DK Publishing Star Wars - The Power of Myth

ISBN 13: 9780789455918

Star Wars - The Power of Myth

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9780789455918: Star Wars - The Power of Myth

Explore the myths behind your favorite characters in Star Wars and Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Every civilization on Earth has told mythic stories to answer life's big questions. Star Wars: The Power of Myth is a photographically illustrated guide to one of the greatest mythical adventures of the modern age: George Lucas's Star Wars saga. This book charts Luke Skywalker's "hero's journey" from his humble origins to the fulfillment of his quest to become a Jedi Knight, and looks at the rich traditions of world mythology that inspired the Star Wars stories.

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Review:

Luke Skywalker equals Roland, Ben Kenobi equals Merlin, and the Death Star is the minotaur's labyrinth. Without a doubt, George Lucas owes much of the phenomenal success and gut-level resonance of his Star Wars series to a deft use of myth and universal archetypes. Fans of Joseph Campbell (and anyone else who's spent more than two shakes analyzing Lucas's Wookiee-subtle use of symbolism) won't find more than superficial insights in Star Wars: The Power of Myth, but by all means, don't let that keep you from the fun. Kids--and anyone who loves to analyze the similarities between Stormtrooper armor and 15th-century Gothic battle gear--will quickly find themselves engrossed in this picture-heavy survey of intergalactic mythology (despite maybe a bit too much emphasis on Western legends and, even less forgivable, The Phantom Menace).

Under headings like "Sacrifice and Betrayal," "Descent to the Underworld," and "Reconciliation with the Father," screen shots and detailed diagrams from the SW flicks (many recycled from previous DK books) share space alongside classical illustrations and neat-o closeups of lightsabers and blasters. Some connections come across seamlessly (we all knew Yoda was a Zen Buddhist), while others border on the sketchy (what does a Naboo N-1 fighter have to do with Odin's eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, anyway?). But DK's usual slick packaging and clean presentation makes up for any faults, making this a more than reasonable--and likely even educational--acquisition for young fans. --Paul Hughes

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