Happy Star Wars Day!
(And the adventure continues as some die-hard fans celebrate “Sith Day” on May 5).
- The hero’s world is shaken up and he is thrust into an adventure
- Along the way, he meets helpers, mentors, and other archetypal characters
- The adventure unfolds as he faces “do or die” moments that lead up to the ultimate climax
- The hero changes in some way by the end of the story or the series (or, often, both).
Did you know that Aulexic’s first series for young readers, P.I. Penguin, also follows this format? When our special private investigator, P.I. Penguin first discovers his family missing, he is thrust into a mission to find them. Along the way, he solves other mysteries for his friends, each time, uncovering additional clues about himself and his family.
So, in honour of Star Wars Day, and because the team here at Aulexic are all science fiction and fantasy fans, ourselves, we thought it would be interesting to explore three ways our hero, P.I. Penguin and Luke Skywalker are alike!
The loss of P.I. Penguin’s parents are pivotal to the start of his mythic journey. In Luke’s case, it is the death of his aunt and uncle (parent figures), that prompts Luke to leave his home planet of Tatooine and set off on his galactic adventures.
So much of children’s literature and movies (including nearly every Disney character ever created) involves the hero setting off on their mythic journey due to the loss of parents or parent-figures or a change in family structure.
To children, their parents and immediate family represent their whole lives, their support structure, and everything that is familiar. Shaking this up is a sure way to spark a reluctant hero into action. In our P.I. Penguin series, young readers will encounter a plot-line that is at the same time familiar yet refreshingly unique. P.I.’s search for his foundation, his family spans the entire series and is a core component of his character. Just as Luke continues to make discoveries about his family as the series progresses.
It’s not long into Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope when Luke Skywalker discovers he has a twin sister. We don’t want to reveal any spoilers, so we won’t tell you who she is. We also don’t want to spoil our P.I. Penguin stories for you, but we can say that in book two (P.I. Penguin and the Case of the Little Lost Penguin), P.I. learns he has a brother.
For both heroes, the plot thickens as they wonder what other secrets from their past they might discover. They also yearn for the connection of their family, feeling hopeful in this new knowledge that they are not alone in the universe.
A key component of the Mythic Structure is the hero encounters mentors who help him grow and become more sure of himself. For Luke in Episode IV, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, and Princess Leia all help him learn to trust his instincts as he trains to become a Jedi.
P.I. Penguin, too, encounters a colourful cast of characters who help him to grow. Each time he helps someone, his self-esteem increases and he learns to trust his instincts as a detective even more. He also comes to trust that there are people in his universe that have his back. He forges strong friendships through the trust they earn by the good deeds they do for their friends.
Take Your Children on Their Own Journey: Read Together
Children thrive as young readers when they encounter familiar, beloved characters and storylines they can follow and even relate to situations in their own life. While we don’t live in a “galaxy far, far away” or in a world of anthropomorphic animals, children can relate to times they’ve felt scared and alone – just like Luke Skywalker and P.I. Penguin – and how they then faced their fears to become stronger.
Each time children share one of the books in the P.I. Penguin series, their confidence as young readers grows… just like a hero on a mythic journey. Check out the P.I. Penguin series here, and let us know if you find any other similarities between Luke Skywalker, and our hero, P.I. Penguin.
If you enjoyed this post and like our graphics, we’d love to share with you these fantastic colour in pictures. You can download our May the 4th Colour In pages by illustrator Adit Galih. These fabulous illustrations feature P.I. Penguin as P.I. Jedi along with other characters from the books. We’d love to see the fabulous colours you or the children in your life use to colour in these pictures so take a photo and send it to us or share it on our Facebook page!
We hope you and your whole family have a fabulous Star Wars Day and May the 4th be with you!