This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #010.
A more and more common creative choice for story-tellers in our modern age is the practice of subverting expectations. What that means is that the audience goes into your story expecting one thing, and what you give them is something different.
The problem with this habit is that it is quickly overshadowing the quality choices that would make for better storytelling and more fulfilling arcs. In Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, for example, we are introduced to Rey, and one pivotal question is raised. Who are her parents? In the sequel, Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has went on record as saying that he wanted to provide the most shocking answer possible, one that no one would have seen coming. Her parents were nobody.
The problem isn’t that her parents have to be major players in this galactic saga. The problem is that the first movie basically straight-up told us that the identity of her parents matters, and that we should postulate on who they might be.Continue reading The Positives of Subverting Expectations