Now that the new Star Wars film is out, I thought I'd share an interesting tidbit of information with all of you.
Star Wars was originally based upon Richard III. George Lucas wanted to tell a science fiction story about Darth Vadar, a futuristic Richard III who came to power and lost it over the course of several films through unthinkable villany. The character of Luke Skywalker was originally supposed to be a much older General who ultimately usurped Vader. The two were not supposed to be related.
I'm not sure how close Vader was originally supposed to be to Richard. Would he help his brother come to power and then kill him and all his relatives? All I know is that Lucus apparently went to Richard III for his original concept. Interesting how strongly Shakespeare affects us without our even knowing.
**For anyone who's interested, this information comes from two sources. I know that the films originally centered around Vader from the old Star Wars collectable cards that came out in the mid 1990s. I'd heard specifically that Vader was modelled after Richard III from a Shakespearean professor I met at Cambridge University who claimed that George Lucus had said this himself.
Last Edit: May 20, 2002 16:42:29 GMT -5 by shaxper
"Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices, that, if I then had wak'd after long sleep, will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming, the clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me, that, when I wak'd, I cried to dream again"
Mary mother, you're a geek sometimes. (That's about the highest compliment I pay short of "scarf queen" or "scarf king.")
All right... I heard that Star Wars was actually based on a Kurosawa film, which I will be borrowing this weekend so that I can substantiate that allegation myself.
Regardless, I think it is safe to say that Lucas is sort of the ultimate archeme-based writer. He borrowed from Christianity, ancient Greece and French romances at will. That he used Shakespeare, whether consciously or un-, I have never doubted. After all, I have always rather felt that the Leia-Luke-Han situation was sort of a cross between the Viola-Sebastian archeme (mystery twins) and the Benedic-Beatrice archeme ("I love you!" "I know.")
Of course... it is also safe to say that I therefore hold Lucas in much the same esteem that I hold Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele, meaning, very little. They take archemes and put them in different places at different times, and it's just... so... same. Well, really, actually, Lucas was even doing okay in a rather "I want to be the third wheel on the Grimm bicycle" kind of way, until Episode I. "There was no father"?! Come on. That story is SO overused.