Star Wars Problems Explained Away By The Hobbit Connection

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Why do Luke and Leia make out if they’re brother and sister? Why does Obi-Wan Kenobi tell Luke he doesn’t ever remember owning a droid? If you’ve ever wondered why the Star Wars saga has so many inconsistencies, then you’ll be happy to know that we have a simple explanation for you. Star Wars, much like The Hobbit, is actually a story being told by someone else.

R2-D2 Is The Storyteller?

That’s right. The entirety of the Star Wars saga—or at least the first six movies—is actually galactic history as recounted by R2-D2 one hundred years after Return of the Jedi.

In this way, Star Wars mirrors The Hobbit, a work that J.R.R. Tolkien presented as his translation of Bilbo Baggins’ memoir There and Back Again. Ok, but how does that explain the plot holes in George Lucas’s beloved franchise?

An Unreliable Narrator?

star wars droids

Easy: R2-D2 is an unreliable narrator. It makes sense when you think about it. It was explained in the EU and hinted at in the films that Artoo never gets his memory wiped like other droids.

As such, he’s been able to develop a very independent and opinionated personality—unlike most other droids who are routinely wiped to prevent that specific thing from happening.

As a result, he’s bound to have put his own spin on several stories and forgotten small details from others. Think about it: Is C-3PO really that annoying, or is R2-D2 just exaggerating to bust his friends…er…servos? Ok, maybe that particular analogy doesn’t work with droid anatomy, but dunking on Threepio is definitely something Artoo would do.

A Page From Tolkien?

Much like how Tolkien writes that There and Back Again is part of a greater narrative supplemented by others titled The Red Book of Westmarch, the history of Star Wars is written in the Journal of the Whills.

The Journal is a sort of nebulous concept originally conceived in the very first draft of Star WarsJournal of the Whills I, as it was called at the time—that serves the same purpose as the Red Book.

It’s not the only thing that Star Wars and The Hobbit have in common but it’s certainly one of the least talked about.

George Lucas’s Vision

george lucas Star wars the Hobbit

While the concept of Star Wars as a story is nothing new—the movies begin with Lucas’ own version of “Once upon a time,” after all—unlike The Hobbit, the text never explicitly states just how it was being told or by whom.

Fans didn’t discover the true extent of George’s vision until Chris Taylor’s book How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise was released in 2014.

According to Taylor, Lucas explained his idea to animation director Rob Coleman while on the set of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: “The entire story of Star Wars is actually being recounted to the keeper of the Journal of the Whills—remember that?—a hundred years after the events of Return of the Jedi by none other than R2-D2.”

The Initial Star Wars Plans

star wars Star wars the Hobbit

Lucas initially planned for the storyteller to be someone other than R2-D2. The saga originally began with “This is the story of Mace Windy, a revered Jedi Bendu of Opuchi,’ as told by C.J. Thorpe, Padawaan learner of the famed Jedi.”

At some point, Lucas dropped the “C.J. Thorpe” character in favor of having a pair of droids act as observers throughout all six original films.

Disney has never come out and said one way or the other whether the sequel trilogy is also being told from R2-D2’s point of view, but given that it’s explained in The Force Awakens, he’s been in sleep mode and covered with a sheet for decades, there’s a good chance it’s not.

BB-8 Recounting The Sequels?

Star wars the Hobbit

Instead, it’s more likely that BB-8 is the one recounting the sequels. This would actually put Star Wars even more in line with The Hobbit as Frodo—the BB-8 to Bilbo’s R2-D2—eventually adds his own experiences to the Red Book of Westmarch. Are we the only pop-culture website to ever dare compare Frodo Baggins to BB-8? Probably, but we regret nothing.

So there you have it. If you’ve ever wondered why some of the stuff in Star Wars doesn’t make sense or even why a certain wise-cracking Astromech droid seems to always be the one to save the day, now you know. Artoo Detoo is just a really bad storyteller.

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