Arthur was the legendary King of medieval Britain, and the hero of one of the most exciting and often recounted cycle of legends and romances. Camelot, the enchanted sword called Excalibur and the Holy Grail are all a part of this amazing legend. He is said to have been born in Tintagel in Cornwall, son of King Uther Pendragon and the Duke of Tintagel's wife Igraine. The sorceror Merlin arranged the deceit that allowed the joining of the two, and asked that the product of that union, Arthur, be turned over to him for nurturing and learning. Arthur went on to become King of Britain and, with the help and support of his advisor Merlin, he held court at Camelot as the leader of the Knights of the Round Table (which is George Lucas' primary inspiration for the Jedi Council and the Jedi Knights). The knights rode out to accomplish great deeds and to seek adventure, their most notable mission, the quest for the Holy Grail- in Christian legend the holy cup used by Christ at the Last Supper. Betrayed by his wife Guinevere and his son or nephew Mordred, he was mortally wounded in battle against Mordred and carried away to Avalon, the land of immortal heroes. Legends tell that he will return from Avalon to lead his countrymen in the time of their greatest peril.

Little is known of the real Arthur, though most historians agree that the Arthur of legend is probably based on a British war-chief of the 6th century A.D named Roman Artorius. He was likely a leader of the Romanized Britons against the Saxon war-bands which invaded Britain from around 450 A.D onwards. In the Book of Complaints written by Gildas around the year 540 AD, it says that the Saxons were defeated in a great battle at Mount Badon in about the year 500. Although Arthur isn't mentioned by name in that account, Nennius' History of the Britons written in the early 9th century says that Arthur was dux bellorum of the Britons -- war chief -- or general, at the Battle of Mount Badon. The Cambrian Annals written in the 10th century say that Arthur defeated the Saxons at Mount Badon in 516, and also mentions the battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) fell.

Arthur the Celtic Hero
Arthur dreaming of
a boar vanquishing a dragon
The Arthur of Celtic legend was a hero of Herculean proportions. He rid the land of giants, and fought monsters and witches. He slaughtered the Demon Cat of Losanne, and hunted the fabulous boar Twrch Trwyth, driving him into the sea. One of Arthur's titles was 'The Boar of Cornwall. A Welsh poem, The Spoils of Annwn probably written in the 10th century, refers to Arthur's raid on the land of the dead, the isle of Annwn. The object of the raid was to seize the magic cauldron of Annwn, from which only the brave and the true could eat. This cauldron may be the original Grail, and, supplying the food of immortal heroes, Arthur may have gained immortality by seizing it. In the early Celtic stories Arthur has a large band of comrades, including Cei Wynn (Sir Kay in the later romances), Gereint (Sir Gareth), and Llenlleawc (Sir Lancelot). His wife is Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere). The old Celtic Gods, now men, are also in these stories. Manawydan, Teyrnon, and Gwynn son of Nudd, the master of Hell.

Before 1100 there were various stories of Arthur and his adventures which were popular in Wales and Cornwall, and well known also in Brittany. Wandering Breton poets translated the tales into French, embroidering and embellishing them, and the stories spread into France. Bards and storytellers, who made their living telling tales from court to manor house, further developed the details and the variations of the Arthurian legends. By 1100 the tales had spread as far as Italy..

The Coronation of Arthur
The Coronation of Arthur, Medieval Manuscript
According to Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, Arthur was 15 when Uther Pendragon died and was buried at Stonehenge. Arthur was crowned king at Silchester. In the 15th century's Morte D'Arthur written by Thomas Malory, the story of Arthur's ascension to the throne is elaborated upon. There was nobody to succeed Pendragon, and various great barons struggled for the throne. Merlin instigated the Archbishop of Canterbury to summon all the barons to London where he had provided great stone with a sword stuck within it. Letters round the sword said Whoso pulleth out the sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all England. Nobody succeeded in pulling out the sword, although many tried, until the young Arthur came by and removed it. Arthur was then crowned king and defeated all rivals in a series of battles.

Monmouth's History has been on one hand described as the most successful work of fiction ever composed and on the other condemned as an outrage on historical truth. He tells how King Arthur, with his sword Caliburn which is forged in Avalon, subdued the Scots, and conquered Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and France. In later variations, the sword becomes Excalibur. Merlin and Arthur went to a lake, from the middle of which an arm protruded holding a sword. The sword, Excalibur, belonged to the Lady of the Lake, who gave it to Arthur. When Arthur dies and is carried away to Avalon, the sword is returned to the lake. Arthur marries Guinevere, and by some accounts is gifted with the Round Table, which seats 150, by his father in law as a wedding present. His sister married Loth, Duke of Lothian, and by him had two sons, Gawain and Mordred. Later stories tell that Arthur, not realizing that Loth's wife was his own sister, slept with her, and conceived Mordred; it was this liason which brought Arthur and the Round Table to destruction, as prophesied by Merlin. Could Anakin's liason with some mysterious individual in the prequels bring the end to both Anakin and the Jedi Knights as well?

The Passing of Arthur
Bedivere throws the sword into the lake
Arthur, realizing that his wife Guinevere and his knight Lancelot are in love, refuses to admit it to anyone because of his affection for Lancelot. Some Star Wars fans now believe that Boba Fett may be the "Lancelot" character of the Prequel Trilogy. George Lucas recently confirmed on the official Star Wars site that Fett will have a significant role in Episode 2. Does a love triangle between Anakin, Padme Amidala (the Queen) and Fett arise out of their close friendship? But Mordred and Agravaine, who hated Lancelot, insist on accusing him to the king's face, and the accusation of treason and adultery is made public. Arthur gives leave to Mordred to seize Lancelot, who escapes. Some of the knights go with Lancelot, others remain loyal to Arthur, and when Arthur and Gawain take an army to France against Lancelot, many good knights are killed on both sides. Some believe that when Anakin leaves the Jedi Knights; some of his Jedi friends leave with him to become Sith Lords. Mordred, left behind to rule England, siezes the crown and tries to also sieze Guinevere, who resists. Arthur returns to England, and in a great battle seeks out Mordred, killing him with a spear thrust. But the dying Mordred deals a mortal blow to Arthur. Sir Bedivere helps Arthur away to the waterside, and upon his instructions casts his sword into the lake. An arm comes out of the water to take the sword, and then disappears. The mortally wounded Arthur is then taken on a fairy barge and carried away to Avalon, the land of immortal heroes.

There is a tradition that Glastonbury was the Isle of Avalon. In 1191, the monks of Glastonbury unearthed an oak coffin from 16 feet underground, which they claimed to be Arthur's.

The inscription on a lead cross found within the coffin read Here lies buried the renowned King Arthur with Guinevere his second wife in the Isle of Avalon. It was said that written on his tomb was Here lies Arthur, the once and future king.

Some speculate that the Sequel Trilogy (Episodes 7, 8 and 9) focus of the story of Anakin Skywalker's return from death in order to help his son, Luke Skywalker, re-establish the Old Republic and the noble Jedi Knights. However, the story line to the Sequel Trilogy is known only to George Lucas at this point and is kept safely hidden away from prying eyes in his spiral notebooks.

And so they rowed from land, and Sir Bedivere beheld all those ladies go from him. Then Sir Bedivere cried: Ah my lord Arthur, what shall become of me, now you go from me and leave me here alone among mine enemies? Comfort thyself, said the king, and do as well as thou mayst, for in me is no trust for to trust in; for I will into the vale of Avilion to heal me of my grievous wound: and if thou hear never more of me, pray for my soul.
--Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur