I grabbed the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey 2-pack and rewatched then after many years. I knew those movies well when I was a youngster, especially the first one. Many, many repeat viewings. Both movies held up REALLY well, and feature “Fool” Protagonists like I talked about a couple of weeks ago.
Another feature of the first movie is that there's no Antagonist. This concept first came to my awareness when I read Leonard Nimoy talking about Star Trek 4 (the whale one, where the crew of the Enterprise travels back in time to the contemporary world to collect some whales). Nimoy directed that movie, and was also involved in the story development (I think the whole thing was his idea if I remember right).
His notion was that they'd gone through a dark journey, with deep stuff happening, revenge, growing older, and themes of death (and then rebirth), so he thought it was time to lighten up. A lighter story, with no Antagonist and more comedy in it. The “no Antagonist” thing caught my eye.
While a Protagonist always has to be a person, which means an individual being of some kind, even if they're not technically human, an Antagonist can be an individual, or a fairly faceless group…or a force of nature. Or even just a ‘race against time’.
That's what's going on in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure - it's a race against time.
This approach works most easily with comedy, I'd say - and often shows up in TV comedies, where the Protagonist is pitted against their own flaws and sometimes the absurdity of their goals rather than an actual Antagonist.
As a side note, the rewatch of the Bill and Ted movies got me very excited to see Bill and Ted Face the Music in about a week. Looking forward to that!
My own comic often has stories with no Antagonist. How about yours?
Have a good one!
-The Nemesisless Banes
Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 27, 2020
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