- Author(s): D. W. Ingersoll Jr., J. M. Nickell, C. D. Lewis
- When: 1980-11
- Where: Philosophy Today
Daniel Melia, a folklorist at Berkeley, attributes much of the success of Star Wars to its plot, which he describes as "one of the mast common and oldest folk tales in the Indo-European world: The Dragon Slayer'." Melia identifies the plot in the Antti Aarne-Stith Thompson catalogue as AT 300, with "affinities" with types AT 513, 514, and 304, and then compares the plot outlines from Star Wars and AT 300 (The Dragon Slayer). Conrad Kottak, an anthropologist at the University of Michigan sees similarities between Star Wars and fairy tales, and citing Bettelheim, argues that Star Wars, as in children's fairy tales, tells us that "things will get better" and that there are "rewards right here on earth" (1978:17). While we feel that Melia's and Kottak's analytical com-ments are sound, we will argue that the plot and the fairy tale form do not account for Star Wars' appeal.