Author and scholar Jack Mitchell explains how the epic poems of Homer and Virgil inspired a new twist on our modern Star Wars mythology.
The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem, a new book by Jack Mitchell, owes its genesis to the unique combination of Mitchell's scholarly background and his children's taste in bedtime stories.
"I was reading Homer and Vergil in the daytime, then Star Wars books to my kids at night," the Stanford-educated poet tells StarWars.com. "And I realized this was our modern mythology, which I was already passing on."
Like the tales of Odysseus and Beowulf that have come before it, the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader are larger-than life mythologies, filled with legendary battles, archetypal heroes and storied warriors, sleek ships and dangerous monsters lurking along the way. Alongside illustrations inspired by the terracotta art synonymous with Greek antiquity, Mitchell uses the ancient literary form of epic poetry to put a new spin on the Star Wars saga. And StarWars.com is thrilled to reveal the cover art from the new tome.
"What I like about poetry is it's portable -- a trilogy in your pocket," Mitchell says. "I think the movies turn us all into poets. We weave the stories together as we watch, we hear echoes and allusions: that's why they're always fresh. This long poem is just me putting into words the way I watch them."
Beginning with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s rebel heist on Scarif to secure the plans to the Death Star and continuing through the climax of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem presents the greatest myth of the 20th century like we've never seen it before -- as it would have been told nearly 3,000 years ago.
"Myth and poetry are natural allies," Mitchell says. "Give a hero a sword and a monster to fight, and you're half way to epic already. Or better yet a lightsaber and a wampa."Check out this story and other news on This Week! In Star Wars below.
The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem arrives September 28, 2021, and is available for pre-order now.