183 – World Versus Plot

The Mythcreant Podcast

Balancing plot and worldbuilding is a tricky business. You might want a world where magic is light and fun, but then want a plot about how magic is dangerous and needs to be hidden away. If that’s happened to you, then congratulations, you’re in good company. This week we’re talking about what happens when world and plot come into conflict. Not only will we mention high profile examples, we’ll describe how the problem could have been fixed, if only they would put us in charge of multi-million dollar franchises!

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

The Force Awakens

The Last Jedi

Star Trek: Discovery

The Librarians

The Abhorsen Trilogy

Deus Ex Appropriates Black Lives Matter Language

Fantastic Beasts

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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  1. Genyo

    XMEN have been hunted by regular humans with technology. Therefore Magic < Technology.

  2. flumph wizard

    Y’all probably already know this, but Chris’ proposition for a more compelling Star Wars Sequels plot with a corrupt Republic secretly run by slavers is apparently the scenario that lots of Expanded Universe writers used to try to retroactively explain the rather ramshackle plot of the Prequels.

    They essentially made the Separatists a sympathetic faction who wanted out from under the incompetent rule of the corrupt, slavery-tolerating Republic and the apparently elitist, politically manipulative, child-stealing Jedi Order. So they built a massive droid army as a “walk softly and carry a big stick” tactic to keep the Republic from attacking when a planet seceded. Of course, they were also arguably causing even more galactic instability than the crumbling Republic.

    Per Chris’ suggestion about the Sith being involved:
    The Sith secretly took over both sides and used each side’s propaganda machines and war profiteering merchants and politicians to spark an all-out war. Then they manipulated that war to completely destabilize the galaxy, bring down the Jedi, set the stage for a public-supported rise of a Galactic Empire, and basically masterfully screw everyone involved.

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that Chris’ suggestion is a great one and a proven one!

    It has been used fairly successfully in the Star Wars universe to create some really compelling and morally gray stories. It also tends to interact interestingly with the “clearly evil Sith VS mostly good protagonists” plots. Which allow the satisfaction of good triumphing over evil, and which the main movies will probably always contain in one form or another, since that’s a core element of the Star Wars universe.

    As always, thank you for the interesting discussions and creatively insightful content that y’all post on Mythcreants.

    tldr: Chris’ suggestion about a “corrupt Republic” Star Wars plot is fantastic and has been reasonably well-tested. Thank you all for your compelling content on Mythcreants.

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