Rant: How much does Pirates of The Caribbean owe to Star Wars?

Spoiler Pirate says: Yargh! Here be spoilers!

On first glance, Pirates of The Caribbean and Star Wars seem very different films from very different eras. Yet both share a sense of adventure and strong characters that pull in audiences, and I maintain that it isn't all they have in common. Consider this:

Our tale opens with the aftermath of a raid on a ship, witnessed by the feisty daughter of a kind-hearted public official. Later, we meet our hero, a young man who is unaware that his supposedly dead father was an adventurer. He falls for the feisty daughter and, when she is kidnapped, sets out to rescue her. To do so, he recruits a ne'er-do-well scallywag captain in order to get a ship, who brings along his old partner in crime.

Our hero is introduced to his heritage along they way and the companions have a variety of adventures before being captured by the main villain, who we discover murdered our hero's father. They escape, only to return to the scene of their capture for another showdown, during which, the captain betrays and abandons our hero, only to return and save the day, allowing the main McGuffin to be destroyed and the villain to be setback.

In the highly regarded sequel and the largely derided final film, which are split by a cliffhanger ending where the captain is lost and a rescue mounted, we see an even-greater villain emerge and our hero meets his father, whom he pledges to rescue from the thrall of the main villain. The feisty daughter begins to fall more for the captain, despite their squabbling, and the established government of the region where the story takes place rise to be a coalition of the bad guys.

In response, our heroes rescue the captain and recruit more adventurers to their cause and the trilogy ends with a huge battle between all the rebellious forces and the corrupt government, which is won, in part, by an alliance with more-primitive, natural forces.

Now, tell me, which trilogy am I talking about? Pirates or Star Wars?

I'm not saying that Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio ripped off Star Wars, but I do believe the cultural effect of the trilogy is so great that it has become a template for later stories, including Pirates. I would also say that the saga of these space-faring characters is largely responsible for the success of their piratic counterparts. Take that Disney.

N.B. - Thanks to the Star Wars Photoshop Project for the image

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