Obi-Wan the shaman

I’ve been reading Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind’s history of Hollywood in the 1970s. It had been on my list for a while. I really enjoyed his biography of Warren Beatty.

There is a great quote about the creation of Star Wars:

“Lucas started writing the treatment for Star Wars in February 1972 …. He was reading extensively through the literature of fairy tale and myth, discovering Joseph Campbell. He pored over Carlos Castaneda, recast Castaneda’s hero, a Mexican shaman named Don Juan, as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his ‘life force’ into the Force.”

I knew about Lucas and Joseph Campbell, but never thought about the connection with Castaneda.