When screenwriters or, more often, directors and studio executives want to impress, they natter on with would-be eloquence and erudition about how a movie reveals “the hero’s journey.”
They namecheck figures from Greek mythology and the Bible, Voltaire’s “Candide” and, of course, Luke Skywalker and the original “Star Wars” trilogy.
The phrase, “the hero’s journey,” originates with the revered classics scholar Joseph Campbell. In his 1949 book, “The Hero With a Thousand Faces,” he used it to describe the outlines of a recurring story, one which is found repeatedly across times and cultures.
“A hero ventures forth...