I am sure you have noticed that Star Wars is, in fact, a fairy-tale (specifically, the first, original film). And now I mean it in the most vulgar sense. It is a story about a farmer boy who becomes a knight and saves a princess. It is the kind of story we have heard in one way or another when we were children, and it resonates with us simply because of its familiarity.

I believe it is also one of the chief reasons why the tale is still popular after what has been 40 years today. Maybe on this day, to commemorate the first Star Wars film coming to cinemas on 25th May 1977, we could remember this.

Many would of course say the tropes in Star Wars are not just “fairy-tale” tropes, they come (and there are even more) from “mythology” in general. Yes. But this time, I would really like us to think about Star Wars as a fairy-tale, nothing more, and nothing less.

I have occassionally been thinking which elements of classic fairy-stories didn’t appear in Star Wars but might be cool if they did. Let me share at least a few of them.

The Evil Witch

A couple of kids get lost in the woods and find a witch hut. Something similar has been touched by Star Wars makers in one way or another, but never in full, at least not in the original films. I think the figure of an evil witch – be it a hag from the woods, evil fairy godmother, or evil queen from Snow White – is really missing from Star Wars.

Imagine an evil Force-user. I think the newest trilogy missed something here with Supreme Leader Snoke. Imagine him being exactly the same way he is, only as an evil “queen”, who in The Force Awakens sends Kylo Ren to hunt down his father in an unlikely take on the huntsman from Snow White. In Episode VIII, maybe we could see this witch owning a “Force Mirror” which helps her to track the remaining Jedi. I am, of course, not calling for too blunt and unsubtle copying of fairy-tales. But to use it as starting point would be cool.

The Dragon

Right. If something is missing from the classic fairy-tale elements in Star Wars, it is a dragon. Of course, the Hero faces “dragons” in the form of giant spacecrafts, there are also monsters (like the Rancor); still, I feel like something more explicitely dragon-esque wouldn’t hurt, at least once.

Again, I could use Supreme Leader Snoke as an example. Given that he is shown as a huge hologram, why did he have to be a humanoid? Imagine if, instead, he were a “Force Dragon”, some sort of non-human Dark Side creature. It would also neatly circumvent the problem of how to explain a Dark Side user in the sequels, since the Sith have been destroyed. A “Dark Side Dragon” wouldn’t be an antithesis to the Jedi in the same way the Sith were, but it could represent another form evil (or the Dark Side) can take on, waiting in dark places of the Galaxy. In fact, the Jedi have already faced an evil sorcerer, but what better enemy is there for a Knight than a Dragon?

Evil Step-Parents

Star Wars has more than enough of the mythological conflict between parents and children. But as a rule, it does not appear in the “pure” form. For example, Uncle Owen not letting Luke go anywhere is clearly very close to the classic Cinderella story, but the similarity ends very early.

The story actually is there in one place, but hidden very deep. Little Ani is, actually, a real Cinderella: he cleans the droids and the junk for Watto, who, even though he isn’t his actual step-parent, pretty much fills the function (we even have the dichotomy of the nice and kind actual single parent – Ani’s mum – and the other “parent” – represented by Watto – who is the bad one). Watto does not want to let Ani go to the “ball” (podracing), but a “good fairy” (in this case, a Jedi) shows up and makes it possible for Ani not only to go and win a podrace, but eventually break free from slavery.

Even in Ani’s case, however, the focus of the overarching story is elsewhere (on getting to Coruscant and on Ani becoming a Jedi, rather than on getting away from Watto – those are connected, but the stress is on the former). Like I said, the problem of “evil step-parents” does not exist in Star Wars in its pure form. As a rule, the heroes start separated from their parents and later, they get reconciled with them. In my opinion, that kind of approach is actually much nicer than the one we know from the classic fairy-tales like Cinderella or Snow White. The evil step-parents are not really a very positive thing. Yet they are a classic fairy-tale trope and could certainly be used one day. Maybe we are better off without it, however.

There we are. I am not saying we need to see all of this in Star Wars, it is more like an interesting exercise – maybe for creators, Gamemasters of Star Wars based RPGs, or fan-fiction writers. But if you are like me, maybe this stirred your fancy. Can you come up with more tropes? A Beauty sleeping in carbonite? A story that brings the point of hero helping a poor old man or poor animals (or Ewoks) and getting rewarded for it to the front? Your pick…