I had the opportunity to see a rough cut preview of the upcoming Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed special on the History Channel. The special will run two hours, with commercials. In it academics, politicians, celebrities and journalists discuss the influence of Star Wars as defining a new myth, as well as the myths that inspired it. Some of the luminaries include Peter Jackson, Newt Gingrich, Stephen Colbert, J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Dan Rather, and Nancy Pelosi. Read More for more details.
Documentary style, with interview snippets interspersed with clips from the movies as well as other material, the special breaks down the Star Wars mythos into 9 different fundamental classic myth stories:
“The Hero’s journey” – the journeys of Anakin and Luke, with very different ends.
“Mentors and wizards” – The teachers of heroes.
“Warriors and damsels” – What fantasy would be complete without some damsels in distress? Except these can take care of themselves, too…much like some mythological counterparts.
“Jesters and monsters” – Comic relief against the strong emotions of the story.
“The seduction of evil” – How a hero can fall.
“The death of liberty” – Parallels between Palpatine’s rise of power and that of Adolph Hitler, and how Republican governments have been susceptible to be overthrown by dictatorships.
“Man versus machine” – More echoes of Hitler’s Germany, and how despite all the technology there is still a man underneath…
“Redemption and ressurection” – From bad to good, and the significance of funeral pyres.
“The circle is complete” – In so many ways.
The special provides lots of insight as to where Star Wars came from, and where a number of people think it is going.
Quite an entertaining look at a true piece of cinematic history.