NOTE: For a history and breakdown of the Hero’s Journey concept see my previous article, The Hero’s Path.
This examination of Rey’s Journey will mainly follow Christopher Vogler’s outline of the Hero’s Journey—with several of Campbell’s steps mentioned. It will also follow the chronological plot of the film, rather than a strictly linear outline of the steps.
The Steps and Archetypes of the Journey will be highlighted in BOLD UPPERCASE, a style used by Vogler in examining the chronological plots of several films in his book, The Writer’s Journey.
Stage 1: Rey’s Separation / Departure
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” — Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
SEPARATION / DEPARTURE
Rey’s ORDINARY WORLD is her life as a scavenger on the harsh planet of Jakku, eking out a living by picking over the bones of a previous age. She is literally living inside the wreckage of the Galactic Civil War in the form of a fallen AT-AT.
However, Rey desires more in life, as seen in her sad gaze at the old women at the scrap cleaning station (a realization of what she may become on her current path) and the rebel pilot helmet she wears (an identification with the now legendary heroes of the Rebellion) while watching a ship leave Jakku. But she is reluctant to leave, held back by the fear that her family won’t find her when they finally return (her INNER PROBLEM).