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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

    Oct 26, 2009
    The noir elements are there no doubt, but I guess I'm also drawing from the fact that Coppola was Lucas' mentor. And while the opera scene in ROTS isn't a direct Godfather reference (although perhaps Part III), the influence is pretty apparent.
    Lt. Hija likes this.
  2. Nibelung

    Nibelung Jedi Padawan star 2

    Apr 18, 2017
    Nicolas Roeg's 1971 film WALKABOUT is an often unremarked but important influence on the 1974 draft of The Star Wars.

    The film concerns a teenage girl and her younger brother (Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg, the director's son), who are trapped in the Australian outback when their father commits suicide. They survive the desert with the help of a friendly aborigine (David Guliplil), who is sadly lynched one evening by white Australians as they approach civilization.

    The Aborigine in the film was a big influence on the character of Prince Valorum, whose description as a "Black Knight" extended to him being literally black. Plus, the young blond-haired boy was the model for Deak Starkiller, protagonist Annikin's ten-year-old younger brother, who also takes on the Aborigine's role of tragic victim.

    And of course, Jenny Agutter's character was a major inspiration for the teenage Princess Leia. Agutter was 16 at the time (the same age as Brigitte Helm in Metropolis), but that doesn't stop her from appearing naked for a solid ten minutes of the film.
  3. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    Couldn't find a clean clip of it, but the hyperdrive scene of the legendary Dark Star can be seen in the trailer here, after about twenty seconds.

    Lucas hired writer, special effects/art director and "Pinback", Dan O'Bannon, to create computer read out effects for Star Wars.

    2001 : A Space Odyssey was a huge influence on John Carpenter to make a deadpan comedy from it for his USC Cinema degree project filmed between 1970 and 1972. So the streak photography technique was a no-brainer. But the ingredients for a jump to hyperspace are all there prior to Star Wars. In fact it goes as far as placing the crew of Dark Star into a suspended animation force field to compensate for the fantastic acceleration and deceleration.

    Note : The concept of clearing unwanted planets from Space channels pre-dates Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. And it has a similar sense of humor.

    An interesting anecdote relating to Lucas and film-makers being told what they should have done.

    While working on Star Wars, O'Bannon was asked by Lucas why they didn't try to make the alien in Dark Star look more realistic. He persisted with questioning it, wondering why they didn't try to add texture to it with some fake vomit or something. Eventually, O'Bannon said, "Well, George, you weren't there! If you had been there to tell us what to do, instead of making THX into a feature film, maybe we would have used fake vomit.... And after that George Lucas didn't like me very much."
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  4. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 8, 2015
    Martoto77 wrote

    In fact it goes as far as placing the crew of Dark Star into a suspended animation force field to compensate for the fantastic acceleration and deceleration.

    That was a nice tip off the hat to Forbidden Planet, even had the same colored animation force field.

    One thing I believe you forgot to mention:

    The Dark Star was a planet killer...maybe because of that the French dubbing accidentally referred to the Death Star as "Dark Star". :p
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  5. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 26, 2009
    The theatrical poster for AOTC was intentionally designed to evoke the poster for Doctor Zhivago. I'm not sure if it's canon anymore, but the Padme's lakeside retreat on Naboo was called Varykino at one point, which was also the name of a romantic retreat in Doctor Zhivago.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  6. Jim Smith

    Jim Smith Jedi Padawan star 1

    Apr 5, 2017
    I've seen The Hidden Fortress and it's great. I need to see it again as a matter of fact. I highly recommend it to everyone on here! :D
  7. redxavier

    redxavier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 23, 2003
    For the peasants, it's not just the bickering, they part ways over an argument (in a desert-like environment) only to be captured separately but meet up again, at which point they are very pleased to see each other. Then there is the scene where General Rokurota engages in a duel with the enemy general so that the heroes can escape (complete with enemy soldiers standing around watching it).

    The proactive and feisty nature of the princess is a parallel to Leia.

    In terms of visual style, Hidden Fortress is where the (editing) wipes come from.

    Perhaps the most overlooked influence is the overall tone of the film. It's a really great blend of humour, action, mystery, adventure and tension. Precisely what Star Wars turned out to be.
    It's an amazing film which is sometimes difficult for us modern audiences to truly appreciate. I mean, there's the spear duel above but moments later there's a fast-paced fight on horse-back full of the kind of energy we now see in Fast and Furious movies (and this is in 1958!).
    Lulu Mars, Martoto77 and ewoksimon like this.
  8. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    Can't believe I didn't remember this sooner.

  9. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    Ok. I'm going to break my own rules here and talk about a post 1977 movie.

    I can't help but marvel at how Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) by Francis Coppola really concisely presented the title character's journey to turning his back on all that he swore to uphold and making a deal with the devil in a way that clearly inspired Lucas in what he was trying to do with Anakin.

    If you haven't watched this movie in a while, I recommend you take a moment to sit and watch the prologue and turn the volume UP. (then sit and watch the rest of the picture :D)

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  10. yodaman_reborn

    yodaman_reborn Jedi Master star 1

    Feb 7, 2009
    I believe the Battle of Britain was the inspiration for ANH dog fights.
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  11. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    May 27, 1999
    If I remember correctly, the "Art of ROTJ" book notes that the costume was influenced by Western movies, in that a Western character dresses in black when they really mean business. Someone might want to confirm this, though.

    Another "Godfather" influence is the hit on Luca Brasi, which inspired Leia's similar garroting of Jabba.
    Martoto77 likes this.