Star Wars, Celebrating 30th Anniversary of Release, Has Roots in Ancient Mythology
Rubino explains, "Heroes with doubtful parentage and no place to settle down, tutors with mysterious powers, immense journeys that represent whole lifetimes, the endless struggle against disorder and violence -- all these are familiar to readers of the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid."
The concept of destiny also plays a key role in the films, according to Rubino. "At the climactic moment of Return of the Jedi, the emperor utters some telling words to Luke Skywalker. 'It is your destiny,' he says, by which he means that the young man is fated to serve the Empire. Others in the film - - Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his tutor Yoda -- also speak of Luke's destiny, in various and sometimes opposing ways. Luke Skywalker, like the Roman hero Aeneas, is clearly someone who is haunted by destiny. But unlike Aeneas, Luke, who remains an American hero, seems to have the power to chose his destiny," Rubino says.
"'It is your destiny.' Young men and boys of the Roman ruling class heard much the same words from their fathers, grandfathers, teachers, and, perhaps especially, from their mothers. The notion of destiny played an essential role in their lives and the lives of their families. Their destiny, like that of their ancestors before them, was to serve and advance the fortunes of Rome," according to Rubino.
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