Changing the story formula with Godzilla

Godzilla stories had an interesting angle: nature was too big for humanity to ever conquer. I remember when I was a kid riding my bicycle five miles to my grandparents’ house. My grandmother would usually offer hot chocolate and/or instant mac and cheese. My grandfather would offer snacks (often cookies) and a movie. He introduced me to the original Godzilla movies and I was hooked!

Godzilla (2014)

Mild spoilers if you didn’t see the movie: Recently I had the opportunity to watch the latest incarnation of Godzilla. It was a well-conceived story, where, just like in the old classics, nature is beyond humanity’s control. The monsters that awakened to ravage the Earth swiftly moved from Japan to Hawaii, then on to the US pacific coast. Military might and technological ingenuity proved as ineffective as flies in the monsters’ path. Godzilla figured as the balancing power, an entity whose sole purpose seemed to be destroying the indestructible.

I think there is something modern storytellers can learn from this. We have developed formulas. Big problem equals bigger or more clever response from mankind to solve it. But why not show more scenarios where world-changing events are insurmountable. The monster will ravage and cannot be stopped. The villain is so far technologically superior that no one can overthrow them. In exploring these possibilities the stories must necessarily put forth solutions other than mankind. Solutions of the supernatural.

Question: What do you think of stories that need that other-than-human solution? Have you enjoyed incarnations of Godzilla?


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The most obvious thing about me is how much I love reading and writing. Great stories are truly my passion and have been for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a conservative Christian home I learned to value God, intelligence, and life. I am always striving to learn. I am a husband and a father to five children. I love my family and my life. God is good and I attribute my success to His provision.

Great fantasy stories are a lot of fun. I write the stories that I want to read and am fortunate enough to have several published novels under my belt as well as more in the pipeline.

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2 thoughts on “Changing the story formula with Godzilla

  1. The “other-than-human” salvation is one of the reasons I loved “War of the Worlds” so much. I just think it’s neat that us humans can try as we might, but sometimes God chooses to use a tiny bacterium to do the job.

    I’ve actually never seen a Godzilla movie, which is funny cause I lived in Japan for six years and every toy store had at least one shelf dedicated to it. I was too busy watching Stargate and Tremors to pay any attention to Godzilla sadly.

    • KT,
      Yes, H.G. Wells is one of my favorite authors and he liked to throw “curve balls” in his plots. I particularly enjoyed “The Time Machine.” Fascinating that such short books left such a strong cultural impact.

      I’ve never been to Japan, but I did live in Thailand and visited Laos and Cambodia. I’d love to visit there, too. Did the Japanese people enjoy Stargate as much as you?