Just having watched The Force Awakens, I couldn’t help but notice the almost overwhelming number of parallels it had with previous Star Wars movies, which go beyond the recurrence of familiar characters, machinery and phrases (“I have a bad feeling about this!”. Here’s my initial list:
- Bad guy in black with a mask in addition to emperor-like figure.
- Desert/sand planet
- A junker on a desert planet being called to a higher purpose (Anakin/Rey)
- Old, bearded uber-Jedi in seclusion on a remote planet (Luke/Yoda)
- Special light saber finding its way down to off-spring
- An old, greenish, tiny, wise creature as spiritual guide for the unexacting future Jedi.
- Evil superpower is in search of droid(s) containing key information about their good opponents.
- Breaking good guys out of a evil fortress.
- Dark bar with riff-raff and music..
- Kids being separated from parents and hidden away.
- Han in trouble with other bad guys.
- Rebel/resistance base is uncovered and attacked.
- A person with the force in need of completing their training (Luke/Kylo)
- The main bad guy’s struggle with the light side and being good.
- Destruction of a death star by X-wing fighters via exploiting a design weakness.
- The bad guy is punishing people (soldier types) who fail harshly.
- Torture by the main bad guy.
- The force awakening in someone who didn’t know about their origins/family tree (duh!)
- Generational reversal (parent vs. offspring being either good or evil)
Thanks to JJ Abrams, there are also some interesting contrasts with the Force Awakens:
- The bad guy tends to take off his mask and show a human/good side early on.
- Storm trooper defection.
- The bad guy has a bad sidekick reporting to the uber villain.
- The evil villain has a terrible temper.
- And he gets pretty beat up already early in the course of the trilogy.
- More obvious slapstick humor (“That’s not how the Force works!”)
- Nobody’s hand has been chopped off yet… 🙂
To stretch this even further, JJ has even brought a little bit of LOST into Star Wars with Ken Leung making an appearance and a theme of “parent issues“.
Update 3/28/16: Apparently I’m not the only one noticing the parallels. Check out this UPROXX article!