Aug 31 2008

Salon asks why the Star Wars trilogy beat LOTR

Published by at 8:35 pm under Movie Review,Science Fiction

The author claims that Star Wars was better because it was human-centric rather than world- or action-centric.  Our contributors respond…


I agree.  For example, Han Solo shoots Greedo (first), flips a coin to the bartender and says “sorry about the mess.”  That sequence shows something about his personality and it’s also funny.  In contrast, every LOTR protagonist slaughtered tens of orcs.  Who cares?  What’s that meant to say about them?  It establishes a capability to prevail (the ability to kill many orcs), but without any reason we should care about whether they do.


I found LOTR more coherent.  The first Star Wars movie was marketed as a romance between Leia and Luke.

Also, Lucas’ dialogue is criminal bordering on felonious.  Han Solo got a few decent lines in (“we’re fine here, thanks” was improvized by Ford) but they were fleeting.


Star Wars’ characters were archetypical but at least they grew.  Luke became responsible, Han became unselfish, etc.  LOTR felt more like a trek from points A to B to C.  It spent so much time describing each goalpost of the journey that the characters never really emerged.


Both movies suffered from notably incompetent bad guys.  At Paingod’s Academy for Supervillainous Excellence, we stress that villains must exterminate any muppet-like creatures upon first contact.  LOTR would have been dramatically improved if Gandalf had decapitated Frodo with a firework.

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