Star Wars, The Hunger Games, and the Storytelling Power of Thematic Resonance

Good stories always have great characters. The great stories always have something more. What sets them apart are themes that resonate deeply with the reader, viewer, or audience. Great stories don’t just entertain – they make us think, challenge our assumptions or beliefs, or inspire us to do great things ourselves.

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Journey of a Strong Female Heroine: Katniss Everdeen

What sets The Hunger Games apart from the rest of the field, though, is its lead character, Katniss Everdeen, and the skill with which Collins executes a novel trilogy centered around a young female lead. Where so many others have failed, or not even bothered to try, Collins not only creates a Strong Female Heroine, but also makes the story her Heroine’s Journey from impoverished nobody to national symbol. There are far too few stories of this kind in the genre – or anywhere else for that matter – even amid the prolific storytelling boom of recent years. For authors, screenwriters, and others struggling to figure out how to write better female characters and better female-centered stories, The Hunger Games has to be at the very top of the list to read, analyze, and learn from.

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Team Katniss: Collaborative Success in The Hunger Games

In The Hunger Games novel trilogy, Suzanne Collins created another fantastic example of an heroic story centered around one principal character, without losing touch with the role that teamwork and collaborative success play in human nature. In a very real sense, the trilogy is not the story of the rise and triumph of Katniss Everdeen, but rather the success of Team Katniss.

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Everyday Heroes – Muses, Passion Projects, and Changing the Status Quo

While it’s important that some people choose to challenge the system directly, sometimes just making the most of the opportunities given can make a difference, as well. I can’t thank my grandparents enough for giving me the inspiration to face those challenges. In the end, it was their examples that reminded me that the only person that can let you believe you’re not worthy is yourself.

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The Clone Wars – Thinking Outside The Box

Last week’s episode of The Clone Wars has yielded some interesting discussions. Check out Megan’s review to see her reaction to “The Box.” We’re both enjoying the arc. I hope to go into some more detail on the storytelling and philosophical ideas in the arc when it’s complete, but for now here are a few things to think about.

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Seeking SFH: Kate Beckett

When seeking strong female heroines, a comedy-drama police-procedural television series like ABC’s Castle probably wouldn’t be at the top of most people’s list of places to start. Yet the show’s female lead – homicide detective Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic – is a great example of a well-designed, successful character who also fits the bill as strong, female, and heroic.

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Surprises and Synergy in the Star Wars Fandom

Remember when I talked about liking the unexpected in my 2012 look-ahead blog? Well, it’s just a little bit past the middle of January, and I’ve already had a few of my wishes granted. Some I can’t talk about yet, but one I’d better let out of the bag because it’s happening tomorrow – I’m back on the Clone Wars Roundtable with Jason and Jimmy Mac from the ForceCast!

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