If you're just joining us, check out the intro here, PART 1 here, PART 2 here, PART 3 here and PART 4 here.


And now for the Grande Finale!!!

Let’s go scene by scene and break down how each of the Star Wars Trilogy plays out every step of the classic Hero's Journey myth.

Act 1- “Departure” – Episodes IV, III, and VII

This is the hero first learning of the world beyond their experience. They have to leave their comfort zone for the first time and begin to acquire the tools or skills they will need to complete the journey.

​1 The Call to Adventure

“The hero begins in a situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.” - Campbell

IV: “You must learn of the force if you are to travel with me to Alderaan” (33 min)

III: ANAKIN: “Is it possible to learn this?” PALPATINE: “Not from a Jedi” (47 min)

VII: “Luke Skywalker? I though he was a myth” (28 min)

2 Refusal of the Call

"Often when the call is given, the future hero first refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his current circumstances." - Campbell

IV: “Luke, don’t go, it’s too dangerous!” (Luke runs back home)

III: “Master, I’ve disappointed you… I apologize.”

VII: “I’ve got to go back to Jakku”

3 Supernatural Aid

"Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears or becomes known." - Campbell

[These scenes each take place 10-15 minutes after the “Call to Adventure”]

IV: “I want to learn the ways of The Force and become a Jedi like my father.”

III: “My mentor taught me everything about The Force, even the nature of the dark side.”

VII: “It's true. The Force, the Jedi, all of it. It's all true.”

4 Arriving at the First Threshold

“This is the point where the hero actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are unknown.” - Campbell

​[These scenes each take place 30 minutes after the “Call to Adventure”]

IV: “You’ve taken your first step into a larger world”

III: “You shall be known as Darth Vader”

VII: “It calls to you”

5 Belly of the Whale

“The belly of the whale represents the hero's complete separation from his old world. Here he demonstrates he is ready for the metamorphosis. Entering the stage is often dangerous or frustrating for the hero.” - Campbell

IV: Tractor beam pulls Millennium Falcon into Death Star

III: Vader attacks the Jedi temple

VII: Rey abducted by Kylo

6. The Threshold Guardian

Before the hero is allowed to cross into the mystery realm he is challenged by the guardian of the realm. In order to actually cross the threshold, the hero will have to leave their first mentor behind. The mentor cannot take them on the next part of the journey - self-discovery.

​​[These scenes each take place 33 minutes from the end]

IV: Obi-Wan faces Vader

III: Vader faces Obi-Wan

VII: Kylo Ren faces Han Solo


Act 2 - “Initiation” – Episodes V, II, and VIII​

The Hero descends into the magical realm - the world of shadow and mystery. There is darkness and dramatic subterfuge representing a process of self-discovery and growth. Often the hero will literally fall or go somewhere underground (representing the unconscous mind). There they face their ultimate nemesis: themselves.

7 The Road of Trials

“The road of trials is a series of tests that the hero must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the hero fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes. Eventually the hero will overcome these trials and move on to the next step.” - Campbell

V: 1. Hoth/2. Asteroid field/3. Yoda refuses to train Luke ("Too old")

II: 1. Assassination attempt/2. Obi-Wan to Kamino/3. Padme refuses Anakin ("Don't look at me like that")

VIII: 1. Dreadnaught/2. Canto Beit/3. Luke’s refuses to train Rey ("It's time for the Jedi to end")

8 The Meeting with the Goddess

“This is where the hero gains items given to him that will help him in the future.” - Campbell

V: First lessons

II: Kiss on Naboo

VIII: First lessons

9 Atonement with the Father/Abyss

"In this step the hero must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving into this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power." - Campbell

[These scenes all take place exactly half-way through the film]

V: Magic Tree

II: Tuskan hut

VIII: Magic Cave

10 Apotheosis

“This is the point of realization in which a greater understanding is achieved. Armed with this new knowledge and perception, the hero is resolved and ready for the more difficult part of the adventure.” - Campbell