In this blogpost, I will be seeing how The Hero’s Journey applies to the 1981 classic “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” directed by Steven Spielberg.
The Hero’s Journey starts off with the hero being at rest. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, we start the film with archeologist Indiana Jones trying to find an ancient Idol in Peru in 1936.
The next two steps in The Hero’s Journey are the call to action and the reluctant acceptance. In this classic, after getting home from Peru, we find Dr. Jones teaching at a university when he is told by the government to go find the Ark of the Covenant, an ancient container that holds infinite power, before the Nazis do.
We are introduced to the villain when we see an evil gestapo officer following Indiana Jones.
Jones later goes to Egypt to find the Ark. He gets into his first battle when he finds the Ark, but the Nazis catch on to what Indi was doing and they take the Ark, leaving him in a dark pit. Leaving him defeated. Indi rebuilds by escaping the pit.
The second battle comes when Jones threatens to blow up the Ark with a rocket launcher if they don’t give him back his girl. Indi gets caught and him and his girl are tied to a pole.
The villains defeat comes when the Nazis open the Ark and god gets very angry. A bunch of ghosts come out of the ark and melt all the Nazis faces. Indi survives by closing his eyes.
He comes back to the University a changed man.
Raiders of the Lost Ark does not follow The Hero’s Journey exactly, but they do share enough similarities to assume that it was in mind during the writing process.