As the most famous starship of all time once again graces the silver screen we travel back in time to tell the story of its creation.
On the eve of a new era in Star Wars history, the author takes a short detour into uncovering his relationship to the franchise at large and the new films in particular.
Far from a hive of scum and villany, 2001: A Space Odyssey's Clavius Base might well have been the first visual reference for Mos Eisley
This short comic by Neal Adams, only tangentially related to Kitbashed, sees Flash Gordon, John Carter and Tarzan cross paths.
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.
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.
A 30-minute unaired TV special on late-60s student films, with early Coppola and Lucas interviews.
Lucas's cinema verité-like, on-the-road documentary of Coppola's The Rain People (1969).
Colin Cantwell opens up about his work on Star Wars, and shares never before seen concept art.
Ed was best known for his comic book store and its association with George Lucas. He passed away in 2014.
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.
Short, but sweet mashup video that looks at the opening of Star Wars and its bevy of influences.
Igor Stravinsky, Tintin and the Hidden Fortress. A simple walk through the Jundland Wastes proves itself to be quite layered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We know that one of John Berkey's paintings became the foundation for The Deathstar, but his influence might have gone beyond that, into the aptly named B-Wing.
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?
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.
Though not providing much in terms of direct influence on Star Wars, Buck Rogers is nonetheless vital to the evolution of science fiction as we know it, not to mention comic books.
Edgar Rice Burroughs might have stood on the shoulders of earlier 'officer adventures on Mars' tales, but his distinct style and sense of storytelling has cemented his place in the history of adventure stories. Here we meet John Carter and his martian bride to be, Dejah Thoris, and their planet-spanning escapades.
Syd Mead didn't work on The Empire Strikes Back, but he made a significant contribution nonetheless, when his designs for US Steel ended up informing the imperial walkers deployed on Hoth.
Swept by magic carpet to the glorious planet of Mars, no sooner has Lt. Gullivar Jones fallen for the beautiful Princess Heru of the Hither people before she is kidnapped by the hideous Tither people. Gullivar pursues in bumbling fashion, in an adventure across the jungles and rivers of Mars. John Carter takes notes.
Mars captured the imagination of a world which was in the throes of massive sociopolitical changes and coming to terms with equally massive technological progress. From it sprang the grand space adventure genre, sword and sandal.
The first in a six-part series called A Hero Is Born, tracing the origins of space opera and science fiction back through over a hundred years to late-1800 astronomers and their amazing discoveries.