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Saga The Cinematic Inspiration for Star Wars

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

  1. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky has a central battle sequence on a frozen lake which has essentially been the primary influence for all major battle scenes in cinema, and you can see some of that crossing into the Battle of Hoth.

     
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  2. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    Terrific. Prokofiev's score is tremendous and no doubt influential too.

    Some of the newsreel footage of the battles around Stalingrad, Moscow and Leningrad is reminiscent of the Hoth Battle too.
     
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  3. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Akira Kurosawa is a huge influence on Lucas, but one of his less talked about films has a few major influences on both ANH and ESB.

    Dersu Uzala:
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    There's a major snowstorm in the middle of the film, in which the two main characters have to shield themselves in a field for the night, similar to how Han had to save Luke on Hoth.

    Perhaps the greatest influence of all is the character of Dersu Uzala himself, a diminutive character who lives in the wilderness and is deeply in touch with nature. Oh, and he also speaks in a backward sentence structure.
     
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  4. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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  5. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Yeah it's under the radar for most people, but it's an absolutely amazing film. It even won the Foreign Film Oscar back in 1975.
     
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  6. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Knight star 3

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    Oct 30, 2015
    I assume by "inspiration" not only story elements but also visuals count. I'm surprised nobody mentioned 2001: A Space Odyssey yet. I always thought the front part of the Discovery looks a little (no, actually a lot) like the Death Star. Anyone else ever noticed this?

    [​IMG]

    The movie was made a decade before SW and is in itself a milestone in special effects. So why would Lucas not have been inspired by some elements from it? I could just be imagining it, but the Discovery's interior design (mostly white with some black) could have inspired the interiors of the Tantive IV. Also, there are the oddly-shaped corridors (octagonal in Discovery - hexagonal in the Death Star).
    I know this thread is about "cinematic" inspiration so I'm going a little off-topic here. But I'm pretty sure much about Tatooine is inspired by Arrakis from Dune. I'm not sure if Lucas ever read the book(s), but there may have been some concept art before 1976. After all a movie of Dune had been planned for a long time (Jodorowsky) before it was finally made in 1984, long before David Lynch was chosen to direct it.
    I think Lucas himself said 3PO was based on the robot in Metropolis (I haven't seen the movie). Could R2 haven been inspired just a little by the small robots in Silent Running?
     
  7. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    I'll accept Dune although there was no finished film to draw inspiration from. It is certain that Lucas was familiar with the book already, but as you pointed out, Jodorowsky had begun preproduction on Dune with help from people who would later become connected with Star Wars. Most notably artist Ron Cobb (Star Wars, Alien... everything). and fellow USC alumni Dan O'Bannon (Dark Star, Alien) had traveled to Rome to work on the project before it stalled. So it would not surprise me that Lucas intuited from this that sci-fi may start being hip again.
     
  8. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Hand of the Mod Squad and Enforcer of the Realm star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Nov 1, 2012

    The command section of Discovery looks a lot like the death star. Funny, I never realized it before.
     
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  9. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 26, 2009
    The Battle of Kashyyyk appears to be broadly influenced by Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. They both have a similar visual palette of earthy tones and greys.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Bump.

    The Godfather films were hugely influential on Star Wars, particularly when Lucas decided to have both the father and son's journeys follow similar paths, but with vastly different outcomes.
     
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  11. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    [​IMG]

    I can't recommend Down To The Sea In Ships (1949) highly enough.

    A great tale of a young orphan boy (Dean Stockwell) taken to sea by his grandfather (Lionel Barrymore), a Master in a whaling vessel , and the growing relationship with a younger, ambitious whaler and potential father figure. (Richard Widmark).

    The tensions between duty, family, responsibility, ambition and obedience are played out wonderfully.

    I'm not sure where you might be able to get or watch it. DVDs are thin on the ground. I gather it is public domain now and there appears to be links for free downloads here and there. Watch your step, and good luck.

    It was shown on Film 4 (UK) recently so keep an eye out for a rerun there.
     
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  12. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 8, 2015
    Sith Lord 2015 wrote

    Could R2 haven been inspired just a little by the small robots in Silent Running?

    [face_shhh] Well...that one put the plagiarism trial (Fox / Star Wars vs. Universal / Battlestar Galactica) to a rather premature end, as far as I know and remember.

    However...

    The Hidden Fortress ???

    This one has been quoted to death for years, but frankly and except for the two peasants bickering like Artoo and Threepio, I see little to no resemblance to Star Wars.

    The moving around of the gold of the Akizuki clan rather reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. ;)
     
  13. MatthewZ

    MatthewZ Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 21, 2003
    The earlier drafts of The Star Wars more closely mirrored the plot of The Hidden Fortress.
     
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  14. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 10, 2005
    Vader choking Motti just when he's about to say "the Rebels' hidden fortress" is quite telling in a symbolic way ;)
     
  15. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    Feel free to speculate, folks. It doesn't need to be slam dunkers that show Lucas got this from there. Although those are great and hopefully we can turn up some new or overlooked ones.

    Yes Hidden Fortress has enjoyed a certain amount of prominence, some of it perhaps undue when compared with the finished film that turned out to be Star Wars.

    But there can be no doubt that GL was inspired by it even if the movie itself appears only tenuously influenced by it.
     
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  16. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 8, 2015
    The first allusion that came to my mind, watching the prelude of the battle, was this (actually the sentry with his 'spear' looking down to the Yavin IV jungle):

    [​IMG]

    But this also illustrates my point, I believe Lucas was first and foremost inspired by visual key elements which he used to create deja-vu. And there aren't that many in The Hidden Fortress that made their way into ANH, IMHO.
     
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  17. Katarn's Beard

    Katarn's Beard Jedi Knight

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    Jan 21, 2014
    I believe the award ceremony scene at the end of ANH was directly inspired by Triumph of the Will, a Nazi propaganda film from the 1930's.
     
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  18. Nibelung

    Nibelung Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Apr 18, 2017
    Indeed. Presumably out of embarrassment, the LucasArts Behind the Magic CD only noted the ceremony was "based on the 1934 film Triumph des Willens", leaving the title in German with no other context provided.
     
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  19. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 8, 2015
    [​IMG]

    I presume the inspiration is mostly based on the image of three people walking between the troops.

    However, the scene were the Alliance soldiers turn forward and clap their boots was not inspired by Triumph of the Will as there is no corresponding scene in it (but plenty of bad acting...the smaller speeches delivered by young Germans are so pathetic and hilarious, that it's almost difficult to understand why this flick is still censored in Germany...). ;)
     
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  20. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Pretty clear reference to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal with Max von Sydow facing death once more in TFA.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. MatthewZ

    MatthewZ Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 21, 2003

    This guy's IMDB starts in 1949!!!
     
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  22. Nibelung

    Nibelung Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Apr 18, 2017
    Von Sydow's attire in The Seventh Seal was probably one of the influences on Luke's black outfit in ROTJ. (The costume in Bergman's film was itself inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet, whose climactic final duel probably influenced Lucas' ideas for the third SW film.)
     
  23. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Big time Godfather vibes in ROTS.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Jo Lucas

    Jo Lucas Jedi Knight star 4

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    Aug 28, 2015
    The first draft of The Star Wars was directly inspired by The Hidden Fortress.
     
  25. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    As much as I'd love ROTS to be comparable with the Godfather films (and there's no doubt that Coppola and Lucas influenced each other greatly), the Venetian blind shadows are really an age-old convention from film noir. There are examples which match ROTS closer than the Vito shot.
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