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LOTR vs Star Wars

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Galant, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    Two of the biggest fantasy 'franchises' of all time.
    One is a series of books that spawned a following an an expanded universe including the most recent hit movie series.
    One is a series of movies that spawned its own following, including books and in it's own expanded universe.

    LOTR, created by J R R Tolkien, taking inspiration from Norse mythology, created a world that has gone on to heavily influence the whole 'fantasy' setting in terms of orcs, warriors, wizards, elves, trolls etc. from other novels, to role playing games, and beyond, in addition to the LOTR universe/series itself which only seems to grow in popularity.

    Star Wars, created by George Lucas, created a science fiction universe that seems to blend both the historical and the futuristic, the scientific and the spiritual, to create iconic characters and stories that still feature prominently in social imagery and language, as well as itself inspiring other works of science fiction beyond the Star Wars universe itself. Countless books, movies, TV series, and video games have been produced with the Star Wars label and continue to be produced without any signs of slowing down - quite the opposite.

    In some ways the two franchises are quite different, in other quite similar.

    There are lots of ways this can be approached so I don't want to limit it. I'll just ask, which one is better, Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings?
     
  2. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    Lord of the Rings

    Created a brand new genre. Prior to LOTR there was no wizards and goblins genre. You had King Arthur and the Viking Sagas and that was it for the most part. There is no Game of Thrones without LOTR.

    Created a brand new language....Elvish.

    Created not just LOTR a trilogy but the Hobbit and what a lot of fans enjoy the most The Silmarrillion, an entire history of the fabled land.


    STAR WARS ....Stole 75% of the idea from Dune. The evil emperor, 1st book takes place on desert planet, the force is the same as the bene gesserit mental powers, the lead character a boy foretold in destiny. In fact the original scripts had warring noble families too from what I read

    Jar, jar binks
     
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  3. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    I thought it stole more from Flash Gordan
     
  4. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    That too. And the Hidden Fortress. LUCAS admitted it as such, citing those three movies as influencing him. More power to him but I think from an intellectual point of view Tolkien wins on so many different fronts. The only way I can see someone saying Star Wars is better is if they just plain like the story more which is fair. At the end of the day that is the most important criteria
     
  5. Ohio Fanatic

    Ohio Fanatic 30 years and counting Club Member

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    Star wars came out when I was 5 1/2, so arguably nothing has impacted my life more, with the exception of having kids. ON the other side, the first real book I ever picked up and read was the Hobbit (picked it off the shelf while sitting in detention hall in junior high) - also changed my life . Having said all that, hard to say LOTR isn't better. Both franchises have had such huge impacts on society as a whole.
     
  6. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Both are awesome, and both have been a big part of my life for a long time.

    Similar to others, Star Wars has basically always been there to me. A New Hope came out a month before I was born, and my dad was a huge fan. Some of my earliest memories, from when I was about four or five years old, are sitting around the TV in the living room of the apartment we lived in, watching the original moves when they came on TV (years before we had a VHS). And then when VCRs became more prominent, it seemed like every time we went to a family gathering or my parents were hanging out with their friends, the adults would put the Star Wars movies on TV to occupy the kids, and I must have seen each one 50 times by the time I was ten.

    LOTR was a different matter. My initial introduction to the series was watching the old animated movie, which also came out the same year that I was born. I saw that a handful of times as a kid, and eventually it inspired me to read my dad's copy of the book when I was about ten or eleven years old. That in turn lead me to read the three books of the LOTR series when I was about 12-14. And after that, I connected the dots that so many of the other fantasy books, comics, movies and video games that I was into got their ideas from Tolkien. His imagination was such an enormous resource for the whole genre.

    I guess that if I had to pick which one was better, or more important to the world of media, it would be LOTR. However, I love both. I'll continue to eagerly look forward to all of the things that are being created for the Star Wars universe, and the LOTR series on Amazon might be enough to eventually convince my wife and I to join Prime.
     
  7. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    If you guys had to just pick one of the two to be able to re-watch/read or continue watching reading in terms of content that already exists or will exist - movies, books, series etc. and never the other one, which one would you choose?
     
  8. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    I believe a better way to do it, is to come up with categories and see how they stack up versus each other. Like World Building, Story, Impact, Public Appeal, etc.

    Absent that, I have to say, I just don't like the Tolkienverse. I appreciate it was first and I appreciate the obscene amounts of world building Tolkien did, but I just find the stories at best boring and at worst overwrought. Again, I know it was first but that doesn't make it the best automatically. I'm sure people liked the Model T, but it wasn't better than a 2019 BMW.

    Star Wars is fun, LOTR feels like homework.
     
  9. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Star Wars, easily.

    I would put the original Tolkein works as probably the best overall in terms of being art, but as Fin D notes, they are heavy. Going past Tolkein, the movies too are huge and heavy. Great (well, not the Hobbit fiasco), but long and heavy. You have to be in a mood or really dedicate yourself to reading or watching.

    With Star Wars I'll toss it on the TV and just go any time. My three year old saw them and loves the robots, and asks to watch it every so often now and it's one of the few I will actively watch with him (as opposed to yet another viewing of Kung Fu Panda, WallE or Toy Story).

    The books as well - I'll go to the library and just grab a few SW books. They aren't high art works of literary genius, but they are quick, fun and easy reads. I also just like the expansiveness of the SW universe. Theres so much to choose from or go with.
     
  10. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    Star Wars has a lot more, so I would choose Star Wars.

    To choose which one is better, I would choose Lord of the Rings. It is an amazing accomplishment and doesn't contain the Prequels or Rogue One.
     
  11. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    Star Wars is such a rich and varied universe it lends itself to vast possibilities and imagination. I've also enjoyed many of the games in the series that are generally well made.

    However, if I had to choose just one I think I'd end up going for LOTR purely because of the depth of quality even just in the books. They're incredibly well written, and also profound. So more than just pure entertainment, I think long term LOTR would be more satisfying because it is of a higher and deeper quality. I could enjoy reflecting deeply on the material, beyond just the saga itself.
     
  12. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    LOTR went on and on and on and on and on...oh good God already, get to freaking Mordor, dump the ring and call it a day.

    At least Star Wars, and that does include the substandard prequels didn’t take forever to get from “here” to “there”
     
  13. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    See, I'm always in that mood, lol. I remember when the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring came out on DVD. I was there waiting at the mall before they opened that day, and I took it home and watched it right away. It had nearly an hour of additional footage and it wasn't just throw away stuff like so many other movies with deleted scenes! It made it into a viable, seamless 3+ hour experience! And then the same was true for the other two movies as well!

    Now, when I happen to watch them on TV, I always feel like so much has been cut out because the extened ones are what I think of as being the default, complete ones.
     
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  14. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    LotR other big problem is the same problem with Harry Potter, and that is the Deus Ex Machina problem.

    I mean forget the unbeatable ghost army in LotR, but every single side quest was only constructed to add steps to the plot of go from A to B, throw ring in lava.
     
  15. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    Star Wars doesn't? The first Death Star's destruction could have been prevented by a grated gate or a slight bend.
     
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  16. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    No not really.

    We knew about the exhaust port early on, from what I remember. The LotR ghost army, OTOH......
     
  17. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    I think what's overlooked here a bit is how much of an impact the special effects had at the time for STAR WARS. That and the visuals (costumes, sets,etc). I was around 10 when the movie cane out and I can tell you, you literally heard wows and ohhhs at the premier. Seeing that movie was like flying in a jet for the first time as opposed to a prop plane. No-one had ever done space battles like that before. The light sabers which were nothing more than the traditional sword fight got ooohs and ahhhhhs. Even the costumes, face it Darth Vader and the stormtroopers just looked cool as hell. I think to some extent that was George lucas's real genius. He foresaw how important the next generation of special effects were going to be to the future of movies. All the companies he formed for special effects and sound may be his greatest legacy
     
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  18. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    Lord of the Rings had a very similar effect. It changed movies forever. The reason why we have Harry Potters and you could even say the MCU is because of Lord of the Rings. No one thought something of an epic scale could be done. Yes Star Wars did change a lot, however, I would say that Lord of the Rings had a very similar effect.

    I also remember oos and awws during the Lord of the Rings as well.
     
  19. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    We knew of the exhaust port right before the battle. Just like we knew of the ghost army right before the battle.
     
  20. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    True. And thank God they didn't attempt to make LOTR before the special effects had caught up. I remember that Tolkien fans were fearing the movie as much as anticipating it before it came out. The three main fears were that:

    The movie would cut out too much of the story. Props to Peter Jackson and the studios for staying as true as possible to the book.

    The special effects wouldn't be able to capture the vision of Tolkien. Props to the CGI team. Everything looked believable.

    The last fear was the would kidify the movie to sell toys to kids the way Star Wars started to kidify with Return Of the Jedi. Thank God the studios let Peter Jackson stay true to the book
     
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  21. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    The port specifically yes, however from the beginning it was implied that R2 was given information "vital to the survival of the rebellion" along with information that it was the technical readout of the Death Star.

    I wasn't alive or old enough for the original trilogy, but I remember being pretty well awed watching them as a little kid - I loved the scene in EpIV when Han and Luke shoot down the TIE fighters as they escape.

    LOTR was definitely a visually astounding movie. Probably the only one growing up that wowed me more was Jurassic Park.
     
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  22. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    I read Jurassic Park the summer before my freshman year of HS in 91. When I heard that they were making a movie about it, I was so excited and told my friends how awesome it would be. A few rolled their eyes, and said that it would probably look like crap because all dinosaur movies did. No one really saw coming how awesome it would turn out, but I was hopeful the whole time and it met my expectations.

    I was the same way in the later 90s, when I first read that people were talking about making a LOTR movie. I was excited and facinated and giddy, but others were really cynical and said that it would turn out so poorly that people would wish that it was never made. But again, it turned out wonderfully!
     
  23. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    For me the stake in the heart that kills Star Wars is The Last Jedi. I know a number of life long Star Wars fans who bailed out of the franchise after that movie.

    There’s nothing like that in Tolkein’s books, where something kills your passion for the series. Yes the Simarillion and Unfinished Tales are heavy going, but they’re optional extras.
     
  24. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    One issue LOTR faces that Star Wars doesn't is that the movies are based on books. As such they suffer in the usual ways that movies adaptions do. The 'ghost army' is one example of this. In the books, the army is used to take boats from some corsairs who serve Sauron and that's about it. Aragorn takes the boats of the corsairs, fills them with troops, and sails on with troops to the Battle of Pelennor Fields. The army doesn't use weapons fight, they're ghosts, the basically scare off the corsairs.

    Within the context of the overall story of the LOTR and the former generations, kings, battles etc. and Aragorn as a 'returning king' the involvement of such an army finding a sort of redemption fits well with the narrative and themes without it seeming like a deus ex machina.
     
  25. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    The Hobbit movies ...
     
  26. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    The first one was OK but the books weren’t ruined by the movie. Most hardcore Tolkien fans just treat the Hobbit movies like hard core Star Wars fans trea the prequel trilogy.
     
  27. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    As both a Star Wars and Tolkien fan, I enjoy all of them! I watched two of the three Hobbit movies just yesterday.
     
  28. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    i had no problem with the Hobbit trilogy. Don't know anyone who complained even
     
  29. adamprez2003

    adamprez2003 Senior Member

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    George Lucas very shrewdly negotiated himself the rights to merchandising everything and he got 100% I believe. It seems with Return of the Jedi Lucas turned Star Wars into more of a marketing tool to sell his toys then a serious attempt at furthering the story. Can't blame him. He probably made more money from merchandising then the films themselves. Ewoks, then later Jar Jar Binks, it just started to get to Kiddy City. It just felt like instead of targeting the fifteen year old which I think the first two movies did he started targeting the eight year old with every movie after
     
  30. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Lucas has said several times since the 90s that the original movies were intended to appeal to 12 year old boys, and was honestly surprised that adults liked them as much as they did and took them so seriously.
     
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  31. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    I am curious how much this will actually matter.

    I know Solo is seen as proof however I don't see it that way. A Harrisonless Han Solo movie does not sound interesting to me. Especially after they fired Lord and Miller though I do recognize I am in the minority on that.

    While the Last Jedi was a disappointment to some it still was 8th all time domestic and 11th world wide.
     
  32. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Why exactly does TLJ ruin the entire concept of Star Wars for you? Or do you just mean like future interest?

    I loved TLJ and I thought Solo was easily the weakest of the recent quartet of movies to come out. It wasn't BAD per se, just weak comparatively. Relatively uninteresting. I enjoyed it more for glimpses of the SW world (like the construction of starships on Corellia) than as a Star Wars story or a Han Solo story. Recasting Han as a young guy just fell totally flat, and honestly, for a franchise that was built heavily on mystique, did we really need an "in depth" look at the origins of Han Solo, space rogue? No, no we did not. Bad misstep by Disney. I have the exact same concerns about the Boba thing or an Obi movie as well.

    I almost discount the prequels as being in the SWverse, they feel so different and just ... not good. I do, however, enjoy some of the novels in that timeframe, and the animated show was fun.
     
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  33. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    I thought that Solo was entertaining, and fine. I won't likely be thinking much about it in ten years, but a movie doesn't need to be one of the greatest things ever created to be enjoyable.
     
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