Jef Rouner of the San Francisco Chronicle has offered readers recommendations on films to watch in 2021 to celebrate Star Wars Day, May 4. Rouner highlights Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth (1988) as a top choice. Rouner states:
“When it comes to nonfictional influences on Lucas, none looms larger than mythology Professor Joseph Campbell and his book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” Drawing on the vast wealth of Western mythological stories, Campbell created what we now call the “Hero’s Journey.” It has become a template for virtually every Disney film you have ever seen, and Luke Skywalker is such a perfect example of it that later editions of the book would even have the character on the cover.
Lucas himself got to help bring Campbell’s work to a more mainstream audience by hosting the PBS docuseries “The Power of Myth” at Skywalker Ranch. Over six episodes, Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers discuss the various ways myths shape human history and understanding. Talks range from the burgeoning world of computers to animal spiritualism, with the first episode specifically going into how “Star Wars” relates to mythology. Nothing teaches how to craft a great story quite like exploring why tales that have endured for millennia mean something to us.”
To read Rouner’s complete article, click here.