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. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6

    In that actual chapter of the book, it's really got nothing to do with male/female at all.

    It's about recognizing both "good" and "bad" in the creator, realizing the creator is also a destroyer, but loving it anyways because you're one of the few who understand it. The unworthy person who tried to approach this being (called the "goddess" in the book) would instead be consumed or worse. Think of the Nazis when they found the Ark of the Covenant, or the Soviet lady played by Cate Blanchett when she found the aliens and asked for knowledge. Only the worthy is capable of encountering the "goddess" and coming out intact, but will still be forever changed.

    In the OT, Vader was essentially this figure. Luke was able to recognize Vader had both good and bad, realized he's a creator and a destroyer of the galaxy as it is, but loved Vader anyways because he was one of the few in the position of understanding him (when he stopped striking Vader, looked at his hand, and threw away his lightsaber). All who encountered Vader before were unworthy of doing this, of being in the position to understand and love him. And then Vader fulfilled his role, and destroyed the Emperor he helped create, while saving Luke and allowing the re-creation of the Jedi, again forever transforming the galaxy.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jul 28, 2013
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  2. Darth Eddie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2013
    star 3
    Even though the Hero's Journey was drawn upon for A New Hope, Campbell's theories are not an end-all be-all formula for how Star Wars is going to play out. Monomythology is more of an extremely vague roadmap to which stories are compared after the fact. And Star Wars is a work of art, meaning implicitly that not even its creators will truly know what it will look like until it is finished. The Hero's Journey/Monomyth tends to be overrated, while George Lucas' pre-vision of Star Wars is frequently overestimated.

    See my signature. What it's really trying to say is that creating a myth is harder than it looks, can't be all things to all people, and will evolve drastically over the course of creation. All myths probably have these things in common more than Campbell's theories!
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  3. Chained Prometheus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2013
    star 2

    Don't you mean underestimated? :confused:

    Anyways, creating a fictional universe and being influenced by the Hero's Journey are very much two different things. The former is process of creating a story's setting, as well as the inner mechanics of society and reality in that setting. This also can include creating the back-stories and personality traits of the story's characters. The Hero's Journey is one of several common plot structures and the meanings behind key events in such stories.

    The plot of Star Wars, or at least the Skywalker Saga, is very much influenced by Campbell and the Hero's Journey. This is by no means a slight against George Lucas, nor does it take anything away from the incredible universe he envisioned that this particular journey is set in. Aside from what Tolkien did with his creation of Middle-Earth (which is simply inhuman in specific details compared to any other storyteller I've ever come across), Lucas' creation of the Star Wars mythos is one of the most vast and detailed settings in a fictional story out there.
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  4. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    I completely agree and it's part of the reason why I thought an interesting way to explore the theme of identity would be a Skywalker or Solo who is so afraid of that legacy and what it did to his/her grandfather that it manifests itself in a repression of their Force powers. I think it would an interesting new angle for the hero and would allow for a story where they have to accept who they are before they can confront the big bad.
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  5. Chained Prometheus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2013
    star 2

    By extension, I think it would be a brilliant move to see the Big Bad recognize and capitalize on the new hero's feelings towards their inherited legacy in their initial confrontation(s). Darth Vader's revelation to Luke of his true status as his father, alongside his comments about Obi-Wan and how Luke was not yet a Jedi, were similar in this regard by turning Luke's idols and goals against him in their first true confrontation with one another in The Empire Strikes Back.
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  6. Darth Eddie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2013
    star 3
    I meant overestimated because many of the central elements of the saga were created the by the seat of his pants - for example Vader wasn't even supposed to be Luke's father until the making of Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars wasn't 'Anakin Skywalker's saga' until the prequels defined it as such.

    The term mythopoeia refers to the independent invention of myth, IE, creating a non-extant fictional setting and its rules. Tolkien and CS Lewis were really the first to do it in Rings and Narnia, but now it's everywhere, especially Star Wars. Mythopoeia is what links world-building and monomyth theory together almost inextricably, because if a creator is inventing a new world, it is inevitably a metaphor for this world, making the invented world a myth by definition, and thus subject to mythology. The world-building is secondary to and frequently dependent upon the primary narrative, which in A New Hope's case, was The Hero's Journey. I think that by the later episodes, GL learned to follow his storytelling instinct rather than to constantly refer back to Campbell. But because Star Wars is a myth both by nature and by invention, the whole saga is mythically resonant, with or without consideration for The Hero's Journey or any mythologic theory. There's a difference between myth and mythology. To put it simply, Myth is being enthralled by the story in progress, and mythology is talking about it afterward. Myth begets Mythology.

    I don't know if this responds to you effectively, but these are things I learned firsthand from creating my own fictional universe.
  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Meet Cade Skywalker, Luke's great-great-grandson who was born about 120 years after the battle of endor:


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  8. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    I've already met him. I've read the entire series and I'm currently on the second one. Cool character.
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  9. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    It just goes to show how hard it will be for the ST to come up with heroes and villains and themes and plots that haven't already been covered by the EU...
  10. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    Well I think the theme of a reluctant hero is a very interesting one to explore (probably why they did so with Cade :p) but I think there are many ways to do it. You can create a character that's completely different from Cade and still deal with the themes of identity and legacy that he struggles with. Being the offspring of Luke Skywalker or Han and Leia Solo is naturally going to come with some struggles. Those are big shoes to fill.
    Last edited by Darth Chiznuk, Jul 28, 2013
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  11. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    I always wondered how Cade stole Vader's pants. Were they just hanging out in the basement on Couscant or something.
  12. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    I don't like it.
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  13. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2003
    star 4
    That's been a risk since the beginning; if it should happen, whether we accept it or reject it will depend entirely upon execution; in other words, if it's done well, it's forgiveable; if it's not, it isn't.
  14. El Jedi Colombiano Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2013
    star 2
    One thing that really bothers me about those Stormtroopers is that they haven't changed from the time of the films. I really think the next films should evolve from the technology of the OT and the PT.