George Lucas was clearly influenced by the Tolkien fantasies. It was nice to notice how Peter Jackson has in turn been influenced by Star Wars. After the Emperor is killed in Return Of The Jedi, Luke removes his father's mask and says, "I've got to save you'. To which Anakin replies, 'You already have, Luke'. Almost the same dialogue in Return Of The King before King Theoden dies and Eowyn says 'I'm going to save you'. Theoden replies, 'You already did'.
Here are some other connections that I found from a Google search.
|Yoda||Gollum (greenish, pointy-eared, raggedy midget with a speech impediment)|
|Obi-Wan and Luke's lightsabers glow blue. Darth's lightsaber glows red.||Gandalf and Bilbo's magic swords glow blue. The Balrog's magic sword flames red.|
|Darth Vader||The Witch-King|
|Obi-Wan digs Anakin's lightsaber out of an old wooden box, gives to Luke||Bilbo digs his magic sword out of an old wooden box, gives to Frodo|
|Darth cuts off Luke's hand, which plunges into the abyss with Luke's lightsaber||Gollum bites off Frodo's finger, which plunges into the abyss with the One Ring|
|Yoda foretells the future, and Luke must decide whether to help his friends or not. Yoda warns that he's seen only one possible future.||Galadriel foretells the future, and Sam must decide whether to help his friends or not. Galadriel warns that she's seen only one possible future.|
|Darth tries to convince Luke to join the dark side, thereby bringing order to the galaxy||Saruman tries to convince Gandalf to join the evil wizards, thereby bringing order to Middle Earth|
|Mysterious figure throws back hood of robe to reveal that he's Obi-Wan||Mysterious figure throws back hood of robe to reveal that he's Gandalf|
|Luke: "I shouldn't have come, I'm endangering the mission." (Because Darth can sense him)||Glorfindel: "It is you, Frodo, and that which you bear that brings us into peril." (Because Sauron can sense the One Ring)|
|Luke watches from across a chasm as his mentor Obi-Wan duels with Darth Vader using blue and red lightsabers||Frodo watches from across a chasm as his mentor Gandalf duels with a Balrog using blue and red flaming magic swords|
|Heros are walking through a forest when they're surprised by ewoks, captured at spear-point, then taken to a village in the trees||Heros are walking through a forest when they're surprised by elves, captured at arrow-point, then taken to a village in the trees|
I have been fascinated by the concept of the hero's journey for a long time. It's why I love road movies so much.
The hero's journey is a great concept from one of my own great heros - Joseph Campbell. He traces a number of stages in the journey that can easily be related to Frodo Baggins in The Lord Of The Rings and to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars episodes 4 to 6.
1. THE ORDINARY WORLD. The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically. The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history (Luke on Tattoine and Frodo in the Shire). Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress (Luke initially rejects Obi Wan's idea of becoming a Jedi but wants to get away to the academy and Frodo is comfortable with life in the shire but envies Bilbo's previous adventures).
3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL. The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly. Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead. Sam wants to return to the Shire after they get to Rivendell. C3PO is constantly reminding Luke and others of the dangers ahead.
5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD. At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values. Frodo makes the decision to take the ring to Mount Doom and thereby creates the fellowship. Luke has to rescue the princess on the Death Star.
7. APPROACH. The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world. For Frodo it is destroying the ring, Luke must destroy the Death Star.
9. THE REWARD. The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death. There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again. Frodo loses the ring when captured by the Orcs but regains it from Sam. Luke allows himself to be captured on Endor and loses his light sabre but reagains it from the Emperor.Phew - a lengthy post this one with it's own coda:
11. THE RESURRECTION. At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home. He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level. By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved. This final test has become a cliche in horror films where the poor hero has to overcome one more final attempt on their life. In most films, though, Star Wars and TLOTR included, the climax is reached and then we move straight to the coda.
I wrote in the previous post that those movies didn't make me miss NZ and I should have explained why they didn't.
Those Middle Earth (a.k.a. New Zealand) scenes in The Two Towers of misty mountains, snowy ranges, green pastures, rocky outcrops etc are etched into my memories, filled away in drawers labelled 'wonder'. Like William Wordsworth, it only takes a little effort for me to access those files. I carry them with me.
Love and peace - Wozza