It’s a question that isn’t asked often enough: if the Star Wars trilogy and the Lord of the Rings trilogy were to face off, who would come out alive?
Both are beloved bodies of work from some of the most creative talents of our time. They have featured star turns from actors new and old, inspired countless imitators and bred multiple generations of obsessive fans. To find which of these epics is objectively better than the other, we’re going to need to do a lot of work.
First and foremost, we need to set out limits. Considering both trilogies have their own accompanying prequel trilogies – Episodes I through III of Star Wars and the Hobbit movies for Lord of the Rings – we potentially have a lot to work with. For now, though, we’re going to limit this battle to the original trilogies. That’s A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi for Star Wars and The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King for Lord of the Rings. The prequels might be mentioned, but their stories and characters won’t be considered here.
We’re also going to need to break down these movies part by part and piece by piece. Each component will be paired with a like component of the other – or as close as we can get – and we’ll determine who wins based on their respective qualities alone.
Finally, it should be acknowledged that, whoever might win, it’s largely going to be a matter of preference and therefore subject to intense and justifiably debate.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Next: Luke's gang vs. Frodo's gang