A monomyth has been defined by Joseph Campbell author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces is the template of the hero's journey;
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 his mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
The hero's journey can be broken into three main acts:
I) The Call to Adventure
II) Refusal of the Call
III) Supernatural Aid
IV) The Crossing of the First Threshold
V) Belly of the Whale
VI) The Road of Trials
VII) The Meeting with the Goddess
VIII) Woman as the Temptress
IX) Atonement with the Father
XI) The Ultimate Boon
3) The Return
XII) Refusal of the Return
XIII) The Magic Flight
XIV) Rescue from Without
XV) The Crossing of the Return Threshold
XVI) Master of the Two Worlds
XVII) Freedom to Live
In Jim Henson's film the Dark Crystal we follow the story of Jen a young Gelfling believed to be the last of his kind. He is raised by the Mystics: beings personified as wisdom and spirituality. Jen's master is dying and reveals to Jen that it is his destiny to heal the crystal by finding the lost shard. Here we can begin to see the archetype of the Hero's journey taking shape.
In the Castle of the Crystal the emperor of the Skeksis is also dying and a power vacuum is being initiated as the would be rulers present themselves to vie for the position of Emperor. The Skeksis are the self-proclaimed Lords of the Crystal and rulers of the Empire however they leech off the power of the Crystal to prolong their lives and have thus caused the spread of the Darkening. Species that resisted their governance such as the Gruenaks and Arathim were either eradicated or evicted from their lands. When the Crystal was exhausted of it's power after a millennium of abuse, the Skeksis began to abduct the Gelfling in order to drain them of their essence which had a rejuvenating effect on them. This lead to the formation of the Gelfling resistance and the outbreak of the Garthim War. The result was the genocide of the race of Gelflings and the birth of the prophecy of the end of their rule by Gelfling hand.
Here we can see echoes of the past when Herod had heard of the birth of Jesus by the Magi and that Kings from the East had come to pay homage to the new king of the Jews. Fearing the loss of his kingdom he slaughtered all new born babies under the age of two to make sure no one ever usurped him of his power. The reason I make this correlation is because Hendson was not a practicing Christian at the time but just like J.R.R Tolkien the profoundness of their fantasy worlds is the dichotomy of good and evil being juxtaposed is rooted in their Christian beliefs. There are two scenes which I wish to discuss from the Dark Crystal the correlation between the Skeksis and the mystics and the revelation of the climax.
There is a scene where Kira (the other revealed female Gelfling she joins Jen in his quest to heal the Crystal and put an end to Skeksis tyranny) is captured by the Skeksis and instead of immediately killing her she is given over to the Alchemist to have her essence drained to rejuvenate the new Emperor. This is done by locking her in a chair and forcing her to stare at the Dark Crystal which captivates her and draws her essence in a liquid form to be drunk by the Emperor. In Ex Deus Machina fashion Kira has the power to commune with the other creatures of the world that are currently locked in cages with her and they break out of their cages to attack the Alchemist causing him to fall into the pit the crystal is housed in. Meanwhile the Mystic are making the journey to the Castle of the Crystal to fullfill their role in the prophecy just as the Alchemist disintegrates in the lava pit so too does a Mystic immediately spontaneously combust.
The Darkening or the Wound of the Crystal to me is reminiscent of another mythology in Lucas' adaption. Kyber crystals were Force attuned crystals that focused energy and amplified its intensity. The Sith could only use a kyber crystal by using the Force to dominate the crystal this process was known as bleeding as if it were a living organism, resulting in the distinctive red or crimson-bladed lightsabers of the Sith.
The pinnacle of the story is culminated as the two Gelfings meet at the central interior chamber where the crystal is housed. The Skeksis are there to claim their glory as the Conjunction is starting to align as the three suns begin to form a line. Jen leap across the channel to jump on top of the crystal by the shard falls from his hand. Kira is forced to grab it before the Skeksis do but leaves herself vulnerable to their attack as she throws the shard back to Jen, the Ritual Master uses the opportunity to stab and kill her. Once the Conjunction is almost complete, a enraged Jen places the shard in its appropriate place, unifying the crystal as the Mystics arrive. The castle begins to crumble and the Mystics and Skekis are meld together to form their original incarnations the urSkek. Before departing the urSkeks resurrect Kira restore the devasted world to its former beauty and harmony.
Till All are One comes to mind as I watched that final scene from the Transformers Movie and Stan Bush's You got the Touch starts playing. But the breaking of the Sun of eternal light and the darkest night has passed away is more adaptive and appropriate simile. Restoration of original justice and innocence as the Source creates new life out of the ashes of death and decay. The lightbringer is the bush that is on fire but is not consumed. The new phenix in likeness to the first two now Jacob's Ladder. I am an acolyte of Christian mystics and if my words are hard to understand well at least you know where I learned the nuance from. The final scene to me is a clear allegory to Christ's Passion and though supernatural glory was hidden to most present at the time, here with the special effects of the 80's you can see it manifest in the Skeksis and Mystics becoming one form the urSkeks. Their original form split into two when the crystal became corrupted. So it is the same with saints and sinners and the corruption of their nature from turning away from the source. Because of our lost connection we don't see the oneness of the universe what I do to you I do to myself because we are all one.
"Focus the mind, cleanse the soul
Keep sight of my target. Concentrate focus
Don't lose it. Be prepared for the unexpected.
Concentrate, mind and body as One
Achieve tranquility through movement
Integrate spirit and flesh
Channel the powers, Focus the mind, Cleanse the soul
Release that which is negative
Separate darkness and light
Mind and body as One
Give birth to yourself
Oneness through knowledge
Define your existence
Oneness through emotions
Create your divination. Oneness with the heavens
From strength, learn gentleness.
Through gentleness, strength will prevail"