(Welcome to The Movies That Made Star Wars, a series where we explore the films and television properties that inspired George Lucas’s iconic universe. In this edition: The Rain People (1969) and Filmmaker: a diary by george lucas (1968))

In order to dive deeper into the films and filmmaking techniques and style of George Lucas, it’s practically required to dive into the early work of Francis Ford Coppola. 

“The way I make movies I learned from Francis,” George Lucas said in a 1977 interview with the LA Times. “I was his right hand for 10 years. I absorbed his idiosyncrasies. Yet we’re exact opposites, 180 degrees apart; as a result, we’re each other’s foil.”

Today, we’ll dive into The Rain People and Filmmaker, both films made in tandem in the late 1960s. The Rain People was a film made on the road, shot across a number of states. Francis Ford Coppola wanted to make a personal film and wrote his script and told Warner Brothers he was making it. This was the first film to be produced by American Zoetrope. George Lucas tagged along on the production, filming the behind the scenes documentary, Filmmaker, solo, with a 16mm camera and a Nagra audio recorder.

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Series Finale Breakdown

Here we are. The final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. For the last 12 years, we’ve been offered small windows into the three year gap of time the Clone Wars occupied. The other episodes took place firmly between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but for the last few episodes, the timeline has crossed over into the events of Episode III with heartbreaking consequences as we watch Ahsoka Tano (and Rex) navigate the perils of the Sith Grand Plan as it culminates in Order 66. “Victory and Death,” like all of the episodes in this arc, was written by Dave Filoni and he has given us one of the best installments of Star Wars ever made. Let’s dive in deeper, one last time.

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Shattered Breakdown

The penultimate episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes the show into some of the darkest territory it’s seen. Order 66 is declared and all hell breaks loose. Ahsoka Tano is forced to turn on the Clones who were so loyal to her that they painted her face design on their helmets and she has to quickly unravel the mystery of Palpatine’s most dangerous machinations. Her survival is by the skin of her teeth and the truth of what’s happened is elusive to her. This episode, Shattered, written by Dave Filoni himself, is a knowledgable take on the history of Star Wars and some of the best storytelling we’ve seen in the franchise since The Last Jedi. Let’s dive in deeper.

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Star Wars The Clone Wars The Phantom Apprentice Breakdown

“The Phantom Apprentice”, the latest episode in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Warshits the emotions like a blunt instrument. I’d be surprised if there was a dry eye anywhere it was being watched and part of that tension that causes sobbing tears is that this episode marches inexorably to the worst case scenario for the Jedi and for the clones. As we’ve gotten to know the clones over the course of the last seven seasons, as we’ve seen just how loyal they really are. The switch to Order 66 will be heartbreaking, none more so than for Captain Rex, on Mandalore with Ahsoka. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Let’s dive into what makes “The Phantom Apprentice” such a fascinating addition to Star Wars lore.

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Ashley Eckstein was a newcomer to Star Wars when Star Wars: The Clone Wars was announced. She was introduced as Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, a character no one every thought existed, and she was a young snippy girl to boot. Some of the fans weren’t happy with that initial announcement – what would Star Wars fans be if they didn’t complain about things they didn’t yet grasp? Yet Ahsoka slowly became a fan-favorite character who even made a vocal appearance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Eckstein has been there the whole time, voicing the character from beginning to end.

We had a chance to talk to her about the new episodes of The Clone Wars, how she approached this unique time in Ahsoka’s life, and what it was like bringing the character to the Skywalker saga.

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Old Friends Not Forgotten Breakdown

This is it. The Siege of Mandalore. The thing we’ve all been waiting for as the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars draws to a close. At the end of the last episode, we watched as Ahsoka Tano left with the Mandalorian Bo Katan in order to work out a plan to capture or kill the renegade former Sith lord Maul once and for all. In this episode, she might get her chance. But she needs the help of her old master, Anakin Skywalker, and the rest of the Republic. Let’s dive deeper into the latest episode, “Old Friends, Not Forgotten.”

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Together Again Breakdown

The eighth episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 wraps up the story of Ahsoka and the Martez sisters as they try to escape the vile clutches of the Pyke Syndicate once and for all. In a stunning ruse, Ahsoka sends the Martez sisters away by selling them out and sending them off. She discovers a number of shocking truths about the Pykes and their operation and works to shut it down once and for all. There’s a lot to peel back in “Together Again,” so get ready.

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Dangerous Debt Breakdown

The penultimate episode of the penultimate arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars seemed like a small story, documenting the struggle of the Martez sisters and Ahsoka Tano to escape the Pyke Syndicate, but it opened up into a whole new world of Star Wars. It added context to stories we’d thought had been completed, added characters from Star Wars Rebels into the mix, and ties directly into the struggles of Mandalore. Let’s dive deeper into “Dangerous Debt”.

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Deal No Deal Breakdown

Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave us the distinct impression that Ahsoka would be taking a turn into a life of crime. This week’s episode, “Deal No Deal,” delivers. When Rafa Martez gets a job that she promises is a simple run, it turns out to be anything but simple. Soon, Ahsoka and the Martez sisters are wrapped up in a spice smuggling operation that goes south faster than an Anakin Skywalker plan.

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Gone With a Trace Breakdown

Today, audiences were treated to the first installment of a brand new arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars starring fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano. “Gone With a Trace” is the first time we’ve seen Ahsoka coping with life outside the Jedi order in the brief period of time she spent after leaving the Jedi temple and the destruction of the Jedi with Order 66. This new episode shows us just how Ahsoka tries to exist in the bowels of Coruscant while trying to keep her past hidden. Let’s dive deeper.

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