This essay is from Austin Johnson
Published on November 21, 2002
Frodo and the Force:
A Comparison of Modern Epic Stories
Throughout history, civilizations have risen and fallen in a succession that boggles the mind. Each new culture that arises carries with it a new pantheon, a new set of gods and goddesses. Each culture also brings out its own tales, its own epics, each of them a reflection of the people who pass them on. Even in today's fast paced culture a whole new set of modern epics continue to reflect the deepest thoughts and desires of our culture. Two modern epics have captured the imaginations of our culture for decades. JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings portrays the conservative heroic themes that are a blueprint for modern fantasy novels. His epic tale and its hero, Frodo Baggins, have thrilled an audience of millions. Another modern epic is George Lucas's story, Star Wars. Luke Skywalker and his comrades in arms fight the evil Emperor in a psuedo-medieval saga. Both of these tales come from roughly the same era, and tell the story of a hero who overcomes incredible odds to defeat his enemy, but they portray greatly differing messages.