Why Darkness Makes Sacrifice Burn Bright


There’s always been a debate over if violent media is something that should be created or consumed. Generally, any popular book or film that’s got some violence, or other negative content, it will end up with a few negative reviews complaining about it, especially if it Christians are the main audience.

Though darkness may not be a good thing for really young kids, I think it’s very important for it to be in some forms of media.

Without darkness, it’s extremely hard to make sacrifice meaningful because there is no cost. A few authors are good enough to have a non-violent sacrificial act, such as one near the end of The Way of Kings, but it’s pretty rare for these to have impact, especially in something with action.

A good example I saw of darkness and sacrifice is near the end of the first season of Star Wars Rebels.


Early in the series, one of the characters brought up that the Empire had ways of extracting information from a person, hinting at torture. The show went on without a lot of darkness, until Episode 11.

In Episode 11, the main villain beheaded two incompetent villains. This showed the audience that Rebels would get dark. (It should be noted that these characters weren’t just killed to show the audience how far the villain and the writers would go, but to show some other lesser villains that they could be next.)

This series wasn’t going to be pulling punches. Later in the episode, the heroes got into trouble. Kanan, the co-leader of the crew, sealed himself outside a tower while the rest of the crew escaped. Kanan’s sacrifice allowed the crew to escape, but he was captured at the end of the episode. This episode had quite the impact, and the reason was because the sacrifice wasn’t without cost. Kanan was imprisoned and tortured for a full episode while his crew struggled to find a way to rescue him.

If there hadn’t been darkness in this show, his sacrifice wouldn’t have meant anything. How could it have meant something if there was no cost to it? If Kanan had been locked in a room and not harmed, it would have been too easy. That would have been an easy sacrifice. The audience suspected Kanan would make it, but the show was dark enough the audience knew he could suffer. From Kanan’s perspective, he didn’t think he’d get out alive, not when his crew should have known better than to risk everything in a crazy attempt to rescue him.

This is why fiction needs darkness. Sacrifice fails to be sacrifice if there is no cost. The more obvious the cost, the more powerful the sacrifice.


About Jessi L. Roberts

I live and work on my family’s cattle ranch in eastern Montana. I have a flock of chickens, a hyper golden retriever, some cows, and a few horses. I enjoy fantasy and science fiction and my head is full of wild sci-fi story ideas, some involving apocalypses and others involving aliens. I have been published twice in Havok Magazine, an imprint of Splickity.
This entry was posted in Geekiness, Musings, Writing Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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