When I started this…I didn’t actually start thinking of meshing ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Gone with the Wind’…..when I started this, I was solely thinking that this would be an American Civil War meets ‘Star Wars’…..there was so much cross over with that…and in actual fact, I’m not even going to pull and imagery from ‘Gone with the Wind’ when I’m character cosplaying….so far the best line that I’ve got is “Come back home safe from war boys!” as I bravely wave our 501st our-post on….
So if you want a comparison of the American Civil War-Star Wars analogy, I’ve got a few things….but before you read on, I want you to understand that I am not trivializing those who suffered and died during the American Civil War. I believe that even through mythos, we accept into popular culture that which has its validity in our own very real history….some of us just need that bit of fiction around cruelties that make our past more palpable.
- American Civil War was not initially started due to slavery. Economic disproportion was the main issue…and that was due to the use of slaves as an unpaid workforce in the South. It later emerged that slavery became the main focus for the War.
“Star Wars” was started by the unfair taxation of trade routes (Episode I) that lead to economic growth in some worlds, while others were impoverished—which allowed the future Emperor to gain a foothold over those he could use as his pawns. It was later that the Empire’s rules regarding alien bias and alien slavery were some of the reasons for rebellion.
- During the American Civil War, there were many deserters from the Southern side as the War progressed –many were small farmers who didn’t wish to fight and die for plantation owners need for a free work force.
Many of the “Star Wars” characters who appear on the rebel side, once had careers in the Imperial forces. So, they essentially, deserted the Empire.
You can see how delving into reality and fantasy is not that much fun?—So, I stopped. I then looked to a film just as grand in scale as “Star Wars”…and sitting right there, in my collective unconscious, lay the most perfect film…and also one of my favorite films, of all time…. Gone with the Wind….yes, there it was!…just sitting there…my go-to movie whenever I’m not feeling well…heck, I even named one of my cats after the female lead actress (Vivian…Ms. Vivian Leigh) ~sigh~
So here are some of the similarities that I found compelling….maybe you will too…let’s start with just trivia about the movies…
- Both ‘Gone with the Wind’ (GWTW) and ‘Star Wars’ (SW) are among the top five grossing movies of ALL TIME.
- Both movies feature scrolling titles at the beginning of the movie, with an outline of the plot descriptions.
- Both movies are rated within the top ten of AFI’s best movies of ALL TIME.
- Both movies have the ‘most quoted lines’ of ALL TIME: #1; SW “Luke, I am your father.”(which…since I’m an uber geek, I’m going to point out that Darth Vader never says that…he says, “No, I AM your father.”), and #2; GWTW “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”
- Both Directors –O’Selznik and Lucas, were fined by different branches within the motion picture industry; O’Selznik (GWTW) was fined $5000 by the Hays Office for profanity (using the word “Damn”) in the movie (although, this was revoked 1 year later). Lucas ( SW) was fine $250,000 by the Director’s Guild of America for not having opening credits of his cast and crew in his movies –he later quit the Guild.
- From a technical stand-point, both movies have the most revered special effects scenes ; GWTW has the burning of Atlanta burning which an entire back lot was burned to the ground, and SW has the explosion of the planet Alderran, but slightly more-impressive, is the destruction of the Death Star which was filmed as day-for-night in the parking lot of the production studio. This was because both scenes are considered “money shots”–scenes that only had 1 shot to get it right….it could not be set up to re-take the shot.
So after the trivia, comes the characters….
The Scarlet and Leia Comparison
This is not a very strong comparison…the only thing that binds these two together is that they both love scroundrels….and that they are willing to do things out of their “expected” behaviour to get the job done. Scarlet’s motives are for selfish reasons, and Leia’s motive are for the greater good. Scarlett is also not comfortable with her actions being unaccepted for the social implications of her time, she is always striving to be considered a “lady”. While Leia couldn’t care less about her image as a “princess”, she will literally re-wire a ship and get her hands dirty if she has to, to get the job done.
The Rhett and Han Comparison
Both have serious mad- skills with guns
Both reluctant to join rebel military
Both chasing a woman out of their social class
Both Rhett and Han say, “you could you a good kiss.”
I’d like to thank http://diggingstarwars.blogspot.ca/2010/12/gone-with-wind.html with some of the ideas that inspired this comparison
And then, of course, are the movie posters…..