Friday, November 19, 2010
Wearing of the Green/Tangled Up In Blue
You know, when I saw this trailer for the upcoming Green Lantern movie, I also got a chance to look at the most recent Tron: Legacy trailer as well. It was a strange experience. (Almost as strange as watching the re-vised/re-done trailer for the 1982 Tron movie done by DrewboiX)
Green Lantern was once summed up by a friend of mine as being a "Paladin with a magic ring that allowed him to cast Phantasmal Forces spells at will for as long as it was charged-up." I've kinda always liked that description, from an OD&D perspective. Other people have equated GL's power ring to an artifact the dispenses (Limited) Wish spells, but I've never really felt that was quite right. But it is close. The whole set-up for Green Lantern revolves around wish fulfilment in a very major way. The McGuffin--the Power Ring--let's this guy do anything that he can imagine i.e.visualize i.e. express meaningfully to the alien mechanism that is the Power Ring. In that respect it really is a lot like the Wish spell.
Watching these two trailers back to back during my mid-day break really got me to thinking about the perils of wish fulfilment. When you can do literally anything that you can imagine or desire, describe or express, then you need a good vocabularly and repertoire of ideas, images, even templates and models to work from--otherwise you're left babbling incoherently and manifesting a lot of amorphous blobs and half-formed ideas that don't really go anywhere.
You can build an incredible empire of the mind and retreat/withdraw deep inside it and live out your existence caught-up in the neverending pageantry that spills forth from your psyche, like Bridges' character in the Tron movies, but in the end, if you are the main determiner of what happens, how it happens, and what comes next...sooner or later you're going to run out of ideas, unless you set up some means for you to refresh your personal reservoir of creativity, imagination, and intellectual raw-materials.
If Green Lantern is sort of like a Paladin (whether you think he's an asshat when he's in a citadel, or not), then Flynn is a lot like the Fisher King caught-up within the spectacle of a nanotech faux-paradise.
As I develop the Fountains for Riskail, and the Isoclaves and Inner Precincts of the High Families as well, this process of unbridled wish fulfilment, inevitable burnout and necessary personal renewal--the very root and core of so many mythos and hero-journeys--really jumped off of the screen and smacked me rght between the eyes. In a good way.