50 reasons Star Wars is better than Lord of The Rings

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2. Star Wars’ inspirations vs. Lord of the Rings’ inspirations

What inspired Star Wars? Akira Kurosawa, Flash Gordon, World War II movies, westerns, Isaac Asimov, etc

What inspired Lord of the Rings? Beowulf, King Arthur, Scandinavian mythology, European politics

Verdict: Both of the trilogies drew heavily off of work that came before it.

Lucas cites half a dozen different inspirations, and there’s more to pick out as you watch as well. There’s the clear line connecting old Japanese samurai movies – particularly those of famed director Akira Kurosawa – and Star Wars. The Jedi in particular are steeped in Eastern influences.

Many of the sci-fi aspects are drawn from the pulp serial Flash Gordon and the harder works of Isaac Asimov. The choreography of the space battles themselves is straight out of a number of World War II movies, particularly one entitled The Dam Busters.

Lord of the Rings’ sources are more ancient. Many have drawn the parallels between the ancient English masterwork Beowulf, as well as the rich collection of stories from English and Scandinavian mythology.

The many races of Middle-earth are thought to themselves represent the many nations of Europe, with which the Lord of the Rings’ continent shares many similarities, right down to the constant warfare and in-fighting.

Which trilogy lives up to their sources best? It’s tempting to give it to Lord of the Rings considering the wide breadth and depth of information Tolkien provides in the texts. But we’re working with just the movies here, so that wouldn’t be fair.

Lucas and Star Wars take it for reimagining and repurposing so many seemingly discordant types of stories and films.

Star Wars wins

Next: 1. Kasdan vs. Jackson