My loyal blog readers will be gratified (and astonished) to learn that this blog has been listed in the “Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs.”
The rankings are divided into several sections. If you scroll down to the “Fiction Writing” section, you’ll see the Advanced Fiction Writing Blog listed at the top of that particular group. Part of what makes this blog special is my loyal blog readers, so I thank all of you for participating.
I’d like to continue our analysis of STAR WARS (Episode 4) which we began a few weeks ago. In our last few blogs on the subject, we came up with a nice sharp one-sentence summary and a one-paragraph summary of the movie. Those are good high-level analyses of the storyline, but it’s now time to look at the characters. Which raises the rather interesting question, who are the principal characters in STAR WARS?
Luke Skywalker is obviously the lead character. But who should go second on the list? Is it Leia (the love interest)? Or Han Solo (the buddy)? Or Obi-wan Kenobi (the mentor)? Or Darth Vader (the antagonist)?
Each of these four has a claim to be the #2 character in the movie. It all depends on what kind of movie you think you’re watching.
If you see the romantic storyline as very important, then Leia has a claim. This is of course before we learned that Leia is Luke’s sister. For sure in the movie, Luke had a thing for Leia, as did Han. Which made it convenient when Leia turned out to be off-limits to Luke so there was no need to have a goat-fight between Luke and Han in Episode 6. That would have been a little unfortunate, because everybody comes out stinky from a goat-fight.
If you see the male-bonding storyline as more important, then you might argue that Han Solo is the #2 character.
If you see the story as a Hero’s Journey kind of story, then Obi-wan Kenobi might have a claim, even though he dies halfway through the movie in a shocking disaster that forces Luke to grow up in the Force. Obi-wan does kind of hang around a bit afterward (or else Luke is hearing some seriously bad-news-for-your-mental-health voices in his head).
If you see the story as a Good-versus-Evil kind of tale, then Darth Vader is a good choice for the #2 character.
I think that the reason the movie had such broad appeal is that the movie was really all of the above. This is kind of risky in a movie, because people like to know what a movie is. When it’s a little of this and a little of that, then it better be awfully good at both this and that.
As it turned out, the movie was awfully good at all of the above. I’d say it’s about evenly balanced between the various kinds of story, so it drew in a broad spectrum of people. There was a synergy between the storylines that transcended genre. (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. I’m going to leave it there to prove that I can buzzword as horribly as anyone else.)
In any event, in the next week or so, I’d like to analyze the storyline for each of the 5 characters listed above: Luke, Leia, Han, Obi-wan, and Darth. What we’ll learn is something absolutely critical for the fiction writer who wants to create strong characters. There is ONE thing you must know in order to have some hope of succeeding.
What that ONE thing is, we’ll discuss next week. But you already know what it is, don’t you? You have it within you. Trust your feelings . . .