Several years ago in my second grade classroom, my students and I were doing a unit about fairy tales. I asked them to list things about The Wizard of Oz on a long piece of paper which they did. Then I took their list and wrote it on a transparency for the overhead. It was funny when I asked “How many flying monkeys were there?” and one boy replied “Too many!” I had to agree. They even frightened me.
The more things they listed, the more I wrote and then it occurred to me that The Wizard of Oz was exactly like the movie Star Wars. Different places of destination, a girl in trouble, three strange looking friends—think The Lion, The Scarecrow and The Tin Man. And then think R2D2, 3CPO and Chewbacca, frightening things after each such as the flying monkeys or the storm troopers: So similar.
The girl in trouble and/or peril was Dorothy and Princess Leia. Dorothy’s destination was home here on earth while Princess Leia’s was her planet in outer space.
The yellow brick road was one that Dorothy and her friends traveled while Princess Leia’s road was a trip in outer space.
The villain in The Wizard of Oz was the witch while the villain in Star Wars was Darth Vader. Both wore dark clothes. Both had backups with the witch’s flying monkeys and Darth Vader with his storm troopers. And the monkeys and the troopers had distinct uniforms. Unforgettable uniforms.
The life saver in The Wizard of Oz was of course the wizard while the life saver in Star Wars was Luke Skywalker.
This list could go on and on with similarities between the two movies. No offense to George Lucas who produced Star Wars. It was brilliant when it first came out and remains so to this day. But I can’t help but think that he used a lot of The Wizard of Oz’s theme. Just too coincidental.