Guest Post – List of X Predicts Outcome of Worst War Ever

GUEST POST – My friend X from List of X (http://listofx.com/) has decided to tackle an age-old question: Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?  This is a topic dear to my heart.  Below is X’s well-considered analysis of the issue – thanks X, for wading in on the matter with your usual humour and insight!

This post was inspired by Trent’s post Hobbits Versus Lightsabers (https://trentlewin.com/2012/11/07/hobbits-vs-lightsabres/), which got me thinking about the clash of Star Wars’ evil Galactic Empire and Tolkien’s Middle Earth from Lord Of The Rings.  So I have decided to apply my analytical skills to predict how exactly the war between the two famous fantasy franchises would go.

 gandalfvsvader

First, let’s review the strengths and weaknesses of the opponents, Galactic Empire and the planet which is home to Middle Earth. (I don’t know if Tolkien gave a name to the LOTR planet, so I’ll call it Lotria.)

According to Tolkien, the inhabitants of Middle Earth like elves, trolls, eagles, orcs, Nazguls, ents and other critters large and small spend a significant amount of time fighting against each other, probably due to the lack of better entertainment options.  With their extensive practice and excellent killing-each-other skills, natives of Middle Earth will be very effective at close range, particularly because that cheap-looking stormtrooper armor probably wouldn’t actually stop an elf arrow, or even a very determined mosquito. Also, judging by multiple Star Wars fight scenes, stormtroopers apparently don’t have to pass target practice as a part of their training.

So in a close combat Lotrians could have the advantage despite their primitive weapons.  However, the Empire has the technology like lasers, cannons, flying ships, rockets, and those walking tank thingies that are great for stomping out rebellions.  All that technology would easily prevent Lotrians from ever getting within the arrow range.  Besides, their tendency to fight in densely packed groups would make it very easy for the Empire to wipe them out without having to spend that much ammunition.  (Those laser rays aren’t cheap, people!  You just wouldn’t believe just how much the galactic military contractors charge Empire per pound!  They’re the evil ones, I tell you!).

And Middle Earthers can’t really count on their hyped-up wizards being much help, because, let’s face it, if Gandalf, Saruman, and Sauron were really that powerful, they wouldn’t need to raise armies of stick-wielding brutes to do their fighting for them in the first place.  LOTR’s most powerful benevolent wizard Gandalf, unfortunately, way too often has better things to do elsewhere, instead of doing boring day-to-day chores like fighting.  Saruman will likely be the first to greet Darth Vader and ask how he can help – for example, he could shave his beard to make a nice wig for the emperor who has to wear a hoodie because he’s very self-conscious about his visible bald spot, or Saruman could get a job as Count Dooku’s body double.

sarumandooku
Saruman and Count Dooku.  Look!  The resemblance is uncanny!  It’s almost like they’re the same person… Nah, this can’t be…

Finally, Sauron, supposedly the scariest and most powerful being of LOTR, hasn’t actually done that much impressive magic throughout the entire trilogy, other than looking at people from a great distance and messing with their heads, which isn’t that different from the type of magic that anyone with a Skype account can do.

On the other hand, Darth Vader and Emperor probably won’t even show up for the action, because for some reason they seem to think that catching a lone rebel fighter and engaging him in multiple protracted lighsaber duels is the most productive use of their time.

So what happens when the opponents actually meet?

The Empire came to conquer, and it’s not looking for a peaceful coexistence; it’s just not what the the Dark Side is all about. (Join the Dark Side to find out more, for only $10 a month! Call 1-800-DARKSIDE now!)  On the other hand, Lotrians value their freedom, and automatically see anything different (and especially coming from the East) as inherently evil that must be resisted to protect their precious Dark Ages way of live.  And they would only give up their swords, axes and assault poking sticks when the tyrannical Emperor pries them from their cold, dead hands. This is especially true for the Nazguls with their invariably cold, dead hands.

Because neither side is interested in a peaceful resolution, a war inevitably breaks out.  Lotrians see some initial success against the vanguard contingent of stormtroopers (or, as the Empire refers to them, “military advisers”), especially because they will have an element of surprise on their side – unlike the stormtroopers who in their shiny white armor can count on an element of surprise only when they attack someone in a public restroom.  But then the Empire comes down hard and fast, bringing their latest and greatest military hardware, operated by the cutting-edge 1980’s computer technology, and with a just-developed breakthrough in war machinery that changes the future of warfare forever, namely, an inside lock on the walking tanks’ entry hatch.

As a result of their overwhelming technical superiority Empire takes over the entire Middle Earth in about a week after crushing all of the elf, human, orc, and dwarf armies, and the Emperor gives a victory speech aboard the imperial cruiser under the “Mission Accomplished” banner.  However, just days later those few surviving freedom-loving elves, dwarves, and orcs begin an insurgency campaign.  And considering the highly wooded and mountainous terrain of the Middle Earth, and the Lotrians’ tradition of living in those mountains and forests rather than towns – because it’s not like these towns have Wi-Fi or even working sewers anyway, they can basically wage a guerrilla campaign from the comfort of their own home.

And guerilla warfare is where the Lotria’s magic and quirks like hiding cloaks, masking spells, and fun-sized dwarf warriors really come in handy.  Eventually even orcs figure out that they can use the blasters they’ve captured for more than just smashing stormtrooper helmets, so the military hardware disparity levels out quite a bit.  Very soon, “Ewoks on crack” doesn’t even begin to describe what Empire’s forces encounter outside the walls of their few protected military bases.  They aren’t even fully safe within the walls, because ragtag bands of Hobbits keep sneaking inside to throw garbage and various magical objects into Empire bases’ incinerators, hoping that this would somehow destroy the Empire (hey, it worked with Sauron!).  The Middle Earth invasion turns into Empire’s Vietnam – while the Empire holds the bases and few towns and claims nominal domination of the entire planet, the stormtroopers only venture out for military missions to take out various #2 leaders of Elf Qaeda, or mete out random punitive carnage like the Shire massacre.

However, unlike the United States during the Vietnam era, the Empire is a brutal dictatorship with zero freedom of speech, and their mainstream mass media consists of something like Fox News circa 2002 (“Emperor is great!!!”) and the opposition media being like Fox News circa 2007 (“Emperor is kinda old, but still pretty great!”). The Empire has no problem drafting more stormtroopers; however, with their resources spread pretty thin by the rebel alliance, they have to take drastic measures.  Yes, I’m talking about the Death Star.

Of course, the Empire could justify the use of Death Star by legitimately claiming that they found weapons of mass destruction hidden in caves after they encounter Balrog or Smaug. But in reality, the Empire doesn’t even have to explain anything to anyone, because, as you may recall, they already blew up the planet Alderaan to pieces solely for the heinous crime of being listed first in the Galactic Yellow Pages.

In the last ditch effort to get Middle Earth to surrender, Darth Vader claims to Frodo that he is his father (hey, it worked with Skywalker!), but his plot fails when Vader refuses to get a DNA test.  Frustrated Darth Vader orders the strike, Death Star fires on Lotria, and the planet blows up.  The end.

No, wait!

Suddenly giant eagles fly in and whisk Bilbo and Gandalf 10 seconds before the explosion, but… unfortunately they all perish anyway because eagles and hobbits apparently can’t breathe or fly in a vacuum.  The END.

NO, WAIT!

Somehow Gandalf survives by making a large magic air bubble around him, ends up on Tatooine, and steals the identity of Obi-Wan Kenobi who had actually retired to Florida years ago.  Because there aren’t any gullible hobbits on Tatooine to do Gandalf’s dirty work, Gandalf finds Luke Skywalker and enlists him to avenge the destruction of the Middle Earth and finally bring down the Galactic Empire.

THE END.

203 thoughts on “Guest Post – List of X Predicts Outcome of Worst War Ever

  1. Two of my favourite bloggers on the same stage.

    Now admittedly I didn’t understand much as I’ve never read or seen any of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ stuff but this was still an entertaining piece. And an Ewok on crack..? They were crazy bastards without drugs; there’s no telling what they’d be capable of now…

    • My friend, the book might be worth the read if you have a year or two to spare. The movies… pretty much about the same thing.

      Love the Ewok comment… those furry crazy bastards, they ran the show!

      • The books might be worth a read if you have a year or two to spare? Seriously? OK, maybe if you read a page a day because you have to spend 30 hours straight at work!! Sorry, just had to throw that in.

        • Well, for the average book that doesn’t contain five paragraphs of description for every one of actual plot, perhaps my reading speed would be quicker, but in this case, blah.

          Midget! You’ve arrived! I’ve been hoping you would chime in and give opinion on X’s analysis. You have to say, he has a point…

    • Sean, if you’re not planning to spend a year to read the books, or nine hours to watch the movies, here is the brief summary of LOTR: hairy hobbits, pretty elfs, mega evil stink eye, ugly orcs, walking, fighting, walking fighting, more orcs, fewer elfs, more walking, more fighting, trees, trees walking, trees fighting, fewer orcs, more hobbits, more walking, more fighting, AAAAAAA!!!!! GIANT SPIDER!!!!!! more walking, more fighting, more orcs, more fighting, fewer orcs,12 consecutive happy ends.

      • Here’s the summary of Star Wars — horrible acting, worse dialogue, guaranteed to put you to sleep. I think you pretty much got the problem with Star Wars regarding the fragility of the stormtroopers body armor and their inability to hit the broad side of the Death Star if it was a foot away. What’s the point of all that technology if you can’t actually hit anything with it? And that’s where your analysis falls apart. The Empire wouldn’t be able to take over Middle Earth because they would keep missing.

        • I would have to say, my friend, that they might keep missing, but they would have ample time to keep trying as the Lotrians endlessly described the means of their impending attack. Also, Star Wars knows how to end things! Lotrians, as X has described, engage in repeated false endings – this will be their downfall.

          • Try as they might … they keep missing!!!! The “knows how to end things” is a fascinating concept, however. Star Wars — Death Star destroyed, the Jedi victorious. Oh wait, the empire must strike back. And then we have the return of the Jedi. But, there’s more. We actually have to go backwards for three movies … and then wait more than 30 years for the final trilogy. “Star Wars knows how to end things!” Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!

            • Okay, what I meant is that within any one movie, they are courteous enough to have one ending, rather than six or seven. Hey, this was a good movie… oh wait, that’s not the ending. Hey, this was a decent movie… oh wait, that’s not the ending. Hey, this was a passable movie… still not the ending? Hey this is crap… STILL NOT THE ENDING? Someone get me out of this theatre! Wait, that’s STILL not the ending? Make it stop, for the love of Darth Vader!

              • Explain away … you still lose on this one. Six movies later and the damn story still isn’t over and probably won’t be for at least another decade. I can’t wait for the opportunity to fall asleep during Episode VIII — when the Empire Strikes Again after the Jedi Got Revenge and Luke impregnated his sister and Hans Solo finally killed off Chewie because he was tired of his howling.

        • “horrible acting, worse dialogue, guaranteed to put you to sleep” – that’s a summary of a lot of movies. Here’s my summary of Star Wars: heroes get captured, escape, hide in the trash, fight with lightsabers, blow up Death star, almost get captured, escape, hide in the trash, fight with lightsabers, get captured, EWWWW!!! GIANT WORM!!! escape, fight with lightsabers, awww, Teddy bears!!!, get captured, fight with lightsabers, escape, blow up Death Star, phew…incest avoided, happy end.

      • For one like me who has neither read any of these books nor watched these movies fully (except Hobbit 2 -Smaug), *a moment for the expression of shock!* you have given me a splendid reason not to have to. I actually enjoy screening movies for viruses. Thanks for this, X-T (list of x + Tent).

  2. Beatles.

    And X. He is a GENIUS. I am ashamed to say, I had no idea. Quite how smart he was, before this.

    Wow. I’m going to drink a second cup of coffee, and re-read this.

  3. Could this be any more awesome? Shame about the Death Star, but really, we have all seen it coming.
    The only possible planet-saving twist would be Galadriel getting into Lord Vader’s head, him falling for her (we know he was capable at a point in time) and thus somehow Lotria. Except there has to be some death, so maybe he decides his betrayal was dishonourable and the Death star instead is used to destroy another planet with him on it?

  4. Two words: orbital bombardment. Middle Earth loses without the stormtroopers ever having to set foot on the ground. AND DON’T KNOCK THE ARMOR! Only stormtroopers can knock the armor!

    • I won’t say any more about the quality of the armor, but you guys need to form a union and demand something better.
      Orbital bombardment will definitely take care of the pesky elfs, but if the Empire needs the planet for the slaves, it should never be Plan A.

      • The have wookies for slaves. And the last guy who spoke up about the armor got force choked. We’ll take our chances with the armor.

      • You keep forgetting … they don’t know how to aim. “Orbital bombardment”? They’d probably be at the wrong planet and blow up a bunch of Real Housewives instead. Or the Kardashians. Or Bieber. We could hope at least.

          • Of course not, I could think of a few others to add to the list — a certain bullying governor of a state along the Eastern seaboard, for instance. Sigh, if only there was a Death Star.

            Wait, what was I just saying? No, Death Star. The evil eye of Sauron could take care of this. Or maybe Frodo’s hairy toes.

              • When I coached my son’s baseball team, the first thing I did when I got to practice was to get the damn shoes off my feet and then run around at practice in my bare feet. During games, when the catcher wasn’t ready, I’d go out and warm up our pitcher. In my bare feet. The umpires thought I was crazy — one even told me I couldn’t warm the pitcher up bare foot. The guys I coached with called me Frodo.

              • Well, I certainly think the elf chicks are much more appealing than Leia and her clam shell hair … but, no, ever since my teen years and I first read The Hobbit and LOTR, they have been among my favorite stories. Jackson’s LOTR did a great job of turning the trilogy into a movie. The Hobbit — not so much. The best description I’ve heard of the difference between the two is that LOTR was Jackson’s homage to Tolkien. The Hobbit is Jackson’s homage to himself. And, all I can say is that I did, in fact, fall asleep during the last episode of Star Wars. No, not Episode Six. Episode Three. Which is a whole other reason to dislike the whole Star Wars cinematic experience. The last episode isn’t actually the last episode.

              • Okay, Princess Leia a metal bikini… nuff said!

                I greatly respect the novels. I thought the first three movies were okay but bloated. The Hobbit… terrible terrible commercial cash grab. Splitting that little book into three movies? Peter Jackson should be ashamed of himself.

              • Hey!! We agree!!! I saw the first installment of The Hobbit. Skipped the second and will do the same for the third.

                And, I hate admitting it, but I grew tired of the multiple endings of The Return of the King. Only problem is … that’s how the book ended, so it was actually true to the book.

              • I guess, but it was irritating to watch the multiple endings in the movie. I think that’s one part they could have improved in the movies. Also, I would have LOVED it if Frodo had had a change of heart when Gollum felt into the lava… perhaps called him by name, felt sorry for him as he watched him fall… I felt that was a missed opportunity.

                By the way, the second Hobbit movie was better than the first in my opinion. It was not bad at all, although Peter Jackson went a bit insane near the end.

              • Goodnight Moon … one of the simplest, yet most classic children’s stories there is. I just threw it out there as a bit of randomness that would make no sense. But, since they made a movie out of Where the Wild Things Are, I can imagine that one day somebody will make a movie out of Goodnight Moon.

              • Goodnight Moon is an excellent story for the littlest ones. Great pictures for finding things, very few words, but just an incredible sentiment to the whole thing.

              • Just think … if he takes on the Star Wars sequels, the whole thing will morph into 15 more movies! Yippee!!!

        • Orbital bombardment is the easiest thing a military could do once they get into orbit: just drop the bomb somewhere above the planet, and let force of gravity do all the work. If a bomb hits the planet (and it has no place else to go), you hit the target and can call the operation a success.

  5. Holy shit, that was epic! Please tell me you two met on my blog so I can totally take some credit for this.. okay… that was self-centered… even for me… but still… awesome-sausage-squeezings-of purejoyattude.

  6. I think LOTR would win. Middle Earthlings don’t travel off=planet, so Empire would have to bring the fight to them. That didn’t work so well before. The Ewoks are fairly primitive, and they defeated the Empire. Middle Earth has magic, hordes of orcs and giant elephants, while Star Wars only has the Force, hordes of clones, and airships…

    Wait a minute…

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