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<     Episode 2033: Some of Them Want to Refuse You     >

Episode 2033: Some of Them Want to Refuse You

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This part of the movie is the Refusal of the Call from the Hero's Journey, mirroring Luke's refusal of Obi-Wan in Episode IV ("I can't get involved! I've got work to do! It's not that I like the Empire. I hate it! But there's nothing I can do about it right now... It's all such a long way from here.")

As part of the Hero's Journey story archetype, the refusal is a feature of many stories. But how often does it occur in roleplaying games? Very rarely - because when you sit down to play a game the basic premise is usually that you are playing a bunch of characters ready to have an adventure. If you reject the adventure laid out in front of you, then it could be a very short night of gaming.

So how can we work this classic story trope into a game setting? It could arise organically, but the chances are slim. Instead, it requires some active planning or premeditation, either by a player unilaterally, or as an agreed story point between players and GM. Whether this is worth it depends on your point of view: If you're seeking to cooperatively build an epic story then it might make sense, but if you're just out for a night of monster-hunting, dungeon-crawling mayhem, then it probably doesn't.

There are probably not a lot of cases where it makes sense to pursue a Refusal of the Call within a game. But that makes it something to consider if you're looking for something relatively novel in the gaming environment, and you have strong enough roleplayers to follow the divergent streams where this particular current takes them.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

[Keybounce's comments will appear here when received.]

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Hah! Ah hah! Hah! I'm not the only one wondering where this sword came from! And of course we don't get to find that out now. This is might not be showing off, but it certainly has a smug feeling to it. I hope Kanata shows up again at some point if we're not going to learn anything more in this scene and he's going to get left behind. Sally has been playing Kanata quite enjoyably.

"Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain" is a stupid question in a sci-fi universe. Not all beings have their brains in the same location as humans. Or what if they're plant people who may or may not have brains? And droids don't have brains at all, they have circuits! Are these all untrustworthy beings simply because they don't share the same biology?

And I was quite confused by Kanata's last phrase until I took another close look at the comic. And now I'm wondering if Kanata's going to try and prevent Rey's second decision of getting out of here as well.

Transcript

Darth Kanata: The sword is yours now. Take it.
Rey: Why this one? What’s so special about it?
Darth Kanata: It belonged to your grandfather. And to Luke.
Rey: The one he lost in Cloud City?
Rey: How did you get it? Who are you??
Darth Kanata: A good question for another time.
Rey: No, this is a set up. There’s something wrong with that sword.
Rey: Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.
Rey: I’ve decided. I’m out of here!
Darth Kanata: Wait!
[SFX]: tap tap tap... {Rey runs to the stairs leading back up to the bar}
BB-8: Now what?
Darth Kanata: Given that it’s a stupid-ass decision, I’ve elected to ignore it.


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Published: Tuesday, 10 August, 2021; 02:11:02 PDT.
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