Last weekend I saw the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. As a writer there is a lot to learn from this story.
I’m not one to see science-fiction movies like this one. Or ones with fantastical scenarios, cartoonish characters and that have been newly released at the theatre. But as a writer, I have to take a risk sometimes for strong writing and a compelling story line.
In 1988, a young Peter Quill’s mother dies. That was a powerful opening that draws you in to the story. You align emotionally with that Peter Quill character for the the rest of the movie because of that scene. What a great start! A lot of science fiction films or people don’t draw you in because they keep everything in the rational/cold/calculating realm. The personal and emotional touches are great.
In the very next scene, this young boy is abducted from Earth by the Ravagers, a group of space pirates led by Yondu Udonta. Twenty-six years later on the planet Morag, Quill steals an orb, after which he is intercepted by Korath, a subordinate to the fanatical Kree, Ronan. Although Quill escapes with the orb, Yondu discovers his theft and issues a bounty for his capture, while Ronan sends the assassin Gamora after the orb.
We think we are out there on our own. The myth of the one man or woman creating. We’ve made this whole kingdom and it’s no one else but our own greatness. That’s especially big here in Silicon Valley where I write this from. Steve Jobs had the vision but there were many people who joined behind him. He didn’t do it alone. Nor do you or I.
Neverthless, we/many of us believe in the sovereignty of the self. Forget nations. Or anything larger than themselves. But then how come we give so much of that sovereignty away to the Sily-con Valley groups that cheapen the experience and thwart us from going deeper? We’re complicit in enslavement. So much freedom in theory but so little on the other end. The irrational is not dealt with. Rational inside but externalizing the irrational. Destructive stuff. But that’s the monoculture we need to escape and battle against.
At our best, we imaginative human beings, are threshold creatures embracing the visible and invisible. Drawing out unspoken truths that others can’t. This leads to insights and breakthroughs. The poetic language and stirring that the world needs. A writer with soul can penetrate any darkness, any castle of the tyrannical order holding sway. I need you and am not doing this by myself. If I think that I’m doing it alone, it’s false/an illusion.
The guardians accomplished their goal of saving the universe by believing in something bigger than themselves, each other. These guardians were by no means perfect. We see many examples of their shortcomings.
Nevertheless, they race in on their starships. And a whole force of guardians follow. They spent their lives to that point surrounded by enemies but now as they face death; it will be with a force of friends.
You and I together can create something wonderful. It’s only through the force of agile teams that dynamic energies become activated. It’s not me. It’s not you. It’s us together. There is genius in the group motif out there in the universe. The Guardians of the Galaxy and this blog are examples of that.
We’re going to do great things in the days ahead.