The once there was a galaxy far far away where one man had to learn about becoming a hero and finding himself through his journey. You may know of this story because there was a clue in the first sentence. Yes, this is the story of Luke Skywalker and his journey to become a Jedi knight. However, you may not realize that during the filming of Star Wars IV, the director worked very closely with Joseph Campbell. What is a mythologist doing on the set of one of the greatest science fiction of all time? Well Luke experiences what Campbell calls the Monomyth Cycle, during the movie.
While Luke followed this path there were some relevant parts of the cycle that defined him the most. When he crosses the threshold into his 2nd world, Luke finds himself lost in a new world. During his road of trials, Luke finds his purpose through the tasks he must perform. Lastly, Luke’s efforts to join the Dark side are being planned to ruin the universe’s hopes of freedom. Crossing the threshold is when the hero first crosses into the second world, which is unknown to him. Luke is seen here as a man who left his friends in hopes of completing his mission to become a Jedi knight.
He leaves the ice planet of Hoth and leaves for Degoba where he is to meet the great Jedi master Yoda and learn from him. This step according the Campbell is to be very rocky transition into the hero’s new world. And likewise, Luke crash lands on the unknown planet of Degoba and at first sight the planet is a dense forest with unknown creatures. Immediately after he lands and dismounts from his ship, R2-D2 is eaten by a sea monster but soon returned to Luke. While trying to fix R2 Luke first a weird green alien, who helps Luke find shelter in his hut.
Luke urges the alien that he must meet with master Yoda and finds that the alien is actually Yoda. Immediately Luke feels he is ready to become a Jedi but Yoda informs Luke that his father was reckless and he was powerful (Star Wars V). Luke feels disheartened but he is determined to become a Jedi at any cost. Luke finally finds the master and planet he was looking for but Yoda tells him that he will gain fear through his training. During the road of trials the hero must overcome obstacles in order to find his place in the new world.
In Luke’s case, he meets master Yoda and must learn to become a Jedi in order to save the universe. In his first task Luke must overcome and become physically fit in order to train his mind from succumbing to evil. Luke passes this task with ease with Yoda’s guidance. The second trial was when Luke entered the cave on Degoba where he faced his worst fear. He sees Darth Vader and then slays him but he sees himself as Vader and finds that his worst fear is to join the Dark side. Then Luke must learn to use the force because the force is a Jedi’s life essence and a true Jedi can manipulate the force to work to his needs.
His third trial trains him to lift stones, clear his mind, and focus while using the force. However, he learns that the force can give him the sight to see the future the present and past. This scares Luke at first because he sees his friends in peril and he chooses to help them. When Yoda and Obi-Wan persuade him to stay and finish his training, he agrees but when Luke learns to use the force with more ease, his next trial is the get his ship that had crashed when he landed in Degoba (Star Wars V).
Yoda informs him that the force can help Luke get his ship back, but only if he can focus. He fails because he thought of the ship being too big for the force to move it. The next trial he must go through is to complete his training on Degoba but he fails to become a true Jedi and leaves Degoba (Star Wars V). Through this step in Luke’s cycle you see the hardships he had to overcome. Throughout the movie Darth Vader and Darth Sidious are formulating a plan to force Luke into the dark side of the force and be used as an extension of the Empire’s power over the universe.
This is first seen when Sidious tells Vader to try to turn Luke to the dark side and be used as an asset to the empire and the Emperor’s power. Vader follows Luke throughout the movie to get in direct contact with him but he realizes that Luke will only face Vader if Luke’s friends are in danger. Vader goes to Cloud City and holds Luke’s friends captive until he receives word that his prey has finally come to him. Luke battles his way through the invaded city and to the chamber where he meets Vader. In the final battle with Darth Vader Luke is constantly asked to join the dark side and Vader finds himself trying not to kill him.
During the battle Vader tells Luke that his place in the new world is with Vader and Emperor and that only Luke’s hatred can destroy Vader (Star Wars V). A Jedi must never hate or love because it is the path to the dark side (Star Wars III). Some archetypes appear in this part of the movie where Luke is clothed in white and is seen as the hero and Vader is seen as a shadow in all black and the temptress. After Luke gets his hand cut off, Vader tells Luke that if Luke joins him in the Empire he can complete his training and begin his reign.
Vader further tells Luke that he can kill the Emperor and rule the universe alongside him as “father and son” (Star Wars V). After reviewing the preceding evidence it is clear that Luke’s journey in his Monomyth Cycle had defining steps that showed him new worlds, tested him and was tempted by evil. During Luke’s rocky entrance into his new world, Luke finds himself in peril early but escapes. He meets a green alien that will teach him to become a Jedi and be able to become a new hope for the universe.
During his road of trials Luke proves to Yoda that he is too weak to become a Jedi even though he faces his fears of joining the dark side, clearing his mind, and focusing on using the force. Luke chooses his friends over completing what he sent out to do. Lastly, in the final battle of the movie Luke is tempted to join the dark side or die with hopes of controlling the universe with his father and killing the Emperor to do so. Throughout the fifth installment of the Star Wars series, Luke goes through the Monomyth cycle in order to find himself and defeat the evil in him.