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The Mythology used in Star Wars

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth_Dagsy, Feb 10, 2003.

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  1. JediHPDrummer

    JediHPDrummer Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 23, 2002
    This is more about religion than mythology, I think it fits in here. It's about midichlorians and the genius of why george made them.
    Midichlorians are a very Animism Religion idea. The animist religion is the oldest religion out there. It's mostly in Africa, but was used by the native americans and the pagens. The whole animist idea is that everything is god, the tree, the rock, the coke can, Anything, it is in all living cells. You have the power to influence god, if you want to touch god(God being the midichlorians and the force of course) you have to focus on it. If you want rain it to rain they would carve symbols of rain and then you can pray for it. In contrast with the force, you do have to focus. Qui gon once said "Your focus determines your reality". This connects this so much with Animism that wow. Also in anamist religion, more people have more power than others, they can just see it in their eyes(thats what they say). In contrast, more people are more atuned to the force then others. Not everything is an anamist idea in star wars but the midichlorians and the force have a big big influence from animism.
  2. Glockenspiel

    Glockenspiel Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 31, 2002

    I'm not a hundred percent sure but it centers on a belief that everything has a spirit, animal, plant, mineral. May/may not have something to do with 'jedi spirits'?

    Animism is actually a religion??? I wondered where they got the whole Anima/Animus idea from in Xenogears, neato.
  3. Stymi

    Stymi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 10, 2002
    Anima & Animus is from Psychiatrist Carl Jung, who was greatly influenced by myth and Freud, and has nothing to do with animism.
    Basically they have to do with the idealized versions of men and women. Anima is the female idealized version of the perfect male, and vice versa.
    End lecture.
  4. Krede

    Krede Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 20, 2000
    Great observations, but I think Midiclorians were foremost inspired by the very real Mithochondria which live in our cells.

    Mithochondria: Small bodies in the cell
    cytoplasm that provide energy.

    Only in Star Wars they provide the force...

    Kind of boring, when compared to the animism idea.
  5. JediHPDrummer

    JediHPDrummer Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 23, 2002
    mitochondria, i dont think so. IT's more than just a science experiment. In the world today, the more mitochondria you have doesnt mean your better at anything or more atuned to something. The Animist thought is that some people have more than others, they say "they can just see it in their eyes." These people are Shamans and witches that are more atuned to god than others. So people look up to them more and respect their knowledge. Jedi's are the same way, they are more atuned to the force, mor epeople respect their judgment and accept their knowledge until AOTC when there vision has been blurred by the darkside. Which in animism they beleive that one person can pray for bad things to happen, and it happens. And they really beleive in bad things happen because they do, theres no explanation. IT just does. But sometimes people can pray for bad things too. A lot of things come from animism. And buddhism, confuscianism, judeo-christian and more. It's great, i can talk about religions and jedi's till about 4 o clock pm(pacific time) So i'll stop now. See Yah
  6. takis

    takis Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 25, 2002
    I believe a huge portion of the mythology that we're missing is not just good vs. evil father vs. son but also the issue of...

    Resisting destiny or being controlled by it.

    Prophecies, foretellings, meditations, etc. all have a significant role in the Star Wars Saga.

    First is Anakin's "Chosen One" prophecy. Until EP3 comes out, I can't say much about it.

    Then are all the things about Luke Skywalker, who according to the Emperor + Vader, is destined to join them. Luke, however, fights destiny by letting go of it. He doesn't try to take control at the end of ROTJ. He tosses away his weapon.

    We'll have to wait for EP3 to see how exactly Anakin does or does not fulfill the 'Balancing the Force' prophecy. Does he himself balance it, or does he do so by creating Luke Skywalker, the balance between the Jedi's inhuman lack of attachment/emotion and the Sith's intense hatred?

    It's going to be interesting to see how the characters handle fate.. whether they resist or go with it.
  7. coney_1_kenobi

    coney_1_kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 2, 2002
    Just a little bit of symbolism in AOTC.

    When Anakin searches for his mother, he winds up at the tuskan raider camp. before he approaches it, he jumps of the cliff. it is at night, and Anakin appears very dark, like a shadow. This is like a biblical figure (who i dont know???) falling into hell and eternal darkness. As we see this is Anakin's first step falling towards the darkside-descending into hell and darkness.
  8. Krede

    Krede Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 20, 2000
    I don't think there's any special significance in Anakin's jump off the cliff.
    It's true that Satan challenges Jesus to jump off a cliff in order to prove that he's the son of God, but I think that would be overanalyzing.

    There's another scene with biblical references though. When Anakin, Obi and Padmé are chained to the pillars in the execution arena, Anakin is chained to the one in the middle, just like most depictions of Jesus on the cross, with a person on either side of him.

    JediHPDrummer - I wrote 'foremost' inspired by mithochondria. I do know that more mithochondria don't make you better at things. I guess it's a mixture of the animism priciple AND the mithocondria. You cannot deny that the two words sound very alike and they share many of the same traits.
  9. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000

    Q: What religion are you?
    Lucas: I was raised Methodist. Now let's say I'm spiritual. It's Marin County. We're all Buddhists up here. (Time, April 29, 2002)

    I've never really been happy with the assumption that Star Wars is "an obviously Christian story."

    The first thing people point out is the the miraculous birth. But Jesus is really just the new kid on the block. And the idea of Anakin being 'fathered' by midichlorians is also old - often the deity takes the form of an animal to impregnate the hero's mother.

    Miraculous births include:

    * Theseus (Greek)

    * Helen (Greek), who became Nemesis, was fathered by Zeus, who appeared to her mother in the form of a swan.

    * Buddha (Indian) was fathered by the deity, who appeared to his mother in the form of a white elephant

    * Quetzalcoatl (Toltec & Aztec) - his mother is a virgin in some versions

    * Zarathustra (Persian)

    * Siegfried (German/Norse)

    * Maui (Polynesian)

    * Attis (Phrygian) - fathered by the deity in the form of an, erm, pomegrante ... (and you thought midiclorians were a weird idea?)

    * Water Jar Boy (Tewa Indian) - who is fathered by the deity in the form of a piece of clay (midiclorians are starting sound like a good idea, huh?)

    * Kutoyis (Blackfoot Indian) - was fathered by the deity in the form of a blood clot (which is getting closer to the midis...)

    * Huitzilopochtli (Aztec) - fathered by the deity in the form of a ball of feathers

    * Lituolone (Bantu African) - fathered by the deity, his mother an old woman.

    * Horus (Egyptian)

    * Persephone & Dionysos (Greek)

    * Adonis (Babylonian/Greek)

    Besides which, apart from the miraculous birth (which considering the above list isn't much of a link) I could never see Jesus as murdering a village of men, women, and children, and then becoming Satan's right hand man ...

    There's the obvious Biblical names (Ben, Luke), but also obvious Buddhist/eastern names:

    * Yoda: a mutation of Yoga, which is what he teaches Luke.

    * Qui Gon Jinn: most likely a combo of Qi-Gong, a martial art similar to tai-chi, and the Muslim djinn, which are supernatural beings which can assume human form and control people.

    * Obi-Wan Kenobi: OBI is an African religion that involves 'sorcery', WAN has several meanings including pale or melancholy, Ken is scottish (YAY) for knowledge - together, it could translate roughly as "Pale/melanchology sorcerer with knowledge of magic" (Yes, I have FAR too much free time...)

    * Padme: "Lotus" (Tibetan), found in the most famous Buddhist mantra: OM MANI PADME HUM ("The Jewel is in the Lotus"). The Lotus symbolises wisdom - even something which grows from mud is not soiled by the mud. The meaning of the mantra is that you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.

    * Dagobah: a 'dagoba' is a dome-shaped temple built over buddhist relics or saints.

    Erm, I think that's probably enough reading for one post. LOL.

    Do I need to mention that I'm also interested in mythology? :)
  10. Krede

    Krede Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 20, 2000
    Cool post TheOzhaggis!

    I too, don't like the thought that star wars is an obivious christian story.

    Anakins' story has been told through a great number of different mythologies.

    Hercules' fate is very similar in fact, he is also 'born by a virgin' his father is the god Zeus and his mother is mortal. He must complete a great number of tests and trials through out his life as a hero.

    Eventually Hera (Zeus' wife) casts a spell that makes Herkules temporarily insane, and he ends up killing his wife and children (not so Anakin-like, although something similar happens to him, that involves killing women and children in rage).
    In order to redeem himself, he must perform 12 heroic tasks.

    After having redeemed himself he is tricked to put on a robe that eats away at his skin. He is mortally wounded and burns himself on a pyre. Then he returns to Olympia as a real god.

    Very much like Anakin who is mortally wounded, puts on his dark cape and armor, redeems himself, is burned on a funeral pyre and finally becomes one with the force.
  11. bad radio

    bad radio Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 26, 1999
    >>>> In the world today, the more mitochondria you have doesnt mean your better at anything or more atuned to something.

    Simply not true. The following is from [link=]an article about long distance runners[/link]:

    [blockquote] Here?s some more articles:

    [link=]Mitochondrial Density = An Increase In - Fat Burning, Muscle Mass, & Your Ability To Train[/link]

    From [link=]another article[/link]:
    [blockquote][hr] As with other programs, we once again look to what we know to occur in living organisms. The data show that endurance athletes have greater numbers of mitochondria per slow twitch muscle fiber and the athletes' mitochondria metabolize carbohydrates and lipids more effectively than the mitochondria of the average "couch potato."[hr][/blockquote]From [link=] yet another article[/link]: <-- Click and read this article
    [blockquote][hr] In the field of sport it is not difficult to reason that athletes with high counts of mitochondria in their heart and other appropriate muscle cells are able to do just that little bit better than others less well endowed.[hr][/blockquote]

    There?s also evidence that gene markers in mitochondria are the cause of some neurological diseases suggesting that mitochondria play a role in determining [link=]how smart a person can be[/link]:

    [blockquote][hr] Mitochondria evolved as bacteria living symbiotically with early cells with nuclei. Most of the mitochondrial genes code for 13 of the 100 proteins involved in extracting and storing energy and in coding transfer RNAs and ribosomal RNAs needed to synthesize these proteins. The mitochondrial genome is interesting in several ways, but the critical point in the present context is that mitochondria is inherited from the cytoplasm of the egg. This explains why no heterozygotes are found for our EST00083 marker-there is only one allele, which is inherited from the mother. Mutations in mitochondrial genes are known to cause several rare diseases such as a type of optic nerve degeneration called Leber?s hereditary optic neuropathy, myoclonic epilepsy, and another disease causing seizures and muscle weakness called ragged red fiber disease (Wallace, 1992). More recently, a maternally transmitted late-onset type of diabetes combined with deafness has been traced to mitochondrial DNA (Ballinger, Shoffner, Gebhart, Koontz, & Wallace, 1994). Of greatest potential relevance is speculation that mitochondrial DNA is involved in other neurological disorders during childhood that might affect IQ (Taylor, 1992). [b]Thus, it is not inconceivable that our ESTOO083 marker might be associated with IQ.[/b][hr][/blockquote]It?s no coincidence that Lucas chose mitochondria as the model for midi-chlorians. Mitochondria are responsible for jump-starting life (the following is from a book called [link=]The Sacred Balan>
  12. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000
    Not to forget - Hercules got so frustrated with one of his mentors (Chiron) that he beat him to death with a lyre ... (for some reason they left that out of the Disney version... :) )

  13. ForceHeretic

    ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling star 4

    Dec 8, 2002
    Yea I woulda loved to see that in the cartoon
  14. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000
    Myth 1: The Birth Myth

    (I?ve already covered the miraculous birth aspect of the birth myth).

    The hero is often hidden during or after birth. The hiding place is a womb symbol, representing the womb of the universal mother (or, in a sense, Nature) in one of her many forms. It could be a cave, a grove, a stable, a water jar, or countless other forms.

    In Star Wars, the hiding of Luke & Leia is obvious.

    Ben: To protect you both from the Emperor, you were hidden from your father when you were born.

    The hiding of Anakin is not as obvious, but is implied.

    Qui-Gon: Had he been born in the Republic, we would have identified him early.

    Tatooine is the hiding place, the universal womb, for both Anakin & Luke. They are both born and hidden there.

    But there is no such thing as perfect protection. From birth, the hero faces forces of evil. This is because the hero represents only one part of the human psyche. The hero must struggle with the other (negative) aspects of the human psyche.

    The most obvious manifestation of evil that Anakin & Luke encounter on Tatooine is the Tuskens. For Anakin, there is also Sebulba and, to a lesser extent, Watto. For Luke, there is also the scum in the Mos Eisley cantina.

    Often, the hero is also given to an adoptive parent. Since the hero is a manifestation of the divine, it belongs to no-one, not even its biological parents. The hero must break from its personal ties and be given to, and accepted by, the world. Note that Anakin?s inability to let go of his biological mother is one of the major reasons why he turns to the dark side.

    Luke is adopted by Owen & Beru, while Leia is adopted by Bail Organa. Anakin is adopted by Qui-Gon (and later Obi-Wan). However, you could also argue that Anakin is first adopted by Watto. Watto is not so different from uncle Owen ? they both rely on the work of Anakin/Luke, both refuse to let Anakin/Luke leave, and both only relinquish Anakin/Luke after intervention by greater powers. They are both, at heart, a Cinderella situation.

    It is ironic that in Luke?s case, it is Anakin himself who intervenes and releases Luke from his adoptive parents. It is also ironic that Anakin (who becomes a Sith) is released by a Jedi, while Luke (who becomes a Jedi) is released by a Sith.

    Yin and yang?

    Balance ...

  15. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000
    Myth 2: Childhood & Initiation

    The child hero must confront and control the fantasies and demons of his inner-self ? in which all adults are giants, all animals and fears are monsters, and all memories are exaggerated.

    The child hero proves himself by confronting a physical force or by receiving a divine blessing. He kills the giant ? the irrational authority of the adult who would suppress him. He kills the monster or wild animal ? the monstrous and wild desires and instincts within us all. He draws the sword from the rock, proving that he is the equal of his father, who put it there. Or he performs a miracle, which indicates that the divine is within him.

    In simple terms, it represents the frustration in childhood of being constantly thwarted by adults, of being treated as a child when we know we are no longer one. We have all felt the need to prove in some way ? in athletics, in sexual conquests ? that we have crossed the threshold from childhood to youth, or youth to adulthood.

    Krishna kills a demoness and calms a storm while still an infant. Hercules kills a serpent while still an infant. Young Odysseus performs his first kill. King Arthur removes the sword from the rock. Cuchulainn (Irish) performs many tasks as a boy, as does Siegfried - and shows that even wicked deeds can mark a hero.

    Luke?s childhood is never shown, but he constantly brags about it.
    Wedge: That's impossible, even for a computer.
    Luke: It's not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-sixteen back home.

    Anakin?s childhood, on the other hand, is shown. Not only does he possess remarkable engineering skills - constructing his own droid and podracer - but also proves himself by confronting and easily defeating his own personal demon, Sebulba, winning the podrace, as well as possessing the skills of a Jedi (and thus marked by the Force, the divine).

    To get through this stage the child often requires outside assistance ? a sense of security based in a more powerful being. This is Campbell?s Wise Old Man, or Mentor. For Anakin, this is Qui-Gon, and for Luke, it is Obi-Wan.

    Again, it?s interesting that Obi-Wan plays this role for both Anakin & Luke on Tatooine, though to a lesser extent with Anakin. It?s also interesting that Obi-Wan was reluctant to accept Anakin as a Jedi (until he promised Qui-Gon), but was eager to accept Luke. Furthermore, by adopting Anakin against the wishes of the Council, out of respect for Qui-Gon, Ben shows that, like Anakin, he has also failed to overcome his personal attachments. So Master and Padawan are really not so different?

  16. Naccha

    Naccha Jedi Youngling star 3

    Oct 6, 1999
    I think Obi-Wan's eagerness to teach Luke was because he felt it was time. He and Yoda had been watching Luke for a long time. And when Artoo showed up with a hologram from Leia (Luke's sister) Obi-Wan felt it was a sign from the Force... It would be interesting to see what Luke's childhood was like. He must have had instances of using the Force, even though he had no idea what it was...
  17. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000
    Myth 3: Withdrawal and Meditation

    In these myths, the hero withdraws from the "world," usually to meditate in preparation for later trials. The withdrawal act of the great hermits ? the Buddha and Jesus etc ? is a positive act. It is a spiritual rite of passage, a rebirth of the self. When the hero withdraws into the wilderness or the mountains or the cave (the cave reminiscent of the womb-cave of the birth myth), he literally withdraws into himself and emerges later with the divinity he has found there; he emerges as a shaman, who has had direct experience of the unknown in himself.

    The Buddha withdraws and meditates under the Bo tree. Jesus, in keeping with the Oriental tradition, withdraws for a period of fasting and self-examination and, like the Buddha, is tempted by the illusory values of the world. Isaac Tens (Gitksan Indian) is typical of the primitive shaman, who withdraws and meditates to achieve communion with the divine and prepare for the trials ahead. Percival withdraws from the world and is given the gift of true knighthood. Mohammed withdraws to a cave and communes with Allah. Odysseus and Achilles withdraw from battle to prepare - however, their withdraw is more like Campbell?s refusal than a true meditation.

    Withdrawal and meditation are common in Star Wars. The Jedi order itself is based on withdrawal and meditation.

    Qui-Gon withdraws and meditates before his confrontation with Darth Maul.

    Obi-Wan withdraws and meditates (briefly) while hanging over the pit, to prepare himself for his final attack on Darth Maul.

    Luke withdraws and meditates to commune with the Force before firing the torpedo at the exhaust vent.

    Luke?s visits to Dagobah are withdrawals where Yoda teaches him meditation.

    The Rebels withdraw to plan their attack on the Death Star.

    Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, etc, withdraw and meditate in the Ewok camp to prepare for the final attack on the shield generator.

    Anakin, on the other hand, cannot withdraw and meditate without becoming distracted by the world. At the Lake Retreat on Naboo, Anakin withdraws and meditates - but he allows the world (Padme, his mother) to distract him, and abandons his withdrawal and meditation.

    On Tatooine, before searching for his mother, Anakin withdraws and meditates - but again, he allows the world (Padme) to distract him.

  18. Krede

    Krede Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 20, 2000
    Very interesting, keep 'em coming if you can.
  19. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000
    Be careful what you wish for, Krede, it might come true ... ;)
  20. Krede

    Krede Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 20, 2000
    :eek: ... I'm not afraid... ;)
  21. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000
    You will be. You WILL be ...

    Myth 4: The Quest

    In a way, the quest myth is the only myth. All other myths are part of the quest myth. The hero's whole life from birth to death is a quest, whether for an actual place or object or enlightenment. All heroes reflect man's search for the self. The birth, childhood, withdrawal, death, underworld, rebirth, and apotheosis myths are really only aspects of this central quest.

    Yet there is also the quests within the larger, all-encompassing quest myth - the particular quest or task which is just a stage or aspect of the hero's overall quest: the twelve labours of Hercules are only a part of his life-long quest; Aeneas's search for the Golden Bough, before he can descend to the underworld, is only a small quest within the larger quest ...

    The basis for them all is every human's need to define or "prove" himself - to suffer the agony of adult life, to gain its rewards, and to "make a name." The hero has established his origins, found divine destiny within himself, and now must act on that destiny. To leave the cave of meditation and embark on the quest is to move from the inner sufferings of adolescence to the active pursuits of adulthood.

    The quest of Theseus, according to Campbell, is the classic example of the hero?s quest. Theseus enters the labyrinth, finds and slays the minotaur, and escapes the labyrinth with the help of Ariadne. Theseus's quest leads to the very depths of the self, represented by the labyrinth and the monster who lurks there. It is a quest that takes on more meaning in the context of the myth of the descent to the underworld, facing death, and returning. It is also, according to Campbell, the most obvious myth reflected in Star Wars (that is, in A New Hope, which Campbell saw before he died, and praised as a modern myth).

    The Death Star is a labyrinth - specifically, the trenches that cover its surface, the corridors inside, and the tunnels and girders within the second Death Star are all variations of the labyrinth. Luke, as Theseus, enters the death star and searches through its maze of corridors. Vader is the minotaur, who lurks deep within the maze, devouring the innocent. Of course, Luke enters the labyrinth several times before he overcomes the minotaur. However, in the case of ANH, Tarkin is also a minotaur. He is just as sinister, if not more, than Vader. Luke destroys the first death star - and Tarkin with it.

    But there are other labyrinths in star wars...

    The Federation Battleship is one labyrinth. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan enter and find its minotaurs (Nute Gunray, etc), but the labyrinth's defences (threshold guardians) are too strong, and the minotaur survives ...

    The journey through the core of Naboo is another labyrinth, with several minotaurs lying in wait for the unwary.

    The podrace is also a labyrinth symbol. Anakin navigates through the maze of the Tatooine landscape and overcomes Sebulba, the race's minotaur.

    The droid control ship is a labyrinth. Anakin, still a child, enters the labyrinth and destroys its minotaur (the droids) - his major initiation act as the child hero.

    Padme & co. enter the labyrinth of the The Naboo Royal Palace, navigate the maze, and find a way to overcome the minotaurs at its heart (the throne room, just as the throne room is the heart of the death star's maze...). Of course, the minotaurs 'escape' (by escaping justice), so another trip into the maze/mind is needed. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan also enter the labyrinth of the Royal Palace and find their way to its core, where they face their own minotaur, Darth Maul.

    The speeder chase through Coruscant is an obvious labyrinth symbol. Obi-Wan and Anakin navigate the maze of the Coruscant cityscape (note the shots of Coruscant from space, like an overhead view of a hedge maze), find their minotaur, Zam, and overcome her - only to have their prize destroyed, leading Obi-Wan on another quest...

    Obi-Wan must find his way through the maze of stars (with Yoda's help) to find the lost planet, Kamino, and the minotaur (Jan
  22. Krede

    Krede Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 20, 2000
    ooh *shudders* that was cool. There sure are a lot of minotaurs in Star Wars.

    I'm amazed every time I discover some new mythological link to Star Wars. I bet that why it's so popular - because we all respond to the old themes and stories and Star Wars have the best of them all.
  23. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000
    Myth 5: Death

    The labours or quest continue, with the hero confronting physical death. For the hero, death, like birth, is miraculous or unusual. Just as his birth is definitive, so is his death. Often he is dismembered. In death the hero acts for everyone; he becomes a scapegoat for our fear and our guilt. He also serves as a reminder which we must all follow.

    These myths are part of the natural death-underworld-resurrection cycle. The hero dies a violent death ? dismembered, castrated, hung, etc ? and sometimes the death is self-inflicted. After his death, the land also begins to die. Often a woman or women (representing fertility) lament and search for the hero, because the death of the hero promises rebirth ? both for the hero, and the land. His life and death follow the natural cycle of nature:. The burial of the hero parallels the planting of seeds.

    The death of the hero is the heart of the true purpose of myth. The hero dies for us and shows that through death there is rebirth. The hero leaves behind his physical body (if only symbolically) to continue his journey as a spirit.

    Attis dies, is dismembered, and buried (to be reborn in the spring). Adonis, Aphrodite?s lover, is the Greek form of Attis: he dies, is dismembered, and is buried (to be reborn later). Tammuz (Sumerian) also dies and is buried. Osiris (Egyptian) is dismembered, castrated, and buried. And just to make a long story short, the same happens to: Demeter, Dionysus, Orpheus, Kutoyis, Wanjiru, Jesus, Odin, etc.

    The death myth is also common in Star Wars, even if the death is not always literal or as prolonged as the classic myths.

    Obi-Wan allows himself to be killed, to be cut in two, sacrificing himself for the good of society. After his death, the future seems bleak, and Luke & co. lament their loss.

    Yoda dies peacefully in his hovel, Qui-Gon is killed by Darth Maul, and Vader is killed in the Emperor?s throne room ? and then burnt on funeral pyres.

    But their journeys continue. They leave behind their physical forms and continue their journeys as spirits.

    Campbell points out Luke?s symbolic death in the first death star. In the trash compactor, Luke is dragged into the water and, despite all efforts by the others, is held underwater and appears to be dead. The water, like the cave, or the ground, is a womb symbol. Luke has died and (if momentarily) withdrawn to the underworld.

    Han also suffers a symbolic death on Bespin when he is frozen in carbonite. His ?death? is lamented by his friends, and Leia immediately sets off to find him. This very closely mirrors the story of Osiris and Isis. Set was jealous of Osiris and tricked him into getting into a casket during a party. Set then nailed the casket shut and threw it into the Nile. Isis, heartbroken, set off to find Osiris. The casket was washed ashore and become enclosed by the trunk of a tree, which was then used to build the palace of King Byblos. Isis disguised herself and entered the palace of King Byblos. Unlike Leia, Isis lived with the king for some time, raising his child. In return, he gave her the casket containing Osiris. Isis opened it, transformed into a bird, and the beating of her wings gave him the Breath of Life. But unlike Han, Osiris lived for only one day, long enough to impregnate Isis, who later gave birth to their son, Horus. Of course, that is only part of the story?

    Then, of course, there is Anakin. He endured several symbolic deaths on Geonosis at the hands of Dooku. But his most definitive death will occur in Episode 3, when Anakin dies and becomes Vader. Of course, how that happens is anyone?s guess at the moment, but the age-old rumour of him falling into lava or a molten pit has become entrenched in star wars mythology, and for good reason. Baptism in fire is just as powerful, if not more, than baptism in water. Think of the symbolic power of someone being dunked in the water (eg, Luke in the trash compactor) and then compare it with the symbolic power of the phoenix rising from the flames?

    So, in terms of Anakin, we
  24. MissPadme

    MissPadme Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 9, 1998
    This thread is fabulous!

    There's little more that I can add, except to say good work, Ozhaggis...if only TFN had more discussions like this one.

  25. TheOzhaggis

    TheOzhaggis Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 1, 2000

    Thanks, MissPadme. We aim to please.
    The reason there aren't more threads like this is because they usually die fast and painful deaths...

    Myth 6: The Underworld / Belly of the Beast

    The hero travels through the land of the dead. The hero usually needs to retrieve a loved one, to attain knowledge of destiny, or simply to complete a great task. It usually involves the hero suffering or witnessing the torments of the underworld before defeating death definitively in rebirth or resurrection. The journey is usually successful, but in the tradition of Orpheus, the loved one is found but then lost again.

    The underworld represents a return to the inner world, as well as the germinating seed, following the hero?s death and burial (representing the planting of the seed), and the return to the universal mother. It represents the inner journey of meditation, the release of the physical, material world, and the journey through the spiritual world.

    It also represents the recognition and retrieval of the previously ignored parts of the self, of travelling deep within the self, into the unconscious, to unite all aspects of the mind into a balanced self.

    Ishtar (Babylonian), Hi?iaka (Polynesian), Wanjiru (African), Dionysus (Greek), Hercules (Greek), The Young Comanche (Comanche Indian), etc, descend into the underworld to retrieve loved ones.

    However, the journey is not always into the actual underworld. Sometimes it is into a symbolic underworld, such as the belly of a monster (or, in Campbell?s terms, the Belly of The Whale).

    In the story of Kutoyis (Blackfoot Indian) the underworld is symbolised by the belly of a monster. For Jonah (Christian) and Raven (Eskimo), the underworld is symbolised by the belly of a whale. Campbell tells of Finn MacCool (Irish) being swallowed by a monster, Red Ridinghood (Germanic) being swallowed by a wolf, and Maui (Polynesian) being swallowed by his great-grandmother.

    In Star Wars, even droids enter the underworld. On his first trip to Dagobah (Episode 3 surprises aside), Artoo is swallowed by a swamp monster, and appears to have ?died.? Of course, as Luke?s alter ego, Artoo?s apparent death merely foreshadows Luke?s journey into the underworld, in this case the dark side cave, where he confronts the darkest aspects of himself.

    The Death Stars are the most obvious symbols of the underworld in Star Wars. The underworld and labyrinth are both symbols of the inner world of the mind / spirit. Just as Theseus?s journey into the labyrinth to face the minotaur is equivalent to the journey into the underworld to face Death, so too is Luke?s journey into the Death Star to face Vader.

    Another obvious symbol of the underworld is Jabba?s Palace. Several heroes enter this world of danger to rescue their loved one, Han. Like Orpheus, some fail in their attempt. Leia, like Isis, enters the palace in disguise and manages to revive her lover. However, she fails to retrieve him, forcing Luke to then enter this underworld and search for and rescue them all.

    Han, Leia, Chewie, etc, are swallowed by a monster in the asteroid field.

    Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie are ?swallowed? by the trash compactor, a mechanical monster. Luke is ?swallowed? by the monster in the trash-compactor.

    Anakin & Padme enter the fiery underworld of the droid factory, where they confront death in many forms: geonosian warriors, machinery, droids, and Jango. Threepio also enters the underworld of the droid factory. It is Artoo who enters the factory and attempts to rescue them. And although he succeeds in saving Padme from a molten death, like Orpheus, he fails to retrieve them from the underworld.

    Anakin & Obi-Wan enter the underworld of the Geonosian hangar to confront evil and death in the form of Dooku. But it falls to Yoda to follow them into the labyrinth and rescue them from Dooku.

    Episode 3 promises to have Anakin descend into the most dramatic underworld in the Star Wars saga. Of course, at this point in time, what will actually happen there is anyone?s guess ?
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