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Those of you who have seen Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Star Wars may recognise the following popular 'epic' movie clichés:

Title:			Lord of the 	Harry Potter	Star Wars
			rings
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Young Protagonist		Yes		Yes		Yes
			(Frodo)		(Harry)		(Obi-Wan, Luke)
...with special ability	Yes		Yes		Yes
			(resist ring)	(love, magic)	(Jedi powers)
...who has had a		Yes		Yes		Yes
 sheltered upbringing	(in shire)	(no magic)	(Luke, on farm)
...who gets a cloak	Yes		Yes		Yes
			(From Elves)	(Dumbledore)	(Jedi robes)
...of invisibility		Yes		Yes		No
...and who is male		Yes		Yes		Yes


With older mentor		Yes		Yes		Yes
			(Gandalf)		(Dumbledorf)	(Qui-gon, Obi-wan)
...who is male		Yes		Yes		Yes
...and has grey hair	Yes		Yes		Yes
...and a beard		Yes		Yes		Yes
			(long)		(long)		(Obi-wan, short)
...which is also grey	Yes		Yes		Yes
...and a cloak		Yes		Yes		Yes
...and magic powers	Yes		Yes		Yes
			(Wizard)		(Wizard)		(Jedi master)
...who dies (maybe)	Yes		No		Yes
			(Moria)				(Maul, Vader)


And evil enemy		Yes		Yes		Yes
			(Sauron,		(Voldemort)	(Darth Maul,
			Saruman)				Darth Vader)
...who wears black		Yes		Yes		Yes
...and is male		Yes		Yes		Yes
...and comes from the	Yes		Yes		Yes
 same place as mentor	(Saruman only)			(Vader only)
...and has one 		Yes		Yes		Yes
 exploitable weakness	(Ring)		(Love)		(Luke)
...which the	 	Yes		Yes		Yes
protagonist can exploit	(Destroys)	(Burning touch) 	(Vader repents)


Procures group of 		Yes		Yes		Yes
 friends			(Fellowship)	(Friends)		(Queen/Gungan,
							Leia/Han/Ewoks)
...from diverse		Yes		Yes		Yes
 backgrounds		(Races)		(Rep, Gender)	(Leia/Han/Ewoks)
...and they all work
 together			Yes		Yes		Yes
...until near the end,
when the protagonist	Yes		Yes		Yes
goes on alone		(End of bk. 1)			(End of ep. VI)
...and defeats the evil	Yes		Yes		Yes
enemy			(Destroys ring)	(Voldemort)	(Vader repents)
...then they meet up 	Yes		Yes		Yes
and have a big 		(Crowning etc)	(House dinner)	(With Ewoks)
celebration.