Sunday, December 07, 2014

Moments of Conception 140 -- The Vader Scene from Revenge of the Sith

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today's clip comes from the Vader scene in Revenge of the Sith:

What can we learn?

There are no cover bands in the rock and roll hall of fame. Early on in my career, I had the opportunity to work under one of the most successful writers in my industry. He offered me a substantial pay increase, access to a massive audience and unlimited use of his company’s resources. Quite the offer. I was flattered to be asked. In fact, the personal development opportunities alone would have been worth the job. But there was only one problem. A big part of my work would be delivering his material. Writing in his voice. Taking his truth to market. And that bothered me. As I read over the job application, I remember feeling a cold blade of premonition slicing through my body. Because as attractive as the offer was, I knew that if I took it, I wouldn’t be one hundred percent okay with myself. It’s just the way I’m wired. It’s that stubborn artist inside of me who demands relentless originality. Vader, on the other hand, was seduced by the dark side. After the light saber duel with his nemesis, his ruined body could only be repaired with cybernetic limbs and a respiratory suit. And by the time he took his first breath, the emperor knew he had successful turned the young apprentice into a dangerous weapon for ruling the empire. It was official. Vader had come over to the dark side forever. And we all know how that turned out. It’s a powerful reminder that each of us needs to be courageous enough to pursue our own goals. To sing in our own voice. Otherwise we become vulnerable for other people to recruit us to pursue theirs. Are you play cover songs or making your own music?

Lost in someone else’s dream. One of our goals in life is to make ourselves proud. To decide to bite into something, do it really well, and then stand back and nod our head at the finished product. There’s nothing quite like it. Finally, we say, something lasting and uniquely ours. Something we have complete control over. Something nobody can take away from us. Can anything beat that dancing smile of satisfaction? Meanwhile, there’s an opposing force. The dark side. The archenemy of our magical moment. The one that pins us down with other people’s obligations and expectations and chores and work that stands in the way of the pride we deserve to take. And if we’re not careful, we can end up spending our life lost in someone else’s dream. Vader comes from a bloodline with strong inherent capabilities related to the force. And he became a gifted pilot and engineer who had the ability to see things before they happened. Palpatine, on the other hand, was evil incarnate. A diabolical genius. The supreme ruler of the most powerful tyrannical regime the galaxy had ever witnessed who used his authority to manipulated the young jedi away from the light. That was his downfall. Vader bowed to the wrong master. He never stopped to wonder if working for the dark side was an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used. Are you sacrificing your work by spending too much time being somebody else’s dream machine?

Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it. At the heart of what it means to be a person is the act of dreaming, doing and finishing. Coming alive through the pursuit of your ideas. And the good news is, there has never been a better time go all in. The digital revolution has made that process more accessible than ever before. But every great moment in human history has an opposition that is proportional to its greatness. And that’s the downside of dreaming. Spend five minutes online, and you’ll discover a universal voice of anonymity waiting to shit on your dream. A chorus of haters, frustrated that their dreams have not come true, whose sole purpose in life to make yours feel like a nightmare. Yechh. But we can’t let those uncompromising forces of reality scare us into working small. Otherwise the dream devolves into something worse. Pressfield explains that our dreams don’t dissipate if we turn our backs on them, they invert. They go underground. They turn negative and act out. They surface as shadow forms of our heart’s desire. And those shadow versions are never pretty. And so, as dreamers, we are obliged to at least try. To at least believe that our sweetest dreams will not be stolen from us. Because who knows? As my mentor once said, some of us are lucky enough to experience the euphoria that comes with the knowledge that life has granted us the grace of a dream realized. And even for those of us who come to the end of our dream and, sadly, have nothing to show for it, at least we can be grateful to have lived in place where dreams were had and followed. Did you work on your dream today?


What did you learn from this movie clip?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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