Today I got the pleasant little surprise that the Imperial Fists will show up in the upcoming movie Ultramarines. You can read about it here. At first, I was ecstatic. Fists! Rendered in cinematic-quality CG! Boltguns blazing, power swords swording! Fighting alongside their brother Ultras against the hordes of...of whatever they're gonna put in the movie! I grabbed my phone to call up people I know to tell them.
I got halfway through dialing my grandmother when a thought occurred to me. This is an Ultramarines movie. The Imperial Fists are going to be sidekicks to the Ultras. Once again, the boys in blue are going to get the spotlight while other more tastefully-decorated chapters get to ride in the backseat. My excitement waned; Grandma would have to wait.
Now I'm sure you're reading this and saying, "No shit, AmateurDork, look at the title of the movie!" And you're right, if a bit rude. But if you play non-Ultramarine SM armies you may understand how I feel. We want a little more time in the spotlight.
Now this is an old, dead horse that I'm not going to start beating nor do I encourage any of you to. We know why Ultras are the posterboys of 40k, and it makes sense that the movie would focus on them. I have NO Ultrahate, and I'm sure that Ultramarines will be a delight for all Space Marine fans and hopefully for the rest of you too. I'm just a little worried about how the Fists will be portrayed.
There's a bit of Imperial Fist fluff that takes place during the Heresy. It's the big showdown between the Fists and their evil counterparts, the Iron Warriors and its called The Iron Cage. Long story short, Rogal Dorn leads the Fists in a massive siege against an Iron Warrior fortress. It's an amazing battle between two forces, equally matched in siege warfare, each unyielding to the other. I love this story. Except for the ending.
Apparently, while the Fists were slogging through trenches of blood, the battleground littered with the bodies of friend and foe alike, the pristine blue ships of the Ultramarines swooped down, bombed the fortress and SAVED the Imperial Fists. No one called in the Ultras, they just show up because they're worried about Dorn and his ability to knock down a castle. Dorn is grateful, and vows to adhere to Guilliman's new book, "Galactic Conquest for Dummies".
I just don't want the movie to be like that. I just want the Fists to be able to stand on their own. I'll be pissed if they're portrayed as rock-headed, unimaginative warriors who bite off more than they can chew, only to be rescued and tut-tutted for not studying the Codex enough.
The truth is, I’m not really sure what to expect, but I am optimistic. Everything I have read so far seems like they are really try to make this movie for the fans, and 40k fans have high expectations. I am happy that my beloved Imperial Fists will be in the movie and portrayed by awesome actors like John Hurt and Johnny Harris. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, and who knows; maybe this will be the start of some exciting new fluff for all of us.