Similarities between The Odyssey and Star Wars-Episode IV: Return of the Jedi

There are many points of comparison between The Odyssey, by Homer, and
George Lucas's final episode, Return of the Jedi.  The similarities are
astonishing, considering how different the two stories are in genre.

There are some major character similarities between the two works.  The main
characters (Luke and Odysseus) match each other very well.  Both were on
some kind of journey: Odysseus wanted to reach home and Skywalker was on a
journey to find truth and knowledge.  Both men have family members they know
very little of, but later join to fight evil.  Luke knew little of his
father who he had been separated from for over 20 years, but once the two
met, they overthrew The Emperor.  Odysseus had been separated from his son
but when they met they overthrew the evil suitors in their home.  Perhaps
Odysseus and Luke are a long lost father son combo, and they both messed up!

Both stories have the main character being led by a mystical, knowledgeable
warrior of sorts.  Return of the Jedi has Luke's guide being Obi-Wan and
Odysseus's is the warrior-goddess Athena.  In The Odyssey there is a blind
prophet named Teiresias, his equivalent would be Yoda.  Both men told the
main character what had to be done to obtain their goals.  Also, they both
had some kind of impediment, Teiresias was blind, and Yoda couldn't speak
very well.

ROTJ and The Odyssey are both the last leg of a long story.  The Odyssey
ends Homer's works, which began with The Iliad.  ROTJ ends the story of the
life and death of Darth Vader.  In both the lead character has to go to heck
and back to achive their goal.  Luke had to travel all over the universe to
free what he wanted and in the process met up with some strange aliens,
including the Sarlacc, a monster which lived in the sand with teeth that
sucked people down and slowly ate them (yummy).  This monster was shockingly
similar to Kharybhis, a whirlpool that ate up sea goers; it too had some
form of a digestive system.  Odysseus struggled with all sorts of aliens,
from temptresses to cannibals.  In both stories the main character is aided
by an outside source, the friedly Phaecians helped Odysseus sail home and
the world famous Ewoks helped the Rebels destroy the Imperials.

Both authors try to incorporate the importance of "religion" and having a
calm mind.  In ROTJ Luke is constantly being told to be mindful of the force
that is around him and only when Odysseus becomes aware of the gods is he
able to reach home.  When Luke is face to face with The Emperor he could
have taken the easy and fast way and struck down Vader, but he kept calm and
didn't "give in to hate".  Odysseus kept calm when he reached home; he could
have ran in the house and slaughtered all the suitors but he waited until
the time was right, then he slaughtered them.

The Odyssey served as a great myth of it's time and Star Wars is the
greatest myth of our time.  Although it may be in a different way, I am sure
that Star Wars will mimic The Odyssey once again, in that it too will be
studied for a long, long time.