Mentor-student relationship and storytelling

Studying Lucas, Tolkien, and Frank Herbert revealed a curious little rule-of-thumb: if there’s a story which you really love but there’s some little piece of it which just doesn’t feel right to you, include that piece in your own story as a reversal. Why? If you’re a writer, your mentors are the people who wrote your favorite stories, and myth teaches us that the student’s heroic cycle doesn’t end with merely absorbing the mentor’s wisdom; to fully honor your teacher, you must transcend him by taking his teachings further than he could. This doesn’t mean that you become superior to your teacher: there are plenty of things which you couldn’t have seen without his help. The hierarchy between student and mentor is an illusion; it’s more like a partnership between two people with different strengths and imperfections, both working towards a common goal. Obi-Wan couldn’t have defeated Darth Vader, but neither could Luke have defeated Darth Vader without Obi-Wan’s guidance. Your teacher gives you the gift of his teaching, and you give your teacher the gift of bringing his teaching forward.

Star Wars Origins

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