Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Writing - Nothing new under the sun

I've just returned from the cinema having watched Star Wars:The Force Awakens Episode 7 and then sat down to read my BBC History magazine and found an article about drunken brawls, rioting and murder in the 13th century. Hence the title of today's blog.

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Jabba the Hutt in disguise?

There is also nothing knew under the son but I think George Lucas and co. could have tried a little harder to find some variation from the first three films (episodes 4, 5 and 6). Don't get me wrong I quite enjoyed the film with its new characters and the reappearance of the old ones and it did leave the door open for more. You all know the story of the Emperor's suit of clothes - well you could be forgiven for thinking that everyone was told that the new film would be good so it was!!!

When I have written Steele stories I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of repeating sections and have always strived to maintain a level of originality and in many ways that is why superheroes have a shelf life. I could go on writing Steele novels but eventually the readership would drop, wouldn't have to go so far, because there are only a certain number of times you can repeat a thing before the most avid reader becomes bored.

So what did the Star Wars production and direction team do to rejuvenate their original, and very successful, idea?

(a) The special effects were as good as before.
(b) New characters worked well.
(c) The handling of the older cast members was good.

BUT

(i) a number of scenarios were almost identical (eg the photo above)
(ii) some story sections were the same (eg the battle scene to destroy the even bigger death star)
(iii) characters that had died were almost reincarnated in a slightly different form (eg Yoda became 

Image result for maz kanata/yoda                Image result for maz kanata/yoda
                          Maz Kanata                                      Yoda

Similar in appearance and just as sage as each other. I could go on about R2D2 and BB8 and more but I don't want people to get the wrong impression, it was a good film and if you've never seen any of the previous films or in fact the second tranche (episodes 1,2 and 3), then its worth going to see.

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Romance of the Rose 14th century

To link with the historical aspect of the introduction the picture is an illustration from the 14th century poem Romance of the Rose. Even in Pulp Fiction  the threat 'I'm going to get medieval on your ass' is issued. The stereotyping of medieval times is often centred on violence of various sorts often ending in death. In fact contemporaries of that time were just as outraged as we are today, for example the actions of the Taliban, Isis, Stalin, Hitler and so on. In fact as it is today, bad news makes the most noise and seems to sell more newspapers etc.

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Eugene Jacques Bullard

As writers we need to be aware of stereotyping and as a teaser I give you an unknown, particularly in his own country, hero of prodigious proportions. I don't intend to tell his story it is available for all to research but to his fellow countrymen when you find out about this man ask yourself why he is relatively unknown.

God Bless