Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Two emerging screenwriters – Chas Fisher and Stuart Willis – try to work out what makes great screenplays work. Discovering what it takes by analysing what successful writers put on the page.



episode 66: DZ-66: The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker - Audience Knowledge vs Character Motivation

How does audience knowledge affect your character’s motivations?

Chas and Stu are joined by special guest - filmmaker Mel Killingsworth - to talk all things Star Wars. Well. Focusing on The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker and wherever else our tangents take us.

Our primary lens is look at how both shows handle “fan service” — but really its about how you handle character motivations when your audience has more knowledge than your characters, especially knowledge from outside the show itself. To that end, we discuss the characters of Poe, Rey, Kylo, and Palpatine in depth. We also discuss the Watchmen TV Show, Mind-hunter, Jojo Rabbit, Snowtown and Zodiac.

SPOILERS ABOUND. Excerpts used for educational purposes. Thanks to Chris Walker for editing this episode.


  • Introduction: Fanservice
  • Poe's Backstory (@ 4:03)
  • The Mandalorian (@ 11:40)
  • The Rise of Skywalker (@ 23:01)
  • Rey Palpatine (@ 24:24)
  • Palpatine's Plan (@ 38:27)
  • Rey Skywalker (@ 46:05)
  • Ben Solo - Depressive Demon Nightmare Boy (@ 52:12)
  • Palpatine's Return & Watchmen (@ 01:07:27)
  • Rose Tico (@ 01:15:54)
  • Fake-Outs (@ 01:19:15)
  • The Mandalorian (Revisited) (@ 1:26:08)
  • Wrap Up & Key Learnings (@ 1:30:38)


  • READ: Wikipedia - Fan Service
  • READ: “The Rise of Skywalker: Memorabilia without Memory, a Misunderstanding of Hope” by Jeanette Ng
  • READ: “The Force Belongs To Us: THE LAST JEDI’s Beautiful Refocusing of Star Wars” by Film Crit Hulk
  • LISTEN: Fatman Beyond http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/FatManOnBatman/~3/grl4sApz4cE/271-the-rise-of-skywalker-spoiler-show
  • FOLLOW: Mel Killingsworth https://twitter.com/mehlsbells?s=20
  • WATCH: https://www.b-windmedia.com/


  • DZ-29: Showdowns & Scene Structure
  • DZ-47: Backmatter – A Lost Jedi
  • DZ-55: Character Motivations (Part 1)
  • DZ-56: Character Motivations (Part 2)

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Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Theis, Jesse, Jack, Chris, Khrob, Sandra, Nick, and Matteo. They’re good humans.



 2020-03-17  1h45m