A Hero's Journey

February 24, 2017

I would have never guessed that Star Wars had anything to do with mythology, but believe it or not, it does. Star Wars was written by George Lucas who used Joseph Campbell's monomyth. Joseph Campbell's monomyth is a hero’s journey. It shows twenty seven stages that the hero could go through. Luke Skywalker, Perseus, and Theseus all have these stages in their incredible journeys. So that leads me to the point, which is distinguishing between the journeys, and the characters themselves, which are Luke Skywalker, Perseus, and Theseus.

   

Star Wars and the “Perseus” myth have many similarities when it comes to their stages of the hero’s journey. The first of these similarities would be the Talisman. The Talisman stage is about a particular item that has special significance to the hero. In Star Wars, Luke’s Talisman is his Jedi lightsaber that he uses to fight the stormtroopers and his dad Darth Vader. In the “Perseus” myth, Perseus has multiple Talisman items. He has Hades’s helmet of invisibility, the leather bag, the shield, and later on, the head of the Gorgon Medusa. Medusa’s head was most valuable to him because he used it to turn his enemies to stone. The second similar stage is the Supernatural Aid. The Supernatural Aid stage is about who or what helps the hero on his journey. In Star Wars, the Supernatural Aid is the force. It is the force because it is a type of mysterious power that Jedi use. Luke uses it to move objects and to help him sense things. In the “Perseus” myth, the Supernatural Aid is Zeus, who has Athena and Hermes make sure Perseus would succeed. The reason they are the Supernatural Aid is because they are gods, and have extraordinary powers. Athena and Hermes helped Perseus by giving him items to use and by guiding him through the challenge. The third similarity would be the Master of Two Worlds stage. The Masters of Two Worlds stage is about the hero conquering life in both the familiar and unfamiliar worlds. In Star Wars, Luke does master both the familiar world when he returns to Tatooine to save Han Solo then escapes while destroying Jabba the Hutt and his men. Luke mastered the unfamiliar world by destroying the Death Star battleship, defeating his dad while turning him good, and by his actions that lead the Emperor to his death. In the “Perseus” myth, Perseus conquers the familiar world by going back to his home at Argos and killing King Polydectes by using Medusa’s head to turn him to stone. He conquers the unfamiliar world by killing Medusa and then using her head to turn the titan Atlas, Phineas, and King Polydectes to stone.

   

The Star Wars and the “Theseus” myth have also have lots of similarities when it comes to the stages of the hero’s journey. The first similarity of Star Wars and the “Theseus” myth is the Ritual Death or Dismemberment stage. The Ritual Death or Dismemberment stage is about the hero being thought to be dead or injured, also if the hero thinks someone close to him is maybe dead, and if the hero suffers from an injury in which he loses a limb. In Star Wars, Luke is thought to be dead by the rebel troops, Han, Leia, and the droids when he gets taken by a Wampa and in extremely cold temperature. Luke escapes from the Wampa and then later Han later finds him and saves him. In the “Theseus” myth, Theseus is thought to be dead by his father when Theseus forgot to change the black sails to white to show he had survived the labyrinth. His dad then thought he was dead so he jumped off the castle balcony and died. The second similarity of Star Wars and the “Theseus” myth is Entering the Belly of the Whale stage. The Entering the Belly of the Whale stage is some point in the story where the hero must face his deepest fear or the darkest evil in the story. In Star Wars, Luke enter the belly of the whale when he falls in the carbon freeze and starts his first fight with his dad Darth Vader. He also enters it when he destroys the Death Star, and when trying to turn his dad good, while facing the Emperor. In the “Theseus” myth, Theseus enters the belly of the whale when he enters the labyrinth and kills the minotaur that was being kept there. The third similarity between Star Wars and the “Theseus” myth is Atonement With or Recognition by the Father which is if the hero is reunited with his father in some way. In Star Wars, Luke is reunited with his father Darth Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father, and tries to get him to join the darkside of the force. In the “Theseus” myth, Theseus is finally introduced to his father King Aegeus. He gets to his father’s castle after defeating lots of bandits and other terrible people that he encounters on the way. The king was going to poison him until he recognized the sword that used to be his.

 

Even though there were lots of similarities in Star Wars and the “Perseus” myth is the Brother Battle stage. The Brother Battle stage is about the hero battling physically or mentally with someone who is a relative or a close friend. In Star Wars, Luke does experience this stage when battles his dad Darth Vader for the first time at Cloud City, and when he battles his dad again at the second Death Star. In the “Perseus” myth, Perseus never encounters the Brother Battle stage because he never fights anyone close to him. The second difference in Star Wars, and the “Perseus” myth is the Magic Flight/Pursuit stage. The Magic Flight/Pursuit stage is about a point in the story where the hero is being chased or trying to escape something. In Star Wars, Luke was chased by the explosion of the second Death Star and barely escapes. Luke also escapes from Jabba the Hutt along with his friends. Luke was also chased by his dad Darth Vader through Luke’s entire journey. In the “Perseus” myth, Perseus does not get chased or has to escape anything. He just got the job done and went back home. The third difference in Star Wars and the “Perseus” myth is the Rescue from Without stage. The Rescue from Without stage is about a point in the story when everything seems to be hopeless, and when it looks like the hero might die but is rescued unexpectedly. In Star Wars, Luke is being defeated by the Emperor. The Emperor has Luke on the floor, using electricity to electrocute him and it seems Luke will die. Then unexpectedly, Luke’s dad Darth Vader jumps up, picks up the Emperor, and throws him off the balcony which kills him. So that saved Luke’s life when all was hopeless. On the other hand, in the “Perseus” myth, Perseus does not have a Rescue from Without  stage. He never was expected to die, or there was not a hopeless part either

 

There are also many differences in the stages of the hero's journey in Star Wars, and the “Theseus” myth. The first difference in Star Wars and the “Theseus” myth is the Refusal of the Call stage. Refusal of the Call  means the hero accepting the call immediately or not. In Star Wars, Luke has this stage because he tells Obi-Wan Kenobi that he will not go because he needs to stay and work on his aunt and uncle’s farm. In the “Theseus” myth, Theseus does not have this stage because he is the one who volunteered for the journey himself. The second difference in Star Wars and the “Theseus” myth is the  Threshold guardians stage. Threshold Guardians are characters that try to prevent the hero from crossing to the unfamiliar territory or a circumstance. In Star Wars, Luke faces the stormtroopers who tried to stop the him through his entire journey. Also, the Empire's battleship got in the way and tries to stop Luke and his friends also. However, in the “Theseus” myth, Theseus never had the Threshold Guardians stage because there is not anything in his way to stop him from completing his journey. The third difference in Star Wars, and the “Theseus” myth is the Abduction stage. The Abduction stage is when the character is kidnapped or when someone close to the hero is kidnapped. In Star Wars, Luke is kidnapped by a Wampa and is being held upside down but escapes. On the Contrary, in the “Theseus” myth, Theseus is never kidnapped or there is not anyone close to him that is kidnapped.

   

There are also similarities and differences between the characters Luke Skywalker and Perseus. One of the similarities between Luke and Perseus is that neither of them show excessive pride. When they accomplished their journey, they did not go around expecting to be treated like kings or gods. The second similarity between the characters Luke Skywalker and Perseus is that they both went on their own journey to help a certain cause. Luke went on the journey after his aunt and uncle were killed so he could defend them and also so he could stop the Empire to help the lives of everyone in the galaxy. Perseus went on his journey because King Polydectes was going to marry Perseus's mom and Perseus volunteered because he was poor and could not afford to get them a wedding gift. He also returns and saves his mom by turning the king to stone. One of the differences between the characters Luke and Perseus is that Luke had to overcome the temptation of turning evil. Luke resists every time the Emperor tries to turn him. Perseus does not have to resist because there is not a person trying to make him turn evil. The second difference between the characters Luke and Perseus is the amount of time it took them to complete their journeys. Luke took years to finally complete his journey while Perseus completed his in a matter of a few days.

Just like there were similarities and differences in Luke’s and Perseus’s journeys, there are also similarities and differences in Luke’s and Theseus’s journeys. One of those similarities between Luke and Theseus is that they both complete their long hard journeys for peace.. Luke stops the Empire and gives peace to the galaxy, and Theseus defeats the Minotaur which gives him peace to the Athenians that had to be sacrificed there. The Second similarity is how little help they had at the end of their journeys. When Luke is being told by the Emperor to turn bad, he resisted by himself, and also when he fought his dad Darth Vader, he did not have help either. Theseus fights the Minotaur and kills it by himself without assistance then leads Athenians out of the labyrinth. One of the differences between the characters Luke and Theseus is worship. Luke accomplished a lot in his journey but does not expect worship or start to show greed. Theseus on the other hand gets worshiped by the people of Athens and is appointed the king. The second difference between Luke and Theseus is their powers. Luke has the ability to use the force which is like an energy field that he use to move and sense things. Theseus does not have a special a special power that is like the force. All Theseus has to use on his journey and in the battle is his sword, strength, and intelligence.

   

As I said before, I never would have guessed Star Wars had anything to do with mythology but had to come to that conclusion. I hope after reading this, you will see that it is true. The stages in Star Wars, the :Perseus myth, and the “Theseus” myth had many similarities and differences but I shared three of them for each pair. The stages similar to Star Wars and the “Perseus” myth were Talisman, Supernatural Aid, and the Masters of the Two Worlds.  The similarities for Star Wars and the “Theseus “ myth are Ritual Death or Dismemberment, Entering the Belly of the Whale, and Atonement. The differences for Star Wars, and the “Perseus myth are Brother Battle, Magic Flight/Pursuit, and Rescue from Without. The differences for Star Wars and the “Theseus” myth are Refusal of the Call, Threshold Guardians, and Abduction. There are also similarities and differences between the characters themselves, and I gave two similarities and two differences. For Luke and Perseus the similarities are showing excessive pride and that they went on their journey for a specific cause. The differences for Luke and Perseus are that Luke having to overcome the temptation of the dark side, and the amount of time it took them to complete their journeys. Luke and Theseus also had similarities and differences. The similarities for Luke and Theseus are that they both complete their hard journeys and the little amount of help they have at the end of the journey. The differences for Luke and Theseus are worship, and their powers or abilities. So, if you had doubts that Star Wars was related to mythology, so hopefully they are resolved now.






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daytonfelber16This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 28 at 8:15 pm
I am sorry about all of the grammar mistakes. I am kind of new at writing articles so I am still learning my share of grammar.
 
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