Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Star Wars and The Hunger Games

 I had mentioned in a previous article how the ending to Catching Fire the book had similarities to The Empire Strikes Back. I am not claiming that the books somehow follow the template of the original Star Wars trilogy. Both just follow similar storytelling themes and archetypes. I’m not going to get into an academic discussion with this, just google it. But I do want to compare the trilogies all in good fun.

(Oh, Obligatory SPOILER ALERT for whoever it is that has never seen Star Wars or read The Hunger Games.)

Lets take a look at  the characters.

Katniss and Peeta do kind of fall into a Luke and Leia kinda template. You could even throw Gale in there for the Han Solo triangle. Han is way cooler and smoother though. Katniss story is very similar to Luke in that she grew up blue collar and rural. And both chose to step up when their worlds came crashing down. Peeta and Gale have a mix of the Leia and Han themes. Gale’s resourcefulness is more Han like than Peeta, but Peeta has more of Han’s Charisma and charm. Then there is that whole hint of incest thing. To be fair, Luke and Leia didn’t know that were brother and sister before they kissed. And Katniss and Gale are cousins for PR purposes only.

 We also have the wise old mentor in Haymitch and Obi Wan. No real comparison for Chewie unless you count Prim’s cat.

Effie is definitely C-3PO, shiny, neurotic, and always reminding you of the proper way to do things. 

Cinna in a way could be R2-D2. He just does things despite the personal risk. He isn’t flashy, but he is very good at what he does. He is also Katniss' first friend in this brave new world much like R2 was Luke's first friend from a different world.

I think a solid argument can be made that Finnick and Lando share some smoothness qualities.

As for the stories themselves?

The Hunger Games and A New Hope both have young protagonists who are uniquely qualified for the adventures ahead. Luke has the Force and Katniss' skill as a hunter are what keep them alive. And neither was at fault for how they got into these adventures to begin with. Catching Fire parallels with Empire in that the tale gets darker and more serious. Han and Peeta are captured and both are tortured. Although we can all agree that Peeta got it way worse. An injured Luke is rescued by the Millennium Falcon. An injured Katniss is rescued by a hovercraft. It’s all out war in Mockingjay and in Return Of The Jedi. Luke and Katniss are no longer so young and innocent and both are better trained for the conflict ahead. Like has a new Lightsaber and Katniss has a new bow. You can even argue that Mockingjay has two emperors.

So there it is. These are my thoughts on how both trilogies are similar. Any additional thought or observations are welcomed.


President Snow and Emperor Palpatine

Both used dark methods to rise to power and both their bodies paid the price. Palpatine outwardly looks like who he really is and Snow must hide the physical sickness he suffers from that came from his methods. Both are also intelligent, patient, and know how to manipulate.

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