Yes, They’ve Been Done, But They’re Still Fun

I’ll admit I haven’t been up on movie watching over the last few years for one reason or another.  It could be my tastes have morphed somewhat, being that we’ve mainly been hitting documentaries, Studio Ghibli movies, and imports.  I haven’t gone to see a good throwaway popcorn movie in ages.

That said, I’ve been hearing reviews on the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending, and the takeaway so far has been “oh god it’s a hot mess but go see it!”  Here’s the trailer:

I finally got around to watching said trailer about a half hour ago, and found myself both concerned and amused that I saw a parallel between it and my Bridgetown Trilogy.  Both contain an alien Origin Story (i.e., where did humans come from?), a female Chosen One character (some kind of savior to keep Earth from going kaboom), and a War for World Control.

When you’re a writer who’s trying to sell a novel you’ve carefully crafted for years that you’re currently trying to sell, and you see a Hollywood movie with parallels like that, you tend to have a moment of oh crap, someone beat me to it!

And then I realize–those three points are everywhere.  I’m not the first, nor the last, to use the alien Origin Story, a Chosen One and/or a World Control plot.  Time to calm down a bit.

I mean, much of the Mendaihu Universe in its early days was influenced by 80s and 90s SF movies and anime anyway: the Gall Force series, Until the End of the World, Strange Days, The Fifth Element, Johnny MnemonicThe Matrix and its sequels, Akira, and so on.  They might not be for everyone–some people see these kinds of stories as over the top and ridiculous.  Sure, there’s an element of the fantastical in the Mendaihu Universe, but that’s often what these kinds of stories are about.  And besides–Jupiter Ascending might be over the top, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not entertaining.  Pacific Rim is ridiculous, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun.

So that’s why I’m not exactly worried that Jupiter Ascending is getting sort-of-panned by the critics and the public.  I’m not going to pretend my Mendaihu Universe stories are superior or better executed…I’m pretty sure parts of my universe are a hot mess as well.  But my aim wasn’t to write a perfect story–it was to write an entertaining and thoughtful one.  That aim is more important to me.

Of course, now that I’ve seen the trailer for this movie, I definitely want to go see it. 🙂