The Plot of Star Wars Deconstructed With Dan Harmon’s Simple Story Structure Circle

In “Every Story is the Same“, filmmaker Will Schoder explains the history of story structure, starting with Joseph Campbell whose theory of the Monomyth, also known as the “Hero’s journey“, explained what every fictitious story has in common. Schoder then moved on to how Dan Harmon of Rick and Morty and Community fame and his simple story structure theory before deconstructing Star Wars IV: A New Hope under Harmon’s rules.

1. You – a character is in the zone of comfort
2. Need – they want something
3. Go – they enter an unfamiliar situation
4. Search – adapt to it
5. Find – get what they wanted
6. Take – pay a heavy price for it
7. Return – then returned to their familiar situation
8. Change – having changed

In 2015, Harmon explained his story circle on the 100th episode of Innovation Crush with Chris Denson.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.