Jurassic Park – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Jurassic Park – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary World
Grant is an archaeologist working on site digging up bones.

Call to Adventure
Hammond Grant to come see Jurassic Park

Refusal to Call
Grant refuses, as he’s just discovered a new skeleton.

Supernatural Aid
Hammond has created a world where dinosaurs exist. He’s going to take Grant there and teach a him lesson in life. Be careful what you wish for.

Crossing of the first threshold

Taking a helicopter ride and landing in the wildly exotic world of Jurasic Park.

Belly of the whale

Entering the ride where the secrets of DNA recovered from amber is revealed. This is the complete separation of the old world. The thing that has died is Grant’s concept of the limits of science.

Meeting with the Goddess

Grant meets with the children. This is the love story of Jurasic park, fatherly love. In return the children are what encourage his bravery in the story.

Road of the trials

The park goes offline and the power is out. The T Rex gets loose and Grant has to use his, up till now, theoretical knowledge of dinosaurs to save the lives of himself and the children.

Woman as temptress

The temptation in this story is expressed through Nedry. He shows what happens when you succumb to temptation and pays the price for it with his life.

Atonement with the father

Grant and Malcolm never got along. Malcolm based his theories on Chaos and gives dire warnings of the potential consequences. Grant sees the dinosaurs have laid eggs, Malcomb was right, he’s learnt that life will find a way.


Grant brings Tim back to life after he was killed on the electric fence. It’s a god like action to be able to resurrect someone.

Ultimate boon

Grant returns the kids to the safety of the headquarters of the resort.

Magic flight

The children and then the adults are hunted by the raptors inside the resort. They barely escape.

Rescue from without

The Raptors are about to kill them but the T Rex appears and kills the Raptors. This step is far more like deux ex machina than the stage Rescue from without usually is.

Master of two worlds

They have escaped and Ellie looks at Grant who is now comfortable with children with their arms draped over over each other.

Freedom to live

Grant looks out the window at birds migrating. Life goes on

The Hero’s journey – Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs

Ordinary World – Clarice is a small woman in a man’s world, an FBI agent in training.

Call to Adventure – A serial killer has the FBI stumped and her boss, Crawford wants her to take part in the case involving Buffalo Bill, a psychopath who skins his victims.

Refusal of the call – Refusal of the call is flipped onto Lector. When she turns up wanting assistance with finding the serial killer he wants nothing to do with her. He only changes his mind after she was polite to him and one of the other inmates violates her. However it should also be noted that sometimes the refusal of the call is a refusal to heed a warning accompanying the call. In this instance, Crawford warns her not to reveal anything personal to Hannibal Lector because “you don’t want him inside your head.” However, when she meets him, this is exactly what she does.

Supernatural Aid – Hannibal Lector possesses the knowledge she needs, but he’s not going to give it to her easily. Who knows psychopaths better than psychiatrist? Another psychopath, and Hannibal is both.

Belly of the whale – Descending into the dungeon prison where Hannibal and the other criminals lie. Her innocence is destroyed when she has semen thrown on her.

Crossing the first Threshold  – Making the most of a cryptic clue Hannibal gave her, she finds a murder victim which Hannibal reveals as Buffalo Bill’s first victim. The investigation has truly begun.

Road of the trials – back and forth between police investigation and interpreting clues from Hannibal.

Meeting with the Goddess – The Senator’s daughter is abducted by Buffalo Bill, she is the Goddess. Her capture spurs Clarice on and adds a level of urgency. Although Starling doesn’t actually meet her, she serves her purpose.

Woman as Temptress – Clarice is the temptress, she tempts Hannibal with offer of helping her with the case and in return he gets a cell with a view. The dilemma for him is if he helps her directly she will catch him and he will stop seeing her but if he doesn’t help her he will lose his cell with a view.

Atonement with the Father – Dr Lector makes her reveal the story of the silence of the Lambs. She completely exposes herself and gains both Hannibal’s respect and gratitude. Shortly after this, there is a Death of the Mentor moment, Hannibal escapes and she can no longer rely on him for help, she is on her own now.

Apotheosis  – She can see what no one else can see and deduces Buffalo Bill is killing his victims to make a skin suit of a woman.

Ultimate Boon – Crawford believes he has solved the case and is on his way to capture Buffalo Bill. Crawford thanks her and tells her they never would have found him if not for her.

Refusal of the return – Clarice wants to join him, to be one of the FBI officers who captures Buffalo Bill but Crawford sends her on another more junior mission.

The Magic flight – The Magic Flight means escape or fight, The Senator’s daughter devises a plan to escape by capturing Buffalo Bill’s dog. She holds the dog for ransom and demands a phone, Bill gets his gun.

Rescue from without  – Clarice follows the trail but it seems to go cold, until Stacey gives her the address of Buffalo Bill’s house.

The crossing of the return threshold – Enters Buffalo Bills house and works out he is the killer by seeing the moth.

Master of Two worlds – She was once a little girl running with a lamb, trying to save it from slaughter, she failed. Now she’s a FBI agent trying to save a girl in the den of a serial killer. She conquers her fear and kills Buffalo Bill.

Freedom to live – “I have no plans to call on you. The world’s more interesting with you in it.”

Blade Runner The Hero’s journey breakdown

Blade Runner The Hero’s journey breakdown


Ordinary world – The futuristic world of LA, synthetic humans known as replicants are illegal on earth and get retired by Blade Runners.


Call to adventure – Bryant wants Deckard to come out of retirement and hunt down a group of desperate replicants who have made it to earth.


Refusal of the call – When he’s asked to terminate the Replicants he refuses “I was quit when I came in here and I’m twice as quit now.” However, his former boss makes it  clear he’s not asking him to do it, he’s telling him and he has no choice.


Supernatural Aid – Dr Tyrell is the mentor, he opens Deckard’s mind up to the to the humanity of Replicants. He has god like knowledge of the Replicants because he created them.


Crossing first threshold – Deckard enters Tyrell Corp. and tests a Nexus 6 replicant, Rachael.


Road of the trials – Tracking down the replicants, following up clues and using his detective skills.


Meeting with the Goddess – He’s got orders to kill all the replicants, including Rachael, Tyrel’s assistant. Instead of killing her, he is sympathetic towards her, seeing that she’s upset by the unbelievable news that she’ s a replicant he pretends that he made it up and she’s not a replicant. Soon he falls in love with her.


Temptation – Leaving the journey, Rachel asks him if she went north, would he come after her, he says he wouldn’t and they go back to his apartment and they make love.


Atonement with the father – This stage was flipped onto the Antagonist Roy, he meets Tyrell who calls him his prodigal son and then Roy confesses his sins to him.


Apotheosis – This stage was also flipped onto Roy. He kills Tyrell, his maker and in doing so accepts that there is no possible way to extend his life. Although watch this video and this whole section becomes clearer. 


The Ultimate boon – Deckard has killed all the Replicants but the final one Roy, but now they have found each other.


Magic flight – Escaping from Roy to the rooftop


Rescue from without – Deckard is helpless and about to drop to his death, instead he is saved by Roy the leader of the Replicants.


Crossing the return threshold – He’s finished with being a blade runner


Master of two worlds – He’s killed the dangerous replicants and fallen in love with Rachael


Freedom to Live – Deckard and Rachael leave together to live happily ever after


Two stages are flipped on to the Antagonist in this story. It’s not uncommon for another character to take on a step. I also couldn’t identify a clear Refusal of the return, if anyone can suggest something please feel free to add something in the comments.

The Empire strikes back and Return of the Jedi – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

The Empire Strikes Back is an unusual film because the big action piece which usually ends the third act happens in the first act and the ending of the film has one of the main heroes frozen in carbonite – you can’t finish a film with Han in carbonite. It’s two part story with the next film, Return of the Jedi. Whereas Star Wars – A New Hope is a stand alone film.

Call to adventure

Luke has a vision from Obi Wan to seek out Yoda and be trained in the ways of the Jedi

Refusal of the call

Instead of rushing off straight away he stays to defend the Rebel alliance

Supernatural Aid

Luke meets Yoda and although he refuses to train him at first, he eventually agrees with Obi Wan

Crossing of the first Threshold

Landing on the planet

Road of the trials

Learning the skills of the Jedi

Belly of the whale

He enters the cave, kills Darth Vader who turns out to be himself.


“Join me and together we can rule the universe and father and son.”

Atonement with the father

He is defeated and realizes that Yoda was right, he was not yet ready to face Vader.


He has lost his hand and discovered the evil dark Lord Vader is his father. Instead of joining Vader he makes a suicidal leap down the ventilation shaft.

The Ultimate Boon

The Ultimate boon takes place in the first act of Return of the Jedi. All his friends are captured and he has to use all his Jedi skills to rescue them.

Meeting with the Goddess

Finding out he has a sister, Leia.


He assists his friends on the mission to deactivate the deflector shield on Endor. Yoda has told him he will only be a Jedi once he faces Vader. The temptation comes from Leia, “Run away” but Luke turns himself over to Darth Vader.

Crossing of the return Threshold

Facing the Emperor and fighting his Father on the Death Star


“Your hate has made you powerful. Now fulfil your destiny and take your father’s place at my side”

Master of two worlds

He has defeated his Vader but he did not turn to the dark side.

Rescue from without

Just before the Emperor can kill Luke, Darth steps in and throws the Emperor to his death.

Atonement with the father

Luke “I’ve got to save you.”

Vader “You already have. You were right about me.”

Magic flight

As the Death Star explodes Luke escapes in the shuttle.

Freedom to live

The Empire is defeated, he is a Jedi and the universe can live happily.


Iron Man – The Hero’s journey breakdown


Iron Man 

Call to adventure

Iron man catured by terrorists

Refusal of the call

Instead of accepting his capture he resists by building a high tech suit of armour which he will use to escape.

Supernatural Aid

Tony meets his mentor, fellow prisoner Dr. Yinsen, who saves him by giving him a new heart and gives him a new perspective on the effect his weapons have on the world.

Crossing of the first Threshold

Tony uses the first Iron Man suit to escape but experiences an early Death of the Mentor moment. The Threshold guardians are his captors and he must defeat them to escape

Road of the trials

Building the Iron Man suit. And keeping it secret from Pepper, the government and Obediah.

Belly of the whale

He calls on Pepper to help ‘change his heart’ and in the process has a close call with death.

Meeting of the Godess

Initially, Tony doesn’t see Pepper Potts as a romantic interest, however, after the change that occurs in his priorities after his capture they become attracted to each other. She even gives him a gift ‘proof that Tony Stark has a heart’


Tony Stark Industries are getting hammered in the stock market. He is warned by Obadiah if he continues on this quest he will go broke.

Atonement with the father

Tony acknowledges Dr Yinsen was right. He suits up and returns to protect and liberate the oppressed people that Governments have abandoned.


“I shouldn’t be alive… unless it was for a reason. I’m not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it’s right.”

The Ultimate boon

He’s learnt how to be Iron Man but before he can be completely free from his past he must defeat Obediah as Iron Monger

Refusal of the return

This stage is flipped onto Obediah – he doesn’t want Tony Stark or Iron Man and attempts to kill Tony with the paralysis ray.

Magic flight

Iron Man lures Iron Monger dangerously high into the sky so that he freezes and falls to the earth.

Crossing the Return Threshold

He fights as Iron Man trying to save Pepper and Stark Industries

Rescue from without

As his Iron Man suit breaks down he relies on Pepper to activate the reactor to help save him against Iron Monger

Master of two worlds

He can be both a hero and a billionaire

Freedom to live

“I am Iron Man”


Compare with Iron Man – Save the cat Beat Sheet

Also check out my artwork on my comic art page


Thor – The Hero’s journey breakdown

The Hero’s Journey in Thor



The Call to Adventure Thor is about to be crowned King but Loki lets the Frost Giants in to Asgard to steal the Tesseract during the ceremony.

Refusal of the Call Thor refuses to act as a wise king and instead, recklessly attacks the Frost Giants

Supernatural Aid Odin appears and instead of joining his son in battle, apologizes to the Frost Giants and retreats.

The Crossing of the First Threshold Odin expels Thor from Asgard and banishes him to Earth.

The Belly of the Whale Thor has been made mortal, Thor, the God, has died



The Road of Trials Thor’s must adapt to the Earth and its ways. He is a fish out of water.

The Meeting with the Goddess He meets Jane and falls in love with her.

Woman as the Temptress Thor realizes he has fallen in love with Jane and it strays him from his quest for a moment when he spends some time with her.

Atonement with the Father Loki tells Thor his father has died, Thor regrets disobeying him and realizes his father was right. (At-one-with the father – he acknowledges his father was right, they are in agreement)

Apotheosis Thor faces the Destroyer and offers his own life in return for Loki sparing the Earthlings.

The Ultimate Boon He has proved himself worthy of holding aloft the Mjolnir and destroys the Destroyer



Refusal of the Return He doesn’t want to leave Jane but realizes he must return to Asgard to defeat Loki.

The Crossing of the Return Threshold He returns to Asgard, not the reckless warrior he once was but instead has a plan.

Master of the Two Worlds Thor destroys the Rainbow Bridge, he has protected Earth from Loki but in doing so has had to sacrifice being with his love, Jane. Doing what is right for your people does not aways mean what is best for yourself.

Freedom to Live Thor has learnt what it means to be a wise ruler and is grateful to his father for the lesson learnt.


This is an excellent example of the Hero’s journey; its only flaw was when Thor was so easily defeated by the Destroyer. After the valiant efforts of Lady Sif and the Warriors three I would have liked Thor to step in and save them. Then, having nearly beaten the Destroyer, even in his mortal form, force Loki to have to resort to taking Jane hostage, then Thor could offer himself as a sacrifice.

This is my art work from Thor 2. Please stop by and check out my other art work pages herethor copy