Top 10 Similarities Between Star Wars And Real Life

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At its best, science fiction is a comment on current events set in a fantastical universe. Such is Star Wars. One of the reasons why its imagery seems so familiar is because, in a slightly less mystical environment, we have literally seen it all before. There are some striking similarities between images from history and images from Star Wars. You may or may not agree, but look at the images and judge for yourselves.

10. Jar Jar Binks and 19th Century African American Slaves

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When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out, there was a lot of discussion of the racial connotation associated with Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar’s voice and movements were done by a black man named Ahmed Best. However, if you compare photos, especially when Jar Jar is in shackles, then the mannerisms and dress make for a slightly more compelling argument. The argument at the time was also that Jar Jar sounded like he had a Caribbean accent. It is a historical fact that the Caribbean area was the first place slavery was introduced in the New World, as well as the first place to deal with a slave rebellion.

9.  Rebel Commandos on the Endor Moon and American Soldiers in Korea

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The image of a soldier in a camouflaged poncho should seem like a fairly common one.  As a matter of fact, tourists can go to the northern part of the Mall in Washington DC, and see exactly that image immortalized in stone. The only difference here is that one is a raid on a “foreign moon,” and another one is in honor of veterans of the Korean War. If you want to go a little bit further, also note that Ewoks could be argued to have Mongoloid eyes, as well as exaggerated lip features. Again, we aren’t stating that an Ewok is a particularly racist thing, however there are mirrors between the final assault and the War on the Korean Peninsula. At the very least, the dress of the Commandos bears more than a passing reference.

8. Han Solo And Gunfighters of the American West

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Considering that George Lucas probably pitched the entire idea initially as “Space Cowboys,” including a character like Han Solo, the smuggler with a heart of  gold, makes sense, since it’s practically a stereotype of Western cinema. Watching A New Hope, it almost looks like Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi have run directly into a space-age Lone Ranger and Tonto. “A price on his head” is also the rallying cry in many westerns, as are bounty hunters looking for gold from the highest payer. It’s actually quite surprising that they never actually show a poster that says “Wanted: Dead of Alive” with a smirking picture of Harrison Ford, but the inference certainly exists throughout the movies.

7.  The Imperial Guard and the Guards At Buckingham Palace

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The bright red outfit, single distinctive weapon, silent stance, and the imposing headgear are all dead giveaways. However, if that was not enough, then there is also the fact that they are there to do the exact same job. The Emperor’s personal guards, as well as the Guards at Buckingham Palace, are there to protect a sovereign. The difference is that the Buckingham Guards have a rather legendary restraint when dealing with tourists, for the most part. Although they are never actually shown in action in the films, one would guess that the Imperial Guards have a much lower tolerance for such activity.

6.  The Mon Calamari and Cruise Ships

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According to Star Wars lore, Admiral Ackbar and the Mon Calamari were the moral equivalent of  a luxury boat service workers. The space cruisers you saw in Return Of The Jedi?  Try and imagine someone attacking a military installation with an essentially weaponized version of the QE2. In that vein, Ackbar is practically Captain Stubing of the Love Boat, turned by circumstances into John McClane of Die Hard fame. The final battle would be the maritime version of said luxury liners with cannons going against World War II battleships and Destroyers. Now that is a movie Hollywood should ideally invest at least a little money in.

5.  Nazi German Officers and Imperial Officers

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The Empire was almost certainly lifted from the Nazis as George Lucas’ generation, as well as the previous one, were personally tied to World War II. If you watch the movies straight through from I-VI, you can also make correlations to different wars and movements within the 19th and 20th centuries. In this vein though,  the Empire were a bunch of straight-up Nazis; they didn’t even go out of their way to differentiate between the uniform of a Nazi officer and the uniform of an Imperial Officer at all.

4.  X-Wing Fighters And World War II Planes

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George Lucas has an acknowledged abiding love with World War II and history. When special effects workers were trying to get dynamics of  space firefights down, Lucas showed them authentic footage from World War II dogfights, and pretty much told them to copy them. Some of the scenes from the assault on the first Death Star were directly lifted, shot-for-shot, from World War II. The parallels are beyond striking.

3.  Tusken Raiders and Desert Fighters

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Tatooine has many of the hallmarks of a desert planet, and the Tusken Raiders would seem to be the native species, while the rest seem to be settlers from other worlds. As such, the Tusken Raiders (or, perhaps more derisively, the Sand People) dress like many whom you see today living in deserts. Deserts are often dangerous, bellicose areas, and Tatooine is as well. The Raiders are also given to night raids, killings, and kidnappings, which sounds an awful lot like the Taliban, the real-life answer to the Tusken Raiders.

2.  JEDI and Samurai Warriors

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The parallels between the JEDI and the Samurai seem to be rather hard to argue as nonexistent. The Samurai were essentially disbanded in order to have a uniformed Japanese army. The change was sudden, swift, and in defiance of centuries of tradition. The dress of a Samurai was traditional. Also part of giving in to government demands was the practice of surrendering the sword. The Jedi, likewise, were an ancient order with an official position whose primary weapon was a light saber, basically a glow-in-the-dark sword. The turning point for the Jedi was Emperor Palpatine’s creation of the First Army of the Republic. This action was a direct parallel to Japanese history in the late nineteenth century.

1.  Soviet Soldiers on the Front And Hoth Rebels

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Probably due to the ensuing Cold War, the fight of the Soviets, and their sacrifice to stop the Nazi movement, was under-reported, and certainly under-celebrated, in the West. However, The Empire Strikes Back offered a rare glimpse into the conditions on the Eastern front of World War II. The Hoth Rebels seem to look exactly like the Russian troops. Having established Imperial Officers as thinly-veiled Nazis, then the Hoth Rebels fall more quickly into the role of heroic Soviet troops defending the last bastion that they have. Much of the fighting in the Eastern front was done during the winter. Also, the Germans did roll their tanks (think AT-AT) in the harshest of winter conditions, which was ultimately just plain stupid of them.

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4 Comments

  1. “Either you are with me, or you are my enemy. Anakin Skywalker. “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” George W Bush. And I don`t want to sound cruel, but i wish you could sell Jar Jar into slavery..

  2. re Han Solo and Gunfighter of American West: Please use a real picture instead of the overweight fifty-ish re-enactor (on right).

  3. U.S. troops did not wear camouflaged ponchos in Korea – they were plain olive drab, just like in WWII and Vietnam.

  4. i think Lucas said that line was based off bush. but at the time i think he said that to mess with him. im not that religious but i think this is really where he got the idea of that line Matthew 12:30 Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. if you go to google and type what anakin said this keeps coming up.

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