How Star Wars Subtly Influenced The Plot Of Lost

"Lost" is one of the most influential shows of the 21st century, but it also has its fair share of influences. Across its six seasons, the fantasy-tinged sci-fi saga offered up references to everything from Ingmar Bergman's art-house film "The Seventh Seal" to Walker Percy's dark novel "Lancelot." One of the show's most-mentioned properties, though, is a lot more mainstream than either of those. "Lost" clearly loves the "Star Wars" movies.

The series wears its love for "Star Wars" on its sleeve. Sardonic Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and pop culture-loving Hurley (Jorge Garcia) both reference the series more than once, and Hurley even attempts to rewrite "The Empire Strikes Back" after time-traveling to 1977. If there's one thing "Lost" owes to "Star Wars" more than anything else, though, it's the relationship between wisecracking former con man Sawyer and super-serious doctor Jack (Matthew Fox).

Sawyer is the Han to Jack's Luke

In an interview with Vox, series writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof discussed the dynamic that went into crafting the pair's initially contentious dynamic. In the first season, Lindelof points out, Sawyer grates against Jack's more egalitarian ideals when he starts stealing and hoarding items from Oceanic Flight 815. "He would be in staunch opposition to Jack, and that would be a really interesting dynamic to gradiate over the course of the season," Lindelof shared.

"But it always felt like they were going to be friends," the writer added, revealing that the pair was conceptualized to "be like Luke and Han, where they had very different backgrounds and very different personalities, but they were both good guys." Though Sawyer and Jack remain on uncertain terms for much of the show — thanks in large part to their shared love interests — this comparison definitely bears out. In fact, once you notice this, it's hard not to see the references to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo everywhere.

Roguish, charming, and occasionally outright obnoxious, Sawyer is the type of guy who viewers and characters alike want to kiss and slap in equal measure. Jack, on the other hand, is a hero pushing against the boundaries of his own destiny. A bit of a square, he doesn't entirely understand the way Sawyer operates, and the two are often in opposition when it comes to the good of the group. While Luke never reached the same high point of antagonism with Han as Jack did with Sawyer — Luke never tortured Han over asthma medication, for example — the "Star Wars" leads did serve similarly opposing roles in the original trilogy.

The references are everywhere

Wide-eyed Luke (Mark Hamill) is the "Star Wars" series' straight man, a hero-in-the-making with a rather abstract spiritual mentor, a bad dad, and a fate that's tied to the future of the known universe. Similarly, Jack is pushed through the series by man of faith John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) and haunted by his dead dad, all the way up until a series finale which sees him sacrifice himself to restore balance to the Island and the world.

Sawyer, meanwhile, is a rule-bending rapscallion who evolves into a reluctant hero–and becomes one of the show's best characters along the way. Like Han, his backstory involves some shady dealings, but when he gets roped into action, he turns out to be resourceful, helpful, and loyal to the people he loves. He's also extremely quippy. Throughout the series, Sawyer turns the "Star Wars" subtext into straight-up text, referencing the series aloud. "Well, that's the real trick, isn't it?" he says early in the show's first season, parroting a famous Han Solo line. Two seasons later, he pulls what he calls "the old Wookiee prisoner gag" with Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Alex (Tania Raymond). His seemingly endless lexicon of nicknames also includes a few selections from the "Star Wars" canon, including Jabba and (projection, much?) Han.

The writers behind "Lost" also manage to sneak plenty of Luke Skywalker references into Jack's plot, even after he and Sawyer have buried the metaphorical hatchet. Unlike Sawyer, Jack doesn't seem like a guy who would care about "Star Wars," so he never seems to catch the references. In both the first season and the fourth, characters tell Jack "I'm here to rescue you," which Luke famously says to Leia (Carrie Fisher) in "A New Hope." Jack also goes through a secret sibling plot when he learns that fellow passenger Claire (Emilie de Ravin) is his long-lost sister. Luckily, the pair don't kiss before the big reveal.

Along with Lindelof, series co-creator J.J. Abrams is also, obviously, a "Star Wars" fan. Years before directing "The Force Awakens," the filmmaker immediately bonded with his "Lost" collaborator when, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lindelof walked into Abrams' office for their first meeting wearing an old "Star Wars" shirt. With their mutual love of the franchise in mind, it's easy to look back and see how clearly it influenced "Lost." The rest is compelling, addictive, one-of-a-kind TV history.