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Essay about The Heros Journey In Star Wars IV A New Hope

Film has influenced the lives of many people throughout their lives. New movies come out all the time, and old movies still captivate new viewers to this day. Many people who watch a lot of movies can sometimes point out similarities between two or three completely different movies. Some of the most popular movies have a similar underlying story that Joseph Campbell called the monomyth. The hero’s journey is a very popular story that has been tweaked and retold for centuries. It follows a few basic steps that allow the hero to free themselves from the world he/she is currently living in for a world of adventure, and treasure.

One of the most popular of these movies is Star Wars IV A New Hope. In this film Luke Skywalker and Han Solo go on a quest to save Princess Leia from Darth Vader. This is one of the most beloved series in film history, because of its simple plot and out of this works story and character development. Luke follows the hero’s journey to a tee, like when he starts out living a normal life with his aunt and uncle. Luke receives a plea for help from the famous Princess leia, which represents the call to action.

Luke then refuses this call to action in because he thinks it’s too far away for a tatooine. Luke runs into Obi Wan Kenobi and Obi Wan offers to teach Luke in the ways of the force, but Luke refuses and return to find his house has been burned to the ground relatives inside, so look returns to Obi Wan to train in the force. Luke then leaves his home world and finds himself in a completely new world with different rules and regulations that are completely unknown to him. Luke then joins up with some friends in order to aid his quest to save princess leia.

Luke’s ordeal comes in the scene were Han solo and the gang successfully rescue princess Leia from Darth Vader’s evil clutches. Luke’s reward for overcoming his ordeal is his knowledge that his quest bestowed upon him. Knowledge of how to fight for what he believes in. With this knowledge in tow Luke joins the rebel alliance as a pilot. The last stage that Luke parallels is returning with the elixir. Luke is joined by his companions after a successful quest. Moral his high because a small group was able to rescue the princess and have a major part in the destruction of the death star.

Without the death star the Empire did not have the fear advantage in that part of the solar system any longer. The hero’s quest not only shows in a New Hope, but in many other star wars movies as well. The New movie, Star Wars Episode seven follows the same pattern except this time we follow the story of a young hero named Rey. The popularity of the quest archetype is hardly ever questions with works like the star wars movies, but sometimes directors have to change up the formula in order to make their movie stand out from the rest.

The quest is one of the oldest archetypes that has ever existed, and one of the most popular. When a person sets out to do something in literature or film, on the surface it might look like an ambitious character, but underlying that is a quest for the Holy Grail. In Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer Curtis is thrown into his destiny at the beginning and he is given the burden of liberating the tail section of the train. Curtis’s story conforms to the Hero’s journey so that telling the story is a little easier to understand because we have heard it over and over throughout our lives.

We grow up listening to stories about heroes and their quest, so when we come across another story similar to the ones we know, we automatically know how to feel towards certain characters. The story writes itself so that we want Curtis to succeed in what he does because he’s the hero everyone can relate with. Curtis goes on a quest to take the engine, does that sound familiar? This story fits into the Hero’s journey in order to make it easier for the audience to understand the story.

The movie starts with starts out with our hero and his friend Edgar biding their time until they can act on a plan that the audience doesn’t know about just yet. Without much context the movie throws the pair of protagonist at us out of the blue, and the audience has to make up their mind about what is going on. The movie automatically shows the form of power in this movie in a very negative light right off the bat, so that the audience automatically wants to root for Curtis and his party by comparison.

Despite lacking any sort of character development or backstory for Curtis or any of his friends, they are the favored party in the movie; a hero’s privilege. Starting out in an unfamiliar setting confuses or excites some audience members, but without the familiarity of exposition movies might not make any sense until later in the movie once most of the plot is explained, then the audience can piece together the earlier scenes in order to understand the movie better. This way of storytelling is confusing, and might make audience members enjoy the movie less and less the more they watch.

A simple way to combat this dilemma is to introduce an underlying story that everyone knows; the quest. The quest is a story that we are all told throughout our lives on many different occasions, so much so that we are able to pick up on any subtle hints that this story may be dropping on the audience. While the audience might not understand that the guys controlling the gates are bad, and Curtis is the hero, as soon as Doris gets hit with the butt of a rifle, it established that the guys guarding the door are the oppressive force, and that Curtis is the hero.

The audience is going to immediately side with Curtis in almost every decision he makes from this point in the movie until the end, and all of this trust is placed in Curtis without even knowing this backstory. Curtis ten continually makes the audience want to side with him. After the Doris incident Curtis and Edgar are searching the tail section for something. The audience doesn’t know what it is yet, but now that Curtis is the hero finding this thing is the number one priority. Curtis has this cute interaction with Timmy fter he realized that Timmy is the one who has the thing Curtis is looking for. This act tells the audience that Curtis is a relatable caring hero who wants to do what best for the whole group, bolstering his hero status. The thing Curtis and friends were looking for was a note that had been smuggled into the back section via protein blocks. This is directly related to “the call to adventure” in the hero’s journey process. The call to action is the thing that happens to change current conditions, like a secret note from a higher class citizen trying to aid them in their escape plan.

This call to action is the first step in Curtis’s quest to take over the train, but it comes with the rest of the steps of the hero’s journey. Now that the audience knows that Curtis wants to stage an uprising after the scene were Curtis goes over the plan with Gilliam, Curtiss hero status is bolstered once again. Curtis was introduced with no backstory and yet with subtle hints the hero’s journey motif was able to give clarity to many watchers. Curtis has built up his hero status to the watchers, but every good hero has to move on to meeting a mentor.

Gilliam and Curtis go over the game plan in the back room in order to clear it up in their heads along with giving the audience a crash course in the plan. Curtis is able to assure himself that this plan will work once he has run it by Gilliam. With courage also comes doubt, and Curtis shows this in the nest part of the hero’s journey, the refusal of the call. Curtis doesn’t linger on his refusal, but neither do many heroes’. His refusal is brief and it happens when Curtis and Edgar are trying to sleep before the big day.

Edgar says “you’re going to have to run the train” the Curtis replies “I’m not a leader”. Curtis is referring to running the whole train after they take it over, but Curtis is defiantly a leader because right after this he leads his people on a rebellion. His refusal lasted all of one scene. Curtiss moves through the stages of the hero’s journey at an incredibly fast rate, because right after his refusal Curtis attempts his break out plan. Curtis has moved into the next part of the quest “crossing the threshold” Curtis literally crosses from the back section of the train to the prison section.

No one has any idea how the rest of the train is and what their rules are, but Curtis does not plan on following them if they were any different from his own rules he set up for himself. One of the last hurtle Curtis has to face in the first section is getting Namgoo to help him on his quest. This is the next step in the hero’s journey, finding allies and passing tests. Requiting Namgoo is coincidentally both. The test is requiting Namggo, witch Curtis does by offering him Chrono, and in doing so earns an ally in his quest to take over the train.

With his new found allies Curtis seems like the underdog that everyone in the audience is rooting for, and excitement is building as Curtis successfully climbs over every obstacle that is put in his way. Curtis has liberated the tail section from the back cars of the trains, but that not the only obstacle that the group has to hurdle them the rest of the train is still on the agenda, and the next parts of the hero’s journey is fast approaching. The ordeal in the case of snow piercer the beginning of the ordeal is the room with all the men dressed in black.

Curtis is faced with a real fight were his life and the life of many of his followers depends on victory. Mid way through this battle Curtis is presented with a decision. Curtis has to choose between saving his friend and succeeding in capturing an important person to the cause. Curtis has to make the hard decision to forsake his friend in order to make sure the rebellion can continue. Th battle is the first part of the ordeal, and this step in the journey lasts for a large majority of the movie. At this point in the movie many people in the audience understand what is happening.

The audience understands that Curtis is the hero and he is leading a rebellion against the oppressing force, and that’s all the audience needs in order to suspend enough disbelief that the ordeal can be long and action packed. Curtiss ordeal lasts for the rest of the movie going from this battle, to the school scene that shows that the oppressive power is brainwashing children, and then to the intense chase scene that follows as Curtis is faced with another hurdle he must clear in order to take over the engine room.

Curtis towards the end of the movie comes into his final step of his hero’s journey. Curtis finds out that Timmy is being used as a human part to maintain the engine. Curtis had always regretted not being able to cut off his arm to feed to the hungry back when the train first started, the audience just learned of his regret in the previous heart to heart with Namgoong. Curtis plunges his hand into the machine in order to stall it enough for Timmy to get out. Curtis has gone through “the resurrection” finally losing the arm he regretted.

Curtis has a lot of trial throughout the movie, and all of them help him discover the truth that, no matter how hard he tries to change the way things work the more he becomes part of the system. Curtis eventually understands that if he keeps doing what he is doing he will eventually be absorbed by the train and its influence. Curtin never gets to the final step in the hero’s journey. Which is returning home with all the knowledge he had gained over his quest. Cutis has developed as a person throughout his quest, and the audience sides with him along the way.

Right at the end Curtis realizes that in order to stop his oppressor he has to take down the entire train. Curtis bravely dies protecting Yona and Timmy from the explosion that takes down the train indirectly. The entire quest was Curtis went on helped him figure out what he truly wanted, and Curtis was better for it, but all the knowledge he gaining throughout his journey was lost as soon as his quest was about to finish. Cirtis quest wasent pointless because he died, it matered to hime, and everyone that was invoilved. If they had done nothing they might not have died, but Curtis would rather die a hero than live as a slave for any longer.

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