Empty as pockets –
midnight to devastation –
we delude our myths.
Perhaps you’ve heard they’re making another Star Wars film. Perhaps you’ve read up on the backgrounds of the new cast members and heard that the Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong’o will also be joining the crew on their adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Maybe you delivered a furtive fist pump upon seeing the leaked production photos, which show actual physical buildings and creatures on set in Abu Dhabi, as opposed to studio rooms adorned with green screens. Whether you’re a fan of the nearly 40-year-old franchise or not, the hype surrounding its next installment—scheduled for release in December 2015—is pretty hard to ignore.
While several factors deserve credit for Star Wars’ ongoing popularity—the ballet-like lightsaber duels, the roguish charm of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, the massive amounts of toy merchandising—it’s quite possible that the space opera’s greatest strength lies in its reliance upon the work of American mythologist Joseph Campbell.