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Hero's Journey

The Hero's Journey is a narrative structure or archetype that is commonly used in storytelling, particularly in mythology and literature. It was first introduced by Joseph Campbell, a renowned mythologist, who identified a pattern that appears across cultures and time periods.

The Hero's Journey follows a specific sequence of events that a protagonist goes through in their quest or adventure. It typically consists of three main stages: the Departure, the Initiation, and the Return.

1. Departure: This stage begins with the hero receiving a call to adventure, often presented as a disruption or a challenge in their ordinary life. Initially, the hero may resist the call, but eventually, they accept it and embark on their journey. They may receive guidance or assistance from a mentor figure who provides them with tools or knowledge to aid their quest.

2. Initiation: In this stage, the hero faces various trials, tests, and encounters with allies, enemies, and supernatural forces. They undergo personal growth and transformation as they navigate through these challenges. The hero may experience setbacks, doubts, and even confront their own fears and weaknesses. Eventually, they reach a low point or crisis, known as the "abyss," where they face their greatest challenge or ordeal.

3. Return: After overcoming the abyss, the hero emerges transformed and with newfound wisdom or power. They begin their journey back to their ordinary world, often facing further obstacles or temptations along the way. The hero may receive a reward or boon for their accomplishments, which they can bring back to benefit their community or society. Finally, they return home, having completed their quest and bringing about some form of resolution or change.

The Hero's Journey is a powerful storytelling tool because it reflects the universal human experience of growth, transformation, and overcoming obstacles. It allows readers to connect with the protagonist's struggles and triumphs, making the story more relatable and engaging. By following this narrative structure, writers can create compelling and impactful narratives that resonate with their audience.

Now let's compare it with one of the most famous stories on the planet; Star Wars.


1. Ordinary World | Limited awareness of a problem.

The Evil Empire oppresses the galaxy.

Luke dreams of joining the academy but feels he is going nowhere on his uncle's desolate farm.

2. Call to Adventure | Increased awareness

R2D2 plays a portion of Princess Leia's call for help. Luke is smitten by the vision and wants to help the maiden in distress

3. Refusal of the Call | Reluctance to change

Luke refuses to follow Obi-Wan because he feels obligated to stay and help his aunt and uncle on the farm.

4. Meeting with the Mentor | Overcoming reluctance

R2D2 plays the entire message, revealing that Luke holds the plans of the Death Star. Obi-Wan gives Luke his father's lightsaber and tells him of his heritage. Luke wants to help.


5. Crossing the Threshold | Committing to change

Luke's aunt and uncle are killed, so he is free to deliver the secret plans to Alderaan. He and Obi-Wan travel to Mos Eisley to hire a ship for their journey.

6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies| Experimenting with first change

In the cantina, Luke is saved by Obi-Wan's use of the Force. The two hire Han Solo and Chewbacca, who become their allies. They evade Imperial Stormtroopers who try to prevent their escape.

7.Approach the Inmost Cave | Preparing for a big change

On the Millennium Falcon, Obi-Wan teaches Luke about the Force. The ship is captured by the Death Star, and the group finds itself inside the enemy's stronghold.

8. Ordeal | Attempting a big change

On the Death Star, they dress as Stormtroopers, discover the princess, and attempt to rescue her. They are discovered and tested as they engage with enemy troops.

9. Reward (seizing the sword) | Consequences of the attempt (improvements and setbacks)

In the trash compactor, Luke is pulled underwater by a creature but is rescued by his friends. They begin to work together as a team to escape the Death Star.


10. Road Back | Rededication to change

Obi-Wan sacrifices himself to help the team escape. The Death Star follows them to the Rebels, determined to destroy their base. Luke joins the Rebel's attack on the Death Star.

11. Resurrection | Final attempt at a big change

In the final battle, Luke hears Obi-Wan's voice and uses the Force to make an impossible shot that destroys the Death Star.

12. Return with the Elixir | Final mastery of the problem |

The power of the Evil Empire is destroyed.

The team members are honored as heroes and peace is restored to the galaxy.

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