Your hero is nothing.
No, seriously. Your hero, no matter how strong or smart or noble or fine, is a boring nobody not a single soul gives a hoot about without someone (or something) standing between him and a happy ending. Heck, without some kind of interference, a happy ending cannot exist. When there’s nothing to battle, he’s just some dude(tte) standing around, doin’ stuff.
But once Big Bad has made their root-of-all-evil, spirit-crushing presence known, suddenly Hero has something to do besides milk the cows and write bad poetry. Seriously; a hero cannot even become a hero until a villain gives him a reason to do The Good Thing.
Why in creation does the cheerleader need saving (and also the world by saving said cheerleader) if there’s nothing threatening Ms. Rah Rah? She just keeps on cheering for the home team. So… normal. Not even Disney Channel keeps it that sterile. Everyone wants the D.
Drama, people; honestly, this is a kid-friendly zone. Gah.
But what is drama? Well, it’s the thing that happens when Bad Stuff meets Good Stuff and Reaction Stuff occurs. It’s what daytime television is built on – along with stilted dialogue, bad acting, and overly dramatic muzak but I wouldn’t recommend snatching those staples – and, when you look beyond the fantasy, sci-fi and action of any story, is the basis for it all.
You might be bubbling right now. I mean, I did just call your baby about as useful as logic in the Senate. But hold up on writing those angry hate comments, at least until the end. For now, just go with it, okay?
So, what does Hero do? Well, like I already said, Hero just does stuff; none of it all that heroic unless he’s already something like a fireman, cop, paramedic, solider or that teacher from Dangerous Minds (seriously, Catwoman, are you nuts?). But if he’s not if he’s just some Greek god-looking apex of manlihood dude(tte) then he probably just looks hot doing average things. That may be drool worthy but how far can hormones get that story? Um, not far enough. So Hero-Hottie needs something to make his perfect life a wee bit less so. It could be a terrible thought, a dangerous idea or a heinous action. Something, anything, that stops Hero-Hottie from attaining his Happy Ending.
That’s where your villain comes in. Bwahahaha.
Now, Big Bad doesn’t need to make a grand entrance surrounded by green mist though that can be fun. Big Bad doesn’t even need to be an actual named character person but for this right here, that’s the one I’m stressing because, well, they’re frakkin awesome.
Shall we go to the list?
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Also known as Disney’s Greatest Film EVER. Ursula, the true star, and the one the movie should’ve been named for, is on a quest. She wants revenge against the King of the Seas and will do whatever it takes to get it. Now, if she hadn’t been so revenge-hungry when Ariel, the pretty little daughter of his, watched as King Meanie destroyed everything she had collected from the world upstairs and rushed to see the sea-witch to strike a bargain, there’d be no story to tell. Ariel would’ve just gone emo and died her hair black and wrote bad poetry about how hard it is being a princess. Bored now. But Ursula, using a silver tongue, got the ball rolling and after a few sing-a-longs and near wedding, Hero got her happy ending. Aww.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Catwoman would’ve probably died long before Bane arrived to blow up Gotham City; of course, if not for the first villain to affect young Master Wayne’s life, Batman would’ve never been born and the League of Shadows would’ve destroyed Gotham without anyone in their way – assuming they even bothered to show up at all. Wow. Batman would be even more boring that The Little Mermaid if not for Big Bad(s) showing up to wreck stuff. At least Ariel would’ve had something resembling a personality; Bruce would’ve just been a rich brat. Eww.
Okay, let’s try not to get a migraine here. First off, John Connor would’ve never been born if Ah-nold had never gone back in time to kill Sarah before she slept with Reese, who only slept with her because he was sent back to stop Ah-nold from killing her. Essentially, Skynet created John, its worst enemy. How’d that even happen in the first place? If John didn’t exist, why’d they bother sending anything back to kill his mother? The only reason Reese went back was to stop Skynet’s plan which, and how Skynet didn’t realize this I’ll never know, considering it knew about Reese in Terminator Salvation which took place before the future part of the first film. BUT Skynet also couldn’t have existed without going back so what sent Ah-nold back the first time to kill the not-yet-real-even-in-future John’s mother in order for Skynet to be created and continue the seemingly pointless cycle?
Okay, there’s the headache. Ugh. I hate time travel. Anyway, moral of the story: the Hero and Big Bad only exist because of what the Big Bad did (to stop the Hero from existing even when Hero couldn’t have possibly existed). Oww.
Again, Big Bad created his own nemesis…es? Nemesisi? Anyway, however its pluralized, Loki did it when he stole the Stick of Destiny and threatened to take over the world with an army of alien Borg-like things under his command (seriously, were they, like, some kind of cyborg thingies?). A team of heros, all made heroes because somebody did very naughty things, assembled and kicked his butt back to Asgard. If the trickster hadn’t tried world conquering? The Avengers would’ve spent two hours and whatever minutes eating shwarma. Or would they? Hmm.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Glorificus, the most evil, most cruel, most sadistic, most blond of all the Big Bads to wreck havoc in Sunnydale. If Buffy had called in sick, the world would’ve ended in a spectacular, demon-filled Armageddon. If Glory had decided to just buy a condo in LA, Buffy wouldn’t have died and Willow never would’ve gone evil. And season six’s Big Bad would’ve been three dorks with laser guns. Umm.
Have you hugged a villain today?
Lesson? Don’t ignore your baddie. Don’t take them for granted. Don’t forget that without them, you goodie doesn’t do anything worth a fan’s attention. Nobody cares about Bob the Accountant and His Uneventful Day. Now, maybe if his boss is plotting to have him fired so the takeover of TeleUSA can be completed without giving him his severance package, okay. But just regular day at the office where nothing remotely bad happens?