close menu
The Mythology That Inspired STAR WARS is Now Online

The Mythology That Inspired STAR WARS is Now Online

The original Star Wars told a very specific, very focused story of a farm boy leaving his humble existence behind to join a larger world of good versus evil, where he’d have to overcome great adversity and eventually become what we’d classically call a “hero.” This is obviously not a new idea, but George Lucas‘ use of it in 1977 was perfect. He owes much of that success to scholar, author, historian, and mythologist Joseph Campbell who was the first to take the entire history of myth and put it into a seminal volume, 1949’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Campbell was the first to comb through every major myth in human history and create guidelines for the archetypal hero, what they do, where they go, who they meet, almost beat for beat. The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the Rosetta Stone for creating a compelling adventure story–which is what people talk about when they say “The Hero’s Journey”–and writers ever since have been influenced by it, most famously by Lucas when he acknowledged Campbell’s influence on Star Wars.

Now, Campbell’s landmark 1988 miniseries The Power of Myth has been made available digitally for the first time ever, thanks to Kino Lorber. In it, Campbell sat down with journalist Bill Moyers to explain mythology in terms of popular culture in a series of six, hour-long episodes. Each episode dealt with a different aspect of the mythologies, characters, and themes central to world cultures and religions. The first episode, “The Hero’s Adventure,” talked extensively about Star Wars.

The complete series is available through iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo, Kino Lorber’s Alive Mind Cinema website (alivemindcinema.com) and www.PowerOfMyth.net, and the first episode is available for free via iTunes (right here!).

If you have any interest in digging into the origins of Star Wars, and truly any of our great modern myths (everything from Batman to The Lord of the Rings to any Pixar movie you’ve ever seen), The Power of Myth is an amazing resource.

Images: Lucasfilm, Kino Lorber

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

Get more nerdy news!

  • These Chewbacca costumes are what happens when you DON’T let the Wookiee win!
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story Hot Wheels toys can Kessel Run all over your home!
  • The latest Solo trailer shows the very moment when Han met Lando!

An Official Statement from Nerdist

An Official Statement from Nerdist

article
What Happened in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR After the Snap

What Happened in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR After the Snap

article
ANNIHILATION's 'Shimmer' and Ending Explained

ANNIHILATION's 'Shimmer' and Ending Explained

article