Goal and Consequence of Captain America: Civil War

Here we go with a discussion about the Goal and Consequence of Captain America: Civil War. Please note that while some of this has been copied and pasted from the original post, there is new information so please read it in its entirety if you would like to participate in the discussion.

In the previous post regarding my analysis of the film, I found the objective Story Goal to be Obtaining (Tearing the Avengers Apart) and the Consequence to be Becoming (Being Dead because of the Avengers). The idea being that the Consequence is already in place: superhero vigilantes are killing innocent people and to resolve this we need to pull their cards.

Originally, Sebastien made the argument for a different Goal and Consequence:

If the Avengers are forced to suppress their innate heroic responses, then they’ll be forced to play the role of soldiers. (Story Goal of Impulsive Responses, Story Consequences of Playing a Role)

This breaks the model as a Story Goal of Impulsive Responses requires a Story Consequence of How Things are Changing.

Sebastien later made an argument for that combination:

I’d have no problem accepting as the Story Consequence (“If the Avengers are forced to suppress their innate heroic responses, then the terrible things they’ve been fighting will only get worse”)

Which is fine—

—except that is not what Dramatica means by Impulsive Responses.

My first response was to clarify Dramatica’s definition of that term:

Acting impulsively is not Impulsive Responses, but rather DOING. It describes the process of engaging in problematic activity, not the state of mind that exists within the Preconscious (Impulsive Responses).

A Story Goal of Impulsive Responses would be someone pursuing a state of mind akin to panic or nervousness. When Impulsive Responses become a problem within a story, anxiety becomes an actual problem and animalistic instincts kick into play and wreak havoc (see Laura in Logan for an insanely great example of this).

Besides immersing yourself in film examples and reading the dictionary and contextual examples provided by Dramatica, another good learning tool (besides my Dramatica® Mentorship Program!) is the list of Gists provided within the latest version of Dramatica Story Expert.

There you will find references to being jumpy, being oversensitive, and being fidgety. On the other side, you’ll find being calm, and numbing oneself, and being unresponsive.

Yes, the Accords are a knee-jerk reaction, but the Accords are not shown to be problematic. They don’t create conflict, they just sit there. From the point-of-view of the characters, again, yes, they do like a problem and yes they argue about them the way they should when they’re looking at Symptom and Response, but they are not problematic in and of themselves.

In other words, the knee-jerk reactions do not overcomplicate things and there is no struggle impulsive response-ing to violence. Instead, they are depicted as responses to a symptom. The Avengers are free to do whatever they want and so, we need to lock them down (Symptom of Uncontrolled, Response of Control).

So the logic behind positioning Cap as Protagonist in a Story Goal of Impulsive Response begins to break down. If that was the Goal of the story, that would mean Cap would be trying to pursue an anxious state of mind or pursuing a calm state of mind.

That would also mean that Stark, as Antagonist, would be trying to prevent, or avoid this state of mind. So which one is it?

Is Cap pursuing a calm state of mind and Tony is trying to prevent it?
Is Cap pursuing an anxious state of mind and Tony is trying to prevent it?

Neither of these makes logical sense. In fact, if anything they seem to be on the same side when it comes to panic. The logical relationship between the Protagonist and the Antagonist breaks down and that’s a problem–because the Overall Story Throughline and the Static Plot Points are all about logic.

If the Story Goal is Impulsive Responses, then the end goal has to be this universal embrace of Impulsive Responses. Not talking about Impulsive Responses, but rather Impulsive Response themselves. This is what I mean about looking to the story points and their appreciations as indicators of storytelling, rather than inflection points of inequity. This is what I mean by looking at a storyform from the point-of-view of the characters rather than from the point-of-view of the story.

If the Goal is preserving the right for superheroes to act, well that’s an Obtaining Goal because the goal requires Obtaining, not Impulsive Response-ing. I use Impulsive-Response-ing as a means of illustrating the active nature of a Story Goal. I don’t believe there is a word in the English language that defines an active embracing of Impulsive Responses the way there is Contemplating, Desiring, Remembering, Understanding, Doing, Obtaining, Learning, Being, Becoming, Conceptualizing, Conceiving, and Progressing.

Sebastien later took up the confusion between Impulsive Responses and Doing:

If suppressing one’s innate heroic responses isn’t part of Impulsive Responses but rather of Doing, how does one reach that distinction?
The Dramatica dictionary tells me that Doing is “the process of being physically active”
The Dramatica dictionary then tells me that “When a story’s problem revolves around the unsuitability of someone’s essential nature to a given situation or environment, the central issue is Impulsive Responses”
Can you see why a reasonable person might (however incorrectly) think that the central issue in Civil War revolves around the unsuitability of the Avengers’ essential nature to the situation or environment?

I can’t—and that’s likely because when I see Impulsive Responses I actually see Preconscious—the original term for that Type within the model.

The Domain of Fixed Attitude, or Mind as it was originally (more accurately) labelled, dealt with the four levels of the mind as seen from the Storymind concept:

  • Memory
  • Subconscious
  • Conscious
  • Preconscious

These were later adopted to:

  • Memories
  • Innermost Desires
  • Contemplations
  • Impulsive Responses

So, I can see how one could read “Impulsive Responses” as impulsively reacting, but a Concern of the Preconscious has to do with the impulses themselves—not acting on them. It’s the difference between a problem within the context of an external process, and a problem within the context of a fixed state of mind.

I absolutely read every word and I’d have no trouble taking it at face value. But you should know that I can’t find anything within the Dramatica books, dictionary, or software that indicates that Impulsive Responses means trying to go from panic and anxiety to calm or the reverse.

You can find an entire list of “synonyms” of the Preconscious within the Dramatica Story Expert application. Go to the Query System, drill down to an appreciation like Overall Story Concern, and select Impulsive Responses. You will then be presented with a comprehensive list of Gists that should give you a gist of what it is this story point is all about.

Now, I know mentioned Protagonist and Antagonist in the above, and its likely we might discuss that here than in another topic, but for now, are you able to see the distinction between Impulsive Responses and Doing?

2 Likes

Well, I found “Gagging at the thought of eating oysters” and that cleared everything up for me :wink:

When I go through the list of gists for Impulsive Responses, the ones that match up to the Avengers are ones like:

Responding inappropriately
Responding without thinking
Being rash

It appears logical to say that the concern of the OS is that the Avengers are Responding without thinking or Responding inappropriately.

That said, a ton of the gists more closely correspond to how you’re talking about Impulsive Responses: Cringing, Fainting, and, yes, our old friend, Gagging at the thought of eating oysters.

Would it be correct to say that any internal domain refers only to the internal component – that regardless of the Dramatica dictionary definition of “When a story’s problem revolves around the unsuitability of someone’s essential nature to a given situation or environment, the central issue is Impulsive Responses”, what matters is that by virtue of Fixed Attitude (or Mind), being an internal domain, it can’t be used as the basis for something that manifests externally? So it’s therefore irrelevant if the reason why the Avengers go off and engage in problematic activities is because of their internal state – the mere fact that there’s an external event means the throughline must be in either activities or situation?

Put differently, would you perhaps say that the only way for the OS to be in Fixed Attitude would be if (as an illustration), General Ross got them around the table and said, “Avengers, despite the fact that there’s been no incidents so far of anything going wrong, the public believes that your essential nature as superheroes – your innate desire to want to fight – makes you unsuitable for dealing with criminals”?

I realize that sounds slightly dumb, but I’m trying to arrive at a distinction between Impulsive Responses and Doing as it applies to that story.

It’s more about what is problematic.

Gagging at the thought of oysters is a problematic state of mind. The public thinking “your essential natures as superheroes makes you unsuitable for dealing with criminals” is not problematic. It’s an opinion, but there’s no real Inequity there that motivates a scene or sequence.

That opinion sits there because it’s more an instance of Symptom and Response. The public thinks the avengers are out of control and therefore must be reigned in (Symptom of Uncontrolled and Response of Control).

It’s the same point I was trying to communicate in the other thread on the Main Character of Civil War. Talking about the superhero’s instincts being problematic isn’t the same as gagging at the thought of the superheroes taking action. The first is using the storypoint as a Storytelling device, the second uses the storypoint as a Storyforming device.

Would it be correct to say that any internal domain refers only to the internal component – that regardless of the Dramatica dictionary definition of “When a story’s problem revolves around the unsuitability of someone’s essential nature to a given situation or environment, the central issue is Impulsive Responses”, what matters is that by virtue of Fixed Attitude (or Mind), being an internal domain, it can’t be used as the basis for something that manifests externally?

Not necessarily. There are several stories where problems of the Preconscious manifest externally. In Bruges and Zootopia come to mind.

But yes, you are correct about the Preconscious (Impulsive Responses) falling under one of the internal Domains. The narrative model of Dramatica is set up to frame a context for identifying kinds of problems. Situation and Activities act as umbrellas of context for sources of external problems, and Fixed Attitude and Psychology act as umbrellas of context for sources of internal problems.

A Goal of the Preconscious would be something like Zootopia, where overcoming an animalistic instinct towards survival resolves the actual problem of prejudice in the Overall Story.

I’ve written more about identifying the Goal and Consequence of a story in my article this week, but to recap here:

  1. Identify the initial inequity (First Story Driver)
  2. Determine the Goal that would resolve that inequity

Narratives are set by where they begin and by where they end. In Captain America: Civil War the Overall Story begins when the Scarlett Witch inadvertently kills innocent humanitarian workers in Wakanda. That Action is presented as upsetting the balance of things for everyone and is the final straw that motivates the Sokovia Accords. Without that mistake, there is no story of Captain America; Civil War.

The Goal needed to resolve that inequity is to Stop the Avengers. The Consequence is already in place: innocent people dying because of superhero antics. That is a Consequence of Becoming and a Consequence that will continue to wreak havoc unless that Goal comes into place.

Once the Goal is met, that particular narrative is over. Yes, there may be the potential for future conflict and other storyforms, but as far as what is presented within the scope of the narrative seen within the film, the inequity is resolved.

So I was reading an article on Narrative First and listening to Jim’s latest podcast and found two ideas to finally connecting for me. The first is the intersection of initial driver, inequity, and story goal (which I may actually understand at this point!) and the second is the headache that comes from the distinction between an objective structure (a.k.a. “the story form”) and a subjectively experienced story (a.k.a. “the feeling”).

I’m not sure if Jim would agree with the following, but I’ll lay it out here for critique and hope I’m sort of on the right track.

What’s held me back from agreeing with Jim’s assertion that the protagonist of Captain America: Civil War is Zemo wasn’t so much the moral imposition of “the protagonist must be a good guy”, but that I didn’t recognize the vital importance (I’d almost argue “primacy”) of the initial driver in Dramatica’s model. To me, as a novelist, you can start a story in a lot of different places and while it will affect the story overall, it doesn’t constrain the entire structure. However the second you agree that the initial driver of Civil War is the unintended deaths caused by the Scarlet Witch when she saves Cap – and more importantly that this introduces the inequity – then the story goal of destroying the Avengers as the solution to that inequity makes sense.

This also differentiates Civil War from all the James Bond movies and various thrillers. Before I was viewing this “pursue” characteristic as meaning that the guy with the “plan” must therefore be the protagonist – a very unsatisfying notion because it throws how we think of thrillers and mysteries on their head. However in almost every James Bond movie, the initial driver involves some horrible action which is, in fact, part of the evil plan. So the inequity introduced into the story comes from the antagonist’s plan, and the story goal is to stop the plan and thus resolve the inequity.

By the way, I get that this has probably been said by Jim a thousand times, so apologies for the repetition, but I thought maybe seeing that distinction between Civil War and the James Bond films might help other people as it has me.

So, if initial driver = bad guy’s plan creating problems, then bad guy = antagonist. If initial driver = good guys screwing up the world, then whoever is trying to stop them doing it again = protagonist.

Perhaps that’s a bit too simplified?

Moving on…

That leads me to the second realization, which is that if the film subjectively feels like it’s about something other than the inequity introduced by the initial driver, then I suspect the structure won’t feel apparent for someone like me who thinks of story in subjective terms.

In Captain America: Civil War, my brain largely tosses out the initial driver because what it feels like truly starts the story is the introduction of the Accords. Most of the movie is either dealing with the heroes wrestling with whether to sign (and the fights that produces), or trying to capture Bucky (and the fights that produces). If you cut out that Scarlet Witch scene, and started with the Accords (thus also making it a decisions-drive-actions movie), then Cap is the protagonist trying to steadfastly hold the line against heroes being turned into soldiers, Zemo is taking advantage of the inequity to manipulate people into fighting each other, and the movie feels like it’s actually about the superhero Civil War.

None of that matters in objective terms, however, because the initial driver of the Scarlet Witch incident is there. All I’d say is that, while I enjoyed Captain America and admired the way it juggled so many character arcs, I now know what bothers me about that film: the story feels like it’s about one thing (to me, anyway), when structurally it’s about something else.

This doesn’t resolve the issue about whether Tony or Steve is the MC, of course, but, for me anyway, it becomes easier to reconcile the structure laid out by Jim and understand why what seemed to obvious to him felt so weird to me.

So the big lesson learned for me is: that initial story driver is a lot more important than I assumed.

5 Likes

Thanks for this response. I hope you’re right because it made something click with me!

This is an issue I think I’m having – the line between story structure and storytelling, especially as it relates to drivers. I mean, isn’t every action everywhere preceded by a decision and vice versa? So what happens if you decide to say a story inequity starts at “action” point X (say the Scarlet Witch’s accident) but make a storytelling choice to start later (and maybe just refer back to the original action)? Or start earlier, with the MC throughline, for example?

As I’ve just realized from this discussion, if you get the driver wrong, you get everything else wrong too …

Drivers can look like ‘chicken-and-egg’ until you look at them in terms of Inertia vs. Change.

Imagine a house of cards. Each new card, each new layer, increases the potential of the whole thing collapsing. This is your back-story.

One last card goes on…and it all falls. Pick up that card and flip it over:

Is it Action suit, or Decision suit?

You now have your story driver.

You can point to innumerable events in the back-story that contribute to your actual story, but most of them still fall under Inertia. The potential for conflict increases, but everything is still at rest, like a ball rolling closer to the edge but not going over. It’s not until some event or decision comes along that changes equilibrium into conflict that you have your Initial Story Driver.

5 Likes

That’s a good analogy - thanks. I guess as long as it’s clear what topples the cards, you can illustrate it in whatever order makes sense.

It occurs to me also that if you can figure out the driver at another point in the story, you can figure out what the initial driver should be.

1 Like

I’m terrible with the selecting quotes thing…so I’m gonna skip that for now.

But, I kinda think you are looking at this wrong. A little narrowly as it were.

Let me work through a little q & a.

So, what is the “goal” of civil war?
I don’t think it’s whether or not anyone signs the accords. It’s not like the governments of the world can “force” the superheroes to sign them. Some would (Tony), some wouldn’t (Cap). And if that’s all there was to the story, it would be short and emotionally unsatisfying.

To me the big question is will the Avengers, with all the pressures that come to bear on them, fracture and splinter as a group. That’s where all the “meat” of this story lies. And the only person pursuing that fracture is Zemo ergo protagonist.

Tony is the only one dealing with the guilt of all the death and destruction that Ultron caused and Ultron is 100% his fault. That’s his buy in to the Accords. They relieve him of any future responsibility for really horrible things going wrong. This is so against Tony’s nature that you KNOW it’s going to break in Infinity Wars.

If you are looking for the initial driver for Civil War. It’s NOT in this movie. It’s the backstory of Age of Ultron. It’s in the destruction of Skovia where Zemo lost his family and Tony’s culpability began.

The accords don’t cause the “civil war” Zemo does. If Zemo’s family was never killed, this movie completely evaporates --there’s your initial driver. If Skovia was never destroyed Tony wouldn’t be plagued with guilt and be so gungho about the accords either. As I’ve said in another post, Tony wanting to turn power over to anyone else is OUT OF CHARACTER for him.

There is one line that cap says in the beginning of Civil War when they’re at Lagos “This is the first lead we’ve had on Remlo in six months.”

I always wondered where they got that lead. I was really rather hoping it was from Zemo because there’s the connection you need storywise to show that this is the start of his manipulations.

I still don’t think Jim’s got the right storyform for this…he hasn’t convinced me yet. I think the OS is in Manipulation - Who gets "control of the Avengers; MC (Tony) is in Situation - dealing with his guilt wants the accords; IC/Antagonist (Cap) is in Fixed Attitude–No, I will not give up my autonomy or my best friend . RS is Activities - Big people hitting each other (particularly as extensions of Cap and Tony).

Anyway, that’s my .02.

I think that risks making it a bit arbitrary in that a single decision to include on the page (or screen) a particular moment then lends it far too much weight to the structure of the story. For example, the initial driver in Batman’s origin (as portrayed in almost every Batman film) is the killing of his parents outside the theatre. That’s what introduces the inequity that must be resolved into the story. But what if a particular filmmaker just happens to introduce a scene right before it in which Thomas and Martha Wayne are asking, “Hmm, do you think we should see a movie tonight?” and the other says, “Sure!” That’s a decision, but it’s not the initial driver of the story. Deciding to go see a movie doesn’t introduce the inequity into the story – someone killing the Wayne’s outside the theatre does.

So in that sense, it’s not a chicken-and-egg thing at all. It comes down to which scene introduced the inequity into the story. At least, that’s my interpretation from reading Jim’s stuff and going back through the Dramatica book.

While I can see why you might come to that when considering the arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, I don’t think that’s a viable position to take within the Dramatica model.

Again, I agree that it’s out of character for him when treating this movie as part of the sequence of movies, but it’s not out of character if you take this movie on its own. Look at it this way, taking out history and character names and just focusing on this story:

A superhero who’s never recovered from the senseless murder of his parents learns that his own heroic actions resulted in the death of a grieving mother’s only son. A new law offers him the chance to prevent further innocent casualties, but only if he’s willing to let others decide when he can and can’t try to save lives himself.

All of that is on the screen in Civil War, and none of that requires backstory from the other movies. On top of that, if you do want to look backwards, remember that Tony’s psyche has been getting a beating lately as seen especially in Iron Man 3 where he decided to destroy all his iron man armour. That to me is a character just waiting to turn over power to other people.

Normally I’d agree, but if I’m right in interpreting the primacy of the initial driver as introducing the inequity that drives the story, then it really does go back to Jim’s initial statement on this whole thing: Scarlet Witch’s actions resulting in the deaths of those innocents means the source of problems in the OS is activities. In a slightly better story, the Russo brothers might have made it clear that Rumlo had manipulated her into killing innocents to save Cap, but we don’t really see that on the screen (not that I recall, anyway).

1 Like

That’s exactly what I was saying. The rest of my post about Inertia vs. Change argues that it doesn’t matter how many or what kind of events lead up to the straw that breaks the camel’s back – all that matters is that final straw, regarding the initial driver. *IF we assume that the Waynes’ murder is the first driver, then things like Bruce getting scared of the opera, or Falconi ordering the hit, or the Waynes combating poverty (as in Batman Begins) increase the potential for conflict, but they don’t make the house collapse.

Regarding the ‘suit’ analogy, I was just saying that once you’ve identified the ‘thing’ that pushes the ball over the edge, you look at that thing and answer whether it’s an Action or a Decision.

*I would argue that in Batman Begins, the first driver is Ra’s Al Ghul recruiting Bruce into the League of Shadows. But that’s a separate discussion.

Ah, sorry – I thought you were saying that you just go back to the first thing that happens in the chain.

1 Like

100,000% YES!!!

I have said it before, but perhaps not quite as clearly. Thank you!!

So, if initial driver = bad guy’s plan creating problems, then bad guy = antagonist. If initial driver = good guys screwing up the world, then whoever is trying to stop them doing it again = protagonist. Perhaps that’s a bit too simplified?

Not at all…I might have to steal it for articles and classes!

In Captain America: Civil War, my brain largely tosses out the initial driver because what it feels like truly starts the story is the introduction of the Accords. Most of the movie is either dealing with the heroes wrestling with whether to sign (and the fights that produces), or trying to capture Bucky (and the fights that produces).

Dramatica refers to the rest of the movie as Symptom and Response. And it’s funny—my brain tosses out the Accords and focuses on the Scarlett Witch Incident

Yes, totally. Imagine you’re trying to make a narrative out of real life events. There is no real objective start to any story, it all depends on where YOU as Author decide to make a stand and point to this Action as a driver or this Decision to work as a Driver.

It’s like Melanie’s visual of two galaxies colliding—life and structure—with structure giving meaning to something which is by definition meaningless.

This is great. And another explanation I’ll have to steal for future!

1 Like

Off-topic. Domains and Throughlines for Captain America: Civil War are here.

Please refer to this post in the Civil War MC topic for a brief explanation why the Overall Story of the film is not in Psychology.

Also—Cap and Iron Man aren’t the only ones hitting each other, so that fails to classify as something unique to their relationship.

IF the narrative chosen by the Author is about the killing of the parents. Usually, the killing is setup as Backstory for WHY Bruce Wayne behaves the way he does. In Batman Begins, their killing is justification for his fears. That’s why he has the problematic Fixed Attitude that gets “fixed” in the film.

But what if a particular filmmaker just happens to introduce a scene right before it in which Thomas and Martha Wayne are asking, “Hmm, do you think we should see a movie tonight?” and the other says, “Sure!” That’s a decision, but it’s not the initial driver of the story. Deciding to go see a movie doesn’t introduce the inequity into the story – someone killing the Wayne’s outside the theatre does.

Deciding to go see the movie wouldn’t work as a Story Driver in Dramatica. That decision does not force them to be killed at the theater.

The Driver is all about causality. If they didn’t decide to go to the theater, it is it likely they would have been killed? Maybe…possibly…can’t really tell…well then, that’s not a really strong driver.

If The Godfather decided to go into the drug trade, is it likely he would have been killed? No. There was a balance of power in place. His decision directly caused his attempted assasination. It’s all about what the Author is setting up as the cause and effect of something.

A superhero who’s never recovered from the senseless murder of his parents learns that his own heroic actions resulted in the death of a grieving mother’s only son. A new law offers him the chance to prevent further innocent casualties, but only if he’s willing to let others decide when he can and can’t try to save lives himself.

This is a great explanation of Tony’s Throughline!

What stops us from interpreting the Scarlet Witch scene in the same way – as backstory and justification for the fears of those pushing the Accords?

Yes, well, I was trying to stick up for your analysis in that while it appears contrary to the Tony we know in other movies, it isn’t contrary to the Tony we see in this one.

Cap is still the MC, though :wink:

I know we beat this horse to death, so I begging for a little indulgence.

I was looking at the Narrative Argument that @jhull at listed for it on Subtext which says,
When you stop holding back, you can split apart a team.

And that didn’t sit right with me at all, I was rereading Jim’s article on creating conflict: the whole two opposing truths can’t exist in the same time/place thing.

Because that seemed like it would be closer to the narrative argument so I started to try and figure out what those two truths were, which came out something like:

  1. Peace of mind can only be experienced when you are responsible for your own autonomy. (Cap, Zemo, Bucky)
    vs.
  2. Peace of mind can only be experienced when you no longer have autonomy. (Tony -which he changes, yes?)

which to me meant that peace of mind was the goal. Zemo’s goal (breaking apart the Avengers was the methodology by which Zemo was seeking peace of mind), Tony’s Goal, Steve’s Goal, Bucky’s Goal…heck even T’Challa’s goal after his father’s death is peace of mind by killing the person responsible. It seems to be everybody’s goal.

Is it possible that Peace of mind is a more representative goal than breaking apart the Avengers?

First, I’d like to say it’s been a little awhile since I’ve actually seen the movie, but I hear that’s a good thing when you’re working with Dramatica. Second, I like that you’re still thinking about this movie because this movie is strange. Even without having seen the other movies in the Captain America series, I sense some overreaching discussion throughout the series within Civil War.

I love using the Narrative Argument to help guide a story form, but you have to keep in mind the form of the argument used. The phrase “peace of mind” is used for story forms with Linear, Changed. Good, Failure selected. Thus, by using that phrase in the Subtext Narrative Argument structure, you’re already assuming these four story points.

So, taking this route, you’d have to fill in one of the following phrase:
Peace of mind awaits those who start (MC Solution), even if it means (OS Consequence).
Peace of mind awaits those who stop (MC Problem), even if it means (OS Consequence).

Overall, I don’t think this argument really holds for Captain America: Civil War, whatever fills in the blanks, especially the part about “peace of mind awaits those”. By the end of the movie:

  • Tony seems to have a tinge of guilt (scene at the end in his government office)
  • Cap is still convinced certain things need to be done (goes off on his own entirely)
  • Even government seems worried about circumstances (not everyone signed accords)

That’s not all to say that the simplistic “Stop holding back, and you can split apart a team” doesn’t seem overly generic for this movie, though. Even now, going through the gists for Control, I’m beginning to get a sense that it may be possible that Tony did not switch to Freedom/Uncontrolled.

  • Tony disabled his suit, but only so he could maintain control/dominance in that battle.
  • Tony is now completely, legally owned/controlled by the government.
  • Tony ignores the phone in an effort, it seems, to maintain some control over his own self.

Now, I would have to re-read this entire series of posts to see how or why or whether this was already argued against, but that is the sense I have now. It could be wrong (and probably is), or Civil War might be a far more complicated than it first appears (which also seems likely).

I wonder if what feel so odd about this movie is the combination of who the Protagonist is (and therefore what the story goal is) and having a Success/Good outcome. It’s kind of the opposite of the weird Luke/Yoda story in Empire in which Darth Vader is the Protagonist and yet the story ends in Failure/Bad. Structurally, Civil War is a victory, but it’s odd to feel that way when the Avengers are broken up. Empire is structurally a tragedy and it kind of feels that way – but would we really want Darth Vader to succeed in turning Luke to the dark side?

I think you are right about this. I’ve quite heavily noticed that books and movies that do not have a Hero (Dramatica definition) often feel a bit odd. Heck, even my book is this way, and it’s made the question “What’s it about?” difficult to answer to the layperson.

In any case, the inequity in this movie is clearly not going to be solved with a change in the Universe, nor would could it be solved by a different Mind, no matter how much I (and others) wish that were true. This leaves Psychology and Physics. I would still debate myself into a corner between these two, though, but I’m a novel-writer, so I can easily fall into the POV trap.

If I dive a level deeper, though, and think about the feel of Psychology based on the Types of Conceptualizing, Being, Becoming, and Conceiving, I can’t see any of those as solving the problems portrayed in Civil War. So, I’d agree that the Story Goal is in Physics somewhere.

  • Understanding - What does anyone need to Understand or Misunderstand to fix things?
  • Learning - What does anyone need to Learn or Unlearn to fix things?
  • Doing - The movie would never end…
  • Obtaining - That really only leaves this, and though I couldn’t gistify it myself, I agree, then.

Umm… Is that a trick question? Yes! (This is meant to be a slight joke.) I would, but only for pure personal reasons. I generally prefer Failure/Good and Success/Bad stories, as well as stories that are either in the Upper-Right or Lower-Left quads.

1 Like

Well that was @jhull’s response too on the other thread. :slight_smile: