Cookie Warning

Warning: This blog may contain cookies. Just as cookies fresh out of the oven may burn your mouth, electronic cookies can harm your computer. Visit all kitchens and blogs (yes, including this one) with care.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Jeremiah & George Lucas: Part 1

Joseph Campbell had a great dream. He yearned to study all the great literature of the ancients, those stories that had been passed down throughout the centuries, both in oral and written forms, and not lost to history. He compared all these great stories that he read, and created the philosophy of the Monomyth, or The Hero's Journey. He not only preached this philosophy to others, but he wrote about it in books such as The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Filmmaker George Lucas & actor Mark Hamill,
who played his character Luke Skywalker,
on the cover of J. W. Rinzler's authoritative book,
The Making of Star Wars.

In the 1970s, a young filmmaker named George Lucas was writing a screenplay. He wanted to make a science fantasy to honor the epic sagas he grew up with, like Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon comic strip, and Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars novels. Plot wasn't that important to Lucas; what mattered was that he got the characters right. In The Making of Star Wars, author J. W. Rinzler provides an insight into Lucas' approach to writing his screenplay. 

"I spent about a year reading lots of fairy tales--and that's when it starts to move away from [asian filmmaker Akira] Kurosawa and toward Joe Campbell," Lucas says. "About the time I was doing the third draft I read The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and I started to realize I was following those rules unconsciously. So I said, "I'll make [my story] fit more into that classic mold."

A photo of Lucas' character
Luke Skywalker adorns the bottom of
Joseph Campbell's book.

Lucas went on to do just that, refining his characters and story to best embody the archetypes and structure Campbell felt crucial to his Monomyth. Needless to say, his film became one of the most successful and influential films in history. "Star Wars" has seeped into our culture, and characters like Luke Skywalker are household words around the world. So, assuming you're familiar with the film, the question becomes, if Jeremiah represents some crucial aspect of The Hero's Journey, which character in "Star Wars" might best embody the prophet Jeremiah?

Who do you think might best fulfill that role?

Dragon Dave

No comments:

Post a Comment