Tweet of the Day: Bringing Balance to the Force: The Women of Star Wars Episode VII
“I Own This Town,” is a phrase usually uttered by the big wig in a given place which runs the gamut from small village to a planet, depending on the scale of setting. The key to this trope is that the character wields illegitimate power of the are either to excessive concentration of wealth (they own the largest industry/source of income there) or are the legal authority but are so corrupt that they lose said legitimacy. They can be business magnets, old influential families or gangsters.
They are often villains in modern stories since they either exploit or void the democratic process, although the roots of this trope go all the way back to the stories of Robin Hood if not earlier. They force the heroes to operate not only at a physical level but a cerebral one as well since the power of the opposition is socioeconomic. Often the heroes fight the villain’s henchmen but the villain is beyond the reach due to their political influence. It makes for a long standing opposition that even when defeated can bounce back stronger than before.