Recently, my family decided to dive into the world of Stars Wars. We started at the beginning and watched Episodes 1-6. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I remember watching Episodes 4, 5, and 6 as a kid and liking them, but I didn't think it would do much for me as an adult. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the story and the characters.
Let's face it--Padme and Anakin do not have the best lines ever written in movie scripts, and no offense to the actors, but they didn't always impress me very much with their acting skills. Yet, I still found myself drawn to them, feeling torn at their dilemmas, pained at their griefs, and thinking about their growth and decisions long after the movie was over. How could this be, when the dialogue and acting were sometimes lacking?
After a discussion with my younger brother, who happens to be a HUGE Star Wars fan, and who has watched all the other side-story movies and TV shows, I think we stumbled upon the answer. He was telling me about something he first found irritating about one of the other Star Wars mini-series, Andor. He told me that some of the episodes focused primarily on character development instead of moving the plot forward, with which he felt impatient as he watched it. He wanted the show to spend more time in action, seeing what would happen next, instead of dwelling on the back story of various characters. But then he discovered something--when he would arrive at the next action points in the story, those scenes were so much more moving and meaningful because he was more invested in the characters and what was going to happen to them.
I then mentioned to him how invested I felt in Padme and Anakin's characters, despite the poor acting and lines. How could this be? He said simply, "It's a great story with great characters." The writers did such a good job crafting real, believable characters with very human emotions, desires, dreams, and weaknesses, that you can't help but love them and care about them. Yes, the story itself is also awesome, but the characters for me are what spurred my investment in the story.
I wish I was a fiction writer and could now proceed to give you lots of tips about how to develop your characters, but this much I can say: A character that is one-dimensional, hard to relate to, or not very real or believable, doesn't do much for me. It's the characters inside of the stories that keep me coming back for more. One of the beautiful things about reading is that it is a study of human nature and the human experience. We discover things about ourselves and our loved ones through the characters in the stories we read.
I may not ever watch all the side stories in the Star Wars franchise, but I can now say, as an adult, that the main storyline is a delight, and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing it through the very real and loveable characters within.
Now, go find your next loveable and swoony characters inside of a book on our website! Happy reading!