Comparison of Star Wars & The Matrix in relation to the Hero's Quest

Essay by nickakajudasUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2003

download word file, 7 pages 4.2 1 reviews

"Nobody can be told exactly what the Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself."-Morpheus

"You must learn the ways of the Force, if you are to come with me to Alderaan."-Obi-Wan Kenobi

One character is played by one of Hollywood's strongest black actors; the other, by one of the elder statesmen of film. But Morpheus and Obi-Wan Kenobi have a lot in common.

Those similarities take place in the larger context of two hit films, both of which have been huge commercial successes that readily assume their places in popular culture. The Matrix and Star Wars both resonate with audiences for specific reasons, in ways that similarly-themed movies with less universal appeal do not.

The Matrix is not especially revolutionary in terms of presentation or storytelling, although the special effects are great, but it is well written, slickly produced, and often devilishly clever. It also has the same core element going for it that Star Wars did in 1977, it's a classic hero tale, the kind that appeals to the aspiring adventurer in all of us.

The hero tale generally follows a very linear path, one whose route was handily traced by Joseph Campbell in his classic book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Although Campbell is somewhat outdated, his outlook was highly influenced by Freud, and his work tended to ignore rather than discuss cultural distinctions in mythology His book is still valuable, both because it can tell us about hero tales and because it has influenced their twentieth century retellings. Campbell, heavily influenced George Lucas. Lucas apparently went through two drafts of the original Star Wars, before revisiting Campbell's book for inspiration and guidance. It's likely that the makers of The Matrix borrowed from him as well.

The Hero's Call and Departure

Both stories...