A lot of spin-offs never really make it. They’re DOA back-door pilots that people hate, or sometimes they get maybe a season or half-season, and sometimes you get lucky with an Angel or Star Trek: The Next Deep Space Enterprising Voyager. Actually, Star Trek seems to have the best success with their spin-offs. But there are some that become so big, that they totally eclipse the original in both popularity and cultural influence. Whether it’s because of a different demographic, or a particular performance, or just plain luck, these stories just seemed to grab audiences so much more than the originals, that the originals are all but forgotten.
Lord of the Rings
valeriemclean1919 Codename: Sailor V, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, JAG, Lord of the Rings, NCIS, Sailor Moon, The Hobbit, Warcraft, World of Warcraft, Xena: Warrior Princess About Film, About Other Art, About TV, About Writing 0 Comments
valeriemclean1919 Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, chosen one, Eowyn, Joseph Campbell, Korra, Lord of the Rings, Moana, prophesy, Raven, Rey, Star Wars, Teen Titans, The Legend of Korra, Writing About Film, About Other Art, About TV, About Writing 0 Comments
Quick, name a Chosen One narrative.
Okay, I’m hearing Star Wars, I’m hearing Harry Potter, Percy Jackson… Did someone actually say Disney’s Hercules?
All right, now name one with a female protagonist.
That isn’t Buffy.
(Leave your answers in the comments.)
Most Heroines– at least the ones of the past 30-ish years– don’t get chosen but rather choose their adventure. Mulan decides to take up her father’s sword and join the Army. Katniss volunteers in place of her sister for the Hunger Games. Merida’s entire story is about how she should have the choice of what her life will be. It’s hardly ever seen in Sci-Fi; Ripley isn’t a Chosen One, neither is Capt. Janeway or Dana Scully or the Doctor’s Companions (pointed stare at Moffat). Chosen Ones tend to deal with prophesies and mysticism and fate, things more often associated with Fantasy.
There’s also more to girls who are Chosen Ones than being princesses with curses, or being Buffy. They follow certain patterns, the same that the guys follow. There are essentially three different types of Chosen Ones; Type One, the kind that has an explicit prophesy attached to them; Type Two, the kind that is chosen by the gods/the universe’s higher power; and Type Three, the kind that simply has a unique power and is “Great Power, Great Responsibility”-ed into being the hero. Types One and Two are the easiest to write, but the hardest to write well due to just how many of them there are, and Type Three works best for serialized stories. I’ll talk some about each of them, with some of their higher profile examples, as well as some writing advice to nail the character arc.