Michael Heilemann

Mœbius and The Long Tomorrow

Arisen from the Jodorowsky's creative cauldron of artists, one of legend Mœbius’s smallest doodles grew to a starring role in Star Wars II.

Michael Heilemann
Mœbius and The Long Tomorrow
Michael Heilemann

Silent Running

How Douglas Trumbull's 1972 low-budget, bleeding heart science fiction classic yielded not just the basic look of, but the humanity of R2-D2 and indeed robots everywhere.

Michael Heilemann
Silent Running
Michael Heilemann

Edward Summer

Ed was best known for his comic book store and its association with George Lucas. He passed away in 2014.

Michael Heilemann
Edward Summer
Michael Heilemann

Kitbashed: The Film

Presented in its entirety is here my 'workprint' of Star Wars with a wide variety of its inspirational ancestry intercut and annotated.

Michael Heilemann
Kitbashed: The Film
Michael Heilemann

The Score

To this day, the most financially successful film score of all time, and arguably one of the most influential, John Williams' throwback to romantic adventure films of yore became a defining part of Star Wars, as much as if not more than any other part of the phenomenon. It too borrowed from the past.

Michael Heilemann
The Score
Michael Heilemann

Openings

Short, but sweet mashup video that looks at the opening of Star Wars and its bevy of influences.

Michael Heilemann
Openings
Michael Heilemann

The Searchers

When it was first released in 1956, John Ford's latest western The Searchers didn't set the world on fire. But it wasn't long before it started its long crawl back into the limelight. And by the late 60s a new generation of film makers, including George Lucas, found renewed inspiration in it.

Michael Heilemann
The Searchers
Michael Heilemann

Valérian and Laureline

Following the adventures of spatio-temporal agents Valérian and Laureline as they hurdle through time and space, righting wrongs and getting out of tight jams, Mézières and Christin's trend-setting comic series was lightyears ahead of its time.

Michael Heilemann
Valérian and Laureline
Michael Heilemann

Kurosawa

With a career stretching almost 60 years, Akira Kurosawa remains one of the most influential directors in the history of the medium. The pinnacle of his popularity however was perfectly timed with a batch of impressionable USC students ready to take on the world, and his impact on George Lucas in particular is the stuff of legends.

Michael Heilemann
Kurosawa
Michael Heilemann

Scum and Villainy

The Mos Eisley cantina isn't just a hive of scum and villainy, it's also where a number of western, middle-eastern and eastern influences converge in rapid succession.

Michael Heilemann
Scum and Villainy
Michael Heilemann

Casablanca

One of the greatest stories of tragic love ever cast onto the silver screen, Casablanca stood model for Mos Eisley and its scum and villany.

Michael Heilemann
Casablanca
Michael Heilemann

Dark Star

John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon’s USC short turned feature was a predecessor to Alien and an inspiration to both Star Wars and Star Trek.

Michael Heilemann
Dark Star
Michael Heilemann

B is for Berkey

We know that one of John Berkey's paintings became the foundation for The Deathstar, but it turns out his influence went beyond that, into the aptly named B-Wing.

Michael Heilemann
B is for Berkey
Michael Heilemann

Kaluta's Landspeeder

Luke's speeder is another distinct design in a world filled with them. As it turns out, Flash Gordon flew, and 'died' in one very similar to it half a decade before Luke. Perhaps they both shop at Wioslea?

Michael Heilemann
Kaluta's Landspeeder

Flash Gordon

Fair-haired, square jawed and irresistible to women, Flash Gordon is the great American hero personified. Alex Raymond managed to upstage Buck Rogers in the comic strips with his sense of adventure, and ever-changing perils.

Flash Gordon