George Lucas started creating his Star Wars in 1973. After several years, he would finish it with its release on 5/25/1977. He based it on his inspiration of movie serials, like Flash Gordon, and others movies (Kurosawa) as a child living in Modesto California. His enjoyment at the theater is one of the most obvious reasons why George entered film school back in the mid-1960s. He studied anthropology and literature, researched many aspects of mythology, like the works by Joseph Campbell’s Power of Myth and Hero’s Journey, in his quest to tell great stories and the eventual creation of his galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars wasn’t straight up science fiction. It was more fantasy set in a universe with technology greater than our own. The story didn’t go so far as to convenience the audience the believability of the technology. Instead it was a simple story of good vs. evil, family truth and the hero’s journey that just happened to have starships. Star Wars was really just a sword and sorcery tale – the first one on film. We had swords: lightsabers. We had sorcery: The Force. Although we had this concept in literature with the likes of JRR Tolkien, there really wasn’t any movies. Not until the 1980s would films be made in the genre later dubbed: Sword and Sorcery! (the rise of D&D also helped but that’s a different topic)
During the creation process, George created fantastical situations like swords of light, armored troopers riding lizards, and sensing presences and life. We just got them. It wasn’t explained how or why it was. We didn’t care (at least my child self). The creator – the author – saw these things and believed them. The story worked because of it. In a sense, it was magic….
to be continued….