A returning motif in Lucas's films, found throughout his student films as well as in THX 1138 and Star Wars, is that of the sun. 

It’s worth remarking on a classic Lucas trademark, namely the sun motif which opens 1:42.08, before it goes to a number of abstract silhouettes of buildings against the morning sky.

A similar sunrise opens Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town, and again in 6-18-67 — the tone poem shot during the making of McKenna's Gold, with clouds against a long shot sunrise (it too uses the long lenses extensively). It's reused again in the feature film version of THX 1138 for the climactic shot of THX's escape into the outside world and of course for one of Lucas's most famous shots; Luke gazing long fully into the settings suns on Tatooine.

As a side note, while the sun motif was obviously one that was close to Lucas’s heart from early in his career, possibly inspired in part by David Lean’s spectacular use of it in Lawrence of Arabia, the choice to go with the two iconic suns in Star Wars might actually have come from an early McQuarrie production painting, portraying what was in the early Star Wars scripts an imperial prison, an idea which was combined with the Deathstar for the final film, with the prison becoming Cloud City in the sequel. Lucas was never one to leave ideas behind.

Lucas's fondness for the sun doesn't quite rival his friend Steven Spielberg's, but it is nonetheless a remarkable image in both Star Wars, as well as in its precursor, some might say its prototype even, THX 1138. In both instances signifying freedom and the broader world and deeply tied to the destiny of the main characters.

Finally, in the early drafts of Star Wars, as well as in the novelization, there was reference to a kind of prophecy from the infamous Journal of the Whills, which made mention of ‘The Son of Suns’.


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