Segments in this Video

Joseph Campbell's Influence (02:36)


Lucas sets out to recreate myths and their motifs to deal with today’s issues. His themes in "Star Wars" include the good and evil inside us, man’s relationship to machines, friendships, and destiny.

Lucas' Creative Methods (04:18)

“Star Wars” satisfies our cravings to resolve our ambiguities. Lucas uses color for symbolism. He sees the picture in a fog and relies on research, his past influences, and imagination for the details.

Fantasy and Technology (03:09)

The underwater world of “The Phantom Menace” represents a place Lucas has never been to before, creating an entire culture. Digital cinema allows him to create fantastic sets and characters.

Icons of Evil (03:10)

Using ideas of evil from Christianity, Hinduism, and Greek mythology, Lucas creates Darth Maul as an icon of evil who evokes fear similar to Darth Vader. Children connect with Dart Vader’s power.

Philosophies of George Lucas (03:27)

Lucas adds parent-child relationships to Campbell's basic issues that create the mystery of life. He seeks balance of compassion and greed and questions what makes man so evil.

Mentors and Apprentices (03:31)

A clip shows Yoda mentoring Luke. Lucas’ mentors include his father, Francis Coppola, and Joseph Campbell. He believes we all teach by the way we live. Lucas realizes his films teach on a large scale.

Religion and Faith (04:40)

“Star Wars” takes all the issues that religion represents and makes them more accessible in accepting the greater mystery. The Force is meant to awaken the spirituality in people.

Religion and Inspiration (02:45)

Lucas believes organized religions are necessary and that the Force is not God. His movies are tools to make old stories relate to younger people. The Jedi are father figures or negotiators.

Common Threads in Religions (02:11)

Some people compare the slave child to Buddhism. Lucas, like Campbell, looks for common threads in cultures, such as temptation stories. Lucas wants to explain religion in a different way.

Universal Lessons and Film (03:37)

Lucas' stories relate to a variety of cultures across the world with themes of organisms learning to live together. Film takes on aspects of all other art forms and creates the power to evoke emotions.

Insight and Instinct (05:52)

Kenobi urges Luke to rely on his insight and instinct. Lucas believes this means quieting your mind, listening to your inner self, and following what you enjoy, like he does with filmmaking.

Redeemer Motif and Hero's Journey (05:19)

The redeemer motif is seen through Vader. “The Phantom Menace” is about letting go and becoming independent. Most myths center around the hero’s journey of letting go and embracing the future.

Children and Heroes (04:26)

Lucas believes it is harder to write for children than adults. Lucas believes core issues, such as friendship, are still important. Young people need to realize that little things can make one a hero.

Transformation, Faith, and Imagination (04:30)

The theme of transformation is seen in both Anakin Skywalker and Luke. Luke’s reliance on faith is like Kirkegaard's “leap of faith.” With his imagination, Lucas has the “perfect eye," according to Campbell.

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The Mythology of Star Wars with George Lucas and Bill Moyers

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The struggle between heroes and villains and the influence of a higher force are the essence of mythology that resonates within all cultures, providing storytellers with a natural framework for spinning tales. In this program, George Lucas discusses his efforts to tell old myths in new ways, the role of faith in his own life, and the influence of his mentor, Joseph Campbell. Using extensive film clips from the Star Wars saga, the discussion explores how the continuing battle between the forces of light and darkness is best waged when we believe in a force greater than ourselves. Lucas says that Star Wars is ultimately about a quest for personal transformation and that key to this journey is a deep faith and an appreciation for friendship, honor, and trust. (57 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL9102

ISBN: 978-0-7365-7936-0

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Highly recommended by MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship.

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.