Creativity from a creative God

Is the world running out of ideas? I’m a big movie fan, and I feel that the movie industry is running out of creative ideas. Most modern movies seem to depend on computer generated action sequences. Everything happens so fast that even in slow-mo, we can’t make out what’s happening.

Add to that the number of sequels that seem to use past plots only adds to that feeling. Disney seems to be making more life-action films of their past movies. Aladdin, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, Dumbo, are only a handful of these movies. And they do not stray very far from the original movies.

Even looking at superhero movies, there’s not a lot of creativity in their storylines. Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is material borrowed from the comics. And when searching through Netflix films, we find a lot of movies based on books. So I do grieve the lack of new stories on TV or in movies.

The best example I can think of is Star Wars. They had a very creative and successful start. They told the origins of story badly. And for the last trilogy, they decided to start rehashing the original trilogy.

It started with episodes 4-6 which were very well received. Good work. Tick. It kept the creativity with had an original story. Did it work? Sorry, nope. The story was original and answered many questions that fans had about the story. But it wasn’t well told and was widely panned.

Now what choice did they have if they were going to keep telling the story? Time to start copying from the successful trilogy. The results are Star Wars episode 7-9, and these are the worst of the lot. Episode 7 took bits and pieces from episode 4-6, stuck them in a blender and served it up as it was. Episode 8 is a retelling of Episode 5, and Episode 6 and 9 seem to have too many parallels to be a coincidence. I do not think this was the right path to take. They are back where they started after episode 6. People are asking again, what’s happening now that the Empire (or the First Order) is over thrown? How did the First Order (or Empire) come to be? And because of this, episodes 1-3 are way better than episodes 7-9. Episodes 1-6 had continuity.

Although Star Wars’s A New Hope followed your classic “good vs bad” story, but it had amazing storytelling. It had an imaginative world with new kinds of people, crammed into this classic story. Us vs them, good vs evil, killed or be killed. But that’s what made it so good. It took a classic story and brought creative elements into it. And that’s what made it so good. At the end of the day though, the franchise tossed what was good about the original into the bin. Along with it went the successful elements of the series.

So, are we running out of ideas? Looking at what I talked about, I don’t blame anyone for agreeing with the thought, but is it true? As a movie goer, sure, but as a storyteller, I disagree.

Many authors are coming up with great stories still. That’s why many movies and tv shows take their stories from them. As a writer myself, I have gotten creative ideas from the most amazing places. I would not call myself creative, but I get these inspirations out of the strangest places.

I was waiting in line with my son for him to get a Covid-19 test. It was cold, the line was long (2 hour wait to enter the building), and it tested both our patience. But I decided to work on a book idea. Next thing I noticed something and it would make a great story. So this is a story I’m working through these days.

I cannot say that these ideas came from deep inside me. I had to work at it, but when I did that, God moved. He is my source of my inspiration. God is the creative one. He created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. And because God made us in His image, we too have His creativity (Gen 1).

If you are looking for a creative idea, try giving God a short prayer asking for inspiration. And He will be faithful to promises to you.

Let us know how you go.