The Odyssey, an esteemed epic poem authored by the Greek poet Homer, is widely considered one of the greatest works ever written. However, this revered status remained unchallenged until Star Wars emerged – a futuristic interpretation of The Odyssey. George Lucas wrote and released this highly successful film on May 25, 1977, which gained acclaim for its technological advancements and unforgettable characters. Despite both epics having similarities and differences, it is remarkable how closely The Odyssey and Star Wars resemble each other.
Both the Odyssey and Star Wars have similarities in terms of having a hero, a villain, a mentor, and a purpose. The hero’s journey plays a vital role in both narratives as it involves personal growth. At first, Odysseus displays arrogance by not showing gratitude to the gods and assuming his journey will be easy. However, this proves to be unwise as he faces unexpected challenges during his voyage. By the end of his adventure, Odysseus undergoes a change in how he sees himself when he realizes that without the gods, he is nothing. This process of transformation can also be seen in Star Wars.
Initially, Luke doubts and rejects Obi-Wan’s advice but eventually acknowledges the significance of Obi-Wan and his teachings of the force. These teachings, akin to the gods in the Odyssey, are crucial for Luke’s growth. However, Star Wars and the Odyssey differ in various aspects. The most notable disparity is seen in travel time – while it takes two weeks to journey from Ithaca to Troy in the Odyssey, traversing between galaxies in Star Wars can be accomplished within seconds.
There is a significant disparity between the Odyssey and Star Wars in terms of their perception of time. In the Odyssey, the characters eagerly yearn to return home, whereas in Star Wars, reaching a destination takes minimal time, often a matter of seconds. Thus, time emerges as the primary distinction between these two works. Nevertheless, despite their dissimilarities, the Odyssey and Star Wars exhibit notable similarities. Both epics feature comparable characters who share similar roles, such as Odysseus mirroring Luke Skywalker as heroic figures with parallel thoughts and actions.
Athena and Obi-Wan could be likened to one another in terms of their wise guidance during challenging moments. However, a significant distinction between them lies in the time taken for travel. In Odysseus’s time, journeying to various locations was difficult and consumed much time, thus emphasizing its value. Conversely, in Star Wars, transportation was effortless as boarding a ship sufficed. With the capability to travel at the speed of light, reaching destinations was not the inconvenience it posed in the Odyssey.