Adore this post. (Off-Topic)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, April 17, 2017, 08:52 (12 days ago) @ narcogen

It just seemed so unnecessary. It wasn't a story that needed to be told.

Yup! Just like Halo: Reach.

And it has me scared for the Han Solo movie. Makes me think that all that will be is how he met Chewie, how he won the Falcon, etc, etc. I don't need the stuff we heard about in the OT explained to every detail. My perfect Han Solo movie would be after he met Chewie and already had the Falcon and are just doing their thing. Maybe some sort of heist movie--I don't want a biography of Han Solo movie.

I think perhaps there's some sort of mystical balance to be struck between story and backstory. A fictional universe needs to feel like an iceberg; that no matter how large it appears on the surface, even more lurks underwater that you can't see clearly.

Turning backstory into story I think does not work if all it is doing is changing the waterline. You need to hint at even greater depths still below, and even if you are able to do that, I think you hit a point of diminishing returns somewhere.

The comparison to fanfiction I think is apt because that's just what fan fiction communities do: they convert context into text.

If only for the highlighted line. I was a fan of Reach mainly because it gave the Halo universe a major dollop of realism, but I do wholeheartedly agree that giving us room to activate our imagination is essential in fiction, and often less is more, precisely because less gives us that room. One aspect I loved about Halo: Combat Evolved was that I always had the feeling I was being watched--the feeling that if I turned quick enough I might catch a glimpse of someone or something whose presence I felt. The subtle breathing you heard in your ear contributed to this--along with enigmatic messages like "Killed by the guardians," and the fact that you were in these huge structures that couldn't be built by any known entity (Hey Levi!). This mystery was essential to what made the Halo universe special (and you can see 343 trying to keep it up with the precursors, but it's hard to ring that bell twice). I like the new Star Wars movies, but I don't love them like I did the first two (and provisionally, three). And regarding backstory, no new revelations in the Star Wars universe excites me like reading Splinter of the Mind's Eye did in 1978 (but that may have to do with the fact that you're only 14 once). I'm guilty of converting context into text myself, and it's a fun exercise. You're right, though--it has to be more than that.

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