Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Star wars, the story of a lifetime:
Okay, any time we hear news of an entertainment deal over worth over 4 billions dollars, our ears perk up. George Lucas is selling his brainchild to Walt Disney, reportedly for 4.1 billion. I personally remember seeing the first Star Wars movie when I was in elementary school. I'm pretty sure in grade school I didn't know the word "billion."
Have you stopped to ask why a company would pay that much money (besides the obvious reason they are in business and this will make them handfuls of money)? Why fork over billions for a studio that's niche is aimed at geeks? It's all about the power of Story. It's that simple.
Stories are the most powerful, influential, sacred, influential and valuable transaction in the world (or this case the Universe). Jesus is revealed not on a flowchart, but in the narrative of the Gospels. Businessmen who try to swing the big deal don't just hand out a pie-chart with dollar signs on it, they present a story. Even the nightly news has a "lead" story. We are addicted to stories.
George Lucas was heavily influenced by Joesph Campbell's work on mythology and story. Campbell is the one who uncovered the "Hero's journey" as a recognizable pattern in all the great epic stories. The hero faces a choice, or a door he must enter. The first time around he declines, but then forces overpower his choice and he goes through, think of Luke's aunt & uncle being murdered and then he flees their farm. There is always some type of mentor in these stories, think Yoda or Obi-Wan. There's a talisman or magic weapon, think light-saber. Facing the villain, in the first movie's case it's the Death Star Luke defeats in the end, the hero is changed. Then in the end the hero returns, but changed. Well, after reading his material that's my interpretation of Campbell. Once you read Campbell it's hard to read a story or watch movies and not see the "hero's journey" too.
Stories touch us, they move us like no other form of communication. The way a good story grips us and transports us into another realm is valuable, and in Disney's case, it's worth billions...