This week as we cross into the second half of my analysis on the 'hero's journey' trope in film my focus will be on two franchises by two iconic creators whom despite their close ties created very different storylines.
It's time to talk about the franchises that made me want to become a filmmaker in the first place.
That's right, this week it's all about the original "Star Wars" saga and the original "Indiana Jones" trilogy. While both franchises focus on one central character (Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker) their feats would not have been accomplished without the help of their trusty teams, weapons, and of the desire to defend others from evil may that be Nazis or the Empire.
However, these two sets of trilogies do this in very different ways. For one the settings: one in space and the other in for the most part Nazi-occupied Europe and the Middle East.
But perhaps more interestingly structure-wise, "Star Wars" is very much episodic since you cannot fully understand the two follow films if you haven't seen the first one (something that is clear in the way the films are later titled), while "Indiana Jones" is very separate, you can watch the films out of order and still be able to follow the story, although the opening sequence in "The Last Crusade" might not be fulfilling since we see Indy's origins play out on one fateful day.
But despite these differences, both stories follow the structure of the 'hero's journey' as we see both characters along their journeys to save the day and in Indy's case find a long-lost relic. While this journey is made much more clear and easier laid out in "A New Hope" where viewers follow Luke on his past to become a Jedi while exploring the galaxy, Indiana's journey is literally mapped out during several transitional sequences throughout the franchise, something as iconic as 'lightspeed' in the "Star Wars" films.
By looking at this structure of storytelling in a different light, even a casual viewer can pick up on these tropes throughout both trilogies, tying the two together besides them both starring Harrison Ford.