Beyond the fact that Harry lives with an aunt and uncle who didn't think a lot of Harry's parents (Uncle Owen wasn't too fond of what happened to Anakin...) where do you make your comparisons?
Sorry you didn't like the movie. I was enthralled. Everyone I know who has seen it also loved it. If there's a shortcoming it's simply that, in a 2 1/2 hour movie, you can only include so much of the book. Which is why I would recommend anyone read the book before seeing the movie.
I'll bet we say the same thing about The Lord of the Rings.
Harry is sent to live with his Aunt and Uncle, because Lord Voldemort has allegedly killed his birth parents and made an attempt on his life. The "Star Wars" audience is, at first, led to believe that Luke's situation is almost identical.
Once you get past Luke's Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru and Father, Anakin Skywalker and possibly his mother allegedly being killed by Darth Vader the rest of the comparisons come pretty quickly.
I say allegedly because it's revealed in later movie episodes that Darth Vader is Luke's father and in later books, "Shadows of the Empire" for one, that an organized crime boss, Prince Xizor, actually killed Luke's Uncle and Aunt and will make many attempts on Luke's life.
Prince Xizor is trying to get even with both Darth Vader and the Emperor, for killing his family, by killing Darth Vader's son while framing Vader with, Luke's, his own son's murder and goading the Emperor into striking Vader down for a murder he didn't commit, but I digress.
Harry learns from strangers that he is "the" wizard just like Luke learns he is "the" jedi.
Harry must study the ways of the wizards and grow in skill and wisdom before he can face the ultimate, inevitable confrontation of Voldemort/Vader.
The messenger owls are the message delivered by C3PO R2D2.
Obiwan Kenobi's part is a combination of Hagrid's and Headmaster Dumbledore's. Although, because of a lack of character development, I doubt either one of them would have been missed 1/2 as much as Obiwan was, even if Voldemort had destroyed them both.
"Hedwig the Owl's" role in "Harry Potter" is then very similar to the further role of R2D2 and C3PO in "Star Wars".
Hermione =, for all intents and purposes, the cocksure and know-it-all, Princess Lea.
Ron = Han Solo with all of his smart-alecky remarks, but grudging respect and ultimate crush on Lea/Hermione. Ron/Solo the unlikely heroes that in the end save the day at the near sacrifice of their own lives.
Ron's rat = Chewbacca, but in a very undeveloped way.
Wand = Jedi light saber.
Nimbus 2000 = X-wing fighter.
"Norbert the Dragon", I haven't figured out, yet, why they banished him from the movie. I imagine it's because this literary "genius", JKR, banished him from the book. That's not a good enough reason.
If that dragon would have wound up sleeping on Harry's pillow and then made a cute attempt to burn Voldemort's behind, during the final confrontation, in a valiant effort to defend Harry, on that diminutive dragon's part, that dragon would have been on every child's pillow come Christmas morning. That was a multi-million dollar, losing decision. Heads should roll over that one.
The comparisons are endless, really.
I didn't catch a ghostly voice whispering for Harry to "trust the stone" or "trust the mirror" like Luke was urged to "trust the force", but I was nodding off by then.
If you're a big "Harry Potter" fan you have to be excited by the prospect of a new "Harry Potter" episode for every "Star Wars" book that's out there and there's alot.
I would have made it longer. I suspect the DVD will have some additional scenes.
I'm used to Masterpiece Theater adaptations of novels, which can easily go to six hours.
In the books, Harry goes to school, and much of the charm of the books is in the descriptions -- not of the content of witchcraft -- but of the personalities and methods of teachers. This is what's so fascinating to kids of all ages.