Meet the Visionaries: Hyeong Geun Park on the Conflict Between Good and Evil in “Journey to the Dark
South Korea-based Studio Mir, well known for its work on projects like The Legend of Korra, The Boondocks, and Voltron: Legendary Defender, takes us on a new exploration of the dichotomy between light and dark in “Journey to the Dark Head.” The story follows Ara and Toul: a pilot raised among a group who serve as record keepers for prophetic visions on Dolgarak, and a Jedi who’s facing unresolved rage and grief connected to his past, respectively.
The two find themselves paired together when Ara approaches the Jedi Council to warn them about a vision about the Sith’s growing power. Ara and Toul both face their own brand of disillusionment and individual fears as they set off together back to Ara’s planet. Ultimately, their shared journey brings them both the chance to face those fears. And for episode director Hyeong Geun Park, that shared journey sprung from some very familiar stories within Star Wars.
Disillusionment is at the center of “Journey to the Dark Head,” though Park’s team has infused a brilliant sense of hope within the episode, even when things aren’t as clear-cut as we may like them to be. “We wanted to present a positive version of Anakin's story, with Toul overcoming the disillusionment,” Park says. “The episode does not offer a perfect solution, but it’s a coming-of-age story where Toul grows brave enough to confront the dark side alongside Ara, as many more battles are ahead of them.”
By the end of their story, the unlikely team has come to a greater understanding of the darkness that exists within themselves and the world. “I wanted to reflect upon the darkness in us — either in trying to solve problems at hand on the surface level, or in avoiding them altogether,” Park notes. “And throughout the journey, our two incomplete characters realize the beauty is not finding the solution itself because there is no one answer that solves it all. It is in the resilience and perseverance to get back up and fight back our battles.”