By: Bryan Ricardo Marini Quintana
Anthropology Reinforcing Mythology
Through Mythology, George Lucas crafted the story that these background elements revolved around. At the forefront, is the character of Anakin Skywalker who begins The Family Tragedy by falling to the temptation of the Dark Side. As this protagonist symbolizes the antithesis of The Hero’s Journey, in which he doesn’t become and fulfill Destiny, but rather is undone and damns existence. Discovered by the Jedi, Anakin Skywalker trains in the ways of the Light Side of the Force, being foreseen as a prophesied hero who will bring balance by defeating the Sith. However, the chosen one constantly falls into temptation by allowing his impulsiveness to control him across the journey, growing closer with the Dark Side and drifting from the Light Side. Summarizing his journey, in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999), Master Yoda says: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” In The Prequel Trilogy, Anakin Skywalker never learns to let go of those he loves and doesn’t recognize or correct his failings. Most worrying is the absence of a father figure to call out Anakin Skywalker’s mistakes, as the chosen one ultimately proves to be the Jedi’s demise. By the end of his story, Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, a Sith who commits sin and gives himself to the servitude of the vile Darth Sidious.
Afterward, The Family Tragedy continues with Luke Skywalker, who learns the ways of the Light Side of the Force and becomes a Jedi Knight, being the direct embodiment of The Hero’s Journey who fulfills Destiny. Although Luke Skywalker shows identical traits as his father, such as impulsiveness, recklessness and a neglect to let go of those he loves, after trials and tribulations the protagonist acknowledges and corrects his failings. In The Original Trilogy, the protagonist inherits the sin of his father and trains to become a Jedi who carries the burden of responsibility, saving the galaxy. Consequently, Luke Skywalker lives in a galaxy ruled by the tyrannical Galactic Empire, which rose to power when the democratic Galactic Republic was overthrown by his father. Guiding him is the mentor figure who calls out his failings, with Master Yoda providing lessons to avoid losing the hero to temptation. In the crucial training of Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi, the old master teaches him words of wisdom to break the reality of the hero and point out his mistakes. Establishing the core tenets of the Jedi in a simplified manner, in Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Master Yoda says: “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” Gifting him an insight into the religious creed of the Jedi, the old master ensures that the hero will not easily give in to his impulses and fall prey to the tempting acquisition of power. Alongside, as Master Yoda shows his abilities with the Force, Luke Skywalker lies mesmerized, not believing what he’s witnessing. To this denial and lack of faith within the hero, in Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Master Yoda responds: “That is why you fail.” Here, the Jedi Master demolishes the reality of the hero, by pointing out how his lack of faith in himself and the will of the Force are a grave mistake that will lead to his undoing. Thereafter, in Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Master Yoda instructs: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” With these pivotal words of wisdom, the old master demands Luke Skywalker to pledge himself wholly to embarking on The Hero’s Journey to surpass the challenges ahead. Finding purpose, the hero is devoted to the completion of his training, becoming a Jedi Knight who believes in himself and the will of the Force. In the end, Luke Skywalker fulfills Destiny by rejecting the temptation of the Dark Side and redeeming his father, with Darth Vader overthrowing The Emperor, saving his son and the galaxy, as both complete The Mythical Hero’s Journey.