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the Star Wars Saga

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Author Topic: the Star Wars Saga  (Read 1971 times)
Darth Maul
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« on: July 22, 2007, 04:30:09 pm »

Film

•   Star Wars was heavily inspired by Akira Kurosawa's films The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope features the exploits of C-3PO and R2-D2, whereas the plot of The Hidden Fortress is told from the point of view of two bickering peasants. The two peasants, Tahei and Matashichi, are first shown escaping a battle, while C-3PO and R2-D2 are first shown fleeing an attack in A New Hope. Additionally, both films feature a battle-tested General -- Rokurota Makabe in The Hidden Fortress and Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope -- who assist a rebellion led by a princess and engage in a duel with a former rival whom they fought years earlier. Lucas also features many horizontal wipe scene transitions in A New Hope, a technique used thoroughly by Kurosawa in his films.
•   Lucas has also cited The Searchers and Lawrence of Arabia as references for the style—if not the story—used in the films. A more direct homage to Lawrence of Arabia occurs in Attack of the Clones, as Padme and Anakin talk while walking around the Theed palace on Naboo. It was filmed at the Palacio Español in Seville, Spain, which in Lawrence of Arabia was the site of the British Army HQ in Cairo, and was shot in the exact manner as the scene in Lawrence of Arabia where Allenby (Jack Hawkins) and Dryden (Claude Rains) discuss whether to give artillery to Lawrence's Arab troops. In the same film, Padme and Anakin also retreat to an estate called Varykino - the name of the Gromeko family estate in Doctor Zhivago (1965). (Some also have considered Tom Courtenay's Pasha/Strelnikov character from Zhivago as an inspiration for Anakin/Darth Vader, but the similarities are likely coincidental.) A reference to The Searchers occurs in A New Hope, when Luke discovers the burning moisture farm.
•   Lucas is also a fan of Sergio Leone's film Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), and according to Leone's biographer, Christopher Frayling, he listened to the score from Leone's film while editing The Empire Strikes Back. Many have considered Vader's first appearance in A New Hope as being a "homage" to the introduction of Henry Fonda's villainous Frank in the Leone film.
•   The space battles in A New Hope were based on filmed World War I dogfights.
•   The attack on the "Death Star" in the climax of the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is similar in many respects to the strategy of Operation Chastise from the 1954 British film, The Dam Busters. Rebel pilots have to fly through a trench while evading enemy fire and drop a single special weapon at a precise distance from the target in order to destroy the entire base with a single explosion; if one run fails another run must be made by a different pilot. Some scenes from the Star Wars climax are very similar to those in The Dam Busters and some of the dialogue is nearly identical in the two films. These scenes are also heavily influenced by the action scenes from the fictional wartime film 633 Squadron. That film's finale shows the squadron's planes flying down a deep fjord while being fired at along the way by anti-aircraft guns lining its sides. George Lucas has stated in interviews that this sequence inspired the 'trench run' sequence in Star Wars.

Literature

The science fiction writer Isaac Asimov stated on several occasions that George Lucas's galaxy-wide Empire bore a close resemblance to the Galaxy depicted in Asimov's Foundation Series. The greatest differences are that Asimov's Galaxy contains no robots or non-human aliens; Asimov addressed both issues directly in the saga's later volumes, most notably Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth. Since Asimov's death in 1992, the Star Wars cinematic universe has gained new Asimov-esque elements: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace introduced the planet Coruscant, which bears a close resemblance to Asimov's Trantor (Coruscant technically originated in a book from the Star Wars Expanded Universe released in 1991).

Many fans have noted striking parallels between Star Wars and Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi saga, Dune, the first installment of which came out in 1965. Both stories take place in a space faring society ruled by a corrupt emperor. Both stories center on a mystical order of warrior priests (The Jedi, The Bene Gesserit) who possess super-human abilities, such as mind reading and manipulation, extreme speed, strength, agility and the ability to see the future. The most striking similarities come when the heroes of these stories are considered, Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars and Paul Atreides in Dune. In both stories, the order of warrior priests predicts the coming of a messiah like figure, who comes in the form of a boy, (Anakin, Paul). They train the hero in their ways but some where along the line the hero becomes distanced from them and eventually turns against them. Somewhere down the line, the hero loses sight of his good intentions and ends up doing much more harm than good. At one point both heroes fall deeply in love with a fiercely independent, feisty woman (Padme, Chani) but their relationship cannot be made public for political reasons. The woman becomes pregnant and the hero knows (though his ability to see the future) that she will die in child birth. Sure enough, she dies giving birth to fraternal twins, a boy (Luke, Leto II) and a girl (Leia, Ghanima). At this time the hero goes through a symbolic death, in which he sheds his old self, and adopts a pseudonym (Darth Vader, The Preacher). He has no involvement in the upbringing of his children, though later he does have a brief and complicated relationship with his son, which ends with his death in his sons arms. It is up to the children, particularly the son, to right the wrongs that their father committed. Naturally there are many large differences between the two sagas, but the similarities are striking. They are so striking that Frank Herbert says that, during production of the Dune film, he calculated the odds of points of similarities between Star Wars and Dune being a coincidence. The results came out as greater than the number of stars in the galaxy-to-one against.

Historical

George Lucas has stated that many historical events have been used in the Star Wars saga, for example, that the Empire was based on Hitler's Third Reich. The storm troopers from the movies share a name with the Nazi stormtroopers (see also Sturmabteilung). The imperial officers' uniforms also resemble some (historical) German Army uniforms (see Waffen-SS). In addition, some World War II terms may have been used for names in Star Wars; examples include the planets Kessel (a term that refers to a group of encircled forces) and Hoth (Hermann Hoth was a German general).
« Last Edit: July 22, 2007, 04:32:56 pm by Darth Maul » Report Spam   Logged


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