Chung's Response: Read this one first. : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread

Peter Chung here... Here's the message as it was supposed to appear-- that is with paragraph breaks and without the spelling and grammatical errors. Kristine, I can't believe that you went to the trouble of retyping this yourself. Don't you have cut-and-paste tools? You're a sweetheart, but ummm, I guess I'll have to start posting my replies here myself and not burden you with relaying my messages for me. I was hoping to avoid posting my e-mail address, but folks-- you can write me at the address shown-- just don't expect immediate replies, or replies at all if your questions are redundant or too geeky.

I ought to tell you that I was touched by Frostbite's strong conviction that the commercials she'd seen had been done by me, and that no one would listen-- that's what drew me out. Especially while I was being immersed in my personal Checkers commercial production nightmares. I couldn't very well allow a maiden's honor to stand undefended. A lot of labor goes into even a 30-second T.V. spot, so I appreciated her desire to draw attention to it. For those of you interested, one of the spots (there are four so far) can be viewed at:

Well, here's what I sent to Frostbite (Kristine):

To Kristine, and members of the Forum:

Good Lord... I hope this Q and A thing doesn't get out of hand.

Well, I'm going to answer as much as I can in this one shot. I suggest you upload this entire message on the forum so that I won't have to repeat myself later. Also, you might as well post my earlier message regarding the availability of Alexander, as this seems to be another frequently asked question.

First of all, I'm aware of the message board at, and have been fascinated by the continuing interest with Aeon Flux. I'm very appreciative of all the support for a show that finished its brief run four years ago. I've chosen not to participate in the discussion because I think that to answer everyone's questions would be the surest way to kill the multitude of speculations and interpretations going on. It happened before when I posted messages on the old MTV message board on AOL.

I prefer to let the episodes, flawed though many of them are, speak for themselves. Viewing film should stimulate the viewers' own creativity. I don't believe that in a work of fiction, the viewers' understanding is less valid than what was intended by the author. The fact that it may not agree with the original intent does not make it wrong.

Check out the following web page for an essay I wrote on the subject for Animation World Magazine :

Regarding many points relating to individual episodes, I'll suggest that folks get the May 1997 issue of Cinefantastique magazine. You'll find many of your questions answered there in an extensive interview and episode guide. The article runs 17 pages. You can get it from : (Ask for the version with Aeon Flux on the cover- it's a rare item that wasn't sold on newsstands.)

Having said all this, I'll answer one of the questions you pose, regarding the doll in the Purge, since it's one of my favorite moments in the series.

The Custodians are the physical embodiment of a very vaporous notion-- human conscience. Does conscience really exist, or is it just a way of convincing ourselves that a center for moral judgment resides within us, thus lending our judgments a natural authority? As always, Trevor prefers to provide a tangible solution. He can't tolerate uncertainty. Whether it is real or not, Trevor understands the usefulness of the belief in conscience as a tool for practical ends, the improvement of society. In the end, the doll which emerges from the Custodian reveals to us that Trevor's artificial conscience, like the classical notion, is no more than a flimsy gimmick, a parlor trick, a plaything of the mind powered by a circular process. (Advocating the existence of conscience usually involves an appeal to our conscience). Notice that Trevor himself winds up the toy while in the train earlier in the episode.

As for your friend's questions: Obviously, his question regarding writing for animation vs. live-action is a very complicated question which would take hours to address. Also, if he has to ask it, then he's not going to get it even if he reads an answer. Sorry, but each writer must find his own path.

Regarding feature film projects: I've been involved in several feature development projects in recent years. Last year, I was getting set to do Barbarella as an adult animated feature, but Warner Bros. acquired the rights, and it's being developed there as a live action movie.

The Aeon Flux feature is still being planned at MTV films,which is a division of Paramount pictures. Much time and money was lost during the writing of the first version of the script, which involved a couple of big names in Hollywood (you'd rather not know). I was not involved except for a few conversations with the writer they chose. I read that version, was horrified, said so to MTV, and was relieved when they agreed with me.

Since then, spurred by the success of The Matrix, which in many ways demonstrated what an Aeon Flux movie might look like in live-action,MTV films has renewed its interest in moving forward. (I don't doubt that Aeon Flux was one of the many sources of inspiration for The Matrix-- that film's designer, the Geoff Darrow, is a friend and Aeon fan).

Of course, my hope is still one day to do Aeon Flux as an animated feature. When and if the live action version gets going again, I will likely be more involved than before-- these things depend on the openness of the director, producer and writer they hire. As you know, MTV owns Aeon Flux; they'll do with it what they will, with or without me.

Meanwhile, I've been working on an original character that I'm planning to unveil later this year- if the Checkers/Rally's commercials don't continue to consume all my time and energy. I'm looking forward to seeing the public reaction to this new character. It's a truly far-out concept loaded with possibilities. I'm currently much more excited by this than by doing any more Aeon. Then again, if I did more Aeon Flux, I'd take it in a different direction again, much like the change from the shorts to the series.

Thanks for the tip on the book "Techgnosis". I'll look it up. Lately, I've been impressed with the work of Greg Egan. "Permutation City" and "Quarantine" have both been provocative and entertaining.

Fortunately, you caught me with some free time (Memorial Day, etc.). In the future, if people want to post questions, I'll answer a select few, as time permits.

Thanks again for all your support. Be patient, Aeon Flux will return...

Peter Chung

And here's my message in response to Kristine's question on the availability of Alexander:


The 13-episode Alexander series has not yet been picked up for release in the U.S. This is due to the sponsors' wish to see the show broadcast on T.V. before releasing it on video. Due to the content (moderate sex, not-so-moderate violence), it's unlikely that broadcasters would air it uncut. My guess is that it will get a video release some time this year. If it is broadcast, don't watch it. It will probably be a cut version.

The entire series has been released in Japan on tape and dvd. I understand it is selling very well. You can order it in its Japanese language version, but it is expensive. In Los Angeles, where I live, it is available for rental at Japanese video shops. I suggest you wait for the English language video release.

Please keep in mind that Alexander was made primarily for the Japanese market. If you don't enjoy Japanese animation, it may not be for you. Also, my involvement in it was as character and conceptual designer. The writing and directing was handled by Madhouse studio. The style of storytelling is very different from my work on Aeon Flux.

Peter Chung

-- Peter Chung (, May 29, 2000


Wow! This is sensational. Incredibly cool. Heaps of praise for taking this kind of time and consideration. I have enjoyed reading your replies so far (especially about the importance of differing interpretations, I couldn't agree more) and I hope this decision doesn't become a burden on you. Thanks again.

-- eskimonkey (, May 29, 2000.

As Mike Myers said:

"I'll give you a topic, discuss amongst yourselves".

Respect to Peter Chung for not spoon-feeding us the answers. I am impressed and humbled, and will continue to work on my writing, and see where it takes me...

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, May 30, 2000.

BTW, what do you guys think about his views on morality (that we cannot judge right and wrong, conscience does not exist, ect.)? Personally, I don't agree, however I can see the logic in his argument.

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, May 30, 2000.

Of course, had my own parents been Christians, I might be singing a different tune... :)

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, May 30, 2000.

Of all nights for me to go offline early! I love this site! Art, sci- fi, philosophy, thinking, and Peter Chung is as deep as I pondered. I am still enthralled over the fact that Aeon will return, and the imput on the Purge is just as thought provoking as the episodes. Paul, I didn't get the impression he doesn't believe in a conscience, he said advocating the existence of a conscience APPEALS to our conscience, so I reasoned, well then, he believes in conscience. But I looked again and it does say,'like the classical notion'and it's linked with 'flimsy gimmick'. I do believe in a conscience, because it is the lack of one that defines a sociopath. Of course that gets pretty subjective, by terms, if the definition is bandied about. Good stuff to mull over, but the artwork in the Purge, (and here I'm putting in a plug for Eric Canette, who was also gracious enough to write us), definitely conveyed a 'gimmicky, parlor trick' type device, and well. But without the words, I missed the point. (I might be the one who asks the 'geeky' question, Peter). I saw some of Alexander on the site, the animation style is beautiful, one thing I love about your work is that the people are individual, not all 'cookie cutter' semblences of each other with different colored hair, as in Sail...; well, won't say, tacky. And the women are STRONG, mentally developed women. Thinkers. There's where I really miss Aeon. Also, I do not see any Checkers commercials here in Phoenix?

-- Barb e. (, May 30, 2000.

I'm sure I do have such tools, but I'm too computer illiterate to know what to do with them. I feel like a fool for typing all that out, now.

-- Frostbite (, May 30, 2000.

Frostbite: it's pretty easy, why not give it a whirl right now? Drag your mouse over some text. It should turn white-on-blue, indicating which text has been selected. Then hit Ctrl+C or Edit > Copy (should work on most computers.) Next, go into a text input field (say like the "Answer" field on this forum) and hit Ctrl+V or Edit > Paste. Cut&paste saves a lot of time, you'll find.

-- eskimonkey (, May 30, 2000.

Do you know if any of the UK TV companies are interested in Alexander? Channel 4 used to show some Manga stuff late on fridays and SciFi UK have it on usually a saturday or sunday night. It would be so cool to see it as I have loved Aeon Flux since the moment BBC 2 aired the pilot on liquid TV many moons ago.

PS Blatent and shameless plug : The Aeon Flux Forum -

-- The Trivial One (, May 30, 2000.

No, that's the Aeon Flux club, this is the aeon flux forum. Has been for like, almost 3 years I think.

-- Chaos Knight (, May 30, 2000.

Frostbite, how can you ever feel like a fool for typing out a letter personally addressed to you from Peter Chung?

-- Barb e. (, May 31, 2000.

I'm going to ask MTV to carry Alexander, maybe they'll consider it.

-- Barb e. (, May 31, 2000.

For those of you who do not have the Cinefantastique magazine containing the article which Peter talks about above. I would hazard a guess that it is the most comprehensive article about the series that has been published as it was written after the completion of the last season on MTV. I will be posting large (readable) scans or text at a later stage on my site

for those of you who want to see what it looks like, I have smaller images up at the moment. Thank You

-- William (, May 31, 2000.

Sorry, we do not know who handles those. Sincerely, CIE GLOBAL ----- Original Message ----- From: MONICA L. ROOKS To: Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2000 11:25 AM Subject: scope mount for ruger pre ranch rif


-- Frostbite (, May 31, 2000.

Anyone that is having difficulty obtaining the Cinefantastique issue mentioned above and would like a copy, please email me. I can provide a B/W or color copy for the cost of the copies and postage. Thank you

-- William (, May 31, 2000.

Does anyone know what frostbite is talking about?

-- Barb e. (, June 01, 2000.

Copped one of your best lines to begin my movie Todd. So I have one for you. "Sharp eyes frighten liars" just one hundred duckets. Great job Todd

-- Big Al (, June 03, 2000.

Todd who?

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, June 03, 2000.

i just got kicked off while replying to this message, what

Frostbite i can't belive that you actually got peter chung to come and talk to us....ur great....thanks so much And what is that gibber that you posted last?

Mr. Chung thank you so much for coming here to talk to us...i can not even begin to tell you how much i admire your work....i'm very excited to hear of this new character that you are working on and i can't wait to hear more of it.....Very interesting, ur thoughts on consciences.....i like it! the purge has always baffeled me...that and the Baby one with the whole time thing going on...i can never remember the name of that one...i haven't seen that checkers commercial either, i wonder why.....well thank you again i'm going to check out those sites that you suggested..... :o)

-- Lady Morgan (, June 06, 2000.

My pooter is acting up again...well anyways i was just thinking what ever happened to that play station game that was supposed to come out?...i see it on the previews off the aeon flux videos....but i haven't heard much on was supposed to be cancelled or postponed, was it not? but why?

-- Lady Morgan (, June 06, 2000.

I was practicing my Cut And Paste skills. That's an old piece of e-mail sent to my Mom. How do I get it to not run together, though? Oh, and about the concience thing: I find myself captivated by the idea that concience, and maybe even morality are just illusions we create for ourself to make meaning in a universe where there is no meaning and no order. Then again, I've always been a bit of a nihilist. The way I see it, nature is wild and untamed cannot percieve of "goodness." A predator tracking down it's prey cares nothing about the moral ramifications of, say, eating the creature alive instead of mercifully killing it first. A newborn caterpillar does nothing to deserve the eggs that are laid in it's insides and slowly grow and feed off it until they eat it from the inside out. Humans, on the other hand, have this little thing called self-awareness, which causes us to look at the world around us and ask "why?" The concepts of "goodness" and "justice" and "concience" are our ways of giving order to the chaos. We come up with systems (mostly religious) to justify these horrors, when really there is no justification. If you ask most people, they will tell you that doing good things for others is the "right" thing to do. But if you ask why it's right they can't really tell you. I mean, think about it. What do you really get from doing things for other people? If you're religious it's probably so you'll be in God's good graces. Most people do it so that others will think they are good people. Most motivations for doing good are ultimately self serving, even if it's only to get that satisfied feeling. Possibly this is only societal instinct, but it's still there. It doesn't need to have any grand spiritual purpose. From the utterly nihilistic point of view, love is just an illusion. Still, it's real to us, which makes it real.

-- Frostbite (, June 06, 2000.

Man, I just went OFF! Sorry about that.

-- Frostbite (, June 06, 2000. prob frostbite.....i liked what you had to constantly make me think...don't ever change.

i just watched the peter chung commercial was to say the least awesome! i loved it...i'm surprised i haven't seen it on TV, but then again i don't know if there is a checkers out here..hummm

-- Lady Morgan (, June 07, 2000.

Hey Frostbite, you did teach me one very important thing, never eat dinner and read this site. Somehow, after the insight about the caterpillar, it don't taste so good. Kidding. I don't think that the debate over the existence of conscience means we do not do things that are kind or selfless, I think he means we should not trust that we have a built in burglar alarm that will ring us when we step in the wrong direction, and that we should not be smug as to "my burglar alarm is better than your burglar alarm",(a belief that our own conscience is equated with the powerful sight of a god).

-- Barb e. (, June 07, 2000.

Yes, human beings are fallible, but skepticism should always be tempered with some measure of faith ;). Frostbite, the question of morality goes back a long, long ways (and if we're going to be totally nihilistic about it, might as well be asking whether peanuts exist), but I can give you an answer as to why I, personally, sometimes do "good" or "selfless" things for others. I believe in the Freudian concept of primary narcissism, that is, I love all things as an extension of myself and vise versa. Yes, we are autonomous beings, but we are also connected, what goes around comes around. And a conscience goes quite well with other purely human inventions, like machine guns.

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, June 07, 2000.

Also, regarding nihilism, it seems to me that nihilists tend to view reality as purely objective. This is hard to swallow. Surely we are a part of reality? These days, even empirical science tells us that you can't observe something without changing it, so what does that say about things we consciously will? We do not merely look at reality, we shape it. You say that "nature has no concept of goodness", but then you say "it's real to us, so that makes it real". Those lines say it all. Early man did not see himself as separate from nature, but thanks to Descartes (who was a mean old bastard that liked to kick his dog), and others like him, we are now capable of believing otherwise. (You'll have to excuse me, I'm in a ranting mood tonight. No offense intended)

-- Paul D. Gilbreath (, June 07, 2000.

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