Part 11 of the Hero’s Journey
As in the Ordeal phase, the hero symbolically – rarely even really – dies and experiences a miraculous resurrection. This is just as important as the ordeal, because the hero, often back in the ordinary world with his new powers, still struggles to defeat the enemy that is so much bigger than the ordeal phase. He nearly dies, showing how extraordinary his achievement is, when he finally conquers the evil. It’s all about drama, really. Through that final dead/not-dead experience, the hero also learns the last drop of holy knowledge which sometimes gives him the strength and will to survive and win.
The Star Wars films of course play with death all the time. Luke nearly dies so many times it’s needless to count. In the last film, he turns off his radar and symbolically dies while his father guides him through the gun shots. E.T. already died for real, but this time it is Elliot that needs to learn to let go, which E.T. teaches him by saying, he will always be right there inside of him. The old boy Elliot is dead and the new accepting Elliot appears who can cope with E.T. departure (a symbol for the Dad who left him of course).
This is always the heart-touching part, but as we know, in Hollywood films there will be a happy end. In our writing, maybe it’s the reader that should imagine what happens here. Sometimes you don’t need to give him all the answers (although novels tend to do so and it’s kind of expected as well).