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The Monomyth Through Star Wars Essay

2845 words - 11 pages

The Hero’s journey, or in its more correct terminology the Monomyth is an object from the area of comparative mythology. Its definition in the most basic of forms, it is a pattern or outline that is used in storytelling, usually the myth. This pattern is found in many famous pieces from all around the world. In the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces from 1949 by author Joseph Campbell, this pattern is described in detail. Campbell describes that numerous myths from different times and areas of the world seem to share an identical structure in their storytelling. He summarized this with a well-known quote found at the intro of his book:
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” (Campbell)
Some of the basic fundamentals of the monomyth include how the hero begins. In the journey the hero begins as a normal person in an ordinary world with no special power or abilities. An often occurrence is that the hero is of rich heritage but unknown to him as well. Then the hero receives the call to action, this involves him being asked to enter an unknown world to him. These worlds can be filled with strange powers or events and will most likely present various challenges to the hero. If the hero chooses to then accept the call to action he will face the tasks and trials presented to him by the strange world. He can either face them alone or with assistance of his companions and mentor. His companions are always those that join him along his journey and his mentor is just as it sounds his guide. Through these trials he will be ultimately challenged by a trial he must survive. If the hero survives and overcomes they will then achieve the “boon”. The boon is the reward gained from surpassing their toughest trial throughout the trials brought forward. This “boon” can be a goal, a power, treasure, or even just a feeling. The boon is usually the climax of the story, also known as the highest point of tension in the story. Once the hero has achieved the boon, the hero must then decide whether to return to the ordinary world with the boon. If he chooses to return he will often face challenges on the return journey as well. If the hero succeeds in returning to the ordinary world with the boon, it can improve the world and change it forever. Again these are only some of the 17 stages of the monomyth. Campbell states that it is very rare the myth will contain all 17 stages; they can also be presented in various orders. This makes it sometimes difficult to spot the monomyth structure within a story. (Martin)
George Lucas or the man I hope we would know by now as the creator of Star Wars, in various occasions has credited Campbell’s theory of the monomyth as the inspiration for his intergalactic series of films. It is quite easy to pick out many of...

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