Probably, the famous American director George Lucas never thought that his work Star Wars would become a cinematographic boom that revolutionized the world, and that 43 years later he would still maintain a legion of loyal fans of different ages and cultures. But, the historical premises that served as inspiration for the creation of this saga never cease to amaze us.
Who has not heard the emblematic phrase “May the force be with you” or the soundtrack of the film composed by John Williams? Throughout 4 decades, much has been written and talked about the films of the Star Wars series, a franchise that has evolved over the years and produces large revenues through different products, among which stand out TV series, books, toys, clothes, comics, video games, etc.
Even LEGO has the exclusivity of the film franchise for its line of LEGO Star Wars products, one of the most popular on the market, offering different construction sets that emulate the characters, ships and adventures of these films with the legendary plastic blocks and the emblematic figures designed for children. But not only for the little ones in the house, as many fanatic collectors of the saga have catapulted these puzzle pieces as the best Lego Star Wars sets of 2022 (you can find some purchase options here).
But what is Star Wars about?
This saga is made up of a group of trilogies in which a war unfolds between what has been called the Galactic Empire and the group known as the Rebel Alliance in a distant galaxy. If you have never seen the movies, it might be difficult for you to understand the plot, since they are not arranged chronologically, since the first production of the saga released in the cinema in 1977 was episode IV.
However, there is no need to worry as you have two different ways to view and enjoy these movies. The first can be by the order in which the productions were released, for example: first episode IV, followed by V and VI, then the initial trilogy I, II and III; later chapter VII, then Rogue One, is followed by episode VIII and Han Solo, culminating in the last installment that is chapter IX.
The second option is from the chronological point of view, a way that would help you understand the concept of the theme, because it walks you through the formation of the different characters and you can discover in a very clear way the reason for their changes throughout. of the development of the plot. This order would be as follows: episode I (1999), episode II (2002), episode III (2005), Han Solo (2019), Rogue One (2016), episode IV (1977), episode V (1980), episode VI (1983), episode VII (2015), episode VIII (2017), and episode IX (2019).
Star Wars Historical Base
Did you know that the Vietnam War may have been the historical basis for the Star Wars plot? Many consider that the main source of inspiration for George Lucas -creator of this saga- was the combat that took place between the Vietcong and the Vietnamese people against the United States of America.
The war in Vietnam ended in 1975 with the defeat of the American empire. Meanwhile, the filmmaker George Lucas was fine-tuning the story of Star Wars, but in addition the Watergate scandal had occurred, which resulted in the fall of Republican President Richard Nixon, recognized for his anti-communist struggle.
According to Walter Murch (filmmaker), George Lucas started from the idea that a small group of people could have the ability to finish off a giant empire using the force generated by their ideals, thus giving rise to Star Wars. In this context, the Vietnamese became the rebel force and, for its part, the United States of America became the “Galactic Republic”.
It has also been said that Richard Nixon was the inspiration for the character of Emperor Palpatine. This argument is supported by a statement made by George Lucas himself, as noted by JW Rinzler in his work called “The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” This author indicated that, when he asked the filmmaker if that character was a Jedi, he replied that he was President Nixon, also pointing out that the character became an imperialist with evil intentions.
In the same order of ideas, there is an interview with the famous filmmaker in 2005 and that was published in the newspaper “Chicago Tribune”, where Lucas expressly pointed out that the original idea of ”Star Wars” was conceived as a criticism of the conflict between President Nixon and the Viet Cong, asserting that it really was the mentioned war, then becoming a reflection of the causes by which a democracy becomes a dictatorship.
Recently, in an interview given in 2018 by George Lucas to the “Story of Science Fiction” program by also famous director James Cameron, he explained that this confrontation undertaken by the Vietnamese Viet Cong guerrillas against the American empire was his muse to develop Star Wars, turning that guerrilla into the Rebel Alliance, highlighting that despite being at a disadvantage against said empire for being a small group, they won the war, which was an irony.
Fun fact: the Ewoks
Likewise, Lucas has commented that the creation of his characters is not based on aliens or fiction, for example, the case of the Ewoks. In 2004, the filmmaker noted that in inventing the furry Ewoks he was inspired by rural Vietnamese who, despite their crafted weapons, defeated his superior opponent.
In general, the creation of great works in different categories has as a fundamental pillar historical facts, which are focused from the point of view of the author, as a way of criticizing or highlighting that event, involving the viewer in his vision. So, without fear of being wrong, the filmmaker George Lucas transformed the fact of the Vietnam War into the main premise of one of the most important film sagas of recent times.