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The Origins of Star Wars

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Lock_S_Foils, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    We've got a lot of awesome, knowledgeable SW fans here (and then there's me....)

    Anyway, I am going to re-read the great book "The Making of Star Wars", and thought to start a thread about this book and the early years of SW and Lucas.

    So here is the book, if you don't have it highly recommend you add it to your collection. Only nitpick I have about this book is the font size is very very small, us old folk like myself have to get up real close to read it....[when 900 years old you reach, you will need reading glasses too...]

    More to come as I finish a chapter, I will check back in here with commentary, etc.

    the making of star wars.jpg
     
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  2. Kato Sai

    Kato Sai Jedi Commander

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    I was watching an interview with GL. He spoke that when inventing The Force and his story, he looked for the common theme in all religions: life force and father and son relationship. Very interesting thoughts he had to share about the origins of his Galaxy Far.
     
    #2 Kato Sai, Dec 1, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  3. Rodney-2187

    Rodney-2187 Guest

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    These two documentaries are pretty good:



     
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  4. Phil J

    Phil J Guest

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    Also, there is the central theme of duality in the form of Nietzsche's Appolonyan- Dionysean dichotomy- Apollo, the god of knowledge and art represents human civilisation and the desire to overcome nature and Dionysus represents the unknown elements of nature. The Empire representing Apollo in its quest to assert what it sees as a logical and rational order of the galaxy and the Rebellion being more Dionysean, having its basis in emotion and being wild and unpredictable.

    Though when you consider the origins of the Jedi and the Sith, the roles of Dionysus and Apollo are reversed.

    There is also the idea of God in the form of the force, a karmic entity capable of manipulating causality to its own ends. Since time immemorial, it was thought that the outcome of many battles was predestined by God and who was in his favour. A notable example of this being Henry V's victory at Agincourt which he attributed to the intervention of God and this seeming act of providence served to cement his claim as a result.

    Also, Star Wars is also inspired by the Manichaean theory of evil (Mandaeanism being an ancient religion that still survives in modern day Iran), that life is divided solely between good and evil and good must triumph over evil by eradicating it; in addition to the Daoist concepts of Yin (negative, female, dark, concealed) and Yang (light, male, positive, opened) and the notion of the whole being larger than both constituents.

    At the end of Order 66, there were 2 surviving Jedi and 2 Sith.
     
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  5. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    So @Jaxxon and @The Birdwatcher seems I had already started a thread on this.....so here we go!

    In the fall of 1968, 24 year old George Lucas was working as a Production Assistant on Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rain People". While working on this he would also devote all of his spare time working on his first feature film THX 1138.

    Script Supervisor Mona Skager recalls a time in late 68, where they were all in a motel lobby waiting for Coppola. Suddenly Lucas starts talking about a film he wanted to make, about spaceships, holograms, and the wave of the future. Skager recalled they were enthralled by Lucas' passion on this subject, but frankly, they didn't really know what he was talking about! LOL - the "birth of Star Wars"!

    Anyway, Lucas states "I had thought about doing what became Star Wars long before THX 1138. I've always been intrigued with Flash Gordon. It was one of my favorite serials and comic books, along with Tommy Tomorrow and those kind of things".

    Fast forward to BLACK THURSDAY = November 19, 1970. Lucas' first cut of THX 1138 is screened on the Warner Brothers lot. After the lights came up, it quickly became apparent that WB didn't understand it, didn't like it, and certainly didn't have a clue how to market it....!!!

    Eventually WB begrudgingly released THX on March 11, 1971, to tepid reviews and box office results. ALthough it had a small audience and a few positive reviews, this could have ruined a career of someone with lesser talent than Lucas -- WB withdrew $300K in funding Coppola/Lucas/ "American Zoetrope" film company and demanded Coppola pay back the $500K loaned for the production of 6 more films including Apocalypse Now, The Black Stallion and The Conversation....

    So THX 1138 left Lucas unemployed and penniless , however, it led to many positives, ultimately STAR WARS.....

    ....more to come as I read some......
     
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  6. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    In the early 70s, George Lucas had two competing passion projects vying for his attention while wading in the lurch between the failure of THX and absurd success of 'American Graffiti'.

    The first, and much higher profile of the two, was a contemporary reimagining of Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’. John Milius had the idea of reframing the backdrop of colonialism era Britain in Africa with the American incursion in Vietnam. He called it ‘Apocalypse Now’. George Lucas, who had rather strong feelings about the war, was supposed to be its director.

    The second, and way less likely, was a sincerely modernist reinterpretation of the ‘Flash Gordon’ serials he enjoyed as a kid. He, as so many of us are doing nowadays with our own nostalgia, had rediscovered those staples of his youth and found them to be way less exceptional than he remembered. He wanted to make the version of it he had in his head. What he thought they were and could be. A better ‘Flash Gordon’.

    ‘Apocalypse Now’ was stymied at that time, not able to get financial backing to begin production. King Features, who held the rights to ‘Flash Gordon’ and were already in works to produce a film, had turned him down when he reached out.

    So, the two projects became one. He set out to write his own space fantasy epic. One that would both be his idealized version of ‘Flash Gordon’, incorporating all of his varied interests and influences, and also include all of the core ethical ideas on the dangers of imperialism he’d wanted to speak to with ‘Apocalypse Now’.

    I think that’s when ‘Star Wars’ was truly born. The moment it became the pot that he started putting all of his ingredients into: ‘Apocalypse Gordon’ :D
     
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  7. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    Superb @eeprom !! Thanks for the insight. The “making of” book goes into the THX debacle but not into the Apocalypse Now angle. So many what if’s in this timeframe.....what if he GOT the rights to Flash Gordon? What if American Graffiti flopped?
     
    #7 Lock_S_Foils, Aug 6, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  8. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    OK the next phase of the thread will be to dig into Lucas' original ideas he had for Star Wars. Some of them may look familiar to a Star Wars fan....some of them are radically different. I find this really interesting to see what Lucas was thinking in the very early days.....
     
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  9. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    For kicks go read some of the early drafts of The Adventure of Anakin Starkiller" .
     
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  10. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    Star Wars juices are flowing again....will post here this weekend....doing some research...
     
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  11. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    On of the major GL influences were the weekly TV serials like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers (biddi-biddi-biddi what's up Buck?)
    Hence how STAR WARS started... in the middle of a space chase.

    You might be able to find some episodes on the Internet but I seem to recall only a few of the Buck Rogers episodes survived (same as the earlier seasons of Dr Who....however, since WHO was broadcasted off-air, BBC was able to recoup some episodes from fans who had recorded them.)

    Cheers, KH
     
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  12. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    Sorry Lock_S_Foils, I was late visiting this thread. However, unintentionally, I have read a bit of The Making of Star Wars at leisure.

    I've been attracted to these books since I first knew of their existence, which I assume, is around 2007. I was completely enthralled at finding out that my library had The Making of The Empire Strikes Back in its collection in 2012. Never really thought that there would be a sequel, but I either contemplated it or stumbled across it.

    Either way, I will try to give what I know.

    I'm fascinated by each of these books, especially A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, since production woes abounded, but they managed to pull off a decent film (or great I should say- decent is a bit of an understatement) each time. Really, it's primarily a bunch of college-age men (20s) working their butts off to contribute to the special effects department. Still fascinates me how ILM got together.
     
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  13. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    And one director's wife who really saved his bacon on the editing room.
     
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