So far I’ve talked about how books and anime inspired Soul Crystals. Some of my favorite movies gave me a lot of ideas as well. Here are a few of them.
Star Wars Original Trilogy
Some of my earliest memories are watching the original Star Wars movies with my dad. I must have been 3 years old since I was born in 1994 and the special edition VHS versions came out in 1997. In fact, Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber being green in Return of the Jedi is the reason why my favorite color is still green to this day. That’s why Paul’s crystal and anima energy are green in Soul Crystals.
From a storytelling perspective, Luke Skywalker was my introduction to movie heroes. He is the prototypical hero character for me. George Lucas was a friend of philosopher Joseph Campbell who is known for his Hero’s Journey term. That was woven into the Star Wars narrative. The part that I enjoy about that is that we don’t see the finished product of Luke until the end of the final film. Like a person in real life, he is a work in progress. In Soul Crystals, I saw Paul in very much the same way.
Basically Every Christopher Nolan movie
I named dropped this director in an earlier post. I really enjoy Nolan’s mix of drama and action. You can’t turn your brain off and enjoy the action. I find that very stimulating. The action does not mean that philosophical and psychological aspects get glossed over. Nolan always has all those things work in tandem. Growing up watching things like The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception really made me want to write something that hit all the same themes.
I also want to point out another movie that Christopher wrote but did not direct which has had a big influence on me over the years. That’s Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. So often we think that people with superpowers would have it all. In Zack Snyder’s version of Superman, we see that the most powerful being on earth is also one of the most emotionally vulnerable. Clark Kent is powerful beyond belief but that makes him an outcast. He doesn’t fit in with people who society views as normal. He is also horribly out-of-place since he was born on a different planet.
One of my favorite scenes in Man of Steel is a flashback to when Clark is a kid. As he comes into his powers, he starts to see the world in a very frightening and sensitive way. I respected this grounded look at the possibly vulnerable mentality of realistic superheroes enough to present it as a theme in Soul Crystals.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Atlantis: The Lost Empire is definitely one of the lesser known Disney, but I enjoy it a lot more than some of their more popular ones. It’s an inventive and creative original story that I used to rent from my local video store all the time (back when those were a thing). I found a great deal of inspiration in this one, especially the use of magic/powers through crystals. Like Soul Crystals, Atlantis: The Lost Empire has a nerdy, almost-cowardly male lead and a mysterious, powerful female lead. (Also, Kida is the best Disney princess and no one can convince me otherwise.)