10 screenwriting lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Screen Capture from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Lesson 7: Let the MacGuffin Go!

The “battery” scene seemed to drag on quite a bit. Calvisi understands that it wasn’t really about the actual object, but what Rocket’s theft symbolized to the Sovereigns—a blatant disrespect for their culture. Though it was done as sort of a gimmick, and a way to show the Sovereign’s personalities, it was still a bit far-fetched.

Calvisi does admit that when the Sovereigns go on an attack, they embellish the movie with some fun scenes. However, James Gunn had a large budget and Disney’s marketing power behind him to create those stunning scenes. In spec scripts without that sort of financial backing, writers need to find a way to make the reader believe in the MacGuffin. A writer’s job is to create a catalyst that can still stand on its own throughout the story.

If a writer’s MacGuffin is indeed a gag, perhaps it should be called out and made explicit. The “battery” MacGuffin in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could’ve been made more humorous (and less forced) if Rocket just said, “These people really hold a grudge!”