The Hero's Journey In The Dark Crystal

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In The Dark Crystal, directed by Jim Henson and written by Henson and David Odell, the protagonist, Jen, directly follows the seventeen steps of “the Hero’s Journey,” initially popularized by Joseph Campbell in 1949 and later adapted by Christopher Vogel, with one slight deviation. Jim Henson intentionally created the story to follow the format laid out by Vogel. The steps of this journey fit neatly into three acts: departure, initiation, and return. This follows Jen all the way from his home in the valley of the mystics to the end of the movie when Jen can return home victorious having changed for the better. While the Hero’s Journey can be applied to nearly all movies and stories that follow conventional heros, it is especially clear in the Dark Crystal as its creator, Jim Henson, envisioned it, having Jen follow each step except for the reversal of four and five. Joseph Campbell has claimed that the Hero’s Journey is the ultimate narrative …show more content…
Initially it provides the audience with the way the world works, how it came to be, and where Jen the protagonist is. This is step one, the ordinary world. It is how all stories typically begin, established through narration, admittedly an uncreative technique but nonetheless foundational in the case of The Dark Crystal. This sets the stage alerting the viewer that the Skeksis are the antagonists, and that Jen is the protagonist. Immediately following this Jen enters stage two: the call to adventure. His master, the leader of the Mystics, is dying. With his last few moments he tells Jen that he must get a shard of the Dark Crystal from someone named Augra. This is the first stage in the true adventure, setting into motion everything that follows. Jen hesitates at first. This is step three, or refusal of the call. This is a necessary element of storytelling to create a sense of reluctance and relatability in the

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