All storytellers have stories that have inspired them and shaped the stories that they tell. Tolkien has been my largest influence for many reasons, but his works didn’t started my serious writing bug. It was actually Star Wars.
I was about twelve, and we spent a night watching Star Wars. I don’t remember how many times we had watched the original trilogy before then, but I know it wasn’t the first time. After all, I knew what was happening. (My brother and I the only people I know who were introduced to the original trilogy in reverse order because of their availability at Blockbuster. That was an experience!)
I don’t remember what it was about that night, but something about the story tickled my imagination in a way it never had before. Instead of going to sleep afterwards, I spent half the night writing a story. The first draft of my first novel.
The story has changed dramatically over the years — so much that they hardly share any similarities anymore — but it never would have happened without Star Wars.
Fast forward to now.
I’m still working on that nameless steampunk/fantasy/sci-fi novel, but I’ve hit a snag. The world of the protagonist just isn’t as compelling as it needs to be. Something is missing, but I haven’t been sure what it is. The writing has ground to a halt and thinking has taken over, but as much as I let the story brew in my mind, it just hasn’t been cooperating.
However, that has changed thanks again to Star Wars.
Though the universe in Rogue One is rather different than the one I’m working on, they both share one crucial thing: they are driven by causes that are fueled by hope. They have virtually no chance, but they’re trying anyways.
So far, this part of the world has been a quiet one. The wars are long over and they’re living with the aftermath, but the aftermath just isn’t that interesting in itself. It needs more conflict, and Rogue One has spawned just the ideas I’ve been looking for.
And thus I have Star Wars to thank for two stories. While its influence might not be evident in the finished product, I’ll always know it started with a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
What stories have influenced the stories that you tell?