District 9 – a Sci Fi Virgin Story

June 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm 5 comments

In one of my talks a student suggested that technology is making us feel like aliens in our communities.  A protagonist that goes against his community to regain his humanity would be a Virgin.  I learned the best things from students!

Since it was a vfs student, I think District 9 is a great example to this kind of Virgin.  Although District 9 has many elements of a Hero story, as Wikus and the Prawn-With-the-Red-Vest battle to save the Prawns, there is also Wikus’ story of waking up to what is wrong with his community and causing chaos as he struggles to be authentic with himself. So, in the beginning, Wikus is conforming to the values of his culture and he’s a dweeb (Price of Conformity).  He’s trying to perform up to the expectations of his job and his father-in-law/boss (Dependent World).  When he is contaminated with Prawn juice he starts to transform into a Prawn (Dresses the Part) and becomes aware of their integrity and intelligence (Opportunity to Shine).  Wikus quickly realizes he can only hide in District 9 with the Prawns as he gradually transforms and moves back and forth between the world of the Prawns (Secret World) and his Dependent World (buying weapons and phone calls with his wife).

From here the movie takes on a Hero’s journey as they battle to get to the spaceship and go home to gain the power to free all the Prawns on Earth.  Clearly we are gearing up for a sequel.  There has yet to be a final battle where the Prawns are safely returned to their planet.  I hope the sequel also includes an ending to the Virgin story.  Wikus needs to align himself with the best in humanity (his black friend is a representation of this) and lobby against the mentality that degrades Prawns.  In so doing his wife aligns with him as a man (Re-order/Rescue) and Earth changes its policies towards Prawns (Kingdom is Brighter).  Combine this type of structure with the genius of the creators of District 9 (Neill Blomkamp, Peter Robert Gerber, Simon Hansom and Terri Tatchell) and you would have a great sequel.

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Entry filed under: Archetype theory, Film Summaries. Tags: , , , .

Cast Away – a Virgin? the timeless Virgin

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DAR  |  June 8, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Hmmm. I do see the parallels.

    But it seems to me that for a film to conform to the archetype, the character’s transformation would have to be by choice, no? I mean, the fundamental nature of the VP archetype is the self-actualization of the main character. i.e., the character actively and intentionally chooses to become something more than what other people in their lives want to limit them to be.

    In District 9, Wikus is forced into transformation against his will. Not only doesn’t he choose this path, I suspect that he would absolutely choose to reject it if he could – even by the end of the movie.

    It can’t be self-actualization if it’s something you don’t want, right?

    Reply
    • 2. thevirginspromise  |  June 8, 2010 at 9:39 am

      I love how you have connected with the essence of the Virgin. Your question really makes me think about what is fundamental to the journey.

      I would say the Virgin can be thrown by circumstance into her self actualization. This is the role of the Crone. In this case the choice to self actualize is delayed (Legally Blond would be another example). The key is whether she takes up the challenge when it is thrust upon her.

      There was a moment when Wikus decided what kind of a person he was going to be, when he chose to stay back and defend the Prawn’s escape so the Prawn could come back and save them all. You could say this was just his best option, but he also disassociated himself from the experimentation on Prawns or killing a Prawn (he begged for a pig). All of this was a form of rejection of his culture.

      What was barely there was the replacement of those values with something else. I think that is your point. Being a Prawn for 3 years is Wikus’ Secret World and in a sequel we should see more of the person he is without conformity to the culture he came from. As a Prawn, Wikus is seeing his culture for their flaws and disagreeing with them.

      My sense is he will not go back to the life he had when he regains his human form. He now sees his father-in-law as a liar. He can no longer pretend the treatment of Prawns is justified.

      Reply
  • 3. pregnancy acid reflux  |  August 25, 2010 at 4:35 am

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    • 4. thevirginspromise  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm

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  • 5. Erawsaina  |  December 28, 2010 at 3:32 am

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