50 reasons Star Wars is better than Lord of The Rings

13 of 51

39. Empire vs. Mordor

What was the Empire? The expression of Emperor Palpatine’s power and ruling force in the galaxy

Who was Mordor? The region in which Sauron planned to build his own empire

Verdict: This round is admittedly pretty broad. How do you compare a galaxy-wide oppressive regime with a region on a map?

In a sense that question gets at the heart of why the Empire wins. We see the Empire and how it expresses itself on the galaxy-at-large. We see parts of its inner-workings and it all looks fairly familiar. Everything from the summary executions to the uniforms just screams fascism. That’s an enemy we can all relate to hating.

All we know of Mordor is that it’s where Sauron lives and there’s a volcano there. All or most of the menace in Middle-earth emanates from this relatively anonymous area. We understand there’s some evil there but remains somehow featureless, faceless like just Sauron. When our heroes approach the gates of Mordor at the end of Return of the King all we see is darkness, gloom, mountains and orcs. And it’s all we need to see, really. Here be monsters.

It’s all very paint-by-numbers. Good goes here, evil goes here. That’s all we need to know.

The Empire at least has some real-world analogues and some shades of gray. It wins simply by the virtue of being more robust.

Star Wars wins

Next: 38. Force vs. Magic