Historical Figure & Event

Star Wars creator George Lucas was born in 1944.

May 14
Calendar Activity Type
Historical Figure & Event

Event Description

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.

Classroom Activity

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
  • Apotheosis/Underworld
  • Ultimate Boon
  • Rescue from Without
  • Crossing Back/Return

Then, brainstorm other works that use the formula, such as The Lord of the Rings.


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.

This post connects Star Wars and Campbell's Hero's Journey. References to the original films are included.

This page provides resources related to the series of books based on the Star Wars films.

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.

Related Resources