When you spend sufficient time watching motion pictures, you’ll ultimately come throughout storylines involving heroes who rise from legend to meet a prophecy. This idea of the “Chosen One” is an common narrative system, however current years have proven growing willingness to include it into vital blockbuster franchises like Star Wars and even particular person movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has labored for some movies, but it surely has hindered numerous extra. Nevertheless, 2017 supplied us with a number of tales that both subverted or downright ignored the concept of the Chosen One, and so they have been all the higher for it.
Arguably probably the most distinguished instance of this phenomenon can be probably the most current. Many followers had an insane variety of questions on Rey’s parentage in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the movie threw all of those theories of her because the Chosen One (echoing the arcs of Anakin and Luke Skywalker) out the window by telling us that she’s no person, and that the Drive belongs to anybody who can harness it — such as the Broom Kid on the finish of the movie. She’s merely a Drive-sensitive “no person” who chooses to do the correct factor primarily based on her personal set of ideas and the values that she brings to the desk. Like Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac), Rey is the hero of the brand new Star Wars trilogy as a result of she chooses to be, and for some followers that is a much more compelling and natural framework that traces up with the broader ethos of the franchise.
That mentioned, 2017’s willingness to interrupt away from the Chosen One archetype was additionally vital in Blade Runner 2049. Not solely did Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s science-fiction touchstone present a fantastic plot twist by revealing that Ryan Gosling’s Officer Ok was not the human/replicant hybrid that we had been led to imagine, but it surely additionally struck a serious emotional chord by displaying us that the dearth of something particular about him didn’t stop him from turning into a hero and saving Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) within the movie’s closing act.
In the end, that may be probably the most vital motive why the concept of the Chosen One must take a step again. Whereas it is attention-grabbing to look at somebody comply with his or her future and obtain greatness (we do not anticipate it to go away altogether), the sheer variety of motion pictures which have been counting on the storytelling system has began to make it really feel disingenuous. The mathematical probability of Officer Ok unintentionally stumbling upon a thriller that results in his reveal because the son of Deckard is staggeringly unlikely, and Blade Runner 2049 achieves larger thematic heights by embracing that truth. He wasn’t born to be a hero and lead a revolution; he selected to change into a hero and comply with the hero’s path.
Past that, we additionally want to deal with the truth that there are simply different types of storytelling on the market for motion pictures and filmmakers to make the most of when creating tales. With so many movies embracing the concept of a single particular person following the trail set by destiny, issues have change into predictable. If each film is telling the identical kind of story, then the narrative dial is not being pushed ahead. New sorts of heroes will not rise to prominence if we depend on a well-liked storytelling mannequin, so if we worth originality, we have to be taught to shift away from oversaturation of narrative units which have traditionally labored.
After all, at this level, we’ll simply have to attend and see what the longer term holds for this specific storytelling system. The final yr confirmed a notable willingness to avoid it with wonderful outcomes, however solely time will inform if the numerous movies set to debut in 2018 will do the identical. For now, you’ll be able to catch the most recent instance of Chosen One subversion in Star Wars: The Final Jedi, which is currently in theaters.