The Book ' The Seven Basic Plots ' : Why We Tell Stories

1246 WordsOct 12, 20145 Pages
Star Wars has entertained millions of people since its inception in 1977. Creator George Lucas’s brilliant use of the plot type Tragedy has created Star Wars into the global phenomenon that it is today. Through the understanding of what a Tragedy is composed of, how Lucas utilizes tragedy within the Star Wars movies, and the psychological appeal of tragedies, it will be clear why the Star Wars films have become so popular. Literary critic Christopher Booker, in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, explains that amidst the millions of stories created throughout history, they must all, in order to have a sense of closure, resolve in two main ways. The first is the most obvious: true love. This plot point, contemporized by the ever-so-popular Disney Princess movies, feeds the audience’s psychological desire for love. The second is death. And this is where the tragedy starts to take form. The death of a villain or the destruction of some evil force is quite popular throughout many plot types. However, this is not the type of death that concerns the tragedy. In this plot type, the death is “violent, premature, a death that is ‘unnatural’”. In other words, “tragically wrong”. This is the tragedy: the hero turns dark, twisted, and falls onto a path ultimately leading to his demise (Booker, 156). But simply having a tragic ending does not qualify a story as a tragedy. Booker claims that all tragedies must follow a simple formula consisting of five general stages: 1.
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