Movies - TV
Why George Lucas Had Issues With The Original Battlestar Galactica Series
In 1977, George Lucas was sent a copy of the "Battlestar Galactica" pilot script to let him know about the then-upcoming project. It was the start of Lucas and 20th Century Fox’s issues with show creator Glen Larson and Universal, as they found it too similar to “Star Wars,” which had been released that same year.
Lucas first didn’t approve of the show’s title, which originally was “Galactica: Saga of a Star World” which he found too closely resembled “Star Wars.” Other similarities included “Galactica” having “an emperor, stormtroopers, rocket fighters” according to the show’s concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, who along with ILM co-founder John Dykstra, had also worked on “Star Wars” with Lucas.
In 1978, 20th Century Fox sued “Galactica” for copyright infringement of at least 34 similarities. In J.W. Rinzler's book "The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back," Lucas justified his reasons for suing, saying that “Not only does it upset me because I didn't think the quality was very good, but [...] because, if I wanted to do a TV series of 'Star Wars,' I couldn't. They've already spoiled the television market."
The case went all the way to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then was remanded to the Central District of California, but the two parties eventually settled out of court. While “Battlestar Galactica” continued to air, the victory probably felt short-lived as it was canceled after only one season.