Mapping the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to ‘The Hero’s Journey’.

This is a film I have loved since my Dad took me to the cinema to see it in 1978 when I was 4. I was instantly hooked and have watched this, and the rest of the series, countless times.

ACT I (Beginning = the Hero’s decision to act)

  • Ordinary WorldLuke Skywalker lives with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru on a farm on the desert planet of Tatooine. His life is simple; maintaining equipment, hanging out with friends practicing driving and shooting. He is bored of this life and longs to join friends at ‘the Academy’.
    • His Uncle purchases droids, C3P0 and R2D2, from the Jawas to help with his harvest.
    • Luke sees a snippet of a recording of Princess Leia when cleaning R2D2.
  • Call to Adventure / Meeting with the MentorR2D2 disappears in the night and Luke goes out to find him, taking C3P0.
    • They are attacked by sand people and left for dead. Obi Wan Kenobi finds Luke and takes him in.
    • R2D2 plays the entire message from Leia.
    • Obi Wan tells Luke that his father was a Jedi and fought in the Clone Wars, encouraging Luke to join him and go to Leia’s aid.
  • Refusal of the CallLuke tells Obi Wan he has to stay on the farm for another season but offers to take him to Mos Eisley.
  • Crossing the First ThresholdOn the way to Mos Eisley, Luke and Obi Wan find slaughtered Jawas, conclude that it is the work of Imperial Stormtroopers searching for droids and Luke realises they will likely have traced the droids to his family farm.
    • Luke races back to the farm and finds his Aunt and Uncle murdered and mutilated. This crystalises his resolve to join the rebellion and go with Obi Wan.

ACT II (Middle = the action)

  • Tests, Allies and EnemiesOn arrival in Mos Eisley, the group are confronted with Stormtroopers searching for the droids. Obi Wan uses Jedi mind control to pass through the blockade without challenge, with the iconic line, ‘these aren’t the droids you’re looking for’.
    • Obi Wan engages the services of smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, chartering passage on their ship, the Millennium Falcon. The Stormtroopers find them in their hangar preparing to depart and they have to fight their way off the planet.
    • Having evaded capture, the group relax on their journey and Luke begins his Jedi training with Obi Wan, to gentle ridicule from Han Solo.
  • Approach to the innermost caveUpon arrival at their charted destination, Alderan, the group discover that the planet has been destroyed.
    • The Millennium Falcon is caught in a tractor beam from the nearby Imperial space station, the Death Star, which destroyed Alderan. The group hide in smuggling compartments and are not discovered by stormtroopers who search the ship when it sets down in the loading dock of the Death Star.
    • In attempting to disable the systems keeping the ship in the dock, Luke discovers that Leia is held captive in the station and determines to rescue her.
  • OrdealLuke and a reluctant Han and Chewbacca embark on a hastily improvised rescue mission which is discovered almost immediately. There follows firefights and near death in a trash compactor through either being drowned by a mysterious creature or crushed to death.
    • On the way back to the Millennium Falcon, Luke sees Obi Wan killed by the principle antagonist, Darth Vader.
  • RewardThe group escape the Death Star with Leia and convene with her Rebel Forces to mount an attack on the Death Star. Luke is reunited with his childhood friends who have joined the Rebellion.

ACT III (End = the consequences of the act)

  • The Road BackHan Solo takes his payment and leaves.
    • Luke leads the attack on the Death Star.
    • His first shot fails to hit the target, several of his squadron are killed by defending fighters, led by Darth Vader.
  • ResurrectionHan Solo returns and joins the fight, enabling Luke to take another shot at target, which is successful and the Death Star is destroyed.
    • Darth Vader escapes, lives to fight another sequel…
  • Return with the ElixirThe Rebels hold a formal medals ceremony to honour the group.
    • The elixir is Luke’s new-found knowledge that he can become a Jedi and his journey is only just beginning.

Own plot using the Hero’s Journey template:

ACT I (Beginning = the Hero’s decision to act)

  • Ordinary WorldProtagonist Moira: in job to which she is indifferent, living in a rented flat with a partner with whom she is friends but is no longer in love with. Life lacks passion or purpose. Quiet, introverted.
  • Call to AdventureMeets Helene in a coffee shop (spills coffee on her? somehow strike up a conversation). They meet up a few more times and Helene invites Moira to join her on a three month trip around Europe.
  • Refusal of the CallMoira desperately wants to go, having listened to Helene’s plans and being caught up in her excitement. Refuses because she believes she has commitments to work and partner.
  • Meeting with the MentorElderly neighbour Rose – Moira finds her after a fall in the corridor and helps her into her flat. Sees her pictures and mementos of her work during WWII in the Air Transport Auxillary, delivering planes to bases. Talk of the feeling of abandon during those times – today might be our last – and the way this coloured the rest of Rose’s life inspires Moira to go with Helene.
  • Crossing the First ThresholdSplits with partner and resigns from job

ACT II (Middle = the action)

  • Tests, Allies and Enemies M&H travel in H’s old camper van across to France and make their way South but with particular destination in mind. They stay in various Aires, meet other travellers. End up in a small town and meet an elderly lady, Isobel, who reminds Moira of Rose. Isobel’s house and land is an animal sanctuary at which Moira begins to help out.
  • Approach to the innermost cave towards the end of summer, Helene wants to return to UK as planned but Moira feels depressed at the prospect.
  • Ordeal H&M argue about going home and Helene unloads Moira’s belongings and leaves.
  • Reward Isobel takes Moira in

ACT III (End = the consequences of the act)

  • The Road Back Sanctuary needs some renovation which Moira throws herself into, raising funds online through a social media page documenting the sanctuary and its residents, wildlife releases etc
  • Resurrection Moira realises she has found her purpose
  • Return with the Elixir Moira stays, looks after Isobel and inherits the sanctuary when she dies. Turns it into a place tourists visit and is able to help more animals and employ a teenaged girl from the town. Settles permanently.

2 thoughts on “PART 2. Project 2, Exercise 1

  1. I love love love it. Which module? Sue

    On Sat, 4 Apr 2020 at 18:33, Katherine Robertson wrote:

    > katfelis posted: “Mapping the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to > ‘The Hero’s Journey’. This is a film I have loved since my Dad took me to > the cinema to see it in 1978 when I was 4. I was instantly hooked and have > watched this, and the rest of the series, countless ” >


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