Who knew a girl from Kansas and a girl from Jakku had so much in common? The original Star Wars movies, and even Star Wars: The Force Awakens, share similarities with the iconic 1939 film. Here are a few of the parallels between Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz.
Many compared ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ to ‘The Wizard of Oz’
Luke Skywalker was raised in a desert by his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Dorothy was raised on a farm by her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. It was only a matter of time before fans made the connection. According to starwars.com, critic Roger Ebert noticed the differences and similarities between the two fantasy tales when Star Wars premiered in 1977.
“Star Wars is a fairy tale,” he wrote, “a fantasy, a legend, finding its roots in some of our most popular fictions. The golden robot, lion-faced space pilot, and insecure little computer on wheels must have been suggested by the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.”
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is especially similar to ‘The Wizard of Oz’
The journey of a girl who dreams of traveling somewhere over the rainbow? Sounds strangely familiar. The story of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz actually shares many similarities with Rey’s story in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Dorothy’s main companion in this film is Toto, a dog that she befriends in Kansas. The protagonist then tries to save Toto from the hands of Miss Gulch. Rey’s main companion in her film is BB-8, a droid who finds her on her home in Jakku. She saves BB-8 from men who try to capture him and sell him.
Another large comparison is the color scheme of both the protagonists’ homes. Following an incident with a tornado, the story of Dorothy takes viewers to the magical land of Oz. This is a colorful world outside of her home in Kansas. When Rey first travels outside of Jakku, she immediately notices the change in scenery, saying, “I didn’t know there was this much green in the whole galaxy.”
Along the way, Dorothy befriends three characters — the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow. In Star Wars, two male characters join the fight against the resistance, although Rey only meets Finn in this movie.
Similarities have also been drawn between three resistance characters and Dorothy’s companions. Some compare C-3PO to the Tin Man. Others compare Chewbacca to the Cowardly Lion. Han Solo, the closest friend of Luke Skywalker and later the love interest of Princess Leia, has been compared to the Scarecrow.
Luke Skywalker, the Emperor, and The Wizard of Oz
Some fans made connections between the dark side and The Wizard. In one scene during The Wizard of Oz, the Wizard appears to Dorothy and her friends as a hologram. During the Star Wars movies, including Star Wars: A New Hope, the Emperor appears to Darth Vader as a hologram.
In an article posted on Star Wars’ website, one author noticed the differences between Luke Skywalker and Dorothy, stating, “unlike Dorothy, though, Luke can find his way to defeat the evil, but is left without a home to go to. He can only move forward with his life, finding a new acceptance with new friends.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in the United States on December 20, 2019.