Today, we release the second episode of our podcast, How Do You Like It So Far?, with more responses to The Last Jedi. This time, we check in with Jeff Gomez from Starlight Runner, a leading figure in the world of transmedia storytelling. Gomez has been running a series of blog posts which explore the emergence of what he calls "The Collective Journey" as a new storytelling structure at work in contemporary popular media, a story structure which he sees exemplified by, for example, Game of Thrones.
The original Star Wars trilogy has been credited with inspiring Hollywood's fascination with Joseph Campbell's Monomyth (or The Hero's Journey cycle). George Lucas was strongly influenced by the work of the mythographer and his efforts to distill the basic building blocks of the epic hero cycle. Joseph Campbell in turn paid tribute to Lucas and Star Wars as a modern embodiment of his ideas. And the success of Star Wars led to the Hero's Journey to be seen as the core formula for subsequent Hollywood blockbusters. If contemporary action films are starting to seem tired, it is in part because this formula has been played out across too many stories, and audiences are looking for something different.
More than that, Gomez believes that this story model is badly suited to addressing the demands of a diverse audience, whether defined in relation to changing U.S. demographics or the global markets Hollywood actively courts. And there are negative consequences for the human race in reinforcing this good vs. evil scenario which includes little room for negotiation or even empathy with those who assume different perspectives. Gomez is using his influence within the industry to promote an alternative narrative modality, which we explore in depth in this episode. And he has written an extended discussion of The Last Jedi on his blog to supplement our exchange (https://blog.collectivejourney.com/the-self-disruption-of-star-wars-ae3311bedc08).
As always, we'd love to hear from you -- How do you like it so far? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org/