Is Star Wars Secretly The Wizard of Oz?

Artist: Martin Monet

by Ashley Wilson

There have been several times I have been scrolling through Twitter and tweets have caught my attention, especially the following two tweets:

Forever Star Wars' tweet compares a scene from The Force Awakens to a scene in The Wizard of Oz.  Katicorn's tweet is also comparing character similarities between Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz.

Maybe these tweets and theories are mind blowing to you or maybe they are not, but these two tweets brought two of my loves together.  I have a huge love for The Wizard of Oz.  It was my first "big chapter book" that I read as a six-year-old.  I have been a HUGE fan of anything relating to Oz since that time.  My high school graduation party was themed Oz.  I used a range of references from The WizWickedThe Wizard of Oz, and evenThe Muppets' Wizard of Oz. Long story short, I am a huge fan and I probably know way too much information for the average person.  The reason why I was so excited to research this was because when it comes to Star Wars, I love studying character development or psychological aspects.  I never really pay attention to theories, up and coming discussions, or heavily debated topics.  The fact that there was a theory that caught my eye and piqued my interested, was pretty exciting.

After doing a little bit of digging, I found there were a number of blog posts and articles comparing Star Wars to The Wizard of Oz.  Don't worry, I won't overwhelm you with all of the theories and information that I found.  If I did that then we would have a book with my additional theories where you would have to understand not only Star Wars, but also understand Oz.  

A common thread I found is that most of the theories and comparisons stemmed from the sequel trilogy.  TheStar Wars scene that is compared to The Wizard of Oz is the scene when Rey is taken captive by Kylo and the camera captures BB-8 watching her being taken into the sky.  This scene resembles the scene when Dorothy is taken captive by the flying monkeys leaving Toto behind and watching her being taken into the sky. These scenes are pretty identical in the way they are shot. 

Throughout my research, I found that most of the similarities that people referenced to were to the Force Awakens, but I found an interesting thought from Bryan Young.  According to Bryan Young, author of "The Cinema Behind Star Wars: The Wizard of Oz," when Roger Elbert reviewed Star Wars in 1977, he found correlations between Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz.  Robert Elbert wrote,"Star Wars is a fairy tale, 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 much have been suggested by the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz."  I highly recommend taking a look at his article because he discusses other comparisons ranging from the originals to the sequels to The Clone Wars.  

I personally found it interesting finding similarities between characters of Star Wars and characters of the Wizard of Oz.  As you saw earlier, Katicorn's tweet compares Rey to Dorothy, Poe to the Scarecrow, Finn to the Cowardly Lion, and Ben Solo to the Tin Man.  If you read the thread of this tweet, you will read there are comparisons of General Hux to the Wicked Witch of the West.  

My thoughts of character similarities are very similar to most however, I would compare Ben Solo/Kylo Ren to the Wicked Witch of the West also known as Elphaba in Wicked the musical.  There is a struggle between good and evil in Kylo Ren.  This is very similar to the Wicked Witch of the West.  She has a mask of wicked, but there is still good in her.  There were things in their pasts that led the characters to let the wickedness represent them.  The one thing the Wicked Witch of the West has taught me is never judge someone based on their appearances; you never understand the person until you have walked in their shoes.

What do you think?  Have you noticed any similarities between Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz?  Let us know your thoughts over on @UnmistakablySW!