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Producer Gary Kurtz On How Star Trek Influenced Star Wars

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KurtzProducer Gary Kurtz was there for the earliest foundations of Star Wars, so it stands to reason he’s got some insights on the whats and the wherefores and the how-comes. With Star Wars undergoing a new beginning of sorts in the wake of the Disney buyout, it’s the perfect time to look back at how George Lucas‘ epic franchise first came together, and new interview with Kurtz reveals several fascinating tidbits about the earliest origins of Star Wars, and just how much influence that other iconic space series had on Lucas’ creation.

Writer Chris Taylor interviewed Kurtz for his new book How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, but he also shared some very intriguing insights via Mashable. It’s more or less common knowledge that Star Wars owes much of its existence to the classic sci-fi serials that Lucas grew up loving. In fact, the original plan for what became Star Wars was to make an actual new Flash Gordon movie. But Flash rights owners King Features insisted on “draconian” restrictions, and so Lucas and Kurtz instead began discussing making an original space opera movie in the same vein as those staples of Golden Age sci-fi. Kurtz said:

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Star Wars Caricature Designs Aren’t Real Toys, But We Really Wish They Were

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GreedoOne of our favorite things we’ve shared with you guys in recent weeks was these rather amazing designs for “Three Flavours Cornetto” action figures. The twisted minds over at Evil Corp put on their thinking caps to imagine what toys for Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End might look like, all filtered through Evil Corp’s delightfully cartoonish filter. Well, they didn’t stop when they ran out of Cornetto, people! They’ve turned their attentions to a certain galaxy far, far away, and the result are, I’m just going to say it, fantabulous.

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Marvel’s Star Wars Comics Will Branch Out Beyond The Original Trilogy Era…Eventually

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StarWarsOne of the many consequences of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm was an across-the-board consolidation of the various multimedia elements of the Star Wars franchise. LucasArts got shut down. The Clone Wars was canceled to make way for Rebels. And the Disney-owned Marvel snatched the Star Wars comics license away from Dark Horse, who had been publishing Star Wars comics for over two decades at that point. Marvel announced details about the first three new Star Wars comics this past July: a core series called simply Star Wars, another ongoing focused on Darth Vader, and a five-issue Princess Leia mini-series. All three of those are set during the events of the original trilogy, leaving many fans wondering how long it would be before the relaunched Star Wars comics universe ventured beyond the days of Luke, Leia, and Han. Well, Marvel will definitely be telling stories of other eras in the Star Wars timeline…just not yet.

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Lucasfilm & ILM Employees Take Sidewalk Chalk Art To The Next Level

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CalvinIf you were in San Francisco last week and sensed a great disturbance in the Force, don’t worry — it was probably just the Lucasfilm Sidewalk Art Festival. The event is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an excuse for employees of Lucasfilm and ILM to deface the walkways of San Francisco’s Letterman Digital Arts Center, but in an awesome way. After all, how could you not love a competition that results in the above piece, ““Calvin and Hoth,” by the “Let’s Chalk About It” team? Apparently we aren’t the only ones who love it, as “Calvin and Hoth” won first prize in the competition.

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Firefly, Guardians Of The Galaxy, And Star Wars Get A Weapon-Friendly Lego Mash-Up

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Comic books are usually the places where mega-franchise crossovers happen, but every once in a while, the Lego world is a hot spot for hero worship. In the video above, three of cinema’s coolest space-faring adventurers have gathered together to talk about the proper way to handle enemy gunfire. (Or blaster-fire or whatever.) Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Star-Lord, Firefly‘s Captain Mal, and Star Wars‘ Han Solo are kicking back for some drinking and storytelling, with the conversation focused on one of the time-honored questions that good heroes always ask themselves: Is it better to shoot first or not?

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Episode VII’s Oscar Isaac Is No Fan Of George Lucas’ Star Wars Tinkering

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IsaacWith George Lucas having stepped away from the helm of Star Wars, the franchise finds itself in an interesting position. Like the Marvel films or the modern incarnation of Doctor Who, we now have Star Wars movies being made by people who grew up loving the material, people who are now getting to play in the same sandbox that captured their youthful imaginations. Except now it’s the real deal, and they’ve got millions of dollars to work with instead of just some action figures and an actual sandbox. But part of that new Star Wars reality is that the filmmakers returning to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away are bound to have some strong opinions about it…and not always positive ones.

Actor Oscar Isaac is one of the lucky few, having landed a role in Episode VII that we still don’t know much of anything about. Isaac has had plenty of praise for director J.J. Abrams’ and his Episode VII castmates in recent interviews, but he was admirably candid when The Huffington Post asked how he felt about the “special edition” changes Lucas made to the original Star Wars films. He told HuffPo: