The spring of 2018 has seen the revival of Lara Croft’s big screen adventures in “Tomb Raider”, the 3rd movie about this popular video-game character. I was looking for screen characters to put under my astro-flavored scrutiny, and Lara grabbed my attention. I must have a disclaimer right here: I have NOT played the game. I had more fun bringing murder into a game where it was not present by original design. If you want to know how to kill a Sim – ask me 😉
Nevertheless, I did have a general idea of her due to some friends who played it, and when it came to getting the feel of Lara’s planetary energies, it was quite easy. She’s a scientist (archeologist) so a strong Mercury is a must. But obviously, not enough. Mercury alone gives you Nancy Drew. Mars is even a bigger must here, due to the nature of the game and Lara’s constant physical activity. In fact, the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia article sums her up right along those lines: “ She is presented as a highly intelligent, athletic, and beautiful English archaeologist who ventures into ancient tombs and hazardous ruins around the world.” So we got intelligent (Mercury), athletic (Mars) and beautiful (ok, I’ll throw in Venus for good measure) with love of risk and adventures (Mars again, but if it’s in good relationship with Mercury in the chart, the curiosity instigated by the latter will add oil to the fire).
Looking at the birth chart of Lara herself, I go for noon of October 25th, 1996 when the first game was released. Here I stop typing and take a moment to pat myself on the head. Good girl! The computer version Lara’s Sun and Moon are both ruled by Mars (in Scorpio and Aries respectively), Mars is strong in fire sign of Leo and is friendly with Mercury, sending it an exact sextile – an aspect of cooperation. It’s like “I’m nosy and feisty but I don’t let it work against me!”. In addition Mercury, while in Libra, is strengthened by mutual reception with Venus in Virgo. Yup, she’s smart AND sexy, but not overly girly (not with all that Mars in her chart). So how would the chart compare to those who became Lara for millions of moviegoers? We shall see after a brief digression.
The release of the 3rd movie caused the fan base to split, as it usually happens, when their favourite character changes face. It’s a normal part of the process, we all have the right to be subjective in our preferences and we exercise that right like there’s no tomorrow. I stopped watching Batman films after Christian Bale resigned. I probably would have given anybody else a chance, but I just seem to be totally allergic to Ben Waffleck (no, it’s not a typo), even though I’m sure he’s a great guy and all that. His brother’s performances I enjoy greatly, so at least this allergen doesn’t run in the family.
As far as Lara goes, I have an opportunity to be a little more objective – I have not watched any of the screen adaptations, but I’ve liked both of the actresses in other films I have seen. I watched more things with Angie, of course, due to age difference … ok, so those of you I haven’t lost when I said I didn’t play or watch Lara Croft, and those of you I haven’t lost when I called Ben the nicer name in my book – you’re probably leaving now since I’m calling Angie old. The ones who know that nobody is getting younger and is ok with that – let’s continue, shall we? I have only watched about 3 films with Alicia, but usually one or two movies is enough to gauge the energy a person is sending out into the world. The Danish Girl was amazing, by the way, but we will come back to it later.
Anyway, I will leave all the critics, experts and fans alone with their opinions and look at the box office data. Let the money talk, as they say. I tell those people to stop taking acid and pull out the calculator. The boxofficemojo.com conveniently provides the numbers I’m looking for and the first thing that stands out is that the reboot made a larger portion of gross income abroad (79%) compared to just above 50% for the ones with Jolie. Whatever the reason behind that was, we continue to analyze the numbers. With the first picture pulling in $274 million, second – $156 mil and the new one $273 it’s easy to assume Warner Bros. managed to produce a feature that was just as successful as the original Tomb Raider adventure. Not so fast. Remember I asked to pull out a calculator? With 15 years difference, we need to adjust for inflation.
Now, I firmly believe my middle-school math teacher would be proud of me for not losing my nerve when an X / $$$ = CPI(2) / CPI(1) equation appeared on my screen after googling “how to adjust for inflation”! I knew I would need the knowledge of how to solve those formulas SOMETIME in my life, so I paid attention in class. CPI turned out to be Consumer Price Index and 10 minutes later we have our results: the 2001 picture made what would be $385 million in 2018, new Tomb Raider comes next with the number that’s not changed – $273 and in 2003 Lara’s saga brought in $212 million in 2018’s dollars. While beating The Cradle of Life by about 29%, the last Tomb Raider stays far behind the first one.
I would say the two main reasons behind that are that there is a plethora of badass female protagonists nowadays, from Wonder Woman to Black Widow, from Alice (Resident Evil) to Katniss Everdeen, so the competition is tough. Another one is that the general moviegoers rate has dropped with the development of online streaming services over the last decade or so. In any case, I think we’ve digressed enough and it’s time to come back to planets and charts now.
If you forgot – we’re looking for strong Mercury, Mars and some Venus as well, but not overpowering the first or especially the second.
Angie’s chart is probably very well known to anyone who have studied astrology via youtube videos and blog articles – her and Brad were the textbook examples for synastry lessons for everyone creating that kind of content circa 2006-2016. I wonder who they’re using now…
Without looking up in astrodatabank I know her Sun and Mercury are in Gemini, which is wonderful. Mercury is in it’s own sign and also rules the Sun. Moon is in Aries, giving her the needed badassness and after looking up the chart I found Mars in close conjunction with it as well. So the two main planets we were looking for are both in their domains and both rule a luminary, their energy is showing strongly. In addition Mars rules Jupiter, and by the dispositor chain, two other planets and ASC in Cancer, so it’s quite natural Angie is kicking ass not only in Tomb Raider but in many other features. Venus is in zero degree conjunction with the ascendant, explaining the title of the sexiest woman alive for quite a few years, but it’s not really strong in Cancer and doesn’t have any supporting aspects, unlike Mars and Mercury, so while pronounced in the chart, Venus lets the boys lead.
Alicia Vikander’s birth time is not available in the astrodatabank, so we’ll have to do without the houses. Nevertheless, sign positions and aspects will be enough to estimate the planet’s strengths. Mars is in Aries again, which is a good start. But luminaries is where we run into a problem. Libra Sun ruled by Venus and Cancer Moon in its own sign. Mercury is in Libra also, ruled by Venus again, and Venus is in mutual reception with the Sun. So far Venus is leaving Mars far behind. This situation could be changed slightly by a house or an angle placement, but honestly with Venus getting better aspects than Mars, it is unlikely to matter much. And the watery Moon placement drowns (no pun intended) the situation completely. Cancer is nurturing and motherly. The only time it will go snappy and aggressive is to protect their family. Protect in Cancer world means “when there is actual danger”. Cancerians do not protect proactively. And not likely to be looking for any adventures, as this sign’s manifestation is to break away from the traits expressed by the previous one. Gemini’s curiosity and nosiness is one of them.
Now is the time to come back to The Danish Girl mentioned earlier. Here we see the perfect fit for this kind of chart – an artist (Venus) being extremely supportive of her husband (Cancer) despite the quite peculiar situation (no spoilers! Go watch it, it’s really worth your time!). In mythology of Zodiac signs, Cancer got to be in the skies for trying to protect his distant relative – the Lernaean Hydra. When Heracles came to kill her to save the population around the area, Cancer attacked his foot and was stomped on by the hero. Gods placed Cancer among stars to commemorate his devotion to the family. This is quite the distinctive feature of the sign – family comes first, anything else – and I mean anything – second. Cancer didn’t care that Hydra poisoned and ate others, he cared that she was his great-great-aunt or third cousin twice removed or something like that. Similarly in The Danish Girl one would think with the situation at hand there is very little reason for Gerda to stay, but she does and tries her best to adjust to the needs of her partner (a Libra trait). And that’s why it’s a very convincing performance that is sure to bring tears to your eyes – the energies of the character and the person portraying it are in sync.
However, they’re not syncing as neatly with Lara Croft. Definitely not as much as Angie’s do. I really don’t like watching action movies, but I found a few minutes for trailers and clips with both ladies in question. Well, I needn’t have bothered with Jolie. Honestly, even when she walks the red carpet she looks like she could kick your ass any minute. I’m not talking about the physical ability or actual desire to do so. I’m talking about the look in her eyes that says “Don’t mess with me”. Eyes, as we know, are windows to the soul. And the natal chart, in words of Carl Jung, is a map to it. When I look at Angelina as Lara, I think to myself: “Ok, if I had to venture into a dangerous tomb, I’d take someone like that with me without hesitation”.
With Alicia it’s different. I am sure she did the best she could, but one thing you can not do is change who you are (no matter how good you are at pretending aka acting). With all the physical aspects done at a very high level (Mars is in it’s own sign, after all), when I look at the new Lara, a famous Stanislawski’s quote comes to mind: “I don’t believe it!”. Somehow, she comes off as just a little “too nice”…