Tuesday, 29 December 2015

homage or the hero with a thousand faces

Quiet a few vocal critics have accused the continuance of the Star Wars saga of being too derivative—and yes (sans spoilers) it would have been more enthralling to have a bigger constellation of strange fellows in some Mos Eisley dive or Jabba’s throne room to wonder about. a musical number or to see all the characters to gather together at the end like in previous parting shots and wondering whether it was “no bigger than a womprat” did sort of draw me out of the experience, I think unfairly. The arc of each episode—maybe to exclusion of the exposition—faithfully follows the monomyth, that boon of New England scholar Joseph Campbell for innumerable tales past and present that resonate as something whole and satisfying with tribute to something universal.
That terms is borrowed from James Joyce’s writing—sourced with another handy moniker, the quark. Campbell crafted the study of comparative mythology following an unending infatuation with CG Jung and his idea of the collective unconscious and the archetype and unvetted released his comprehensive thesis, The Hero with 1000 Faces, in the 1940s and echoes in the best of contemporary story-telling, drawing from the cues of classic myth. Episode III, point for point, unfolds as a monomyth—wherein a reluctant hero (Luke Skywalker, moisture farmer) is visited by a celestial messenger (the droids and Obi Wan Kenobi) to present his mission and hone his skills and embarks on a quest to find his muse and divine lady (Princess Leia—but thirty-eight year old spoilers: really his sister) but finds himself in the proverbial belly of the whale, like Jonah or Pinocchio (the dianoga in the Death Star trash compactor) before being forced to confront his father. All the best stories seem to twist in this wind, whether classical mythology, founding tales or biblical previsioning—tapping into formulaic stories that ring as believable and upbuilding. The Parnassus and individual instalments—as myth is fluid and not fixed practise self-plagiarism with certain and popular troupe. The authoritative editions are those most successful and resonate with our own collective unconscious. The re-telling is more than a reboot.