36. George Lucas vs. J.R.R. Tolkien
Who Is George Lucas? Creator of the Star Wars universe
Who Was JRR Tolkien? Creator of the Lord of the Rings universe
Verdict: Even – or perhaps especially – diehard fans of Star Wars would feel a bit queasy about standing up for George Lucas here, especially compared to J.R.R. Tolkien.
While he did create the Star Wars universe from whole cloth, you also came damn near close to ruining it with both the Special Editions and the prequels. Those two follow up projects of Lucas’ weren’t nearly as bad as people still say, but it’s fair to say they didn’t improve much on the original trilogy.
Credit is still due though. Compared to everything that came before it, Star Wars was a wholly originally and exceptional enterprise. It borrowed liberally from several different sources, but ultimately it refined all of it into something genuinely unique.
Almost all of which could be said about Tolkien’s work. He built a thoroughly detailed world almost entirely with his own imagination, one that has gone on to have reached a depth of complexity that is equal parts baffling and humbling.
He also tinkered with his work too, adding addendums and notes onto his stories that were later published in books like the Silmarillion. None of it was as dramatic, dimwitted or dull as Lucas’ revisions, however. The Englishman edges out Lucas for that reason alone.
Lord of the Rings wins
Next: 35. Force vs. Magic