By Scott Warner


Literally billions of viewers have enjoyed the Star Wars films for decades without realizing that three allegorical parables were hidden within the science fiction saga. In the tradition of Gulliver's Travels and Alice In Wonderland, George Lucas had concealed serious adult themes inside a children's tale. These three allegories varied widely in subject and complexity. The first allegory was derived from a literary formula governing mythological heroes and mainly pertained to the original films, though it also had relevance to Anakin Skywalker. The second parable concerned homage to Lucas's inspirational sources and applied to all of the movies. The third allegory was limited to the prequel episodes and involved a highly surprising historical analogy about Adolf Hitler and World War II.

Most dedicated Star Wars fans already know that the first three films were based on the Mythic Hero Cycle, a literary code regulating the actions of great heroes. Many viewers however still do not realize just how extensively the films conformed to this formula. In fact, Episodes Four, Five and Six followed the steps of the Cycle nearly scene for scene. George Lucas continued the Hero Cycle allegory into the prequel episodes but the relationship was more tenuous because the viewer already knew that Anakin Skywalker didn't qualify as a true hero.

The Hero Cycle pattern was first proposed by Otto Rankin in 1909. He proposed that the human or demi-human heroes of mythology generally followed a common path during their lifetimes. Rankin listed twelve events that most mythic heroes underwent. While researching mythology for evidence of a historical basis for these heroes, Lord FitzRoy Raglan (Richard Somerset) realized that the hero pattern was more extensive. He listed 22 traits that proved common to great heroes. Raglan then ranked famous heroes according to the number of communal events they experienced. Oedipus ranked highest with 21 points; Theseus and Moses both scored 20 points; and Dionysos and King Arthur tied for third with 19 points. Other notable high scorers were Perseus, Romulus and Watu Gunung, a great hero in Javanese mythology. Raglan published these findings in The Hero: A Study In Tradition, Myth And Drama in 1936.

Famed anthropologist Joseph Campbell picked up Raglan's theme and refined his formula. Campbell showed that the steps of the Cycle formed a circular path with an ascending phase followed by a descending stage. He published his ideas in The Hero With A Thousand Faces in 1949. By accident, novelist John Barth stumbled upon the Cycle and added refinements of his own. Barth realized that the Hero's Journey was composed of four phases: ascendant; descendant; re-ascendant; and final decline. A diagram of Barth's version appeared in his collection of novellas Chimera in 1972.

In adapting the Hero Cycle to science fiction, George Lucas displayed brilliant ingenuity (see Chart A: Episodes 1 - 7). The fact that A New Hope conformed to the steps of the first quadrant proves that Lucas relied upon the Cycle from the beginning. The plots of the two succeeding films followed suit. (The steps of the fourth quadrant were covered by a trilogy of novels by Timothy Zahn). The new space opera setting of the movie had a re-invigorating effect on the venerable ritualistic pattern and re-created the arousing thrall conjured up by ancient storytellers (recall the scene of C3PO narrating the heroes' adventures for the Ewoks). However, Lucas was always reticent about acknowledging his reliance on the Cycle. While admitting his use of mythological themes, he avoided detailed discussion of the Hero Cycle itself for thirty years (see note at end of essay section). The scriptwriters for Episode 7 wisely continued using the Hero Cycle as thematic basis for the film.

The second Star Wars allegory concerned Lucas's childhood fascination with science fiction, comic books and movies. All of the Star Wars films contained allusions to famous science fiction characters and places, both literary and cinematic. Lucas also made numerous references to famous characters and scenes in mainstream films (see Chart B; this list is not complete, only the most important references are included to give the reader some understanding of how Lucas encoded the second hidden allegory). These references allowed Lucas to pay homage to his source material while poking fun at it at the same time. Though this allegory was thematically less complex than the Hero Cycle, the inclusion of these references was further evidence that Lucas was encoding hidden messages into the Star Wars movies.

While the viewer can marvel at the way Lucas transposed fanciful myth to the high tech world of science fiction, his treatment of the prequel episodes was even more stunning. Though Lucas included references to the Hero Cycle in these movies, there was an entirely new analogy running through the films. This parable alluded to the political career of Adolf Hitler and the beginning of World War II (see Chart C: Episodes 1 - 3). The very opening act of Phantom Menace provided a substantial clue of what was to come: The Trade Federation "Viceroy" spoke with a Japanese accent and his subordinate spoke with a guttural Italian inflection (this subordinate was quickly dismissed by Darth Sidious due to incompetence, emulating Hitler's banishment of Benito Mussolini). While some of the entries in Chart C are simply speculative guesses, there is also a discernable pattern of distinctively ideogrammic characters based on famous people of the World War II era. Once a certain level of correspondence between the movies' characters and these historic figures is surpassed, this configuration becomes undeniable and virtually irrefutable. The statistical probability of that many striking similarities occurring by accident is negligible, it can only be by Lucasian design.

Reputed to be well-read on the subject of World War II, Lucas's motivation for adopting the Hitler analogy arose from two sources. After the release of A New Hope in 1977, it became publicly known that besides the Mythic Hero Cycle, Lucas had also used images from World War II as inspiration for the movie. The Imperial uniforms were patterned after German uniforms; the spaceship dogfights were staged from World War II air combat footage; the sound effects of the spaceships were recorded from a B-17 bomber; the Death Star trench run mimicked the WW II movie The Dam Busters; and above all, the fascist proclivities of the Empire were modeled after Nazi Germany. During the long hiatus after Return of the Jedi, the endless public debates among Star Wars fans about these World War II connections inspired Lucas to allegorically model the new episodes on the actual history of war. Since the Star Wars story line was loosely based on the tyranny of the Nazi empire, it's not surprising that Lucas would choose to expand the analogy to full-detail. The second reason for Lucas's employment of the analogy was because he wanted to prove that he didn't need to rely on the Mythic Hero formula, he wished to demonstrate that he was perfectly capable of inventing his own.

The pattern of events in Phantom Menace concerning Palpatine's insane quest for power broadly replicated Hitler's putsch of 1933 and recapitulated his reliance on deceitful trickery, demagoguery and unrestrained psychopathic viciousness during his reign of terror. The film also incorporated Hitler's skillful diplomatic man-ipulation of neighboring countries and the opening campaigns of his worldwide conquest. Attack of the Clones continued the analogy with Hitler's consolidation of tyrannical dictatorship and the major military events of the war up to the invasion of Russia. In Revenge of the Sith, Lucas's main concern shifted to the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader and the linking of the prequel episodes to the original movies. These objectives took precedence over the Hitler analogy. However, the movie extended the Hitler allegory by encompassing his descent into full blown psychosis and the high point of his empire during World War II.

The encrypting of character and place names in the prequel episodes was mainly accomplished by two methods: grammatical puns and foreign language terms (the same methods used in the original films to suggest character traits). Lucas also used the movies' costumes, sets, locations, weapons and musical score to evoke the World War II motif. Many of the proper names in the films were derived from French, Japanese or Hindu (India). This was intended to reflect the roles these countries played in the conflict. Many of the minor characters' names were devised simply for the sake of mentioning some aspect of the war. As an example, Queen Amidala's starship was of Nabooan design but Watto pronounced it as "Nubian." The ancient kingdom of Nubia was located in southern Egypt which also happened to be the base of operations for England's counterattack against the Italian invaders in Ethiopia in 1940. Even the titles of the movies had implied but discernable connotations of Hitler's designs on Europe: Stealth Intimidation, Attack of the Nazis and Revenge of the Hun.

There were many other allegorical parallels that influenced the Star Wars story line like Caesar, Christ and King Arthur, to cite just three. However, it was the Hitler analogy that clearly dominated the the plot of the prequels. Unlike the rigorous relationship between the Hero Cycle and the first three Star Wars movies, the progression of the Hitler allegory did not conform closely with the chronological sequence of the war. It also had the added effect of negating the Cycle's quadrant structure for the prequel episodes. Since most viewers were not aware of the connections with Adolf Hitler, they mistakenly misjudged the prequel episodes to be lacking in creative spark. This effect was magnified by the fact that the viewers already knew the consequences of Anakin's surrender to the Dark Side.

However, if the viewer was aware of the Hitler analogy, it exerted just as much powerful attraction and stimulation as the Hero Cycle because it added another, even more poignant layer of metaphor to the Star Wars saga. The public's lukewarm response would have been much greater had this aspect of the films been more widely perceived. Many of the World War II references in the movies seem too superficially shallow to be pertinent. If Lucas had made them more blatantly evident, however, then the public might have been able to detect the analogy from the beginning. By concealing these references in oblique insignificance, Lucas has managed to pull the wool over most viewers' eyes. This is not without precedence for the Star Wars saga: it took many years for the majority of viewers to admit the influence of the Hero Cycle on the movies.

The "enciphering" of the Hitler parable into the films intentionally mirrored the anti-Nazi allegory hidden in Les Visiteurs Du Soir, the famous French movie filmed in 1942 under the very noses of the German occupiers. The difficult task of integrating references to the Hero Cycle into the prequel episodes while encoding the complex Hitler analogy at the same time augurs a level of directorial ability not usually attributed to George Lucas. As an example, the petulance displayed by Anakin in Attack of the Clones was heavily criticized for its inappropriateness. Yet Anakin's divergence from the true Jedi path was foreordained by the circumstances of the original episodes. So his impulsiveness and rebelliousness were entirely consonant with his antithetical transit of the Hero Cycle. However, the real genesis of Anakin's petulance derived from Hitler's famous temper tantrums upon learning disagreeable news. So Anakin's character traits were completely concordant with the Hitler allegory, even though Anankin wasn't specifically portraying the Hitler role. Lucas had already used this same transference technique in the original films (refer to Chart A, steps 6 and 15).

There is an obvious divergence between Lucas's World War II analogy and the historical record: Palpatine's secret identity within the Republic hierarchy. Chancellor Palpatine was privy to all of the Republic's intelligence, strategic planning and legislative administration, allowing him to manipulate events in his favor. Hitler enjoyed no such comparable advantage other than the knowledge provided by Germany's erratic intelligence services. The transposing of the Hitler analogue to the war councils of the "Allies" markedly complicates the decryption process of Lucas's allegorical code.

While Palpatine's secret identity helped to mimic Hitler's deceitful obfuscations about his true intentions, the covert status of the story's chief antagonist also proved to be a very desirable blessing from a literary standpoint. The surreptitious nature of the Chancellor's masquerade parallels a long and hallowed line of clandestine villains such as Fantomas, an arch-criminal and master of disguise in early 20th century French novels; Dr. Mabuse, another criminal mastermind specializing in hypnotic suggestion; Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers; Uriah Heep in Oliver Twist; Steerpike in the Gormenghast novels; and even Bill Haydon in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John LeCarré. Without Palpatine's deception, the plot of the films would be tediously straightforward. So regardless of Palpatine's anomalous position as leader of the "Republic", his Dark Side subterfuge greatly enhanced the themes, plot structure and character development in the movies.

Inevitably, the character of Count Dooku was just as conducive as Palpatine to the evolution of the Star Wars story and the World War II allegory. Dooku represented Josef Stalin and his "codename" was derived from the Georgian word for steel, dzhuga. The Russian word for steel is stal. Marshal Stalin's real name was Dzhugashvili and he was born in Soviet Georgia. The dual honorific titles are significant. On pages 47 through 49 of Matthew Stover's novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Dooku was characterized as the symbol of the Confederacy (U.S.S.R. and communism). He was obsessed with establishing a New Order throughout the galaxy and was the nemesis of the Republic's economic and societal corruption. While presenting a paternally affable facade in public, he was actually a venal, jealous, spiteful, possessive, intractable and arrogant man. He was also so paranoid of any threats, he routinely and ruthlessly eliminated them as a matter of course whether they were true threats or simply figments of his imagination.

Dooku's transformation from ethical Jedi to treacherous Sith Lord inversely reflected the complex conversion of Stalin from opportunistic cohort of Hitler to highly problematic Allied partner. Likewise, the staunch determination but highly erratic intuition of Winston Churchill was well represented in the character of Yoda, while Qui-Gon Jinn embodied the sincerity and devotion of Franklin Roosevelt and Obi-Wan Kenobi symbolized the straightforward, levelheaded dedication of Harry Truman. Thus Qui-Gon's and Obi-Wan's belief that they could deal with the enigma of Anakin equates with Roosevelt's and Truman's misjudgment of Stalin's treacherousness, another example of Lucas's penchant for transferring character traits. Since Anakin was not specifically portraying Hitler or Stalin, this was yet another example of Lucas's practice of transferring analogue roles from one character to another.

While most of the major historical figures of the years 1933 to 1943 were referred to in the movies in some manner, there were several important omissions such as Lord Halifax, Neville Chamberlain, Erwin Rommel, Bernard Montgomery, Dwight Eisenhower and Philippe Pétain. Most intriguing of all is Anakin's "future" role as Darth Vader, Palpatine's chief enforcer. This has a dual application to the Hitler analogy. It refers to the terror operations of Heinrich Himmler, commander of the Gestapo and the SS. However, it also refers to Hermann Göring's status as the chief protégé of Hitler. This is corroborated by Anakin's superior ability as an expert combat pilot. It is highly surprising that the Nazi book burnings played no role in the films, the omission of such an obvious allusion is uncharacteristic of Lucas. It's also ironic that the infamous Clone Wars were named for Jango, the Star Wars counterpart to Francisco Franco (grammatical rhyme). Both Jango and Franco were proxy mercenaries.

A subtle allusion to World War II occurred on Tatooine in Phantom Menace. While Qui-Gon, Jar Jar and Padmé were busy in Mos Espa, Obi-Wan received a radio broadcast from Naboo pleading for help. He warned the Queen and Captain Panaka not to reply to this message, never realizing that the Queen was an imposter. However, someone on the ship transmitted a reply, enabling Darth Maul to trace it. The person who actually sent the transmission was never shown. This is a direct reference to the highly elaborate and secretive radio interception and decryption services employed by both England and Germany during the war, including the North African campaign (Tunisia, where the scenes were actually filmed). It could also refer to the technological competition during the war to develop radar capabilities.

The political and military campaigns for the subjugation of Naboo in Phantom Menace were a vertitable Gordian knot of historical allusions. Once again, Lucas blithely switched the allegorical functions of the Trade Federation droids to signify different factions of World War II. They initially symbolized Hitler's goose-stepping SA brownshirts (note color and lockstep). However, due to the foreign accents involved, the Trade Federatiopn itself symbolized Hitler's surrogate partners Japan and Italy. By inference, the invasion of Naboo therefore represented the Japanese Army's conquest of China (note Amidala's costumes) and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia (see Chart C, Section 1). So the Trade Federation "franchise" symbolized Japan's creation of their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, while the blockade of Naboo represented the embargo of stragetic materials against Japan. The fact that this embargo is imposed on the wrong "nation" is either another instance of Lucas's willingness to transpose allegorical roles or a dual reference intended to represent the U-boat interdiction of England at the same time. However, there is one other interpretation for the invasion. Naboo is Palpatine's home planet, so the investiture of Naboo also represented Hitler's Machiavellian annexation of Austria, his native country. Thus Palpatine's betrayal corresponded with the treachery of the Austrian puppet, Interior Minister Seyss-Inquart.

The final battle between the Gungans and the Trade Federation droids at the end of the movie was even more artfully metaphorical. This battle was symbolic of the German invasion of France in 1940. The Gungans' employment of mounted cavalry referred to the prevalence of horse-drawn transport in the German, French and British armies. The Gungans' use of an energy shield represented France's over-reliance on the Maginot Line. The halting of the droid tanks and the cannonading of the energy shield signified the famous halting of the German armored advance before Dunkirk and the ensuing artillery bombardment. The breakthrough by the droid infantry symbolized the Germans' blitzgrieg penetration of the Allied defenses at the opening of the campaign, while the chaotic withdrawal of the Gungans depicted the bewildered retreat of the French towards southern France and the hasty withdrawal of the British to Dunkirk. However, the miraculous deactivation of the droids alluded to the RAF's defeat of the Luftwaffe over the English Channel (another transposing). Thus the final Gungan victory was synonymous with the triumphant evacuation of the British army. Finally, the space battle with the Trade Federation control ship denoted the subsequent Battle of Britain. This was corroborated by the paraphrasing of Churchill's famous "Never have so many owed so much to so few" quote.

As brilliantly analogous as this scenario was, the climax of Attack of the Clones was even more shrewdly calculated and complex, simply a masterpiece of allegorical filmmaking. No less than four different major military campaigns were alluded to, all at the same time! The Geonosis leader, Archduke Poggle, spoke with a subtle Scandinavian accent while the name of his colony hive is Stalgasin, a transliteration of Stalingrad and Helsinki. Since Dooku directed the operations, the Geonosian battle consequently symbolized the Soviet conquest of Finland. However, since the battle involved military forces under the ultimate commands of Palaptine and Dooku, it was also a metaphor for the dual invasion of Poland by Germany and Russia. This inference was confirmed when the viewer learned that Palpatine and Dooku were in cahoots together, an undeniable reference to the 1939 German-Russian Non-Aggression Pact and the mutual division of Poland between Hitler and Stalin.

Since Poggle also represented Vidkun Quisling (see Chart C, Episode 2), Palpatine's clone army assault on Geonosis therefore signified the German invasion of Norway. However, since the clones were directly commanded by Yoda (Churchill), the Geonosian battle also symbolized the British attempts to thwart the Nazi landings in Norway at the same time! Finally, the destruction of Dooku's droid army denoted the utter decimation of the hapless Soviet forces during the Nazi invasion of Russia. This can be inferred from the fact that Palpatine's all-white clone army is analogous to the all-black SS. Dooku was no less surprised by this sudden turn of events than Stalin was and Dooku's hasty flight from the battlefield may be an allusion to the narrow escape of Stalin's motorcade from advanced German forces near Moscow. It's not apparent whether Lucas intentionally created all of these implications or if they are just a lucky coincidence. They are nonetheless an awe-inspiring example of allegorical symmetry, one of the finest in cinematic filmmaking.

As noted previously, the primary objectives of George Lucas in Episode Three were Anakin's metamorphosis into Darth Vader and the establishment of Chancellor Palpatine's galactic empire, thereby completing and unifying the entire Star Wars story arc. These concerns took precedence over all other considerations such as the integration of the World War II allegory into the movie. So Lucas virtually ignored the chronological order of World War II and haphazardly inserted diverse references to the war into Revenge of the Sith without regard to sequential order. The early exit of Count Dooku from the script signified the abrupt realignment of Stalin's military allegiance in June of 1941. General Grievous represented Reinhard Heydrich, assistant director of the Gestapo. Grievous's tall gaunt stature matched Heydrich's physique. On page three of Stover's novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Grievous was characterized as an inhuman abomination, a monster who slaughtered billions. Whole planets were "burned" at his command. He was the author and architect of the Confederacy's victories, a direct allusion to the Nazis' Final Solution. Grievous's elimination by Obi-Wan referred to Heydrich's assassination by Czech resistance fighters in 1942. The reason Grievou speaks with a raspy, couging voice is because Heydrich survived the car bombing for a few weeks but his lungs were too badly burned and he died from the injuries.

Kristallnacht was alluded to in the movie when large windows were shattered by both Grievous and Palpatine, however, no mass riots were included. Mace Windu advocated the use of force to oust Palpatine but no bomb plot against him ever materialized. The Nazi extermination operations were darkly hinted at several times in the movie, yet no "encrypted" mention of the Wannsee Conference occurred. However, in the post-Episode Two novel Approaching Storm, the Separatists are consumed by a hatred for all "alien" species. In several related Star Wars novels, entire planetary populations are subjected to genocidal bio-weapons, clearly a reference to the horrors of the Holocaust.

The fire at the Jedi Temple was an accurate analogue for the infamous burning of the Reichstag but the metaphorical significance of this event should have been made more visually apparent. While there was a veiled reference to Japan's kamikaze air raids, it was very surprising that there was no direct employment of this highly significant factor of World War II. Such an easily adapted and viscerally dramatic incident would have added artistic and allegorically appropriate impact to the story. In The Art of Star Wars: Episode III, there is a small pre-production drawing of the Jedi Temple after something has crashed into it. Lucas may have intended to use this for the purpose of analogizing the kamikaze air raids but was dissuaded by the tragedy of the World Trade Center. The novelization of Revenge of the Sith contained one final overarching allusion to the war which was not included in the film's script. When Yoda was battling Palpatine during the climax, he realized that while the Jedi had been faithfully training to re-fight the last war, the Sith were studying dark secrets and had invented a new method of warfare (italics are the novelist's). This is a nearly perfect thematic metaphor for the pre-war conditions of the armed forces of Germany, Britain and France in 1940. The occurrence of this reference at the ultimate climax of the prequel episodes is no accident and this can only be regarded as conclusive evidence for the existence of the Hitler - World War II analogy.

It must be noted that the infamous "Order 66" has not been mentioned. This essential plot element must have some relevance to the World War II analogy. Several historical parallels have been proposed for this act: the systematic murder of the Knights Templar in France by Philippe IV in 1307; Stalin's purges of the 1930's; and Hitler's cold-blooded elimination of his political competitors during the Night of the Long Knives. However, it is more than likely that the numeral "66" is an important clue. Thus any "double-digit" order issued by SS Headquarters pertaining to the Night of the Long Knives would be a strong possibility (unfortunately, the SS destroyed almost all of the evidential records of this event afterwards). Another possible reference could be some deportation and execution order stemming from the Wannsee Conference. After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese, German and Italian Americans but this hardly equates with the Emperor's monstrous assassination campaign against the Jedi. To resolve these questions would require research at a dedicated military archive. Unfortunately, the author of this article lacks access to such archives.

The vital importance of Anakin's metamorphosis to the Star Wars saga required that the Hero Cycle allegory be promoted ahead of the Hitler analogy in Episode Three. So pointed references to the Cycle were made continuously throughout the film and the novelization. Anakin's mirror-inverse progression through the Mythic Hero Cycle pattern inexorably led to a much more iniquitous, less romanticized ending. However, the inherent malignancy of the Hitler analogy was also partly responsible for this effect. From this perspective, Revenge of the Sith should be considered more mature than all of the other films, the cinematic counterpart to Shakespearean tragedy and Wagnerian opera. From a purely technical viewpoint, the Hero Cycle references in Episodes Four, Five and Six were chiefly defined by the Cycle's quadrant boundaries and each movie effectively traversed one-quarter of a rotation. References to the Cycle in Episodes One and Two were not bound by any structural constraints and covered approximately one-half of the circuit each. Episode Three was the only movie with at least one citation for each and every step of the Cycle and thus made one full turn of the wheel, for a total of two and three-quarters rotations (three complete revolutions if the Zahn novels are included).

If Phantom Menace had been the first episode to be filmed, then the Hero Cycle and Hitler metaphors could have been carried out to their natural conclusions through all six movies, perhaps producing very different results. Regardless of one's opinion about the literary and cinematic qualities of Star Wars, Lucas's successful completion of his Mythic Hero and Adolf Hitler allegories should be accorded the full acclaim it so richly deserves, especially when one considers the antithetical nature of Anakin Skywalker in the prequel episodes and the non-sequential production order of these movies. The accomplishment of such a monu-mental undertaking is literally and literarily unmatched in cinematic history.

ADDENDUM: The Memorial Day telecast of the Star Wars Legacy TV special was delightfully illuminating, the show elucidated all the mythological and cinematic relationships between Star Wars, the Hero Cycle and classic films. Examples of each reference were nicely correlated with relevant Star Wars film footage. However, there were two important (and very telling) omissions in the program. The actual Hero Cycle diagram was never displayed and George Lucas was never interviewed for the show (previously recorded interviews were included). This is evidence that he still cannot bring himself to personally and publicly admit his reliance on the Hero Cycle. The same is also true for the Hitler - World War II allegory. Although the program vaguely outlined the allegory's general implications for the prequel episodes, it purposefully and pointedly ignored detailed discussion of this subject, even though the broadcast included brief shots of Mussolini, Stalin and the Japanese Army. George Lucas is still indulging in his favorite tricks! Considering his reticence to reveal Star Wars secrets, one would expect him to finally admit the full extent of the Hitler allegory on Memorial Day, 2029 (thirty years after the debut of Phantom Menace.

After the list of World War II references in the three prequel films, references to the war in five post-Episode Two novels and one post-Episode Three novel are appended. The references in these novels are even more explicit and overt than the movies.


Rankin's list
1) The Hero is a child of distinguished parentage
2) His father is a king
3) There is difficult in the conception
4) There is prophecy about the birth
5) The baby is launched on water in a container
6) He is rescued by humble people or animals
7) He is suckled by a humble woman or female animal
8) The hero's childhood
9) The hero finds his real parents
10) The hero takes revenge against his father
11) The hero is acknowledged by the populace
12) The hero achieves rank and honor

Raglan's list
1) The hero's mother is a royal virgin
2) His father is a king
3) His father is a near relative of the hero's mother
4) The circumstances of the hero's birth are mysterious
5) The hero is reputed to be the son of a god
6) Shortly after his birth, an assassination attempt is made on the hero, usually by his father or maternal grandfather
7) The hero is wounded but is spirited away
8) The hero is reared by foster parents in a foreign land
9) Nothing is known about the hero's childhood
10) Upon reaching manhood, the hero returns to his original homeland or the country destined to become his future kingdom
11) The hero wins victory over the ruling king and/or a giant, dragon or wild beast
12) He marries a princess, often the former king's daughter
13) The hero becomes the new king
14) He reigns uneventfully for a period of time
15) He proscribes new laws
16) But he finally loses favor with the gods or his subjects
17) He is ousted from the throne and exiled
18) He suffers a mysterious death . . .
19) on a hilltop
20) His children do not succeed him
21) His body is not buried
22) But one or more holy sepulchers are built in his memory

MYTHIC HERO CYCLE: Campbell's formula and Barth's alterations (best if viewed at 950 width)

numbered wheel QUADRANT I: DEPARTURE (Steps 1-5)



1) Phantom Menace
2) Attack of the Clones
3) Revenge of the Sith

LUKE SKYWALKER (+ repentant Anakin)
4) A New Hope
5) Empire Strikes Back
6) Return of the Jedi
 Z) Zahn trilogy: Heir to the Empire - Dark Force Rising - Last Command
 7) The Force Awakens
NOTE: [F] denotes failure to follow the Jedi code

QUADRANT I: Departure
STEP 1 - Unusual conception and virgin birth; twins
1) Anakin literally conceived by the Force itself and virgin birth; 3) Birth of twins; 4) Mysterious birth of Luke and Leia; 7) Mysterious parentage of Rey

STEP 2 - Assassination attempt by family member
1) Palpatine's and Maul's attacks on Anakin; 2) Attacks on Padmé; 3) Death duel with brother Jedi (Kenobi); 4) Vader's attack (by proxy) on "Uncle" Owen's farm (Anakin's step-brother Owen and in-law Beru); 5) Saber duel with Vader on Bespin; 6) Saber duel with Vader on Death Star II; 7) Rey forcibly removed from "parents;" Solo killed by his son
Hero wounded
1) Anakin's minor wound; 3) Anakin's facial wound; 4) Luke hurt by Tusken Raiders; 5) Maimed by Vader during Cloud City duel; 7) Rey distraught by removal from parents; Chewbacca shot in arm; Fin wounded by Kylo's saber; 8) Fin stunned by Rose
But escapes
1) Release from slavery; 3) Escape from Grievous's cruiser; 4) Escape via Millenium Falcon; 5) Escape from Cloud City via Falcon; 6) Escape from Death Star II in Imperial shuttle with father; 7) Escape from Jakku via Falcon; Rey escapes from interrogation restraints; 8) Escape from Resistance base; Kylo escapes from Academy; Rey, Fin + DJ (code breaker) escape from jail

STEP 3 - Summons to adventure; Hero originally refuses
1) Request for aid from Qui-Gon (Anakin hesitant about leaving mother); 3) Anakin's intense ambition and love of combat [F]; 4) Call-to-arms from Leia and Obi-Wan (Luke resists at first); 5) Vision of danger for Leia + Solo; 7) Request for aid from BB8; Rey refuses Luke's lightsaber because of "family;" 8) Luke refuses Rey's plea for help; Rey tries to turn Kylo

STEP 4 - Acquisition of helper
1) Qui-Gon; Obi-Wan; Jar Jar; R2D2; Amidala; 2) C3PO; 3) Palpatine [F]; 4) R2D2; C3PO; Obi-Wan; Solo; Chewbacca; Leia; 5) Yoda; Calrissian; 6) Ewoks; repentant Anakin; 7) BB8 + Fin; Solo + Chewbacca; Leia, C3PO + R2D2; Maz; Luke; 8) Rose; Holdo; DJ

STEP 5 - Brother battle
2) Disagreements with Obi-Wan [F]; 3) Saber duel with brother Jedi [F]; 4) Owen Lars (step-brother killed by Vader proxies); Luke's dogfight with Vader; 5) Rivalry with Solo over Leia's affection; saber duel with Vader; 6) Saber duel with Vader; 7) Kylo estranged from parents; 8) Rey + Luke battle; Rey saber duel with Kylo; Luke + Kylo saber duel
Dragon battle
1) Naboo sea monsters; Federation droids; 2) Tusken Raiders (Clieg: "vicious, mindless monsters"); Geonosis monsters; 3) Anakin's mental battle with "dragon within" (novel); 4) Garbage monster (dinoga); 5) Hoth snow monster (wampa); AT-AT walkers; R2 grabbed by Dagobah swamp creature; 6) Jabba's rancor monster; AT-ST walkers on Endor; 7) Rathtar monsters; 8) Dreadnaught; ram cannon
1) "Crucifixion" of Qui-Gon by Maul; 2) "Crucifixion" on Geonosis execution pole; 3) "Crucifixion" of Anakin (crossed sabers lying on back); "crucifixion" of Vader on operating table; 4) "Crucifixion" of Obi-Wan by Vader; 7) Solo literally impaled by fiery cross; 8) Crossed sabers of Rey + Kylo; crossed sabers of Luke + Kylo

QUADRANT II: Initiation
STEP 6 - Imprisonment in whale's belly
1) Submarine grabbed by goober fish; 3) Monster in Utapau sinkhole lake (novel); 4 Leia imprisoned in Death Star; 5) Luke survives in taun taun belly; Falcon swallowed by asteroid slug; 6 Leia, Han + Chewie imprisoned in Jabba's dungeon; 7) Rey imprisoned by Kylo; 8) Rey + Fin jailed
Night sea journey
1) Naboo undersea journey; 2) Nightmares about mother [F]; rainstorm on Kamino; 3) Obi-Wan falls into sinkhole lake; Anakin immersed in bacta (novel); 5) Luke immersed in bacta tank on Hoth; crash landing in Dagobah swamp; R2 submerged in Dagobah swamp; 7) Nightmarish lightsaber visions; 8) Dark Side cavern on island
1) Paralysis of Jar Jar's tongue + hand caught in turbine; 5) Carbonitization of Solo; 6) Solo blinded by hibernation sickness; electrocution of Luke + Vader; 7) Kylo immobilizes Po (+ blaster bolt); Kylo immobilizes Fin + Rey; Fin comatose at end of film; 8) Leia in coma
2) Amputation of Anakin's hand; 3) Amputation of other arm and legs; 5) Decapitation of "Vader" image on Dagobah; C3PO disassembled on Cloud City; amputation of Luke's hand; 6) Amputation of Vader's cybernetic hand; 7) Minds of Po + Rey "dismembered" by Kylo; 8) Rey's mind dismembered by Snoke
Hell's Gate
1) "Journey through the planet's core"; 3) Mustafar volcanic hell; 5) Fall from Cloud City; 6) Tatooine pit monster (sarlacc); 7) Earthquakes on Starkiller planet

STEP 7 - Labyrinth
1) Pod race course; 2) Asteroid field; welder maze; 3) Elevator maze; Mustafar mine; Yoda crawls through Senate conduits; 4) Death Star; 5) Asteroid field; carbonite freezer + Cloud City maze; 6) Death Star II throne room maze; reactor core maze; 7) Starkiller weapon maze; Multi-images of Rey in cavern; box canyon in old Rebel base; Falcon flies through underground maze
Scylla + Charybdis
1) Pod racers vs Tusken Raiders; 2) Asteroids vs Jango (Obi-Wan); hanging from cable vs Jango (Obi-Wan); robotic machinery vs molten steel (Padmé);
3) Hanging from ledge vs Grievous (Obi-Wan); paradox of Anakin's loyalty to Jedi or "Republic"; acting as informer for both Jedi Council and Palpatine; dilemma whether to slay Windu or Palpatine [F]; 4) Trash compactor; chasm swing vs stormtroopers; 5) Asteroid slug vs. Star Destroyers; Cloud City chasm vs Vader; 6) Repentant Anakin sacrifices himself to throw Emperor down Death Star II chasm; 7) Two rival gangs vs rathtars; Kylo/Rey duel during earthquakes; 8) Resistance fleet can't flee First Order fleet; Anakin's lightsaber sundered by Kylo + Rey

STEP 8 - Passage of riddles, tests + ordeals
1) Pod race; blood test; Jedi Council hearing; space station battle; 2) Mystery of assassination attempts on Amidala; Tusken massacre [F]; frustrated affair with Padmé [F]; Geonosis execution + battlefield blitzgrieg;
3) Inability to resist Palpatine's mind control (novel) [F]; fear of adultery [F]; 4) Lightsaber training against remote; Death Star prison break; dogfight with TIE fighters; 5) Yoda's Jedi instruction + training; Dagobah cave ordeal [F]; riddle of Skywalker genealogy; Cloud City ordeal; 6) Jabba's Palace + desert pit monster (sarlacc); Endor speeder bike chase; Death Star II confontation with Vader + Emperor; Force lightning ordeal; 7) First Order attack on Jakku; piloting Falcon; destruction of starkiller weapon; 8) Force connection with Kylo; training with Luke; Kylo's lies about the Academy

STEP 9 - Adherence to narrow path
1) Admission to Padawan status; 2) Ambition, frustration + rebelliousness [F]; 3) Feeelings of vengeance towards Dooku [F]; Anakin's confusion, inability to let go of emotions + fear of Padmé's death [F]; surrender to dark side [F]; suggestion to eventually overthrow Palpatine [F]; 4) Admonition to Luke by Obi-Wan to become Jedi like his father; turns off attack computer + relies on Force instead; 5) Promise to Yoda to return for final training; rejects Vader's ultimatum to turn to dark side; 6) Resists temptation to use lightsaber [F]; final refusal to fight Vader; refuses Emperor's demand to turn to dark side + execute Vader; loyalty, empathy + devotion to Force + father prove decisive; 7) Loyalty to family; loyalty to BB8, refuses offer of 60 portions; loyalty to Fin; refuses job offer from Solo; 8) Rey follows Jedi path while Luke refuses

STEP 10 - Illumination
3) Visions of childbirth; illumination for Anakin about Palpatine and himself; realization for Sidious that Vader will become the stronger + eventually murder him; realization for Kenobi about Anakin's true nature; illumination for Yoda about Sith (novel); illumination for Yoda about Qui-Gon's status as greatest Master; 4) Illumination for Luke about Jedi heritage; 5) Revelation about Yoda as Jedi Master; vision of danger for Leia + Solo; revelation about father; Leia senses Luke's presense on Cloud City aerial; 6) Revelation about sister; illumination for Ewoks from C3PO's story; revelation for Leia about brother, father + Force powers; illumination for Luke about good remaining in Vader; illumination for Vader about daughter; revelation for Solo about Skywalker twins; 7) Awakening of Force in Rey; lightsaber calls to Rey; Rey finds Luke; 8) Revelation about failure of Jedi

STEP 11 - Sacred marriage
2) Marriage of Shmi + Clieg Lars; marriage to Padmé [F]; 3) Secretive relationship with Padmé [F]; 4) Attraction to Leia; 6) Luke fully wedded to Force (note hooded cloak at Jabba's palace); 7) Han + Leia estrangement & rapprochment
Theft of magic elixir
1) Extravagant midi-chlorian count; 3) Sith quest for eternal life; capture of Jedi Archive holocrons (novel, recorded chronicles); Obi-Wan keeps Anakin's lightsaber; 4) Theft of Death Star plans; Obi-Wan returns lightsaber; 6) Solo thawed from carbonite by Leia; secret Imperial shuttle code; saber hidden in R2 (note cocktails); secret rear entrance to Endor bunker; 7) map + lightsaber; 8) Jedi books; lightspeed tracker; code breaking; medallion
Father atonement
3) Alliance with Palpatine [F]; 6) Anakin's final atonement; 7) Solo atones with Leia; Kylo atones to Vader's helmet; 8) Luke atones for his failures

STEP 12 - Summons to return
2) Return to Coruscant of Padmé, Obi-Wan + Anakin; return to Naboo of Padmé + Anakin; return to Tatooine to rescue Shmi; radio message from Geonosis; 3) Return of Obi-Wan + Anakin to Coruscant; Anakin's return from the dead; Yoda's return to Padawan status with Qui-Gon (novel); 4) Reappearance of Obi-Wan + Chewbacca; Han rejoins final assault on Death Star; 5) Reappearance of Obi-Wan; 6) Return of C3PO, R2, Leia, Chewbacca + Luke to Tatooine to rescue Solo; return to Dagobah; reappearance of Obi-Wan; return to Death Star II; "re-turn" of Anakin from dark side; 7) Po + Fin return to Jakku; return of Falcon, Solo, Chewbacca, Leia, C3PO, R2 + Luke; 8) Return of Fin from coma; return of Luke's lightsaber; return of Maz + Yoda; Luke finally returns to Resistance

STEP 13 - Magic flight
1) Pod race; autopilot flight to space station; 2) Kenobi's probe droid acrobatics; speeder car chase + skydive onto Wesell's speeder; 3) Crash landing of Grievous's cruiser on Coruscant; 4) Death Star trench run; 5) Attempted raising of X-wing from swamp [F]; 6) Shuttle flight to Endor; speeder bikes; escape from Death Star II; 7) Escape from TIE fighters on Jakku; escape from Star Destroyer; escape from Starkiller planet; 8) Po destroys dreadnaught; Leia levitates through space; escape by riding fathier racers; Rey incursion into Snoke's ship

STEP 14 - Departure of helper
1) Separation from mother; death of Qui-Gon; 2) Death of Shmi; 3) Estrangement from Kenobi and Yoda [F]; deaths of Windu and Padmé; 4) Deaths of Owen + Beru; death of Obi-Wan; Han declines participation in final assault on Death Star; R2 severely damaged; death of Biggs; 5) Separation of Han + Leia from Luke after Hoth battle; C3PO disappears on Cloud City; 6) Death of Yoda; death of repentant Anakin; 7) Death of Solo; 8) Deaths of Rose + Holdo

STEP 15 - Rout of pretenders
1) Sebulba; Gunray + Trade Federation; 2) Geonosians; Jango; Dooku; 3) Executions of Dooku, Jedi, younglings and Separatist leaders [F]; 4) Solo foils Vader's TIE fighter attack; 6) Jabba slain by Leia; Fett slain by Solo; Emperor slain by Anakin; 7) Defeat of Kylo + First Order; 8) Deaths of Snoke, Hux + Phasma
3) Anakin's revivification as Vader; 4) immediate rebirth of Obi-Wan as spirit; R2 repaired after Death Star battle; 5) Reassembly of C3PO; 6) Rebirth of Yoda and Anakin as spirits; 7) Resurrection of R2; Rey transformed into padawan; 8) Luke revives Leia; "Luke" survives walker bombardment
1) Pod race victory; Naboo parade; 2) Geonosis victory; 3) Fame as war hero; infamy for later treachery [F]; 4) Yavin medal ceremony; 6) Cloud City, Tatooine, Coruscant and Ewok celebrations; 7) Fame for winning battle; 8) Rose impressed by Fin's fame; Rey admires Luke's turning of Vader

QUADRANT IV: Reign and Death
STEP 16 - Rescue
1) Rescue of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Padmé from Tatooine; saves Naboo by destroying droid control ship; 2) Rescues Amidala from centipedes; Anakin + Obi-Wan saved from Dooku by Yoda; rescue of Obi-Wan on Geonosis; 3) Rescues Obi-Wan from buzz droids; carries Obi-Wan on back during escape from Grievous' cruiser; saves Obi-Wan + Palpatine by safely landing cruiser; Anakin saved by Palpatine on Mustafar; rescue of Padmé and twins by Obi-Wan; 4) Luke saved by Obi-Wan from Tusken Raiders; rescues Leia from Death Star prison; Luke saved by Solo during trench run; 5) Luke rescued by Solo on Hoth; Leia + Lando rescue Luke from Cloud City aerial; 6) Solo + Chewbacca save Lando from sarlacc monster; Luke rescues Leia, C3PO + R2 from sail barge; Leia saved by Ewoks in forest; C3PO (with Luke's help) saves Luke, Solo, Chewbacca + R2 from Ewok fire; Ewoks rescue Han, Leia + Chewbacca from bunker trap; wounded Leia saves Solo at bunker door; Chewbacca rescues Ewoks with AT-ST; final rescue of Republic by Luke + Anakin together (re-balancing the Force by eliminating Sidious' dark side imbalance); Z) Rescue of Mara Jade on Myrkyr; 7) Rey rescue BB8; Fin rescues Po from Star Destroyer; Rey rescues Fin from rathtars; Fin rescued from stormtrooper by Solo + Chewie; Fin, Han + Chewie rescued by Po's X-wing; Han + Fin rescue Rey on Starkiller Base; Rey rescues Fin from Kylo; Chewie rescues Rey + Fin; 8) Rey rescues Kylo from Snoke; Rose saves Fin from cannon; Holdo saves shuttles by kamikaze maneuver; BB8 on At-AT rescues Rey + Fin; Luke saves the day by forestalling the First Order; Rey rescues Resistance survivors by unblocking doorway

STEP 17 - Founding of city
3) Founding of the Empire; 5) Cloud City on Bespin; Z) Luke establishes Jedi Academy on Yavin
Law giving
1) Qui-Gon's teaching about Force + Jedi way; 3) False appointment to the Jedi Council; 4) Obi-Wan's instruction about Force; 5) Yoda's tutoring; Lando orders evacuation of Cloud City; Z) New Alliance government; 8) Luke breaks Force connection between Rey + Kylo; Resistance message sent

STEP 18 - Fall from grace
2) Burgeoning love for Padmé [F]; 3) Anakin's desire to control the Force [F]; surrender to Dark side [F]; murders of Windu, Jedi + younglings [F]; lies to Padmé about Jedi "rebellion" [F]; 5) Luke leaves Yoda prematurely [F]; Z) Continuing lure of Dark Side; 8) Po demoted; Po's mutiny; Luke afraid of the Dark Side; Luke can't burn down tree (Yoda does)

STEP 19 - Exile
2) Exiled from Padmé for ten years; 3) Exile from the true Jedi path [F]; 5) Exiled on Dagobah; Z) Exile from normal life; 7) Rey exiled from family; 8) Rey alone in sea cavern; Luke's exile on island awaiting death

STEP 20 - Extraordinary hilltop death
3) Volcanic "death" of Anakin; 5) "Death of Luke as Vader" in Dagobah cave; 6) Death of Anakin in Endor orbit; Z) Death of Luke clone on Mount Tantiss; 7) Solo falls from catwalk; 8) Luke dies on top of island crag "immaculately" (just like Obi-Wan did!)


CHART B: [Translation of names appear in brackets]

Darth Vader [Ger."dark father"]
Luke Skywalker [Luke S:Lucas; "bringer of light"]
Leia Organa ["flower wreath"]
C3PO = robot in Metropolis; robot butler in Sleeper
R2D2 = drones in Silent Running
C3PO + R2D2 = Laurel + Hardy; squabbling peasants in Hidden Fortress (Akira Kurosawa)
Blue milk = Clockwork Orange
Uncle Owen's burning moisture farm = burning homestead in The Searchers (John Ford)
Jawas = Munchkins in Wizard Of Oz (Victor Fleming)
Jawa sandcrawler = sandcrawler in Dune (Frank Herbert)
Jedi [Jap. Jidai Geki:samurai soap opera] = Lensman in Skylark of Space (E.E. Smith)
Sandworm skeleton (deluxe edition) = sandworm in Dune
Amputation of arm in cantina = amputation of arm in Yojimbo (Kurosawa)
Han Solo costume = Gary Cooper in High Noon
Death Star trench run = The Dam Busters
Adm. Ackbar [Arab. Ackbar:great leader]
Mon Calamari [Ital. Calamari:squid]
Sith = evil insects in John Carter of Mars (E.R. Burroughs)
Ephant Mon = Elephant Man (David Lynch)
Klaatu, Brada, Nicto (Jabba's henchmen) = The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise)
Rancor devours Gammorrean = King Kong bites native in half
Endor forest battle = Robin Hood
Logs rolling down hill = Swiss Family Robinson
Vader's funeral pyre = The Vikings
Midi-chlorians = Clorians (evil insects) in Lensman series + fusorians (restorative symbiotes) in Reefs of Space (Pohl + Williamson)
Trade Federation landing craft = heighliners in Dune (Lynch)
Amidala = Dale Arden in Flash Gordon + Princess Ardala in Buck Rogers
Amidala's costumes = The Last Emperor (Bernardo Bertolucci)
Naboo sea serpent = Stanley & Stella In Breaking the Ice
Jar Jar's clumsiness = Buster Keaton + Harold Lloyd
Figurine in Anakin's bedroom = Chucky in Child's Play
Darth Maul's flying cycle = Batcycle
Pod race driver introductions = Le Mans
Pod race, esp. entanglement of Anakin's + Sebulba's pods = chariot race in Ben Hur
Anakin's friends on pit row = bicycle race in Breaking Away
Odie Mandrel's famous record setting pit crew (droids) = 3 Stooges
Coruscant = Trantor in Foundation (Isaac Asimov)
E.T. senators = E.T.
Senate droid cams = *batteries not included
Gungan sunken head = Olmec head in Raiders of the Lost Ark + Statue of Liberty in Planet of the Apes
Amidala: "I will take back what is ours." = Cloud William in Star Trek: "What was once ours is ours again."
Anakin: "Big problemo." = Terminator 2
Jar Jar flees from energy sphere cascade = 3 Stooges beer keg shtick
Triumphant Gungan victory parade in Phantom Menace = victory march in Fall of the Roman Empire
Yoda: "Hate leads to suffering." = Litany Against Fear in Dune (Herbert)
Coruscant cityscapes in Attack of the Clones = Blade Runner + Dune
Padmé + Anakin discussion in Theed palace = Allenby + Dryden meeting in Lawrence of Arabia (both scenes filmed in the same Cairo hotel)
Padmé's seashell hairdo = Plavalaguna in Fifth Element
Poisonous kohuun centipedes = poisonous centipedes in Wu Gong Zhao
Robotic diner waitress = Jetsons
Mighty Bear Clan = Bad News Bears + Mighty Ducks
Kaminoan = tall skinny alien in Close Encounters + ET neck stretch
Kaminoan dragon rider = Dragonriders of Pern (McCaffrey)
Baby clones = THX 1138 (Lucas)
Cloning cells + levitating attendant machines = The Matrix
Tatooine speeder bike = Hell's Angels on Wheels + Easy Rider
Anakin amusing Padmé by standing on back of shaak beast on Naboo = bicycle in Butch Cassidy And the Sundance Kid
Geonosis hive (The Art of Star Wars, Episode 2) = Mt. Krumpet in How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Wat Tambor = First Stage Guild Navigator in Dune (Lynch)
Wat Tambor (sound effects) = HAL in 2001 (powered down mode) + Marvin the Robot in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Geonosians hidden on wall = Alien
Superdroid warriors = cyborg in Robocop 2
C3PO in welder maze = Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times + Popeye cartoon
C3PO: "I've fallen and can't get up." = Medilert commercial
C3PO: "I'm so confused." = Welcome Back Kotter
Geonosian "acklay" monster = crab monster in Angry Red Planet + alien queen in Aliens
Clone army transport ship = carryall in Dune (Lynch)
Clone army attack craft = Hueys in Apocalypse Now
Dooku's lightsail ship = Tron
Anakin's mechanical hand at wedding = Terminator + Terminator 2
Padmé: "Something wonderful is going to happen." = Keir Dullea in 2010
Anakin: "That's, that's wonderful!" = Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life
Coruscant cityscapes in Revenge of the Sith = Metropolis + Things To Come
Grievous posture + stride (note raptor claw feet) = velociraptor in Jurassic Park
Grievous accent = Bela Lugosi (Dracula)
Grievous cough = Gollum in Lord of the Rings
Anakin: "We're coming in too hot!" = Kevin Bacon in Apollo 13
Grievous's wheeled vehicle chase scene = chariot's spiked axle in Ben Hur + mine carts in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Grievous's internal organs on fire = ET's glowing heart
Shadows during Anakin's audience with Yoda = Nosferatu (1922); Cat People (1942); Casablanca (1942); Notorious (1946)
Anakin's vision of childbirth = Dune (Lynch)
Utapau lizard (sound effects) = Dragonheart
Clone Commander Cody = Commando Cody And the Lost Planet Airmen
Clone Cmdr. Oddball (novel) = Donald Sutherland in Kelly's Heroes
Clone troopers rappelling down cliff = Thunderball + Tobruk
Wheeled land vehicle on Kashyyyk = Damnation Alley
Wookiee charge = Paths of Glory
Wookiee yell = Tarzan
Cato Nemoidia bridges = Bridge on the River Kwai; Bridge At Remagen; A Bridge Too Far
Jedi child flinch = Barry in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Murder of Jedi children = Schindler's List
Utapau aliens = aliens in Star Trek TOS: The Empath
Kit Fisto (Jedi) = Predator
Agen Kolar (Jedi) = Worf in Star Trek
(note: during Palpatine's metamorphic transformation and Anakin's duel with Kenobi, the actors not only utter quotes from classic movies but also intentionally mimic the actual voices of famous movie stars!)
Palpatine: "I told you it would come to this. I was right, the Jedi are taking over!" [Walter Brennan voice]
Palpatine: "NO NO NO! You will die!" [Linda Blair voice, The Exorcist]
Palpatine: "I... I... can't hold on any longer. I... I... I've become too weak." [Steve McQueen, Papillion: "I... I can't remember. I... I had it but now I... I can't remember."]
Palpatine: "Anakin, help me, help me!" [David Hedison voice, The Fly]
Anakin: "What have I done?" (sits down) [Alec Guinness, Bridge on the River Kwai: "What have I done?" (falls over)]
Palpatine: "Gooood!" [Raymond Massey voice, Arsenic and Old Lace (note make-up + lighting effects)]
Anakin (with cocked stance): "You WILL try." [John Wayne voice]
Yoda hangs from Senate dais = Saboteur + North By Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock) + Harrison Ford in Blade Runner
Yoda crawling through Senate air ducts = The Great Escape
Clone troopers ascending stairs at Jedi Temple = Odessa steps in Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein)
Clone troopers' boots during Ki-Adi Mundi assassination = click-click scene in The Longest Day
Mustafar mining droids = Bob + Maximillian in Black Hole
Anakin strangles Padmé = Othello
Volcanic eruption = atmospheric processor explosion in Aliens + Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings
Lava river + falls = Way Down East (D. W. Griffth, 1920)
Anakin's pacing during Kenobi duel = Darth Maul in Phantom Menace
Anakin's "hand-to-hand" Force combat with Kenobi = Matrix
Wounded Anakin crawling on shore = Terminator + Terminator 2
Anakin on fire = James Coburn in Hell Is For Heroes; James Arness in The Thing
Anakin on operating table = Stephen Boyd in Ben Hur
Emplacement of Vader's helmet = The Man in the Iron Mask
Vader comes to life + breaks free from restraints = Frankenstein + King Kong + Incredible Hulk
Amidala's funeral scene = death of Ophelia in Hamlet


CHART C: [Translations of names appear in brackets; translations marked by asterisk are purely coincidental]
(references are listed in roughly chronological order of onscreen appearance; all dates are BBY: Before Battle of Yavin)




WORLD WAR II REFERENCES in Revenge of the Sith (film + novelization; 19 BBY)
The World War Two references in Episode 7 and Rogue One were minimal since the Hitler analogue was no longer extant. In The Force Awakens, the troop formations during General Hux's speech before firing the planet killer weapon were similar to the Nuremburg ceremonies filmed by Leni Riefenstahler in Triumph of the Will and the Imperial troops give a Nazi-style Sieg Heil salute. In Rogue One, the Death Troopers (all black armor similar to the SS) wear ammunition bandoliers similar to the U.S. Army Thompson machine gun; the Rebellion fleet uses a "hammerhead" spaceship to ram a Star Destroyer (similar to a Japanese kamikaze); and the concussion from the planet killer beam was similar to the Hiroshima A-bomb.


(There is an extensive catalog of Dark Horse comic books and Scholastic Books juvenile novels that may have bearing on this situation but these sources are beyond the scope of this web site; however the two "Clone Wars" cartoon series contained no WW II references of any significance.)

Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover (21.5 BBY; .5 years after Geonosis)
Mace Windu must return to his home planet of Haruun Kal to quell a vicious Balkanesque rebellion. His former Padawan, Depa Billaba, is deeply involved in the insurgency.

The Cestus Deception by Steven Barnes (21 BBY; 1 year after Geonosis)
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kit Fisto and a squad of clone commandos are dispatched to the planet of Cestus to halt the production of a new type of battle droid. They are confronted by Dooku's new apprentice, a female assassin named Asajj Ventress.

Jedi Trial by David Sherman and Dan Cragg (19.5 BBY; 2.5 years after Geonosis)
Anakin is given the heavy resonsibility of commanding a division of clone troops attempting to recapture an important communications installation on Praesitlyn. While enduring horrendous carnage, Anakin's battlefield prowess proves to be key to the success of the mission.

Yoda: Dark Rendezvous by Sean Stewart (19.25 BBY; 2.75 years after Geonosis)
The Separatists have captured a sizable volume of Republic space, resulting in the deaths of millions and Ventress has personally eliminated sixteen Jedi. In an apparent act of contrition, Dooku offers Yoda the chance to negotiate a peace treaty while still conspiring with Palpatine.

Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno (19.25 BBY; 2.75 years after Geonosis)
While attempting to capture Viceroy Nute Gunray, Obi-Wan and Anakin discover clues about the true identity of Darth Sidious. The trail leads back to Coruscant where a diabolical trap awaits them.
(Note: This novel is the direct prequel of Episode Three. Like Episode Three, it analogizes diverse conditions and engagements during the first three and a half years of the war.)


Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno (19 BBY; immediately after Episode III)
During the assault on Murkhana, several Jedi manage to survive the Order 66 executions with the aid of renegade clones. The first assignment for the newborn Darth Vader is to eliminate these rebels.

CHRONOLOGY (all dates BBY or ABY: Before or After Battle of Yavin)
42 BBY - Immaculate birth of Anakin
32 BBY - Phantom Menace (Anakin age 10; Battle of Naboo; death of Qui-Gon)
22 BBY - Attack of the Clones (Anakin age 20; Battle of Geonosis; death of Shmi; marriage to Padmé)
19 BBY - Revenge of the Sith (Anakin age 23; Battle of Coruscant; establishment of Galactic Empire; birth of Luke + Leia; death of Padmé; "rebirth" of Vader; "rebirth" of Qui-Gon)
0 BBY - A New Hope (Luke age 19; Battle of Yavin; death of Obi-Wan; "rebirth" of Obi-Wan; destruction of first Death Star)
3 ABY - Empire Strikes Back (Luke age 22; Battle of Hoth; death of Yoda)
4 ABY - Return of the Jedi (Luke age 23; Battle of Endor; death of vader + Sidious; destruction of second Death Star; "rebirth" of Yoda + Anakin)