UP

Up – The Hero’s Journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Carl is a young boy with dreams of emulating his hero Charles Muntz

Call to Adventure

Carl meets Ellie and they promise to live a life of adventure

Refusal of the call

Everyday life seemed to get in the way of their plans

Supernatural Aid

Carl is an old man and the hero of the story. He plays a reluctant mentor for Russell and ends up learning something from him.

Crossing the First Threshold

Attaching balloons to his house and taking off for one last adventure

Belly of the whale

A near death experience in the thunderstorm and it carries them away to a far off place near Paradise falls

The Road of the trials

Carl struggles to get his house to Paradise falls as he has to tow it along and endure the constant nattering and clumsy behaviour of Russel the wilderness explorer

Meeting with the Goddess

Russel and Ellie are Carl’s inspiration. Carl and Ellie never had children but they loved each other dearly, when Ellie died, love also died in Carl’s life and it takes Russell to appear in his life to awaken it again.

Woman as Temptress

The distraction from his goal is Kevin the bird. When Carl meets Muntz, he’s excited, however he shifts between trying to get his house to Paradise falls to rescuing Kevin.

Atonement with the Father

Russell tells Carl a story about sitting on the curb counting cars with his father. Russell admits that although this sounds boring, sometimes the boring things in life are the things he remembers and loves the most. Up until this moment, Carl has seen Russel as an annoying kid but now he sees Russell as lonely boy seeking love and attention because he doesn’t get it from his dad.

Death of the mentor

Russel is upset with Carl because he had to save his house from burning down and in doing so, allowed Muntz to capture Kevin. Russel abandons Carl and flies off to rescue Kevin

Apotheosis

Carl flicks through Ellie’s book and discovers that far from living an unfulfilled life, their relationship was her life’s greatest adventure and she encourages him to live on and have another.

Ultimate Boon

He throws all the excess weight out of the house and gets it back in the air and goes after Muntz. Now he’s a changed man, he’s excited and filled with passion instead of being a grumpy old man and he’s ready to take on the final challenge ahead.

The Magic flight

Fighting with Charles Muntz as he rescues Russell, Kevin and Dug

Rescue from without

About to be killed by Muntz and Dug the dog knocks the controls and throws the blimp to one side allowing the old man to escape

The crossing of the return Threshold

He returns home with his new friends and allies, Russell, Dug and the rest of the pack

Master of two worlds

His has achieved the dream of the house by the falls but also he’s achieved happiness by living in the now.

Freedom to live

He sits on the sidewalk counting cars with the Russell, something boring but better than an wild adventure because he’s with someone he loves

 

Up is a perfectly structured, it’s a love story which spans virtually Carl’s entire life.

 

live die repeat

Edge of Tomorrow – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Major William Cage is a coward in the army who has never seen the front line in the war against the aliens in Europe

Call to Adventure

He is covered in the blood of an Alpha Mimic and this gives him the power to reset the day and be transported back in time back to base when he dies.

Refusal of the call

He doesn’t understand his new ability and rather than use it to be a hero he’s still thinking about himself and how to get out of the situation

Belly of the whale

Inside the aerial personnel carrier taking them to the beach, a missile hits it and he barely escapes before it explodes

Supernatural Aid

He rescues Sergeant Rita Vrataski. She realizes he has the ability she once had and tells him to find her when he wakes up.

Crossing the First Threshold

He tracks down Rita and convinces her of his situation

The Road of the trials

Rita trains Cage to be a soldier. His skills, knowledge and courage gradually increase with each loop

Woman as Temptress

Continued failures lead him to abandon his mission and escape to England. He learns that the Mimics are launching an invasion of England while the failed invasion in France is taking place. While in a pub watching the disaster he’s told he is a coward and he wont be tempted to deter from his mission again

Death of the mentor

Vrataski continually dies in a certain spot and Cage decides to hunt the Omega without her

Atonement with the Father

When Cage gets to the dam and discovers the Omega is not there he understands the visions are a trap. He kills himself before the aliens are able to steal his blood. He is now the soldier that Vrataski was determined to create. He is smart and skilled enough to take on the aliens.

Apotheosis

Cage steals a prototype of a device built by Carter to give him the ability to see the true location of the Omega

Ultimate Boon

This is a reversal of a boon. Cage receives a blood transfusion which removes his ability to reset the day when he dies.

The Magic flight

Assembles his squad and launches an attack on the Omega hiding beneath the Louvre

Rescue from without

Members of his squad sacrifice themselves to enable Cage and Vrataski to enter the Louvre

The crossing of the return Threshold

Cage and Vrataski accept that it’s a suicide mission and make their final charge at the Omega

Master of two worlds

He has both defeated the alien and summoned the courage to give up his own life to save the world – Both his inner and his outer problem are conquered

Freedom to live

He wakes up and the Aliens have been defeated. He tracks down Rita and is amused that she has no idea what has happened between them

 

 

Notes

This movie was awesome. I’m not sure why it only did just under four hundred million at the box office because it deserved to do twice that. I left out the Goddess stage because Rita really performs that role of inspiring and motivating him to complete the mission as her role as his mentor. Have a look at this film to see how well it handles the end of Act II –  Atonement, Apotheosis and Boon. After his Atonement he needs no more training in fact he is the one who teaches Vrataski about the visions. The Apotheosis is a classic piece of obtaining vital knowledge to complete Act III and the Boon is a reversal, stripping him of his power which of course increases the jeopardy, because if he didn’t have that happen to him then we would know he could still just reset the day again if he failed.

 

Some people may think that the Call and the refusal is when the General orders him to the front line and he runs away. Just being sent to the front line is not the driver of action in this story, it’s the fact he can reset the day and go back in time.

The_Dark_Knight_Rises_by_messenjahmatt

The Dark Knight Rises – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Bruce Wayne lives the life of a hermit in his house. He’s no longer the Batman because as a result of the Harvey Dent act he’s not needed.

Call to Adventure

Bane commences his plan to purify the world by destroying Gotham. He is an opponent of unprecedented strength, which no ordinary human can beat.

Refusal of the call

“The Batman has to come back.”

“What if he doesn’t exist anymore”

Crossing the First Threshold

Bane and his men attack the stock exchange and the Batman returns. The police go after him instead of Bane’s men, wanting him to pay for the murder of Dent eight years ago.

Meeting with the Goddess                            

Blake is the Goddess. He goes to Bruce Wayne and tells him that Commisioner Gordon has been shot and that he needs a return of the Batman. At first Bruce is uninterested but then Blake tells him his story of how he shares the same pain as Bruce that he is an orphan from crime. Blake also tells him that his orphanage used to be funded by the Wayne Foundation and at the end of the film Bruce donates Wayne manor to the orphans of Gotham.

Woman as Temptress

Alfred is the Temptress. He is the one who tells Bruce to hang up the cowl and walk away.  He tells him his dream of seeing him in café in Florence with his wife and children, happy.

Watch here

Belly of the whale

Cat woman leads the Batman into a trap and he must fight Bane. The Batman is no match for Bane and has his back broken.

The Road of the trials

Imprisoned in a dungeon in India, Bruce first has his back fixed and then he trains his body

and his mind to escape

Supernatural Aid

His prison inmates who at first heal him and then teach him what he needs to learn to rise up out of the prison

Apotheosis

Apotheosis can refer to a supernatural vision. Bruce sees a vision of a dead man, his former mentor Ra’s Al Ghul and learns from the vision that Bane is Ra’s heir, that he will continue the work of the league of shadows, that Gotham isn’t worth saving and must be allowed to die.

Atonement with the Father

He learns from the blind prisoner that he must regain his fear of death in order to be able to escape the prison, he must do the climb without the rope. Batman Begins was all about fear and the Batman put fear into the criminals of Gotham. Now, Bruce must reclaim his fear of death in order to live again.

Watch here

Ultimate Boon

The Batman has returned to Gotham. He has freed the police and is ready to face Bane.

Watch here

The Magic flight

It is two parts. The final fight of hand to hand combat VS Bane and then the chase through the city going after the Talia Al Ghul and the bomb.

Watch here

and here

Rescue from without

Bane is about to kill the Batman when Catwoman arrives on the Batpod and shoots Bane.

The crossing of the return Threshold

The final job of the hero is to save Gotham from being blown up. However, to do so means he must sacrifice himself. He flies the bomb out to sea where it explodes. This completes the job of Batman for the trilogy, he can now return to being Bruce Wayne.

Master of two worlds

Batman uses his resources to help the orphans of Gotham by donating his mansion to them. Batman has become immortalized in a statute as a symbol of justice and sacrifice. The people know who saved them – The Batman.

Freedom to live

Alfred sees Bruce and Selina at restaurant. They nod to each other but they don’t have to say anything to each other.  Bruce is free from the Batman, free to live.

 

 

wall-e

Wall-e – The Hero’s Journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Wall-e is a clean up robot left on Earth after all of the humans have left because the pollution is so high that the plants have all died. Wall-e lives alone but longs for someone to hold his hand.

Call to Adventure

Eve arrives on Earth to look for life on the planet and Wall-e falls in love with her.

Refusal of the call

Eve doesn’t want anything to do with Wall-e but he is persistent in his attempts to get her attention and makes a connection with her

Supernatural Aid

Wall-e doesn’t have a mentor in this story, however the Captian has Auto, the ship’s automated pilot giving advice and guidance to him.

Crossing the First Threshold

The ship arrives to take Eve back and Wall-e smuggles himself on the ship by attaching himself tot onboard and takes off with her.

Belly of the whale

Eve discovers Wall-e has followed her into the Bridge and tries to hide him. They can’t find the plant so she is deemed defective and he is sent for cleaning.

The Road of the trials

He’s on the loose on the Axiom, making friends and trying to help Eve, recover the plant and at the same time help the morbidly obese humans get their lives back.

Meeting with the Goddess

Eve is Wall-e’s Goddess, she inspires him to be a hero, even if slightly unwittingly at times

Woman as Temptress

The temptation was from the automated lifestyle the morbidly obese humans have been living. They’d gone down the wrong path and it was easier to stay that course but it is also wrong. The captain and the human’s that Wall-e touched are the ones who lead the humans out.

Death of the mentor

This occurs to the Captain when Auto  commits mutiny and attempts to imprison him.

Atonement with the Father

Eve tries to send Wall-e home on a pod, however they notice GO-4 trying to jettison the plant into space and destroy it. However Wall-e saves the plant and flies around the hip using the fire extinguisher in a dance of love in space with Eve. Now they are on the same page, united in the goal of protecting the plant and exposing the cover up by Auto

Apotheosis

Eve sees into the past and learns that Wall-e cared for her when she was in hibernation waiting for the mother ship to collect her. This knowledge cements her love for Wall-e

Ultimate Boon

The Captain learns all about Earth and discovers what a great place it is and wants to go back.

The Magic flight

Auto shoots Wall-e and Eve out into space.

Rescue from without

While Wall-e has jammed the machine open, McCrea manages to turn off Auto.

The crossing of the return Threshold

The Axiom space ship returns to Earth

Master of two worlds

Eve tries to repair Wall-e but he doesn’t recognize her and returns to compacting garbage. It’s only when Eve holds his hand that his system reboots and he recognizes her

Freedom to live

They return to Earth to bring life back to it and also the people.

karate_kid_1984_2

The Karate Kid – The hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Daniel is a fish out of water because he was unhappy about moving from New Jersey to California.

Call to Adventure

Johnny and his gag bust up a party when Daniel was getting very friendly with Ali. Daniel tries to protect Ali but he is no match for Johnny who is a martial arts expert.

Refusal of the call

Daniel isn’t ready to take on Johnny yet. He is beaten up and humiliated. He rejects Ali’s offer for help.

Supernatural Aid

Mr Miyagi becomes Daniel’s teacher and guide through the story.

Belly of the whale

Daniel gets cornered by Johnny and his gang. They beat him up, however Daniel is rescued by Mr Miyagi who easily deals with the hoodlums attacking Daniel

Crossing the First Threshold

Mr Miyagi goes to Cobra Kai dojo and agrees to a challenge between Daniel and his Cobra Kai students

The Road of the trials

Mr Miyagi teaches Daniel how to fight with Karate with his own unusual method. Wax on, wax off

Meeting with the Goddess

Ali is a good girl who Daniel falls in love with. Right now he can’t have her but if he learns how to fight he will have a chance.

Woman as Temptress

This isn’t a true example of the Temptress but When Daniel turns up to the party and sees Ali kissing Johnny he turns his back on her and concentrates on his training.

Atonement with the Father

Daniel finds Miyagi in his apartment drunk and in his war uniform. He learns that his teacher was a war hero who lost his wife and child during child birth at a Japanese relocation camp for Japanese Americans during the war. Upon discovering this information he bows to his teacher, now he trains with more intensity than before

Apotheosis

Daniel turns sixteen so Mr Miyagi gives him one of the cars he made him wax and orders him to and find the balance in his life. He goes looking for Ali and when he learns from her friend that Johnny kissed Ali only to humiliate Daniel, he apologizes to Ali

Ultimate Boon

Now he’s a man, he has a car, the girl and the skills to face Johnny in the tournament.

The Magic flight

Magic flight is a fight or flee stage, here it’s a fight. Daniel progresses through the rounds beating various opponents, as does his ultimate enemy, Johnny.

Rescue from without

Daniel’s knee is injured by an illegal kick from one of the Cobra Kias. Although he has proved he is worthy to step in the ring against them he will never achieve life’s balance if he knows his enemies have gotten the better of him. He begs Mr Miyagi to fix his knee using acupressure.

The crossing of the return Threshold

Daniel steps onto the mat to face Johnny. He’s injured but fights anyway.

Master of two worlds

Johnny uses an elbow on Daniel’s knee which cripples him. However, rather than ending the fight Daniel uses the crane position which his master made him practice endlessly in order to be able to kick Johnny in the head and defeat his tormentor.

Freedom to live

Johnny hands him his trophy and congratulates him. He celebrates with his mother , Ali and an approving nod from Mr Miyagi

 

 

552657-john_mcclane_zippo_lighter_die_hard_blu_ray_cap

Die Hard – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

John McClane is a NY cop in LA visiting his wife. They have some marriage problems but he still loves her

Call to Adventure

Hans Gruber and his men hijack the building with the intention of stealing 640 million in bearer bonds

Refusal of the call

There’s no refusal. The refusal of the call stage  is the opposition to the call to adventure stage. This is indicated here by John being totally unprepared for this adventure,

Supernatural Aid

There’s no Supernatural Aid either. Al, the cop outside is his ally rather than a mentor.

Crossing the First Threshold

John sends the dead man inside the elevator with a cheeky message written on his Tshirt. “Now I have a gun Ho Ho Ho”

Belly of the whale

John fights one of the criminals, crashing through a wall and aluminium beams

The Road of the trials

John plays cat and mouse with the terrorists, running around the building, crawling through ducts, trying to alert the authorities of what the criminals are up to.

Meeting with the Goddess

His wife is his Goddess, she cheers on his successes while watching the misery he’s causing the terrorists

Woman as Temptress

Harry pretends to be John’ friend and Hans gives him a radio to talk to John and ask him to come in.

Atonement with the Father

I thought the atonement would have something to do with the conversation between Hans and John when Hans was pretending to be another hostage. ??? But I don’t think it is, unless someone else has an obscure interpretation of the Atonement, was it flipped onto Hans? Contribute any ideas down below in the comments section.

Apotheosis

John learns that Hans intends on blowing up all the hostages so the police think all the criminals are dead and don’t come looking for them.

Ultimate Boon

This is a reversal of the Ultimate Boon. It’s when Han discovers that Holly is John’s wife. It’s still the event that drives the action of Act Three and what leads to the head to head confrontation between John and Hans.

The Magic flight

The FBI agents in the helicopter think John is trying to kill the hostages as he tries to get them off the roof. When the terrorist blow up the roof John grabs a fire hose and jumps off.

Rescue from without

Karl is about to kill John and Holly when Al shoots and kills him.

The crossing of the return Threshold

He finds Holly, she’s held captive by Hans to use her a bargaining chip. John has returned to her, battle scarred from the ordeal and she respects him far more than she did at the start of the film.

Master of two worlds

John sticky tapes his gun to his back and is able to distract Hans and Eddie so he can use his final to shots to kill them both and rescue his wife. He is both a law enforcement officer and a protector of his wife.

Freedom to live

John and Holly walk away hugging each other, when the reporter approaches the she punches him out. She has the same reckless fire in her that John has. They will be happy together.  

 

 

raiders_of_the_lost_ark_IMAX-posterbanner

Raider’s of the Lost Ark – The Hero’s Journey Breakdown

Ordinary world

Indiana Jones is an archaeologist, adventurer and a Professor.

Call to Adventure

He’s contacted by Government Agents to retrieve the Arc of the covenant. Hitler is also after it and he has a head start. (Also note: there is a long introduction with the rolling stone and the chasing natives etc, so when they come back to America, there’s a quick scene to establish he’s a professor and then they meet the Government Agents)

Refusal of the call

The refusal comes in the form of a warning by Brody.

“For nearly three thousand years man has been searching for the lost Ark. That’s not something to be taken lightly. No one knows its secrets. It’s like nothing you’ve ever gone after before”

“Ha ha ha what are you trying to do Marcus? Scare me, you sound like my mother.”

Supernatural Aid

Indy is an experienced hero, he doesn’t need a mentor. His code of honour is his guide.

Belly of the whale

Rescuing Marion and fighting the Nazis for the first time in her bar as it burns to the ground. Although he was nearly killed at the start, this is his first taste of death on this adventure.

Crossing the First Threshold

Going to Egypt

The Road of the trials

Indy teams up with Sallah and  the Nazis come after them. They abduct Marion and Indy thinks she’s killed.

Meeting with the Goddess

It’s easy just to call Marion the Goddess as she’s his love interest but I don’t think she really inspires him to be any more heroic than he would be if she was in the story or not. Indy is more dedicated to the noble aspirations of his profession.

Woman as Temptress

Marion as the Temptress?

When Indy finds Marion alive, his first thought is to rescue her and get out of there. But he doesn’t do this because if he did the Nazis would search for her and destroy any chance he has of recovering the Ark. So he resists this temptation and leaves Marion tied up so he can continue on the journey.

Belloq as the Temptress?.

Belloq “You and I are very much alike. Archeology is our religion, yet we have both fallen from the pure faith. Our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am but a shadowy reflection of you. It would take only a nudge to make you like me. To push you out of the light.”

He serves as the Shadow of the hero. The dark version of what Indy could be.

Later when Indy has the chance to destroy the Ark, Belloq calls his bluff and gives him the opportunity to destroy it. But he can’t. Would the true hero be able to destroy the Ark so the Nazis can’t get it but in doing so, rob himself of it?

Apotheosis

Indy learns the secret location of the Well of souls and the location of the Ark of the covenant. He’s gained a new level of knowledge. A gift from the Gods

Atonement with the Father

He has a fear of snakes; he must overcome this fear in order to recover the Ark. Atonement often is a section where the hero has to overcome fear.

Ultimate Boon

Indy has recovered the Ark of the Covenant.

The Magic flight

The chase sequence, which starts off on horse back and then trucks, then dragged behind the truck. He recovers the Ark but then the Nazis capture the Ark again and Indy hitches a ride on the periscope on the submarine.

Rescue from without

The Ark is opened and all the bad guys are killed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0APF3SO9tqE

Rescue from without can sometimes come dangerously close to Deus Ex Machina. Does it here? Did Indy earn the right to survive or was it a random unearned gift from the Gods? Indy knows to keep his eyes shut (from a deleted scene in the film “If you look at the Ark when it is opened you die”) Give thoughts in the comments below.

The crossing of the return Threshold

Back in America

Master of two worlds

He’s defeated the Nazis, his nemesis and recovered the Ark.

Freedom to live

He lost the Ark to his own government but he’s got the girl.

 

The Apotheosis, atonement, Ultimate Boon, Magic Flight, and Rescue from without sequence is a perfect example of the Hero’s journey in action.

lion king

The Lion King – The hero’s journey breakdown.

Ordinary world

Simba is the son of Mufasa, the King of the jungle. All the animals serve under Mufasa’s just rule.

Call to Adventure

Simba is born to be King but Mufasa’s brother, Scar, plots to kill them both and take the throne for himself

Refusal of the call

Scar easily tricks Simba into going to the Elephant grave yard because Simba has no comprehension that Scar would try and kill him. He’s completely unaware of the call which is why he doesn’t take action against it.

Belly of the whale

Simba enters the Elephant grave yard and is nearly killed.

Supernatural Aid

Simba’s mentor is his father Mufasa. He leads by example and teaches Simba how to be a good King by being just one. Later Rafiki the baboon also serves as guide to encourage Simba to take action.

Death of the mentor

Mufasa is killed in a stampede of wildebeest.

Crossing the First Threshold

Simba runs away believing he killed his father.

The Road of the trials

Simba meets up with Timon and Pumba  and learns their carefree lifestyle. But meanwhile back on the Pride lands, Scar’s rule has destroyed it.

Meeting with the Goddess

Nala returns to his life, these childhood friends have grown up and become lovers. She begs him to return home because of what has happened to their homeland since Scar took the throne.

Woman as Temptress

Hakuna Matata – No worries, why be King, which carries with it the burden of responsibility when you can just relax and have fun.

Atonement with the Father

Simba understands the concept of the circle of life and there’s more to being King than getting your way all the time. He learns that he has an obligation to the greater good of serving your community.

Apotheosis

Rafiki shows Simba that Mufasa is alive and shows him his reflection in the pond. Mufasa speaks to him and tells him he must reclaim the throne.

Ultimate Boon

Simba has the courage to return to his homeland and take up the thrown which is rightfully his.

The Magic flight

Returning to fight Scar

The crossing of the return Threshold

When Sarabi compares Scar to Mufasa he strikes her. Simba steps forward to defend her.  Simba accepts responsibility for his father’s death in front of his pride even though it was an accident.

Rescue from without

Closest thing to a rescue from without is the rain falling to put the fire out that threatens them.

Master of two worlds

He has defeated Scar, shed the guilt which didn’t belong to him and will rule the Pride lands as King.

Freedom to live

Life has returned to Pride rock, he is King and Nala his Queen. The circle of life continues with their cub.

 

I’ve included a link here for another interpretation of the Hero’s journey in The Lion King. The main differences between my breakdown and the one on the link stems from two key decisions. Firstly that the Call to adventure in the link is attributed to Nala telling Simba that he must return to Pride rock because Scar’s rule has destroyed it. (which is far too late in the film to be considered the Call to adventure) and secondly the Ultimate Boon is interpreted as Simba taking back the rule. I also consider this a misinterpretation as the Ultimate Boon is the moment where the hero is prepared to take on the challenge of the third act rather than the common misinterpretation that the Ultimate Boon is the climax, it’s not.

05-jaws

Jaws – The hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world Sheriff Brody lives on an island with his family and he’s afraid of water

Call to Adventure He discovers the dead body of the girl on the beach. It’s not the opening action piece where she is torn apart by the shark. It’s the moment when the hero, Brody is presented with the discovery of her body which will result in him confronting the shark that is the Call to adventure.

Refusal of the call Amity is an island town which survives of summer dollars from tourists. The sheriff reluctantly follows along with the mayor and the coroner and pass the girl’s death off as a boating accident.

Supernatural Aid Brody calls in Dr Matt Hooper, an expert in sharks. And to a lesser extent Quint, who is also an expert in hunting sharks

Belly of the whale The shark kills the Alex Kintner, this is his first real baptism of fire. Watch it here

Crossing the First Threshold Now the whole town knows there is a shark out there, the sheriff must take action.

The Road of the trials Dealing with the idiots attracted by the bounty on the shark and antagonism from the Mayor who refuses to acknowledge there is a danger from the shark and the beach needs to be closed.

Meeting with the Goddess This is a broader interpretation of the Meeting with the Goddess stage. The person who inspires and motivates the Sheriff to do the right thing is Mrs Kintner, Her son was killed by the shark and she publically slaps Brody. Brody has been shamed and guilted into taking heroic action.

Woman as Temptress Mayor Larry Vaughn is only concerned about the financial effect of the shark if it became known that a shark was hunting in the waters. He is able to talk the Sherrif into turning a blind eye and agreeing to allowing the beach to stay open even though he knows the right thing to so was to shut it down.

Atonement with the Father Brody fears the water. Quint tells him the story of the USS Indianapolis which went down and the sharks ripped apart the survivors. Brody fears the water and Quint tells him he’s right to fear it.

Ultimate Boon The Ultimate Boon occurs very early, just after the Mid point when the sheriff is throwing bait into the water and the Shark appears. The Call to Adventure is the discovery of the dead girl and the Ultimate Boon is the face to face confrontation with the shark that did it.

Apotheosis The Apotheosis is entwined with the barrels sequence. The shark has been harpooned and they now have the ability to track it’s movements. Apotheosis is a raising of consciousness or ability in order to complete the goal.

Rescue from without There’s no rescue from without. Quint has been killed and Hooper is out of action at the bottom of the ocean. Do the air tanks count as rescue from without? Not really, Rescue from without is a product of Karma, do good things for other people and you will get good things in return when you need it.

The Magic flight They try and escape the shark and head back to shallow waters

The crossing of the return Threshold Coming up with the idea to blow the shark up with the air tanks. He’s bringing together everything he’s learnt i.e. the tanks are explosive and this is no ordinary animal that he could just shoot with a gun. He’s got to blow the beast up.

Death of the mentor Quint is killed by the shark and Hooper

Master of two worlds Kills the shark, overcomes his fear, saves the town.

Freedom to live He swims back to shore with Hooper and celebrate being on dry land once again.

 

 

I highly recommend watching this documentary on the making of Jaws. https://vimeo.com/68400837

If anyone has any thoughts on Jaws or alternative views on the stages please use the comments below.

Aliens_Cast_1986

Aliens – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Ripley has been recovered from deep space fifty seven years. She’s suffering from posttraumatic syndrome, lost her child and she’ s lost her job.

Call to Adventure

They’ve lost contact with the colony on LV-426 and they want Ripley to go in as a consultant. If she goes, she gets her job back.

Refusal of the call

Ripley doesn’t want to go.

Supernatural Aid

Hicks is her mentor. He teaches her how to shoot and gives her the talisman of the tracking device which she later uses to save Newt.

Crossing the First Threshold

She joins the crew of the Sulaco as a consultant and heads off to LV-426

Belly of the whale

The first hint of death comes when enter the drop ship to get to the surface of the planet. Stakes are now raised and she’s not completely safe from the Aliens anymore.

The Road of the trials

Click on the above link for Road of the trials and it goes to the definition. The main trials are defined and all are easily identified such as Abduction when Newt is captured.

Meeting with the Goddess

Ripley meets Newt, she’s about the same age as Ripley’s daughter was when she left on her original journey which she made in the original movie Alien. This is the relationship which inspires her to be a hero in the third act.

Woman as Temptress

Temptation is flipped on to Burke. He’s sold out his humanity and morals. He was the one who told the colony on LV-426 to investigate the alien craft and then comes up with a plan to implant the alien into Ripley and Newt and then kill the rest of the crew so he can get the Alien back to Earth and then exploit the Alien for military purpose. He’s succumbed to the temptation of greed.

Death of the mentor

Hicks is sprayed by acid blood from an Alien and becomes incapacitated. Now, she must face the final challenge alone.

Atonement with the Father

Aliens is all about Motherhood and its at this moment where she learns what being a mother is all about. Confronting her fears and a willingness to sacrifice her own life to protect Newt.

Apotheosis

Ripley has the ability to track Newt into the Alien hive. (I always look for some God like ability, something special which an ordinary human can’t do)

Ultimate Boon

Ripley blasts up the Alien Queen’s lair and then all of the Aliens are destroyed when the nuclear plant explodes.

The Magic flight

They escape the explosion and fly up to the Sulaco

The crossing of the return Threshold

They’ve returned to the Sulaco and Ripley makes peace with her hatred of the synthetic human Bishop. She’s ready to go home but there is one more villain that needs to be defeated – The Alien Queen.

Master of two worlds

She combines her skills as both  a power loader operator and Alien killer in a one on one battle with the Alien Queen. How much more satisfying was it to watch this combination rather than her just running away and getting a gun to kill the Alien Queen. When thinking about creating you character, think about how you can combine elements of both worlds, even if these worlds (from the first and second Acts) are incredibly removed from one another. How do you combine them for a satisfying and unexpected conclusion.

Rescue from without

As Newt is getting sucked into the airlock to certain death, Bishop grabs her and saves her life. Although this isn’t saving Ripley herself, in the process of saving Newt he’s helping Ripley achieve her goal.

Freedom to live

“Can we dream?” “Yes Honey, I think we both can.”

 

So this film fights it out with Empire, T2 and Toy Story 2 as the best sequel of all time. James Cameron actually adapted this story from one of his other original ideas called Mother, a story about an alien bugs which have a Queen on another planet. Make sure you check out the link for Road of the Trial and any of the other headings of stages you don’t understand.

You can also find the links for

Alien – The Hero’s Journey stages

Alien – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Hero’s Journey stages

Hero’s journey and Save the Cat work very well in concert with each other. If you’ve discovered one but not the other I recommend having a look.