"The Sun of Zartha" (MIB3) is a work of speculative science "fan fiction" intended to be a hypothetical canonical sequel to the 2002 Columbia Pictures film "Men In Black II" (MIBII or MIIB), directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Rosario Dawson. The hypothetical North American release date of the sequel is July 4, 2005.
NOTE: This story was written as an independent fan fiction project, mainly during 2005, and has no relation to the actual "Men In Black 3" film released in the spring of 2012.
This story is based on the Men In Black characters created by Lowell Cunningham. The Men In Black universe and characters are owned and controlled by one or more of the following entities: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Marvel Comics, Lowell Cunningham, and/or Amblin Entertainment, and are used herein as part of a noncommercial work of fan fiction. No challenge to ownership is implied, no copyright infringement is intended.
Aside from the copyrighted characters, objects and place names, all other characters, names, objects, places and incidents are either original products of the imagination of the original author (and any and all subsequent contributors) or are used fictictiously; any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, companies/businesses, events and/or locales is purely coincidental. However, certain select references are made in this work to actual consumer products/trademarks in the fictitious context of the story; such trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. No challenge to ownership is implied, no copyright infringement is intended.
Some still photos of Men In Black II used herein are credited to Sony Pictures Entertainment and have been collected entirely from other websites.
Canon used as the foundation for my story Edit
Men In Black (1997)
Men In Black II (MIIB) (2002)
and the "official novelizations" and "making of" books of each.
Primary deviation from canon: massive retcon Edit
The Sun of Zartha is designed in large part to be an exercise in the joys of retroactive continuity, or retcon. New explanations are given to explain, confirm, refute, and/or solidify previously presented situations, and to add general depth and interest to the characters and the events they experience.
At the end of MIBII (or MIIB) it is implied that Laura Vasquez (Rosario Dawson) possibly is the daughter of Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) as a result of a romantic relationship with Lauranna. This is not confirmed in any irrefutable, concrete way and is only briefly alluded to in a couple of scenes. In addition, I have found no outside information (interviews, novels, articles, etc.) confirming that Laura is Kay's child.
It could be argued that Kay's reminisicing over Lauranna and pride felt at overseeing Laura's departure in the film is 1) not reminiscing over a lover but over a close friend or 2) reminiscing over a woman he loved among several.
The events of my story serve certainly as an attempt to establish Kay as the father of offspring with an alien woman - but that offspring is none other than Will Smith's character Agent Jay. This sets up an interesting element of surprise to the viewer familiar with MIIB and helps to set up the plot of the whole story.
The story itself Edit
MIB3 is designed and written to further develop the ideas - and characters - shown in MIIB. It is the story of Agent Jay's transformation from a human secret agent into a godlike alien king.
The inspiration for MIB3 was the viewing of MIIB in the summer of 2004 on HBO (I missed the chance to see the film when it was playing in theaters), and especially the final few scenes of the film where Laura Vasquez (Dawson) is revealed to be the Light of Zartha, and leaves Earth, causing both her and Agent Jay (Smith) tremendous sadness. I don't like sad, unresolved endings in films. The ending was clearly designed, in the opinion of this author, to leave the possibility of an official sequel open, but as of the end of 2004 a "Men In Black III" was only the subject of many unsubstantiated rumors around Hollywood.
Since there was a very real possibility a "Men In Black III" might never be made, I thought it would be a good idea to write a piece of fan fiction and post it online, giving readers a look at what I think a good sequel to MIIB should be. I also wrote a brief treatment for possible submission to film industry people, which I have not done as of January 2005 and probably will not do unless strongly encouraged to do so.
My primary "research question" was: How can this couple be reunited? Some of the ideas I considered were having Jay go to Zartha on a mission and end up "saving" Laura, but what different would that be from any other sci-fi movie, or many romantic comedies?
The decision was made to elevate MIB3 to the level of epic "space opera" or epic fantasy on the order of SW, LOTR and/or Harry Potter (extreme box-office successes!), while keeping (or trying to keep) many of the comedic elements critical to the first two films, and create a new deep, richly thought-out mythology that would solidly connect Jay to Laura and to the planet Zartha: why not make Agent Jay a being of Zarthan descent himself, and have it so that he and Laura's marriage was actually intended and planned from the beginning?
The notion that Laura is the daughter of Agent Kay (Jones), alluded to in MIIB, also had to be demonstratively debunked, as noted above, to create a romantic pairing between Kay and Jay's mother, who is described below.
After doing some research as to the kinds of thematic elements and screenplay structure moviegoers preferred nowadays, some new characters were created, most notably Queen Angelique, the biological mother of Agent Jay and the goddess-like queen of Zartha, ruling the planet in an MIB-imposed exile status. Queen Angelique, or Angie, provides a crucial and pivotal element of family and mentorship which aligns with the Joseph Campbell "hero's journey" structure which has become a standard format for screenwriting. In my story, I envision this character portrayed by Gina Torres, best known for her roles in the Firefly/Serenity universe, as well as in the Matrix films and other sci-fi and dramatic TV and film roles. Angie is a loving, caring yet firm mother figure, as well as a competent, skillful diplomat and fearless leader of her people. Her strength and wisdom is an inspiration to all she meets and has a profound effect upon Agent Jay.
(Angie is ironically comparable to another character played by Torres in another Joss Whedon television series: the much more sinister "Jasmine" in Angel, although this author is not a fan of the Buffy/Angel shows and only learned about the Jasmine character months after the Angelique character was conceived for this story.)
In MIB3, Zartha is established and further developed as a kingdom run by the family of Agent Jay, naturally a family living on Earth as African-American. The mythology surrounding the origin of Jay's family has to be complex and be somewhat accurate historically - as well as somewhat plausible from a scientific standpoint. The family was established in the Middle Ages by means of marriage between African village women and an extraterrestrial visitor, Lord T'ola'an (this falls in line with the popular theory of "ancient astronauts" written about in many books - this phenomenon is a key premise in the TV series "The X-Files" and is said to be the reason behind ancient Egypt (and by extension the "Stargate" movie and TV series) and the Bible).
The events of Laura's going to Zartha, as depicted towards the end of MIIB, are made into the catalyst of Jay's eventual reunion with her: his mother speaks to him telepathically and calls him to action; confirmation is provided when Agent Kay and MIB director Zed (played in both films by Rip Torn) disclose Jay's true identity to him in a closed-door meeting (Disclosure).
In this one chapter, the events of BOTH previous (actual) MIB movies are explained and woven together (and effectively "retconned") as one huge, elaborate cover-up, involving the MIB's covert involvement in the internal domestic affairs of the planet of Zartha - by forcing the queen and the heirs to the throne into exile using some drastic measures - in order to protect the "status quo" on Earth.
Jay is shocked, stunned and angry at his superiors for hiding his identity for so long, but he is also elated at the chance to be with Laura.
Jay's family on Earth is based in New Orleans (the story writing began in the early spring of 2005 before the events of Hurricane Katrina). New Orleans was chosen because it seemed an exotic city with a large Black population, known the world over for the melding of African and European culture and folkways. If aliens could blend into New York City as was the case with the MIB films (as was, according to my understanding of the films, the vision of director Barry Sonnenfeld), they could also most certainly blend into a city as "magical" and "mysterious" as New Orleans.
The story centers around Jay's initially coming to terms with his alien identity (which causes a degree of psychological distress for him), and learning that life on Zartha, while a vast improvement on Earth, is not as idyllic as it seems at first. There is elitism and racial division between the tribes of Zartha, leading to serious internal political turmoil that threatens the security of Earth, and Jay has to find a way to deal with this turmoil and unite the tribes, while at the same time getting to know a mother he hasn't seen since the age of seven, and of course developing his romantic relationship with Laura. In addition, he learns that his mentor, Agent Kay, had a romantic affair in the '60s with his mom, so there is the clear possibility that Kay is in reality his father (or at least his half-father), which is somewhat disturbing for him to realize. Jay's world is turned upside down - but he still has a job to do!
And hopefully we learn a lot more about Jay in the process as a character with some depth, as opposed to just a thinly drawn action hero stereotype. (Let Will Smith act a little bit in this one!)
Key questions raised in this story Edit
- Who is Jay? Do we really know? does HE even know?
- Can Jay be compelled to accept his role as king? How attached is he to MIB? in MIIB he seemed tired and jaded as an agent.
- Will he and Laura be able to actually develop a real relationship?
- Will internal and external forces conspire to sabotage Jay and Laura's relationship?
- Will Earth, or Zartha, be safe from these forces?
- How will the relationship between Jay and Kay change as a result of the "disclosure"?
MIB3 can be a springboard for many other tales of Jay, Laura, the families of Zartha and their relationships to MIB and the exopolitical structure in the universe. I have begun developing a backstory universe that can be added to and expanded upon.Navigation
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Sun of Zartha