Amph Mythology in The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Strilo, Mar 30, 2006.

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  1. Darth-Kevin-Thomas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
    I have yet to read the paper but i took a similar class at UNLV and had to write a similar paper. I will get around to to soon and add some feedback

    dkt
  2. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    weirdly enough, after reading the paper, i find myself agreeing with both excellence and strilo:eek:

    it doesn't matter what tolkien says what his goal for the writing is, it's not in his hands in that sense. therefore quoting him on that won't get you anywhere fast.
    and i'm not sure tolkien set out to write a popular myth in that sense, wanted to write a best seller or anything. (not so sure about lucas, although there is a case that he neither has the devotion of the fans in his hands) what happens is i think that the power of myth is indeed that it resonates with people, and the more specific it is in places and the more universal in others, the more people will be able to identify with it. hence of course they are both successful myths. but there seems to be a sense of zeitgeist there, or being able to tune into collective consciousness or whatever the phrase of choice is, that gets your myth to a higher plane. and that's not simply to do with carefully following rules.
  3. Strilo Manager Emeritus

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    Aug 6, 2001
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    Tolkien set out to write mythology, he did not set out to write popular myth. At times he didn't seem to feel that anyone would be interested in his work. Certainly not in the stuff that wound up in the Silmarillion. But he did consciously want to craft myths that seemed to stem from Norse and Celtic mythology as well.
  4. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    yeah yeah, i agree on the sources and on his stated intention. (i cannot very well argue against something he stated as his intention, i can only argue with whether he achieved what he set out to do)

    what he could write was myth concerning albion and the english ebcause obviously that was something he knew. that's why i think people relate to it because it is both informed by zeitgeist and his own sentiments towards england. it has to be universal and specific, i tell ya :)
  5. FlareStorm Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 6
    This makes me wonder, has Lucas ever mentioned reading, drawing upon, or being influenced by LOTR? Has he ever mentioned LOTR at all? I've seen plenty of Lucas interviews and stuff, and I don't remember it.
  6. Strilo Manager Emeritus

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    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I don't recall anything but then I am not an expert in his comments and interviews by any stretch.
  7. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Me either. Most people are, but there's a big difference between sci-fi and fantasy, and he might not have been drawing on Tolkien.
  8. Strilo Manager Emeritus

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    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think it is much more likely that Tolkien and Lucas were both drawing from the same influences. But then that's why I wrote the paper... ;)
  9. Dawud786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    Sad to say, I didn't read the entire paper... my attention's not there right now, I'm listening to an early download of the new Bad Brains record so my mental speed is going too fast for intellectual flexing beyond what few comments I want to make.

    I think myth tends to reflect the inner struggle of man to do what is right more than it does say a battle we might fight on the outside. Thus, Middle-Earth(interesting thing is that in Islamic mysticism the intermediary world where all such mythological or symbolic events take place is called the barzakh and is technically a real middle earth) is the inner landscape. The world in which our souls journey. The struggle fought is not primarily between Sauron and the servants of Eru, but rather the struggle fought in the heart of Frodo is the centerpeice of the entire trilogy. That same element rolls over into the Star Wars saga. It's not accurate at all to say the struggle between good and evil takes place largely in the original trilogy because that struggle is there in the prequels as well. In the prequels it takes the form of the Jedi struggling against the Sith they can see, in the OT it's the struggle between the Jedi and the Sith Lords controlling the Galactic Empire. Same struggle, different main player. The true struggle though is neither the Clone Wars or the Galactic Civil War but that waged within the hearts of Anakin and Luke Skywalker. In a sense you might say that in Middle-Earth all the characters of the Fellowship represent the noble characteristics that Frodo strives to align himself with, while Sauron and the legions of Morgoth and indeed those of Isengard and Saruman represent the negative traits that Frodo seeks to purge from his own heart.

    All the characters surrounding Anakin and Luke act in the same way. Which really presents an interesting look at the differences in their struggles. For instance, with Anakin... he seems to instinctively know to fight evil but he also struggles against the noble traits as well when it conflicts with his whims. Luke, on the other hand, doesn't chafe so much under the pressure of assuming the noble traits manifest in the person of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda and Leia etc.

    LOTR and SW, to me, are metaphors for the Great Struggle going on in the hearts of every single human being throughout time. Unfortunately many people don't take them as such and don't necessarily reflect on them. Star Wars is just film entertainment, and LOTR is escapism.
  10. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Well be sure to comment once you've read the paper.
  11. Dawud786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    So I finally came back and read your paper. It's great work, honestly. The idea of the good guys being attuned to nature and the bad guys being very much "enframed" as Heidegger would say really makes one think does it not? Think about our world today, or societies... staggering, really, the implications.
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