Made as a rebloggable post as per request by the lovely Elfgrove!
This is a cool question!
Worldbuilding geekery time!:
You’re right that there was barely one episode with glimpses into his home planet/village etc. But there were interesting tidbits that (I personally thought) made references to that).
Before I start, I’m not of Arabic/Middle Eastern Descent or Muslim, so anyone who is of said background please correct me if I’m wrong.
Also: the visual development of this part of the episode is probably an “interpretation” or “hollywoodized version” of actual said culture (assuming it is).
Though it could be a reference to any older/less technologically advanced civilization from a much older time period compared to now? (He still uses swords and shields in their military, and candle light (though this could be because their power was cut off during the fighting?)
The backdrop of his town/village:
Below: Square stone hillside houses in Uruzgan. Afghan in origin.
The inside of his home (decorative rugs/tapestries/objects on stone walls/shapes used (
note the blue candles and his militia shield in the right corner OH GOD IS THAT SOME DELICIOUS FORESHADOWING?!!!:
Below: Interiors of homes in Rural Pakistan, Afghanistan.
seems to resemble what Westerners interpret as Scimitar/Persian swords?
(actual Scimitars are more elongated though)
Considerably more conservative dress for women and men (tho I admit you can still see Ilana’s figure
WHOA BABE ALERT)
Ilana seems to be wearing a more loose fitting version of a Hijab headscarf?
(speaking of Sci Fi adaptations of Muslim Dress - Barris Ofee from Star Wars :33)
So I could be reading way into this. But it’s visually interesting and I think it’s cool they made it distinctive.
Though if you look at the other worlds, they also read as channeling other known cultures (or at least what we’ve seen briefly)
Iolande’s culture reads as being Art Noveau/Elvish LOL
And the Zamarons read as being fantasy Greek
(the columns, the amphora shaped, vases, glasses, and Greek Name: Aga’po)
I’m a huge ass nerd, and I want to see more worlds, and maybe previous ones explored more in this series!
Edit: I also noticed that people are wondering if Razer, personality wise is more British or something because of his way of carrying himself or how he treats Aya.
This kind of goes into the uncomfortable territory of me as an outsider making assumptions of what people in the Middle East/Arabic places act like , but in my experience of being around such cultures, having table manners or being protective of women/wives is not just an element in European cultures jsyk.
Thank you so much for making this reblog-able! I think this is a really interesting interpretation (and happen to read it that way myself) that multiple Fanterns have commented upon now, but your ask response was wonderfully comprehensive about explaining it!
Now, since mod 1.0 (ElfGrove) is a giant sword geek, I want to add my comments on Razer’s sword. While the clothing, architecture, and decor are all coded strongly (by Hollywood standard at least) Arabic/Middle Eastern to my extremely untrained eye, the sword is not.
Note: I am reading into this as only a sword geek like myself can, and doubt any of this ever crossed our creators’ minds.
As you pointed out, real scimitars are more elongated than what the drawing is shown to be. However, Razer’s sword is missing several key design markers consistent with Scimitars. The sharp edge on a Scimitar should always wrap around slightly at the tip of the blade, making it not entirely a single-edged sword. This allows it to still function as a stabbing weapon instead of just for slashing motions. Scimitars are also iconic in that the blade gets noticeably wider in both directions before reaching the very tip whereas Razer’s blade is basically only widening and tapering on one side. This design makes a Scimitar very blade-heavy, lending more power to slashing motions in that fashion. Now, some later Scimitar designs do not widen the blade like this, but they also lose any similarity to the half-leaf curving silhouette on the blade side of the weapon and more closely resemble a saber.
Additionally, a Scimitar typically has a significantly protruding cross-guard set in a counter balance to the overall blade silhouette to prevent a parried enemy blade from reaching the wielder’s fingers (a design common to swords expected to be used in extended close quarter exchanges). Razer’s cross-guard is more decorative and barely protrudes from the overall flow of the blade shape indicating it was expected to be used for quick slashes and then separating from close combat before moving in again, in a more darting motion associated with swift moving agile fighters who would not get into blade pressing tests of strength versus strength but instead would need to avoid the risk of blades getting caught up on a cross-guard for even brief moments, thus slowing their movement.
Razer’s single-edged blade actually reads much more similarly (to me) to the overall silhouette and function of a Falcata — a pre-Roman Iberian Peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) blade design — and it’s later relative, the Greek Kopis. A traditionally designed Falcata has one side of the blade entirely flat, while the other side exhibits the half-leaf shape curvature seen in Razer’s blade. The hilt is designed to flow with the overall curvature of the blade to work in a levered fashion for the slashing motions the single-edged blade demands.
The Falcata does have the almost non-existent typical cross-guard that in many designs is angled for aesthetics and is designed to not break the flow of the blade silhouette. However the hook curve of the pommel section of the hilt is inconsistent with the design of Razer’s blade. The Greek Kopis however, does typically loose that hook in the hilt design. (I discourage Googling this bit as Kopis and Falcata are usually treated as interchangeable terms on the internet despite being a bit different.)
You’ll note this particular drawing of a Kopis shares the circle ending seen on Razer’s blade.
Neither the Kopis nor the Falcata have the back-curving shape to the flat side of their blade but rather curve forward as that is what is functional with that particular hilt and blade edge combo. In fact, the back-curved blade paired with the inwardly curved hilt that does not line up with the backbone of the sword is actually highly impractical. The overall shape looses the added force in leverage behind the swing because the flow of the blade shape is in direct contention to the flow of the hilt.The lack of lining up of the blade to hilt backbone overall weakens the combat effectiveness of the blade making it more prone to snapping where the metal tang inside the hilt looses alignment with the blade form to go to a much smaller and comparatively stick-like protrusion of the blade. — This is, after all, an imaginary alien sword. But, the more you know, right?
Reblogging for the daytime crowd.
Also, as pointed out by tofukitten, the storyboard notes for the Razer’s Edge episode once refer to Razer and Ilana’s home world as “'Beirut' Planet" — Beirut being the real world capital and largest city of Lebanon.
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