In honor of today’s release of Green Lantern, I thought I’d take the time to sit down with you all and give you a little crash course on the mythology, terminology, and characters of this film. There’s much more to the mythology than what I’m going to go over, and far too many characters for one post. So here’s your beginner’s guide, Green Lantern 101, which should get you familiar enough with everything in the movie, so you don’t leave thinking “Wait, what was that?”
Mythology – The Green Lantern mythos is based around the concept that the universe is overseen by little blue aliens called “The Guardians of The Universe” who created the Green Lantern Corps close to the beginning of time as a universal police force. The entire universe is split into sectors, and one Green Lantern is assigned to each sector as its protector. The Guardians home planet is called “Oa” and it serves as the training ground for new members of the Green Lantern Corps. Members of the Corps are known by their color-coordinated outfits of green, white, and black, and by their green magic wishing ring which gives them the power to create laser beams or constructs. They create this weaponry by simply willing it, so the Green Lantern’s power is almost limitless. But, if you see a guy in yellow with a yellow wishing ring, watch out. He’s the bad guy.
To be chosen as a Green Lantern, however, you have to be the embodiment of bravery and willpower. Through strength of will and bravery, you show that you can overcome any obstacle. And honestly, to be a space sector’s police agent, you’d be screwed if you didn’t. As is the case in any job, the wearer of the Green Lantern ring will ultimately meet his fate, and in this situation, the ring must find a replacement that meets the criteria, so as to keep the space sector safe from impending doom.
The Oath – “In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night…” isn’t just a clever tag line created by a movie marketing firm, oh no! The full oath is: “In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night, No Evil Shall Escape My Sight, Let Those Who Worship Evil’s Might, Beware My Power… Green Lantern’s Light!!” This is the pledge that must be quoted while recharging the Green Lantern’s power ring. You see, the Green Lantern ring is pretty much like an iOS or an Android mobile device. It can pretty much do anything, but every 24 hours, depending on how much you use it, the battery dies and you have to recharge.
The Main Characters:
Hal Jordan – Hal Jordan was a test pilot whose father died when he was a young kid. And while you may feel like that’s irrelevant when you watch the movie, try to remember… losing your father at a young age is a pretty scary experience. Not to mention that his father died while test-flying a plane in front of his son’s eyes. That can pretty much turn anyone off flying, but not Hal Jordan! Hal Jordan had the strength of will to face his fear and become one of the best pilots America has ever seen! Not only is Hal Jordan an extremely brave individual, but he’s also the first human Green Lantern! He’s who this movie is all about!
Carol Ferris – Carol Ferris is the CEO of Ferris Air. She took over her father’s company, and she’s a pilot too. You see, Ferris Air is who Hal’s father was flying for when his plane crashed and he died (UH OH!). She’s a strong character and eventually becomes one of the lead Star Sapphires, a lantern corps based off of true understanding of what love is. Oh yeah, she also Hal’s love interest. Not his only love interest, but his primary one, nonetheless. And that’s probably how you’re going to see her in the movie.
Hector Hammond – Hector Hammond is basically a jerk industrialist who was in love with Carol, and when she didn’t choose him he got all mad and tried to develop alien technology, but it made him looking really ugly, and he became really selfish, too. Wanting Carol Ferris more than anything else in the world makes him a direct enemy to our hero, Hal Jordan.
Sinestro – Sinestro is the best character of all time, OMG! Sinestro is a former Green Lantern who trained Hal Jordan as a Green Lantern. During his time as a Green Lantern, he was one of the best. Taking on evil, after evil, after evil, Sinestro never cracked. After a while though, his home planet became a wasteland of corruption, and the only way he saw to save the planet was to control it. So he did. To protect it. If you don’t understand that logic, I don’t know what to say. This ultimately lead to his fall as a Green Lantern after Hal Jordan started acting like a jerk, so he became an enemy of Hal’s. Makes sense to me!
Abin Sur – Abin Sur, the protector of Space Sector 2814 before the likes of the human Hal Jordan. He crashed onto Earth after running into a problematic alien who was really mad. Hal Jordan went to check on this crashed space ship, and when he saw what was going on, he didn’t freak out. Instead, the Green Lantern ring saw the potential of bravery and will within Jordan, that the ring decided to slide off of the dying Abin Sur’s hand onto Hal’s.
Kilowog – Kilowog is really awesome. He looks like a combination of a pig and a gorilla, and is the Green Lantern Corps primary training officer. He’s tough and demanding, but if you show him respect, and earn your stay, he might just stop calling you a “poozer,” but probably not.
Tomar-Re – A fan favorite member of the Green Lantern Corps, Tomar-Re is popular amongst other Green Lanterns. He is also one of the experienced members who trains new Lanterns. A friend to all, the brave Tomar-Re was one of the first to meet Hal Jordan.
The Supporting Characters:
Dr. Amanda “The Wall” Waller – Leader of the super secret squadron of meta humans working for the government, which is know as Checkmate. She’s tough, so don’t cross her.
Parallax – Parallax is what’s known as the fear entity. He’s the alien life form embodiment of fear. Fear has the ability to corrupt Green Lanterns, and when it happens, it’s usually this guy’s fault. It’s super complicated to get into, but if Green Lantern gets a sequel, I guarantee we’ll be talking more about this.
John Stewart – A military man, who eventually becomes a member of the Green Lantern Corps.
G’Hu – God bless you.
That’s pretty much the Green Lantern universe in a nutshell, well… it’s pretty much what you’ll see in the movie at least. There is so much more to this universe in the comics, however. The universe is rich, bold, and more than anything… fun. So, if you like the movie, or even if you don’t, this should get you familiar enough with the universe of the Green Lantern, so you shouldn’t be too lost when you check out these books.