The movie Rollerball was released in A.D. 1975. It starred James Caan as an athlete playing in a futuristic, violent sport called “Rollerball”.
Rollerball was the national pastime in a nation dominated by wealthy, super-corporations. These corporations wanted a world where “order” was maintained and enforced so as to keep commerce safe and profits predictable and substantial. Disorder is bad for bidness. Conformity was mandatory. Individualism was bad. All must work steadily. No one could escape his destiny to serve the economy.
Jame’s Caan’s character threatened that “new world order” simply because he was so much better than any other player that he demonstrated an unbridled individualism. Caan’s individualism awakened others to their own unique, non-commercial and “disorderly” nature. Caan inspired others to achieve rather than conform. For a moment, the individualist successfully resisted corporate “order” and the audience cheered.
We routinely see “heroes” of the sort Caan played in Rollerball, in many of our movies. Rocky was inspirational. James Bond displays a similar kind of individual greatness. Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter are cut from the same cloth as is “Iron Man”. Virtually every drama we see portrays the story of an individual man or woman who somehow summoned sufficient skill and courage to overcome a seemingly insurmountable adversary. We call these characters “heroes”.