Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed (2007) - full transcript

Filmmakers, critics and even politicians discuss the social impact of the "Star Wars" films and the franchise's reliance in mythology and history. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Here they come.

It began as a

simple tale of good versus evil

and became a worldwide phenomenon.

Star Wars came out,
and we went to school

the next day unable to explain

to our friends how everything was
different now.

So much of my
childhood was spent

thinking, dreaming, watching,
playing Star Wars.

Star Wars evolved into a
six-chapter cinematic saga.

One that resonates with
some of the most enduring themes

found in literature...



And history.

What "Star Wars" did

was bring them right up to date

and reach a new generation.

It broke new ground

in terms of communicating
a message.

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I was witnessing

the creation of modern myth.

But just why is
Star Wars considered the epic

tale of our time?

Future generations

will still be enthralled by it.

Find out, as the Star Wars
legacy is finally revealed.

Star Wars was conceived by

writer and director George

Lucas during the early 1970s,

a time of intense political

upheaval and social unrest,

especially in America.

It was not a

hopeful time in America.

We were cynical.

We were disappointed.

Oil prices were through the roof.

Our government had let us down.

I shall resign the presidency
effective at noon tomorrow.

America had become
unhinged in a way,

for good or for bad,
depending on your point of view.

Everything from dress to the

use of drugs to relationships.

The culture in this country had

been turned upside down.

The country was desperately
groping for real change.

Star Wars came along, and it

revalidated a core mythology,

that there is good and evil,

that evil has to be defeated.

Star Wars was
filled with imagery and

characters that harkened back to

many of the movies and books

that had captivated George Lucas

during his childhood in modesto,

And as the saga continued to unfold,

each new chapter became
richer and deeper

by incorporating
references to politics...




And mythology.

What's so exciting
about approaching

the "Star Wars" cycle, it's very much like

an archaeological excavation.

On the surface, all of us can say,

"Ah-ha, Excalibur is to be

seen in the lightsaber."

If you go to a deeper level,

you may come to the entering

into the Death Star and say,

"Ah-ha, let us remember the

Greek hero Odysseus in the underworld."

This is red five, I'm going in

But then you can go
deeper in the stratographic levels.

And what's fun for me personally

is when I get to a point where I say,

"Did George Lucas mean
for this connection to be made,

or am I making it?
Am I participating as part of the poet,

the creator in seeing connections?"

And that is the mythological process.

Everyone sees themself.

Mythic stories were

originally designed as

cautionary tales.

They're stories which instruct

us how we should behave, how we

should conduct ourselves.

Attachment leads to jealousy.

Train yourself to let go

of everything you fear to lose.

Myths in every
culture emerged out of religion.

They were ways to make sense
of the Universe.

Then over time, myths began to

accrue around warrior figures,

hero figures.

And I believe that in all six

Star Wars films, you just feel

the sense of the whole history

of myth and archetype.

The connection

between "Star Wars" and

mythology is also strengthened

by the direct influence of

famed mythological historian,
Joseph Campbell.

Joseph Campbell was a professor,

and he wrote a

very important book about myth.

And this book was used on

college campuses across the

And this was a book that George
Lucas read.

In it, Joseph Campbell said,

myth is a metaphor for the experience
of life.

Myths and dreams
come from the same place.

They come from realizations of

some kind that have then to find

expression in symbolic form.

Joseph Campbell was

very influenced by Carl Jung.

And Jung's theories of

psychology explain that we

process experience visually,

that deeper than ideas or

feelings, there's a visual flow,

very much like a movie.

George Lucas
studied the work of Joseph

Campbell, and, of course, he

was also a filmmaker.

And in the "Star Wars" films,

George Lucas has made a very

compelling use of one of the

myth forms, which is the hero's

journey, and this is by far the

most commonly found form in the

history of mythology.

Star Wars is what's

sometimes called the hero's

It's the initiatory pattern

that is a journey story that

represents a transition, moving

from one identity, say, young

adulthood, into another

identity, say, full adulthood.

Over the course of

the "Star Wars" saga, two

characters set out on the hero's

journey, Anakin Skywalker and

his son, Luke.

Each of them is

called to an adventure.

Each of them does not expect

to be a hero.

Each of them becomes drawn into

this struggle between good and

evil where they have to choose

what side they will align

themselves with.

For Anakin, the

journey will be a tragic one,

as his arrogance...

- Fear...
- I won't lose you, Padme.

And desire for
power ultimately turn him from

the hero's path and lead him to

the dark side, where he becomes

the evil Darth Vader.

If you only knew the power

of the dark side.

And Luke's journey

ultimately becomes a quest to

redeem his father.

- Luke!
- Take these two over to the garage.

I want them cleaned up
before dinner.

Luke starts out as being nobody.

And what he needs is a call to

adventure to get him started.

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

- You're my only hope.
- What's this?

He says that he is the

property of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a
resident of these parts,

and it's a private message for him.

Rest easy, son.

- You've had a busy day.
- The call is an event

that pulls us away from familiar

Ben Kenobi?

It pulls us away from

everything that is familiar to

us, including what we know how
to do.

This is our most desperate hour.

We're out in a

situation that is enormously

You must learn the ways of

the Force if you're to come with
me to Alderaan.

Luke fulfills a role

as a mythic hero because they

usually start out as being very

simple, slightly insecure

For example, characters like

Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz,"

like Harry Potter, like king

Arthur, they are what's called

They're us.
They have the same insecurities

and fears as we do.

I can't get involved.

I've got work to do.

It's not that I like the Empire.

I hate it, but there's nothing I

can do about it right now.

You must do what you feel is

right, of course.

There is the possibility
of rejecting the call.

That is, you see what is asked

of you, you see what you could

rise to and you say, "I don't
want to go."

But more often, it's a kind of
struggle, and there's a

preparatory time there, a kind

of dress rehearsal while a

person is saying, "I'm not doing this."

In fact, mentally they're
bracing themselves.

If they traced the robots
here, they may have learned who

they sold them to, and that
would lead them back...

- home.
- Wait, Luke!

It's too dangerous!

The journey of Luke

is an archetypal journey, like

Odysseus, for instance, or even

biblical figures like Moses.

They don't necessarily even

want to do what they are called

to do, but life contrives to

send them on the journey.

- Uncle Owen?!
- At the heart of the story

is some kid

who is being called

to service,

to deal with something that
is so much bigger than him.

Suddenly there's this violent,
heartbreaking murder of his

aunt and uncle, and all of a
sudden, this kid's life changes.

There's nothing you could
have done, Luke.

I want to come with you to Alderaan.

There's nothing for me here now.

Mos eisley space port.

You will never find a more
wretched hive of scum and villainy.

We must be cautious.

The cantina scene is
what Joseph Campbell referred to

as the threshold crossing.

This is a moment when you are

profoundly aware that you're

not in Kansas anymore.

You are going into a bizarre

place, and it's very dangerous.

And the characters you
will be dealing with are not

like the folks back home.

- He doesn't like you.
- I'm sorry.

I don't like you either.

You just watch yourself.

I'll be careful.

- You'll be dead!
- Ragh!


Luke Skywalker's journey
is the simple, classic

hero thing of, "I am an
adolescent who is about to break

from a much smaller view of the

world to a much larger one.

And I'm gonna go through a

really painful journey in order
to do that."

Just as Hercules and
other heroes of classic

mythology had to undergo certain

tasks to prove their worth, so
Luke develops as a character

through the tasks he undertakes.

For luck.

He rescues princess Leia.

He helps to attack the Death
Star, where he is a key player.

- Are you alright?!
- I got a little cooked, but I'm okay.

He's swept up in the

battle on Hoth and is able to
deal with that.


He rescues his friends

from Jabba the Hutt.

Let's go, and don't forget
the droids.

We're on our way.

All of these things
are part of his proving himself.

Although his biggest struggle is

with his own father.

How did my father die?

A young Jedi named Darth Vader,

he betrayed and murdered
your father.


The way Darth Vader

looms as this dark, faceless

figure over him is exactly the

way the dead father of Hamlet

looms in the play "Hamlet" as
a walking ghost.

A ghost clad in
armor with a sepulchral voice.

Your destiny lies with me,

The struggle between father and
son is very present in Greek myth.

For example, Zeus came to power

by struggling with his father,

and his father before him

struggled with his father.

His weapon is a thunderbolt,


So when I saw Darth Vader

fighting with Luke Skywalker

with these light beams,

I thought of the thunderbolt of

The Luke/Vader

relationship, it's actually a

biblical theme in the sense that

the Bible talks about the sins

of the fathers will be passed on

to the sons and daughters to the

fifth and sixth generation.

You are beaten.

It is useless to resist.

Don't let yourself be destroyed
as Obi-Wan did.

There's always a
sense that, basically, evil is

inescapable in all of us and

guilt is inescapable in all of us,

and we have to acknowledge that.

We'll take him together.

- You go in slowly on the left...
- No, I'm taking him now!

No, Anakin, no!

Luke's father is scarred.


And passes the scar

on to his son.

It's a passing down of the mark
of Cain.


Finally, all this

comes to rest in Luke Skywalker.

Obi-Wan never told you what

happened to your father.

He told me you killed him.


I am your father.



Luke has to realize

that he's a part of a family and

to not carry on the
sins of the father.

Join me, and together we can

rule the galaxy as father and son.

In a drama, there
will be a serious battle

and a serious wounding.

Throughout the rest of
the drama, the effect of that

wound will shape the actions of

the hero.

- Anakin!
- It is letting us know

the dangers of adulthood.


The real injuries of
life add up as we go along.

That is the making of character.


That is what makes us

human and adult and, in a way, wise.

Hello, there.


You must unlearn what you
have learned.


Feel, don't think.

Use your instincts.


Remember, a Jedi can feel the

Force flowing through him.

In mythic tradition, these three

characters share the role of

The Force will be with you...


Part wizard...

Part priest...

Part surrogate parent...

Mentors give philosophical and

spiritual guidance to the hero.

I don't understand.

With time and training, ani,
you will.

They often possess

almost magical powers

that reflect a lifetime of study,

discipline, and acquired wisdom.

Let me see your identification.

You don't need to see his

We don't need to see his

These aren't the droids
you're looking for.

These aren't the droids
we're looking for.

He can go about his business.

You can go about your business.

Move along.

Move along.

Move along.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, while,

you know, the least-played-with

action figure in my collection,

was essential to have because

you need somebody who's gonna

instruct you in the ways of the

I can't understand how we got
by those troops.

The Force can have a strong

influence on the weak-minded.

Without Obi-Wan Kenobi,
Luke Skywalker has no

idea about his origins.

No, my father didn't fight
in the wars.

He was a navigator on a spice

That's what your uncle told you.

He doesn't know that
his father was a Jedi.

You fought in the Clone Wars?


I was once a Jedi knight, the

same as your father.

In moments of

absolute disconnect and loss

and confusion and fear,

these characters arrived that

gave purpose and confidence to

our main character.

The figure of the

mentor continues a mythic

tradition that spans from

Gandalf in "the lord of the

rings" to the stories of the

ancient greeks, like homer's

epic poem, "the odyssey."

When Odysseus goes

off on his long journeys, he is

concerned about the well-being

of his son, telemachus.

So he asks a family friend,

an older friend named mentor,

to look in on his son.

And from this, we get our word

In "Star Wars," as
in many ancient myths...

- I feel like...
- Feel like what?

The mentor does not always appear
in what seems a normal shape.

I am wondering, why are you

Or size.

I'm looking for someone.


Found someone, you have, I would
say, hmm?


In mythology, the
story of Achilles tells us that

he was sent to study with Chiron

the centaur, who was a half-man,

half-horse being who lived in

an isolated spot on Mount Pelion.

And Achilles learned everything

he knew from Chiron, including

not only warfare but music,


He got a complete hero's

education from this composite being.

Far more strange than Yoda.

You're a Jedi knight, aren't you?

What makes you think that?

I saw your laser sword.

Only Jedis carry that kind of

Usually, the mentor

performs another important duty

early in the hero's journey.

I have something here for you.

He must present him

with a special gift.

Your father wanted you to
have this when you were old enough

The moment is crucial,

and in the stories, it is a
sword or a lightsaber, often

something useful in the

struggles to come.

What is it?

It's your father's lightsaber.

This is the weapon of a Jedi

Not as clumsy or random as a

An elegant weapon for a more

civilized age.

In our experiences,

a mentor gives us a gift of an

idea, of wisdom, of some

Let go your conscience self

and act on instinct.

The lightsaber can cut.

So can discernment.

This is sorting out life.

Stretch out with your feelings.

Being able to make
those distinctions allows the

hero to move forward in the

Luke is reminiscent of

king Arthur in a way.

King Arthur is given the sword

Excalibur as part of his role

to be king and to lead.

So also Luke receives his

father's light saber from

Obi-Wan, and it's really at that

point that Luke realizes there

is something special about him.

You know, I did feel something.

I could almost see the remote.

That's good.

You've taken your first step

into a larger world.

In "Star Wars,"

the lessons the hero must learn

are those of the Jedi master.

Use your feelings, you must.

They combine

morality, spiritual faith, and

strict physical discipline.

All right, I'll give it a try.


Try not.

Do... or do not.

There is no try.

One could argue

they are the Jesuits of this

These are the people who are

the truth-bearers, who are the

priesthood of freedom and who

give their lives in order to
stop evil.

The Jedi themselves are very

Jedi comes from "Jidai"

in Japanese, jidai-geki,

which are the samurai films.

Jidai-geki literally means

history thing or "history piece,"

and that gets contracted

down to "Jedi."

In "Star Wars,"

the mentor's most important

teaching concerns the spiritual

phenomenon known as the Force.

The Force?

The Force is what gives a

Jedi his power.

It's an energy field created by

all living things.

It surrounds us and penetrates


It binds the galaxy together.

The idea of the Force

is general enough that people

of any religious background can

identify with it.

One can see it as a personal god

of western religion.

One can associate it with a more

spiritual ideal.

I think the key thing to

remember is that it means one

is believing in something

higher, that events in the

Universe are not meaningless.

There is a purpose.

There is a meaning to life, and

something is directing and

guiding that.

It's energy surrounds us and

binds us.

Luminous beings are we, not this

crude matter.

You must feel the Force around


Here, between you, me, the tree,

the rock, everywhere.

It's a life force,

like chi.

And that is another very

important aspect of these

movies, to give us a sense of

confidence that there is a world

outside of our consciousness.

In the "Star Wars"

Universe, spiritual

enlightenment does not come

without sacrifice.

Those who seek the power of the

Force must study, train, and

obey strict disciplines.

They must also overcome their

own skepticism and self-doubt.

You work the impossible.

When a person is

brought to enlightenment, you

can't tell them what to do.

They really have to figure it

out for themselves.

I don't... I don't believe it.

That is why you fail.

You can't win, Darth.

If you strike me down, I shall

become more powerful than you

can possibly imagine.


during the hero's journey, the

mentor cannot stay forever.


Our parents die.

Our teachers die.

The losses in life's long

journey are great.

Run, Luke, run!

The first reaction is

often, "I can't make it without

this help."

I can't believe he's gone.

It is crucial that the

help not stay there.


That they either leave

or die or we would never know

that we have in fact taken in

the teaching.

No more training do you


Already know you that which you


After people that

we know have passed on, their

spirit can stay with us.

Star Wars steps right in and

picks up on that.

Use the Force, Luke.

The mentor is now

within, and I'm able to survive.

From the death of Obi-Wan...



Star Wars repeatedly shows

that as valuable as the mentor

relationship is, ultimately, we

will outlive it.

Rejoice for those around you

who transform into the Force.

Mourn them do not.

Miss them do not.

Death is a natural part of life.

Everybody wants a

mentor, and we got to adopt

Obi-Wan as our mentor.

And this is a dream for a boy,

that they could find someone who

they could trust, and who would

tell them what it is they will

do with their life.

You've been a good

apprentice, Obi-Wan.

And you're a much wiser man than

I am.

You never outgrow

your need for a mentor.

I don't care how old you are.

And that they take different

shapes, different forms is a

great reminder to us if somebody

stretches out a helping hand,

don't look and see if it's


Just take the hand.

Aren't you a little short

for a stormtrooper?

I'm Luke Skywalker.

I'm here to rescue you.

In his fight

against the forces of evil...


The hero needs more

than courage and the teachings

of a mentor.

Luke, we're gonna have


Get alongside that one.

He also relies on

the help and the friendship

of others.

Heroes need to

start out with comrades.

They need that teamwork.

They need what they can learn

from each other.

I got him!

Great, kid!

Don't get cocky!

That's it, we did it!

We did it!

Once the hero has

undertaken his journey, they

pick up companions along the


Dorothy meets up with the tin

man and the scarecrow.

Frodo has the entire fellowship

to travel with, and Luke has

this wonderful menagerie of


Each "Star Wars"

trilogy ingeniously re-imagines

the ancient archetypes of the

warrior who befriends the hero.

Be careful.

You too.

And the damsel in


Whom the hero must


This is some rescue!

When you came in here, didn't

you have a plan for getting out?

He's the brains, sweetheart!

But far from being

helpless, the female characters

of Padme Amidala and her

daughter, Leia organa, are as

courageous as they are clever.

The women of the

Star Wars films are extremely


Will somebody get this big

walking carpet out of my way?

Can wield weapons

with the best of them.

You call this a diplomatic


No, I call it aggressive


We also see them

physically and personally

evolving from film to film,

which is almost unique in

contemporary culture, that is,

Lucas' ability to speak to the

emotional needs of men without

in any way undermining the

dignity and potential of women.

I'm not sure what you wish

to accomplish by this.

I will take back what's ours.

Of course, Greek

tragedy has enormously strong


And George Lucas has managed to

capture the strength of these


But in fact, it's layered.

If you look at queen Amidala,

she's strong and yet romantic.

The name of Padme's

home planet, Naboo, gives a clue

to her intellectual nature.

Nabu was the

babylonian god of wisdom.

And so as queen of Naboo, Padme

is the ruler of wisdom, and in

fact, she embodies all of the

female wisdom of that particular


Oh, Anakin, something

wonderful has happened.

I'm pregnant.

As the future

mother of Leia and Luke, Padme

embodies another figure in

classic myth, that of the

nurturing earth mother.

Her environment is

green, flourishing, nourishing.

She is love.

She is sensibilities.

She is all of those things that

lie in stark contrast to


control-driven realms beyond


But Padme's

compassion and her love for

Anakin also lead to her

downfall when her husband turns

to the dark side.

Padme is


And this is the

same experience of queen dido of

carthage in that she loves and

she cries and begs for her man,

aeneas, to stay as he was.

You've changed.

I don't know you anymore.


You're breaking my heart.

So she's a

marvelous blend of traditions,

of the complexity of what it is

to be a woman.

Oh, Luke.


Although Padme

Amidala is a tragic figure, her

quest for peace and democracy is

finally realized a generation

later by her daughter, Leia.

Governor Tarkin, I should've

expected to find you holding

Vader's leash.

I recognized your fowl stench

when I was brought on board.

Charming to the last.

What's great about

Leia is that, from the first

moment you meet her, while she

is desperate, um...

She's anything but.

She is tough, and she's

Looks like you managed to

cut off our only escape route.

Maybe you'd like it back in

your cell, your highness.

She doesn't hesitate

to do what she needs to do.

What the hell are you doing?!

Somebody has to save our


Into the garbage chute, flyboy!

The princess

archetype is the young feminine

ready to come into herself and

blossom into herself.

You're trembling.

I'm not trembling.

You like me because I'm a

There aren't enough scoundrels
in your life.

I happen to like nice men.

I'm a nice man.

No, you're not, you're...

It's about her
coming into herself as a woman

who can be in relationship to a

man that she cares about as well

as discovering a relationship to

this brother and to the Force.

The Force is strong in my

My father has it.

I have it, and...

My sister has it.

Luke and Leia,
they are, of course, Apollo and

Artemis, the divine twins of

mythology who come into the

world, male and female, to

restore it to order.

If I don't make it back,
you're the only hope for the alliance.

Luke, don't talk that way.

You have a power I don't

understand and could never have.

You're wrong, Leia.

You have that power, too.

In time, you'll learn to use it
as I have.

She's not just a love interest

as a lot of, you know,
princesses in these

stories tend to be.

She actually has her own story,

her own mythology.

She turns out to be a Jedi, and

that's very much a journey

she has to take herself.

Corporal, we'll cover you.

Roger, Roger.


Blast them.

Anakin Skywalker,

meet Obi-Wan Kenobi.


Obi-Wan is an
interesting character that we

see develop throughout the

At the beginning he is clearly

subordinate to Qui-Gon Jinn as

a young and vital Jedi.

But then we see him in much more

of a leadership role as he

begins to school young Anakin.


She went into the club, master.


Use the Force.

I try, master.

Increasingly, they

develop a relationship like

You are strong and wise,

Anakin, and I am very proud of

And you have become a far

greater Jedi than I could ever
hope to be.

Even though it's

often called the hero's journey,

it is usually done in groups.

Follow him!

We're gonna need some help.

There isn't time!

And this has several


One, we need to be good team

players, and teams are always

That was some shortcut, Anakin.

He went completely the other

- Once again, you've proved...
- If you'll excuse me.

I hate it when he does that.

After all, they're people.

So we have to cope with the

flaws of the people we're
working with.

Whether you're talking about

Jason and the argonauts or

Frodo and the fellowship of the

ring, you have some motley

crew, some odd team that is able

to take on terrible challenges.

So the team is very effective.

It's them!

Blast them!

- Get back to the ship!
- Where are you going?

Come back!

He certainly has courage.

What good will it do us if
he gets himself killed?

Luke Skywalker

finds an unlikely comrade...

In the person of Han Solo.

You don't believe in the
Force, do you?

Hokey religions and ancient

weapons are no match for a good

blaster at your side.

Han represents

another classic archetype.

You half-witted...

Nerf herder!

The mercenary pirate.

Who's scruffy-looking?

Most well-socialized

people want to be liked by

But they're gonna kill her!

Better her than me.

Han Solo cares a
little less about that.

His name's "Solo."

He's out for himself.

She's rich.


Rich, powerful.

Listen, if you were to rescue
her, the reward would be...


Well, more wealth than you
can imagine.

I don't know, I can imagine
quite a bit.

The character of

Han Solo, he strikes me as not

being so much from ancient

mythology but more from... more

like a western outlaw.

Keep your eyes open, huh?

There's something

shady about him.

Why you slimy,

double-crossing, no-good

You got a lot of guts coming

He's on the run from

the law, but he's essentially

How ya doing, you old pirate?

So good to see you!

The cowboy is almost

iconic in American imagination

as someone who is an outsider,

but he's a hero we look to

precisely because we value that

kind of independence,

self-reliance, the fact that he

depends on himself and nobody

Yes, Greedo, as a matter of

fact, I was just going to see

your boss.

Tell Jabba that I've got his


You have the sense of

a wild west town.

I don't have it with me.

Tell Jabba...

And nobody even really

cares if somebody gets shot in

the bar.

Yes, I'll bet you have.

As long as they clean

up the mess or pay for it.

Sorry about the mess.

I always thought Star Wars
was a western in the future.

I really did.
I thought that "Star Wars" was

the quintessential western

played out in a different

Right here, Jabba.

You didn't think I was gonna
run, did you?

You could've put
Harrison Ford in a cowboy hat

and put a star on him, and it

wouldn't have seemed out of

It was that classic Gary Cooper

riding into town, except in

this case, it was Harrison Ford

in a spaceship.

His hero journey

path is that of the warrior and

the lover.

He has to learn to commit

himself to a cause outside

himself, and he has to learn to
open his heart to love.

There are many
like me who think that possibly

one of the sexiest lines ever

said in any movie is uttered by

Han Solo when princess Leia

I love you.

He doesn't say,
"I love you, too."

- He says...
- I know.

Be still, my heart.

Every woman who's ever loved a

bad boy fell in love with Han

Solo at that moment if they

hadn't already.

He begins to

actually think of someone else

and not just himself, and that's

a lesson that many people really

need to learn to become more


Don't move!

But also to learn

the art of relationship and


I love you.

I know.

So it is realizing

our need for one another that I

think gets conveyed in a really

profound way.


May the Force be with you.

May the Force be with us.

May the Force be with us



I am C-3PO, human/cyborg

relations, and this is my

counterpart R2-D2.


Excuse me, sir.

Put 'em back together right


Might I...

Call them


Don't get technical with me.


Or simply clowns.

During his journey, the mythic

hero is usually accompanied by

one or more faithful followers.

That little droid and I have

been through a lot together.

Faithful if not

always very helpful.

George Lucas is a

smart man to know that you

couldn't keep everything at the

fever pitch of high emotion.

The possibility of

successfully navigating an

asteroid field is approximately

3,720 to 1!

Never tell me the odds.


You had to have

comic relief in there to make

the cake rise.

Now, there I agree with


I could do with a tune-up


In R2-D2 and C-3PO,

you have the classic comedy

team, in terms of the thin guy

and the fat guy.

In fact, they just both happen

to be robots.

The droids strike

me as going back to abbott and

costello or Laurel and Hardy,

the kind of knockabout stuff of

old films where you needed

somebody to provide slapstick

and release...

We're doomed.

And physical

comedy, because there's so much

at stake that it would be

oppressive if there weren't some

kind of release.

This is madness.

C-3PO and R2-D2 give

us a little bit of classic

bumbling comedy shtick.

There's always the stalwart

hero, and then there's the guy

next to him going, "do we have

to go into the dark place?!"

I'm not getting in there!

I'm going to regret this.

When I first saw

Star Wars, it was so hard to

relate to what was happening at

the, I mean, it was so not

where I live, it's so not what
I know.

Of course I'm worried,

and you should be, too.

As soon as you had

those two characters show up,

immediately you're laughing and

you're comfortable and you
think, now I know who I am.

Now I know I can fit in here.

I can live here 'cause
they're like me.

My obtuse little friend,

you obviously have a great deal

to learn about human behavior.

C-3PO seems more like us.

Like, what would I do in that situation?

I'd probably panic and run away.

And that's what C-3PO does

almost every time.

Just open the door,
you stupid lump!

R2-D2 and C-3PO are

a little beside the action,

looking at it.

So they are with us.

They are observers, and they

add framing and perspective.

No, I don't think he likes
you at all.

No, I don't like you, either.

And so they also serve

as a Greek chorus.

In traditional Greek drama,

the role of the Greek
chorus was, in a sense,

to comment on the action.

Throughout "Star Wars," while

other people are acting
out the scene...

I'm going there to end this war.

C-3PO and R2-D2,

they're commenting on it.

Well, he is under a lot of
stress, R-2.

If C-3PO and R2-D2

embody the character of the
comic everyman,

the amphibian, Jar Jar Binks

suggests another timeless archetype,

the childlike innocent.

My tongue.

You know, I find that

Jar Jar creature to be a little odd.

My tongue!


If we think of Greek and Roman comedy,

there is a character
called the parasite,

who is a Jar Jar Binks
kind of tagalong person

that is comic.

Now stay here.

And keep out of trouble.



Jar Jar Binks starts
off as a rather silly character,

not very responsible.


But gains increasing

roles of responsibility, to the

point that he becomes a
member of the senate.

So we see him in a genuine

leadership role.

In a sense, he grows up in these

films, and if you think of the

children who might have related

to him, they have, in a sense,

grown up along with him.

But not all comic

characters are innocents like

Jar Jar, R2-D2, or C-3PO.

Enter Han Solo's nemesis,

the grotesque space gangster,

Jabba the Hutt.

You tell that slimy piece of

worm-ridden filth he'll get no

such pleasure from us!

Jabba the Hutt represents
greed and excessiveness.

And I think that's represented

by his sheer physical excess,

his sheer corpulence.


Oh, I can't bear to watch.

I would argue with you.

Jabba is sexy, because

what's sexier than the dude who's like

risen to a position of power

where he can just lay around?

You know, and things
happen in front of him.

And he's that powerful, and he's

that rich, and, yeah, he's a bit

slobby, but I have to like

Jabba the Hutt 'cause I'm
shaped like Jabba the Hutt.

And without Jabba we'd never

get to see Leia in a bikini, so

thank god for Jabba the Hutt.

He is kind of a

modern dragon, and what do the

dragons of mythology do?

They capture maidens...

And they hoard gold.

And the dragons hold those

Characters like
Jabba also reflect potentially

deadly obstacles along the

hero's path...

Obstacles that test and

strengthen him on his journey.

That's a very
prevalent motive in Greek myth,

the hero becoming himself

by being tested by various

Hercules is made to go through

these labors in order to become

Another theme is the

journey into the belly of the

whale, as Campbell called it,

which references Jonah being

swallowed by a big fish in the Bible.

So one sees that happening to

the heroes throughout "Star

Wars" as they're swallowed by

large entities.

It seems to suggest going to

the deepest part of oneself.

So there's a moment of

darkness, and there's a threat

to the self.

The cave is collapsing!

This is no cave.


Evil is a monstrous

force swallowing our heroes.

It's an experience of being in

the belly of the whale.

The journey of the
hero is very much one of

overcoming doubt about

There's something not right

What's in there?

Only what you take with you.

There's usually
many times in which they have

to overcome their worst fears.

They have to confront their

nightmares, basically.

We certainly have

that bit of evil monster in all of us.

This is why monster combat is so

prevalent in the hero's-journey

We have to fight the monsters of

outside circumstances, but we

also have to fight those demons

that come from our own heart.

For every hero...

There stands a villain.

For if there is good, there also

must be evil.

Evil does exist.

Don't kid yourself.

There's evil in the world,

deep and abiding, powerful evil.

And by the time you recognize

the evil...

It's too late.

In literature...



and scripture...

lurks a legion of evil, twisted,
and depraved characters.

Among them is Darth Vader,

the Empire's ruthless enforcer.

We will discuss the location

of your hidden Rebel base.

And confronting
this dark lord of the sith and

all that he represents is a

critical part of the hero's

Join me, and I will complete

your training.

If you only knew the power

of the dark side.

Darth Vader radiates

the glamour of evil.

He's a visual emblem of pure

willpower, and that is always


There's a Darth Vader swagger.

He's incredibly confident.

In my neighborhood,

in the inner city in Detroit,

we always thought

a big guy with James
Earl Jones' voice wearing all

shiny black was the biggest pimp

in the history of motion pictures.

What have you done with those

He owned everything.

Everybody was afraid of him.

What kid isn't seduced by the

idea of complete fearlessness?

Commander, tear this ship apart
until you've found those plans,

and bring me the passengers!
I want them alive!

I'd say, "When you're young,"
but I probably still feel this way...

Darth Vader is wish
fulfillment at its finest.

Here's a guy who is unstoppable.

Don't try to frighten us with

your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader.

He doesn't even have to swing
a punch to take you out.

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Plus, he's got a cape.

Who doesn't want the cape?

The swirling cape!

That's a big part of it.
He dresses cool.

The dark characters

always seem to get the cool costumes.

Which is to say, there is
a dramatic reward,

there is an excitement
to choosing evil,

to choosing corruption.

When Vader was introduced

in "Episode IV A New Hope,"

there was little to suggest
that underneath his

protective black bodysuit stood

the figure of a once-proud hero,

whose personality would be revealed

as more complex and resonant

with each new "Star Wars" chapter.

I've encountered a vergance.

You refer to the prophecy of the one
who will bring balance to the Force.

You believe it's this boy?

He is the chosen one.

As revealed in "Episode I
The Phantom Menace,"

Vader was born Anakin Skywalker.

Rescued from a life of slavery

by Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn,

the young boy left his home and

mother to fulfill his destiny.

I will come back and free you, mom.

I promise.

Here is a gifted person

who grows up in an
oppressive situation.

He begins life as a slave

who suffers terrible losses
early in his life.

Don't look back.

Don't look back.

He's wrenched away from his mother.

and it is the rage,

stemming probably
from grief and fear,

that leads to the fall
of this particular hero.

We can look at Anakin
Skywalker having to deal

with the problem of loss and

having great difficulties with it.

It begins when he loses his

Stay with me, mom.

I... I love...

It's setting in motion

the events that will lead to him

being Darth Vader.

"I went to find my mother,
and she was dead,

so I slaughtered a whole
village full of sand people."

I killed them.

And not just the men,

but the women...

And the children, too.

I hate them!

It throws him
into a dark state,

and he believes
that he could have done

something to prevent it.

Why couldn't I save her?

I know I could have.

- You're not all-powerful.
- Well, I should be.

He's gripped by

power, which is a temptation

that Luke is able to avoid.

I will be the most
powerful Jedi ever.

I promise you.

I will even learn to
stop people from dying.

It has all the hallmarks
of a classical epic.

In "The Iliad," Achilles, who is

the hero of the Greek army, is

dodged by anger.

The first 20 books, he's angry

at agamemnon.

The 22nd through 24th book, he's

angry at Hector.

He is angry.

This is exactly what "Star Wars"

is dealing with, which is fear

leads to anger leads to hate

leads to suffering.

Take the first line
of "The Iliad."

"Sing, O, goddess, the wrath
of Peleus' son Achilles,

whose anger brought pains
a thousandfold upon the Achaeans."

If that's the lesson of "The Iliad,"

that unbridled passion

leads to tragedy, which it

certainly does in "The Iliad,"

well, isn't that the
story of Darth Vader?

We do not grant you the rank of master.


He wants power.
But he's kind of weak.

He's impatient.

How can you do this?

This is outrageous.

It's unfair.

How you can you be on the council

and not be a master?

Take a seat, young Skywalker.

He's kind of like a
spoiled teenager.

Forgive me, master.

Some people were like,
"Oh, he's too whiny.

Why would the galaxy's greatest

villain be some whiny teenager?"

That's who the galaxy's greatest

villain would be!

He would start
as a whiny teenager.

He'd start as an emo kid with
some issues.

I sense great fear in you,


You have hate.

You have anger.

But you don't use them.

As Anakin continues

on his hero's journey,

the role of mentor
is assumed by the

scheming chancellor Palpatine.

I hope you trust me, Anakin.

Of course.

Anakin's relationship with
Palpatine grows stronger,

and the role of mythic mentor
takes on a darker shade.

This is the same narrative
role as the serpent

with Eve in the garden of eden.

The serpent says,
"You can have the power of god."

Only through me can you

achieve a power
greater than any Jedi.

And then he says,

"God is afraid of the power."

Be careful of the Jedi, Anakin.

They see your future.

They know your power will be too
strong to control.

This is exactly
what is laid before Anakin.

Anakin, help me!

Anakin is also

tormented by horrifying
nightmares concerning his wife,


You die in childbirth.

It was only a dream.

I won't let this one
become real.

He gets too possessed
by the fear of losing

again the main woman in his life.

And that leads him to the dark side.

Darth Plagueis, he had such

a knowledge of the dark side.

He could even keep the
ones he cared about...

From dying.

Is it possible to
learn this power?

Not from a Jedi.

In keeping with the

mythic overtones of "Star Wars,"

Anakin succumbs and makes this

Faustian bargain.

The Faust story in its classic

form is the story of a man who

sells his soul to the devil in

order to achieve power.

Anakin receives his

baptism as a dark lord of the sith.

Henceforth, you shall be

known as Darth Vader.

Now his story

directly parallels that of the

devil himself.

As told in John Milton's epic

poem "Paradise Lost,"

Lucifer was once one of God's most

beautiful and favored angels.

But Lucifer's conceit and his

lust for power over god

caused him to wage war on heaven.

Defeated, he was cast out and

created his own kingdom in hell.

Like Milton's Satan,
Anakin Skywalker is the...

Is the man who can not resist

the temptation of power.

I am becoming more powerful

than any Jedi has ever dreamed of,

and I'm doing it for you.

Part of Lucifer's downfall
was his own pride and

his own arrogance.

I am more powerful
than the chancellor.

I can overthrow him.

And together, you and I
can rule the galaxy.

And pride always

goes before a fall.

You're going down a path I
can't follow.


Stop now! Come back!

You're with him!

You brought him here to kill me!


Let her go, Anakin!


Let... her... go.

Lucas is also

harkening back to Greek tragedy.

Anakin loses Padme.

His attempt to save her by going

over to the dark side of the

Force kills her.

That is the fundamental
Greek tragedy.

You turned her against me!

You have done that yourself!

The battle between

Obi-Wan and Anakin on the planet

mustafar has apocalyptic

resonances to it.


We see lava and fire

all around, and this mirrors

what is happening to Anakin


We really have descended to

hell, because we're about to see

Anakin's own damnation.

You underestimate my power.

Don't try it.


And I love what George Lucas
does with the symbolism here.

I hate you!

He's so passionate

that it burns him
and consumes him.


The dismemberment

of Anakin goes to the extent

symbolically of how much he

really lost his humanity.

He's become cut off from himself

but also from others.

It actually feels
kind of wagnerian to me,

that the price of
evil becomes apparent.

This is George Lucas

looking to mythology,

specifically the Greek myth of Nemesis.

The notion that you are somehow

going to be the victim of the
things that you sow.

Now Anakin has to

live in hell.

And for someone that passionate,

hell for him is to become a

mechanical monster...

To have really no humanity left.

As Anakin is turned

into a half-man, half-machine,

another classic archetype is

evoked, this time from the world

of gothic horror.

Finally, we have the
answer of how this strange

hybrid creature was, in fact,

constructed, as a kind of

Frankenstein's monster.

Lord Vader...

Can you hear me?

Yes, master.

Master Windu.

I must say, you're here sooner
than expected.

In the name of the galactic

senate of the Republic, you are

under arrest, chancellor.

Are you threatening me,
master Jedi?

The senate will decide your fate.

I am the senate.

If the mythic hero

is a figure of freedom,

the villain he faces often stands as

a symbol of tyranny.

That tradition is continued in

the first three episodes of the

Star Wars saga, which offer a

dark drama of political intrigue

and corruption.

Begin landing your troops.

Is that legal?

I will make it legal.

The story draws

from more than myth and literature.

It reflects a cycle in our own history.

The fall of republics

and the rise of dictators.

Hundreds of senators are now

under the influence of a sith

lord called Darth Sidious.

It's no longer just

a small band of adventurers

having fun in a dangerous place,

but it's now grown into a sort

of a geopolitical meltdown.

Vote now! Vote now!


It concerns itself with the
corruption of government.

With a government that
is trying to seize power

for itself...

I will be chancellor.

And so generates
these sort of

artificial crises

that it can then respond to.

A threat from outside,
actually being generated

from within.

Wipe them out.

All of them.

At the center of

the story is the scheming Darth

Disguised as the kindly Senator

Palpatine, he uses the

Republic's fears of rebellion

and war to gradually seize

absolute power.

We know what Lucas

draws on a great deal, which is

Germany in the '30s, which is

the same animal.





Here, there's a very strong
analogy in "Star wars."

You have a chancellor,

Palpatine, who wants

extraordinary powers.

Well, that's exactly what

chancellor Hitler requested in 1933.

The so-called enabling act

basically said, "You can do
pretty much anything you want."

It's an emergency power,
naturally, but of course,

emergency powers rarely go away.

This is a crisis.

The senate must vote the
chancellor emergency powers.

He can then approve the creation

of an army.

Dictators always

start out saying they're gonna

help the little guy.

It's the big daddy.

Here is this powerful person.

And he is committed to taking care of me.

And these powerful men

who represent repression,

dictatorship, and evil, do have

a charisma about them, the

charisma of power.

Saddam Hussein had terrific...

What the military calls command presence.

Walked tall, upright,

tended to dominate any landscape
he occupied.

His message was "follow me, and

I'll take care of you."

One can see the attraction.

Naboo's system has been invaded by
the droid armies of the trade...

I object, there is no proof!

You really do see

this theme, that is, you see

government becoming very, very

messy, very, very corrupt.

And this goes back to the Roman Empire.

Free societies, republics, do

not collapse from without until

they've destroyed themselves within.

The morality necessary to

support a free society, of a

Republic, has to erode.

And hand in
hand in that, of course, in

ancient Rome is the idea of
corruption, the senators

themselves growing more
concerned with maintaining their

own power and the senate sort of

willing itself almost
out of existence.

The senate is expected to

vote more executive powers to

the chancellor today.

Be careful of your
friend, Palpatine.

Lucas is showing us
democracy is fragile.

It can always be destroyed from within.

As my first act with this new authority,

I will create a grand
army of the Republic

to counter the increasing
threats of the separatists.

Palpatine's playing
both sides because he knows that

war means the
accumulation of power.

And in a sense, that's what

happened in ancient Rome.

People like Julius Caesar raised

armies that became private

armies, and that was really what

led to the decline of
the Roman Republic.

Star Wars
further connects its galactic

republic to ancient Rome with

scenes like this one.

In "Episode I The Phantom Menace,"

the populace is distracted from the

gathering storm of war by spectacles,

like this high-speed pod race,

reminiscent of Roman
chariot races.

Later in the saga, as Palpatine

consolidates his power,

the citizens indulge in lurid

rituals of sacrifice and

There is a reference
to gladiatorial combat, such as

one finds in ancient Rome.

You have the idea that empires

can turn to that kind decadence.

In showing the
fall of a Republic,

"Star Wars" also reflects the story of

Napoleon, who crowned himself

emperor after the horrors and

chaos of the French Revolution

became too much for the French
people to bear.

Even early American history

offers an example of how a

Republic is vulnerable to the

ambitions of the powerful.

It's important to remember that
Washington, after the American Revolution

is offered by his officers

to replace the continental congress

and establish a dictatorship.

And he says to them, "Do you
truly believe that I led the

rebellion against George III in

order to become George I?"

And I think he would find in

Star Wars a great deal that

he would have agreed with, and a great
deal that he would have understood.

It's testimony to

just how significant "Star Wars"

is that people see our own

society, our own moment
reflected in it.

Anakin, my allegiance is to

the Republic, to democracy!

If you're not with me...

Then you're my enemy.

In "Revenge of the Sith,"
when we hear Anakin say

you're either with me or

against me, it's almost

impossible not to hear that

quote and think of another very
famous quote.

Either you are with us or
you are with the terrorists.

Some people say that

the new "Star Wars" trilogy has

analogies with Iraq.

And I think that that's only

very narrowly, because Lucas is

looking much wider at the Roman

Republic and all republics.

Lucas is telling a
very familiar historical story,

the story of a tyrant who comes

to power by exploiting

circumstances, by capitalizing

on fear, is a story that's been

told again and again and again.

In "Revenge of the Sith,"

the hidden evil within
Palpatine is made manifest

during his battle to the death

with Jedi master Mace Windu.

I am going to end this once
and for all.

You can't.

He must stand trial.

He has control of the senate
and the courts.

He's too dangerous to be left


No! No!

You will die!

Palpatine is
now physicalized evil.

He's ugly and crusty and


Palpatine becomes

the evil emperor.

You see the desire for power,

the desire for control.


The cunning
Palpatine even uses his

physical deformity to win
sympathy and support

as he seizes total power.

The attempt on my life

has left me scarred and deformed.

But I assure you,

my resolve has
never been stronger!

Lucas correctly
perceives that politics are

cyclical and that there is never

a final solution to anything

involving the construction of

human societies, that they are
in continual process

of construction and of

When Palpatine takes
over, it's the most chilling

thing I'd seen since the first

I mean, I had actual dread in

that wonderful shot...

Where they're coming down on

him, and everybody's cheering.

In order to ensure the

security and continuing

stability, the Republic will be

reorganized into the first

galactic empire!

There is a timeless

moral that power corrupts and

absolute power corrupts

We have to safeguard democracy.

That threat is always there.

So this is how liberty dies,

with thunderous applause.

Look at him, he's heading

for that small moon.

I think I can get him before

he gets there.

He's almost in range.

That's no moon.

It's a space station.

It's too big to be a space

In most mythic

tales, the hero and his comrades

must take part in an epic

The "Star Wars" saga draws on

iconic images of good and evil,

to evoke a mechanized empire on

the verge of crushing democracy.

In order to make

the Empire seem particularly

evil, Lucas calls the Emperor's

troops stormtroopers,

which were, of course, Hitler's

personal bodyguards.

He uses the black, white and

red when he shows the Empire,

and in fact, those were colors

that Hitler liked and used for

what was called the blood flag,

a symbol of the third reich.

When you look at

Darth Vader with what looks

like what they call the

upside-down coal kettle of the

German helmet, those were very

powerful symbols of evil in

America that took you instantly

to the dark side as soon as you

saw that shape of that helmet or

heard the phrase


Symbolically, the

mask really represents someone

who's lost their humanity.

So they are just going to do

what they're told.

To your stations.

But not

necessarily what's right.

In "Star Wars,"

the Rebel resistance and the

heroic guardians of the old

Republic embrace diversity...

In contrast to the

uniformity of the Empire and the


The Empire is sterile

and lifeless.

There are no women in the Empire


If the scanners pick up

anything, report it immediately.

And this may be

because women are associated

with life, the power of life-

giving, with nature.

You are part of the Rebel

alliance and a traitor.

Take her away!

All of which are

things that are opposed to the

Empire, as it is based on

death, destruction and violence.

Master Windu.

How pleasant of you to join us.

This party's over.

It's the

resistance of the champions of


And they're not just ethnically


They're zoologically various...

Against the enforcers of


In that sense, if

you go back and look at the

Cold War, where the united

states had reached across the

planet from Japan and south

Korea to Europe, there was a

very broad coalition of people

representing many different

value systems and structures

but who had collectively

concluded that they didn't want

a Soviet tyranny imposed on


Many people like to

read the Soviet Union as the


But I think that Lucas was

thinking of the Empire in the

original film, "A New Hope," as

the system.

The man, you know.

The monolithic faceless side of

power that's threatening to

squelch us all.

Joseph Campbell

thought that perhaps the great

moral question of our time is

will we live for the machine, or

will we live for humanity?

Magnificent, aren't they?

And he thought the

Star Wars films presented this

in stark contrast.

In "Star Wars,"

technology is symbolic of the

loss of humanity.

We see that in Darth Vader's

robot body that displaces his

human existence.

Or the Imperial walkers...

The Imperial cruisers...

Or the Death Star itself.

This station is now the

ultimate power in the Universe.

I suggest we use it.

The Death Star looks

like a planet, but it's not.

It's a machine.

And when you go

inside of it, it's hollow.

And so it shows you that the

heart of that society is

completely hollow.

Continue with the operation.

You may fire when ready.


You're far too trusting.

Dantooine is too remote to make

an effective demonstration, but

don't worry.

We will deal with your Rebel

friends soon enough.


Commence primary ignition.

And we are torn

about technology.

When homer wrote about the

ancient greeks battling, they

had the power to destroy one


But they could not destroy the

whole world.

Lucas uses

machines to great effect and

the fact that it's how humans

use them that makes the

difference of whether it's good

or it's bad.

It's true of our


It's also true of a gun.

So uncivilized.

The Rebels obviously

use technology, too.

They have spaceships, too.

They're happy to use it.

They're moving to attack


But the Rebels win not

through superior firepower but

because they trust in something

larger than themselves.

Luke, trust your feelings.

And right at the conclusion of

"Episode IV A New Hope,"
you see this very clearly.

Use the Force, Luke.

Where Luke turns off

his targeting computer, doesn't

trust in the technology but

trusts in the Force, and this

allows him to destroy this huge

machine, which the Empire did
not suspect.

The irony is that so
much of what happens in

"Star Wars" could not have been done
if you turned the machines off.

So it ends up being about
the relationship, the balance

between who we are,

what our intent is, and the technology,

the tools we use to realize
that intent.

Great shot, kid!

That was one in a million!

I think the message

is don't rely on the technology.

You know, rely on yourself.

Star Wars touches

the ancient theme.

It's been repeated time after

time after time with history.

Recognize that even after evil

has risen and is full-force on,

that the best that's in us is

to resist that and that one

person can make a difference.


This is the Rebel that

surrendered to us.

Although he denies it, I believe

there may be more of them, and I

request permission to conduct a

further search of the area.

He was armed only with this.

An important part of

Joseph Campbell's model was

reconciliation with father.

That is, to reconnect with one's

own father perhaps after

adolescent rebellion or perhaps

after some feeling of betrayal
or something.

But on a larger scale, it's

reconnecting with a larger

human framework.

The Emperor has been

expecting you.

I know, father.

By "Return of the
Jedi," you'll notice that Luke

is now wearing an all-black

He's gone from a white garment

in the first film,

which shows his innocence and
his naivete.

He's passed through this
tremendous initiation period,

and he has accepted the
negativity within himself, and

he has found a way to deal with

I feel the conflict within you.

Let go of your hate!

It is too late for me, son.

As soon as Luke finds
out that Darth Vader is his

father, he has a fundamental

What will he do about this fact?

On the one hand, the Emperor and

Vader believe that he will be

drawn to the dark side.

Welcome, young Skywalker.

I'm looking forward to
completing your training.

On the other hand,
he can do what Obi-Wan and Yoda want.

He can preserve himself from

that attachment to his father

and so destroy Vader and the Emperor.

But Luke invents a
third alternative.


He does something
totally unexpected.


He goes not to kill his father,
not to turn to the dark side,

but to turn him back
to the good.

Your hate has made you powerful.


Fulfill your destiny and take
your father's place at my side.


I'll never turn to the dark side.

You've failed, your highness.

I am a Jedi, like my father
before me.

Luke saves everything

through his attachment to his

So be it...


This is a very Christian
redemptive moment in the film.

There's no hatred in him, and

it's through his own offering

up of himself...

Father, please!

That he's able to

bring salvation to his father.

You could kind of see

Luke Skywalker as a messianic

figure who comes from humble

origins and rises to a place

where he redeems the father.

The father's redeemed through

the son.


Help me take this mask off.

But you'll die.

Nothing can stop that now.

The path to

self-knowledge requires us to

understand where we came from.

It's the relationship of

Odysseus to laertes.

Ultimately in the journey home

of "the odyssey," Odysseus

becomes his own father.

And it is only through becoming

your own father that you

actually grow up.

Just for once...

Let me...

Look on you with my own eyes.

Anakin wants to

see Luke through his own eyes.

So he would rather recover his

humanity, which means also

facing death, to see out of

himself as father to son.

One of my favorite

scenes in "The Iliad" is when

the great hero Hector takes his

little baby boy.

He has his helmet down.

He's about to go off to battle.

The baby is scared.

He's looking at his helmeted

father, and he can't see his

face, and then the lovely Hector

pushes his helmet back and looks

on his baby son and kisses him

and says, "my son, one day the

trojans will say you are like


You are strong and the bravest

in battle.

And then again, one day they

will say, no, he is greater than

his father."

Now... go, my son.

Leave me.


You're coming with me.

I'll not leave you here.

I've got to save you.

You already have, Luke.

The last act that

Luke performs for his father is

to burn all that's left of


In Episode III, you see Anakin

Skywalker with his humanity

quite literally and figuratively

burned away.

At the end of

Episode VI, you see all that

machine man burned away.

Burning a body on

a pyre is the ultimate heroic


In "The Iliad," the father,

priam, takes the body of Hector

back and there is a massive pyre


And then the people of Troy can

mourn him properly.

It brings honor and distinction,

and the smoke rises to the gods.

In the "Star Wars"

films, we learn that we're all

in this together and in a very

large sense need to cooperate

in order to survive.

We are now a part of the


You see an embrace

of people who can get together

for common goals, rather than

believe that they know what's

best for everybody else.

At the end of "Return

of the Jedi," Leia and han

ultimately form a couple.

They're linked to nature, linked

to new life, and life can now

go on in the sense that the

destructive Empire is gone.

Leia represents

the feminine force which needs

to come back to the galaxy to

bring it life.

Star Wars is about balance.

George Lucas has a


The power always belongs to the

people, and that is where anyone

who has power derives it from.

Never think that a

handful of committed people

cannot change the world.

In fact, it's the only thing

that ever has.

After more than

three decades, "Star Wars" has

influenced nearly every aspect

of popular culture.

And as it draws many of its

themes from literature...



And history, the epic saga has,

in turn, created a mythology

all its own.

It's become a

cultural touchstone for us.

I can quote from Shakespeare

or dostoyevsky and know that

some of the kids in the class

will probably get the reference.

But the second I mention "Star

Wars," they immediately know

exactly what I'm talking about.

These aren't the droids

you're looking for.

Myths pre-date


I think everyone acknowledges

that culture has changed


And there is absolutely no

reason why a great film series

of this kind cannot be

considered the equivalent of a

printed book.

The Force is with you,

young Skywalker.

It's a very literate

story, but it is not a literal


People are able to connect to

it in their own way.

I love you.

I know.

It has become what

the Greek myths were in the


I think the

legacy of "Star Wars" is that

it helps us to open our hearts

to the dimension of mystery in

our lives.

Use your feelings, you must.

And it also gives

us some guidance in conducting

our own hero's journey.

You've failed, your highness.

I am a Jedi, like my father

before me.

Star Wars gives

you a feel for a way of

storytelling and the moral

purpose and value of stories
being told.

You can see the nature of

You're all clear, kid!

Now let's blow this thing and
go home!

The nature of defiance.

You can talk all

you like about how "Star Wars"

has a bit of the Bible and it

has a bit of Greek mythology,

but none of those stories have

R2-D2 or C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt,

the spaceships, the Death Star.

To me, what is great and

wonderful about "Star Wars" is

the sheer brilliance of the

imagination of the stuff in

Star Wars that we have never

seen before.

I got him!

Great, kid!

Don't get cocky!

Fought well, you have.

This is just the beginning.

A hundred years

from now, someone will be

sitting here discussing the

impact of "Star Wars," and they

will be seeing different things

in it than we are seeing today.

Has it changed the culture?


Is it with us forever?

You bet.

Remember, the Force will be

with you... always.