The 3D Chase


I write this more as an observation of something which I never really considered before writing and yet something when it occurred to me recently was confirmed by the most recent issue of Warlord of Mars - Dejah Thoris.  The observation is this - chases in fiction are far more engaging when they occur in a three dimensional environment as opposed to a two dimensional environment.  thinking to the best chase scenes that I can I would classify that assault on the Death Star at the end of episode 4 of Star Wars as one of the best chases ever (a dogfight is a form of a chase.)  The best two-dimensional chase that I can think of is probably the one at the end of the second Jason Bourne movie and still exciting but not as exciting.  Much like a well crafted horror, the tension in a three dimensional chase is that the threat can come from anywhere as opposed to a two dimensional chase where it has to come from a single plane of movement and one which is generally linear.  Thus as I was reading this issue of Dejah Thoris as they took off on dragon like creatures it seemed that it was a lot more of an exciting chase as opposed to others that had occurred in the series as the others had been restricted to someone running across open ground.  The problem for a writer trying to incorporate that into a story is how to engage a three dimensional chase especially considering that humans don't do so well flying unless they are surrounded by some sort of space- or aircraft.  Still when crafting a story it is worth remembering.  
Posted by FatFriar_16

That's a really good point!! I concur.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@FatFriar_16: Thanks, I was thinking about it in terms of the story I am writing, as I wanted a chase in it, but some chases are so boring.  
Posted by Delphic

One of the most exciting chase sequences that comes to mind would be the last one that takes place in the desert during Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. If I'm following the blog right though that would be a two dimensional chase. (It's one I never really tire of). I think it also had a similar instance of a three dimensional chase when Indy and Dr. Jones Sr. run from the Nazi's and they make the transition from Blimp, to plane, to car, to foot, and finally ending it by calling on the aid of "birds in the sky".

I suppose I can see where chases would be difficult to implement.