Friday, January 01, 2016

The Unexplainable Pleasures of Knowing a New World of Fiction

The 7th installment of the Star Wars series released last week and I confess I have absolutely no clue about the Star Wars universe. All I know is that there is a Luke Skywalker and there is a Darth Vader and there is something about finding Luke's father (thanks to a fan-boy classmate at college). And yes, that there are six movies which need to be seen for a full understanding of the 'greatest sci-fi series of all time'. And as I write this, the six are on my download list.
 
The Harry Potter vs Star Wars comparison that I first heard about in one of my
film story writing classes
It's such a simple yet wonderful fact that struck me earlier in the day today- As soon as I start watching the series, I will be entering a new world all together. I will have a visual representation and understanding of the Star Wars universe. I will know the 'story' that George Lucas visualised nearly 40 years ago and that became a cult. Everything will change- not literally, but yeah, inside my head. From next to nothing right now, there would be something that comes to mind when one mentions the term ‘Star Wars’.

Have you ever given this a thought before or after getting into a new fantasy world?


Before I was first introduced to the Harry Potter series in January 2005, my mind's visual representation of wizards and witches and flying brooms and ghosts was something very negative and of the 'horror' genre. I saw the first film in the series and the ‘imagined’ world crashed showing me something completely unexpected. Entering the Potter universe absolutely changed my 13-year old self's understanding of the fantasy world. I knew and understood Rowling’s 'Wizarding World' now.

Same was the case when I avoided Game of Thrones for many years and finally this July gave in to the pressure and watched all 5 seasons back-to-back. In a matter of less than a month, the apparently scary 'ghost-like people on horseback' and 'blood-and-gore' had given way to me getting introduced to the grand world of Westeros and my mind had started comparing George R. R. Martin's work to J.R.R.Tolkien's epic LOTR. But of course there can never be comparison between the two!

I believe Lord of the Rings is one of the finest and most vivid and detailed literary works written in the last few decades. Another confession- I tried reading LOTR in school and failed at it. I could finish about 6 chapters in a month and that was just 100 pages of the nearly 2000 page book. I couldn't keep up with the huge number of character names, places and most importantly, languages! And that's the biggest reason I admire and respect the guts of Peter Jackson for his ability to adapt the grand story into a 12-hour trilogy film series. Peter Jackson did take me into a new world- one of yet another kind of sorcery!

I had no clue about the X-Men series of films until one evening in May 2014 in Mumbai when my friend made me sit and watch the first movie of the series on his laptop and explained to me the basic storyline so that we could go and watch the latest movie in the series 'Days of Future Past' and I would have a backstory in my mind to at least comprehend what was happening. And that's how I was introduced to the world of mutants- one that I just hadn't made an attempt at discovering earlier.

The same goes for so many stories and series that I have been involved with over the years. The snowy world of Narnia, the parallel worlds with ‘daemons’ in the His Dark Materials series, the magic and myth of Percy Jackson, and so many more.


There are so many fictional worlds that are lying dormant in the pages of a book or on film, and we are unaware of their 'form' until the moment we are introduced to them. And as soon as that happens it is the entering into the intellect of a new creator, entering the until-then-non-existent world created by them, giving real shape to things that we have just heard or imagined, that's how it is most of the times. And frankly, for one who is always in the quest of learning new stories and not just for the sake of entertainment, it's absolute fun! Don’t you agree?

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