Feb 25, 2012

Strange Parallels: Oz and Star Wars

So call it a stage or whatever, but my kid's been watching A LOT of The Wizard of Oz lately, and thus, so have I.  One of the things I found most striking and shocking, really, is it's overlap with Star Wars.

I mean, who would ever expect that, right?  But there it is, as plain as the nose on your face.

From the scenes at the Wicked Witch's castle, where one turret is shown that looks oddly like the place Ben Kenobi climbs onto to turn off the "tractor beam" inside the death star, to the scenes where Dorothy's friends break into the castle to rescue her by dressing up like guards, it's all very reminiscent of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo's rescue of Princess Leah in that original Star Wars.  In fact, the scene where they look down on the guards singing "Oh-We-Oh, Ooooh, Oooh." is nearly the same camera angle, I believe, that we later see Luke and the rest first watching the stormtroopers from.  Interesting.

In fact, and this might be taking it one step too far, the fact that Dorothy is from windy, sandy Kansas echoes pretty effectively those scenes where Luke is still living with Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen on Tattoine.  You notice it quite a lot when she's trying to escape the 'twister' and is looking for them:  "Auntie Em!  Uncle Henry!" sounds awfully similar in tone to Luke's later plaintive calls.

As a child who grew up living Star Wars in my imagination, this may well sound like I'm implying that W.of Oz stole somehow from Star Wars.  But of course, this is in no way the case.  What I'm really saying is that George Lucas was watching quite a bit of Oz while writing the script

It's just my two cents.  But watch them both yourself and see if you don't see it.  If nothing else, it will be a nice afternoon of movies.

Read this post again tomorrow- there's a good chance I'm going to add to it and change it- she's not done watching Oz yet....

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