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Episode III: Mythology Strikes Back

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Stag_Lord, Mar 28, 2005.

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  1. Stag_Lord

    Stag_Lord Jedi Youngling

    Mar 28, 2005
    As most of us well know, GL found a little book by Joseph Campbell about mythology across cultures and thrust it into a space fantasy universe. This mythology became Star Wars. Good versus evil, light versus dark, etcetera etcetera. Archetypes everywhere. (Old mentor, young reluctant hero, blah blah blah.)

    My question is this...

    In TPM and ATOC, (as much as I had/have a blast with them) there seems to be an abrupt loss of myth. Sure, Annie is the Chosen One and was virgiin birth, but I see these movies lacking the oomph of the original mythology. The bad guys are not necessarily bad, they're just cowardly trade disputers. Darth Maul is a clear *evil,* but to what purpose? Bah. I'm on a time schedule here and I don't have too much time to fully develop the background for my question, but...

    With the trailers and previews and all this talk of Anakin "going to hell" and making a Faustian "pact with the Devil," do you think that the mythology of Star Wars will return in Episode III? Will true evil and true good collide? Will this episode complete the mythology that (I believe) was lacking in TPM and ATOC? Please, please...let me know. The myth has been the best part of Star Wars for me...
  2. Lord_Of_Sith

    Lord_Of_Sith Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 28, 2005
    The PT is actually more mythological than the OT. The OT draws more from classicial drama than heroic epics and primitive myths. The PT has far more mythology in it.

    There is, for example, the wasteland motif: the heroes in TPM are cast out of an Edenic environment (Naboo) into exile in a wilderness (Tatooine) where they discover a potential messiah (Anakin). Already there's more mythic material than ANH.

    Therefore, the PT is the one with more 'oomph'. Sorry.
  3. _dArTh_SoLo

    _dArTh_SoLo Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 11, 2002
    Actually the prequels are more mythological than the OT...geez, even TPM has more than the entire OT. It is just jam packed with references and symbolism that would take a long time to delve into.

    It follows the pattern of a greek tragedy; the OT follows the classic journey of a hero.

    But now, we see, the OT is just not a classic journey of a hero; it is about Anakin Skywalker's redemption, which is fascinating.

    Usually, in mythology, in tragedies, the "tragic hero" if you will does not have an opportunity to undo the choice that he has made, it would end with Episode III in a classic greek tragedy...but with the OT, it makes it so much more...Anakin has a second chance, and it makes it the greatest story of all time I think.
  4. Stag_Lord

    Stag_Lord Jedi Youngling

    Mar 28, 2005
    Very interesting. I appreciate these comments...

    Perhaps the mythologies in the PT just don't resonate with the general public as well because they are more specific.

    Maybe since the OT mythology is simpler, it is easier to grasp? Easier to assimilate? Who knows. Maybe I'm just crazy.
  5. jangoisadrunk

    jangoisadrunk Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 7, 2005
    I was beginning to suspect one reason for some dislike of the PT may be because it doesn't follow the same basic mythology as the OT, therefore does not resonate as strongly or deeply with the general public. The OT is more of a universal story, where the PT is more SW specific.
  6. Winston_Sith

    Winston_Sith Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 8, 2004
  7. Sgt Pepper

    Sgt Pepper Jedi Youngling star 1

    Dec 23, 1998
    You guys/gals might like the following as it applies rather well to Anakin's characterization.

    Classical Tragedy: According to Aristotle's Poetics, tragedy involves a protagonist of high estate ("better than we") who falls from prosperity to misery through a series of reversals and discoveries as a result of a "tragic flaw," generally an error caused by human frailty. Aside from this initial moral weakness or error, the protagonist is basically a good person: for Aristotle, the downfall of an evil protagonist is not tragic (Macbeth would not qualify). In Aristotelian tragedy, the action (or fable) generally involves revolution (unanticipated reversals of what is expected to occur) and discovery (in which the protagonists and audience learn something that had been hidden). The third part of the fable, disasters, includes all destructive actions, deaths, etc. Tragedy evokes pity and fear in the audience, leading finally to catharsis (the purgation of these passions).

    My 2 cents!
  8. Stag_Lord

    Stag_Lord Jedi Youngling

    Mar 28, 2005
    Aristotle's Poetics is an astounding piece of work in regards to tragedy (and Greek theater in general). You wouldn't happen to be/have been a theater major in school, would you?

    I am. :D
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