What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
Star Wars creator George Lucas was born in 1944.
|Grades||7 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Historical Figure & Event|
As he was writing the script for the original Star Wars films in the 1970s, George Lucas spent a great deal of time reading and interviewing mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose ideas included a concept called "The Hero's Journey," the archetypal hero story that is found in cultures around the world. Lucas based much of his plot for the films on the stages of this journey, which, along with a relentlessly successful advertising campaign, might help explain the films' amazing popularity.
Use The Hero's Journey Interactive tool to describe how Luke Skywalker meets each stage of the journey:
- Call to Adventure
- Refusal of the Call
- Mentor Figure(s)/Supernatural Aid
- First Threshold
- Belly of the Whale
- Road of Trials
- Meeting with the Goddess/Temptress
- Atonement/Death of Mentor
- Ultimate Boon
- Rescue from Without
- Crossing Back/Return
Then, brainstorm other works that use the formula, such as The Lord of the Rings.
- Star Wars: The Magic of Myth
This National Air and Space Museum exhibit highlights elements of myth and the Hero's Journey in the Star Wars films. Also included are image galleries and audio clips.
- Joseph Campbell, Star Wars, and the Hero's Journey
This extensive site connects Star Wars and Campbell's Hero's Journey. References to all three original films are included.
- Star Wars Books
This page provides resources related to the series of books based on the Star Wars films.
- Hero's Journey
Students can use this online tool to learn about the elements of the hero's journey, analyze a text that follows the hero's journey pattern, or start creating a hero story of their own.
Games & Tools
Grades 6 – 12 | Game & Tool
Harry Potter. Frodo. Luke Skywalker. These popular characters from novels and films share a common root: the ancient myth of the hero’s journey. This tool gives teens the information they need to take a closer look at an epic hero or create a hero of their own.
Grades 6 – 12 | Podcast Episode
Readers with an interest in science fiction-or those who are simply curious about what the future may hold-will surely find something they like in this episode.
Grades K – 5 | Podcast Episode
Heroes are all around us. In this episode, hear about T.A. Barron’s book that spotlights heroic kids and meet Kaitlyn Chana, a perfect example of a young hero.