The Force Awakens and A New Hope

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People have had a lot to say about The Force Awakens including how similar it is to the original Star Wars A New Hope.  Some have even viewed this as a flaw in the film, calling it a retread of the original.  Personally, I don’t see it as anything negative.  It’s seems a bit silly to complain that this new Star Wars is too much like the Star Wars we all know and love.

On the surface there are many similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope.  They both feature a McGuffin hidden in a droid on a desert planet discovered by someone who is seemingly normal but is then whisked away on an adventure.  This all leads to a battle over a giant weapon with the power to destroy a planet.  Pretty similar, but this is a massive oversimplification of the plots of both movies.  There are many similarities between The Phantom Menace and A New Hope as well.

A famous quote warns that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  In Star Wars it’s made even more difficult because it seems every 20 years or so there is a major war or regime change that wipes out the the historical archives or floods the galaxy with propaganda.

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Star Wars has always been been about repeating themes and motifs.  George Lucas frequently compared the movies to lines in a poem or a song.  There are pieces that rhyme while other pieces will be mirror images of what came before.  It’s no different in The Force Awakens.

The Star Wars saga is filled with mythological archetypes.  These are stories that have been told for generations through writers like Tolkien and going back as far as Homer.  Only difference here is that our versions have lightsabers and X-wings.

Are the stories on a most basic level similar?  Yes, but that is the structure of Star Wars, showing us how these tales echo through history.  Each generation gets their own take on the Hero’s Journey and each time through this motif plays slightly different.  The story of fathers and sons (or maybe daughters?) each facing similar trials on their quest.  Sometimes our heroes will slip into darkness while others will rise into the light.

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  • Megistus

    No its more than the film being “remix” of the OT with emphasis in A New Hope, the state of the galaxy is near identical to what it was during the OT. Such conditions require everything that Heroes of the OT did to have fallen apart.

  • Oh Goo Tak

    ” It’s seems a bit silly to complain that this new Star Wars is too much like the Star Wars we all know and love.”

    Why the hell not? It’s not like there is not plenty of new stuff that come out and surprass it and we are already spoiled by the old EU.