Star Wars Influenced by Dam Busters

(Welcome to The Movies That Made Star Wars, a series where we explore the films that inspired George Lucas’ iconic universe. In this edition: the British World War II drama The Dam Busters)

When George Lucas set out to make the original Star Wars film, there were things he wanted to do on film with special effects that had never really been done before. At least not on the level Lucas needed to make Star Wars sing. So where did he turn for inspiration? World War II movies.

Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz once explained, “Before the storyboards were done, we recorded on videotape any war movie including aircraft that came up on television, so we had this massive library of parts of old war movies – The Dam BustersTora! Tora! Tora!The Battle of BritainJet PilotThe Bridges of Toko-Ri633 Squadron and about forty-five other movies. We went through them all and picked out scenes to transfer to film to use as guidelines in the battle.”

One film that has much more prominence than others is The Dam Busters. It’s a 1955 British film directed by Michael Anderson. It’s the real-life story of an Royal Air Force (RAF) raid to destroy three dams deep in German territory during World War II. Where many of the other films might have only had shots lifted for use in the pre-visualization process, The Dam Busters offered a lot more to George Lucas than that. Read More »

solo video

A new Solo featurette offers you the chance to take a very entertaining tour of the Millennium Falcon with the new Lando Calrissian himself, Donald Glover. Learn all about the many accoutrements of the ship, including a Wookiee Cookie Jar and, of course, a cape room.

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Star Wars Episode 9 time jump

The most recent Star Wars movies, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, have either led directly into or picked up almost directly from the events of another film in the saga. But a new comment from actor John Boyega, who plays Finn in the new trilogy, indicates that a Star Wars Episode 9 time jump may happen which would bring the franchise back to its original trilogy roots.
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Lucasfilm Congratules Marvel Studios

In case you hadn’t heard, Avengers: Infinity War made a little bit of money at the box office last weekend. The Marvel sequel earned enough to smash the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time, previously set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. In fact, it smashed all sorts of records all over the world. And that meant Lucasfilm had to pass the baton.

It has become tradition for whoever smashes box office records to receive some kind of congratulations from the previous record holder. It’s a tradition George Lucas and Steven Spielberg started as the directors frequently exchanged titles thanks to the success of Jaws, Star Wars, and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. But it’s been kept alive in recent years as well, and Lucasfilm has now continued the tradition by passing the baton, or rather the lightsaber, to Marvel Studios.

See how Lucasfilm congratulates Marvel Studios below. Read More »

Star Wars The Last Jedi Problems

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a video essay explores what “went wrong” with Rian Johnson trying to revolutionize the Star Wars saga with The Last Jedi. Plus, director James Cameron answers a bunch of sci-fi related questions from Twitter, and the cast of Avengers: Infinity War tries to guess the Avenger from a drawing of the heroes completed by children. Read More »

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Every hero needs an origin story, and every swaggering space smuggler needs a spin-off movie that shows exactly how they became a fan favorite Star Wars character immortalized by Harrison Ford. A new Solo featurette dives into its mysterious title character Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich, and how he comes to live up to that iconic name.

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Now that Star Wars Rebels has ended, creator Dave Filoni is moving onto something new – another Star Wars animated series. Filoni’s Star Wars Resistance will be an anime-inspired series set before the events of The Force Awakens.

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Han Solo Sequels

Next month will bring Solo: A Star Wars Story to the big screen, and we’ll see how Star Wars fans react when the film gives a beloved character a full origin story without the actor who originally played him. Disney and Lucasfilm seem confident that Han Solo will bring audiences into theaters, and it sounds like they think there’s franchise potential here.

Solo: A Star Wars Story star Alden Ehrenreich, who has the Herculean task of fitting into the shoes previously filled by Harrison Ford, recently sat down for an interview where he seemingly and accidentally revealed that he’s signed on for three total Star Wars movies at Lucasfilm. Read More »

Solo Character Posters

A whole gaggle of Solo character posters have arrived, introducing us to the characters who occupy the latest Star Wars Story. The best of the bunch offers up a new look at Jon Favreau‘s character, an alien named Rio.

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Rampage Scene Breakdown

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, director Brad Peyton breaks down a scene from the video game blockbuster Rampage. Plus, examine whether some blockbuster movies can hyped to the point that they can’t be anything but disappointing, and watch a Harry Potter inspired gymnastics routine by an Olympic athlete. Read More »