May 23rd, 2008

Influences on Star Wars

Neatorama linked to a fantastic article on Cineleet, which lists, with examples, the biggest cinematic influences on the Star Wars films.

Films about World War II were also clear influences on the Star Wars saga (the dogfight scene from “Episode IV: A New Hope“ was based upon a visualization created by Lucas taken from countless WWII films; and the historical tale of the Nazis was a huge influence on the development of The Empire). Visually, The Guns of Navarone, a classic in its own right, was a big inspiration on how the Death Star’s functionality was portrayed on-screen. The scenes in which the engineers and gunners prepare to trigger the primary weapon(s) in both films is very close; in fact it is more or less identical.

Plot-wise, the heroes’ attempts at attempting to destroy the formidable weapons are also mirrored in both Episodes IV and VI. While the journey to the end-goal differs between the two films, it is the idea of unlikely heroes accomplishing the impossible that Lucas was clearly fascinated with.

Compare the scene below to the scene in Episode IV where the Death Star is about to fire upon the rebel base on the moon of Yavin.


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