If you would like your entrepreneurial journey to resemble more of a Star Wars movie, step behind the scenes for the inspiration behind the latest movie:
J.J. Abrams, who directed and co-wrote “The Force Awakens” went to college at Sarah Lawrence where famous mythologist, Joseph Campbell taught for 40 years. It was Joseph Cambell’s …“Hero’s Journey” that was George Lucas’ original inspiration for Star Wars.
J.J. used Joseph Campbell’s theories on story telling, archetypes and epic journeys in “Star Trek” and “Lost” before directing “The Force Awakens.”
As he says “I don’t know how many times in developing stories I have referenced the archetypes of Star Wars. As a fan of Joseph Campbell and the use of myth in storytelling, you could argue that it is a classic paradigm but it is the common language among all of us because we are all so familiar with the Star Wars canon.”
In “The Force Awakens”, J.J. has used all the eight main archetypes from the original “Star Wars” movies to tell eight different stories all rolled into one.
As well as featuring all the original characters, J.J. introduces new ones to play the same archetypes (Rey is the new Luke, Kylo Ren is the new Vader, BB-8 is the new R2D2). Rey goes through the same Hero’s Journey that Luke went through, from the “Call to Adventure” and “Refusal of the Call” to the “Road of Trials” and “The Return”.
These are the same stages found in every superhero’s journey – and the journey of every great entrepreneur. These are also the same eight archetypes found through history (the same ones that we use in our Talent Dynamics and Wealth Dynamics profiling systems for entrepreneurs).
Here’s all eight, with the original and new Star Wars characters, along with entrepreneurs and leaders who have followed the same journeys (or are following them today).
Which character are you? And what clues does this give you for your epic journey ahead?
#1 Creator: The adventurer – Always getting in to deep water, then intuiting their way out – Luke Skywalker, Rey, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, J.K. Rowling, Elon Musk
#2 Star: The swashbuckler – Willing to break the rules, in the limelight, to get to the objective – Hans Solo, Finn, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton, Harrison Ford
#3 Supporter: The team player – Knows success comes from team work – Chewbacca, Jack Welch, Sheryl Sandberg, Steve Ballmer, Meg Whitman
#4 Deal Maker: The negotiator – All success comes from the art of the deal – Jabba the Hutt, Unkar Plutt, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, Masayoshi Son, Susan Wojcicki
#5 Trader: The peace maker – Always seeking balance through exchange and equity – Princess Leia, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, George Soros, Carl Icahn
#6 Accumulator: The organizer – Keeping things in order, and worrying when they’re not – C3PO, Warren Buffett, Li Ka Shing, Gina Rinehart, Carlos Slim
#7 Lord: The wise sage – Getting perspective by standing apart, analyzing and advising – Yoda, Maz Kanata, Angela Merkel, Janet Yellen, John D Rockefeller, Larry Page
#8 Mechanic: The engineer – Happy to stay in the background and fix the details – R2D2, BB-8, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Ray Kroc, Christine Lagarde
Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” is the thread that links the epic stories that George Lucas and J.J. Abrams have used to create Star Wars, to the epic stories being played out today by entrepreneurs and modern day superheroes.
Being aware of the archetypes helps us each to follow our own natural path – without following the wrong one. When we each follow our own ‘calling’, we make our own lives an epic adventure.
And it’s when our stories intertwine, the adventure truly begins.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell