Collider Uses Campbell to Suggest ‘Spaceballs’ is Better ‘Star Wars’ Sequel than ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

Gregory Lawrence of the pop Culture site, COLLIDER, has applied Joseph Campbell’s description of the hero’s adventure to the spoof film, Spaceballs, to make his case that the spoof film is a stronger successor to the Star Wars franchise than Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker. In the article, Lawrence states, “Campbell’s monomyth structure ends with our heroes returning to their base reality having changed. In Rise of Skywalker’s ending, we see Rey go not to a home planet, but to Luke Skywalker’s home of Tatooine, so she can say that her last name is actually Skywalker. While I suppose she has emotionally changed (from “I’m sad I don’t know who my family is” to “My family is evil but I’m happy I’ve chosen a new family”), it doesn’t feel like a long, deep, or wide enough journey to have gone on to pop with any level of emotional surprise or depth, especially since the revelation is based explicitly on materials we’ve been familiar with since 1977. But in Spaceballs’ ending, we see Princess Vespa return to the exact same setting as the start — her royal, set-in-stone wedding — with a new partner, Lone Star (Bill Pullman), who’s undergone quite the change himself. Both characters’ changes are emotion-driven (love wins!), philosophy-driven (status is less importance than happiness!), and most importantly, discovered organically within the film’s text, rather than copied and pasted from other materials for an attempt at goodwill through recognition. This is a surprisingly successful, Campbell-utilizing conclusion, given that, again, this is a comedy spoof explicitly using other materials for its gags!”

To read the full COLLIDER article where Lawrence makes his case, click here.

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From Collider on April 13, 2021