Saga The Cinematic Inspiration for Star Wars

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Martoto77, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Aug 6, 2016
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    I wanted to start a thread to list and/or to discuss the movies that had an influence on how the Star Wars saga and its themes, scenes, settings, character, dialogue etc came about.

    We're talking pre 1977 here only.

    I'll get the ball rolling with two very influential movies

    Ben-Hur - 1959 (or 1925 if you prefer, but I doubt it)

    The struggle between two childhood friends, one a Judean prince, the other a Roman tribune who has turned his back on his own people for a taste of the power and glory promised by their conquerors. A marvelously intimate epic that deals with the corrupting power of hate, even if it is born out of a righteous fury and sense of injustice, and the healing power of faith. The virtue of non-violence and the example it sets.

    (PS. The 1925 version is definitely worth watching. The chariot race is on a par with the 59 version's)

    Casablanca - 1942

    Golden Age Hollywood at its best. You cannot fail to see the inspiration for both Han and Lando - A cynical opportunist who sticks his neck out for nobody but nevertheless has a hidden heroic past as a resistance fighter and gun runner/smuggler. (Covers Episdodes IV-VII)

    An ostensibly (and I use this term rather loosely. We're talking about Casablanca here) respectable bar owner and player who is forced to make big choices when a fugitive couple, one of whom he has a past with, arrive in dire need of his help.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Apr 4, 2017
  2. Bazinga'd Porg Overlord of the WNU, CT, and Saga Forums

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    Dont forget the works of Joseph Campbell and Akria Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.
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  3. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    I am not forgetting Hidden Fortress. [face_shame_on_you]

    Did Campbell make any movies or was he adapted prior to 77?

    I gather that Lucas only actually read Campbell very late in the development of Star Wars and that it wasn't a major influence except for legitimizing the kind of hero that Lucas was inspired by in Buck Rogers /Flash Gordon etc

    I'm expressly looking for movies to discuss. Lucas and the majority of the filmmakers that emerged at the same time are the first predominantly cine-influenced film-makers. In other words, their movies are about movies more than anything else.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Apr 4, 2017
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  4. Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master

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  5. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Try following the shadow cast by the spina in the centre of the circus as the chariots race round it.

    It will drive you insane.
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  6. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Aug 6, 2016
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    Also the locked speeder bike control vanes in the Endor chase sequence clearly reference the climactic moment of the chariot race

    [IMG]

    (can't for the life of me locate a head on screenshot online)

    .. where Ben-Hur and Messala's wheels lock until .... Whoops!

    [IMG]
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  7. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Aug 6, 2016
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    Oh and I guess I must also post a screenshot from Casablanca with Rick trying to convince Renault of his lack of nobility or heroism

    [IMG]

    Renault : I suspect that under that cynical shell... ...you are at heart a sentimentalist.
    Laugh if you will, but I happen to be familiar with your record.
    Let me point out just two items:
    In 1935, you ran guns to Ethiopia. In 1936, you fought in Spain on the Loyalist side.

    Rick : And got well paid for it on both occasions.

    Renault : The winning side would have paid you much better

    Rick : Maybe
  8. Bazinga'd Porg Overlord of the WNU, CT, and Saga Forums

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    @Martoto77 Enough with the multiple consecutive posts, it can be considered spamming. Use the edit feature at the bottom of your post if possible.
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  9. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    I try whenever I can.

    But on several different browsers, on different desktops, mobiles etc, I've found the edit function is a bit of a basket case. It also doesn't help that I cannot edit anything after 40 minutes has elapsed.
  10. Kenneth Morgan Chosen One

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    May 27, 1999
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    As I understand it, Lucas has acknowledged that the sequence of Ani slaughtering the Separatist leaders while Palpatine announces the Empire's formation in ROTS was inspired by the murders of Michael Corleone's enemies during the baptism in "The Godfather". I'm not sure if he's said if that sequence also helped inspire Order 66, but the case could be made for that, as well.
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  11. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    I believe the intercutting of the hits with the christening were George's idea. Or maybe it was to put the organ music over the top of them.

    And Lucas recommended taking the ends of takes shot in the hospital scene, where the camera is just pointing down an empty corridor or staircase. and editing them together to create tension while Michael waits for whomever is coming to "take care" of his father.

    But before getting going off topic. The shot of Anakin looking into the camera during the Mustafar massacre has been part of cinema since silent days.

    I was reminded mostly of Sister Ruth's "transformation" in Black Narcissus though

    [IMG][IMG]
    Last edited by Martoto77, Apr 5, 2017
  12. zaphod67 Jedi Youngling

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    Feb 12, 2017
    The Searchers, particularly in Attack of the Clones, but also several camera angles in A New Hope. [IMG]
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  13. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Excellent @zaphod67 I had that one rattling around in my head also.

    The discovery of the burning Edwards ranch also reminded me of the Lars homestead massacre when I first saw the Searchers (after I'd seen Star Wars)
    [IMG]

    Again. I'm struggling to find a link for the correct equivalent long - shot as Luke discovers the burning homestead

    [IMG]
    [IMG]

    P.S. It's not my intention to make this thread too image heavy. But cinema is a visual medium so it's kind of turning out that way.

    If the mods have any advice re keeping it within reasonable limits, I'm happy to oblige.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Apr 6, 2017
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  14. MatthewZ Jedi Master

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  15. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Thanks MatthewZ

    I managed to hold off seeing Lawrence for over twenty years until I was able to see it as it was intended - In 70mm with the overture, intermission etc. It was well worth waiting. I've still to watch the blu ray I bought of that recent restoration but I remember that shot coming right after the intermission.

    And Claude Rains returns!

    Well spotted.

    I was thinking about Murnau and Nosferatu in relation to the horror close up of Anakin too. The Count Orlock rising gag from Nosferatu has nice rhyme with the first full reveal of Vader's suit in ROTS.
  16. ewoksimon Jedi Master

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    Yoda rubbing his forehead in ROTS references Takashi Shimura doing the same in Seven Samurai.

    [IMG]
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  17. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Kurosawa has the officer who devises the plan of attack on Pearl in Tora! Tora! Tora! do this as well.

    Nice one, ewoksimon.
  18. ewoksimon Jedi Master

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    The title character of Gunga Din is no doubt an influence on a certain infamous Gungan.
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  19. zaphod67 Jedi Youngling

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    Feb 12, 2017
    While you could certainly be correct on Gunga Din being the inspiration for the word Gungan, I don't see the character parallel. Could you elaborate?
  20. zaphod67 Jedi Youngling

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  21. ewoksimon Jedi Master

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    Well, Jar Jar isn't quite a parallel to Gunga Din on a personality level, but both characters fit the baseline role of an unlikely ally.
  22. MatthewZ Jedi Master

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    Scaramouche (1952) - Inspired large portions of ESB.
    The Dam Busters (1955) - Inspired the TIE Fighter Attack and Trench Run in ANH.
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  23. zaphod67 Jedi Youngling

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    Feb 12, 2017
    The novel Scaramouche even more, particularly where a specific plot twist is concerned. ;)
  24. zaphod67 Jedi Youngling

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Fair enough.
  25. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Aug 6, 2016
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    Olivier's Hamlet, with Jean Simmons in the role of Ophelia, had a big impact on Lucas's generation.

    [IMG]
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    Last edited by Martoto77, Apr 7, 2017