Modern Culture04 Dec 2008 12:11 pm
A new edition of The Intellectual Devotional, this time with a focus on Modern Culture, is now in stores! (Click here to order your copy.) As well as continuing to expand on posts from the General Edition, “The Devoted Intellect” blog will introduce and expand on material from the Modern Culture devotional. Today’s entry on Star Wars is from the “Film” section.
When George Lucas set out to make Star Wars, he wanted to make the ideal heroic epic. He had many sources of inspiration, including the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s film Yojimbo, but perhaps the most important was a work that purported to lay bare the basic story from which every heroic epic is drawn: The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell.
What Campbell did was compare hero myths from around the world, most of which were developed independently of each other, and found striking consistencies among them. In fact, he found a format so universal and simple, that he was able to summarize it in a single sentence:
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.
This sound familiar to fans of the Star Wars saga, but if Campbell is write, it should apply to thousands of other stories as well.
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