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You’re Not Special: Why More Movies Now Subvert “Chosen One” Narratives

You’re Not Special: Why More Movies Now Subvert “Chosen One” Narratives
[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]

What: A new video on millennial movies choosing to forgo the “Chosen One” narrative.

Who: Comic book video game-focused YouTuber Panels to Pixels.

Why we care: Most children of the ’80s are well familiar with “Chosen One” narratives. They grew up swinging lightsabers in an echo of Luke Skywalker and went on to witness Neo learn he’s the long-prophesied One. (If they hadn’t already figured that last one out by doing a word jumble with his name.) Movies like Star Wars and The Matrix made manifest the sneaking suspicion among young people that they were indeed special–or at least let them live that dream vicariously. The next generation similarly grew up expecting a letter from Hogwarts every day. Perhaps they learned a lesson when that letter never came, though.

[WARNING: spoilers ahead.]

Looking at recent films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Lego Movie, and Blade Runner 2049, Panels to Pixels sees a fascinating trend. The traditional narrative of the Chosen One is being subverted in favor of films where ordinary folks turn out to not be cosmically special and rise to a challenge anyway. In the video, the host ties this developing trend to filmmakers being more tuned into millennial mindset–their actual way of thinking beyond stereotypes of safe spaces and avocado toast. Millennials are the largest generation in history and because of the after-effects of the recent recession, among other factors, many of them are under-employed. They are disillusioned but hopeful–and they require a different balm for the soul than being assured they had the magic in them all along.

Watch the full video below for further convincing about how this trend might appeal to its target demographic.

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