Monday, June 25, 2012

Sci-Fi Comparison

Last week I ended up posting my project on Friday and that felt rather appropriate to me so I think I'll continue with this practice. That way I can end the week with a project. The project I'm working on now is a wallet. Yes I know they're readily available in most stores but I have specific requirements for my wallet and I decided to challenge myself to see if I could make one. I'll go into that more when I post it on Friday though.

We had a fun couple days over the weekend. On Saturday we went and walked around the vegetarian festival. We felt really stupid because we ate before we went and were so full that we couldn't try anything there. I think we expected the same junk that's at every festival around here, but they had a lot of food that looked and smelled delicious and was all very reasonably priced. Next year we'll be prepared.

At some point as we were driving around my wife and I were talking about movies we had recently enjoyed and John Carter came up. I realize this movie wasn't really received very well. I also realize that everyone's opinions about movies are so subjective and are effected so much by comparisons, personal opinions, and even preconceived expectations that there's really no point in feeling like I'm supposed to line up with popular opinion. I really enjoyed John Carter. Here's the funny thing though. We were talking about how I likened John Carter to a combination of Star Wars and Indiana Jones and why I felt that was an accurate description and suddenly I was smacked in the face with the similarities between John Carter and Star Wars

In case you didn't know, Mars is called the red planet.

::Spoiler Alert! Before I go any further I feel I should insert this. I try not to spoil things for people who haven't seen movies, but there will be information you don't want to know if you haven't seen this movie yet. I say that not just because I'm sharing plot points of the movie but also because what I'm about to say may taint the way you watch it.::

Now, I realize the movie John Carter came from a book series that far predates not only Star Wars but pretty much all other science fiction as well, so I'm not trying to say that it's a rip off of Star Wars. If anything I'm doing the opposite. Mostly I'm just pointing out similarities.

Original book cover.

For starters, John Carter finds himself on Barsoom; a desert planet with two suns or two moons or something. The movie envisions them more like suns but I don't know how that makes sense given that they're in our solar system. Either way Star Wars starts on Tattooine; a desert planet with two suns.

John Carter has powers that seem mystical to those around him and give him the ability to stand up to the forces of evil that are subjugating the galaxy. In Lucas' original screenplay of Star Wars Han and Luke were actually one character... with mystical powers that gave him the ability to stand up to the forces of evil subjugating the galaxy.

Ralph Mquarrie concept art for Star wars

John Carter saves a big dog-like creature from being beaten and it follows him everywhere refusing to abandon him. In Star Wars Han saves a big hairy Wookie's life and it swears a life debt to him.

John Carter saves a princess. Han/Luke saves a princess.

In John Carter there is an evil warlord who uses a strange energy weapon to fight people, but he's really just the right arm of a mysterious robed figure who's part of a group of evil beings bent on galaxy domination. In Star Wars Darth Vader uses a energy sword to fight people, and he's really the right arm of the emperor; a mysterious cloaked figure who's part of a group called the Sith who are bent on galaxy domination.

There are probably more similarities than that, but that's all I have thought of so far. Now, I'm not honestly saying that this means that star Wars is a complete rip off of Edgar Rice Burroughs books. To be honest I haven't even read them. I'm just saying that as time goes by I realize more and more that George Lucas is not the man I thought he was. Have you seen the movies? Have you noticed any other similarities? Or do you disagree?

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