The western world used to be a much more religious, to be precise, christian world. It shaped the way we used to think and think now. ‘We’ being the dominant part of our society. I would like to explore what we expect from each other, where the responsibilities used to lie and where they lie now.
Most of us know the biblical story. Jesus is the clear chosen one. Chosen to sacrifice himself for the greater good. In ‘Looking for God in Harry Potter’ John Granger draws parallels between the bible and Harry Potter.
Harry Potter is the chosen one and has to sacrifice himself for the greater good in Deathly Hallows. He has a group of supporters, disciples if you will, but in the end he has to carry the burden on his own, only to die and then wake up again. The similarities don’t stop there, more can be found in Granger’s book.
Looking at another major films series; Star Wars, the same thing can be done. The clear chosen one: Luke Skywalker. But know it’s more playing with biblical themes than following that exact story. In particular death is explore. Life after death, fearing it. Turning evil, turning good. Pretty common themes. Maybe describing them as biblical is a bit hasty. But the important thing is that the hero is chosen, it’s destiny.
A hero can be created
Spider man was bit by accident, Captain America was a guinea pig and The Flash was hit by a lighting bolt. It’s clearly causal which means it’s something we can influence. Something that we can control, which makes the story resonate more. We want to think that we can get bit by that spider or hit by that lighting bolt. We may even want it to, granted that it comes with the same superpower package.
Heroes can be created now, which comes with great power and even greater responsibility. More importantly: heroes aren’t chosen in a destiny kind of way anymore, rather they’re arbitrarily picked.
**Mild spoiler alert**
Just look at Rey in The Last Jedi. Who are her parents?
Not only the ‘higher chosen one’ idea is fading but also the idea that is has to be a single person carrying the burden or doing all that good.
You’re not the only one
We all have or own story but in the end, we live in the same world facing the same problems. The we deal with those problems depends on who we are and that depends on what we’ve been through and how we deal with our own problems.
The fate of the universe lies on your shoulders -Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
With the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League and Legends of Tomorrow. I think it’s save to say we don’t expect a single person to save the world anymore. We’re putting our faith in groups of heroes, each having their skill. Each contributing it their own way. The responsibility, burden or opportunity is divided and shared. It often still takes a special group of people but more and more ‘regular’ folk have been helping out too.
In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Jacob, a muggle helps out throughout the movie. Oliver Queen in Arrow just trained really hard to become the vigilante. The same goes for Hawkeye in the Avengers. He doesn’t have any superhuman powers and can still save the day.
The burden is ours
Earlier I talked about how causally created superheroes may resonate better with the audience. The same thing could apply to the groups of heroes containing relatively mundane people. It may work better on the audience and thus help reel in the profits.
It can also mean that people are choosing a more active citizenship approach, that we’re not eager to let things happen and want to help where we can, because we all play a vital part, superpowers or not.