Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Video Essay: The Last Jedi and the 7 Basic Questions of Narrative Drama

Hey, remember when The Last Jedi threatened to break the Internet in half? Me too. It was an odd sensation: our country’s politics and culture has become increasingly polarized over the past couple years, but it looked like somehow a Star Wars movie would be the thing to set us into full-on civil war. In hindsight, it all seems so adorable.

None of that stops Sage from Just Write from carefully – carefully – making an argument that The Last Jedi is a roaring success when it comes to the narrative structure. He does this by applying seven basic questions of narrative drama developed byFilm Crit Hulk (in a lengthy and worthwhile deconstruction of Man of Steel) to the story lines of The Last Jedi

In case you can’t view the video or you just don’t wanna for some reason, those seven questions are:

  1. What does this character want?
  2. What does this character need?
  3. How do those wants and needs conflict with each other within the character?
  4. How do they conflict with the outside world?
  5. How do they conflict with the other characters?
  6. How does the character change through those conflicts and how does the resolution affect him/her?
  7. What impact does that change have on the other characters?

Many of these themes are echoed in John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story (look for a recommendation on that book sometime soon), and right around 6:40 you realize that The Last Jedi has done a masterful job of this. Yes, even if you hate the movie for some reason…


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