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  1. Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) has over 1200 never-before-seen candid Star Wars pictures and he's started posting them on twitter. Check it out! http://www.avclub.com/article/chewbacca-posted-a-bunch-of-candid-star-wars-set-p-106923
  2. Admin note: The first 2 1/2 pages of this thread were originally posted here. Like these ones?
  3. There it is. The Original Trilogy plus The Force Awakens, live to projection! http://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/explore/1718/star-wars
  4. Both trilogies serve as prequels to a far greater trilogy. Both have had more of a mixed reaction to their respective fanbases. And now it is up to you to decide; which trilogy is better, the Hobbit trilogy or the Star Wars prequel trilogy? Personally, my vote goes to the Hobbit trilogy. Despite the excessive CGI and visual effects, as well as the additional storylines and subplots, at least it feels as though it is from the same vein of movies as the LOTR trilogy. On the other hand, the Star Wars prequel trilogy completely sidelined the visual style and charm of the OT, resulting in a set of movies that have neither the humor, nostalgia, or feel of the original classic films. The Hobbit trilogy also has far superior acting. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Please vote in the poll above!
  5. Hello! If you've heard the Last Jedi OST album and would like to discuss the music on it, this the place! The original thread can still be used to talk about receiving your physical copy, differences between various editions, where to buy or stream it online, etc, but here, it's all about the music. Starting the thread now because I found this on youtube, and I haven't checked yet to see if its real or fake.
  6. The soundtracks for the Star Wars movies by John Williams contain many different releases, such as the OSTs, Expanded Releases, FYC releases, etc. I'm just curious about what releases everyone uses to listen to, and how customly modified it is?
  7. I originally got all my Star Wars music from the public library and listened to it off of their CDs for a while. The problem is, the library only had the 1997 Special Edition soundtrack releases for the Original Trilogy, but the Prequel and Sequel soundtracks were the highly edited versions that are widely used. I enjoy having all the extra music in the Special Editions, but it bothers me that a 3rd of my Star Wars music is more expanded on than the rest. I've gotten used to the longer, edited versions of the Prequel and Sequel soundtracks, and to the more complete versions of the OT Special Editions. So should I make the downgrade to the originally released OT soundtracks for consistency, or should I fix the rest of my music to be more complete? (this would be a pain especially with the sequels, ESPECIALLY with TROS).
  8. The trilogy that forever shattered a fanbase in two. The trilogy that, arguably, scarred the reputation of one of Hollywood's greatest storytellers. The trilogy that, whatever its shortcomings may be, features some of the most badass music John Williams has ever composed. Which film and score do you prefer from the divisive Star Wars prequel trilogy?
  9. Today during Lucasfilm's Studio Showcase at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced that three new live-action Star Wars films are on the way Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s film will be set after the events of Rise of Skywalker, and feature Daisy Ridley back as Rey as she builds a new Jedi Order. https://www.starwars.com/news/swce-2023-new-star-wars-films The news was revealed Friday morning at the Star Wars Celebration in London, which saw a guest appearance from Ridley. Her movie from Obaid-Chinoy, penned by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, will be set after the events of her previous movie in the franchise, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, and as she builds a new Jedi Order. Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson were previously attached to the project. https://deadline.com/2023/04/daisy-ridley-reprising-rey-in-sharmeen-obaid-chinoy-steven-knight-star-wars-movie-star-wars-celebration-1235319893/
  10. Well, it's here, we finally have Episode 9's OST, and that also means we have (for the time being) our final end credits/finale from Star Wars. Rank away: 1. The Rebel Fleet/End Title 2. The Throne Room/End Title 3. Augie's Great Municipal Band and End Credits 4. A New Hope and End Credits 5. The Jedi Steps / Finale 6. Victory Celebration/End Title 7. Finale (TROS) 8. Confrontation with Count Dooku and Finale 9. Finale (TLJ)
  11. There are a lot of nerdy things that I can go on about at length. This is certainly one of them. I don't remember what the magazine was where I saw an ad for this box. Starlog? The Star Wars fan club? It was NOT a prominent ad. But... What the hell was this? The description was... Vague? I wish I still had a copy of it. There had to be something that made me drop everything I was doing (probably not much) and drive to the music store. ( @Yavar Moradi do you remember Hastings in Prescott?) And they had it. I remember my jaw dropping and staying there when I read the contents. Final Duel. Everything from the 2 LP Empire. The second Cantina song. It's still the prettiest collection I own, IMHO. The Blue Box and the Star Trek TOS box come close. I think it's the larger format book that puts it over the top. The notes are wonderful. And you can't go wrong with Star Wars OT pictures and art. I still love the black disc covers with the nearly black logos on them. And the three discs with McQuarrie art and the fourth with Williams. It's sitting to my immediate right, next to the Blue Box. I know we have a bunch of old timers like me around here. You understand. You probably have your own memories about this box. Do share! For you youngsters: You have no idea. Not just in terms of Star Wars, but even in terms of expansions like this just weren't done back then. This might not have been the first but it had to have been close. We kind of take it for granted that if we just hold out long enough that eventually one of the THREE or FOUR specialty labels will crack the arrangements and we'll get Star Trek, or Harry Potter, or even something like Lord of the Rings that comes out expanded / complete almost out of the gate. I love the SE disks. And I still listen to the original LP programs regularly. But I can't think of any soundtrack release (yes, even including the Star Trek discs) that had the emotional high that this box did. It still kind of does! Thirty years. Amazing. A long time ago....
  12. Star Wars Announces New Films Including Dawn of the Jedi from Logan Director Lucasfilm announces a slew of new Star Wars movies, including Dawn of the Jedi which will be helmed by Logan director James Mangold. A bevy of new Star Wars movies are in production. Announced as a part of Star Wars Celebration 2023, the trio of movies will span a time period of 5000 years, stretching across multiple eras of the galaxy far, far away. While details are still slim, one of these is already titled Dawn of the Jedi and will be directed by James Mangold. While a specific release date has yet to be revealed, Lucasfilm confirmed it was aiming for a December 2025. https://www.cbr.com/star-wars-new-films-dawn-of-the-jedi-james-magold/ Kewl
  13. An anonymous tipster has sent JWFan some information that I can share with you now! The information is a list of cues that appeared in a cut of the film dated November 11th, 2019. Remember, the final day of recording sessions didn't happen until November 21st, and even by this cut some of the cues JW had written had already been dropped or replaced, so consider this a PARTIAL cue list: 1M01 Main Title 1M022 The Ninth Beginning 1M05 Rey Trains 1M06 Ren's Entrance 1M08 Approaching The Nursery 1M09 Rey Wakes Up 1M13 Tell Me What They Are 1M15 Vader's Castle 1M20 Rey Training 1M24 Meditation 1M26 Spy's Message 1M26 Lightspeed Skipping 2M01 Cockpit Dialog 2M02 Fixing The Helmet 2M03 The Wisdom of Maz 2M04 The Emperor Lives 2M06 The Medal 2M07 Ship Trip 2M20 The Forge 2M30 Rey's Mission 2M32 Quicksand 0M01 Children's School 3M00 Lando 3M01 Before The Chase 3M03 No Title 3M06 Knights of Ren 3M07 Ochi and the Dagger 4M01 Rey Senses Ren's Approach 4M02 Rey's Incredible Hand 4M04 Zucini? 4M05 To The End 4M05B Good Ship, Bad Ship 4M06 He Won't Remember 4M07 Rey's Grief 4M10 Red Eyes 4M11 Poe and Girlfriend 4M12 Ship Walk and Talk 5M01 Meddling and Poe's Crush 5M03 Hallway Shooting 5M05 Rey Sees Mother 5M06 Hard To Get Rid Of 5M07 I'm The Spy 5M08 Geneology 5M10 Landing At ? 5M12 Off The Waterfront 5M30 Under a Blanket 6M02 Rey Climbs Pipes 6M02A Climbing 6M04 Daisy In A Veil 6M05 Leia Lies Down 6M07 Stop and Start 6M08 Healing Wounds 6M12 Six Twelve 6M13 Rey's Trip To P 6M20 Sabre Toss 7M01 Seven One 7M02 Rey Meets Luke 7M03 Luke's Advice 7M04 The Meeting 7M05 March Of The Resistance 7M08 Father Knows Best 7M10 Leia's Sabre 7M12 Seven Twelve 7M12A Horses #2 7M20 Approaching The Throne 7M21 Parents 7M30 More Action 7M32 Make The Sacrifice 7M36 Dunkirk 7M38 I Am All The Sith 8M04 Psalm of the Sith 8M05 Jumping The Chain 8M07 Big Ship Blows Up 8M08 On Their Knees 8M10 Success and Sliding 8M11A Dropping The Sabre 8M14 Ben to Rey 8M15 Horn Solo 8M16 End Credits 9M03 Bows 9M05ALT Return to Tattooine The list also contains the two source pieces not composed by Williams: 2S35 JJ Festival Music 3S35 JJ Bar Source As well as the cue names from prior scores that were tracked into this cut: 13M2 from Ep.6 Vader's Death 7M03 from Ep.3 The Birth of the Twins 7M05 from Ep.3 Plans for the Twins 3M26R from Ep.7 You're Han Solo? 4M36R from Ep.7 I Ran Into You 5M46R from Ep.7 Kylo Stalks Rey 6M50R from Ep.7 Han and Leia Reunion 6M55R from Ep.7 Council Meeting 6M56E from Ep.7 Ren In Cockpit 8M77 from Ep.7 March Of The Resistance 4M36 from Ep.8 Luke and Rey UPDATE: Additional cue titles found in GEMA Repertoire: Chewie's Interrogation Emperor's Attack Emperor's Theme V3 Falcon's Last Trip Filial Fencing Hero Fight It Fits! Kylo's Theme Lido Hey [JJ Abrams/Lin-Manuel Miranda] More Maz Name That Tune Poe's Theme Ready to Be a Jedi Rey and Ren Rey's Training The Crowd Joins In The Dunkirk Shot The Feeling The Last Fight The Millennium Falcon Theme The Resistance Theme Through the Jungle Tunnel Monster Uncharted Territory Wayfinder Insert
  14. So, this is our next Star Wars film. Who do you guys think might score it?
  15. Ahsoka Tano Disney Plus Series Adds Mary Elizabeth Winstead Jay approves
  16. For those of you who want to discuss spoilers, do so here. Don't post any spoilers into the old TROS thread at all. Thank you!
  17. So by my calculations, there's almost 45 minutes of unreleased music heard in the final film, though it's still unclear how much of that is old recordings tracked in... (Apologies to mobile phone users, this chart only looks right on a desktop or tablet.... if you are on mobile, turning your phone sideways helps somewhat) # Title Length On FYC? Length On OST? Length Unreleased 1 Main Title 1:26 01A [0:00-1:26] Fanfare and Prologue 1:26 2 Prologue 1 0:12 tracked in from TFA's "Starry Night" 0:38 01A [0:00-0:36] Prologue 0:36 02B [1:02-1:40] Journey to Exegol 0:38 0:20 01A [0:36-0:56] Prologue 0:20 02D [2:13-2:33] Journey to Exegol 0:20 0:32 01B [0:56-1:28] Prologue 0:32 0:10 01C [1:28-1:37] Prologue 0:09 01C [1:45-1:52] Fanfare and Prologue 0:07 0:08 01D [1:37-end] Prologue 0:08 3 Prologue 2 0:13 0:13 0:06 01E [2:52-2:58] Fanfare and Prologue 0:06 0:34 0:34 4 Prologue 3 0:06 0:06 0:17 02C [1:56-2:13] Journey to Exegol 0:17 0:53 0:53 5 Falcon Flight 2:22 02 Falcon Flight 2:22 6 The Training Course 2:10 2:10 7 Rey and Leia 0:49 0:49 8 Intel 1:58 1:58 9 We Go Together 2:33 03 We Go Together 2:10 09A [0:00-2:33] We Go Together 2:33 10 Helmet 1:17 1:17 11 Scavenger Hunt 0:09 0:09 12 Arrival on Pasaana 0:44 09B [2:33-end] We Go Together 0:44 SOURCE MUSIC 1:05 13 Rey and Nyambee 1:01 1:01 14 It's Ren 1:39 1:39 15 Wayfinder 0:56 0:56 16 The Speeder Chase 2:39 OST 05 The Speeder Chase is unused 2:39 17 Underground 0:32 0:32 18 Sith Dagger 1:16 1:16 19 Snake 0:19 0:19 20 Healing The Snake 1:19 1:19 21 The Knights of Ren 0:21 0:21 22 In The Desert 2:26 04 In the Desert 2:26 23 Transporter 1:04 1:04 24 We Gotta Go 0:24 0:24 25 A Prisoner 1:23 05 A Prisoner 1:23 26 To Kijimi 1:37 06 To Kimiji 1:37 27 Zorii Bliss 0:48 0:48 28 I Care 1:04 1:04 SOURCE MUSIC 0:49 29 My Friends 0:49 0:49 30 Report 0:18 0:18 31 Nobody Came 1:01 1:01 32 Incoming Destroyer 1:36 1:36 33 Fleeing from Kijimi 1:53 07 Fleeing from Kimiji 1:53 08A [0:00-1:33] Fleeing from Kijimi 1:33 34 Hallway Shooting 2:11 08 Hallway Shooting 2:11 35 Ren's Quarters 0:44 0:44 36 Hard to Get Rid Of 2:19 09 Hard to Get Rid Of 2:19 37 Lock Down The Ship 0:06 0:06 38 I'm The Spy 1:27 08C [1:33-end] Fleeing from Kijimi 1:18 0:20 39 Join Me 3:42 10 Join Me 2:21 10 Join Me 3:42 40 We Found Our Spy 0:21 0:21 41 I Know You 1:02 1:02 42 The Old Death Star 2:14 11 The Old Death Star 2:14 04A [0:00-1:22] The Old Death Star 1:22 43 Finn and Jannah 0:49 Could be partially "Finn's Confession" from TFA tracked in 0:49 44 Off The Waterfront 1:03 12 Off the Waterfront 1:03 04C [2:21-end] The Old Death Star 0:55 45 Another Skimmer 0:31 0:31 46 Rey Explores 1:11 "Darth Vader's Death" from ROTJ partially tracked in 1:11 47 Light Saber Duel 0:30 0:30 48 Saber Duel Continues 1:18 1:18 49 Final Saber Duel 1:38 13 Final Saber Duel 1:38 12A [0:00-1:05] The Final Saber Duel 1:05 50 Healing Wounds 2:54 14 Healing Wounds 2:49 12C [1:42-end] The Final Saber Duel 2:15 51 Advice 1:54 15 Advice 1:54 52 The Destruction of Kijimi 1:23 1:23 53 Poe and Leia 2:07 2:07 54 Destiny of a Jedi 5:12 06 Destiny of a Jedi 5:12 55 Luke's X-WIng 1:18 1:18 56 They Will Come 1:29 11B [0:57-end] They Will Come 1:54 57 Arrival at Exegol 1:18 This seems to actually be the intended placement of Journey To Exegol ??? 1:18 58 Rey To Throne Room 0:40 0:40 59 Battle of the Resistance 1:54 16 Battle of the Resistance 1:54 13B [1:12-end] Battle of the Resistance 1:39 60 Approaching The Throne 4:16 17 Approaching the Throne 4:16 14 Approaching the Throne 4:16 61 Parents 1:57 18 Parents 1:57 62 Coming Together 1:44 19 Coming Together 1:44 63 Rey & Ren Team Up 1:00 1:00 64 The One True Emperor 0:19 0:19 65 Too Many of Them 0:30 0:30 66 Lando Arrives 1:24 1:24 67 The Return of the Sith 0:58 0:58 68 Seeing Sights 3:17 20 Seeing Sights 3:17 15A [0:00-3:02] The Force Is with You 3:02 69 Destruction 0:49 At least partially "Peace and Purpose" from TLJ tracked in 0:28 70 Rescue 1:10 21 Rescue 1:10 15B [3:02-end] The Force Is with You 0:57 71 Rey's Death 0:48 16A [0:00-0:48] Farewell 0:48 72 Farewell 4:27 22 Farewell 4:27 16B [0:48-end] Farewell 4:26 73 Reunion 4:04 17 Reunion 4:04 74 A New Home 1:47 23 A New Home 1:42 18 A New Home 1:47 75 Finale 10:51 19 Finale 10:51 Total Unreleased Music: 0:43:32 There's a ton of music on the OST not heard in the film at all... besides little portions snipped out of cues that did make the film, we have: 01B [1:26-1:45] Fanfare and Prologue 0:00:26 replaced by Starry Night from TFA 01D [1:52-2:52] Fanfare and Prologue 0:01:00 01F [2:58-end] Fanfare and Prologue 1:16:00 02A [0:00-1:02] Journey to Exegol 0:01:02 I think this is actually partially heard as Rey arrives later in the film, hard to hear under sound effects 02C [2:33-end] Journey to Exegol 0:00:16 05 The Speeder Chase 0:03:21 replaced in final cut with new, much less interesting cue 04B [1:19-2:21] The Old Death Star 0:01:01 could be an early version of the trio meeting Jannah's crew? Or some of that and some of an early version of Finn talking to Jannah? 12B [1:05-1:42] The Final Saber Duel 0:00:37 could be an early version of the opening to Healing Wounds? 11A [0:00-0:57] They Will Come 0:00:57 could be an early version of the resistance discovering Rey's message coming from Luke's X-Wing? 13A [0:00-1:12] Battle of the Resistance 0:01:12 could be deleted final space battle footage? Or a special album-only opening? ~ Original main post: In this thread you can discuss the entire score, as heard in the film itself, the OST, the FYC, or anywhere else, without using spoiler tags. Of course, in the early days here, you can certain put very spoiler-y things in tags for the time being. The point of this thread is so those people who want to discuss the OST album without reading anything about the film can stay in that thread, and only come in here after they've seen the film. @Thor, feel free to copy and paste the paragraph you just posted about the score in the film thread into this thread too
  18. George Lucas finally releases his narrow art film, a six hour tome about belly button lint, and to everyone's surprise it's a gigantic success. He's now in a position to buy back Lucasfilm, including the Star Wars and Indy rights, and hires you to assess whether it's a good idea. What's your verdict?
  19. The little bits I shared of my insights into this seemed to sit well with the community, so I decided why not make an article of this? This article will deal primarily with the antecedents and sources of the Star Wars series. Of course, if one so wished, one could read absolutely anything and everything into it, look no further than Vincent Canby's review of the original film: "Quo Vadis?, Buck Rogers, Ivanhoe, Superman, The Wizard of Oz, The Gospel According to St Matthew, the legends of King Arthur." Likewise, one could look into the sources of Lucas' sources, and through Burroughs link Lucas up with Arabian Nights and, through Kurosawa, to Minamoto Yoshitsune. But what are the actual, direct and concrete inspirations of Star Wars? George Lucas, himself, of course, had since March 1980 pointed increasingly towars high-brow sources like Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Sir James Fraser's The Golden Bough.1 But what are the influences we can actually observe through the movie and its evolving drafts (and Williams' score)? And how do they stack up against each other? My own research suggests Lucas' sources (roughly by descending order of significance) are EE Smith's novella Galactic Patrol, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom book series (and at least one recent comic adaptation of it); The Flash Gordon serials; Donald Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa. Ontop of those is a series of secondary sources, in no particular order, including Frank Herbert's Dune, JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, illustrations on issues of Analog Science Fiction and Harry Harrison novellas; films from Dam Busters and The Searchers to A Space Odyssey and Casablanca. A book on the psychiatric importance of fairytales by Bruno Bettelheim, and a review on Psychology Today of Star Wars itself from 1978. Galactic Patrol (1937) The most major source for the Star Wars series is not Flash Gordon and certainly not Kurosawa or Joseph Campbell: its a 1937 pulp novella by "Doc" EE Smith called "Galactic Patrol", part of his Lensmen series, which Lucas' biography Skywalking credits him with reading. Indeed, Lucas owns a paperback of the popular Panther edition, which was out in 1972, just in time to be referenced in his very earliest notes for the films.2 Around 28 January 1973, Lucas started sketching (and soon abandoned) a synopsis for "The Journal of the Whills", and concomitant lists of character and planet names. Most of his reading of pulps seems to have been concentrated at the time leading right up to the writing of this document, while editing American Graffiti. Already in this early document, the interstellar setting and the names Aldeeran (Aldebaran in Smith) and Skywalker (Skylark in Smith) are appearant as influences.3 Before Lucas got to the finished shooting script, his intermediate drafts also feature a food called Thanta (in Smith, a drug called Thionite); a space academy with cadets; a planet named "Tantive four" (Rigel IV in Smith). More importantly, a character is introduced who's more machine than man: first, it was the Jedi Kane, then Ben Kenobi, then (in post-production) Vader, and briefly even Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kane laments that "There is nothing left but my head and right arm" while in Smith, the space commandant's ""right leg and left arm, although practically normal to all outward seeming, were in reality largely products of science."4 Even more importantly, the republic gradually emerges as a clear port of Smith's "Civilization" and its "Galactic Senate." Lucas' draft describes that “As the Republic spread throughout the galaxy, encompassing over a million worlds, the GREAT SENATE grew to such overwhelming proportions that it no longer responded to the needs of its citizens” and that the senators “slowed down the system of justice, which caused the crime rate to rise.” Compare with Smith: “with the invention of the inertialess drive and the consequent traffic between the worlds of hundreds of thousands of solar systems, crime became so rampant, so utterly uncontrollable, that it threatened the very foundations of civilization.”5 Most importantly, the Jedi gradually emerge as interstellar policemen (like Smith's Lensmen) who harnass the power of the Kiber Crystal (Smith's Arisian lenses) to use The Cosmic Force (Smith's "Cosmic All") and fight the space pirates who wield the "Bogan" force (Boskone pirates in Smith). Even the new title “Adventures of the Starkiller (Episode One)”, while it has a Burroughs flavour, is closest to Smith’s: “A Lensman adventure: Third in the great series.” This concept was rejected in later drafts - neither Luke nor the Jedi are depicted as superheroes in the finished film - but it starts creeping back into the sequels and prequels (including a discarded sequel plot released as the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which features the crystal, now renamed Kaibur to denote Excalibur), along with more of Smith's nomenclature: Smith's eighth chapter is called "The Quarry Strikes Back." The Force was still called "The Cosmic Force" in the shooting script, and Lucas kept referring to it as such as late as 2019, and the microscopic lenses are also the antecedents of the later idea of the Midichlorians. The Lensmen being the product of a breeding program (much of its eon-spanning history is described in prequels of Smith's) feels like the germ of the idea of the "Clone Wars" and perhaps even Anakin's immaculate birth.6 Beyond that, what mostly remained is a tremendous amount of Smith's plot: Smith's hero, Kimbal Kinnison, flies the fastest ship in the fleet, The Britannia, which the hero uses the blast off into the fourth dimension to evade his pursuers. When they finally do catch him in a tractor beam, he passes the ship for scrap (also used in The Empire Strikes Back). Early on, he infilitrates the enemy's ranks and steals data spools about "The Grand Base", escapes the premises in a space lifeboat with just another Lensman to keep him company before landing on a desolate planet. Spending his free time sensing a remote while his blast shield is down (a plot point recycled in early drafts of The Empire Strikes Back, in the training of the Younglings in Episode II, and in concept art drawn for Lucas for Episode VII, as well), he at one point is wounded and his limbs replaced by artificial ones. While hospitalised, he bickers with his love interest, whom he later has to rescue from her pirate kidnappers.7 Barsoom (1917-) The second source is still not Flash Gordon: its Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series. While Lucas was shooting American Graffiti, DC (a childhood favourite of Lucas) started adapting John Carter's adventures. This strip was continued along with several other Burroughs stories, including his ever-popular Tarzan, in DC's Weird Worlds, just after Lucas wrapped-up principal photography. Lucas could scarcely have missed that Buster Crabbe who played Flash and Buck also played Tarzan, and at some later time he discovered that both Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were inspired by these stories. Already a fan of the illustrations of Burroughs illustrators Harold "Hal" Foster and Frank Frazetta - Lucas soon began collecting Frazetta originals, which remain in his possession to this day - he seems to have acquired the Frazetta-illustrated reissues of A Fighting Man of Mars (1973), The Moon Maid (1974, seen in the picture above) and possibly the omnibus of The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars (1971). In the 1980s, Lucas had Frazetta illustration of Burroughs' "The Rider" hanging in his office.8 Beginning in 1977, Lucas repeatedly said his film is in the genre of "Burroughs and Heinlein", that he wanted to "make a space fantasy that was more in the genre of Edgar Rice Burroughs,” that Alex Raymond "took his character from Edgar Rice Burroughs", that he wanted to perpetuate genre trappings that were laid down “primarily by Edgar Rice Burroughs.” Even more damingly, when he was first developing the film, he told Joseph Gelmis that he was working on a low budget space opera "in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs." His earliest interviews speak of his film as a "Western set in outer space" and a film where "the space aliens are the heroes, and the homo sapiens naturally the villains", which sounds an awful lot like Barsoom. In fact, his third draft synopsis - the first true version of the film as we know it - is actually prefaced as being "in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars, and Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon."9 Lucas at least parsed through these books, because he clearly wrote "The Journal of the Whills" with Burroughs on his table, being that it basically amounts to a paraphrase on the opening of Burroughs' A Fighting Man of Mars: 10 George Lucas, The Journal of the Whills, February 1973 Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Fighting Man of Mars, May 1931. This is the story of Mace Windy, a revered Jedi-bendu of Ophuchi, as related to us by C.J. Thorpe, padawaan learner to the famed Jedi. I am Chuiee Two Thorpe of Kissel. My father is Han Dardell Thorpe, chief pilot of the renown galactic cruiser Tarnack. As a family we were not rich, except in honor, and valuing this above all mundane possessions, I chose the profession of my father, rather than a more profitable career. I was 16 I believe, and pilot of the trawler Balmung, when my ambitions demanded that I enter the exalted Intersystems Academy to train as a potential Jedi-Templer. It is here that I became padawaan learner to the great Mace Windy, highest of all the Jedi-bendu masters, and at that time, Warlord to the Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Systems. Never shall I forget the occasion upon which I first set eyes upon Mace Windy. It was at the great feast of the Pleabs. There were gathered under one roof, the most powerful warriors in the Galaxy, and although I realize my adoration of the Master might easily influence my memory, when he entered the hall, these great and noble Warlords fell silent. It was said he was the most gifted and powerful man in the Independent Systems. Some felt he was even more powerful than the Imperial leader of the Galactic Empire. This IS the story of Hadron of Hastor, Fighting Man of Mars, as narrated by him to Ulysses Paxton: I am Tan Hadron of Hastor, my father is Had Urtur, Odwar of the 1st Umak of the Troops of Hastor. He commands the largest ship of war that Hastor has ever contributed to the navy of Helium, accommodating as it does the entire ten thousand men of the 1st Umak, together with five hundred lesser fighting ships and all the paraphernalia of war. My mother is a princess of Gathol. As a family we are not rich except in honor, and, valuing this above all mundane possessions, I chose the profession of my father rather than a more profitable career. The better to further my ambition I came to the capital of the empire of Helium and took service in the troops of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, that I might be nearer the great John Carter, Warlord of Mars. [...] It was thus that I met Sanoma Tora, daughter of Tor Hatan, Odwar of the 91st Umak. [...] because here in the capital of Helium riches count for more than they do in Hastor, Tor Hatan is a powerful man, whose influence reaches even to the throne of the Jeddak. Never shall I forget the occasion upon which I first laid eyes upon Sanoma Tora. It was upon the occasion of a great feast at the marble palace of The Warlord. There were gathered under one roof the most beautiful women of Barsoom, where, notwithstanding the gorgeous and radiant beauty of Dejah Thoris, Tara of Helium and Thuvia of Ptarth, the pulchritude of Sanoma Tora was such as to arrest attention. I shall not say that it was greater than that of those acknowledged queens of Barsoomian loveliness, for I know that my adoration of Sanoma Tora might easily influence my judgment, but there were others there who remarked her gorgeous beauty which differs from that of Dejah Thoris as the chaste beauty of a polar landscape differs from the beauty of the tropics, as the beauty of a white palace in the moonlight differs from the beauty of its garden at midday. This draft is incomplete, but based on later drafts and the effort Lucas put into certain names on his lists of character and planet names, there's reason to belive the story was to revolve around rescuing a princess (a stock Burroughs plot) on the desert planet Aquilae (i.e. Barsoom), inhabited by the "Hubble" people led by Han Solo (i.e. the Green Martians led by Tars Tarkas) and the Bebers (i.e. red martians) led by "Lord" Annikin (i.e. "Jeddak" Tardos Mors) and Luke Skywalker (his son, Mors Kajak) and culminating in a Flash Gordon-esque space battle. Even the device of the "Journal of the Whills" through which the story is supposedly relayed to us, is a paraphrase on "The Girdley Wave" of Burroughs. Furthermore, whereas John Carter (like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and Smith's Kimbal Kinnison) is from earth, Tar Hadron, the hero of Fighting Man of Mars, is a native of the red planet. Its therefore from here that Lucas decided not to set his space adventure on earth to begin with. A lot of the nomenclature derives from Burroughs: "padawaan" here (and, later, Condawan and Obi-Wan) from "Padwar", and "Jedi" from "Jed" and "Jeddak." Wookiees first appear here, clearly based both on the White Apes and Frazetta's "The savage apes of Mars," covering the dust jacket of the 1971 omnibus. Indeed, Lucas' first full-length story treatment was attached with several illustrations, one of which was the cover to a 1970 English paperback of John Carter of Mars: While writing his first proper draft, Lucas seems to have read Burroughs' original, A Princess of Mars. The resulting rough draft/first draft is the closest to Barsoom, with princess Leia clearly based on Dejah Thoris (the heroes even have to rescue her from implicit rape by alien "trappers" like Carter does Thoris countless times) and the "green" Han Solo on Tars Tarkas. Even Chewbacca could be said to be like Woola, a Barsoomian hound. More importantly, Tatooine itself is a straight port of Barsoom: a desert planet with run-down earthen cities, the origin of Tatooine's "lived in" aesthetic. The twin suns, especially, are a play on Barsoom's twin moons. The Second Draft starts with an epigraph lifted from Weird Worlds, from right after they wrapped the John Carter story: "And in the time of greatest despair there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as: THE SON OF THE SUNS" compared to “And in time of greatest danger there shall come a hero.” Likewise, the draft ends with a text crawl for a sequel about finding a princess: Lucas' concept of, at that point, an episodic series of adventures, is also close to the adventures of John Carter and Kimbal Kinnison.11 The Thoats, Burroughs' beasts of burden, are clearly the forebearers of the Dewbacks and the Banthas: in fact, as Lucas' biography openly admits, Banth is a term from A Warlord of Mars describing a many-legged alien feline, which ultimately was pretty much lifted for Episode II's arena battle. In a conference with Lucasfilm's Carol Titelman in 1977, Lucas imagined many-legged girafees, also clearly based on Burroughs' knack for giving his alien bestiary multiple limbs. Sith, too, is a term from Burroughs', referring to giant insects. Lucas had wanted to feature flying steeds, like Burroughs' Malagor, in every entry beginning with The Empire Strikes Back before finally appearing on Kamino in Episode II and on Utapau (alongside Ornathopters from Dune) in Episode III, and they probably influenced the flying creatures glimpsed on Dagobah and Naboo, as well as the Mynocks and perhaps even Watto.12 This first draft was the basis for the screenplay to The Phantom Menace, and so the situation between the Naboo and Gungans is clearly based on the dichotomy that Lucas' took from Burroughs between the Red and Green martians, with the Gungans and especially Jar Jar and Boss Nass based on Tars Tarkas. Furthermore, an entire episode of the rough draft calls for Kane to defeat a Wookie chieftan in combat, earn the tribe's allegiance and lead them to an offensive against the Empire, is obviously the progenitor of both the Ewok storyline in Return of the Jedi and the Gungan storyline in The Phantom Menace, and its lifted directly from Burroughs, where Carter earns the allegiance of the Tharks and leads them to an attack against Helium.13 While Jar Jar's role was clearly cut short due to scathing fan reaction, Burroughs' influence persists, with Geonosis based even more closely on Barsoom that Tatooine was, replete with an arena battle and an attack of insect creatures (also used in an early draft of Willow). The entire Jabba "short" in Return of the Jedi is in the style of Frazetta, Lucas' favourite Burroughs illustrator, with Slave Leia the spitting image of his illustrations of Thoris, and Jabba's sail barge a dead ringer for a Barsoomian light ship.14 Flash Gordon (1936-1940) Lucas was influenced by the Flash Gordon comics: The design for the Landspeeder, for example, was from a contemporary strip. He could have seen the 1955 Flash Gordon TV series, later edited into a film, which took place in the 33rd century, the setting of Lucas' first story treatment for the film. But he was mostly influenced by the serials, which were still globally popular with kids on local TV programming going into the 1980s. Lucas remembers first seeing them circa 1956 on "Adventure Theater" airing at 6 on KRON, but that programme didn't air on KRON until 1960, and played at 2:30. Rather, its more likely he saw it, retitled as "Space Soldiers", on “Super Serial”, reportedly the top-rated show for that time slot in the central valley area, which aired at 6 on KTVU.15 Although Lucas later denied to Charlie Rose that he wanted to make Flash Gordon at all, insisting that Star Wars emerged as an original concept dating back to his days in community college, in 1977 he was empathic that he wanted "to make Flash Gordon, with all the trimmings." After the failure of THX-1138, he had inquired Universal only to find out the rights reverted back to King Features. When he visited Coppola's Godfather shoot en route to Cannes, he clearly intended to visit King Features ahead of a meeting with United Artists, so he could pitch them Flash Gordon as a two-picture deal with American Graffiti, in which they showed interest. However, with producer Dino Di Laurentiis attached to the rights (and eying bigger fish to direct), and Universal retaining the rights to the serials themselves, the financial and creative conditions were too stringent, and when he was turned down, he decided to make an original space opera instead.16 In terms of influence, however, there's little in Star Wars that's concretely Flash Gordon-like (and even less, if anything at all, like Buck Rogers). The wipe transitions are out of Flash Gordon, and the ramshackled visuals, created from shooting on sets and with props and music (more on this later) from other films shooting on the studio backlot with mostly unknown actors, are a precedent to Star Wars "Kitbashed" approach. Even the fact that Universal produced a trilogy of Flash Gordon serials had obviously helped make Lucas fond of the trilogy format, and for a while he considered making Star Wars a twelve-parter, like the individual serials. Perhaps the clearest influence is in some of the environments - Cloud City, Hoth and the underwater Gungan city (replete with a manta-ray submarine and a fight with a water monster) - most of which don't appear in the saga for very long. Mongo also had a woodland environment in the guise of Arboria, but then so did Barsoom.17 Likewise, the main characters have little in common with their serial counterparts. Luke is far too much of an underdog to be equated to the muscular, superhero of Flash, and Leia is not reconisably like Dale Arden. Guinness' wizard-like Ben is not at all like Zarkov. However, the Rebel Alliance has some antecedents in Flash's attempts to rouse the inhabitants of Mongo against the tyrannical Ming, who in turn is a little bit akin to both Tarkin and the Emperor. Of the three Flash serials, the most influential seems to have been Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, which featured Queen Fria (who had buns in her hair) and was the only Flash Gordon serial (notwithstanding a previous Buck Rogers serial) with a text crawl in the style of Lucas' film.18 The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1966) Beginning March 1980, Lucas started pointing towards more high-brow sources for his film, and donwplay its sources in pulps: I quoted many instances from 1977 when Lucas cited John Carter, and one can make a similar list of him referring to Flash Gordon, and his biography also mentions Lensmen, Dune and films like Forbidden Planet. However, after 1980, many of these sources are scarcely mentioned again. Instead, Lucas turned rhetorically towards high-brow scholarly sources (see below) and towards sources that hold some catchet with cineastes, like the films of Akira Kurosawa.19 The title I chose for this fourth influence is a the title of Donald Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa. The Kurosawa film that Star Wars has most in common with is, of course, The Hidden Fortress. But that movie is actually not one of Lucas' favourites and was not a popular succes in the US at the time, in which it was presented with heavy cuts. To recall the plot in sufficient detail, Lucas had written his synopsis with Richie's book, reissued in 1970, open on his desk. Also taken from Richie's book are a few beats from Yojimbo and Sanjuro. The recurring imagery of severed hands has its genesis in Kurosawa's Yojimbo.20 Donald Richie, The Films of Akira Kurosawa, 1965 George Lucas, The Star Wars: Synopsis It is the sixteenth century, a period of civil wars. A princess, with her family, her retainers, and the clan treasure is being pursued. If they can cross enemy territory and reach a friendly province they will be saved. The enemy knows this and posts a reward for the capture of the princess. She is being guarded by one of her generals and it is he who leads her on the long and dangerous journey that follows. They take along with them the sixteen hundred pounds of gold and also two farmers whom the general has captured. The farmers' accidentally discovering the gold (accompanied by percussive and Noh-like sounds on the sound-track) is the first indication, and Mifune's splendid entrance is another. They are rummaging around the rocks, pushing and pulling each other, each trying to find the next piece. [...] The princess, just like Yoshitsune, is disguised as a porter [...] ... and the farmers would have been comic relief, inserted among the general seriousness. [...] The setting is a narrow road in the forest. [...] Mifune cannot curb his horse in time; we have hardly time to see what has happened when the momentum both of horse and of camera movement, carries him directly into the enemies' hands. [...] At the end—as at the end of the Noh play— she is revealed as her goddess-like self. The farmers, like the porter in They Who Step on the Tiger's Tail come to realize that they have been adventuring with demigods. [...in Sanjuro] The young men laugh with relief, anticipation. Laughter continues and they look around in consternation for none of them are laughing. Out of the inner sanctuary ambles Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune), yawning, scratching himself, thumping his shoulders, stiff with sleep. The youngsters reach for their swords. He barely glances at them. The contrast between the spick-and-span boy-samurai with their terse nods, their meaningful glances, and Sanjuro, a real samurai, a real man, could not be greater. [...in Yojimo] Snick-snack—the sword is out, an arm lies on the ground, one of the men lies doubled, cleft from chin to groin, and Mifune is with quiet dignity replacing his sword in its sheath. It is the thirty-third century, a period of civil wars in the galaxy. A rebel princess, with her family, her retainers, and the clan treasure, is being pursued. If they can cross territory controlled by the Empire and reach a friendly planet, they will be saved. The Sovereign knows this, and posts a reward for the capture of the princess. She is being guarded by one of her generals, (Luke Skywalker) and it is he who leads her on the long and dangerous journey that follows. They take along with them two hundred pounds of the greatly treasured "aura spice", and also two Imperial bureaucrats, whom the general has captured. The two terrified, bickering bureaucrats crash land on Aquilae while trying to flee the battle of the space fortress. They accidently discover a small container of the priceless "aura spice" and are rummaging around the rocks pushing and pulling each other trying to find more... [...] The princess and the general are disguised as farmers [...] The two bureaucrats are essentially comic relief inserted among the general seriousness of the adventure. [...] Skywalker and his party race along a narrow pathway [...] Skywalker cannot curb his "jet-stick" in time and the momentum carries him directly into the enemies' hands. [...] The princess’ uncle, ruler of Ophuchi, rewards the bureaucrats, who for the first time see the princess revealed as her true goddess-like self... After the ceremony is over, and the festivities have ended, the drunken bureaucrats stagger down an empty street arm in arm realizing that they have been adventuring with demigods. [...]The boys laugh in anticipation of the blow they will strike the Empire in the name of the princess. They all stop laughing, but the laughing continues and they look around in consternation. Into the sanctuary ambles Skywalker, scratching himself, amused at the idealism of the youths. He barely glances at them. The contrast between the boy rebels with their terse nods, their meaningful glances, and Skywalker, a real general, a real man could not be greater. [...] With a flash of light, his lazer sword is out. An arm lies on the ground, one of the bullies lies double, slashed from chin to groin and Skywalker, with quiet dignity, replaces his sword in its sheath. However, this all happened during the writing of the initial treatment: this influence would dissolve over the various drafts. The empire uses the symbol of the Yamana from the film, but far more prominent in their depiction are allusions to Nazi and especially Wilhelminian imagery. The archetypes for the general, the villian and the princess appear in Kurosawa's film, but were primarily shaped by pulp sources. Even though Lucas did consider casting Toshiro Mifune as Old Ben, his notes show that he was thinking more of Mifune's turns in Seven Samurai and Yojimbo than in Hidden Fortress, where Mifune bears little resemble to Guinness' Old Ben. There's something of the headstrong princess Yuki in Leia and especially later in Amidala, but not much beyond Amidala's age and wardrobe.21 Lucas says the main influence are the two Droids, which is about right, but the similarity is mostly contained in a fifteen minute stretch at the beginning of the original film: afterwards, the story is no longer told from the Droids' perspective but Luke's, and even during their sojourn in the desert they're never crass and quite so cowardly as their Japanese counterparts. In the sequels, in particular, they would become a more conventional comic duo in the style of Laurel and Hardy. Beyond this, the influence is mostly in the Japanese flair of both the Tatooine robes (later retconned as Jedi robes) and Vader's helmet: McQuarrie remembers Lucas giving him a book on "Medieval Japan" but he's probably referring to Richie's book, whose title is scrolled on one of his sheets.22 Some plot points for The Empire Strikes Back come from Kurosawa's 1975 film Dersu Uzala: The Hunter, which takes place in the Russian tundra (including a beat where the hero hides in the hide of a dead animal for warmth) and features a diminutive, eccentric wise-man. Since Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace pull on the first draft, they owe something to Hidden Fortress: the speeder chase is analogous to a horse-chase in Kurosawa's film, and even Vader's turning on the Emperor has a little in common with Takodoro breaking ranks with the Yamana. Willow also strongly resembles Hidden Fortress, and early drafts even had gold concealed in the tree branches on Razel's island, like in the Kurosawa movie. However, Episode I is actually by far the most Kurosawa-like of all of Lucas' films: the imagery of that film owes something to Ran and Seven Samurai, favourites of Lucas and films which were more in-line with the "epic" imagery he sought for the prequel trilogy. But even that film owes more to Burroughs, Smith and Flash Gordon, and Lucas overall visual style is closer to John Ford: even those few films of Lucas' that use telephoto lenses likeTHX-1138 and 1:42.08 seem to be imitating Jean-Claude Labrecque rather than Kurosawa.23 This would also be a good place to point out that we can tie ourselves in knotes by looking for the sources of Kurosawa or of Burroughs and Smith as though they were, by proxy, sources for Star Wars: Richie explains that Hidden Fortress was effectivelly a remake of Kurosawa's earlier The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail, which was based on the Kabuki play Kanjinchō, in turn based on the Noh play Ataka, adapted from The Book of Heike, which was adapted from the real-life events of Minamoto no Yoshitune. Likewise, Burroughs based his books on Arabian Nights, Lowell's Mars and Its Canals, Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, and frontier stories from his younger days. But these sources are much far too removed from Star Wars for it to be useful to explore them in relation to Lucas' film. Secondary Sources: Printed JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937) In 1977, in an excerpt later reprinted in the film's souvenir programme, Lucas asserts that Burroughs was "sparked" by "Gulliver on Mars, written by Edwin Arnold and published in 1905." That (spurious, as it happens) suggestion first appeared in Richard A. Lupoff's Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure (third edition 1975, illustrated by Frazetta). Lucas must have read it before he put "in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs" on his third draft outline. Lupoff's essay did little to affect Lucas' film, except that Lupoff quotes from a correspondence he had with JRR Tolkien, and Lucas was thus inspired to seek out Tolkien's ever-popular The Hobbit.24 In the third draft, Luke turns into an everyman who's father had died offscreen, like Bilbo, while Old Ben is clearly based on Gandalf, a characterization later transferred to Yoda and Qui Gon Jinn. In fact, Luke's father is said to have died in "The Battle of Condawan", a little bit like Thorin's grandfather was said to have died in the battle of Moria. McQuarrie's concomitant designs for the character started shifting from a Toshiro Mifune-like Samurai (after Mifune declined the part) to a wizened old wizard, with Lucas approaching who would surely be on anyone's shortlist to play Gandalf at the time, Sir Alec Guinness. Guinness, who was given the third draft to read, noted for its "suggestions from Tolkien" and "touch of Tolkien's." It may have played a part in his decision to take the role, telling Mark Hamil that he always wanted to play a wizard. In fact, the draft contains a clear paraphrase on Bilbo's and Gandalf's first meeting: JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit, 1937 George Lucas, The Star Wars: Third Draft "Good morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat. "What do you mean?" be said. "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is morning to be good on?" "All of them at once," said Bilbo. "And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain. BEN: Good morning! LUKE: What do you mean, ‘good morning’? Do you mean that it is a good morning for you, or do you wish me a good morning, although it is obvious I’m not having one, or do you find that mornings in general are good? BEN: All of them altogether. Later in the draft, Luke presents himself to Ben with a "At your service!" At the same time, the third draft had a rather quirky take on Gandalf, but at the advice of Guinness this was filed-back in the Fourth draft, and then brought back for Yoda. But this is hardly the only influence of The Hobbit on the film: After this draft, Lucas started scouting north Africa for desert locations, finally choosing Tunisia, and renaming his desert planet afte the local place-name Tatooine. John Barry remembers Lucas picking Tunisia because he "liked Matmata, where people live in these holes in the ground", which Lucas fondly recalls as reminding him of a "Hobbit village." His choice of location (including grain stores that would later appear as Shmi's hovel in Episode I) surely owes something to Tolkien: in the third draft, Luke's homestead was still a set of buildings, not the Smial-like place it would become: In fact, Lucas explains that deciding to shoot the homestead in one of those underground hotels made the shoot costlier. Lucas even had renowned Tolkien illustrators, the Brothers Hildebrandt, illustate an alternate poster for the film.25 This choice is echoed later in the series in Yoda's hut. It was drawn by Ralph McQuarrie shortly after he bailed on Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, and its not stretching anyone's imagination then that his concept of the wizard's hut and of a Hobbit hole would become mingled, or that Lucas, already fired up by The Hobbit, would warm to such a design. Although Lucas already fond of having short-statured creatures in his story like R2D2 and the Jawas, he now considered casting a short person in the role of Luke. Maybe even the fact that the sabers glow blue (in artwork, they're plain white) and even the round interiors of the Falcon owe to Tolkien. Later, Jabba and his minions, though ostensibly based on Burroughs' Warhoon, have a touch of the Great Goblin and his minions to them: When he was first developing Willow, General Kael was a Jabba-like character, very reminiscent of the Great Goblin. In this, Lucas may have followed the Rankin/Bass serial rather than the book. Indeed, Lucas' first project AFTER Return of the Jedi was his most Tolkienian yet: The Ewok Adventure, where a boy (Hobbit) and group of Ewoks (Dwarves), including a wizard Ewok (Gandalf) set on a quest to the lonely mountain to slay the Gorax (Smaug) and encounter wolves and a giant spider! In the sequel, Battle for Endor, Willford Brimley plays yet another variation on Gandalf, replete with a pointy hat and staff! These two films were a dry-run for Willow, also heavily indebted to The Hobbit.26 Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) Lucas' biography suggest he read Frank Herbert's Dune, which was reissued in 1969 and 1972. Inasmuch as his original "Journal of the Whills" is a paraphrase on A Fighting Man of Mars, some of the nomenclature in it derives from Herbert, which Lucas seems to have read very gradually across the writing period, starting here with the appendix "Terminology of the Imperium": Ophuchi is a star in Dune, and Lucas' tentative name for the Emperor, Alexander Xerxes XIX of Decarte, is a clear paraphrase on Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV. Even his role as essentially an insipid puppet of sinister forces is not too far off Shadam. The Jedi are given here as Jedi-Bendu, recalling the Bindu technique from Dune. Even the city planet, first mentioned here, has more in common with Geidi Prime than with Isimov's Trantor. Even as late as Revenge of the Sith, the Wookies would pilot ships similar to Herbert's Ornithopters. Drafts and notes of Lucas also talk about a thumpers, "Dictums", as well as "mind control" and "human-computers", i.e. Mentats from Dune. 27 While Tatooine derives from Barsoom, some of what populates it - crawlers, bedouin-like sand people, moisture farms, spice, worm-like creatures - derive from Herbert. Guilds, which are first namedropped in The Empire Strikes Back and then feature prominently in the first two prequels, come from Dune (although they're also in Smith and Burroughs). Likewise, the siege on Utapau in the First draft (and subsequently in The Phantom Menace, in whose first drafts Naboo was still Utapau) might recall the Harkonnen attack on Arrakeen. In fact, in the First Draft the ruler of Utapau is assasinated by the Empire, much like Leto is by the Harkonnen.28 The increasingly-messianic tones of Star Wars beginning 1980, with Luke and then Anakin being turned into "chosen ones", derive from Herbert and Smith: In the second draft, Luke is the "Chosen One", who in the film's epigraph (itself designed on quotes from Irulan's diary in Dune) is called "The Son of Suns", which sounds a little like Smith's "Children of the Lens." This would be replaced by a Tolkien-esque "everyman" angle in the third draft, and subsequently in the movie. Following its Hugo nomination, Lucas seems to have read excerpts from Children of Dune, quoting from it verbatim in notes, seemingly concurrent to the story conferences: this, then, was the model for the "Chosen" Luke and twin sister and, less likely, to Vader becoming Luke's father.29 Its hard, however, to pin specific beats in the story on Herbert's influence: By way of specific scenes, the original film has one small scene, in which Ben uses the Force to compel the Stormtroopers to let them go, which smacks of how Jessica and Paul use "The Voice" on the Harkonnen henchmen. By The Empire Strikes Back, the Force gives Luke the ability to glimpse the future, like Paul. Another specific influence doesn't come from Lucas but from the design team: back in 1981, the Emperor's decrepit appearance was not yet the result of blunt trauma (and wouldn't be until 2003: cf. Palpatine's sickly makeup in Attack of the Clones) and his makeup artists gave him a cranium split, thinking of Herbert's space navigators.30 Analog and Harry Harrison (1969-1975) The lightsabers themselves, however, predate this and seem to derive from a Frank Kelly Freas artwork (above) that appeared opposite from a story of Harry Harrison, a favourite pulp author of Lucas', in a March 1969 issue of Analog Science Fiction / Science Fact. At the point in which Lucas introduced them into the story, a story of Harrison's had just been adapted into Soylent Green, which may have prompted Lucas into seeking out Harrison's works. Indeed, many of Lucas' other pulp sources are visual: the final design for Chewbacca, replete with the bowcaster, comes from a July 1975 cover of Analog: neither design of Chewbacca, nor any of his descriptions in the drafts of by Lucas indicate a similarity to dogs, casting doubt over the autobiographical spin that he is based on Lucas (actually, Marcia's) dog Indiana.30 Meanwhile, Lucas' notes explicitly cite the cover to another Harrison novela from 1973, The Stainless Steel Rat, as the source for the TIE fighter and, subsequently, Darth Maul's ship. The semi-parodistic tone of Harrison's books is a little closer to the spirit of the original Star Wars film (less so the sequels) than Flash Gordon, Burroughs and Smith. Harrison also wrote archetypes similar to Lucas': on the back cover of The Stainless Steel Rat you can see a description of the main character, Jim DiGriz, very much along the lines of Han Solo (who first emerges as a human after this point), while his Bill, the Galactic Hero stars a farmboy.31 Others (1975-1976) In 1979, Lucas cited his love of the work of Moebius, whose illustrations feature similarly "used" sci-fi worlds to Lucas'. However, Moebius' work on Metal Hurlant wasn't published in America until early 1977: Lucas could have learned about it during the prep period in England, or even before that via his friend Edward Summer who did business with comics enthusiasts in Europe, but its not a noted influence on the original film: even the "used look" is not appearant on the early work of McQuarrie and Cantwell: if its inspired by anything at all, its by the ruinous cityscapes of John Carter. Indeed, the only parts of Star Wars that do look overtly "used" are those that take place on Tatooine or in the Falcon, a ship we first see on Tatooine.32 Lucas only contacted Moebius in 1977 to work on promotional material for the film's European debut, and his art influenced the animated segment of The Holiday Special, as well as The Empire Strikes Back. While it was mostly confined to the art-deco Cloud City, it also inspired the design of the Rebel freighter. While the Imperial Walkers were inspired by War of the Worlds and particularly by industrial artwork by Syd Mead, Moebius' art was used as a reference when Lucas asked to bulk the Walkers up. By the time of Episode I, Lucas had turned from Moebius (who worked on Willow) to the recent sci-fi novel Dinotpoia, which ILM had worked towards adapting: it influenced the city of Theed and the procession at the end of the film.33 Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics are sometimes cited as an influence: Lucas was actually accused of this in a 1975 dinner with an associate of Kirby's, although Edward Summer who was present assigns no significance to this. Vader resembles any number of pulp villains, especially The Lightning from The Fighting Devil Dogs serial (who shoots lightning, like Vader does in Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and has henchmen dressed in white). However, the similarities may be incidental: Vader's design started as an Imperial officer with a breathing mask (being that he has to move between spaceships), then added robes to seem like Sharif Ali in his introduction in Lawrence of Arabia (being that Vader is introduced in a similar fashion to Ali, especially back in the rough draft) and a Samurai-like helmet based on Richie's book, and the combination created the look.34 Secondary Sources: Cinematic World War II movies (1943-1970) Other movies, which Lucas usually caught on TV, mostly influenced only specific segments in Lucas' film. Some fifty World War II movies, especially The Dam Busters (1955), influenced the trech run, and along with Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph des Willens, contributed to the Nazi trappings of the Empire (although they ultimately appear mostly as Brits in Willhelminian garb) and the WWII trappings of some of the spaceships. Lucas puts words from Churchill's speech into the Emperor's mouth in the rough draft. Casablanca left its mark on the Cantina (Lucas notes say he's making Han "like Bogart") and perhaps set Lucas on the road to develop what would become Raiders of the Lost Ark around the same time. That film, however, whose premise Lucas developed significantly for Splinter of the Mind's Eye, owes more to the Zorro serials (which Lucas was shown by a friend in film school) and Secrets of the Inca (1954). Jabba, who was originally designed and cast as a human, was a kind of cross of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and Sydney Greenstreet's Signor Ferrari from Casablanca (1942). By November 1979, however, Lucas transformed him into a more Burroughs' like design. While working on his look, Lucas rejected designs that looked too much like a sand-worm from Dune, the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland (replete with a Hatter-like Bib Fortuna) or the Great Goblin from The Hobbit.35 The Searchers (1955) Turning Owen's home into a remote ranch has the touch of John Ford's The Searchers about it: its an idea that first crops up in the second draft, which ends with a tease for a sequel clearly inspired by The Searchers. In the third draft Owen is a blunt and cruel character like John Wayne's Ethan. Two sequences, of the attacked Jawa crawler (a bull in the Ford film) and the burnt Homestead; and then in Attack of the Clones, Anakin's finding of his dying mother in Tusken captivity, are taken directly from The Searchers, and overall Lucas' shooting style is closer to John Ford's than to that of Kurosawa's or of the Flash Gordon serials. There are flourishes from other Westerns like High Noon (Han flipping a coin to the bartender). Before shooting started, Lucas rewatched Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West, hoping to get some ideas for the staging of the medal ceremony, before reverting to Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph Des Willens, which he had previously watched for an Imperial scene in the Rough Draft. Instead, Leone's influence mostly comes down to giving Luke and then Boba Fett a poncho.36 1960s widescreen spectacles While Lucas enjoyed many of the epic films, especially those produced in the 1950s and 1960s, they weren't a noted influence on his films. Lucas referenced Gone With the Wind, which was reissued in the early 1970s, is a noted influence on the love story in The Empire Strikes Back, and had the poster designed in homage of the one used in the rerelease. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) influenced the mechanical, NASA-like look of some of the spaceships, but its cinematic style couldn't be further removed from Lucas' and homages to it, while present, are few and far in between. Perhaps the most overt is in the medical facility in Revenge of the Sith: by the time of the prequel trilogy, Lucas had spent years talking about "reading the epics" (see later) and even tried to make a large-scale historical film (later realised as Red Tails). Nevertheless, the influence of such films on his prequel trilogy are quite superificial: the aforementioned odes to Kurosawa in Episode I, a podrace vaguely like the chariot race in Ben Hur; a brief homage to Lawrence of Arabia in Episode II; and a procession out of Cleopatra and Fall of the Roman Empire. There was a touch of Doctor Zhivago - a film Lucas referenced for the love story in The Empire Strikes Back - to the forbidden, doomed love story between Anakin and Padme Gradually, too, the influence of contemporary epics starts coming to the fore: the arena battle is as indebted to Gladiator as to anything in Spartacus, an influence also borne out of the soundtrack for Revenge of the Sith (see later). The latter film also incorporates "flyover" shots straight out of The Lord of the Rings, which Lucas enjoyed.37 By and large, however, its unsurprising to find correspondences between Lucas' film and 1950s science fiction: C3PO is designed after the Metropolis robot, and while R2D2 is based on Dewy from the recent Silent Running, only round (McQuarrie's touch). The description of Han or his ship as "Corellian" (which Lucas said in 1977 means its "Krell make") seems to derive from the Krell of Forbidden Planet, a childhood favourite of Lucas which recently reissued and which Lucas later screened for his crew: a noted influence on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.38 Coppola and Apocalypse Now Its no stretch to say that Lucas doubling down on the Vietnam war subtext in Return of the Jedi owes something to the success of Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979), which Lucas almost directed. When Lucas started writing his first draft of the original film, he intended to present it to some extent as a Vietnam War parable, but that was downplayed in the writing process, and is all but wholly absent from The Empire Strikes Back. In Return of the Jedi, however, even the suggestion that in striking the Emperor down in anger, Luke would succumb to evil recalls the dynamic between Kurtz and Willard. In Episode I, the Gungan sacred place recalls Kurtz' compound, and when he was involved in development for Episode VII, Lucas described the hermit Luke as a "Colonel Kurtz type." Also while working on Return of the Jedi, Lucas concieved of Leia killing Jabba "like Luca Brazzi." Indeed, a rough outline of Anakin's story shows a striking similarity to Vito in The Godfather: Part II: a destitute nine-year old, orphaned and whisked away to another country, grows up, falls in-love but falls into a life of crime that weighs on his own children years later.39 A considerable aspect of Lucas' cinematic sources were sources that showed what he didn't want to do: in keeping with the "high brow" angle, Star Wars is often presented as an answer to the 70s "American New Wave" movies, but commercially its rivals were rather the big-budgeted disaster films of its day. However, for his part, Lucas conceived of it as a response to what he saw ON TELEVISION, mentioning Kojak and The Six Million Dollar Man, as well as his disappointment with the static spaceship imagery of Star Trek.40 The Canadian Avant-garde? The name "The Force" resembles a conversation captured in an experimental short film by Arthur Lipsett that Lucas watched in film-school and had wanted to homage in THX-1138. Lucas suggests his early filmography in and immediately after film-school comprised of experimental, non-narrative "tone poems" a-la Lipsett, and that he longs to return to making such films once he's done with the saga. As it is, Lucas failed to make good on this promise, and of his nine non-feature-length projects, only two (Herbie and 6-18-67) can be described as "tone poems:" In fact, it seems Lucas didn't see Lipsett's film until near the end of his term in USC, and his early interest in montage work was rather sparked by the work of the faculty's former dean, Slavko Vorkapich.41 Lucas other shorts, excluding "LOOK at LIFE", are either narratives, obscure though they may be, like Freiheit, Anyone lived in a pretty [how] town, and THX-1138-4EB. But mostly he made documentaries like 1:42.08, The Emperor and Filmmaker, not to mention the abandoned mockumentary Five, Four, Three. Lucas even suggests he shot Star Wars like a Juthra documentary, saying he deliberately "didn't stop" to show-off his fantasy world, like a documentary wouldn't linger on The Empire State Building, shooting establishing shots that are only "twelve frames, thirty-two frames at the most." A close examination of Lucas' film shows this is scarcely the case: the establishing shot of the Death Star is well over 160 frames long, and sequences like the cutaway to the Tusken Raiders or the entrance to the Cantina, where the camera cuts away multiple times to lingering shots of the many patrons, are totally not in keeping with this notion. In fact, the most documentary-like flourishes in the series are a handful of digital zooms in Attack of the Clones.42 Secondary Sources: Scholarly Castaneda's Tales of Power (1972-1974) Gary Jenkins' biography of Lucas says he "read Grimms’ fairytales and CS Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles, JRR Tolkien, Frazer’s Golden Bough. He also read Greek, Islamic and Indian Mythology and the works of modern mythologists like Campbell and Castaneda.” Many of these claims are dubious at best. While sketching Episode I, Lucas had on his shelf several books loosely on the subject of Folklore: The Gnostic Gospels (1981 edition), Peasant Customs and Save Myths (1968), Landscape and Memory, Bullfinch's Mythology, The Study of Folklore (1965), Motif-Index of Folk-Literature (1958, last volume), but they're not a discernable influence on his film. However, ahead of the third draft, Gary Kurtz showed Lucas Carlos Castaneda's recent Journey to Ixtlan and The Tales of Power. The draft's synopsis specifically compared Old Ben to Castaneda's Don Juan, and when Lucas finally decided to have Ben die, he had him transform to a higher state of being: its ostensibly a ploy to keep the film kid-friendly, but its also ike Don Juan tells Castaneda he would enter if he has the confidence to leap off the cliff (like Luke in The Empire Strikes Back?) at the end of Tales of Power. Yoda, who in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi was envisioned as a native of Dagobah, clearly has something of Don Juan in him. In fact, Lucas' notes while writing The Empire Strikes Back quote from Journey to Ixtlan: "The mood of a warrior calls for control over himself and at the same time it calls for abandoning himself." Yoda himself quotes Don Juan verbatim (except with his trademark "backwards' dialogue): "We are luminous beings." Even in the prequel trilogy, where he's ever more Gandalf-like, Yoda's sermons against "fear", while ostensibly paraphrasing the litany from Dune, recall Don Juan's sermons. Even the concept of "Life Day" from the Holiday Special has a Castaneda-like ring to it, but otherwise its an alltogether minor influence: even the term "Force" appears in Lucas' drafts before it does in Castaneda's books.43 Conrad Kottak's "Social Science Fiction" (1978)? Possibly, a more significant influence came in March 1978, via a review of Star Wars by Conrad Kottak for Psychology Today. Kottak's was not the first "psychological" analysis of Star Wars, and so one assumes Lucas was primed for it. Kottak suggests Darth Vader is the image of Luke's "Dark Father": Lucas earlier notes suggest the correct etymology was, unsurprisingly, "Dark Invader", but now he adopted Kottak's post-hoc etymology in notes from circa 1980, as well as identifying Ben with the image of Luke's good, idealized father. Kottak suggested the boy must slay the evil father, and shortly after this Lucas named the third film "Revenge of the Jedi." Kottak briefly but pointedly cites the work of another "psychiatrist", Bruno Bettelheim (see below), and it seems Lucas was drawn back into Bettelheim's work immediately after reading Kottak's review. All the same, it beares to point out that making the villain the hero's father was a common space opera plot ploy: it appeared most notably in his childhood favourite Tommy Tommorrow and, even if Lucas hadn't read Dune through the point where Vladimir Harkonnen is revealed as Jessica's father, he would have been appraised to this by his discovery of Children of Dune in late 1977.44 Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment (1975-1978) When he began writing the fourth draft, Lucas revised the film's epigraph to "A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away, an extraordinary adventure took place", which he later said was inspired by a book of Bruno Bettelheim, who analysed ten Grimms' fairytales. "I had been reading other doctors", he later said, "Freudians." The book wasn't published until late 1976, but Lucas did read a long excerpt published in the New Yorker in December 1975.If anything, Lucas previous draft was even more fairytale-like thanks to The Hobbit, with Owen in the role of the cruel fairly godparent and Luke performing chores on the farm Cinderella-like. It could even be argued that, even after he got into Bettelheim in earnest (much, much later) his concept of what constitues a fairytale had already been shaped by Disney films and old swashbucklers, and only filtered through Bettleheim: in fact, much of what Lucas would suggest consistutes a fairytale - a parable with an ostensible moral, a story absent any major character deaths - in fact goes against some of the statements made in Bettelheim's book. Its true that only at this point Lucas added the shot of the princess genuflecting to R2D2, but similarly "dreamy" shots of the princess had already appeared in earlier storyboards. Likewise, the designs were mostly locked and Lucas had long before decided on diffused, ethereal visuals, and even those didn't stay the distance: Disliked by DP Gilbert Taylor and by Fox, the diffused look was only used in the Tatooine scenes, and even that was removed by sharpening tools in later releases to conform with Episode II).45 A possible influence beyond the epigraph may have been to tone down the violence (and change Luke's name back to the less fearsome Skywalker), although a fair bit of violence remained in the first two films (and returned with a vengenance in Revenge of the Sith) and what was removed (a beheading in the original film, and the intricacies of Han's torture in the sequel) was seemingly done more out of commercial practicalities than anything else. But Lucas did remove even more (but by no means all) violence from the Special Edition at the influence of Bettelheim, removing two shots of Imperial officers being hit with laser blasts, and making Greedo shoot at Han first.46 Presumably after reading Kottak's essay, Lucas got back into Bettelheim while he was rewriting The Empire Strikes Back. His notes quote from Bettlehim: "A repulsive, threatening figure can magically turn into a most helpful friend." For a short period during the design of Empire, Yoda was turned into a fairytale-like blue gnome. However, the ostensible moral of Yoda's design - "don't judge a book by its cover" - is something that appeared in Lucas' drafts, first with the dimuntive but resourceful R2D2 in the rough draft, and then (inspired by The Hobbit) especially with the unassuming Luke and decrepit, "old fossil" of Ben in the third draft. But Lucas only really got into Bettelheim in earnest after The Empire Strikes Back. By the time he was developing Return of the Jedi, he started talking publically about Bettelheim's influence (who would return the favour in 1981 by reviewing the first two films positively), and spoke incessently of his film being a fairytale. Nevertheless, his influence remained largely rhetorical. Most of the "fairytale" motifs present in Return of the Jedi are retreads of motifs from the earlier films, and which originate principally from The Hobbit: the Ewoks simply embody the same "don't judge a book by its cover" parable as Yoda and R2D2 before them. Lucas did make the Ewoks far more cloying in their design, citing his "fairytale" concept (again, more Disney-filtered-via-Bettelheim, than genuinely Bettelheim), and opted to make the unmasked Vader a kindly old man rather than the "grotesque" figure glimpsed in the previous film. Lucas also cited the "fairytale" concept in his refusal to let Lawrence Kasdan kill of Lando. In fact, in Lucas' first treatment for Return of the Jedi, even the deceased Ben and Anakin return at the end in the flesh, but this wasn't carried into the finished film.47 Likewise, Vader's redemption, while it has some antecedents in Bettelheim, also has precedents in Kurosawa and in some of Lucas' descriptions of Vader to Leigh Brackett in November 1977: while not talking explicitly about redeeming the masked villain, Lucas told Brackett he wanted Vader's death to be pitiable: "He wants to be human." While working on the script, Lucas said (see below) that fairytale heroes face trials in sets of three, which doesn't really manifest in the series except for this: the attempt to release Han fails first via the Droids, then via Leia, and finally via Luke himself, before he triumphs over the Sarlaac pit: they don't exactly fit as "trials" (certainly not for Luke) but it seems the ternary form appealed to Lucas here due to Bettelheim's writings. Actually, by far the most Bettelheim-tinged films in Lucas ouevre are not Star Wars (in spite of it being the most actually like a fairytale) nor Return of the Jedi, but rather the two Ewok films, and even those owe more to The Hobbit and to Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves than to Bettelheim per se.48 The choice to explore Anakin's childhood in Episode I might also derive from Bettelheim, although Lucas had persued casting a young princess Leia, auditioning 14-year old Jodie Foster and Terri Nunn, long before he heard of Bettelheim. In general, there's little of Bettelheim in the more-grandiose prequels, except that its through Bettelheim that Lucas became better-acquainted with Oedipus Rex, first naming the Jedi Librarian Jocusta, and then giving Anakin's fall an ironic, Oedipus-like touch. Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment (1977, excerpt published 1975) George Lucas' notes, circa late 1980 The fairy tale presented in a simple, homely way; no demands are made on the listener. This prevents even the smallest child from feeling compelled to act in specific ways, and he is never made to feel inferior. Far from making demands, the fairy tale reassures, gives hope for the future, and holds out the promise of a happy ending. [...] Fairy tales, unlike any other form of literature, direct the child to discover his identity and calling, and they also suggest what experiences are needed to develop his character further. Fairy tales intimate that a rewarding, good life is within one’s reach despite adversity—but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles without which one can never achieve true identity. [...] children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy. [...] It seems particularly appropriate to a child that exactly what the evildoer wishes to inflict on the hero should be the bad person’s fate [...] At this age, from four until puberty, what the child needs most is to be presented with symbolic images which reassure him that there is a happy solution to his oedipal problems [...] The good fairy godmother watches over the child’s fate, ready to assert her power when critically needed [... little Red Riding Hood] tells him, the wolf is a passing manifestation—Grandma will return triumphant. [...the sister in Seven Ravens] travels to the end of the world and makes a great sacrifice to undo the spell put on them." Present [story] in a simple, homely way … This prevents even the smallest child from feeling compelled to act in specific ways and he is never made to feel inferior … Reassures, gives hope for the future, and holds out the promise of a happy ending … Discover identity and calling … Intimate that a rewarding, good life is within one’s reach despite adversity—but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles without which one can never achieve true identity. Children are innocent and love justice. While most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy … Need symbolic images which reassure them that there is a happy ending, solution to the Oedipal problems … What the evildoer wishes to inflict on the hero should be the bad person’s fate.” [...] Somewhere the good father (Ben) watches over the child's fate, ready to assert his power when critically needed. Father changes into Darth Vader, who is a passing manifestation, and will return triumphant. Luke travels to the end of the world and makes sacrifice to undo the spell on his father. [... later, in story conferences with Kasdan and Marquand:] The whole concept of the original film is that Luke redeems his father, which is the classic fairytale: a good father/bad father who the good son will turn back into the good father. [...Lucas spoke in 1988] of his ''Star Wars'' trilogy as the struggle between the good and the bad father and said he also intended to make a movie about the war between the good and the bad mother.49 Joseph Campbell? While working on the third draft, Lucas made a passing remark to Edward Summer about his interest in Joseph Campbell's Hero With A Thousand Faces, a far denser read than Castaneda and Bettelheim. Lucas also suggests to Rinzler that only at this point did he "move from Kurosawa to Joe," and suggests he read Frazer's even denser The Golden Bough and Campbell's Masks of God and Flight of the Wild Gander. Michael Heileman suggests that while Lucas was certainly "aware of Campbell’s work on some level" he was scarcely "a book worm" and puts question that "Lucas plowed through Campbell’s 400 page tightly packed academic tome, let alone gleaned from it the formula for binding together the disparate elements of Star Wars." His awareness to Campbell may derive from the diaries of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, released in 1972, where he mentions Kubrick giving him Campbell's book to read while making 2001: A Space Odyssey. Likewise, Frazer's book had appeared onscreen in Coppola's Apocalypse Now.50 There are many objections to Campbell's influence that could be added to Heilemann's, but ultimately it comes down to a simple observation: There is no detectable Campbell influence on Lucas' film. In Myths to Live By (1972) Campbell does speak against machines, but that was a theme Lucas already explored in THX-1138. His films don't follow Campbell's "Monomyth" formula very well at all: Luke never meets a "temptress" along the lines described by Campbell and, even across the entire trilogy, never crosses "the return threshold" and comes back home. Luke leaves the "Normal world" before meeting his "guide", and gets his "talisman" before he refuses the call. In fact, Luke's outright reluctance to take the quest, a new addition in the revised fourth draft, seems to derive from The Hobbit: Campbell's rather inane descriptions of "Refusal of the Call" show that he's, in fact, referring to something completely different: Anakin's journey is even less Campbell-like than Luke's. What's more, Lucas' notes never quote from Campbell as they do from Bettelheim or Castaneda, and no names from Campbell - with the possible exception of "Dannen" in Willow - crop up in any of his films. Lucas' does mention Masassi and Brunhuld, but in drafts long predating the third, the latter supposedly derived from a book of baby-names. Virtually all of Lucas' waxing philosophical about life and fairytales - most of it utterly banal - derives not from Campbell but from Bettelheim and, even more to the point, from The Hobbit. The only piece of advise Lucas can cite from Campbell is his banal slogan "Follow your bliss."52 George Lucas, various interviews Bruno Bettelheim, Uses of Enchantment [...in 1977] One of the criteria of the mythical fairy-tale situation is an exotic, faraway land, but we've lost all the fairy-tale lands on this planet. Every one has disappeared. We longer have the mysterious east or treasure islands or going on strange adventures. [... in 1981] If I ever consciously used anything that I read, it was to make the story more consistent with traditional fairytales. For example, if there was a part in which Luke had two trials, I would try to make it three, because three is more consistent with hero myths. But if adding a third trial jeopardised the story, I wouldn't do it. [...later, on the set of Return of the Jedi] “in a fairytale, its always being nice to the little bunny rabbit on the side of the road that [results in it having to] give you the magic.” [...in 1999] Children love power because children are the powerless. And so their fantasies all center on having power. [...in 2006] “The Han Solo journey is a continuation of the motif of death and rebirth, which is the overall theme of this whole series in relationship to Darth Vader, who comes out of his evil hibernation and is reborn as Anakin Skywalker. Han has been put to sleep, which is a common device, especially in fairytales and mythological tales; it’s like going into a state of suspended animation and then, usually, you come out rejuvenated. Sometimes it’s the equivalent of going down to the netherworld and coming back enlightened.” [...in 2015] I think I can have things to say that I can actually influence kids, you know, adolescents, 12-year olds and, you know, that are trying to make their way into the bigger world and that's basically what mythology was, was to say - - of saying this is what we believe in; these are our rules; these are -- this is what we are as a society. And we don't do that. [...in 2015] a majority of people -- boys -- have a certain psychological relationship with their fathers. And that's been going on through history. And trying to explain that, to say we know your darkest secret and, therefore, you're part of us because we all know the same things. We know what you're thinking about your mother. [...] these stories do not take place in the here and now, but in a faraway never-never-land. [...] ‘once upon a time’, ‘in a certain country’, ‘a thousand years ago or longer’, ‘at a time when animals still talked’ [...] the number three in fairy tales often seems to refer to what in psychoanalysis is as the three aspects of the mind [...] Goldilocks encounters the three dishes, beds, chairs – for three separate efforts mark her entrance into the Bears’ dwelling. [...] three encounters with the man, three exchanges of a cow for a magic object, three nights with the princess. [...] A repulsive, threatening figure can magically into a most helpful friend. [...]The same tales assure that the ferocious giant can always be outwitted by the clever little man—somebody seemingly as powerless as the child feels himself to be. [...]Snow White’s deathlike sleep in the coffin is a period of gestation which is her final period of preparing for Maturity [...] Many fairytale heroes, at a crucial point in their development, fall into deep sleep or are reborn. Each reawakening or rebirth symbolizes the reaching of a higher stage of maturity and understanding. [...] Going down into the darkness of the earth is a descent into the netherworld. [...] Some fairy and folk stories evolved out of myths; others were incorporated into them. Both forms embodied the cumulative experience of a society as men wished to recall past wisdom for themselves and transmit it to future generations. These tales are the purveyors of deep insights that have sustained mankind through the long vicissitudes of its existence, a heritage that is not revealed in any other form as simply and directly, or as accessibly, to children. [...Freud suggests that ] the myth of Oedipus had become the image by which we understand the ever new but age-old problems posed to us by our complex and ambivalent feelings about our parents. 53 Ironically, while citing these scholars was seemingly done to give Lucas' film an air of intellectual legitimacy, all three authors would later prove to be hacks to some extent: Castaneda's works, though immensly popular, were already believed in his time to be works of fiction, and all but disproven by the time of Return of the Jedi. After his suicide in 1990, it was shown that Bettelheim had outright forged his academic credentials, and his book is a pastiche of Heuscher's Psychiatric Study of Fairy Tales, itself scarcely a piece that commanded great admiration in the scientific community of the time. After these two were discredited, Lucas only had Campbell left to cite. But then Campbell, like Bettelheim, was also a graduate of Literature, not anthropology, but didn't even complete a PhD. He has drawn heavy criticism from later folklorists for cherry-picking his examples, and for dubious authority: while citing a lot of examples from Indian mythology, he was not proficient in Sanskrit and didn't even visit India until after he completed The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Lucas himself, who admitted he never met Campbell or heard any of him talk until AFTER Return of the Jedi, gives him the backhanded compliment of being better lecturer than writer (he was neither), and later in life said he moved on from Campbell's Jungian views to "neuro-psychology."54 Arthurian legend? Surprisingly, neither Bettelheim nor Campbell use a lot of examples from the legends of king Arthur, but they surely led Lucas in the direction of those kinds of stories. Its hard not to think of Arthurian legend when, in the fourth draft, Luke no longer knows his father's story, and is handed his sword as heirloom, being that he "became of age." Whether its actually an Arthurian motif (a very small and layman one, at that) is hard to tell. Lucas, who would years later be the one to suggest the Holy Grail as a McGuffin for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - did have at least a colloquial knowledge of Arthurian legend - early notes of his say that Luke proverbially "draws the sword from the stone." Populist versions of the tale - by Disney and Mary Stewart - were very popular at the time. Indeed, Luke's nickname "Wormie" is reminiscent of "Wart" from Disney's The Sword in the Stone. Of course, around this time, Lucas' fairytale rhetoric rubbed on Mark Hamil and Sir Alec Guinness (the clearly got an earfull of it from Lucas on set) who both drew paralles in 1977 interviews between Ben and Merlin, and shortly afterwards Splinter of the Mind's Eye was released with the Kiber crystal renamed Kaiburr to denote Excalibur. However, had Lucas wanted to sustain a parallel to Excalibur, he would surely have saved it for Luke to wield in his final confrontation with the Emperor, and plot his prequels such that it would be an heirloom running through the entire saga: from Qui Gon to Obi Wan to Anakin to Luke. Instead, Obi Wan and Anakin go through sabres like tissue papers in the prequel trilogy, and Luke unceremoniously loses his sword in The Empire Strikes Back, after having done little of note with it. Secondary Sources: Autobiographical Star Wars is, not, ultimately, a very autobiographical film. Chris Taylor notes that Modesto is not a good model for Tatooine, being "verdant" and about a meagre hour's drive from both San Francisco and Hollywood. Even the ranch Lucas spent most of his teens growing in was ultimately five miles down the road from downtown, a far-cry from Owen's remote moisture farm. Its clear Lucas named Luke after himself, but he's ultimately best seen as a projection of Lucas, not as a self-portrayal. Lucas' stern father perhaps resembles Uncle Owen moreso than Anakin, and even at that Owen probably owes far more to Ethan from The Searchers. The name "Vader" may or may not relate to an older jock from Lucas' junior high, named Gary Rex Vader. The most autobiographical scenes, of Luke hanging with his friends in Ancorhead, were only added at the insistence of Lucas' friend Hal Barwood and summarily cut from the film.55 In the intermediate drafts, Han Solo does strongly resemble Francis Ford Coppola. This would get filed-down in the final draft and in Harrison Ford's performance, but there's reason to assume Coppola's influence on Lucas' entire filmography is rather enormous: It was Coppola who first planted in Lucas' head the idea of making a filmmaking hub in the countryside, finally realised in Skywalker Ranch. It was Coppola who first turned to make films with the big studios, when he decided to direct The Godfather, paving the road for Lucas and American Graffiti. Lucas likes to take credit for convincing Coppola to take The Godfather to recoup debts from a screening of THX-1138, but that screening occured in November, while Coppola accepted the gig in September.56 Coppola also made a sequel, and even presented it as an integral "Part two" rather than a patched-on sequel, long before Lucas did so, and even the flashback sequences in Coppola's film can be seen an antecedent of sorts to Lucas' pursuit of prequels, especially since both go right through the characters' childhood. Even the turn to gloomy, soap-opera-like melodrama in The Empire Strikes Back, as well as the talk of high-brow inspiration, is perhaps a reaction to The Godfather and the way Coppola's posse derided Star Wars as "twerp cinema", not to mention to the pomposity of Coppola himself. Small wonder that Jabba is described as a gangster ("Like Marlon Brando in The Godfather") or that Lucas considered stunt-casting Pacino as Han Solo.57 A strong argument could be made that Lucas rhetorical turn to high-brow sources, as well as his insistence that the series was planned in advance, do impact the series. In the story conferences to Return of the Jedi, Lucas earnestly defends his story choices as being "the original story," which seems to have convinced Lawrence Kasdan. This turn, along with stories that make the film more of a "little engine that could" that it had been, and many affectations regarding what Lucas tried to do with the shooting style of the film, could be argued to affect Lucas' subsequent entries. We've already noted the (fairly superficial) turn to the visuals of 1950s and 1960s epics in the prequel trilogy, but just as importantly, we must ask the question: can a filmmaker who thinks so little of his audience's intelligence as to believe they'll fall for his tendetious stories of how he concieved Star Wars, make films that don't talk down to the audience as a film like Attack of the Clones indeed does?58 Secondary Sources: Musical Lucas claims to have written the script envisioning the music. This is a little dubious, since the only mention of music in the script is for the crawl, which merely calls for "war drums." Although Lucas later denied this, when he first met John Williams in 1975, he intended for Williams to only score the Cantina band (which he temped with a Glenn Miller piece). The score was to be comprised of the same pieces of music the Flash Gordon serials used like Liszt's Les Preludes. Williams, however, convinced him to write an original score with recurring themes, approximately like the leitmotive or "leading motive" technique of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876).59 In the event, the cut film was temporarily scored with Rosza's Ivanhoe; "Mars" from Holst's The Planets (1917), no doubt a nod to Burroughs; Dvořák's 9th Symphony (1893); Stravinski's The Rites of Spring (1913), Franz Waxman's score to The Bride of Frankstein (1935) previously pilfered by the Flash Gordon serials; a piece from Masaru Sato's score to Hidden Fortress, and (although Williams' denied this in 2003) Bernard Hermann's Veritgo (1958).60 In spite of that, and the fact that the film coincided with the revolutionary centenary production of The Ring, neither Williams nor Lucas cite it as an influence: Any story resemblence, especially to The Ring but also to Lohengrin, is coincidental. Williams had heard a Ring (probably heavily cut) in Hamburg in 1967 while scoring Heidi, and not knowing German, found it inaccessible. His technique is only Wagnerian insofar as it derives from a generation of Wagnerian film composers (notably Korngold) that were themselves more influenced by Wagner's Lohengrin than by The Ring, and subsequently Williams' own use of the leitmotif is halfway between the mature leitmotif technique of The Ring and the reminiscence themes of Lohengrin and Der Freischutz.61 While Williams' themes are pervasive through the underscore, like those in The Ring, they're not as suspectible to transformation as those in the Ring: in the classic trilogy, Luke and Yoda's music sometimes take to the minor, and Vader's music, once shorn of its minor harmony, is allowed to expiate in the major. The Emperor's music is presented in a major mode in the closing chorus of The Phantom Menace, but not outright transformation occurs until the end-credits, where young Anakin's music morphs into Darth Vader's, and in the way the Imperial March chords "poison" the theme associated with the Force during Anakin and Obi Wan's duel. The way the music of the Sith and the Separatists/Empire is contrasted with those of the Jedi and the Republic/Rebels, again brings to mind the kind of juxtapositions one finds in Lohengrin (where the music of the Grail is contrasted with Ortrud's) and Tristan. In 1977, Lucas suggested that in a few places, he and Williams saw fit to reference the original temporary track consciously in the score: so those places where Williams score (very seldom) steers very close to the temporary track are probably intentional. It has been suggested Williams' main titles owe to Korngold's King's Row, but Doug Adams concludes that its "may be stretching the point to dub Korngold’s theme the model", Williams' theme seemingly based on the Rosza piece, instead. Adams also questions whether Williams' intentionally referenced the Dies Irae plainchant in his score. Williams only quotes (albeit repeatedly) a four-note cell consisting of a halfstep down and up and then a fullstep down: a simple shape that anyone could intuitivelly hit upon.62 The scores of later entries seem to have mostly been tracked with pre-existing Williams pieces, although Williams seems to have grasped the homage to Ben Hur in The Phantom Menace and channelled something of Rosza there. Only Revenge of the Sith shows the touch of other contemporary scores, which were obviously put into the temporary track: The wailing soprano vocals in Padme's Ruminations is clearly temped with Lisa Gerard from Gladiator, while Anakin's Dark Deeds were clearly modelled on "The Treason of Isengard" from The Fellowship of the Ring original album.63 Footnotes Vicent Canby, "'Star Wars:' A Trip to a Far Galaxy That's Fun and Funny," New York Times, May 26, 1977. (All links last retrieved 16 October 2023). Jonathan W. Rinzler, The Making of Star Wars (New York: Random House, 2007. Enhanced Edition), p. 117. Chris Taylor, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise (New York: Perseus Books Group, 2017), p. 208, 217, 236, 267, 514. Gary Jenkins, Empire-building: The Remarkable, real-life story of Star Wars (New York: Carol Publishing, 1999), p. 37. "George Lucas on the impact of Star Wars with Christopher Nolan", Director's Guild of America, 19 February 2011. Dale Pollock, Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas (New York: Harmony Books, 1983), p. 141 ff. "All I need is an Idea", 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2011). Edward Elmer Smith, Galactic Patrol (Reading: Fantasy Press, 1950). Andrew G., "Everything Known About the 'Journal of the Whills' Outline," Medium, 30 October 2020. George Lucas, The Star Wars (Rough Draft), May 1974. George Lucas, Adventures of the Starkiller (episode one) "The Star Wars" (Second Draft), 28 January 1975. James Whitebrook, "George Lucas’ Plans for His Star Wars Sequels Were More Familiar Than You’d Think," Gizmodo, 12 November 2020. Stephen Hart, "Galactic Gasbag", Salon, 10 April 2002. Rinzler's book makes it seem Lucas had Midichlorians in mind in August 1977, but in his blog he admits this was added by Lucas to the manuscript after the fact. Jonathan W. Rinzler, "So What the Heck Are Midi-Chlorians?" StarWars.com, June 24, 2013. Michael Kaminski, The Secret History of Star Wars: The Art of Storytelling and the Making of a Modern Myth (Ontario: Legacy Books Press, 2008), p. 49, 61, 77ff, 85ff, citing Kristen Brennan, "EE 'Doc' Smith", Star Wars Origins, 1999. Staff. "A young, enthusiastic crew employs far-out technology to put a rollicking intergalactic fantasy onto the screen". American Cinematographer (American Society of Cinematographers: 1977), p. 1. Jonathan Rinzler, The Making of Return of the Jedi (New York: Random House, 2013. Enhanced Edition), p. 1566. Paul Rosenfield, "Lucas: Film-Maker With the Force," Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1977. Paul Scanlon, "George Lucas: The Wizard of Star Wars," Rolling Stones, 25 August 1977. Stephen Zito, "George Lucas goes far out," American Film, April 1977, pp. 8-13. John Baxter, Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas (London: Harper Collins, 1999), p. 33. Rinzler, p. 117, 257. Kaminski, p. 17, 63. "Everything Known About the 'Journal of the Whills' Outline"; ""A young, enthusiastic crew employs far-out technology to put a rollicking intergalactic fantasy onto the screen." Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Fighting Man of Mars (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1930). Fighting Man of Mars was recently reissued with a Frank Frazetta cover. Shortly thereafter, Lucas started collecting Frazetta, Raymond and Foster originals. Ibid. John Coleman Burroughs, John Carter of Mars (New York: Fantasy Books, 1970). Rinzler, The Making of Star Wars, p. 1669. Pollock, p. 141 ff. Kaminski, p. 315. Staff, "Early Drafts of George Lucas’ Willow Are a Very Different Adventure," Consequence, 14 August 2018. Lucas owns several Frazetta originals, a couple of which will be displayed in his museum of arts. Bob Strauss, "The Force was strong in LA as 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas launched his Narrative Art museum". Los Angeles Daily News, March 14, 2018. Pollock, 141 ff. Brian Jay Jones, George Lucas: A Life (New York: Little Brown and Company, 2019), pp. 42-45, NB 878-880. Jones' excellent biography also peels the histronics around Lucas' car-crash at 18 ("Lucas was actually in better shape than he looked", pp. 68 ff) and his community college education, noting he has an Associate of Arts degreee, not a Social Sciences one, having only took some classes in Sociology, getting a B for his pains. p. 72. Kaminski, p. 45 ff. Michael Heilemann, "Edward Summer interview May 19th (Part 1)," Kitbashed. Charlie Rose, "George Lucas", Charlie Rose.com, 25 December 2015. Michael Heilemann, "Flash Gordon", Kitbashed. Kaminski, p. 63. Rohan Williams, "The Origins of the Crawl," Force Material, 2016. Michael Heilemann, "Princess Hair", Kitbashed. Kamainski, p. 67 ff. u/RunDNA, "A compendium of places where George Lucas copied passages from 'The Films of Akira Kurosawa' to write his Star Wars Synopsis in 1973", Reddit, 21 May 2020. Rinzler, p. 82. "The Wizard of Star Wars." Michael Heilemann, "Kurosawa," Kitbashed. Kaminski, p. 161 ff. Michael Kaminski, "The Influence and Imagery of Akira Kurosawa," The Secret History of Star Wars, 2008. "Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosaw," Akira Kurosawa, The Hidden Fortress, Criterion Channel, 2001. "George Lucas on the impact of Star Wars with Christopher Nolan." JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit (London: Harper Collins, 1937), p. 2 ff. Philip Kosloski, "Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally created to be a Star Wars version of Gandalf," Voyage, 16 November 2019. Rinzler, p. 366. Kevin Burns, "Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy", 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga, 2011. Rinzler, p. 452 ff. "The Wizard of Star Wars." Alec Guinness interview, Parkinson Talk Show, 1977. The Making of Star Wars, p. 523. Jonathan W. Rinzler, The Making of the Empire Strikes Back (New York: Random Books, 2010. Enhanced Edition), p. 94. Pollock, p. 141 ff. "George Lucas Goes Far Out." Adventures of the Starkiller, p. 48. The Making of Return of the Jedi, p. 93, 859. Michael Heilemann, "Chewbacca," Kitbashed. Michael Heilemann, "The Complete History of the Milennium Falcon," Kitbashed. "Star Wars Archives: Episode IV-VI," 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga, 2011. Michael Heilemann, "The Moebius Probe," Kitbashed. Kaminski, p. 21, 212, 426. Michael Heilemann, "Giant Walking Machines," Kitbashed, 2015. Heileman's Edward Summer interview. Cathie Fenner, Arnie Fenner, Testament: The Life and Art of Frank Frazetta (Nevada City: Underwood Books, 2001). "George Lucas Goes Far Out." Michael Kaminski, "The Visual Development of Darth Vader," The Secret History of Star Wars, 2007. Kaminski suggests here that Vader was concieved as a burn victim before shooting started, based on a Mark Hamil interview from 1980, but in his book (p. 126) he admits Hamil's memory may be "foggy." My own feeling is the idea of Vader as a burn victim dates from post-production: the fact Lucas made no mention of it in his discussions with Carol Titelman shows it was a fresh idea on his mind when he told it to Rolling Stones that same month. This would make the similarity to Doctor Doom null. Michael Heilemann, "Casablanca." Jabba, who was originally designed and cast as a human, was a kind of cross of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and Sydney Greenstreet's Signor Ferrari from Casablanca (1942). By November 1979, however, Lucas transformed him into a more Burroughs' like design. While working on his look, Lucas rejected designs that looked too much like a sand-worm from Dune, the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland (replete with a Hatter-like Bib Fortuna) or the Great Goblin from The Hobbit. Michael Heilemann, "The Searchers" and "Its a period of civil war," Kitbashed. Kaminski, pp. 90-92, 141, 161, 430. "The Influence and Imagery of Akira Kurosawa." Michael Heilemann, "The Birth of R2-D2" and "Amazing! Nothing Like it Ever!", Kitbashed. Michael Kaminski, "Jabba the Hutt: 'Wonderful Human Being'", The Secret History of Star Wars, 2008. Kaminski suggests Jabba was reconceptualised as an alien before the comic adaptation of the film was released in June 1977, but actually it released in March. My own feeling, since the release of Rinzler's Making of Return of the Jedi, is that the idea was only arrived at in September 1979. Andrew G. "Why Did George Lucas Say His Ideas for Episode VII Were Abandoned?" Medium, 19 October 2021. Andrew shows that Lucas' plan for Episode VII were far closer to "The Force Awakens" than Lucas himself will admit. While Lucas had envisioned Luke dying in Episode VIII, the fact that virtually all the documentation we have of his vision for the sequel trilogy is of Episode VII would suggest he didn't plan the subsequent two films in any depth. In fact, it could be that the idea of the sequel trilogy was done to “to satisfy fan and media demand” (Kaminski, p. 505) rather than telling the world he was halving the size of the film series (which he shortly prior said would be twelve-film long, like a Flash Gordon serial). The seeming absence of any notes for such sequels would reinforce such a reading. Taylor, p. 488. Taylor, pp. 172 ff. Gilbert Cruz, "George Lucas Wants to Retire and Make Art Films. Sure He Does", Times, 18 January 2012. A survey of Lucas' filmography is given by Michael Heilemann, "The Early filmography of George Lucas," Kitbashed, but seems to have jumbled the order of the films and overstated Lipsett's influence. Jones (pp. 131-134) gives a more rigorous order of Lucas' student films, and puts Lucas' viewing of Lipsett's film around his tenure at graduate school. Heilemann does, however, show that Lucas' first film, "LOOK at LIFE," didn't start out as a film at all but as a "Kinestasic project", and was only inserted into Lucas' oevure after the fact, presumably when Lucas' The Emperor and THX-1138-4EB were touring student film festivals. "George Lucas on the impact of Star Wars with Christopher Nolan." Steven Silberman, "Life After Darth", Wired, 1 May 2005. Jenkins, p. 37. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, p. 146 ff. Carlos Castaneda, Road to Ixtlan and Tales of Power (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972 and 1975). Kaminski, pp. 78-80. "Wizard of Star Wars." Michael Heilemann, "Like Father Like Son," Kitbashed. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, p. 76 ff, 98. George Lucas, National Arts Club speech, 1985, recorded in Phil Cousineau (editor), The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work (San Francisco: New World Library, 1990), p. 186. Michael Kaminski, "Saving Star Wars: The Special Edition Restoration Process and its Changing Physicality," The Secret History of Star Wars, 2009. Rinzler, p. 291, 944-946. David E. Williams, "Gilbert Taylor, BSC is given the spotlight with the ASC's International Achievement Award". American Society of Cinematographers (February 2006). p. 4. "Lucas: Film-Maker With the Force." "The Wizard of Star Wars", Pollock, p. 200. The Making of Return of the Jedi, pp. 105. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, p. 159. Aljean Harmetz, A Pained Lucas Ponders Attacks on 'Willow', New York Times, 9 June 1988. The Making of the Empire Strikes Back, pp. 77, 105 ff. The Making of Return of the Jedi, p. 377-379, 725. Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces (Princeton: University Press, 1949). Michael Heilemann, "Fairytales and the Hero's Journey," Kitbashed. Arthur C. Clarke, Lost Worlds of 2001 (New York: New American Library, 1972), p. 34. Campbell, p. 54. Taylor, p. 197. Lucas had used various dictionaries and name-books to come up with peculiar names, including Thesaurus, Webster’s, Penguin’s Dictionary of Surnames, Harper's Bible Dictionary and Asimov's Guide to the Bible. Kaminski, pp. 71, 526. "All I need is an idea." Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1977). The Making of Return of the Jedi, p. 1160. Richard Schickel (writer), "From Star Wars to Return of the Jedi" 20th Century Fox, Star Wars: The Complete Saga, 2011. "The Wizard of Star Wars." Staff, "The Mythology of Star Wars," BillMoyers.com, 18 June 1999. Charlie Rose interview. A Pained Lucas Ponders Attacks on 'Willow'. Alan Dundes, "Folkloristics in the Twenty-First Century," Lee Haring (editor) Grand Theory in Folkloristics (Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2016), pp. 16–18. Richard Pollak, The Creation of Dr. B: A Biography of Bruno Bettelheim (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997). Taylor, pp. 55 ff, 74. Kaminski, p. 105. Jones, pp. 51. Ibid, p. 902. Kaminski, p. 298. Michael Appler, "Al Pacino Recalls Turning Down ‘Star Wars’ Despite ‘So Much Money,’ Jokes: ‘I Gave Harrison Ford a Career’," Variety, 20 April 2023. The role of Han - not Ben - was a prime candidate for star casting. Also considered was Burt Reynolds. Jason Guerrasio, "Burt Reynolds was such a screen icon that even the list of roles he turned down is legendary, from James Bond to Han Solo," Business Insider, 6 September 2018, Lucas has been suggesting Star Wars as a shoestring budget, little-engine-that-could since 1977, but in fact even at his bleakest, he admits he thought it could make a thrifty $16 to $25 million domestically. Fox' contract specifically states the film has "substantial domestic and international appeal." Even the rejection letters from United Artists and Universal say its a potential hit, albeit a risky one, and Chris Taylor suggests that "the fact that the lawyers kwould keep fighting over the precise details" of the merchandising deal, "shows that Fox was not as asleep at the switch we've been led to believe." (.p. 207). While the nearly $12 million budget seems modest, adjusted to inflation of USD as against British and Tunisian currency, Lucas will have gotten the equivalent of an $80 million movie in 2023 dollars out of it. Lynda Miles and Michael Pye, "The Man Who Made Star Wars", The Atlantic, March 1979. Kaminski, p. 63. "Empire of Dreams." Alex Ross, "The Force is Still Strong with John Williams," The New Yorker, 21 July 2020. Michael Heilemann, "The Origins and Inspirations of John Williams' Star Wars score," Kitbashed. Lucas and Hirsch remember using Liszt's Les Preludes and Bruckner's Ninth, but seem to be conflating them with Bride of Frankenstein (no doubt inspired by Liszt) and Dvorak's Ninth. James Buhler, “Star Wars, Music, and Myth,” James Buhler et al, Music and Cinema (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2000), p. 53 Doug Adams, "Sounds of the Empire: Analysing the themes of the Star Wars Trilogy," Lukas Kendall (Editor), Film Score Monthly, Volume 4: Number 5 (Culver: Vineyard Haven: June 1999), pp. 22-47. Jon and Al Caplan, "Sithburger?", Lukas Kendall (Editor), Film Score Monthly, 10: 3 (May/June 2005), p. 32. Conclusions Lucas main influences are Galactic Patrol (via the 1972 Panther reissue); Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars; Space Soldiers Conquer The Universe (via reruns on Super Serial), and The Hidden Fortress (largely as summarized in Richie's The Films of Akira Kurosawa). From these he took the following: From Galactic Patrol: the interplanetary setting, the concepts of the Jedi and the Force as they appear in the larger series, and much of the plot of the original film. From John Carter: Tatooine, Geonosis and Jakku. Bestiary including Banthas, Aiwhas, Wookies and especially the Ewoks and the Gungans, both of which are led by the heroes to fight against a technologically superior foe (like the Tharks against Zodanga). The premise of rescuing the princess in the original film. Removing earth from the setting. From Flash Gordon: the original impetus to make a film on this topic, some designs, stylistic elements like the wipes, the idea of a rebellion against a tyrannical overlord. From Kurosawa: Much of the plot of Episode I, and isolated plot points for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The Japanese trappings of queen Amidala, the Tatooine robes (later Jedi robes) and Vader's helmet. From secondary sources: the urban planet, the emphasis on spacing guilds in Episodes I and II, Luke and Anakin as "Chosen Ones" (from Dune), the lightsabres, the TIE-fighters and some broad archetypes (from Harry Harrison), Luke as an "everyman" in the original film; Ben, Yoda and Qui Gon as wizard mentors, the designs of Luke's homestead, Anakin's hovel and Yoda's hut (from The Hobbit), the cloying tone of Return of the Jedi, some "Special Edition" revisions to reduce the violence in the original film, the "Long Time Ago" epigraph (from "Uses of Enchantment"), the main twist in "The Empire Strikes Back" (from Conrad Kottak's review of Star Wars), the trench run, the Germanic trappings of the Imperials and some of the spaceships (from The Dam Busters), Luke finding his dead aunt and uncle and Anakin his mother (from The Searchers). While owing a substantial debt to these sources, it would be unfair to accuse Lucas of pastiche: For as heavy a debt as he owes to Galactic Patrol, Lucas' film is quite distinct from it: Smith's book plays more like very soft science fiction, lacking the kind of fantasy trappings of Lucas' film. Likewise, one cannot watch a Flash Gordon serial, and much less a Kurosawa film and "see" Star Wars. Lucas uses from these sources in ways that benefit his film, recontextualising the elements he takes within the framework of his own story. What's more, its not clear Lucas was interested in hiding his sources entirely: many of these stories were still quite popular at the time, and anyone at all familiar with the genre would have recognised the allusions from practically the moment they sat down to watch the movie. In fact, Lucas' sources were overwhelmingly recent: either new issues of space opera periodicals, or recent reissues of genre classics, all entirely between 1969 and 1977. Even the films Lucas referenced were mostly cinema rereleases or television reruns. Also significant, I think, is the fact that much of the filmic influence of Lucas, both in terms of positive influence and in terms of showing him what he wanted to divorce himself from, comes from television: It is poetic, then, that this franchise should have now become ostensibly a television franchise. Was the film intended as a "post modern", "meta" mash-up of homages? It was certainly concieved of as knowingly retro. Lucas was 1950s kid growing up on a lot of 1940s films and comics, and he wanted to throw back to those. His early, more derivative drafts may have been intended merely to jog his imagination, and as could be expected of any filmmaker making a genre film, he did his research into the genre, not necessarily intending to make a "homage" even if he invariably ended up making one. His cinematic style, that of a 1950s Western, complements the 1940s Flash Gordon and Lensmen and 1920s (that is to, say pre-World War II) Burroughs material, and is well-helped by the 1910s-styled musical score. He certainly didn't want to be self-aware as such, and any such trends - overstated by 1977 critics - had been snuffed out of the sequels and prequels alltogether. Lucas' films are not congruent with the "high brow" spin: already in 1975, Lucas insisted to Edward Summer that there was no comic-book influence on Star Wars, and instead pointed to his interest in Campbell, and this rhetoric would intensify, particulary after 1980. The study of Lucas' sources, however, shows that this is an affectation: Even with regards to Kurosawa, while A Hidden Fortress is an excellent, well-regarded film, it is far from Kurosawa's finest or even Lucas own favourites of the Japanese filmmaker's output. Flash Gordon, Galactic Patrol and John Carter all fall on the pulpy side of things, and are more significant influences than Kurosawa and certainly then Bettelheim. Its therefore rather poetic that Star Wars had been sold to Disney of all studios, and that, after having based itself on these quixotic and comic-book-like sources, should have finally pivoted from the novelistic style that Lucas aspired to between 1980 and 2005, to a more comic-book-like picaresque style, ostensibly becoming the third major cinematic comic-book franchise alongside Marvel and DC.
  20. I wonder how orchestral the score will be. With it being a live-action series, there's the potential to have a good-sized orchestra. Though odds are that it'll be in the vein of Kiner's more typical synth.
  21. https://variety.com/2020/film/news/taika-waititi-star-wars-1234597104/ Good for him
  22. Uh...what the heck?!? Just saw this on the Entertainment Weekly site!! https://ew.com/movies/2018/11/17/john-williams-new-music-disney-star-wars-theme-parks/
  23. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in American theaters. The movie is not good, it has some atrocious CGI and laughable moments, but at the very least John Williams' score is amazing.
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