- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Series: Star Wars
- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: DK CHILDREN; 1st edition (March 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0789455919
- ISBN-13: 978-0789455918
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,551,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Wars - The Power of Myth Paperback – March 1, 2000
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Luke Skywalker equals Roland, Ben Kenobi equals Merlin, and the Death Star is the minotaur's labyrinth. Without a doubt, George Lucas owes much of the phenomenal success and gut-level resonance of his Star Wars series to a deft use of myth and universal archetypes. Fans of Joseph Campbell (and anyone else who's spent more than two shakes analyzing Lucas's Wookiee-subtle use of symbolism) won't find more than superficial insights in Star Wars: The Power of Myth, but by all means, don't let that keep you from the fun. Kids--and anyone who loves to analyze the similarities between Stormtrooper armor and 15th-century Gothic battle gear--will quickly find themselves engrossed in this picture-heavy survey of intergalactic mythology (despite maybe a bit too much emphasis on Western legends and, even less forgivable, The Phantom Menace).
Under headings like "Sacrifice and Betrayal," "Descent to the Underworld," and "Reconciliation with the Father," screen shots and detailed diagrams from the SW flicks (many recycled from previous DK books) share space alongside classical illustrations and neat-o closeups of lightsabers and blasters. Some connections come across seamlessly (we all knew Yoda was a Zen Buddhist), while others border on the sketchy (what does a Naboo N-1 fighter have to do with Odin's eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, anyway?). But DK's usual slick packaging and clean presentation makes up for any faults, making this a more than reasonable--and likely even educational--acquisition for young fans. --Paul Hughes
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It's a great gift for children who are beginning to read, and are somehow familiar with Star Wars.
Taking examples from the Arthurian legends, Aeneas, Norse legends, Greek mythology, and other traditional sources and comparing them to the Star Wars epic, this book lays out the framework of the heroic journey. OK, so it's not a scholarly study of mythic literature, but it is an excellent primer for younger (10-14) readers, using both classical sources and a popular contemporary source to describe literary patterns in a fashion that won't put them to sleep.
Try to make an 11 yr old read Chaffinch or Edith Hamilton's Mythology and things will start with eye-rolls and groans. Tell them the have to read a book about Star Wars, and they'll be so confused that you're making them read about a movie that the educational aspects will slip right past their conscious minds and into their brains before they realize that you put one over on them.
The pictures are good, but make the pages a little busy, but given that they show King Arthur with pre-1000 BCE style arms and armor rather than sixteenth century armor, I think I can forgive the author's excesses.
E. M. Van Court
It's brief, it's light reading, and it's fun...
As Roger Ebert rightly observes, a large part of the SW appeal is its visual richness. The book captures and conveys this well: nicely choreographed presentations of lovely color illustrations illuminated by succinct descriptions of mythological parallels.
It is well-known that George Lucas wisely modelled his universe on the work of Joseph Campbell, (note title). The recurrent mythological themes in SW are sufficiently presented to make this book a nice gift for anyone interested in either subject, child or adult.