5 Elements Of A Good Sci-Fi Protagonist
5 Elements Of A Good Sci-Fi Protagonist
The protagonist of any story is the main character who is driving the story along as they go through their journey. Quite often, the protagonist is thrown into an unfamiliar situation or forced to deal with people or entities that they’ve never dealt with before. With a pressing matter at hand, the protagonist must obtain their desired outcome before they lose any chance of getting the success they want.
It doesn’t matter whether the protagonist is hurling through space, deep in the ocean, or in their hometown dealing with a new technology that hasn’t been seen before, a good protagonist has certain elements that create an enjoyable Sci-Fi experience. They may not have all these qualities from the start, but as the story develops, so does the character, bringing the fans of the story along through their changing journey.
So, what makes a good Sci-Fi protagonist? Here are what I believe are the top five elements of a good Sci-Fi protagonist:
1. A Strong Moral Compass
The Sci-Fi protagonist must have a strong moral compass to guide them between right and wrong, separating themselves from the villain who only acts for personal gain. The protagonist does whatever they can to stay on the right path, no matter how much temptation they receive to stray or how hard others push them to leave. The moral compass is their guide to what is right and just and acts as the code for how they live their lives.
2. Willingness to Learn
The willingness to learn and admit where they were wrong and need help is what allows the protagonist to quickly grow and develop the skills needed to win the day. In the beginning of the story, the protagonist may think they know it all, think that they have the skills needed to complete their journey but they quickly discover they are lacking. The protagonist takes the time to learn so they can grow as a person and develop as the story moves along.
3. Ability to Connect
A good protagonist has empathy for others in the world which allows them to connect with others on a deep and meaningful level. Often in good Sci-Fi, the protagonist is nothing without the friends and companions who are fiercely loyal to the protagonist, loyalty brought about by the protagonist’s ability to connect with them. Many times the protagonist is working with the people that society rejected or pushed down, not the popular group. It’s these friendships that add another dimension to the protagonist.
4. Worldly Knowledge
In the start of the story, the protagonist might only know about their little corner of the world. The protagonist has been sheltered from the greater world but when they are thrown into the midst of the story, they gain worldly knowledge quickly and by the end, know about the world around them. They change their thinking from how the world should work to how the world does work. This knowledge helps them as they complete their journey.
Not the main characteristic of a Sci-Fi protagonist but an important one, humor gives the protagonist a human quality as he laughs at himself and the world around him. Unlike the action protagonist, who always has a witty one-liner ready for any occasion, the Sci-Fi protagonist has a more subtle, reserved sense of humor that they let come out to lighten the mood. Without humor, the protagonist would be serious and dry, not someone you want to be cheering for.
The Greatest Protagonists
Science Fiction has been blessed with some amazing protagonists that captivate the minds and imaginations of those who follow them. Throughout the years, those making their mark on the genera are the likes of Fox Mulder & Dana Scully, Thomas Anderson/Neo, Buck Rogers, Marty McFly, James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard, Ellen Ripley, Luke Skywalker, and Katniss Everdeen. These hero’s and others who lead in the Sci-Fi genera are what make science fiction so compelling to read and watch.
It seems like more and more movie studios are willing to try Sci-Fi themes and concepts for their major motion pictures. Look at a list of the top grossing moves and the top of the list is almost all Sci-Fi or subsets of Sci-Fi. This shows how the Sci-Fi protagonist is able to connect with large audiences, captivating the audience’s mind and imagination. As long as writers keep coming out with amazing, compelling Sci-Fi protagonists, Sci-Fi will continue to be a very successful genera.
Are you looking for a new Sci-Fi protagonist to spark your imagination? Check out my listing of published books at: www.leifericksonwriting.com/my-books