Nega Scott Shows How The Scott Pilgrim Movie Missed The Comics Point
Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Scott Pilgrim is largely a smash hit, reimagining the characters and story into a landmark comedy roller coaster. Even the necessary changes it makes by adapting a six-part graphic novel series into a single story are pretty solid. But one of its biggest changes from the original Scott Pilgrim The series regarding Scott’s dark side ultimately weakens Scott’s entire arc in the Edgar Wright-directed adaptation compared to the source material – and costs the story’s titular character perhaps his most pivotal moment of self. -reflection and growth.
In the original comics, Nega Scott is a physical representation of Scott’s flaws as a person. Nega Scott first briefly appears in the fourth volume of the series, Scott Pilgrim pulls himself togetherand has a similar cameo during Scott’s emotional low point in the following entry, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe. Scott finally faces Nega Scott in the first half of Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour. Initially, Scott thinks he needs to destroy that dark side of him, which embodies the personal mistakes and occasional cruelty he has glossed over in his memories.
But as Kim Pines explains to him, Scott must accept that his darkest deeds remain a part of him, because destroying Nega Scott will only allow him to forget those mistakes instead of learning from them. Instead, Scott makes peace with Nega Scott and the two eventually merge – allowing Scott to finally mature to the point where he needs to be to finally work out his personal issues. Defeating Nega Scott is a Major moment in Scott’s growth as a character, representative of all the progress he’s made over the course of the series.
The Nega Scott of the film adaptation of the series is a very different being. Scott Pilgrim vs the world teases Nega Scott at various times but only formally introduces him after Scott and Knives saved Ramona from Gideon. Scott goes to confront this dark side of himself – and in a deliberately anti-climactic reveal, turns out to have found a level of empathy with his dark self. The pair crack a few jokes and end up deciding to meet for a meal later, with Nega Scott simply walking away from the plot.
While it’s a fun gag given that Nega Scott’s inherent symbolism is ignored, it also contributes to one of the otherwise well-constructed adaptation’s only major flaws. While most of the in-universe cast is simplified somewhat to fit the movie’s runtime compared to the books’ more progressive approach, Scott is perhaps the most affected. His development as a character is accelerated and sometimes loses nuance, his awareness of his own failures in several books being reduced to a more overt set of quick conversations with Knives and Ramona halfway through.
Scott defeating Nega Scott in the comics was arguably the emotional linchpin of the entire series. While his romance with Ramona is the main plot of the story, Scott’s true growth into a better person involved acknowledging his flaws, personified in his acceptance of Nega Scott. This led to him gaining the “power of understanding” in his final battle with Gideon (instead of the “power of self-respect” he gains in the film), showing how his refusal to take responsibility for his negative actions set him on the same path that turned Gideon into a monster. By acknowledging this and fighting against it, he can become a better man than Gideon or his past ever was. Its cinematic counterpart never reaches this level of development.
Turning the confrontation with Nega Scott into a joke takes away one of the Scott Pilgrimthe crucial emotional beats. Scott doesn’t learn to improve based on experience through internal struggle; he just decides to be a little less horrible. Even though the fact that they become fast friends could be interpreted as Scott making peace with his dark side, there’s no sense in trying to change for the better or actually learning from this acceptance. The film’s Scott Pilgrim doesn’t undergo the true emotional transformation of his comic book counterpart and is a lesser character to it.
How One Small Detail Made Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Closer to the Comics
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