Similarities between Star Wars and Twin Peaks

It struck me as funny that when I watch videos and listen to podcasts about Twin Peaks that occasionally, they make Star Wars references or they will use terms… And on the reverse, I think it’s interesting that some of my favorite scenes in the Star Wars films- I like them because they remind me of Twin Peaks, or it invokes some sort of spirit of the show- without meaning to.
After the episode Gotta Light aired, it took fans a while to process what they saw and attempt to even find terms to describe what they saw. In Star Wars- that effect is mainly just because it’s about a different galaxy and a different time- so we must suspend disbelief…
Since Twin Peaks is a show that has elements of the supernatural and it involves doppelgangers and characters that have uncertain loyalties or morals- many people use the term “Dark Side”. I heard recappers say, “bring balance to the Force.”
Scenes in that show- specifically the stuff in the actual town of Twin Peaks is a perfect example. It’s a world gone crazy. The kids are mostly bad. The teens and 20-somethings are certifiably insane. People are freaking out and getting sick, and there’s an outbreak of drugs, and rashes, and psychotic episodes at the grocery store over Turkey Jerky…
In a weird way, it reminds me of the fact that Palpatine saw that the Republic was corrupt and that it needed to die- and so he killed it for good. He saw that the Jedi were complacent and opposed to change or reform- oblivious to the power in their midst with Anakin Skywalker. Palpatine effectively poisoned Anakin’s mind against the Jedi- filled him with doubts about his relationships with Obi-Wan, and Padmè… and set up sequences of events which would further entice Anakin to become his apprentice… And then Anakin as Vader going around and doing the Emperor’s bidding… effectively getting high on the Dark Side- overdosing on it- unable to control his power… his anger… taking it out on his pregnant wife, Padmè when he thinks she led Kenobi there to kill him.
In Twin Peaks, especially episode 8 (Gotta Light)- we have the atomic bomb test happening-and we see that it sets loose this evil. We have The Experiment spewing forth a glob of BOB and these speckled eggs which contain these weird frog/moth things that go around crawling down people’s throats (I know- gross).
And we have the Woodsmen who occupy a ruined convenience store- seemingly flowing in and out of our space and time- fading back and forth between worlds.
What I find fascinating, and what reminds me of Star Wars is that when the Giant (or ???????, or Fireman depending on what his name is- the credits are sort of vague and he was only in very select scenes.) hears the alarm and sees the “video” of this evil happening in the world, he “creates” this glowing gold orb with the face of Laura Palmer in it which Senorita Dido sends to Earth- more specifically to Twin Peaks. We get the distinct feeling that they are trying to right the wrongs perpetrated by mankind, BOB, the Experiment, the Woodsmen (although I don’t know what exactly their role is besides being “helpers” to the bad guys). They put Laura into the Earth as a direct response to the evil being done. It reminds me of the end of Episode 3 where the Republic has become an Empire and Padmè has died after giving birth to the twins… Obi-Wan just finished watching his former student fall to the Dark Side and be badly maimed following a harrowing lightsaber duel where Obi-Wan left him to die in the molten sand… they have that, “What are we going to do and what’s our plan?” scene where Bail agrees to take baby Leia and Obi-Wan says he’ll take Luke to Tatooine to live with “his family” which is the only family Anakin ever had- his step-brother Owen and Owen’s wife, Beru. Yoda talks to Obi-Wan about the path to immortality and we know both Yoda and Obi-Wan are going into exile until Episode 4. That scene came to mind when watching that 8th segment of Twin Peaks: The Return.
We get the sense that Dirty Cooper (or Mr. C- whatever you choose to call him)- has some sort of mission, and part of that is to not go back into the Black Lodge again… but it seems like it’s more than that… it almost seems that he is doing as much damage as he can, or it’s up to him to destroy any good that remains- or to destroy anyone connected to Laura Palmer or Twin Peaks… who knows… he is tipping the balance of the Force over to the Dark Side…
Meanwhile- you have Agent Cooper stuck in the life of Dougie Jones who is seemingly righting the wrongs of Mr. C ‘s apparently manufactured doppelganger- made to get Mr. C out of going back into the Black Lodge. Not only does Agent Cooper fulfill that purpose- he actually goes beyond it! He is changing the lives of everyone he meets… Think about it… if you’ve seen the show, we see that the real Dougie was a gambler, an adulterer, among other things… and once Agent Cooper takes his place- he wins all those jackpots at the Silver Mustang Casino. That gives him the money to pay the loan sharks. His ability to know which machine to play (with help from the One-Armed Man, Philip Gerard in the Red Room)- he allows another person to win big… when he sees her again in part 11, she tells him that since that day, she has gotten a house and a dog- and her son, Denver is back in her life again. She thanks him for saving her life…
That’s not all. Agent Cooper as Dougie helps his boss, Bushnell Mullins unmask Anthony Sinclair as a liar- uncover insurance fraud perpetrated by Sinclair… also finding out about organized crime and corrupt cops (who we meet in part 13).
He is able to right a wrong for the Mitchum brothers who own the casino where he won the money. He foiled Sinclair’s attempt to make it look like he’d perpetrated a horrible injustice against the Mitchum’s. And when Duncan Todd told Anthony to rub Dougie out; he ultimately couldn’t do it because of the man’s kindness to him. He confessed his transgressions to Bushnell who told him to testify against Todd and the corrupt cops…
But wait! There’s more! The relationship between “Dougie” and his wife, Janey-E improves and she falls madly in love with him- possibly for the first time. He tries to connect to Sonny-Jim, “his” son…
And Dougie/Cooper’s adventures with the Mitchum Brothers ends up raining gifts on the Jones family… A new BMW, and a fantastic playset for Sonny-Jim…And even just minor things- such as him replacing the real Dougie allowed some dots to be connected… his Great Northern Hotel key dropped from his pocket and ended up back at the hotel when the hooker, Jade dropped it in a mailbox after “Dougie” departed the vehicle.
I also want to point out that several people were sent to kill him- including Ike the Spike- an enemy to the Mitchum Brothers… Anyway… I believe that the Giant and Philip Gerrard are trying to fight off the evil deeds of Mr. C and his crew… as well as the Woodsmen and The Experiment… Them giving Dougie/Cooper advice and leading him in the right direction is all very interesting. It brings to mind Obi-Wan in Episode 4 talking to Luke, trying to get him to come to Alderaan to rescue the Princess who ends up being his twin sister. It recalls to my mind; Kenobi’s Force Ghost leading Luke to Dagobah…
It’s all that lovely light versus dark element that is so compelling.
In both series, we have good characters, as well as bad characters- and then some who are clearly in between.
The choices they make impact not only them, but others- and sometimes in profound ways.
Moments in Star Wars that seem to invoke the spirit of Twin Peaks are scenes like Rey’s Force Vision, or sort of the dream Anakin has about Padmè dying in childbirth. Of course, we have the scene in Dagobah cave where Luke thinks he kills Vader, but when he blasts a hole in the mask of Vader, he sees himself… which directly reflects Yoda’s line, when Luke asks, “What’s in there?”
Yoda says, “Only what you take with you.” Which Luke sort of poo-hoo’s and carries his blaster and lightsaber in for protection. I want to mention that this sequence has a real slow-mo, dream-like vibe with the way it’s shot, and Twin Peaks does a lot of that.
Between the two things, there’s also a sense of duality. For instance, Palpatine was leading a double life. On one hand, he was the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic in the Prequel films… but he ended up being the boss in the Separatist movement.
We of course have Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader, and eventually regaining his humanity.
We have Luke who while he is good- he has inherited his father’s anger… having only a fraction of the training as his father and Obi-Wan- he often tends to ride the thin grey line- which is, I think- why many are getting the idea that the Jedi ending in The Last Jedi is basically an acknowledgement of that- and implying that Luke will teach Rey to be a Grey Jedi.
As I talked about before- Twin Peaks is full of doppelgangers. Another odd thing is that especially of late, there’s been some glitching of time, or the playing of scenes in recent episodes that seem like they take place chronologically near the beginning of the Return… For instance, in this past segment, # 13- we had a scene at the Double R Diner with Big Ed and Norma. Bobby Briggs walks in to get some dinner, and he tells Norma and Ed that they found some stuff his dad left “Today” and the episode where we saw the “stuff” his dad left for him was back in part 9, “This Is the Chair” … Also, at the beginning of the show, we see Hawk in the woods, finding the red curtains which lead to the Black Lodge… then the next time we see him, there’s no mention of it, which leads us to believe that it hasn’t happened yet. Plus- what reason would he have to enter the Black Lodge at the beginning of the 3rd season? The stuff about Cooper and the missing pages of Laura’s diary haven’t been discovered or brought up at that point…
We notice reflections in the mirrors or glass which don’t directly match what the character is doing-suggesting some supernatural phenomenon or the passing of time…
Anyhow- all stuff that gets me excited!
Lastly, I want to bring up that in recaps or podcasts about either thing- they make reference to the same mythology or media… or there is some weird parallel… for instance, I just posted The Vertigo Theory recently which referred to Alfred Hitchcock’s film… the movie was actually brought up in the EW’s Twin Peaks Podcast- which was so funny to me since I had JUST posted the blog when I listened to the podcast…
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this weird mash-up.


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