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There Can Be Only One

May 4, 2010

You possess the power of the glow!

Lately I’ve been watching movies featuring the “Chosen One” trope. Having watched so many of these movies, I’ve gleaned some valuable information on how you can tell if you’re the Chosen One, which I’d like to share with you.

  • You fulfill some ancient prophesy. In Dune, the Bene Gesserit sisterhood was trying to breed a male version of them who could “see where women are afraid to look”. He’s supposed to be the Supreme Being, the “Kwisatz Haderach”, and they want to use him to their own ends. Kyle MacLachlan (who I am deeply in love with after watching Dune back to back to back and then searching Google Images for pics of him) plays Paul Atredeis aka Paul Moadib, who turns out to be said supreme being and pretty much clowns the sisterhood by overthrowing the Emperor of the Known Universe and, as forseen in prophecy, leading an oppressed minority to victory in a battle involving giant worms. Not sure the worm part was prophesied, but it looks cool.
  • You don’t believe that you’re the chosen one. In The Matrix trilogy, Neo is told by Morpheus over and over again that he is “The One”. He really doubts this, and with good cause because he’s not particularly spectacular at anything besides computer programming. And this is among a whole herd of spectacular computer programmers. After being told by the Oracle that he’s not The One, he’s definitely sure he’s not. But by the end of the movie as he lies dying, Trinity talks to him and tells him she knows he’s The One because it was prophesied that she would fall in love with The One and she’s in love with him. This gives him a boost of confidence and he comes back to life fully realized and ready to kick some Agent butt.
  • You’re told to go on some kind of vision quest. In Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon (don’t laugh!), Leroy Jones is a martial arts superstar who has graduated to the Next Level, which means he has to now try to find a new master to tell him how to obtain The Glow, which apparently makes you basically invincible and your body glows gold. For most of the movie he’s looking for this master, until he’s told by his old master that he just made that up. He tells him to look inside himself and in the middle of the climactic fight with Sho-Nuff, Shogun of Harlem he realizes he himself is the master that he’s been looking for and starts to glow. He handily whups Sho-Nuff after this realization.
  • People are trying their hardest to kill you. John Connor of Terminator 2 knows this one all too well. Also see The Golden Child, The Fifth Element and again, Dune, in which the Guild Navigators want Paul Atredeis dead because he will threaten production of the mystical spice that enables them to “fold space”.

If you meet any two of the above criteria, you might indeed be The Chosen One. Chosen to do what? Look inside yourself to find out.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. evmaroon permalink
    May 4, 2010 2:07 pm

    Great post, Tasha! I wonder, does The One always have a mentor a la Morpheus/Obi Wan/Giles? Because as I read through your points, I kept hearing them talking. But it could just be my alter ego, Treverett.

  2. hsofia permalink
    May 4, 2010 4:50 pm

    evmaroon – I would say yes, there is always a mentor! Even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a mentor made of rat!

  3. May 4, 2010 4:55 pm

    Just let your sooooooooooullllll gloooooooooooooow.

    Oh man, so that’s why I can’t shake Morpheus. I’m about tired this motherfucker following me around RiteAid.

    Great post, Tasha.

  4. evmaroon permalink
    May 4, 2010 5:30 pm

    OMG, now that’s a throwback! Thanks, hsofia! Them’s were the days…

  5. May 4, 2010 5:59 pm

    Great post, Tasha. One of the things I liked about Kevin Smith’s Dogma is that the Chosen One was a woman, which seems to be rare in this genre. And all the points you made hold true for Bethany.

  6. IrishUp permalink
    May 4, 2010 6:15 pm

    The Chosen One is also, ideally, NOT at ALL like the Grand Poobahs and Wise Ones expect or want the TCO to be.
    Hmmm, been pondering female chosen ones and am stuck on Buffy – who was not at all like Donald Sutherland wanted her to be. And that baby from Willow, but I don’t think that really fits this.

  7. May 4, 2010 6:20 pm

    @hsofia Haha! I loved TMNT back in the day.
    @redlami Yes, wasn’t she like Jesus’ last living relative or something? I love Linda Fiorentino.

  8. Hsofia permalink
    May 5, 2010 1:06 am

    IrishUp – Maybe Whale Rider and Pan’s Labyrinth?

  9. evmaroon permalink
    May 5, 2010 1:58 am

    For that matter, hsofia, Labyrinth?

  10. Heather Flescher permalink
    May 5, 2010 2:21 am

    @evmaroon — Speaking of Jim Henson movies, what about The Dark Crystal? It’s got two chosen ones, but otherwise it fits really well. And it’s one of my all-time favorite films!

  11. aliciamaud permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:42 am

    Oh, thank gawd you included that last line, clarifying that we would have to meet TWO of the requirements. I’m full on with meeting the “You don’t believe that you’re the chosen one”, and I was all like, “Damn. This day is going to be much different than my day planner indicates.”

  12. evmaroon permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:44 pm

    @Heather: yes, The Dark Crystal is a good one…and since they’re kind of parallel worlds, it’s possibly okay to have two chosen ones. BtVS had multiple chosen ones, also. I suppose there are other examples of ways in which these exceptions prove the point…

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