Discussion Joseph Campbell, The Monomyth and the ST

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Darth Chiznuk, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. fett 4 Chosen One

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    Slightly OT but the film did miss out on the scouring of the Shire. Merry and Pippin come back with the knowledge they gained and help the Hobbits wake up out of the own stupor overthrow Sharky/Saurman. While Frodo reunites and makes peace with the Sackville-Bagginses and let's her live out her life at Bag-End the place they have been wanting since the Hobbit. .
  2. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    That is correct. But even if he still lived he would probably fall to the Dark Side again because of the many many many unresolved issues he still has. Return - is it even possible for him? It's almost a "good thing" he died.

    At least that's what I try to tell myself, being the biggest Vader-fan in the universe and all that.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, Feb 25, 2013
  3. fett 4 Chosen One

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    That's the point, as a character he has the most unresolved issues to deal with out of them all from a character journey stand point.
  4. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    Yes, but we are speaking about a billion issues here not just three or four. In RL he would probably be deemed clinically insane without a chance of full recovery ever.

    I've read enough Vader redemption fanfiction to know the total redemption plot never really works, no matter how well it is written.

    To keep with the fairy tale tone of SW Vader simply had to die.

    Besides, if anything happened to any member of his family, Anakin would fall faster than you can bat an eyelash. He was only "redeemed" because of his affection to his son. This affection could be easily turned against him.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, Feb 25, 2013
  5. Leias_Left_Bun Force Ghost

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    Very true, and a good example of how the return part of the hero's journey can be written. Personally I didn't miss it in the film, just like I didn't miss the Tom Bombadil sequence that was cut from FOTR.[/quote]
    Last edited by Leias_Left_Bun, Feb 25, 2013
  6. run_luke_run Force Ghost

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    Just been waiting in the wings on this thread; wonderful idea, by the way.

    So from where the conversation has led thus far, are some of you arguing that Anakin's journey is not complete? I will not argue with the point that if still alive, he has much redemption to continue to seek. He was responsible for the slaughter of so many innocent lives in ROTS alone.

    And yet, I would argue that aside from an assistance role he may play (a la Obi Wan in the OT), his journey is indeed done.

    He knew he would be killed by taking out Palpy, and in the end he saved the lives of countless others by giving up his own life. To save his son first and foremost, yes, but also to stop the cycle of madness he was a part of.

    Part of the power of the OT was the lesson in sacrifice and redemption through Anakin, the power of love through Luke, but also the power of forgiveness from the Force. By choosing a final selfless act that saved his son, he was placed on equal footing with the likes of Yoda and Obi Wan.

    He was forgiven.

    Journey endeth. At least, in my ST that would be the case.

    Freedom to Live achieved. In fact, one could argue that reaching this stage is precisely what Qui-Gon discovered and passed on.
    Last edited by run_luke_run, Feb 25, 2013
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  7. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    I totally disagree with that. I think in ROTJ Anakin learns the difference between selfish love and selfless love. With Padme he wanted to keep her alive for his own benefit and he wanted the power over death itself but with Luke he was willing to sacrifice his own life to save him. He was no longer trying to cheat death instead he put himself in death's path and finally accepted mortality.
  8. Trebor Sabreon Chosen One

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    Well, I did say 20-30, so you're only taking the low end of the spectrum into account here.

    Also, I don't see any reason that Luke wouldn't decide to wait before having children, as, you know, he did have some kinda important work ahead of him before he could turn his attention to these more personal things. Heck, I'm 37 and I only just recently became a father for the first time at 35 when my little girl was born (and I didn't have a New Jedi Order to found). :D

    Edit: Also, it just hit me that you said 40 years after ROTJ. Of course, It's only been 30 years since the film and it's characters were last heard from. So if Luke took even five years to set up the NJO before turning his attention to fatherhood, his son or daughter could be 25 today. I don't see the issue.
    Last edited by TreborSabreon, Feb 25, 2013
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  9. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    @ Darth Chiznuk
    I don't think it is particularly selfless to protect ones own flesh and blood even if it was a commendable deed. Only if he had given his life for a person not related to himself that would've been truly selfless.

    But we can agree to disagree here.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, Feb 25, 2013
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  10. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    Agreed we'll agree to disagree. :)
  11. T-R- Chosen One

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    Here's what I found from the Magic of Myth wall placard, Journey's End:
    Luke has acheived the final triumph of the mythic hero's journey - he has brought back from his adventures the means for the regeneration of his society.

    Judging by that I'd say that he completed the INITIATION section (also known as the hero quest) by fullfilling The Ultimate Boon segment (redeeming his father and becoming a Jedi Knight) and took his first steps toward/into the RETURN section.

    However, since he hadn't actually begun to share the boon as of the end of RotJ, he would still need to complete The Crossing of the Return Threshold, Master of Two Worlds, and Freedom to Live (if not the otherearlier 3 steps as well) to complete the RETURN section.

    I think this is where the 1st three steps of the RETURN section come into play. It's not really about Luke returning to normal life but to Luke passing on the boon to the rest of society. I will need to post/repost their descriptions to make it easier to follow than backtracking through pages.

    1.) Refusal of the Return
    Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.
    Campbell: "When the hero-quest has been accomplished, through penetration to the source, or through the grace of some male or female, human or animal, personification, the adventurer still must return with his life-transmuting trophy. The full round, the norm of the monomyth, requires that the hero shall now begin the labor of bringing the runes of wisdom, the Golden Fleece, or his sleeping princess, back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet or the ten thousand worlds. But the responsibility has been frequently refused. Even Gautama Buddha, after his triumph, doubted whether the message of realization could be communicated, and saints are reported to have died while in the supernal ecstasy. Numerous indeed are the heroes fabled to have taken up residence forever in the blessed isle of the unaging Goddess of Immortal Being."

    Luke might doubt whether the galaxy would accept the Jedi again, or whether they would use the boon for evil and he may not want to bestow it on his fellow man. (I personally don't think that this fits with Luke's character, but it could explain the delay in establishing a Jedi Order).

    2.) The Magic Flight
    Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.
    Campbell: "If the hero in his triumph wins the blessing of the goddess or the god and is then explicitly commissioned to return to the world with some elixir for the restoration of society, the final stage of his adventure is supported by all the powers of his supernatural patron. On the other hand, if the trophy has been attained against the opposition of its guardian, or if the hero's wish to return to the world has been resented by the gods or demons, then the last stage of the mythological round becomes a lively, often comical, pursuit. This flight may be complicated by marvels of magical obstruction and evasion."

    Agents of evil could've been hunting Luke to prevent him from restoring the Jedi Order, thus interfering and delaying the start of his renewal of society.

    3.) Rescue From Without
    Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, oftentimes he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.
    Campbell: "The hero may have to be brought back from his supernatural adventure by assistance from without. That is to say, the world may have to come and get him. For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state. 'Who having cast off the world,' we read, 'would desire to return again? He would be only there.' And yet, in so far as one is alive, life will call. Society is jealous of those who remain away from it, and will come knocking at the door. If the hero. . . is unwilling, the disturber suffers an ugly shock; but on the other hand, if the summoned one is only delayed—sealed in by the beatitude of the state of perfect being (which resembles death)—an apparent rescue is effected, and the adventurer returns."

    This is where my bet lies. The new generation serves as the rescuers that help the RETURN because they need the boon to restore their society/the Republic. (the rejection of the Jedi by the galaxy could cause the Refusal to Return and the need for the Rescue from Without, thus setting the stage for The Crossing of the Return Threshold).

    The RETURN doesn't have to start in the ST to be completed in the ST.
    Last edited by T-R-, Feb 25, 2013
  12. T-R- Chosen One

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    Here's Lucas full quote from the 1983 TIME interview:
    He gave us personal growth and self realization as this interview in 1983. He gave us social and political 16 years after this interview. Methinks he'll give us the rest now.
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  13. run_luke_run Force Ghost

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    Passing on what you have learned to your next generation is a terrifying reality of being a parent. You are facing your own increased age, and with that comes expectations that some fear not having the ability to look up to...especially when there has not been a powerful mother/father in your own life fulfilling that role.

    Luke is on an emotional island as a healthy, mentally stable aging man, and has no role model from which to lean on with this passing-on business. Not to mention the terrifying reality of what he may believe exists inside himself, his sister, or his children.

    There's a lot there to explore.
  14. KudosDas Jedi Master

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    Just a couple of points while I catch up on the rest of the thread. :)

    First off, I feel that what we see at the end of RotJ is Anakin's redemption as opposed to outright forgiveness in those final scenes. Not to go to far off topic, but I think it worth noting that, at least in the existing EU, Leia in particular has a difficult time coming to terms with her father's identity, particularly given that he, as Vader, tortured her aboard the Death Star in ANH. Acceptance, reconciliation, redemption, and forgiveness are similar all themes but not one in the same. However, I believe at least some portion of these themes will be addressed somewhere in the ST, particularly if we see Luke at a point prior to The Crossing the Return Threshold.

    Secondly, the idea has been floated several times that Freedom to Live in Star Wars is reached by becoming one with the Force. By extension, the ability to return as a force ghost is equivalent to moving beyond the fear of death. As has been explored in several sources, the preserve one's identity after death is actually an abomination to the natural order of things as maintaining one's identity after death is directly opposed to the natural order of the Force, which is to become one with the Force after death. The Sith seek to preserve their identities permanently after death because they fear the inevitable loss of identity, knowledge, and, ultimately, personal power that accompanies the loss of identity and self following death. The Sith seek immortality because they believe that they should be able to rise about the natural order which dictates the lives of "lesser" beings. What Qui-Gon learns is how to preserve one's identity after death within the Force for a limited time without tapping into the dark side. Jedi who return as a force ghost do so knowing this state can only be temporarily, as otherwise they themselves become perversions of the light side of the Force. Therefore, at least in my mind, to ascend beyond the fear of death is more akin to Obi-Wan sacrificing himself on the Death Star than his apparition's appearance in ESB. Seems a bit of a cop-out to move beyond the fear of death once you're already dead. ;)
    Last edited by KudosDas, Feb 25, 2013
  15. bluemilkcheesypuffs77 Jedi Master

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    I hope tha main male character "bestows" a boon on jaina. If you know what I mean...
  16. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

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    That was uncalled for. [face_shame_on_you]

    In any case, any mention of the EU is hardly going to help this discussion. I submit that half the problems with the Star Wars stories told in the Expanded Universe is that they lost sight (if indeed they ever had it) of Campbell's place in the equation. With certain fantastic exceptions, the books lean more toward science fiction than they do science fantasy/mythology, and they say nothing instructive about life in the way that the films have done. Also, since we know the script for Episode VII is going to be an original story anyway, and not one based on an existing EU story, it's in all likelihood pointless to involve the EU until we know for sure they want to involve it in some way. The writers may like the idea of Jaina Solo as a character, for instance, but until we know they do so to the point of including a character that resembles her, the only thing likely to be "bestowed" on Jaina is the continued right to sit in the corner with the rest of the EU characters until LFL says she can come out.
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  17. fett 4 Chosen One

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    Parts of the EU are bad, not because off lack of Cambell, or even because of the more scifi feel,but because the stories were bland and generic (Warlord with a Super Weopan) , with no tension whatsoever and there was no character development either interspersed with some terrible dialogue. One or two are entertaining but that is about it.
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  18. Krueger Chosen One

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    I feel stupid reading this thread. Thank you to all for the info, though.
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  19. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    Classy. How old are you? :rolleyes:

    I find it very interesting that both of Anakin's "fathers" have at least attempted to defy death. Qui-Gon who was Anakin's father figure in TPM learned the path to immortality through compassion (or whatever it was he said in the ROTS deleted scene) and Darth Plagueis who was either directly or indirectly responsible for Anakin's birth and attempted to cheat death by midichlorian manipulation. Anakin attempted to attain Plagueis' knowledge in ROTS and in ROTJ we see at the end that has learned Qui-Gon's knowledge. Now what if somehow Plagueis did figure a way to attain his corporeal form? That would be a violation of the Force and the last time Plagueis attempted something like that the Force responded by creating the Chosen One. I could see the Force responding in kind to Plagueis by resurrecting the Chosen One. Anakin Skywalker could fulfill the Master of Two Worlds role. The Star Wars Saga could then be the Fall, Redemption and Resurrection of Anakin Skywalker. It was just a thought I had and I can't believe I just advocated for a Darth Plagueis resurrection story. :p
  20. KudosDas Jedi Master

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    Have to unfortunately disagree with you there, Chiznuk, at least over that one pesky word immortality. There isn't a source provided here (*shakes fist as wookieepedia*) but the quote does sum up the nature of Force ghosts nicely, at least how I've always understood them.

    "This state was temporary, as Force ghosts were an intermediate state between life and afterlife; after a certain amount of time, they would then have to move on to the Netherworld of the Force, another realm of existence."

    This statement, if I recall correctly is largely based on Obi-Wan's appearance to Luke in a dream at the beginning of Heir to the Empire. Here Obi-Wan informs Luke that he must move on and finally become one with the Force. I know there's lots of stuff in the Darth Plagueis novel, but since that mainly deals with how Sith view the whole immortality question/endeavor I'm going to set it aside for the moment.

    That said, Yoda himself uses the term immortality in the RotS novelization when talking to the spirit of Qui-Gon about the Force ghost technique. I haven't read the book myself so I can't say with any certainty what the exact context is with the usage, but for the sake of fairness I do have to admit the word has been used in universe, at least within the EU.

    While this doesn't exactly settle matters as was the intent when I started this post, at least here's a few more points to consider in further discussions.

    Moving on! ;)

    PS - While I would love to see Plagueis again, I think we're more likely to see a clone of Palpatine, if we see clones at all...
    Last edited by KudosDas, Feb 26, 2013
  21. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

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    Again, I don't know if any EU points should enter into the discussion at this stage; considering that the EU itself is now most likely on shaky ground, I don't see how citing information established in the EU can have an impact on any given issue.
  22. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    Immortality was a poor choice of words on my part. My point was that they both at least attempted to defy death in one way or another. As Lucas has stated that the Star Wars Saga is about Anakin I was just throwing out a theory on how his story could continue. While I certainly think Anakin will have an impact on the ST (I think GL put Hayden Christensen into ROTJ for a reason) resurrection is really not the way I would like that to happen. Just playing devil's advocate for a second. :p

    You're right and let me get the discussion back on track with a question I've been mulling over since I created this thread. It involves the Ultimate Boon portion of the Hero's Journey:

    I would say it's clear that Luke's boon is the knowledge to become a Jedi Knight and he can share his knowledge with the society he lives in by rebuilding the Jedi Order. But what is the Ultimate Boon for Anakin and how does he bestow it onto the galaxy? In my opinion the boon is simply freedom. In TPM we first meet Anakin as a slave on the planet Tatooine. He receives the call to adventure when Qui-Gon arrives and he wins his freedom by winning the podrace. But is he truly free at the end of the film? He is a Jedi padawan and he lives under the tight restrictions of the Jedi Order. He can't visit the places he wants or do the things he wants or be with the people he loves. He is clearly chaffing under these obligations and clearly wants to break free. So tragically in ROTS he falls to the dark side and enslaves not only himself to the Emperor but helps enslave the entire galaxy. Throughout the OT we see the Empire and in particular Darth Vader oppress the galaxy and this all leads up to when he must choose between his son and his master. So by destroying the Emperor he not only finally frees himself but also gives freedom back to the galaxy he helped take it away from. So my question is: Do others see this as I do or do you see something else? Also regarding the ST, what could the Ultimate Boon for our new hero be?

    Let me humbly submit my own theory. Perhaps the boon for this new hero is forgiveness. Anakin has already been redeemed but I see it much more difficult for the galaxy and his descendents to simply forgive and forget. Perhaps Luke is rebuilding the Jedi Order but the galaxy has not yet forgiven the Jedi for the role they played in Palpatine's rise to power and so Luke must rebuild in secret far away from the center of the New Republic. Perhaps Anakin's descendents have not yet forgiven him. I've given my theory in a different thread that the hero could be struggling with the Skywalker legacy and fear that they could become another Darth Vader. This could manifest itself in the hero repressing their powers to the point where Luke believes they have no Force sensitivity. So the Hero's Journey could be about him/her accepting his/her powers, forgiving Anakin for his crimes and atoning with Luke. The hero's victory could then show the galaxy that they can forgive the Jedi and once more trust them to be the guardians of peace and justice. So just as Luke's Journey helped his father bestow his boon on the galaxy so too could the new hero's Journey help Luke bestow his boon on society.
    Last edited by Darth Chiznuk, Feb 27, 2013
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  23. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    Darth Vader is more a slave to his obsessions than he is to Palpatine. Palpatine treated him fairly well in the movies until ROTJ, so you can't really say he's a slave to him. I also don't like the "Vader's a slave" interpretation much because it takes away responsibility.

    About the other paragraph you've written: It is easy enough for the Skywalkers to forgive him, but what about the families of all those other people he murdered? And does he even deserve forgiveness? Doubtful.

    Tbh your interpretation and idea is not very appealing to me.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, Feb 27, 2013
  24. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    It doesn't take responsibility away at all because it was still his choice to act the way he did. He is obviously not a literal 'slave' to the Emperor but he is certainly a servant or henchmen to him. He is subservient to Palpatine and the Emperor even refers to Vader as "his". That was my point. When he finally defies the Emperor he frees himself and the galaxy from the Sith Lord. Also I don't see how it could be easy for the Skywalkers to just forgive him without any conflict over it. This was just my theory about what the goal could be for our new hero and you certainly allowed to disagree with it. Just my opinion. :)
  25. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    How can you free yourself from someone if you serve him completely voluntarily? Vader could always defect or off himself or whatever.

    Okay, maybe it's not easy for them to forgive him, far from it. But they didn't lose loved ones to him as other people did (Unless you count OBW as a loved one). Both the Larsens and the Organas were not killed by Vader.