Everyday Joes and the Best of the Best
Star Wars and Star Trek are long-running siblings in science fiction pop culture. I don't know if there's really a “rivalry” between the two; SW has always been more popular I think, and the two are very different.
One big difference is the type of heroes that drive the two franchises. And those two types show up all over the place in fiction and culture.
Star Trek has what I would call the “Best of the Best” type. This doesn't mean that they're infallible, or even that there's never anyone better that shows up to give them a very difficult challenge.
But the heroes of the Star Trek universe are usually Starfleet officers, highly trained, highly capable, and highly strong (strong may mean physically, but mostly mentally, emotionally and ethically). In the best of Trek, the characters' fortitude, strength of character, and ethics/decision making are challenged. They go above and beyond, but they are STARTING OFF as ‘above and beyond’.
Star Wars, at least in the original conception, are ‘Everyday Joes’. Robert Meyer Burnett on YouTube provided me this insight, one of his constant insights, on the first Star Wars movie: the heroes are blue-collar heroes. It's a story about a farmer, a trucker, and a veteran going off to rescue a Princess.
Luke, Han and Ben have great qualities, and huge potential/powers within them, but in their overall being and presentation in the beginning of the franchise, are everyday joes. This makes them very easy to relate to.
I can embrace both types when they're well-drawn, as can we all!
Everyday Joe heroes can still be admirable, or become admirable, but i think their great strength is their characters is relatability.
And the Best of the Best types, while they can be relatable too, are strong in that they're aspirational. They're the kinds of people we want to be, or wish we were, or dream we might be.
I love a Jack Burton (“Big Trouble in Little China” - everyday Joe) AND a Jack Bauer (“24” - best of the best).
Of course, a classic heroic arc can take a character from everyday Joe to Best of the Best (Men in Black, The Kingsmen, etc).
The heroes in my comic, Typical Strange, are of course Everyday Joes.
What are yours?
Have a good one!
Inspiration courtesy of Robert Meyer Burnett -
Banes at 12:00AM, Jan. 21, 2021
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