(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.

Read More »