Why Hamlet and Star Wars Are The Same Story

On the surface it may seem that the tragedy you were forced to read in high school and the epic film could not be more opposite. One is a Shakespearean drama, while the other is a futuristic sci-fi film. One is set in Denmark during the Late Renaissance, while the other is infamously set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” But, the two may have more in common than it seems. 

5) The Protagonist Seeks Revenge for his Father’s Murder

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dad you cut my hand off. turnt down af

This is each story’s central plot.

Prince Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet, is murdered by his brother Claudius, who hopes to take over the empire.

Luke Skywalker’s father, Anakin Skywalker, is “murdered” and physically taken over by Darth Vader, who hopes to take over the empire.

This happens early on in both stories, and each protagonist spends the rest of time fighting his father.

4) Others Discourage the Protagonist from Seeking Revenge

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All though both Hamlet and Luke Skywalker believe vindication is the right thing to do in each case, their close friends and family have somewhat of an objective view and are against it.

Prince Hamlet’s mother serves this role through out Shakespeare’s story, while Princess Leia provides Luke Skywalker with this kind of reasoning.

In the end, both protagonists go with their instinct and take physical action against the antagonists Claudius and Darth Vader.

3) The Protagonist has a Mentor throughout the Story

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Old ben you such'a OG

Both protagonists are relatively young and share the same naivety. They would not have
been able to be the heroes of their respective stories without the help of personified guiding forces. The two mentors also tell their mentees the story of their fathers’ deaths.

Prince Hamlet’s mentor is his father’s ghost, who appears in the kingdom’s garden at night and makes Hamlet question his morals and his actions, as well as directly instructing his son to avenge his death.

Luke Skywalker’s mentor is Obi Wan Kenobi, who takes on the alias of a hermit Ben Kenobi. He provides Luke with the information he needs to know in order to save the empire and avenge his father’s death.

2) The Protagonist Fights to Save his Empire

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"whoa way bigger than my dick"

During a time when Hamlet’s empire, the Kingdom of Denmark, and Star War’s empire, the Galactic Empire, are falling apart, each protagonist takes it upon himself to come to the rescue.

As prince, Hamlet already has enough power to conquer almost any opposing body, but when his malicious uncle Claudius becomes king, (Hamlet) is left to fight on his own.

Luke Skywalker and his team use “the force” in order to compete against the Imperials’ “dark side,” and restore the Galatic Empire.

1) Comic Relief

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Ayyy lmao

No tragedy, whether Shakespeare or otherwise, is complete without comic relief. Both Hamlet and Star Wars take comic relief in the form of two joint characters that, for all intents and purposes, share the same role.

Hamlet’s main source of comic relief is the courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. During intense scenes, such as when Prince Hamlet murders King Claudius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern appear to make condescending remarks, and generally lighten the mood.

Star Wars’ main source of comic relief is the droids R2-D2 and C-3P0. They act as companions to each other, and to Luke Skywalker and Rebel Alliance. They almost always are in some sort of petty fight with one another, which distracts from the real fight between the Rebels and the Imperials.