I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for happy endings. You probably are too, if you’re like most people. It’s ingrained in us—love wins, the hero overcomes, the bad guy is soundly trounced. Preferably after an epic battle. Why is this outcome so important to us?
Enter: The Master Story.
What is The Master Story? It is the basic blueprint for every Happy Ending story every made. The hero (or heroine) finds himself facing a devastating problem. Through many difficulties, misunderstandings, and confrontations, he (finally) faces off with his nemesis, appears to almost lose, then miraculously pulls off a stunning win!
Works every time. We love The Master Story because it conveys meaning. Our humanity craves meaning, thus, we are drawn to The Master Story.
I know what you are thinking. “What about Rogue One? That was a sad ending.”
Actually, I would make the argument that it was a happy ending. True, the main character dies at the end, but she accomplished exactly what she set out to do—she redeemed her father’s legacy and brought the war-torn galaxy an important gift: hope. Jyn Erso fulfills her goal and leaves us with the satisfied feeling of closure that accompanies a happy ending.
My verdict? The ending of Rogue One was happy. And that is an important thing.