Friends of mine know that I can geek out over Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings at the flip of a switch. But many times this leads to the inevitable question of:
“So Dallan, which do you like more?”
My answer to that is that I have no damn clue. Why do I always have to choose?
To me, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings each have a special place in my heart, I can’t choose one over the other, and this post will explain why.
Let’s start with my first true love, Star Wars.
Star Wars ruled my life as a child like the Empire over the Galaxy. Of course, I was far too young to see the original trilogy in theaters by about 20 years, but Star Wars was my life.
I collected all of the action figures I could and stole my brothers, played all the Star Wars video games (how I wish Star Wars Galaxies was still alive), I forced my dad to see the prequels in theaters at least 20 times, and I spent countless hours pretending I was a character in the movies. I’m surprised I had any friends at all as a kid because I was a real Nerf Herder.
Even as an adult, I am still gushing over the new movies. I love them! Even with the hate around The Last Jedi, and how skeptical I am about Solo, I cannot wait to see Star Wars on the big screen because I know I will enjoy it. Hell, I teared up when the opening credits started during The Force Awakens!
Nothing can compete with the sense of nostalgia that Star Wars gives me. The movies don’t have to be perfect (I’m looking at you, prequels) for me to enjoy them. Even the original trilogy had it’s goofy moments, but that’s what makes Star Wars, Star Wars.
I don’t need tons of the depth in the story, it doesn’t have to blow my mind, I just need some John Williams music, the Millennium Falcon blasting through space, and a fun time for me to be happy… and maybe a good blaster at my side too, kid.
Now, The Lord of the Rings.
The Lord of the Rings came into my later in my life, but had a very similar effect, but it was a different love. The Lord of the Rings didn’t give me the same fun, lighthearted feeling that Star Wars gave me. I fell in love with this story’s grittiness and darkness and how it all remained relatively grounded despite being a fantasy (except for you Hobbit movies, go read my post about The Hobbit if you want to see my thoughts on those…).
On top of that, the movies are just amazingly produced. Despite going on nearly 20 years old, they hold up so well. Seriously, go watch them, they could be released today and hold up to most major releases. The story, dialog, cinematography, special effects, it is all done so well.
I really do believe that The Lord of the Rings are three of the most perfect, fantasy films ever made. For Middle Earth being such a vast, detailed world, Peter Jackson did such a wonderful job in taking it from paper to screen.
Now, to wrap it all up.
The Lord of the Rings films are just more technically sound in production compared to Star Wars. With all due respect George Lucas, even the biggest fan had questions of whether or not you knew where the story was going, and you have some issues with cheesy dialog, But that’s okay! Who gives a shit?
Mr. Lucas, you have given us a galaxy to nerd out over for decades and we love it the way it is. Star Wars is perfectly, imperfect and jam packed with nostalgia.
And Mr. Jackson, you have created a stunning trilogy that film lovers and Fantasy geeks alike can enjoy. While The Lord of the Rings experience cannot live up to that of Star Wars, your film adaptations of Mr. Tolkien’s work are second to none.
In the end, I love you both. Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings shaped my childhood and continue to make me the adult nerd I am today. So thank you.
And please people, stop asking me to choose which I like best!