In 2007, JJ Abrams gave a TED Talk about the role of mystery in stories.
He called it the Mystery Box, and it represents the questions that are raised to keep us interested in the story.
In summary, it’s showing something mysterious and revealing the truth over time – or never.
You can watch the talk here to better understand it. (Note: has a little bit of cursing on par with LOST)
Even a casual viewing of LOST provides evidence of the mystery box. There’s so much about LOST that’s withheld from you until the last possible moment.
Do you remember the whole mystery surrounding Henry Gale and what it meant to be an Other? Talk about mystery box. Or what about the whole mystery of the Island in general?
But are mysteries – the answered and unanswered ones – good or bad?
We’ll explore that question by looking at stories such as LOST, Star Wars, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Falling Up’s discography, and Inception.