Star Wars and The Hero’s Journey

26 Feb

star_wars_empire_a_l

We all know what this is. This is one of the most iconic images in the history of cinema. Luke has just faced down the Legendary Darth Vader and came up short. Specifically, one hand short. And to add insult to injury, Vader drops one of the biggest bombs of all time, that he was actually Luke’s father! I know, it still gives me chills! And I could think of no better image to represent the tale of Star Wars. Well, the original tale and in most minds, including my own, the ONLY tale. But I digress, what is Star Wars. Well it’s the American Revolution. It’s David vs Goliath. It’s the little guy coming out on top despite facing seeming insurmountable odds(…well, except in the scene above). It’s the true tale of the underdog. All very valid and inspirational themes that are prevelant in our society and all things that need to be preserved. But above all, it is the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey, or “Monomyth” is a basic template of story telling that has been around, seeming, since we first gathered round the campfire after a long day on the hunt. (Those who don’t understand the term can find a nice outline here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth#The_17_Stages_of_the_Monomyth ). And no matter what may happen, stories must continue in whatever form they may be it books, movies, games, music, you name it. And an absolutely HUGE portion of these stories at least begin with nothing more than this Basic template, the Hero’s Journey. I choose Star Wars to illustrate these things because, well, it’s awesome. But more than that, because it speaks to me as it does to millions of others. It is a cherished memory. Oh how I wish I could watch it all over again from the begining without the knowledge that Vader is Luke’s father because it was simply that iconic a moment. And the whole Universe of Star Wars has become a template in it of itself, that against which all great Sci-Fi is based. I can think of no better story to pass down to the next generations to teach them what I and so many others have learned.

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