It has been long debated which one of these trilogies is the best. The medieval fantasy or the sci-fi fantasy. Both are classics however i strongly believe star wars is better and has had the bigger impact. First off, the characters. I believe Luke Skywalker is hands down the better protagonist. Hes a character everyone can relate to. Everybody at some point wanted to be something more and that is basically what Lukes story is. Finding his place. He starts out as an average kid and goes on to become a wise and experienced warrior. Along the way he made mistakes, and suffered the loss of loved ones which helped shape him as the matured Jedi Knight he turned out to be. Frodo on the other hand is just boring. He doesnt show that much growth throughout the 3 movies because in all honesty he doesnt really have to. Frodo had the luxury of having everybody protect him because he was the most important piece of the plan being the ring bearer. Hes constantly screaming and crying for help and he rarely steps up to do anything because he simply doesnt have to. Everytime frodo is captured or in trouble he always gets bailed out by one of his friends. Luke definitely had some guidance sure, but ultimately he forged his own path. Dont get me wrong frodo isnt a horrible character, hes just not that interesting or likeable. As for all the other characters star wars still wins. Why? Because they feel like actual people. Han Solo, while one of the good guys is quite selfish and isnt afraid to shoot first. Hes not your typical good guy. Princess Leia is not your typical princess and can handle herself quite well. Shes assertive, shes smart and she knows how to hold her own. The thing about these characters is that they are all flawed, and grow throughout the star wars trilogy. However in lord of the rings all of the main characters are basically angels. All of them are brave do-gooders who are invincible. Aragorn fell off a cliff? He comes back alive. Gandalf dies, but comes back alive. Frodo gets stabbed but he lives. Frodo is poisoned and seeminginly dead but he survives.....Its not that compelling to have your heroes all share the same values and be righteous boy scouts who can take on the world. You look at a character like legolas, and you say "wow, how is it that this angelic looking character can be so humble and perfect all the time. He always knows what to do and he can take out a billion enemies without taking a scratch?????". Then you look at the star wars characters. Leia gets shot, han gets tortured, luke loses his hand etc... Aragorn was always my favourite out of the LOTR characters because he was the only one out of these people who actually had some internal conflict. However the rest of the fellowship are just generic good guys. But star wars is not only superior in its good guys, but also the bad guys. Darth vader is far superior to sauron. You know everything about sauron which makes him less mysterious and intimidating. Plus his appearance is just a big eye. Whereas with Darth Vader you know almost nothing about him. All you know is that he is an evil cyborg dressed in black and that he is attempting to rule the galaxy. Plus hes voiced by james earl jones which is just the best. Sauron is just an evil eyeball and all the other baddies are disgusting orcs who are all horrible people. In LOTR the heroes are all angels and the bad guys are all pure evil. Star wars is much better. The heroes are all flawed in their own ways and even the villains turn out to be not all as bad as they seem. The story in star wars is also much easier to follow because its primary focus is its characters. In lord of the rings there is alot of exposition to sit through because the movie is constantly explaining the lore of middle earth. Special effects is also an area where star wars wins. LOTR was fine but Star wars put special effects on the map. No movie has been as ground breaking in terms of visual effects as that trilogy. And lastly, the sound. The sound in Star Wars stomps lord of the rings. Now im not talking soundtracks because the soundtracks for both trilogies are amazing. What im talking about is the iconic sound effects. Try to think of a significant lord of the rings sound effect. Now try to think of an Iconic Star Wars sound effect. The sound of a blaster being fired. The eeriness of vaders breathing. The cry of a wookie. The hum of a lightsaber! Sorry but there is nothing in Lord of the rings as cool as a LIGHTSABER!
During this round, I will lay refute your points, as well as lay out why Lord of the Rings is superior.
I am going to refute all of the points that require photos first.
"Sauron is just an evil eyeball"
This Sauron in human/humanoid form. Also, I would have to say that his armor is even more impressive than Vader's.
The special effects in Lord of the Rings are excellent, and even though Star Wars came first doesn't mean that its don't pale in comparison.
The scenes in Star Wars, while theoretically stunning, again pale in comparison to those of Lord of the Rings. These are some Star Wars scenes-And now for the Lord of the Rings scenes-
From the homey warmth and green fields of the Shire,
To the stunning beauty and mystical environment of Rivendell,
To the soaring white structures of Gondor,
And the abandoned depths of Moria.
Sorry, but Star Wars doesn't compare.
"Sorry but there is nothing in Lord of the rings as cool as a LIGHTSABER!"
I beg to differ! (Que War Elephants!)
Maybe you are talking about weapons/items, but Lord of the Rings wins there too. For one, many of the weapons in Lord of the Rings not only have intricate designs, they also have names and backstory. I will not go into those here, but I will post pictures of some of the weapons.
Now I will visually compare the Villains of Star Wars to those of Lord of the Rings
Now for the text portion of my argument- (Maybe a few more Pictures too)
First of all, nearly all of your points are flawed. First of all Luke's acting is awful. This is especially prevalent in the most iconic scene. Really, watch this and you may rethink this whole thing-
I mean really, you say that Aragorn falling from the cliff is absurd, remember, Luke survives that fall, and is then rescued.
Frodo may not be the most likable protagonist, but there are plenty of other characters to like and relate to. For example, Sam is an extremely likable, ever present character. To be fair, Frodo was suddenly thrust out of a peaceful life into one full of murderous orcs, and most people would do a bit of screaming when placed in such a situation. Also, at least Frodo has a good actor.
And as for the heroes' "perfection"-
• Gimli has a fondness for alcohol and is somewhat boastful and racist towards elves.
• Legolas has similar flaws in his pride and racism. (This originally causes a divide between the two, but later provides for character growth with both overcoming this and becoming good friends.)
• Mary and Pippin do much more harm than good. They are young, inexperienced, and foolish. However, they later become more brave and matured. (Character Growth)
• Sam is stubborn.
• I don't even have to do Frodo because you already pointed out his flaws, right after saying that he had none.
• Gandalf has almost no flaws, but that is how he is supposed to be. Obi-Wan has no flaws either. (Other than being really old I guess, but I guess Gandalf has that too,)
• Aragorn's flaws are his stubbornness (He insists on taking an Elven bride, even though he will die and she will live on forever) and also that he is hiding from his past. However, he overcomes this. (Character Growth)
• Boremeir is obviously the most flawed member of the Fellowship. He attempts to take the Ring for himself, but realizes the error of his ways and ends up sacrificing himself to save the hobbits. (Character Growth)
About Leia being a strong woman, Lord of the Rings has one of those as well-
And she doesn't just kill a few enemies, she kills the Witch King of Angmar. (If you don't get it from the helmet, the name, and the fact that no man can kill him, he is a pretty bad dude.)
Now for the enemies-
"Sauron is just an evil eyeball and all the other baddies are disgusting orcs who are all horrible people. In LOTR the heroes are all angels and the bad guys are all pure evil. Star wars is much better."
Oh, and the Stormtroopers are much better? They are not only evil, but they are have to be dehumanized so much they wear masks. This easy trick has us hating the Stormtroopers, not because of their actions, but because they are utterly unrealisable, mainly because of their masks and general uniformity. The same trick is used for Vader (Until the last bit, where he turns good, further proving my point. Mask comes off, suddenly, good guy), the Sand People/Tusken Raiders, and Boba Fett. Orcs are shown to have once been elves, high and noble, but they were tortured and corrupted into a violent and stupid being. What do we know about Stormtroopers? Nothing.
Vader and Palpatine are indisputably evil, except at the very end where Vader has a random change of heart. Also, the whole "Evil Cyborg, dressed in black" thing is not near as mysterious and bone-chilling as the Nazgul, pictured below.
One Villain in Lord of the Rings who is not pure evil is Saruman. While he does fight along side Sauron, he was once a good wizard like Gandalf. However, he grew afraid that the Free Peoples were fighting a losing battle against Sauron. He basically said "If you can't beat them, join them" and changed sides.
I am pretty sure that "Iconic Sounds" don't really play that much part in the rating of a movie, but, yes, I concede that there are more memorable sound effects in Star Wars. (Not better, just more memorable.
Well, it is one in the morning now, so I suppose I will end my argument there. Back to you.
Sauron only has that cool armor for about 5 min of screen time. Throughout the trilogy he is just an eye. They mention him every now and then but that eyeball just doesnt have the same presence as Darth Vader. And those giant cgi elephants are not as cool as a lightsaber. Same goes for the other LOTR weapons you listed. Are they cool? Of course they are, I love all the Lord of the rings weapons. However the lightsaber is probably the most iconic weapon in film history. The lightsaber is just much more unique, and completely embodies the fun and imagination of star wars. The weapons in lord of the rings are fine but at the end of the day they aren't that memorable. There are bows, swords and axes in other movies too. Its just that in lord of the rings you have to listen to some exposition about them like "ohh this weapon may not look special but it was forged by blah blah blah" "this elven blade was made by blah blah blah" So that goes back to the whole star wars is "more unique" thing. Same can be said for the world of star wars compared to lord of the rings. TaunTauns, wookies, and rancors have such awesome unique designs. In lord of the rings its basically "wow a big elephant" "wow a big spider" "wow a big tree" "wow a big eagle". In star wars you have multiple unique planets and space. In lord of the rings you have the good side of new Zealand and the evil side (mordor). Now on to the characters. "gimli has a fondness for alcohol" That's not special, everybody in these medieval fantasy epics love alcohol/mead/grog. And the whole elf/dwarf prejudice thing between legolas and gimli barely deserves mention. They are always working together and its clear that they don't really hate each other from early on and they are basically just rivals who respect each other and bet on who can kill more disgusting baddies. Mary and pippin are just god awful. Every time they are on screen they act like annoying idiots, get in trouble, and somehow make it out alive. Sam has no flaws. Seeing how Frodo is such a flawed character he has Sams character to make the whole dynamic duo. Sam is brave, kind, understanding, and is actually smart unlike Frodo. Sam doesn't really grow as a character because he doesn't have to hes already a perfect person. However Frodo is a horrible character who needs growth but for some reason never grows at all. Aragorn wanting to be a lone ranger instead of a self-righteous do-gooder king makes him the best character of the bunch. Gandalf like you said is perfect just like obi-wan. Part of what you said is right about Boromir but remember the ring is what causes him to want it. The ring using its mind control temptation powers doesn't really make Boromir flawed. If anything hes a victim. Like anyone else the ring magically makes you want it. That's not the fault of the characters, its the fault of saurons magic. However while hes still a perfect person filled with morale fiber badassery, his death was well done and the fact that he actually died makes him a bit more human than the other heroes. Also the thing about the strong woman character, star wars wins. Lord of the rings feels the need to make the whole "its a woman who is actually badass" a big thing. I cant even remember her name because she was barely in the movies but she basically disguised herself as man so she could go out and fight to prove she was a strong woman and she does the whole " I am no man" thing and its all just too much. In star wars they don't even focus on it all, they just show you instead of beating you over the head. "Vader randomly turns good" Theres nothing random about it, its called simple human emotion. Its clear throughout the trilogy that the emperor helped corrupt Vader and used him as his pawn. So when Luke has vader at his mercy and the emperor orders luke to kill him and take his place, Vader realizes that the emperor was just using him all along. Then when Luke refuses to kill his own father and thus join the dark side, the emporer tries to kill him. Now the focus of the scene is all on vader. He has to choose to save his son or to remain at the side of the emperor. He looks at the emperor, back at luke, and then he launches the emperor over the rail to his demise. He did this because he now knew the truth about the emperor. His son spared his life, and thus vader saved his and took out the man who had been using him as puppet. Its perfectly clear why he turns good and achieves redemption. Its Star wars, everything is simple and obvious. Character motivations stem from simple human emotions and the whole "show not tell" thing is evident in the trilogies means of storytelling. In lord of the rings everything is slowed because of how much it beats you over the head with stuff you don't need to hear. And about Lukes acting, I admit its not the greatest performance, however its not like LOTR doesn't have bad acting. Just look at the main character, Frodo is cringe inducing to watch. Any scene involving Frodo and Sam in LOTR is awful. The dialogue is cringe worthy and all the blank stares and cheesy conversations of Frodo are just too much to bear. Frodo as a whole is just horrible. However while Lukes acting wasn't the greatest he was still a well written identifiable character. Frodo was not. Star wars is just much more enjoyable to sit through. The characters feel more like flawed people than badass role models. The world is more imaginative. The movies are perfectly paced and don't drag like LOTR. And all the sound effects and memorable quotes make star wars much more of memorable film trilogy.
According to Rotten Tomato's Top Critics, the every movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy beat its Star Wars counterpart. It's not about what movie is more iconic, its about what movie is better. I believe that during the course of this debate, I have shown Lord of the Rings to be superior to Star Wars. Lord of the Rings has better acting, effects, story, props, costumes, and ratings.
I was running short on time, and I will have to cut this round short. Still, please consider my case, this is not a forfeit.
Thank you for the engaging and interesting debate.