100 Pictures Meme - Commander John Shepard, 1/100
hey fucker say that to my face and not through a hologram and see what happens
“Being a soldier’s the only thing I’ve ever been really good at. And not cause I try. Hell, I’d have kicked my ass out years ago.”
A warning: my feelings for Sheploo completely hijacked this post after some breaking point. Read at your own risk.
But if you don’t like Sheploo why are my posts on your dashboard anyway?
Let me tell you about how perfect I think James’ character design is (and what brilliant contrast it creates with Shepard’s default design). They chose such a perfect face model—with facial features that speak volumes about James and his personality, you can guess what he’s like before you even get to hear the guy talk.
It’s that baby face that does it, the baby face he can’t escape: no matter how hard James bulks or how tall he gets—the baby face will always be there. He may present himself as a rough-and-tough grizzled space marine to the galaxy, but with that face, you can just look at James and see how young he is by the soft plump cheeks and the flush lips and tiny ears—and how so very green he is by the simple way that small face just doesn’t fit the rest of his body!
James’ features are round, gentle, youthful. His skin is a rich tan, his eyes a warm hazel, his hair a soft brown; very warm colors, complemented by the light playing across his face like it likes it. He looks like a boy! The only thing that tells you he isn’t one is his massive bulk (which his pudgy baby face can’t really handle, and makes him look more like an overgrown baby gorilla than a destroyer), his bad-boy tattoos (because he’s a grown up, you know, and he’s certainly not going to regret them twenty years later—no, you can’t carry tattoos after forty unless you’re Zaeed-bloody-Massani), and the scars across his face (he’s got some, yeah, some indication of experience, but they’re still fresh and still pink in places: they have yet to fade, to sink in).
Just one look at the guy—and you can tell so much about him. His design is great, especially considering how well it fits the character it represents.
Especially compared to the design of the character he’s been built to relate to—and mirror.
John’s face is all sharp edges and planes when he meets James—and that’s when the Reapers arrive. There used to be a time when John had softer features, almost like James, but they’re gone now. He had rounder edges and fatter cheeks, plumper lips even, and, of course, this gormless look plastered on his face all the time. Almost like James.
But John’s neither as young nor as naïve nor as pretty as James. He’s old and aging fast (take yet another human male character around his age—Kaidan—and notice how much older John looks despite actually being younger), he’s seen some shit (and keeps seeing them, even when his eyes are closed), and while he would clean up as an exceptionally handsome man he just has no time for that clean up, not with the Reapers hot on his heels (and mind).
John has changed in the last two years. His features are sharp and hard and that gormless look is just gone because it’s been replaced by a constant frown. He’s grown pale, and there are shadows on his face that just came out of nowhere. His cheeks have sunk in and his cheekbones look like they have been sharpened until they can cut glass. The blue of his eyes has dulled. There are wrinkles and creases on his skin and he doesn’t even need to frown or pull his face anymore to get them to show; if he dares to smile, those damn crow’s feet show up, and if he doesn’t, they show up anyway. And the scars—oh, the scars—the old one on the side of his face is a familiar one from the past (a whole other life), and that’s definitely sunk in, but he’s got new ones: cruel gashes on his skin that glow red and hot and inhuman—and aren’t healing anytime soon, if ever.
James is the new; youthful, warm, and eager. John is the old; old, cold, and tired—(bowed, bent, and breaking; if you’re into IT and ASOIAF quoteswaps like me).
The design of these two characters creates such beautiful contrast—here, have these screenshots, John and James, from the same scene: even without (over)reading as much into it as I did, you can see just by the way the light is used on both characters to tell you just who’s who.
No intentions here. Well, not in this paragraph, at least. Just art appreciation.
You could pretty much put James on a table and go “This is you,” pull out a large pan, and start smacking him on the head with it until he magically morphs into John—he will, trust me—and that’s your cue to say: “This is you on Reapers.”
James will always be mini-Shepard, a gorilla man-baby, and the Normandy’s new puppy (in contrast to one old weary fleabag K9) to me. And I feel almost sorry for him because of that.
A+ character design and overthinking fuel would write about feels again.
but why is your face so pretty
Based on this [NSFW] movie poster for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.