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Star Wars - The Legacy Revealed

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Published on Nov 13, 2012

The first main subject of the special discusses the origins of films as they were written in the early 1970s, during a time of political upheaval and social unrest. When Star Wars was released it reaffirmed the notion that there is such a thing as good versus evil and evil must be defeated. The films made use of Joseph Campbell's model of the hero's journey as discussed in the book The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
In Star Wars, two characters embark on the hero's journey, Anakin Skywalker and his son Luke. Luke starts out as a nobody much like Dorothy, Harry Potter, and King Arthur, and what he needs is a call to adventure. Luke would reject the call as did Moses, but after the violent murder of his aunt and uncle he resolves to go. The Cantina scene is what Joseph Campbell referred to as the threshold crossing, meaning that you're no longer at home and your journey will be a dangerous one.
Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Qui-Gon Jinn represent the importance of the hero's need for a mentor. They discuss the etymology of the word mentor, coming from the name of Mentor, who watched over Odysseus's son Telemachus. It says that a key element to the mentor is that they give the hero a gift. In Luke Skywalker's case, it is Obi-Wan giving him a lightsaber. The hero gives his life to stop evil. The importance of the Force is another topic, saying that any religious background can associate, and it is basically believing in something higher, and that everything has a purpose. The mentor cannot stay forever, and it is crucial that they do not stay to help. Yet, the mentor is still within. This is shown by Obi-Wan's downfall in the hands of Darth Vader, but Obi-Wan is still there inside of Luke.
The hero relies on the friendship of others. The show includes comparing Jabba the Hutt to a dragon, where he steals the damsel in distress. The planet of Naboo is spoken of in reference of Nabu, the Queen of Wisdom in Babylon. Padmé Amidala, who is from Naboo (pronounced the same as the God), is also said to be "the Queen of Wisdom". Luke and Leia are said to be like Apollo and Artemis.
Another large portion of the special was focused on Han Solo. Han Solo's name represents him, Solo meaning "one". He is looked at like a western outlaw because he personifies independence, self-reliance, and depends on no one but himself. In some parts of the Star Wars saga, it might seem like a Wild West town, where no one cares what happens as long as it is cleaned up. Tom Brokaw describes the series as a "Western in the future".
There is one part that discusses the need for companions and faithful followers. The comic relief of Star Wars is R2-D2 and C-3PO. The two robots are compared to Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy. Jar Jar Binks, the childlike innocent, grows up throughout the films and gains responsibility, allowing for children to connect to him.
The journey of a hero is also of large importance. The hero must undergo tests that will make him stronger, sometimes having to face their worst fears or confront their nightmares. The extent to which Lucas used ideas from mythologist Joseph Campbell is discussed by Jonathan Young of the Campbell Archives.
For every hero, it says, there must be a villain. Darth Vader is portrayed as the ruthless enforcer. Confronting the villain is a critical part of the hero's journey. The show says that there is a dramatic regard and excitement to choosing evil over good. When Palpatine tempts Anakin with power, it is like the serpent tempting Eve with the apple. When Anakin succumbs to the Dark Side, it is like the man who sells his soul to the devil. This is also compared to John Milton's Paradise Lost, where Lucifer, a good Angel, wages war on Heaven and is cast out, forcing him to his own place in Hell. The battle on Mustafar symbolises an apocalyptic atmosphere and mirrors Anakin internally. When he has no humanity left and becomes the mechanical monster of Darth Vader, it is said to be like Frankenstein's Monster.

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