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"Harry Potter' vs. "Star Wars'

Published Sep. 10, 2005


With the trailers for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Star Wars: Episode II _ Attack of the Clones showing before Monsters, Inc., it occurred to us that the characters in the original Star Wars and the soon-to-be-released Potter are oddly similar. Here are some parallels:

1. Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter

LUKE SKYWALKER: Doesn't know his parents, raised by aunt and uncle who never tell him who he really is. Is consummate hero, battling the Dark Side regardless of the consequences and often confronting Darth Vader face to face to aid the rebel forces in their fight against the Empire. In Luke's battle with Vader, his hand is sliced off, leaving him with a mechanical hand, very much like Vader, who is part human, part machine.

HARRY POTTER: Doesn't know his parents, raised by aunt and uncle who never tell him about who he really is. Heroic Harry will jump headfirst regardless of the consequences and go head to head with Lord Voldemort to save the wizarding world and his friends from danger. Voldemort's first attempt to kill Harry when he was a baby left Harry with a lighting bolt scar on his forehead and a few of Voldemort's powers.

2. Han Solo and Ron Weasley

HAN SOLO: Wisecracking, reluctant hero who fights along with Luke and Leia to save the galaxy from the Empire's clutches. Han Solo is masterful behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon and with it he gets the trio out of a lot of jams. Has big-time crush on Princess Leia.

RON WEASLEY: Wisecracking best friend who fights alongside Harry and Hermione to save the wizarding world from the possible return to power of Lord Voldemort. He is masterful at wizard chess and said skill gets the trio out of a jam. Has big-time crush on Hermione but is too young to realize it.

3. Princess Leia and Hermione Granger

PRINCESS LEIA: Highly educated young woman who helped save the galaxy from the Empire's control. Always has a cool head and often gets Luke and Han out of danger with the many skills she acquired at some of the best galactic learning institutions. Ends up falling in love with Han even though she originally thought he was a jerk.

HERMIONE GRANGER: Extremely smart young girl who knows every charm, every potion and every historical footnote in wizarding history. Her skills and logical nature have gotten Harry and Ron out of more tight spots than you can shake a wand at. Hermione will almost certainly grow up to marry Ron, even though she now thinks he's just a stupid boy.

4. Darth Vader and Lord Voldemort

DARTH VADER: Born Anakin Skywalker, the young boy was to become a great Jedi Knight. He succumbed to the Dark Side and underwent a transformation to eventually become Darth Vader, master of the Dark Side of the Force. In the original Star Wars movie, you find his mortal enemy is the benevolent Obi Wan "Ben" Kenobi, once his teacher.

LORD VOLDEMORT: Born Tom Riddle, the young boy was considered to be the best student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and had the potential to be the greatest wizard of all time. His thirst for power made him succumb to the Dark Side to become the evil Lord Voldemort and amass a legion of followers. The only wizard Voldemort fears is the benevolent Albus Dumbledore, once his teacher.

5. Obi Wan Kenobi and Albus Dumbledore

OBI WAN KENOBI: One of the most accomplished of the Jedi Knights, Obi Wan was entrusted to take over the tutelage of Anakin Skywalker. He always appears at the appropriate times to act as a spiritual guide in Luke's quest.

ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who taught Tom Riddle. He always appears at the appropriate times to act as Harry's moral center.

6. Chewbacca and Hagrid

CHEWBACCA: Extremely large and hairy co-pilot.