For all you fans of STARSTRUCK, the illustrated epic where riot grrrls conquer the galaxy, I've added a new piece into the huge "Roots Of STARSTRUCK" article. You can read the revision here, and within the main article here.
"Now we are in the power of a wolf, the most rapacious perhaps that this world has ever seen. And if we do not flee, he will inevitably devour us all."
-Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici (later Pope Leo X), warning of the Borgias' reign
BOTTOM: Baron Bajar; Kalif Bajar;
The rebel Medea family has been in a generational war against the corrupt Bajar dynasty. The Bajars have names that act as historical signifiers of evil scheming:
-Baron Roderigo Sejanus Vasco d'Gama Bajar, the machiavellian twit
-his son, Prince Phillipe Cesare Kalif Alexander Bajar, the chosen heir and airhead
-his daughter, Indira Lucrezia Ronnie Lee Ellis Bajar, the slighted heir with slight-of-hand
Primarily the Baron and his scheming son and daughter reflect the Borgias of Renaissance Italy: Roderic de Borja i Borja of the Spanish kingdom of Valencia, who bribed his way to become Pope Alexander VI; his murderous son Cesare Borgia; and equally poisonous daughter Lucrezia Borgia. Just as the Borgias misused their religious power to murder, rob, and colonize, the Bajars use religion, the military, and politics to advance their wicked power dreams. Pope Alexander may have been poisoned by his son, a fate that doesn't portend well for Baron Bajar.
The word "bajar" is spanish for 'to descend', a pun on both decline and descendents. The spiritual incest at the heart of the Bajars' backbiting struggles is doomed to eat them inside out. The Baron's name also refers to Sejanus, the Roman Praetorian who ended badly; and Vasco da Gama, the thuggish Portuguese explorer.
The Bajar son's name refers to (perhaps) Phillip III of Spain, a right bastard; the general term Kalif/ Calliph, a Muslim civil and religious leader, but also Kalifah, a radical revolutionary distortion of that power; and Alexander the Great and Pope Alexander VI. Clearly his father was loading the conqueror thing on heavy.
This is leavened by the wily daughter, whose name happily puts good Indira Gandhi right next to twisted Lucrezia Borgia, aptly summing her schizoid potential; and the downhome Ronnie Lee Ellis, which probably has nothing to do with basketball player LeRon Ellis but may have some hint of a certain sci-fi writer turned evangelist....