Released a week apart in May 1980, THE SHiNiNG and Star Wars Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back shared more than shooting space at Elstree Studios. Key scenes in both films come at centerpoint as moments of consciousness staged around mirrors - Dagobah’s ‘cave of evil’ matches the Overlook labyrinth’s inner sanctum, Room 237.
Luke and Danny, our Siegfrieds, fair-haired mythical warriors who enter the dream realm to destroy their fathers and master themselves. Danny is summoned to Room 237 by a yellow tennis ball (a reference to the sun/son/sphere that Luke conquers in Star Wars) and enters calling for his mother.A sidenote: in 1979’s Alien, the equivalent cave/womb form is the room the crew uses to communicate with Mother - AKA Interface 2037. Danny uses 237 to lure his father into a trap, a reversal of Vader’s supernatural lure in Empire.
The center areas of the Overlook’s inner and outer mazes (the yellow stripe in 237 references the shape of the mirror in the caretaker’s apartment as well as the road surface marking at the film’s beginning).
Jack/Luke at the threshold. The pyramid shape of the hallway is duplicated during Luke and Vader’s physical confrontation on Bespin.
Lighting in the Star Wars films is designed to be almost entirely cinéma vérité. The blue light that shines in the Dagobah cave is the exception to this rule (the source is supernatural). THE SHiNiNG features many similar breaks in colour continuity, often in the form of blue light projected offscreen to indicate the hotel’s consciousness (e.g. the blue moonlight in Danny’s windowless bedroom).
As Luke’s face is illuminated, a splash can be heard offscreen, indicating that the Vader-double is moving from or through a body of water (in one version of the Empire script the ghost was to be shown rising from the lake, like Luke’s X-wing in the final film).
Cutting suggests that both Halloran and Yoda (spirit guides) are supernaturally present during both these sequences.
The lady of the lake.
This is the only slow-motion sequence in any of the Star Wars films, originally shot at normal speed then double-printed in post-production. THE SHiNiNG also makes use of slow motion during the Overlook’s elevator bloodletting.
The Infernal Serpent looks on, a sly reference to both Yoda and Palpatine.
Purified beams of red and blue light, matched in the costume Jack wears throughout the last half of the film.
Room 237’s occupant threatens strangulation, like Vader (“I think he did it to himself”).
"Gimme the bat!"
Eyes wide open.