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  1. #1

    Would Star Wars have been as popular if...

    I thought about this question just recently. Would Star Wars have been so popular if the DESIGNS of the characters, aliens, spaceships, landscape, deathstar, costumes, etc... were different? And more importantly if so, then shouldn't the designers of all this get MOST of the credit and not GL?

    Think about it. Would C-3P0 or R2-D2 have been well received if they were designed differently? Or how about Darth Vader. If we saw a less menacing costume would we not care as much? And what about the Millenium Falcon? If it was designed differently would we be able recognize it easily? Or what if Leia's Classic Harido Bun from ANH were different? Or the costumes? Could you picture Han without his signature vest? Or Stormtroopers in different armor?

    These are only some examples. Anyone else have an opinion on this?
    "Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun."

  2. #2
    Intriguing questions. A lot of the design credit goes to Ralph McQuarrie. I think that if the designs were more sterile and less static, like THX-1138 for example, then the movie would not have been as noticable or successful.

    I think GL and Co. went in a new direction with their coined "used universe," making it much more realistic. Not everything was clean and shiny, but more lifelike. I think that's one aspect that made it as popular as it is, IMO.
    "Watch this, I'm going to horrify you into a coma..."

  3. #3
    The "look" of SW is what sold me when I first saw the movie in 1977. Vader, stormtrooper, light sabers, X-wings, TIE fighters....nothing quite looked like it before.

    SciFi programs were either hokey in thier looks like the 50's movies (except for 'The Day the Earth Stood Still') or the future was squeaky clean like the original 'Star Trek' TV series. This is the period I grew up watching as a kid. At 23, when SW came out, there just was nothing like it. The story, or plot, wasn't especially ingenious, but the look certainly was!

    If the designs were different, I don't think the movie would have appealed to us Baby Boomer (and others) like it did. I still am awstruck when I remember my reaction to the original trailer of SW in the movies, as was the audience at the time.

    SithDroid: if it were another run-of-the-mill-looking scifi movie, it would have been overlooked. Up until then, only '2001' was the only movie that impressed me.

    Woolfy: you opinion is dead on, IMO.

    Cool quiestions!
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!

  4. #4
    A very good idea. Makes me wonder how I would have reacted to the movie if things were different. I don't know for sure,but I don't think I would have liked it so much and carried the love of Star Wars for so long. A real good question and one to think about.
    "I have a bad feeling about this".

    "Just when I remembered what it was,I forgot where I put it."

  5. #5


    As a semi-pro (uh, how so? ) researcher of SW influences, thank these people/things:

    Japanese samurai
    German WWII soldiers
    Leggs packaging creators
    Chili dogs
    model kits
    WWII aircraft and uniforms
    Buddhist monks
    movie director Fritz Lang (Metropolis)
    Akira Kuresawa (sp?)
    Joseph Campbell
    Joseph Campbell
    Joseph Campbell
    Joseph Campbell
    Etc. etc.

    It was truly a collaborative effort. Lucas is like the head coach of a sports team; gets the credit, but probably couldn't have done well without quality assistants and players.
    "I went to Star Wars Celebration VII in Anaheim, and I didn't get even a lousy t-shirt."

  6. #6
    Woolfy: you opinion is dead on, IMO.
    Why, TeeEye7, does this mean we're not friends? You know, if I didn't think we were friends, I just don't think I could bear it...
    "Watch this, I'm going to horrify you into a coma..."

  7. #7

    Question Perhaps there's some confusion....

    My 'dead on' remarks means:

    Right on the money
    Right on target
    Dead on center

    In other words, I'm in total agreement with your post. I thought it was well-stated. If I've somehow offended, I apologize. I thought my remark was crystal clear.

    Show me
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!

  8. #8
    I'm a big fan of the designs more than ther actual movies themselves. It wa the designs in pictures i found in magazines that sold me star wars. but i would have to say that I think Ralph McQuarrie's best designs were never used. And those that were got watered down and cutesy-fied in the production process. Some of the designs that were drawn were quite rightly dismissed. Minch Yoda the blue half pint gnome is one that immediately springs to mind. I've always hated Vaders helmet. I think it cheapens him and makes him look foolish and un threatening. Something more mask like would have suited me, something that showed his scars and a little of his mangled face. Being able to see the hate in his eyes would have worked for me. Cloud city is a terrible concept in the movie. the set designs never worked which is why they CGI'd some elements into the movie to make it seem like a more cohesive concept. It's the one location that never works properly. You have this gleaming, floating city in pretty pastel colours that has mines in the bowels? If they'd used the darker grey original death star design (when the death star was just a floating prison city) it would have fitted that there were mines inside. That it was a working environment. As it stands cloud city looks like a horrible hotel from an episode of Quincey.
    I could go on for hours on this subject but I think I've been boring you all long enough.

  9. #9

    Never underestimate the power of the George...

    I think you have a point - have you seen the Colin Cantwell prototypes of the Death Star, ISD, TIE Fighter, etc. from the Star Wars Chronicles book? They look very Space 1999. However, Lucas knew he didn't want that look, and pushed for his now famous "Used Universe" style. While the great Ralph McQ, John Mollo, and Joe Johnston deserve a great deal of credit, you just can't marginalize Lucas' contribution to his creation. A great film is a collaborative effort - Gary Kurtz, John Dykstra, Rick Baker, John Williams, Ben Burtt, Marcia Lucas, Mark Hamill, Carrier Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, etc., etc. Without any of them, the film would be diminished. However, without GL, it wouldn't have existed.
    "Three goofballs and a guy in a monkey suit."

  10. #10
    I've said as much before, especially concerning TPM. The OT story is well laid out and is interesting enough, but the "old" look transposed upon extremely interesting hardware/costume/location designs gave SW an advantage over other cheesy sci fi up to that point.

    TPM's only saving grace was the fantastic production design. Otherwise, the story is becoming more and more like the terrible geeky sci fi found in B movies from the 50's. (The serial part is good, the cloning of every freekin' character from the OT isn't).


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