Tag Archives: Star Wars

Surprising yet inevitable: Here’s the story

TFA Review.jpg

When I took a creative writing course in college, the instructor, Ron Hansen, told us that the ending of a story should be surprising yet inevitable. We all stared at him like, Huh? How is that possible? But this advice is perfect. In any story — short story, novel, play, or movie — the seeds of the ending should be set up as the story builds. Though character traits, decisions characters make, hints the author gives… and when the ending hits, readers will think, Wow, I didn’t see that coming. And, after reflection, But now it all makes sense. 

And now when I teach creative writing, I always tell my students that endings should be surprising yet inevitable. My favorite example is the ending of The Empire Strikes Back. Remember the first time you saw it? Thinking: What the hell? Not possible! No! Nooooo! And then: Ohhhhh, I see it now. Of course.

That’s why I love the text message above. I wrote, “How was it?” to my youngest son just after he saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His reaction made me incredibly happy. First, because “AMAZING” is what I’ve been hoping to hear about the movie. Second, because “Not what I expected, but exactly what I expected,” is another way of saying surprising yet inevitable.

Perfect.

SPECIAL NOTE: NO STAR WARS SPOILERS. VIOLATORS GO ON THE NAUGHTY LIST.

Christmas with my family

Quotes from Christmas Day:

Son, reading tag on gift: “‘From the Rebel Alliance gift shop.’ Please tell me it’s piece of Alderaan.”

The Husband, reading tag on gift: “‘From a Family Man.'” (Opens gift.) “I get it!” Shows everybody his Heisenberg T-shirt.

Son, at dinner: “Innie turning… to… outie.”

Son, a minute later: “What’s for breakfast tomorrow?”

Husband: “Cinnamon rolls.”

Daughter: “Satiation.”

Son, in Yoda’s voice: “Breakfast leads to cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls lead to satiation. Satiation leads…”

Me: “… to outie.”

Daughter: “What time are we watching Die Hard?”

Happy Trails. Enjoy Boxing Day.

Set phasers on stun, Luke

Today a friend asked: Which are the movies that feature Han Sulu?

I think I am permanently, maybe fatally, stunned.

However, I also think this is an excellent opportunity for some TV/movie mashups. Which movies would feature Han Sulu? I’m thinking: Bones. Other friends have suggested “The ones starring Captain Luke Skywalkirk” and “The Empire of the Sun Strikes Back.” And “The Wrath of Obi-Wan Khanobi.”

My son has also suggested a liquor mashup: Qui-Gon Gin.

Any other ideas?