“They Are the New Mythologies,” Film Legend Defends ‘Star Wars’

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Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi

Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars has become one of the biggest stories in all of science fiction, but its critical response and fanbase have butted heads for years. However, one director steps up to the plate and has his say.

Star Wars across the ages
Credit: Inside the Magic

The phenomenal space opera has come a long way since George Lucas first introduced fans to the galaxy far, far away, but the few fanbases have been so divided. The simple fact is that the Star Wars franchise has grown far beyond the realm of the silver screen, and that’s become a double-edged sword across more than just the ongoing battle between the light side and the dark side.

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The galaxy has expanded far beyond the Rebels fighting the evil Galactic Empire, and legions of spinoffs, novels, video games, cartoons, and other forms of media have clearly proven that. The argument could even be made that the expanded universe influenced by creators like Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau garners more of a following than Lucas’ in certain circles, but it runs much deeper than that.

Star Wars: Our Modern Mythology

Captain Enoch in 'Ahsoka' Episode 6
Credit: Lucasfilm

Many might consider the ancient tales of Hercules, Achilles, and Odysseus as the cornerstones of epic myth, but the realm of Star Wars has just as much drama and weight as any saga of gods and monsters. Considering the expansive universe also has its own deities, cultures, and a vast star system of alien worlds.

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It’s easy to compare something like Star Wars to historical epics, war dramas, political thrillers , or even something as recent as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, but mythic is perhaps the best word for it, and even other famous filmmakers have doubled down on that fact.

Werner Herzog in the Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

Werner Herzog, known as “The Client” to you Mandalorian fans, is a director and filmmaker with a laundry list of credits under his belt. A giant in the world of documentaries and the avant-garde scene, he has made many strides for film in his career, and his recent statement on the franchise certainly blew some skeptics away.

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The German filmmaker stated in a recent interview,

“We should not dismiss Star Wars: they are new mythologies and a new way of seeing our role in the universe.”

Although that might sound like high praise for an already successful film franchise, Herzog definitely has a point in his assessment. Star Wars certainly checks a lot of boxes when it comes to mythic qualities.

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The saga features the ongoing battle between good and evil, armies of warriors fighting for the feet of the universe, a “force” of magic, mystical artifacts, and characters like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, and others who rise and fall like the ancient kings and gods before them. Herzog’s “modern mythology” statement hits the nail right on the head as the universe continues to evolve with each new chapter.

Has your favorite Star Wars movie reached a mythic proportion? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

 

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