Exploring Star Wars and the Hero's Journey

Learn how to craft an incredible story by exploring Star Wars and the hero's journey. Includes a helpful infographic of how the hero's journey plays out in A New Hope.
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Learn how to craft an incredible story by exploring Star Wars and the hero's journey. Includes a helpful infographic of how the hero's journey plays out in A New Hope.

“In the three decades since I discovered The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it has continued to fascinate and inspire me. Joseph Campbell peers through centuries and shows us that we are all connected by a basic need to hear stories and understand ourselves. As a book, it is wonderful to read; as illumination into the human condition, it is a revelation.”

—George Lucas

All stories have beginnings, middles, and ends, and the hero’s journey is no exception. The hero’s journey—like the journey of life itself—is made up of three acts, and each act is made up of the steps of the journey the hero must make—a journey that will change him irrevocably and bring him to wholeness.

Let’s take a look at how the hero’s journey manifests in Star Wars: A New Hope.

HerosJourney_TW

Download a printable version of this infographic.

Act One (Beginning)

The Status Quo: Luke Skywalker is bored at home on the farm with his aunt and uncle.

1.1_StatusQuo

The Catalyst: Luke finds a message from the kidnapped Princess Leia.

1.2_TheCatalyst

Denial & Encounter With the Guru: Luke meets Ben, a.k.a. Obi-Wan, but refuses his offer to train as a Jedi knight.

1.3_AcceptanceAndAction

Acceptance and Action: Stormtroopers kill Luke’s family, and he begins his training as a Jedi knight.

1.4_DenialAndEncounter

Act Two (Middle)

Trials and Tribulations, Friends and Foes: Luke travels with Obi-Wan, C-3PO, and R2-D2 to the cantina and meets Han Solo and Chewbacca.

2.1_TrialsAndTribulations

The Edge of the Abyss: Luke and the team board the Death Star to save the princess.

2.2_EdgeOfAbyss

The Plunge: Luke encounters a series of ordeals including the monster in the sewage, the collapsing trash room, attacking stormtroopers, and so on.

2.3_ThePlunge

The Payoff: Luke saves the princess.

2.4_ThePayoff

Act Three (End)

The Way Through: Luke and company evade Darth Vader and go home to prepare for the attack on the Death Star.

3.1_WayThrough

The True Test: Luke uses the Force to destroy the Death Star.

3.2_TrueTest

Return to the New Normal: Luke comes home to a hero’s welcome.

3.3_ReturnToNewNormal

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