Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been a record-smashing box office success, a reinvigoration of the movie side of franchise for longtime fans, a launching point for new fans of all ages – and the origin story of a fan-favorite new character in Star Wars, Rey. The film’s plot structure and protagonist’s character arc also provide an excellent touchstone for examining one of the iconic features in discussions of storytelling: the Hero’s Journey.
In this special edition of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay use the prominent Hero’s Journey frameworks by academic Joseph Campbell and screenwriting consultant Christopher Vogler to analyze the elements of Rey’s progression from Jakku scavenger to Jedi apprentice over the course of The Force Awakens. Along the way they compare Rey’s story to other well-known examples of the Hero’s Journey, including Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen, and Dorothy Gale. This episode will appeal to fans of Star Wars intrigued by the deep storytelling themes in The Force Awakens, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the Hero’s Journey in modern storytelling.
For more on this topic, be sure not to miss B.J.’s post at FANgirl Blog, Rey’s Heroic Journey in The Force Awakens.
- Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces
- Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
- FANgirl Blog series on the Heroine’s Journey
- Entertainment Weekly interview with J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, and Michael Arndt on creating The Force Awakens story
- Daily Dot interviews with Matthew Wood and David Acord on The Force Awakens sound design