The story of an archetypal hero has been told and written various times throughout history by unique and unrelated cultures. We have all heard the story about “Superman,” “Indiana Jones,” and other stories of an archetypal hero. What makes these stories alike? Joseph Campbell defines an archetypal hero in his book “The Hero With A Thousand Faces.” The archetypal hero starts out having a normal life. Suddenly his/her normal lifestyle is disrupted by a tragedy in which he/she must set off on an adventure to achieve a goal for survival. The hero ends up living happily ever after accomplishing his/her goal and takes home a prize which the hero deeply values. An archetypal hero is seen in George Lucas’ epic film “Star Wars” as “Luke Skywalker.”
Luke Skywalker is the son of a “Jedi Knight” by the name of Anikin Skywalker (also known as “Darth Vador”) who abandons his morality and turns to “The Dark Side.” Luke is given to the care of his uncle and lives a normal life until his guardians are murdered by Darth Vader. He runs into a friend of his fathers known as “Ben Kanobi” who knew Anikin Skywalker when he was a good Jedi Knight and is also a Kedi Knight.
Ben and Luke set off on a journey to save the universe from Darth Vador and destroy his home planet the “Death Star” named so because of its power to completely obliterate entire planets. Ben and Luke hire a pilot to fly them to the distant Death Star where they plan to rescue a princess. Luke is almost killed but he escapes the danger, however Ben is killed by Darth Vador in the process. Luke and his pilot rescue the princess and take her to her home planet where she organizes a fleet of star ships to destroy the Death Star.
The fleet of star ships arrives at the Death Star and about ¾ if the fleet is personally destroyed by Darth Vader himself. Only Luke Skywalker is left when he shots at a weak whole in the Death Star and completely obliterates it. After temporarily defeating his enemy he sets off to return the princess to her home planet and receive a reward for his bravery. He becomes a prince by marrying the princes and lives happily ever after.
You can clearly see that Luke Skywalker easily completes his role as an archetypal hero for three reasons. He was a normal kid with a normal life until his parents died. He sets out on a journey to try and save a princess and a whole planet. He succeeds in accomplishing his goal and ends up living happily ever after in marriage with the princess. Star Wars is clearly a tale about an archetypal hero according to Joseph Campbell.
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