Shadow Rebel

Shadow Rebel
Good and Bad Disruption

Good and Bad Disruption

If you see the order as bad, the figure trying to disrupt it is good. If you see the order as good, the figure trying to disrupt it is evil

In the case of Camelot, a good social order, Mordred is evil for trying to take it down. The same can be said of Joker and the League of Shadows –shadow figures that challenge the order of Gotham, which is defended by Batman and Bruce Wayne. This is not unlike the defense of Eden from Satan, another perfect world disrupted by a shadow-trickster.

Conversely, in Star Wars, The Rebellion is the Shadow of the Empire. In this case, it is very clear that the center of good is with the rebellion, because the rule of the empire is evil. The ultimate evil tyrant is of course the Emperor. We see the same configuration with Robin Hood – an outlaw and shadow figure for the rich from whom he steels. The Matrix is another example like this. Neo is the anomaly that disrupts the Architect’s perfectly ordered Matrix. Because the Matrix is seen as a bad prison, the rebellion against it is good.

When you work on your stories, I want you to think about the tensions of order and disruption. Presumably you’ve set your world to need a change, which means that you’ve set up the world at the start of your story to be overly ordered. Your main character will change the world, which sets them up as a rebel against the current order. Instead of thinking of the shadow of your culture, think of the shadow of your protagonist. If their main change is grounded by the dramatic need, which is the need of the collective,