The Forced Plot Device: The Precipice

You have probably seen this scene before:

A Dangerous Precipice

Me, I hate this scene (taken from Uncanny X-Men #296, part of the X-Cutioner's Song). Why in all of the world is this balcony there? There's nothing to look at, so it's not some observation point. And a further look shows that balconies like the one Cyclops and Jean Grey are on dot this part of the moon base. Maybe the balcony exists to look upon other people running to similarly situated balconies. One thing is for certain: if the henchmen of any bad guy (like Stryfe or even Darth Vader) chases you to one of these worthless architectural anomalies then you are most certainly screwed. Where are you going to go? There aren't any bridges, fool!

And this is where you step in and state that the characters are hardly ever truly stuck in these situations. Here, Jean makes a teke-rope and she and Cyclops swing across the chasm while Mainframe (or Storm Toopers, if you are still stuck on Star Wars) randomly shoots at them and misses. Then again, we wouldn't get this sweet moment between the two if it weren't for the dangerous precipice.

A Heroic Feat

It's tacky. It's cliche. It's completely predictable. Now, the scene later on when they find a baby hooked up to the machinery of the moon base, that is a brilliant plot twist! This, this was filler. These situations don't exist in any of the moon bases that I've visited; I'm sure the bases you've seen, moon or otherwise, have never employed such wasted space. But, the comics still use this plot device from time to time to try and get our pulses pumping. Not working, bros. Not working.

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2 Comments
Posted by One_Eye

This is a pretty cool moment even if very contrived....

Posted by Renchamp

@One_Eye said:

This is a pretty cool moment even if very contrived....

I can agree with that. I did a mental fist pump as they made out across the chasm and Mainframe tried in vain to shoot them down. But I also recognize the device.

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