviled that Nate would have likely gone on the adventure without much guilt tripping from his brother as he loves the adventure to much to ever let it go. As for the rest, no one ever asks, demands or orders the hero to go on these adventures, they are doing this for their own reason. Even in Rise and the more recent comic arcs Lara is doing this because of her own sense of guilt and not because she found some old note/video of her father telling her to finish his work. So far, in the Survivor time line, Richard Croft NEVER orders his daughter to do anything. He Never tells her to finish his work, he Never uses her for his own gain and Never EVER tries to get Lara tide up into his battle with Trinity because he wanted her to be safe and to just live her life.

I am 100% positive that if Richard Croft of the Survivor Time Line knew that his daughter was ruining her life to vindicate and avenge his he would hate himself for hurting his daughter, even if it is indirectly and unintentional. I am also positive that Richard Croft would be disgusted by actions of his movie counterpart who is using his daughter as a back up plan to defeat evil and had apparently been arranged it so she would be prepared to do so if it ever came down to it.

Just for the record, the reason Lara was such a good fighter was because Roth had trained her in surviving and fighting so she could look out for herself if she ever needed to. She didn't train in combat because she was getting ready to fight evil cults and how exactly did film Richard know his daughter would be ready to take on the film's version of the Solarii? How did he even know Lara would be interested in finding the island. Sure she had a passion for archaeology when she was a kid but passions can change so for all he knew, Lara might have become a game designer or have become a novelist.

This means that film Richard thought that he's daughter would only be interested in the things he was interested in and just assumed that she was going to figure this all out and finish what he started. Which may come off in the film of Richard not caring about his own daughter's happiness and more about seeing her as his own personal project.

Again, I'm 100% positive that if Richard Croft from the TR's Survivor time line met the Richard Croft from the 2018 film they would not only be unable to recognize one another game Richard would find how he treats his daughter applauding as he comes off as almost emotionally abusive to his own child.

WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA!?!

Are the people who wrote this film also under the impression that the 50 Shades Trilogy is the best romance series of all time with Christian and Anastasia being the embodiment of a healthy couple?!

As I said the problem with Lara trying to resolve the Lara following in the father's footsteps plot is that it has been overplayed not that the idea itself is bad but what the film has done is worse because it has removed all of Lara's personal agency while shifting the attention to her father. In the games Lara is doing all that she is doing because of her own guilt and is doing so against her better judgement and will either end with Lara realizing that what matters to her now are the people who are still in her life and to let go of her father or with her turning into a tragic hero who only has a ghost left in her life (hopefully it will be the former and not the latter :'()

But Lara Croft in the movie is just a there to tell her father's story with no personal goal for herself other then what has been set before by a character that is just there to tell her what to do. It's a insult to Lara, her friends, Richard Croft and the fans who fell in love with this series.
In my last couple of articles in relation to Star Wars I made it a point that I wouldn't be looking at or talking about the more resent Star Wars films as I do not like the direction their going. However, as I have also said in relation to SW I will not be stepping away from the series as a whole and, much like DC's New 52, there are good stories that deserve to be talked about and ones that do manage to match the standard that Star Wars has set for itself, with the best example being, in my opinion, Star Wars Rebels.

Admittedly Rebels does have its flaws, their are a number of episodes that could be removed which has led to a number of pacing issues with the show and there are things that can be called overly silly, to say the least, but the characters are great, the stories are enjoyable, and they reintroduced Grand Admiral Thrawn into the Star Wars canon and did him justice. It helps that most of the people working on this show are the same ones who worked on the critically acclaimed Star Wars: The Clone Wars with several characters from that series returning to give closure to their stories so really Rebels could be seen as the season 7 through 10 of Clone Wars.

However, just like The New 52, a series that is well liked by fans is, of course, getting cancelled though from what I understand that is mainly down to poor ratings so season 4 of Rebels is the series finally, though it does seem that the creators of the series were given a heads up on the shows impending cancellation so they had the time they needed to write a proper series finally.

On side note, before I get to what the point of this article, I do think that, originally, the real finally to Rebels was going to be that the characters we were following were the ones that stole the plans for the Death Star due to the similarities of a number of the characters between the two stories. Both feature a force user who is blind, both have a turn coat and both feature a droid that is a more aggressive version of one of the characters from the films, in this case R2 rather then 3P0.

Still this is only speculation I have no proof and those similarities could just be a coincidences but as a certain Cardassian once said, I don't trust coincidences. But that is neither here nor there so let's take a quick look at the real point of this article and that is the revelation of the most recent episode of Rebels, A World Between Worlds, Time Travel exists in Star Wars and while not shown in this episode it is implied that one could, hypothetically, alter time. I say hypothetically because Ezra and Ahsoka don't actually change the time line but it is a interesting idea non the less due to the fact that, technically speaking, Star Wars kind has two different time lines, The Disney Era and Star Wars Legends.

Now here's a point of interest in relation to this episode and that is the fact that, aside from confirming that Ahsoka survived her encounter with Vader at the end of Season 2 of Rebels Time Travel is not used in any significant way during the episode. Don't get me wrong they explain why they don't do it and it still leads to some great character moments like Ezra wanting to save Kanan or Ahsoka's reaction to surviving her encounter with Vader but in the end the fact that time travel exists doesn't really effect the episode one way or another and I sincerely doubt that the writers would have introduced such a game changing plot point unless they planned to do something with it.

And really, there's only one possible use for such a plot mechanic, to give Star Wars a canonical reboot should the series ever need it. To switch gears for a moment lets take a look at the 2009 Star Trek film which was a reboot of Star Trek as far as the films went. Regardless of your feelings for the most resent films the first film did reignite fans love for the series and it is because of the film that allowed Trek to return to the small screen with Star Trek: Discovery, I'll leave it to you whether that is a good thing or a bad thing given Dis' own mixed reception.

But never the less rebooting Trek is what the series needed and just like DC with its reboots Star Trek 2009 is a canonical reboot, meaning that the character openly admit that they are in a alternate time reality but that the reality that that doesn't mean that the reality that existed before still exists. I think that this is why there was a whole episode of Time Travel introduced in Rebels, either because Disney is planning on reboot the series due to the mixed reception of The Last Jedi and the equally mixed reaction of the Solo trailer. Or in case Star Wars does ever fall out of popularity they have a way to reignite interest in the series as this would allow films like the Thrawn Trilogy to be made canon which would very likely get fans of SWL on board.

However, for those of you reading this don't get excited as for stories, time travel is like nuclear power. If handled correctly it could help fix things but if incorrectly it could destroy everything in about 5 seconds. So while Time Travel has been introduced as a get out of jail free card its very unlikely that Disney will jump on this anytime soon as it could just end up making things worse instead of better.

Also keep in mind that Disney could end up rebooting any point in time for the Star Wars Universe, any time, any era. Which raises the big question when would the Reboot occur if it ever did happen? Before the comment made by Rian Johnson I would have laughed at the notion that Disney would even think of reboot the Original Trilogy but given the films mentality of "Letting the Past Die" its sadly a real possibility that if Time Travel is used to reboot SW they may end up trying to undo everything from the Original Trilogy so the past can officially die and they don't have to think about it anymore.

However, I'm to worried about this and there's a simple reason for that, the fans would never hear of it. The second Disney made that announcement there would be such a backlash that which would likely include most of the fanbase just leaving the series and given that is Star Wars' main source of income Disney would likely would reverse their position on that the very next day they announced it and PR would be doing everything in its power to undo the damage such a announcement would have.

For the same reason I sincerely doubt that Disney would try to reboot anything Prequel Related due to the films being more positively received in recent years and because of the aforementioned Clone Wars and Rebels. There's also just how closely the Prequels are tied to the Original Trilogy so you really couldn't change the one without effecting the other and as stated above if Disney ever said that they would be erasing everything OT related they would likely reverse their position on that likely the day after it was mentioned.

That then only leaves us with one last possible option, and Disney Trilogy due to its more mixed reception and it honestly wouldn't surprise me if they did plan on doing this. Though if this is the case I would much rather this era of Star Wars to go out with a bang in the film equivalent of DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the reason for this is simple, I want fans of these films to have something that isn't a insult to everything they have come to love.

Yes, I'm not a fan of this era of Star Wars but just undoing it simply because I don't like it is insulting to the fans who love this era of films for legitimate reasons and it should be undone in a hand wave and the door should be left open for their series to continue in some fashion so all their adventures can continue in some fashion in the future.

If you are a fan of the newer films I don't want to give the impression that I think what you love isn't as good as what I love because while we may have different opinions on the matter, we're both Star Wars fans and I don't want you to lose something that you love just I can have someone I love. If DC, Marvel and Star Trek can have multiple continuities with the same characters having different adventures I see no reason that Star Wars cannot have its own multiple continuities. Let fans of the most resent films still have their series, either in film or in some other media so they can go on enjoying what they love.

I'll write up on what I would want for this hypothetical Star Wars reboot later, but as for this canon reboot just make sure that it is as epic as it can be with the focus equally divided between the heroes of the Original Trilogy, The Prequel Trilogy and Disney's Sequel Trilogy. Have each one contrast and complement the other and keep true to the respective characters, don't overly play anyone's flaws like Anakin's whining from Attack of the Clones, or Rey's near flawless character or Han's roguish persona. Focus instead on what fans like about these character and acknowledge their flaws while also acknowledging their strengths.

As for whether if/when this reboot using time travel will actually happen, only time will tell.
I mentioned that I would be talking about the Disney Star Wars film's one more time before stepping away from the series all together, well no point in delaying it anymore so lets just get this over with.

So the Disney's Star Wars films, where do I even begin? Okay first off let me just say that I actually like The Force Awakens, sure its lacks any real originality and the characters are as bland as characters go but for what it is, its good. The action is fun, the characters, while bland, are likable enough and it was nice to see some of my favorite characters on the big screen again, despite them being mistreated but will get to that later.

As for Rogue One, while the first two acts were boring the thread act was a lot of fun and who doesn't like the Darth Vader hallway scene? However, the characters are even more bland and forgettable then the characters in the Sequel Trilogy and I can honestly say that I didn't feel a thing when any of them died.

The best thing I can say about The Last Jedi is that it was very well made, the cast, for the most part, were really good overall, the music was really good and the action is really fun. However, as I've mentioned several times now, I find it to be the weakest of the Star Wars films with my biggest issues being the idiot plot elements, the characters being even weaker then they were in Awakens, several plot elements that went nowhere and the treatment of the original trilogy characters that are even worse here then they were in Awakens.

The last three Star Wars films and the upcoming Solo spinoff movie all feel like either cheep knock offs of the original trilogy or just cheep cash grabs. The best in the most resent films so far has been Awakens and that's mostly just for the fun action and the nostalgia factor. Yes I know they have their fans and many of them like it because, to them, it feels more like the original Trilogy and that Star Wars is now good again because of it and they, and you if you're a fan of the Disney era films, are free to feel that way.

But I don't, and its not because I don't know how films actually work, or because I'm just some purist fan who wines every time things are even slightly different or that I just need to get use to the new and let the past die. All of these are things defenders of the Disney Era have said and all of them annoying me because they all say the same thing. The films are just fine there's just something wrong with you! A statement that the film makers seem to be sharing which is the main reason why I'm stepping away from the Star Wars films for the time being. Even George Lucas didn't pull this shit when he was being criticized for the Prequels and even admitted that the films were flawed.

But the makers of the new films, "Well you just clearly have no real taste and clearly only don't like it for, (insert stupid reason here)." Or things like, changing up the formula to the point of dividing the fanbase base to the point where even hard core fans are leaving the series is needed in order for Star Wars to survive as a franchise, or that the series needs new challenges and to let the past die and forget all that came before.

And you know the most damning thing of all is? I've heard ALL of this before. Every single word, more or less, has been said with another beloved franchise that took a darker turn and tried to pass off undoing decades of character development, turning once heroic figures into borderline villains and rehashing the past while claiming that they were doing it better and to let the past die.

It was DC's The New 52 and it was just as much BS then as it is now.

Seriously you can take the issues with The New 52 and direct it at Disney's Star Wars Era and you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference. A optimistic hero who is made out to be more brooding in order to "Give him more of a personality" while ignoring everything that made that character a icon to begin with, Superman in the New 52, Luke in The Last Jedi.

And once compassionate leader who is made out to be more cynic and cold then she ever was in the original series and breaking her up with her long established love interest for no good reason and having her solve all her problems with violence removing all of the characters more diplomatic characteristics that she has become known for? New 52 Wonder Woman, Leia in The Disney Era.

A former lone hero who learned to be there for people he came to care for and putting aside his loner persona now becoming a loner yet again and has to be strong armed into working with others and save the day? Han in The Force Awakens and New 52 Batman.

Killing off characters both old and new more for shock value then actual story reason? With the exception of Rebels which just had the death of a major character which was actually worked into the story and felt earned that's pretty much the case for every Star Wars film since the Disney Era started, Han, Luke, the entire cast of Rogue One and will likely see that again in the near future. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they had planned to kill off Leia in Episode 9 The Search for More Money and I'm willing to bet that C-3P0, Chewie or R2 will be killed off because hey we have to do new things and let the past die.

And of course, rehashing old stories and trying to pass them off as something completely knew and better then the original only for close examination to reveal that everything that is being passed off as new and fresh was already done in older series and done better there.

The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are pretty much just soft reboots of A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back and the stories in the Anthology films have all been done in Star Wars Legends and, so far, was done better there. Replacing fan favorite Kyle Katarn with I honestly can't remember either of the lead characters names and I'm not going to bother looking them up.

Hell, even one of the biggest issues with the New 52 can be found in the Disney Era which is that no one respects or trusts one another. And Linkara's said it best in his review of Jaime Reye's Blue Beetle run during the New 52 and that issue is this. No one respects anyone, no one trusts anyone. They lie, cheat and show nothing but distrust and disdain for one another and when some does show respect, admiration or a desire to help someone else they are met with betrayal and aggression.

The other issue, and this has been pointed out by everyone who criticized The New 52 and the Newest Star Wars films, no one is allowed to be truly heroic anymore and when anyone tries to act like a hero they are quickly and pointlessly killed, for no other reason then because it will shock the fans only for that death to be rendered meaningless shortly after words.

In the end Star Wars is a story about redemption, hope and heroism just like DC is about fighting for Truth, Justice and Hope. Ideas that are scoffed at by the New 52 and the Disney Era as if those moments were something to be embarrassed about and that everything that you loved about the series should be left to die and never looked back upon.

Still there is always hope and just like there were good stories made during the New 52 there are good stories being made by the Disney era and ones I'm honestly looking forward to. Star Wars Rebels is a really good show that you should be checking out. It feels like Star Wars and the characters are really likable and while it looks like the series is going to end on a tragic note for the most part, heroes get to act like heroes and those who seek redemption are given a chance to redeem themselves.

I'm also interested in Rian Johnson's Trilogy and if the rumors are true and George Lucas himself is coming back to direct a film or films and that he might be able to share his ideas for new stories then I am on board for that.

And in relation to DC's New 52, remember the New 52 didn't go on forever and eventually we got DC Rebirth which recapture what made us all love DC to begin with while also creating new stories and giving us some great bits of Character Rerailment with Superman acting like the kind and optimistic hero we all fell in love with, Wonder Woman rediscovering her compassion and becoming the spirit of truth once again and Batman moving away from his loner persona and working with others again and even proposing to Catwoman and her saying yes, (ABOUT TIME :D).

Who knows, maybe one day Disney will just end up rebooting Episode 7, 8 and 9 and just make adaptations of the Thrawn Trilogy. Just get a new cast to play the classic characters, a director that can recapture the filing style of the original Trilogy and top notch writers who know how to adapted a novel to a proper film script.

I'm 100% positive that this will happen because that's how it always happens, a franchise loses its magic for a little bit but eventually it finds its footing and it finds what makes us loved it in the first place as it realizes that the past shouldn't be forgotten and that moving forward and looking back don't always have to be at odds and that continuing with established character development opens more doors then it closes.

With DC this took them five years but in the end it was worth it and I'm sure that this will be the same for Star Wars. So here's to the future. :)
So yesterday I mentioned that I was in a good mood, hence why I posted a article that was more about just fun references I would want to see in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and the reason for that still persisting good mood is thanks to a couple of posts on Twitter. The first of which was a vote on whether Sam should have died in Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born and the other was someone saying that she got a tone of fan art of Sam.

With the former with 1,267 votes 92% said that Sam SHOULDN'T have died and the bit about the fan art should be obvious. And these two tweets were posted within a day between them and, aside from Sam, were completely unrelated to one another and both were only posted a few days ago as of the time of this article was written. Here are the Tweets in question.



It has been 6 years since the release of the first game in the Tomb Raider Survivor series and so how is it that Sam is still so popular to this day? How can a character who only ever appeared in one game and was only mentioned in the second still have so many fans? I think it all comes back to one thing, Sam's character.

I know I sound like a broken record but I do think that is the whole reason for Sam's popularity is because of her character. Oh sure her relationship with Lara and the Les Yay between them played a part but if that was all there was I don't think Sam wouldn't lasted that long. Just for an example Alex, who is stated to have a crush on Lara has been pretty much been forgotten after the first game. After the events of the Secret and Lies arc Alex has been barely referenced outside of a few pictures with even his sister disappearing after the thread arc of the comics.

Please note I don't dislike Alex I'm just noting that Alex is not as popular as Sam and really he has little to nothing going for his character outside of his relationship with Lara and his death seemed to have had the least impact on her in the series. Lara's relationship with Sam, Roth and her father are all brought up again and again in the series but her relationship with Alex is rather one sided. Lara felt guilty for his death sure but she wasn't broken by it and once she had repaid him by saving his sister she hasn't really thought about him all that much.

In contrast, Sam absence in Rise of the Tomb Raider is mentioned, Lara thinks about her a number of times in the Spore arc, freeing Sam of Himiko is given its own arc and in the Survivor's Crusade arc Sam is stated to be one of the reasons for wanting to destroy Trinity for what they did to her. And again, she still has enough of a following to have a vote asking if she should have died in Survivor a near universal No only for the very next day for someone else to comment on how much fan art of said character was sent to her.

Even Rhianna Pratchett, Gail Simone and Phillip Sevy have comment on how many people love Sam while also admitting how much They love Sam. Which is one of the reasons I still have hope that Sam will be mentioned or appear in the 7th arc in the comics Inferno as Sevy is returning to do the art for the arc.

And one of the reasons Sam is such a great character is that the events of the first game and the comics have had a impact on her character in a way that they didn't with Jonah or Reyes. Oh they were effected but Jonah has remained his usual Jonah self while Reyes has moved on with her life. But Lara and Sam? They seem to have been the ones most affected by what happened and it changed them. Both lost several of their friends and were put in situations where they had to kill others just to stay alive. Both were put in horrifying situations where they almost died a slow and terrible death and both suffered a very personal trauma. Lara personally saw the death of three of her friends, two of which were practically family to her and Sam almost lost her very soul and later lost her free will to a monster who wanted nothing more then to just rule the world and hurt those she loved.

And yet, while both of them broke a little bit they both refused to break completely and fought back against a world that didn't seem to care and said, "I will get through this, I will not be afraid and I will not let this trauma control me."

I think that is what drew so many fans to Sam, her ability to go up against forces that to destroy her and yet she has pulled through each and every time. Sam could have died in A Survivor is Born and was in fact suppose to, but she didn't. She could have remained under Himiko's control forever, but she wasn't. Her soul could have been drawn into the Wei Mirror along with Himiko's at the end of Choice and Sacrifice but it wasn't. And she could have died from her self inflected stab wound but she didn't. She could have been completely forgotten about in both Rise and Crusade but she hasn't been.

And throughout all of this Sam has continued to grow and develop as a character and has done some pretty amazing things along the way. She's laughed in the face of those who captured her, saved Lara at least twice and faced down the very monster who ruined her life and through sheer force of will, forced that monster out of her life and in doing so gave fans hope that she could return in the future.

With all that it's no wonder Sam has remained so popular to this day and why so many want her back. Is Sam needed for the series to be enjoyable, no. Are there more fans who want her back then there are those who want her gone, from everything I've seen over the last 6 years, very likely. Could Sam help make the series even better then it already is? If she retains all her wonderful character development from the comics, if she is given more to do in the story, doesn't reprise her role as the Damsel in Distress and her relationship with Lara is allowed to shine like it was in the comics then yes I think it would make a already great series even better.

She's funny, optimistic, confident, vulnerable, iron-willed, uncompromising and just so likable. It's no wonder she has such a huge following 6 years after the first game. :)
Silly thing to talk about, I know, but I'm in a really good mood and I wanted to talk about something that was just fun in relation to Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Things like special character skins, Easter Eggs and just funny things that the game can do for no other reason other then I just want to. So here we go. :)

References to Shadow of the Colossus

If the upcoming game is indeed called Shadow of the Tomb Raider then there should be a few references to the classic and iconic game Shadow of the Colossus. From the subtle like having a brief musical bit from Colossus with that music being Revived Power, which is probably the most iconic score of the game. Have it show up when Lara first sees the towering temple or a staue that looks like one of the Colossi with the most obvious being Gaius who is probably the most iconic of the Colossi.

Also have at least one document reference the plot of SotC with it starting with "I remember the story about a boy who tries to revive his dead girlfriend, or maybe it was his sister? Well I'm fairly certain that the two knew each other, I think?" And if my theory that Lara will use a sword for SotTR I at least one of her kills being a recreation of Wander stabbing the Colossi.

And of course include a feature that let's you change Lara appearance and the appearance of the other characters, with Lara wearing Wander's cloths, Sam wearing Mono's and at least one character wearing the cloths of Lord Emon. Also two of the unlockable weapons, the sword and the bow, should be the sword and bow from SotC.

A secret Tomb that clearly takes a number of visual cues form Dormin's temple. Have this be the hardest to find of the Tombs that houses a special upgrade that maybe even houses the Sword from SotC. As Lara finishes the puzzles and approaches the sword we get a vocal cameo from Dormin themselves as s/he speaks the the made up language of the ICO series but once Lara picks up the sword all you get is a sinister laugh and then just silence.

Over the top? Maybe but admit it, you'd love it! ;)

References to the Tie-in Comics

As I mentioned in my previous article I'm not a big fan of stories of any media making it a story impossible to follow unless you have read/watch/played anything related to the story you are watching and I stand by that. However, I'm not against references that take on the form of a Noodle Incident.

For example, if she's in the game, Lara can tell Sam that's she's faced worse Trinity thugs and Sam makes a joking reference to the second arc in the comics, Secret and Lies, and says that Lara better hope Trinity's plan doesn't include her performing on stage or they might just have the advantage. To which Lara says, "I did well in the play when opening night came!" only for Sam to retort, "Only after I gave you the moral support to perform!"

This sort of thing is done all the time in stories, like Uncharted 3 when Nate brings up the fact that Sully got him thrown in jail when he was fifteen. Or Anakin telling Padme about the time he entered into "Aggressive Negotiations" with a group of hostile aliens.

This allows the comics to be referenced in such a way that it doesn't throw off fans who haven't read them as these are just some funny events that happened but you are not required to know everything about as these sort of moments are, and should be, few and far between. We get one or two lines that reference the comics like this and that's it.

However, I would like a few more direct references for fans of the comics like the four guardian statues from the Season of the Witch arc, a brief mention of Kaz, (in like a passing mention or a letter that you find in Croft Manor) and a few character skins from the comics with the most notable being, again if she's in the game, (PLEASE LET HER BE IN THE GAME) Sam as she looked when she was possessed by Himiko in the Choice and Sacrifice arc, with her eyes being pitch black, having what was either black vanes or cracked skin with black smoke coming out of said cracks. And this is given a brief description of this being the result of Sam being possessed by Himiko in the comics.

And while this may confusing fans who unlock this it's not story relevant as you have to unlock it by finishing the game and has no baring on the plot of SotTR. It's just a unlockable skin for a character I REALLY HOPE is in the game is something that is more of the fans who read the comics.

And honestly most players aren't going to care one way or the other as not everyone will likely get the reference to SotC. All their interested in is making the characters look different for later playthroughs and this is just a new skin that they can have the characters try just for the fun of it.

Uncharted and Indiana Jones References

I really don't get fandom rivalries. Sure there are series I like more then others but I can enjoy more then one series. I love DC but I also love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I think Star Wars and Star Trek and evenly matched though I do prefer the former but that doesn't make the latter any less amazing. Same applies to Tomb Raider and Uncharted, both have their great moments and are shining examples of the action/adventure/Indiana Jones genre so I am fully on board with the idea of Shadow making a few references to both Uncharted and Indiana Jones.

No character skins from Uncharted but little things like Easter Eggs like henchmen talking about some other crazy treasure hunter that discovered several lost cities and then destroyed them. A new paper clipping talking about Nate and Elena's legit treasure hunting business or Sam making a mention to Elena's first TV show and its forth episode and using that for the exact same thing, ripping down a wall.

As for the Indiana Jones references, for this one I would just have it be where one of Lara's unlockable skins was Indy's trade mark hat, jacket and wipe, with the last one even being "used" when ever Lara uses the little swing mechanic that is likely to return from Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Why?

Really just because. These are just some fun References, extras and Easter Eggs that I would like to see in this series along with big things like the Return of Sam, a fun plot, more Sam, seeing more of Lara's character development and of course, more Sam. The series needs 100% more Sam as one more awesome character can only make it better. But things like this are really just for fun. They're there to be unlocked or discovered and not something that really effects gameplay or the story.

Fans of SotC, Uncharted, Indiana Jones and the fans who followed the comics that tied in to the games would love these sort of things and that could only be a good thing. :)