Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Myth of LOST: An Interview with Author Marc Oromaner

If you don't already own Marc Oromaner's book The Myth of Lost: Solving the Mysteries and Understanding the Wisdom, I recommend that you get yourself a copy to read during the upcoming hiatus before Season 6!

I recently had the opportunity to interview Marc about his fascinating look at our favorite show, and appreciate that he took the time to answer a few questions for us.

1. Did you experience an "a ha!" moment when you felt absolutely compelled to write a book about LOST? Was it a particular episode or scene that inspired your decision?
Yes. It was when Juliet was flipping through a file on the imprisoned Jack early in Season 3. Jack asked her if his ex-wife is happy, and Juliet told him that she is. At that moment, I had an epiphany. And the more I thought about it, the more everything fit together - the smoke monster, the numbers, the daddy issues, why all the Losties had connections to either money or crime...everything. It was so simple, I felt like I had to get it out there whether it was the solution the writers had in mind or not.
2. You explore the major characters and how they cross paths in great detail; I would love to know who your favorite character is, why, and whether or not your answer has changed since Season 1.
My favorite character since Season 1 is Locke. All of the characters on the show represent a certain archetype or personality type. I guess I relate to Locke because he's a spiritual guy in a material world who feels like he's meant to do something important but he doesn't know what yet. Whoever your favorite character is most likely relates to your own life challenges. Watching how that character deals with his or her own challenges can teach you, subliminally at least, how to deal with your own.
3. Did you play/follow along with any other LOST ARGs besides The Lost Experience (i.e. Find815 or Dharma Wants You)?
I actually didn't even play The Lost Experience. I missed the first two seasons of LOST and caught up on DVD. By then the game had already concluded. Soon after, I became pretty busy writing the book and didn't have time to explore the games. Once the book was published, I started with Dharma Wants You but it was discontinued. The games seem pretty cool, but I feel like if you don't have the time to devote to them, you probably shouldn't start.
4. As a huge sci-fi fan, I imagine that you loved the introduction of time travel this season?
Yes and no. I love the possibilities of time travel and all the concepts that LOST is introducing in relation to it; constants, variables, proxies, etc. I like that they are having some fun with recent history and pop culture, such as Hurley writing The Empire Strikes Back for Lucas. I also like how LOST is using time travel as a storytelling technique. In The Myth of Lost, I wrote that the main benefit of time travel is that it would enable us to see how all of the DHARMA stuff on the island came about. That's totally been the case.
What I'm not crazy about though is how far the story has drifted from its soul; characters with issues conquering their inner demons on a mysterious island. If time travel turns out to be relevant to the storyline (which it might with the Adam and Eve skeletons), then the technique has been awesome. If not, while it's still pretty cool, it probably could have been more developed on a different show where the theme was the main focus from the start. I guess time will tell...
5. Has your ultimate theory (that explains the entire LOST mystery) and opinion about how the series will end changed since you published the book?
Actually, the theory presented in The Myth of Lost isn't positioned as the way I expect the series will end. My feeling is that it's the simplest way to resolve all of the mysteries, satisfy the myth and make the show relevant to real life. Early in Season 3, I felt that LOST was quickly drifting from its path and wrote the book thinking that it might not come back. For the most part, I think it has made a great recovery, but the final outcome is still up in the air.
Mythically speaking, the island is a 'metaphor for the universe.' I felt, and still feel, that while there are many solutions that can make this comparison work, the simplest way is with the theory presented in the book. That theory is still very possible, even with the off-island events of Seasons 4 and 5. Should the ending turn out to be completely different from what I had envisioned though, I still feel very strongly that it must reveal a game-changing twist; something beyond time travel, alternate dimensions, Egyptian mythology, etc. Because they are already established within LOST's storyline, yet have not been able to reveal the answers to any of the basic mysteries. The ultimate reveal must go beyond all of that to show us that something else was really going on. If not, the ending is going to feel very forced in order to explain how everything fits together, a la The X-Files.
6. What is the most frustrating lingering question that you have from five seasons thus far on LOST?
Like most LOST fans, I realize that not every mystery is going to be explained in the remaining fifteen hours or so of story time left for the show. However, I will feel incredibly disappointed if the writers do not specifically address the reason why everyone is connected, what the smoke monster is and why the numbers show up everywhere. And the answers have to be relevant to the final reveal.
If the island turns out to be a way for God to judge mankind for possible annihilation and Jacob is the imprisoned messiah, Richard Alpert the judge and Widmore and Ben the celestial attorneys representing opposite sides...then the monster could be an angel acting as bailiff, and the numbers the date the world is to be destroyed or saved (4/18/15 16:23:42). With this scenario, though, it wouldn't work for me if the monster were an Egyptian god because the solution needs to remain consistent. Every mystery must fit under the same umbrella solution.
7. In your opinion, which books, films and television shows have influenced LOST the most?
LOST is original in that it borrows from so many different stories. I guess I'd have to say that the themes of the Bible and classic Greek and Egyptian mythology show up the most. As for more recent movies, book and TV shows, I see a lot of familiar themes from Donnie Darko, The Langoliers, A Clockwork Orange, Star Wars and, of course, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. While I have not seen it myself, someone mentioned to me that J.J. Abrams is a big fan of the Japanese apocalyptic anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Judging from the episode titles though, I'm thinking that Wizard and Wonderland will end up the most relevant. If that turns out to be the case, a lot of fans are probably going to be kicking themselves for spending so much time trying to figure out the equivalent of whether the lollipop guild were children of midgets, if it was a silhouette of a munchkin that hung itself in the forest, and whether Dark Side of the Moon matches up with the movie because none of it is really relevant to what is going on in the story.
8. Given that you wrote this book before Season 4, do you have plans to rerelease the book with updates, or write a sequel after the series ends with Season 6?
If the show's conclusion is different from what I envisioned, I'll probably do an update to decipher what that ending is telling us and how this compares with The Myth of Lost theory. I will also likely reveal the mythological meanings behind certain Season 4-6 episodes and what they can tell us about the world and our place in it. If the theory turns out to be correct though, I'll probably give Darlton a call to see if they could use another writer for their next project.
I would like to thank Marc for sharing his great insights and observations with us. Feel free to leave him comments below!

You can also join Marc's Myth of Lost fan page on Facebook, and order the book here on Amazon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Um... 4/18/15 16:23:42
Don't you mean 4/08/15 16:23:42 ?
But aside from that - thank you for the interview, very insightful, and for your JOpinionated blog I jump in after every episode. PGH in JXN