As a summation of his life's work, mythologist Joseph Campbell went on a speaking tour during the last decade of his life. The filmed three-part series Mythos
, over fourteen hours, is available on YouTube. Mythos I Mythos II Mythos III
. The series is also available on DVD
. [more inside]
Joseph Campbell was well-known for his exploration of the monomyth, or the hero's journey, which posits that worldwide myths that have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure. Campbell's work inspired George Lucas to create the first Star Wars trilogy.
In the mid-1980s, Bill Moyers spent many hours interviewing Campbell at Skywalker Ranch. The result was a now famous documentary called "The Power of Myth
." The series has been available on DVD
since 2001, but Moyers has just made the full series
available for streaming and download on his site.
Lucas: Powerful reteller of myth - or galactic gasbag?
Salon has a scathing review of Lucas' claim that the basis of the Star Wars saga is in "man's oldest stories" and that he was guided by Joseph Campbell.
"With 'Star Wars' I consciously set about to re-create myths and the classic mythological motifs," Lucas says. "I wanted to use those motifs to deal with issues that exist today."
Hogwash, says author Steven Hart. Star Wars is based not on "The Odyssey" or the "Upanishads", but on Asimov, Heinlen, Herbert and other 20th century S.F.