Original Star Wars Producer: Star Trek Was An Influence For George Lucas

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Gary Kurtz was the producer of the original Star Wars movie and the first sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, and in a new interview he talks about how George Lucas was influenced by Star Trek.

Star Wars Producer: Star Trek More Influential Than Joesph Campbell

In a new interview at Mashable, producer Gary Kurtz blasts a number of myths about the 1977 film Star Wars, one of which relates to the franchise that began a decade earlier: Star Trek. Mashable’s Chris Taylor asked Kurtz first about the influence of Joseph Campbell’s book on mythology "The Hero With A Thousand Faces," which Kurtz noted was overblown. They then went on to say that there was something else that was more influential…

But was Star Wars actually more influenced by the Star Trek TV series, which was undergoing a hugely popular revival in syndication in the early 1970s?
Yes. [George] did talk about that [show] quite a bit. I mean Star Trek, the early series, was pretty much all human drama. There was a touch of humor in it, but most of it was down to relationship stories. There wasn’t much in the way of intergalactic battles. They didn’t have any money.

But it was set in this kind of futuristic kind of environment that was inspiring. It freed up the mind to think about what would it be like to travel to distant galaxies and encounter other species. I think that that definitely was one of the influences — because that’s what Flash Gordon was like too.

Lucas Talks Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry

In Rod Roddenberry’s documentary Trek Nation, George Lucas himself has talked about Star Wars "stood on the shoulders" of Star Trek. Watch it in the clip below.

Trek Nation Director’s Cut — George Lucas from Scott Colthorp on Vimeo.

Star Trek and Star Wars friends – frenemies?

So even though both franchises have clearly influenced each other over the decades, much of the talk of the two seems to drift towards how they are rivals. But in the end most Trek fans like Star Wars and vice versa, so the rivalry is really more in good fun, as evidenced in this very clever video from IGN from last year.

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