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George Lucas' epic space opera Star Wars was released theatrically on May 25, 1977. It became a financial triumph (by earning a total of $775 million and becoming the third highest-grossing film, when adjusted for inflation) and a critical success (by receiving ten Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and winning seven).

I assume that George Lucas was influenced by previous movies/books. Can you name where some of those exact inspirations have originated from?

  • Real life or just fiction because Star wars has much influence from so many other things. – CBredlow Aug 24 '16 at 22:58
  • @CBredlow I meant fiction. I was wondering if there is a list of all of Star Wars' inspirations. – Grant Aug 24 '16 at 23:34
  • @CBredlow I changed the emphasis of the question, because I realized that Star Wars was probably influenced from many things. Now, what exactly are those things? – Grant Aug 24 '16 at 23:38
  • Lucas has often acknowledged that Frank Herbert's "Dune" was an inspiration and you can discover many similarities. – Dennis_E Aug 25 '16 at 8:07
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Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress is a well known influence.

Lucas has mentioned it numerous times. I recall it was the inspiration for Leah.

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  • And Flash Gordon, Lucas had tried to secure the rights and wrote Star Wars when he was unable to. – The Wandering Dev Manager Aug 25 '16 at 3:17
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The final attack sequence on the Death Star has some striking resemblances to the film '633 Squadron'. The film ends with an attack by Mosquito fighter bombers on a German controlled plant in Norway manufacturing heavy water needed for atomic bomb experiments. This requires them to fly along a fjord at a low level very fast and hit a precise area to destroy the plant. They come under attack from both AA guns along the fjord walls and German fighters.

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    Dambusters might be a similar influence; same type of mission, requiring a precision drop [though using spotlights rather than the Force ;) 9 years older than 633 Squadron, too. – Tetsujin Aug 25 '16 at 8:33
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    Dambusters was inspired by the real Operation Chatise, to drop the Upkeep mine. It lacks the element of an attack down a narrow fjord or trench under heavy fire and fighter attack that both '633 Squadron' and 'Star Wars' have. Although it probably did have an influence I agree. – Sarriesfan Aug 26 '16 at 6:34
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Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress was a major influence on Star Wars, it could be argued that Star Wars IS a science fiction remake of Hidden Fortress.

I read a magazine dedicated to this subject years ago. Originally George Lucas wanted to make a Flash Gordon film but was unable to secure the rights, so he invented his own "Original" universe utilising all his influences: Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Samurai Films, Westerns, Pirate films, World War II films. Science fiction literature: The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, Dune by Frank Herbert, Lord of the Rings. Lucas was quite open about it and you can see all these influences in the films.

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