Lord Of The Rings Vs Star Wars

First of all, LordOfTheRings, StarWars, BabylonFive are all the ArtusSaga?, they have Merlin, HolyGrail and and and.


LordOfTheRingsPartOne is a splendidly Anti-HypnoCratic? experience serving to underline the poverty of imagination of such pablum sagas as the StarWars flicks. -- PeterMerel

Whenever I see one of those paperbacks with a photo from the movie LordOfTheRings, I wonder, "Why are the insides by Tolkien? Why aren't they a trite movie adaptation written during post-production?" -- PhlIp

LordOfTheRings movie isn't a whole lot more sophisticated than StarWars or any other recent special-effects-laden fantasy adventure film. (And the entire Moria sequence seemed to be a rip-off of the "inside the Death Star" sequence from StarWars, but with nicer effects.) The LotR books are certainly great, but a few thousand pages of text are always going to be richer in imagination than a couple of hours of film. -- KrisJohnson

I'm not certain about your criteria for sophistication. Certainly there's just as many pages in the written StarWars canon as in Tolkien. With regard to the movies, consider:

This isn't to say LotR is the deepest work on the bookshelf. Far from it. But it is a solid, well-architected fantasy with deep textures and ethics, where SW is only one step away from the WorldWrestlingFederation?.


I disagree with much of what is said above. We're talking about the LotR movie here, not the books, and much of what is stated above is not reflected in the movie. I don't agree that StarWars necessarily promotes HypnoCratic? principles. Rather, the goal is something like UnconsciousCompetence or the MentalStateCalledFlow. The Jedi are trained to trust their instincts during battle for a very pragmatic reason: it is how one takes advantage of the Force. I don't think there is any implication that characters should never think; only that they should trust their own intuitions rather then believing everything they see or are told. Feelings of fear and anger are not to be trusted, so that implies that some sort of higher-level critical analysis of one's feelings can be beneficial.

I don't consider "the written StarWars canon" to have much authority, as those novels have been written by many authors and are really "merchandise", rather than part of the films' timeline.

The big orc that takes out Boromir would make a fine WWF villian. And Saruman would be great as his manager.

I think that both LotR and SW are great fantasy adventure films. But those who look into them for deep spiritual truths or philosophy are going to be disappointed, or will warp them into something matching their own existing beliefs.

I'm not going to insult the fans of either film by dismissing them as "pablum". Any argument over whether fictional universe X is better than fictional universe Y, or which fictional universe is most deserving of having fans, is just silly.

-- KrisJohnson


Keep in mind that the main point of the StarWars franchise is to make oodles of money. Tolkien seemed only to want to tell a good tale in a fantastic universe. LordOfTheRings, at least the book, had atrociously bad marketing when it first came out. Where were the figurines? The plastic cups? What about the "writing of" documentary?

"As I recall Tolkien was more interested in developing the mythology and the lexicon of the various peoples of his fictional world. The books were merely a sideline for developing continuation in that mythology, much of which was inspired by Norse and Celtic myths. No one was more surprised than him at the book's success. -- JamesWillison

And the main point of making the LotR movie is to make oodles of money as well. The figurines and plastic cups are available now. But why must one "keep in mind" the fact that StarWars has better marketing--does that have anything at all to do with the relative merits of the films? Should they not be judged on their own merits, rather than upon the bank accounts of their authors?

I only meant that it's silly to compare a book to a movie, because they are completely different things. If the goal of Lucas was to become rich and to change how movies are marketed, then I think its only fair --- no matter how personally distasteful --- to judge him partly by that criteria. Tolkien devoted himself to story-telling, while for Lucas story-telling is only one aspect of his job as director/producer (indeed, an aspect that many fans would probably not mind if he gave it up completely; but StarWars is his baby). If you judge StarWars only by its screenplay, then its no surprise that Tolkien's book comes out looking better than Lucas's movie.


the goal of Lucas was to become rich and to change how movies are marketed

The second part there is a movie history myth.

Before "StarWars", there was "Dr Dolittle". A big-budget yarn with star power, singing & dancing, zillions of live animals, special effects, and huge, glittering sets. It required a big box-office return to break even. So the movie spent a lot on marketing, AND on lots of toys, posters, and spinoffs. Then, for whatever reason, the movie did very poorly, and it wasted all that marketing money.

(This is why, when I was growing up, the damned thing was on TV every other weekend. The producers, as usual, were squeezing all their money back via television. And the movie itself didn't suck; it was just unlucky.)

Movie industry executives blamed the marketing, because all those toys didn't sell. Lucas exploited that sentiment when he casually added a line to his contracts saying he personally would get all the take from the toys. That stuff was still considered the loss-leader, not the bulk of the profitable sales.

And, yes, he got rich, and changed how block-busters are made. Now we are all sick of the fucking things...

-- PhlIp


Gandalf would kick Obi-Wan Kenobi's butt any day. Not to mention Sauron vs. the emperor. :-)

yeah but the Death Star would blow up Middle-earth. Game over!


LotR IS StarWars.

Frodo is Luke / Luke is Frodo: Gandalf is Obi-Wan / Obi-Wan is a wizard: Sauron is the Emperor / The Emperor is Sauron Saruman is Darth Vader / Darth Vader is Saruman: Merry and Pippen / R2D2 and C3PO

Strider / Han Solo

There are lots of parallels, but all "heroic sagas" tend to share these elements (young hero, old wise man, evil god and his main henchman, magical artifacts, father/son conflicts, the rogue who becomes a hero, ...). Check out the work of JosephCampbell and KenWilber.

Wasn't Campbell a big pal of Lucas? It seems as if SW is a constructed instance of Campbell's theory about mythologies (pace the borrowing form Kurosawa), where as LotR was constructed by borrowing from the myths themselves. So it's not so suprising that SW is rather simplistic and straight-ahead, whereas LotR is much richer, while at the same time the two are very similar.

{This Salon article (http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/feature/2002/04/10/lucas/print.html) points out that the Lucas-Campbell connection developed after Star Wars came out, not before. I for one don't remember reading in 1977 any critical paeans to the movie's rich archetypal roots. Come to think of it, I don't think I'd ever heard the phrase "hero's journey" then either.}

By the way, the StarWars plot and characters were heavily borrowed from Akira Kurosawa's film TheHiddenFortress. The resemblance is uncanny. There are few really original movie plots: several of Kurosawa's films were adaptions of Shakespeare tragedies, and several American Westerns were adaptions of Kurosawa's samurai films! I would also recommend a British war film called The Dam Busters if you liked the climactic StarWars scene (or video game) of Luke zooming down the trench to destroy the Death Star. -- IanOsgood

Actually, all three of Frodo, Luke, and Harry Potter are...


One important difference that puts StarWars ahead:

In LOTR, everything has to have a random name no matter how unimportant it is. You can't just go over a mountain, you have to go over the Mountain of ___. The horn that shmuck is using was the Horn of Something or other. There are so many freaking names to keep track of. In Star Wars things make sense. A lightsaber is a saber made of light. A droid is an android without the an. A speeder is a fast land vehicle. Except that they're not random. They have a history and meaning in some created language, if you have the patience to read it all.

And a lightsaber isn't a saber and it isn't made of light. And nothing in the word 'speeder' implies it's a land vehicle. Although it being fast isn't surprising.

Besides which, the names follow the PrincipleOfLeastAstonishment. You know the Horn of Gondor is important because it has a grand sounding name.

In StarWars, every planet has a random name, no matter how unimportant it is. Tattoine, Dantoine, Coruscant, Naboo....

Endor happens to be the Sindarin (Elvish) word for Middle-Earth.

When Solo fixes something, he never reaches for a wrench or screwdriver, he reaches for his alluvial dampers. How is the Horn of Gondor - you know, the place Boromir is said to be from several times - appreciably worse than this?


The two differ on a fundamental level. The main theme of SW concerns temptation, fall, and eventual redemption. In LotR, there is no redemption. Everyone who falls is eventually destroyed.

Not true. Frodo trips up right near the end, as I recall, and it's hard to say he suffers for it. (Well, he loses a finger!) And Boromir might have fallen, and died as a result, but he is still reconciled first. Vader, in fact, would have gotten little better were it not for the force.


Here's a Salon article about LordOfTheRings and StarWars: http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/feature/2002/01/09/lotr_starwars/index.html

From the article: Peter Jackson's glorified video trivia game doesn't hold up to the grandly human epic that defined a generation.

Feh. The writer of that article sounds like someone who didn't read LOTR until after seeing StarWars. Kind of like those who complain that the Kinks only do covers of Van Halen songs.....

Who are the Kinks? For that matter, who is Van Halen?

Here is a wiki talking about LoTR & other works of JRR Tolkien: http://thetolkienwiki.org/wiki.cgi


Personally, I reckon BabylonFiveIsLordOfTheRings. -- TomAnderson


Dooku is Sarumon. Sarumon is Dooku. They both fought for good, but were seduced by evil They both build an army for evil They both imprison a powerful force for good They are both the same actor.

Yeah, but Sarumon doesn't get his ass whipped by a green midget....

He does, however, get killed by a vertically-challenged hobbit...

He gets killed by Wormtongue, who is a human.

Who is Dooku?

Count Dooku is the subordinate badguy in AttackOfTheClones. They should have axed him in Phantom Menace and kept Darth Maul around.

See MagikVsTheForce

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