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Shades of the Prequel Trilogy found in Willow/Shadow War Saga?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Duguay, May 9, 2003.

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  1. Duguay

    Duguay Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 30, 2002
    Something interesting I've noticed about The Shadow War saga that was created by Chris Claremont and George Lucas to continue the story from the movie Willow, is that there were hints to what was coming with the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

    Rather than say the Shadow Wars saga and the PT were good or bad, I think most people will agree that they are controversial. There is some serious criticism leveled at the both these new trilogies, but one could hardly argue that they don't take chances:


    Shadow Moon makes the highly criticized move of killing off most of the characters from Willow, leaving only Elora, the brownies, and Willow, who appears in a severly altered form (although his new identity is comparable to OB-1's name change from PT to the original trilogy). The Phantom Menace present new information concerning the Force, the midi-chlorians that some fans object to.

    The initial installments are arguably not up to the standards that some might expect from George Lucas, to the point where they potentially alienated some of their target audience (the reviews of Shadow Moon and TPM on suggest this mentality).

    One major aspect of the Shadow War trilogy of note is the character of Elora as a "sacred princess", suggesting a messianic destiny in her world. This was in a book that was published several years before TPM came out in 1999 and revealed that Anakin/Vader is the Star Wars universes own messianic chosen one.

    In our own world the "messiah" or "chosen one" or "sacred leader" usually has a positive connotation, the person filling this role is usually considered to be good. Whereas the Star Wars universe seems to have gotten a raw deal on their "savior". Anakin/Vader, we learn, is supposed to be a "sacred" person, by virtue of his immaculate conception and prophesied destiny, which we know he fulfills. But of course we know what Anakin becomes in the future. So we have in the Star Wars universe the exploration of the suseptible human side of a "sacred being", who is capable of great good, but also great evil. Imagine for a minute, what if Jesus Christ had given in to temptation and caused great harm before ultimately redeeming himself and saving humanity from sin. Of course, it less controversial to come up with a character who is a thinly disguised parallel of the real thing, in order to explore the question. That's what makes the revelation of Darth Vader's "chosen one" status so interesting. What happens when the messiah of the prophesy goes bad?

    Of course, anyone who was not put off by Shadow Moon and read the second book, Shadow Dawn, came upon a revelation at the end almost on par with Vader's reveal at the end of ESB.


    The main villain of the Shadow War is an enigmatic creature called The Deceiver, who is able to harm Elora Danan with a special type of magic, when no one else can harm her, and magic usually has no effect on her at all. The Deceiver turns out to be an alternative version of Elora Danan that failed in her sacred role to save the realms of her world, so she travelled back to try again. The Deceiver has turned to completely evil means to fulfill her goal, and this has brought her in fierce opposition with Elora Danan. Again, anyone who read the book had a preview of the mentality of the Star Wars saga as a story about the exploration of what happens when a "sacred messiah" goes bad. In that respect, the Shadow War books seem like a dry run for what the PT is presenting.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. Latorski

    Latorski Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 14, 2002
    Very interesting. I can't comment because I haven't read the Shadow books, but you've actually inspired me to read them. Lucas is obviously very interested in the themes you outlined if he's repeating them in the PT.
  3. malducin

    malducin Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 23, 2001
    Well it's not such big a surprise since both Star Wars and Willow were heavily influenced by The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell which detils the prototypical hero's journey. If you read it you'll see how many concepts are taken from that for those films.
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