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Luke Skywalker on the Hero’s Journey

K7803It ‘s common knowledge that George Lucas—looking to shore up his original script for Star Wars —turned to early 20th century literary theorist and mythology expert Joseph Campbell for guidance. Campbell’s seminal 1948 masterpiece, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, outlines what Jung described as the "archetypes" of mythology. According to Jung (and Campbell), these ideas form the skeleton upon which all of the timeless legends—from Ancient Greece to the Galactic Empire—are fleshed.

As Star Wars Origins points out, the correlation between Luke
Skywalker’s heroic journey and Joseph Cambell’s outline is explicit,
but another point it makes—and very well—is that The Matrix is another sci-fi movie sharing its structure with the most archetypical of myths.

The genius of George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers lies in their realizing that by using The Hero With a Thousand Faces, they could create modern-day fables every bit as compelling as The Iliad or The Odyssey. And lest you scoff, who knows whether the tales of Luke Skywalker and Neo won’t be told by post-apocalyptic storytellers around a campfire a thousand years from now? All we can agree on is the plots of The Phantom Menace and The Matrix Reloaded will not.

Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey [Moon Gadget]

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