Fairy tales serve people as the common ways to recognize the overall reality and the role of humans in it. Both ancient and modern fairy tales are based on a concept of a hero’s journey. Star Wars and Harry Potter are one of the best-known fairy tales today that present hero’s journey as the way to struggle against the evil. Despite being modern stories, Star Wars and Harry Potter have the same elements of the hero’s journey as ancient fairy tales. These elements include a starting point in the Mundane, adventures in the supernatural world, and come back of the heroes to the common world with more powers to share with their fellows. The researchers Berger, Dickerson and O’Hara, and Deyneka state that hero’s journey depicted in Harry Potter and Star Wars speak to the needs of people and especially children because they make them gain psychological strength and courage in future. Harry and Luke are the prominent examples of the heroes who managed to save the world and protect ordinary people, therefore, they can be compared to the typical heroes of ancient fairy tales as well.
Despite being fundamentally different stories, Harry Potter and Star Wars have several common beats in relation to the hero’s journey. Hero’s journey starts in the world of the Mundane because both Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter are the individuals from the common world. At the beginning, Harry is presented as an ordinary orphan who lives in his aunt’s house and is often abused there. His parents’ however, are not ordinary as both are strong magicians, therefore, Harry adopted his great immense power. As the researchers explain, “Harry’s possession of some inherent or internal power is true of all wizards” (Dickerson and O’Hara 240). Luke Skywalker is also the son of the Chosen because he was born to strong and powerful Jedi Anakin Skywalker.
Both heroes are presented as having great potential at the beginning of the stories. Then, hero’s journey implies a call to adventure when someone tells them there is another world. This period can be considered hero’s powers’ awakening as well. For example, Luke becomes so strong that he decides to start a new Jerdi academy and increases his force to the level when he can be a serious threat to evil, Snoke and the First Order. Harry, in turn, starts studying in Hogwarts and demonstrates the great potential in magic. His magical skills and immerse force are so great that the magician community realizes he is the only hope in their struggling against Lord Voldemort.
The third beat of the hero’s journey is the hero’s come back to the common world with the new power and the ability to bestow boons on their fellows. Both heroes, Harry and Luke, have a lot of adventures, challenges, and tests that make them even stronger than they are. The development of strength and skills allow them to struggle against evil and protect the Universe from the fall of humankind. Harry defeats Lord Voldemort, while Luke defeats Kylo Ren. The end of their journeys, however, differs because Harry starts a new life, get married, and helps his children enter Hogwarts, while Luke disappears, and that means he dies in an ordinary physical sense. The feature of heroes can be identified in the two forms of victim and seeker heroes (Berger 15). By referring to Star Wars, the aspect of seeker hero is crucial who take the responsibility to fulfill different tasks for the betterment of the galaxy.
The significance of hero’s journey depicted in both Harry Potter and Star Wars can be explained by Berger who mentions that the heroic story is “a form of collective therapy … giving us comfort and courage to deal with the problems we all must face” (Berger 18). The effective connection between the forms of fairy tales and the reality is another interesting which can be considered in case of Harry Potter and Star Wars. Deyneka states that “Star Wars seamlessly fulfills the function of myth: opening our hearts and minds to the mystery in our lives” (Deyneka 45). Hero’s journey has an exceptional importance for a modern person because as well as ancient fairy tales, the contemporary heroic narratives help people understand their role as the savers and protectors of the Universe.
A particular pattern of Harry Potter stories appears with the different appealing features which help to understand the paradigms of good and evil. The particular aspect of moral consideration can be effectively learned through the particular dimension of Harry Potter. By considering this particular feature, Rowling proposes the arrangement of the classic fairy tale which becomes the interesting form for the readers to understand. The feature of the fairy tale in case of Star Wars and Harry Potter can be characterized as the interesting process which leads readers to the imaginative and amusing world which have no connection with the reality. Once the reader immensely involved the fairy tale world than it becomes easy for the hero of the story to propose the basic theme of the story. In conclusion, it is crucial to mention that the specific heroic feature identifies in case of Star Wars and Harry Potter is closely related to the modern paradigm of the fantasy world. This particular prospect can be considered which come up with the specific theme of good and evil prevails in the universe in different forms.
- Berger, Arthur. “Is Star Wars a Modernized Fairy Tale?” In Myth, Media, and Culture in Star Wars: An Anthology, 2012, pp. 13-19.
- Deyneka, Leah. “May the Myth Be with You, Always?” In Myth, Media, and Culture in Star Wars: An Anthology, 2012, pp. 31-47.
- Dickerson, Matthew, and David O’Hara. From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy. Ada: Brazos Press, 2006.