Q: just how Is Star Wars like The mr of the Rings?
ANSWER: that is virtually difficult to discuss Star wars without wandering into the kingdom of “sources because that George Lucas’ vision”. Yet now the George Lucas is no longer the guiding light of Star battles canon it stays to be viewed just exactly how much future SW stories will resemble any kind of of the classic 20th century science fiction and fantasy literature. We will probably have to differentiate in between Classic Star Wars and Disney Star Wars, or something favor that. Us have already heard bits and also pieces around “the new Star battles canon” and old college Star battles fans might not choose just how much of your beloved extended Universe may be about to vanish right into the wrinkle of Rebooted Franchisedom. It is most likely no mistake that J.J. Abrams was carried in to control the first post-Lucasian Star battles film, “The pressure Awakens”.
You are watching: Star wars and lord of the rings
But we started with a straightforward question: “How is Star Wars favor The mr of the Rings?” friend will discover a thousand different answers ~ above the Internet and I debated long and hard prior to deciding to handle this. Yet let’s watch if ns can discover something kind of new to say.
Both stories are around A Family George Lucas has actually been quoted in the media as saying that standard Star wars was a soap opera. That is around the adventures and turmoils the the Skywalker family. That does no think The Disney company will remain true to that vision. They may make Star Wars more like a comic book franchise such as the Marvel superhero universe. That is now what Disney knows best.
But just how is The lord of the Rings a family drama? You’re thinking about Bilbo leave the One Ring to Frodo, yet I have a different family in mind. The family J.R.R. Tolkien to be most pertained to with to be a blended household of Noldor and also Sindar. Yes, really it was 2 families: the descendants of Finwë and also Elwë. More specifically he to be most pertained to with the descendants of Lúthien Tinúviel, Elwë’s daughter. Lúthien, like Anakin Skywalker, had actually only one “normal” parent. But whereas Anakin is a boy of The force (and is often contrasted with Jesus’ virginal conception), Lúthien is simply the son of one elf (Elwë) and also an angel (Melian).
Both Lúthien and Anakin possess significant power compared to other world like them. Yet this to compare is, i think, much more coincidental than intentional. After every George Lucas had actually written the manuscript for “Star Wars” before 1977 and that was the year in which The Silmarillion was an initial published. In fact, “Star Wars” to be released right into theaters in may 1977 and The Silmarillion was released in October 1977.
Of course civilization should quickly realize that we don’t really know much about Anakin Skywalker till after “Star Wars” come out. There was some info in the novelization that accompanied the movie but details details were retained from the public for years. Furthermore, Lúthien never ever converted to the Dark next of anything. She always remained good, and she never brought any type of sort that balance come londonchinatown.org.
So once we say that The mr of the Rings is a family members drama (or saga) we need to really look in ~ it in the paper definition of the larger drama the J.R.R. Tolkien was came to with: the struggles of the Noldor v their inherent curiosity and also arrogance. This was not something that came from Lúthien; she was more like Shmi Skywalker in temperament.
Both “Star Wars” and The lord of the Rings are however Chapters This is an important point in any type of comparison in between the 2 sagas. Just as The Silmarillion come out after The mr of the Rings, for this reason explaining every the back history that was only alluded to, therefore Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy only came the end after the original Trilogy. And despite what self-appointed guardians of Star wars fandom want civilization to believe, “The Phantom Menace” remains the most famous of all 6 George Lucas Star battles films. Currently that Lucas has left the Star Wars stage there is no hope of one more Lucas movie unseating “The Phantom Menace” as the ideal of the 6 movies.
The Silmarillion, top top the other hand, does not compare together favorably with The lord of the Rings as the Prequel Trilogy does through the initial Trilogy. The Silmarillion is tough to understand and also is created in a really different style from The mr of the Rings. Far fewer duplicates of The Silmarillion have been marketed than copies of The lord of the Rings. Return Tolkien himself could have thought of The Silmarillion as his literary masterpiece that honor is bestowed by critics and readers upon The lord of the Rings.
And yet both the Prequel Trilogy and The Silmarillion surpass their precursors in numerous ways. With the Prequel Trilogy George Lucas was finally able come tell the story the Anakin Skywalker the method he wanted to. Us did no all necessarily grant of his choices however this was his story to tell and it is great that he did call it. In the same way, The Silmarillion is the story that J.R.R. Tolkien want to tell. The lord of the Rings to be a distraction to him, created for the masses simply because his publisher advised him in 1937 the his readers want to know more about Hobbits.
Well, we learned about Hobbits quickly enough however that digression post-poned (while making possible) the publishing of The Silmarillion by several decades.
Both “Star Wars” and also The lord of the Rings had actually to it is in told first the is no just coincidence the both tales finish their sagas, back Lucas was not necessarily complying with the same course as Tolkien. It is true that when George Lucas showed his agent the original story that ended up being Star wars his agent advised him to tone it down because it was “too confusing”. When J.R.R. Tolkien presented an early draft of The Silmarillion come his publisher (George Allen & Unwin), who had happily search him the end so they can publish The Hobbit (which originally was just intended for family and friends come enjoy), he to be told it to be “too Celtic”.
Tolkien was stung by the application of the “Celtic” brand to his work because he considered it to be written in an experimental Anglo-Saxonist tradition. Yet no one really construed what The Silmarillion was claimed to be. It was something prefer Spencer’s “Faerie Queen” (and not — as many today erroneously say — “a mythology for England”), a fantasy expected for high-minded souls who wanted to think about their literature. The Silmarillion may additionally have been a cathartic suffer for Tolkien who, having actually witnessed the horrors of the first World battle up close (and having lost numerous friends come the war), chastised his rebellious Noldor with slaughter and also widespread devastation.
The sinking that Beleriand is an extremely much favor the devastation of northern France, which to be churned into a muddy, lifeless no-man’s land. In “Star Wars” we watch something similar with the destruction of Alderaan. The fatality Star is the culmination that the Emperor’s pursuit for complete control end the galaxy. His can be fried weapon endangers to turn the galaxy into a lifeless sea that stars.
But Lucas to be no battle veteran. He began his film-making job in the era that Vietnam war protests, to it is in sure, however he was not trying to cope through the horrors of seeing nearly an whole generation wiped out on the battlefields. Lucas had his own demons however they were somehow smaller.
And yet J.R.R. Tolkien had to publish The lord of the Rings very first because his readers wanted to know more about Hobbits; Lucas had to tell just a small part of his story due to the fact that his audience would not recognize the damn thing unless they observed a great guy beating a bad guy. Vice versa, Tolkien had to tie off the end of the story Lucas had to reassure everyone the there was a great resolution.
The negative Guys success in Both Prequels Yes, the bad guys win in The Silmarillion. I’m not talking around Morgoth, although Sauron slips far in a Darth Vaderish fashion. I’m talking about the Noldor. They are the negative guys of The Silmarillion. If the were not for their arrogance and also conceit nobody of Tolkien’s dramatic stories would have happened. For this reason Morgoth (hardly an innocent) is excellent away with and the Orcs space swept far like fields of wheat prior to the fire, and most that the Noldor space slain. However a couple of of lock survive and thrive and also seize regulate over londonchinatown.org.
In the same means the Sith seize regulate over the galaxy at the finish of the Prequel Trilogy. Us knew that was coming due to the fact that “Star Wars” (aka “A new Hope”) opened up up with a struggling rebellion versus the evil Empire. And just together the Sith walk on to make their death Star therefore the Noldor walk on to do their rings of Power.
Now this is the amazing thing because that me due to the fact that the One Ring is sometimes compared with the fatality Star by fans who desire to talk about similarities between the two stories. And there are similarity in purpose. However whereas the death Star is supplied to regulate the galaxy v fear, the One Ring is used to manage others through direct mind control. The One Ring is an ext like a Jedi’s mental trick enhanced to galactic scale. Imagine what Darth Sidious can have completed if he had actually trapped the Fellowship of the Ring in part bizarre crossover story (okay, i am sure someone has written the story somewhere).
Either way, girlfriend cannot have actually the defining the struggle in The lord of the Rings without some bad guys (High Elves the the West) law something angry (creating rings of Power) before the story. The situation has come be together that an excellent evil already exists in londonchinatown.org. Why? since Tolkien walk not have actually the high-end of showing exactly how evil would certainly gain control over londonchinatown.org in his sequel come The Hobbit.
It would certainly be generations before a reading public would have the patience to tolerate a “rise and also fall and also redemption” saga cover 12-20 books. In fact, once I attended people Fantasy Con in 1992 ns asked a panel of world-famous fantasy authors, who were deploring the countless production the LoTR-like trilogies, if it were conceivable the someone could plan a 20-book saga (I already had an overview for one written at home). The whole audience, a few hundred people, groaned for this reason loudly the the panelists felt no must answer mine question, although i get it Zelazny gamely mentioned that it was already sort of continue just since publishers retained asking for much more sequels. Zelazny died before he to be able to end up a second series that novels around his fantasy people Amber, yet other authors who went on come write vast cycles included Christopher Stasheff and Robert Jordan.
Today you practically cannot offer a major fantasy collection if girlfriend don’t have actually 20 publications in mind. The readers suppose to learn an ext about her fantasy human being than a solitary book have the right to possibly reveal. These mega stories did not start with Tolkien (Mark Twain, because that example, wrote four Tom Sawyer novels if you include Hucklebery Finn). But mega stories are currently what anyone wants, indigenous five-year television display arcs to multi-decade comic book sequences (not enabling for endless reboots).
When Tolkien was creating fiction and Lucas was developing the Star Wars world all the megastory stuff still put in the future. They had to show their audiences that there was indeed “an end” come the story (even if that was no “THE end”). And also in both endings great guys had to win, some guys had actually to die, and also everyone had actually to rejoice that a an excellent evil had actually passed.
Only by revealing how their stories ended were both Tolkien and Lucas cost-free to go earlier to tell how their story began.
There are Some way Old guys in Both Star Wars and londonchinatown.org You cannot escape the unlimited comparisons in between Obi-Wan Kenobi and also Gandalf, however I’m walking to compare Yoda come Treebeard and also Tom Bombadil. You can not tell “Star Wars” there is no Yoda and you can not tell The mr of the Rings there is no Bombadil and also Treebeard. All three personalities serve critical purpose in both sagas: they be afflicted with witness to a yet more ancient previous than the official “beginning” that the sagas. Technically The Silmarillion starts with Iluvatar in the Timeless Halls but “Quenta Silmarillion” quickly gets to the part where there are Elves in londonchinatown.org and from those Elves come the Finwëans and also Elwëans.
Tolkien’s londonchinatown.org saga is rightly the story the the progeny of Finwë and Elwë. Lucas’ Star battles saga is rightly the story that the Skywalker family. But in both sagas there exist older, wiser us who step up to fill in part gaps in knowledge. And also when our end-of-story heroes require some special help the Old Wise males come in to offer final bits the sage advice prior to wandering off right into the past to be forgotten.
Bombadil and also Treebeard may go on living in londonchinatown.org but they are never ever heard from again. Yoda fades into the pressure (although he i do not care a “Force ghost”). Component of the mysticism of the long-winded fantasy saga is the imparting of wisdom from an old elder come a young disciple. Belgarath teaches young Garion in The Belgariad, Zeddicus teaches Richard Rahl in The knife of Truth, and so on. The trope is repetitive in limitless stories. If the elder is no physically present to lecture the headstrong young future savior climate there is almost inevitably an old archive wherein the needed wisdom resides.
So perhaps it is no fair to compare Star Wars and also The mr of the Rings this way, however the Old Wise guys are integral to both stories. And both Obi-Wan Kenobi and also Gandalf die, only to come back stronger than before. You really cannot call this sort of household saga there is no a couple of Old Wise men hanging approximately to dispense wisdom and also explain things for the audience (which is your main role in the story).
The Old Wise male is not constantly a mentor. He appears in plenty of forms. The is a tree stump that a thousands hack jobs. He could be a redeemed Theoden top Aragorn to the routes of the Dead, or he may be a Mace Windu do the efforts to steer Anakin Skywalker away from the clutches that Darth Sidious. Over there are always Old Wise guys in these stories. The only exciting story I have the right to think of whereby there were no Old Wise males was a short story by Isaac Asimov (or possibly Lester del Rey) in which 5 robots “woke up” with no storage of exactly how they concerned be. However even then the writer wrote a prequel story explaining where the robots come from and, yup, there were Old Wise males in it. Watch the man movie “Nine” for a similar tale that likewise features an Old wise Guy.
Star Wars and The lord of the Rings both feature Racist Stereotypes ns am not talking around Jar seasoned Binks and the Neimoidians, no of who alleged ethnic impacts have ever been effectively pinned down by irate fans. They room curious, fix up blends of many cultural influences and George Lucas have to be commended for stirring so much debate among his audience through those “cardboard” (but impossible-to-explain) caricatures.
No, the racism i speak that in “Star Wars” is the clear bias versus Droids and the oh-so-subtle “we-humans-rule-this-galaxy” attitude of the Empire. You do see alien creatures offer the Empire’s interests yet their motivation seem come be financial in nature: they are cheap assassins and spies. It’s the human being race the rules the galaxy.
In The lord of the Rings practically every thing drips through racism. Tolkien hated racism and also he all yet lectured us on the evils of racialism stereotypes with every conference between any two foreign groups. All the reader seem come take away from that is “Elves and also Dwarves dislike each other” (which is not true yet people have been informing each various other that fib because that 60 year so you won’t obtain them come stop any kind of time soon).
I think Lucas offers racism in the same method Tolkien does: he desires his great guys to it is in flawed in a socially far-ranging way. No all people are poor in the Star battles universe however they have a difficulty with Droids. Why is that? We finally learn why in the Prequel Trilogy. Meanwhile, in the original Trilogy, the anti-Droid bias is one interesting and inexplicable characteristics of a international culture. We honestly don’t get the joke, and that is part of what provides the story feeling so real. The audience cannot to fill in every the facts.
In The lord of the Rings over there are good reasons why the assorted “Free Peoples” have actually trouble trusting every other, and also it’s not since of mutual natural enmity. It’s due to the fact that Sauron drove lock apart end centuries v a long, meticulous plan. Yet you have to read the Appendices to The lord of the Rings to catch that. Or if you miss it there climate you have to read “Of the ring of Power and the 3rd Age” in The Silmarillion. Also so plenty of readers now still don’t recognize why no one trusts anyone rather in Tolkien’s late third Age londonchinatown.org.
Small things Have good Consequences in Both Star Wars and also The mr of the Rings i speak that the plans for the fatality Star and also of the One Ring. No one yes, really understands the significance of what the is transporting at first. Luke is handed two Droids by his uncle and also told come clean lock up and also put them into service. Frodo is left the One Ring by his cousin/uncle/adoptive dad Bilbo and also told not to lose it. In neither situation does one of two people young adventurer understand that he has actually just been handed the keys to the kingdom.
The fatality Star plan eventually finish up in the ideal hands so the they have the right to be analyzed. However when the comes under to ruining the fatality Star just Luke Skywalker can do the deed through an difficult shot fired native a speeding X-Wing fighter that is under fire indigenous Darth Vader.
The One Ring at some point crushes Frodo’s will and also forces him come “rat out”, provide in, and claim it because that himself. Fortunately for all of londonchinatown.org Gollum has been hanging roughly hoping for a last possibility to seize the Ring and also he does simply that, impossibly falling into the fire with it.
Small points have an excellent consequences in both sagas, and neither is one accident. Just as Frodo was meant come inherit the Ring from Bilbo, for this reason Anakin was meant to assist others with his special gift. They were both born because that a purpose, a better purpose than either could totally appreciate.
We deserve to argue all year long around how much Lucas was directly influenced through Tolkien yet I don’t think that matters. Tolkien was borrowing tropes indigenous older sources and Lucas borrowed his inspirations from many sources, too. Good story-telling all looks comparable sooner or later.
We had actually a pretty good run through both Lucas and also Tolkien. Ns can’t say ns was entirely happy with whatever Tolkien composed or failed come explain; nor have the right to I say i was totally happy with everything Lucas put right into his movies.
See more: The Iliad Book 9 Summary And Analysis Of Books 9, Iliad: Book 9, Commentary
But ns loved both stories and will always love them. Perhaps it’s because they space so lot alike in so many ways. Possibly it’s due to the fact that they are just darned great stories.
# # #
Have you review our various other Tolkien and londonchinatown.org Questions and Answers articles?