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Star Wars has more in common with Harry Potter than you’d think

There's a few elements you'd be surprised to learn are part of the Star Wars universe and a planet of centaurs has got to be one of them.

The younglings in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

Two of the biggest movie franchises – Star Wars and Harry Potter – don’t seem to have much in common, given that they’re from very different genres. You wouldn’t expect to find fantasy creatures such as dragons, trolls, or giants in the Star Wars universe, just as you wouldn’t expect there to be aliens turning up at Hogwarts. But there are a couple of surprising elements that crossover.

If you excitedly turned up on opening day to watch the final Star Wars prequel Revenge of the Sith in 2005 – there was likely one thing that remained burned on the brain even more than Anakin’s unfortunate crispy end. And that was the moment that sealed Anakin’s downfall into becoming the best Star Wars villain, Darth Vader – the fateful Order 66 – which obliterated the younglings at the Jedi Temple and left audiences gasping in horror.

Well, those younglings or Jedi Initiates (as they’re also known) are organized into clans that are very similar to Hogwarts houses. The Jedi Initiate Clans were first seen in 2002’s Attack of the Clones and were further explored in the animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars.

The clans are named after creatures such as the Bear Clan, the Hawk-Bat Clan, and the Thranta Clan (a giant, flying beast), which is very similar to the Hogwarts house mascots being a badger, a raven, a lion, and a snake. The equivalent of Slytherin students becoming dark wizards is the Sith, as they began as fallen Jedi.

Another surprising creature that crops up in the Star Wars universe is the centaur – a creature that is also very important to Harry Potter – although they’re seen more in the books than the movies. A centaur named Firenze does pop up in the first Harry Potter movie, the Sorcerer’s Stone, but hopefully the planned Harry Potter TV series can do the centaurs more justice.

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In the Star Wars universe, there’s actually a whole planet of centaurs called Chiron, with their inhabitants known as Chironians. These particular Star Wars aliens were notable for their horns, their red-gold color, and their long manes and tails. A Chironian named Lusa appears in the 90s book series Young Jedi Knights and had an entry in the 1998 Star Wars Encyclopedia. We’d love to see centaurs turn up in a new Star Wars movie.

Luke Skywalker in Star Wars and Harry Potter obviously follow similar hero’s journey plot points and encounters similar character types such as the older, wise mentors Obi-Wan Kenobi and Dumbledore. But it’s interesting and surprising that there are some similarities beyond that – such as there being a close equivalent to Hogwarts houses and the fact that a centaur planet – of all things – exists in Star Wars.

We’re looking forward to new Star Wars series The Acolyte, which will focus on the Sith, as well as Skeleton Crew – which will center around a group of younglings. And, of course, there’s also Andor season 2 to come. Perhaps you should watch the Star Wars movies in order to prepare for all of those. And we’ve also got House of the Dragon season 2 for you fantasy fans.