Inspiring “Star Wars”


Legendary space opera (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, directed by George Lucas, produced by 20th Century Fox, 1977), which has enjoyed success both financially and critically, wasn’t created out of nothing. It has respectable predecessors, too. Well, apart from widely known similarities between Star Wars’ the final medal awarding scene and the analagous scene from Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, there are several Soviet movies relatively unknown to the general audience, which were, willingly or unwillingly, imitated by George Lucas and his crew. Let’s review some of them.

Epic movie «Георгий Саакадзе» (Georgi Saakadze, directed by Mikheil Chiaureli, produced by Tbilisi Film Studio, 1942), a biopic about a heroic warrior from Georgia, has captions recounting his milestones, which strikingly resemble the famous opening crawl from Star Wars (of course, one has to admit that the opening crawl actually originated from a serial film Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, 1940). Sci-fi movie «Планета бурь» (Storm Planet, directed by Pavel Klushantsev, produced by Lennauchfilm Studio, 1961) tells about Soviet explorers of the planet Venus, who move around it in a hovercar, which looks similar to the Star Wars’ hovercar. Sci-fi movie «Туманность Андромеды» (The Andromeda Nebula, directed by Yevgeni Sherstobitov, produced by Dovzhenko Film Studio, 1967) has a robot, which resembles the famous droid R2-D2 from the George Lucas’ masterpiece. Besides, one of the good guys in The Andromeda Nebula is named Dar Veter)))

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