Star Wars is likely to be probably the most unoriginal, finest story ever informed.
All the things from the plot to the setting to the principle character’s identify comes from someplace else. And, in consequence, the world George Lucas imagined immediately grew to become a contemporary delusion that is still as timeless immediately because it was 50 years in the past. However above all the things else he copied and stole, the perfect thought Lucas ever borrowed was the Hero’s Journey, a idea of storytelling laid out by mythologist and creator Joseph Campbell.
George Lucas has by no means been shy concerning the affect that Joseph Campbell had on his work. The Energy of Fantasy, a 1988 documentary that includes conversations between Campbell and journalist Invoice Moyers, was largely filmed on Skywalker Ranch and options clips from Star Wars as an instance its concepts. However the hero’s journey can be evident within the story of Star Wars itself.
Star Wars has used Campbell’s 17-step template from the start. Luke Skywalker had his hero’s journey, and Rey’s story within the sequel trilogy was arguably extra trustworthy to the method than the unique movies. (The prequels are the exception, depicting Anakin’s “Villain’s Journey” and fall from grace)
Over the course of their tales, Rey and Luke begin off with a really mundane establishment – Luke’s a moisture farmer’s nephew, Rey’s a scavenger. Then, out of nowhere, they’re thrust into a wierd new world, one solely they’ve the ability to save lots of. By way of a supernatural present (the Power, lightsabers, and many others) they’re capable of understand the true extent of their talents, even when all appears misplaced.
However on the earth of Star Wars streaming tv, the format may be very totally different. The Mandalorian’s “house western” inspiration led the cost, and The Guide of Boba Fett was unable to interrupt free from that sample. Nonetheless, Obi-Wan Kenobi has already damaged Mando’s mould with a plot that would very properly grow to be the brand new gold normal for the Hero’s Journey in Star Wars.
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Hero’s Journey
Although we’ve solely seen the primary third of the sequence, Obi-Wan Kenobi already matches up completely with the Hero’s Journey.
The method begins with a name to journey, which occurs for Obi-Wan Kenobi twice: as soon as, when Jedi-in-hiding Nari asks him for cover from the evil Inquisitors, and once more when Bail Organa calls on Obi-Wan to rescue a kidnapped Leia. Why had been there two calls to journey? That’s because of the second step within the Hero’s Journey – the refusal of the decision.
Obi-Wan doesn’t assist Nari, and he sees the results of his actions later when the Inquisitors homicide the youthful Jedi. It’s this emotional second that makes Kenobi rethink his mission and understand staying quiet is doing the world extra hurt than good.
So he accepts the decision, which brings us to the third step. As quickly as Obi-Wan begins his mission, he mounts his eopie and rides into the Dune Sea and digs up his lightsaber. That is the Supernatural Support step, which normally includes the present of a magical object. Whereas his lightsaber isn’t new, it’s a present he’s permitting himself to wield. (As a bonus, Obi-Wan additionally digs up the saber that may function Luke’s supernatural help years later.)
In Episode 2, we principally see the subsequent step of the Hero’s Journey: the crossing of the brink. Kenobi leaves his self-exile and is shoved right into a seedy underworld. Evidently, he’s very overwhelmed and a bit rusty at being a Jedi.
Within the final moments of Obi-Wan Kenobi, our hero finds himself one other essential step of the Hero’s Journey: the stomach of the whale. This step represents the ultimate moments earlier than the hero is immersed in an unknown world. For Obi-Wan, that is when he permits himself to make use of the Power to save lots of Leia. He’s fully thrown away all his convictions from the beginning of the sequence. He’s now not forbidding himself from meddling within the Empire or utilizing his Power powers.
The way forward for Star Wars TV?
So what does this imply for the way forward for Obi-Wan Kenobi? Properly, you needn’t look any additional than the remainder of Joseph Cambell’s hero’s journey. We’ll see him on a street of trials, culminating in a closing confrontation with… properly, there’s a fairly clear candidate for who that shall be.
And we all know we’ll have a return to the traditional, as that’s the place we met Ben Kenobi within the first place. However is that this format a brand new regular for Star Wars? If this sequence maintains the constructive response we’ve seen to date, it might simply set a brand new pattern in storytelling for the upcoming Disney+ reveals. Ahsoka’s already had a semi-complete Hero’s Journey in The Clone Wars animated sequence, however her seek for Ezra Bridger in Ahsoka might be her probability to actually delve into the unknown and understand simply how highly effective she is.
Even future sequence that is probably not tailored for Campbell’s archetypes may use it. We all know Cassian Andor’s big sacrifice isn’t till Rogue One, however his new sequence Andor may reveal how he grew to become so selfless. Skeleton Crew gained’t have only one protagonist, nevertheless it’s completely doable for a narrative to have a four-person Hero’s Journey. Even The Acolyte, which follows a younger Sith, may present us a warped anti-hero model of the cycle, of somebody coming into their full energy as a Sith.
Simply as there may be all the time room for extra heroes within the Star Wars universe, there’s all the time room for extra Hero’s Journeys. Hopefully, Obi-Wan Kenobi (re)establishes the precedent, and future reveals will borrow what George Lucas additionally borrowed.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is streaming now on Disney+.