Blog Post

Luke Skywalker and his Motivation of Test

Jun 22nd, 2021

At the bottom of every Main Character's justification for bad behavior rests a Motivation. This Motivation, while seemingly amorphous and given to interpretation, is definitive and recognizable within the context of a Dramatica Storyform.

Life is meaningless--save for the meaning we apply to the thoughts and events that appear before us. Accepting this, one understands that the events within a story posess little to no meaning save what we put into it. The Storyform splits apart meaning into its basic components so that we can better understand how all the parts relate to one another.

Take for instance, Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars, and his Motivation of Test.

Defined as "a trial to determine something's validity, " Luke's drive to stand up to the challenges presented before him creates a lot of personal grief for himself.

Trust rests on the opposite side of the spectrum from Test. Whereas Test requires trial for validity's sake, Trust accepts without validity.

The balance between the two creates an inequity that motivates Luke's Throughline forward:

  • when rescuing R2 Luke is warned of danger nearby. Instead of trusting that information, he grabs his rifle and says let’s go take a look…and then he gets knocked out
  • later in the bar, he’s accosted and told to watch himself. Instead of trusting messed-up nose guy and leaving, Luke meets the challenge head-on with a snappy remark, and then turns his back—which ends up in a gruesome bar brawl
  • instead of trusting that Han can get the job done for an unfair price, Luke opens himself up to scrutiny by saying he can fly the thing himself—which creates an inequity, or imbalance, with the one person he’ll want on his side when he tries his one-in-a-million shot.
  • It’s easier to find these things when you think less in terms of “what is a problem for x?” and more in terms of “what is x driven to do that creates inequity?”