Do you have what it takes to be the writer/director of a major science fiction movie? Take this quiz to find out:
1) During a breath-taking but pointless introductory space battle scene one of your film's protagonists' space ships is set upon by parasitic robots, do you:
a. Have the character use his mysterious "force" to throw the boarders from his ship?
b. Have the character's wing man, who also has mysterious "force" powers, throw the boarders from the ship?
c. Have the character's wing man crash their ships together in order to smash those robots real good?
2) Your film's protagonists have finally boarded the enemy space cruiser and are searching for a hostage to rescue. The cruiser is over-run with enemy battle robots (droids) with orders to shoot to kill. When your droids manage to completely surprise and "get the drop on" your protagonists do you:
a. Allow the droids to use their superior electronic reflexes to fill the protagonists full of laser holes thereby aborting a bad movie before it really starts?
b. Introduce a bit of "deus ex machine" and have the droids inexplicably reprogram themselves from shoot-on-sight mode to give-stupid-warning-and-then-stand-by-passively-and-die mode?
3) Your leading man returns home from a hard day fighting droids to learn that his secret wife is pregnant, do you:
a. Use the opportunity to introduce conflict between the characters and present a weakness to the protagonist's foes thereby creating fertile ground for further character development?
b. Pretty much ignore the pregnancy itself as a significant plot device with major ramifications for your characters and never revisit the topic again until it's time for the birth?
4) You've managed to get one of your protagonists involved in a completely pointless sub-plot. After using the "force" to smash his opponents with some of the local scenery, the protagonist must fight the level "boss" who can simultaneously wield four deadly "light sabers." Do you have your protagonist:
a. Use the "force" to rip the arms off the "boss" and cut the boss to ribbons with his own light sabers?
b. Hold the "boss" in place with the "force" and use the "force" to pick up a near by space ship and smash the "boss" repeatedly with the improvised cudgel?
c. Use the "force" to bounce the "boss" around like a high tech basketball until he comes apart at the seams?
d. Use the "force" to rip the beating heart from the "boss" in a manner reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
e. Engage in a pointless light-saber duel that culminates in a fist fight and terminates with a simple shot from a blaster while totally ignoring the character's innate abilities.
5) At some point in your film you need to turn your protagonist from good to evil. Coincidently, the wife of your protagonist very badly needs to die before the next film. Do you:
a. Allow your ultimate bad guy to hatch an evil plot to kill the protagonist's wife and blame it on the "good guys" thereby simultaneously providing the perfect reason for the protagonist to turn on the "good guys" as well as necessarily eliminating a character to advance the plot.
b. Allow the protagonist to fail while trying to do the right thing and use his failure to do good as the impetus to commit an evil murderous killing spree including hacking up a bunch of seemingly defenseless children and then just have the wife, a central character in this film and two previous films, simply decide to quit living in the last few minutes of the film?
6) You've got a great segment of film that does a wonderful job of showcasing the wizardry of your computer animation department. Unfortunately it's also completely pointless and does nothing to advance the plot except perhaps to "introduce" a character your audience already met 28 real-life years ago. Do you:
a. Leave the segment on the cutting room floor and use the extra time to explore the complex motivations that have led a young boy from innocence to the unfathomable depths of evil?
b. Cut your losses due to wooden lead actor, include the segment anyway, and end it up with a scene where you can almost hear the frog-like hero saying "I'll get you next time Austin Powers!"?
7) In the final show-down scene the protagonist is utterly defeated, legless and literally burning alive beside a river of molten lava. The "good guy," who claims to love the protagonist as a brother, looks on at what appears to be the excruciating, slow, and painful death of his "brother." You need the protagonist to survive to the next trilogy of films. Do you:
a. Have the good guy suddenly beset by natural forces or the intervention of the protagonist's allies, thereby preventing the merciful death blow and providing some semblance of logic for the protagonist to last until he can be rescued and restored for the next film.
b. Have the "good guy" just walk away leave his "brother" suffering an agonizing death and don't bother to reconcile the "good guy's" self-professed love for his "brother" with the cruelty of allowing his continued suffering.
8) You have a character that's nearly universally reviled by your audience for being variously racially insensitive, poor comic relief, a stupid ploy to sell more toys, and/or as completely useless to the plot as an Ewok. Do you:
a. Provide some salve for the decades of crushed dreams and hopes of your fans by executing this character in a graphic and obviously painful manner?
b. Give the character a bit part at the end of the movie since killing the character might emotionally damage all of the children in the audience who were somehow unaffected by the all of the children murdered earlier in the movie and the graphic molten hot MAG-MA barbeque of their hero-turned-anti-hero protagonist?
9) One of the characters, a friendly droid, has been directly or indirectly involved in all the major plots of this film and its two predecessors. While the character should have a good knowledge of all the events that have transpired to date you need to somehow reconcile this character such that in the next three films he has no knowledge of anything that happened previously. Do you:
a. Reveal that it was all a dream? No one shot JR, there are no midochlorians, and Jar Jar doesn't exist. It was all a bad dream and millions of Star Wars fans everywhere breath a sigh of relief and return to waiting for George Lucas to "do it right."
b. Conveniently wipe the droid's memory while inexplicably failing to wipe the memory of his companion droid who would also share most of the memories of prior events and would therefore in later movies able to clue everyone else into the whole back-story?
Here are the correct answers:
1) C, 2) B, 3) B, 4) E, 5) B, 6) B, 7) B, 8) B, 9) B.
How did you do?
1-2: You're too concerned with verisimilitude; you should try writing books instead.
3-5: Not bad, perhaps if you suffered some severe brain damage you could have a future in the industry.
6-7: Almost there, try experimenting with mind-altering drugs more often.
8-9: You're made baby! There's a star with your name on it in Hollywood.