Use this tag for questions about the inspiration behind ideas (names, characters, objects, titles, etc.) in science fiction or fantasy works.

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Inheritance Cycle inspiration

Many elements in the Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini, seem to recall elements of other fantasy works. For example, the four major humanoid species (Urgals, humans, elves, and dwarves) are ...
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1answer
118 views

Was the first pilot episode of the original Star Trek inspired by Bradbury's Martian Chronicles?

Was the first pilot episode of Star Trek inspired by Ray Bradbury's short story Mars Is Heaven! (later rewritten and renamed to "The Third Expedition") from Martian Chronicles? There are many ...
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1answer
195 views

Was there any real-world inspiration for the DS9 episodes “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost”?

In Star Trek, I've come to notice that several in-universe events mimic events that were going on in the real world at the time of writing (the Klingon/Federation war in TOS mirrors the Cold War, the ...
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1answer
234 views

Out of universe - Was the Y-wing design influenced by The Enterprise?

I find the Y-wing has a quite unique design among the star wars crafts and always wondered if it was influenced from elsewhere. Despite the difference in sheer size it looks similar to the Enterprise ...
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Is Jyn Erso based on Jan Ors and/or Kyle Katarn? [closed]

Jyn Erso from Rogue One seems to have several similarities to Jan Ors and Kyle Katarn, both of whom are Legends status characters. Jyn Erso and Jan Ors comparison: Their names sound similar; "Jan" ...
5
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1answer
147 views

Was Luke Skywalker based on George Lucas?

It isn't too rare to see people claiming or joking that the character of Luke Skywalker was based on George Lucas. For example, George Lucas in Love and this Onion article. I can see where this is ...
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1answer
246 views

Are the names Tom Riddle and Harry Potter a reference to the phrase “any Tom, Dick or Harry”?

An undiscovered hidden meaning behind Harry Potter naming? JK Rowling goes to some lengths to have hidden meaning behind her names, as everyone here is surely aware. Since Voldemort's real name is ...
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1answer
266 views

Did “The Machine Stops” inspire “The Matrix”?

Somewhat surprisingly, E. M. Forster, the author of A Passage to India, wrote a science fiction short story, The Machine Stops, that was published in 1909. Many works, both fiction and non-fiction, ...
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1k views

Was there a literary inspiration for Lewis Carroll's “Alice in Wonderland?”

Numerous writers have drawn on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. A quote, edited for length, from Wikipedia notes that, among many others, the following written works have been influenced by Alice: ...
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1answer
182 views

Use of “shadows” are servants of light/good

I found it very profound when Melisandre said, There are no shadows in the dark. Shadows are the servants of the light, the children of fire. The brightest flame casts the darkest shadows. - ...
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1answer
132 views

What does “Diaval” mean?

What does the name "diaval" mean? Is that an invented name? I have searched it over the internet but it has never appeared in SSA's name database. Diaval was a character in Disney's Maleficent. He ...
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3answers
255 views

Was the idea of Batman inspired by vampires?

When the character of Batman was first created, is there any indication that it was inspired or influenced by vampires? In-universe, here is a description of how Batman chose his identity, from the ...
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1answer
117 views

Were saidar and saidin influenced by the sides of the Force?

The concepts are pretty similar: two sides of a fantastical power, one side sweet, yummy, and light, used by embracing it, used by a bunch of emotionless, calm, awesome robots people (Jedi/Aes Sedai); ...
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2answers
206 views

Inspiration or antecedent for title of Heinlein's “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”?

I'm fairly certain that I know the answer to this question, but I want to appeal to the collective wisdom here before I definitively file this in my mind as solved. Is there an earlier source or a ...
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0answers
235 views

What was the inspiration for Frank Herbert's 'Litany Against Fear' in Dune?

Does anyone know if there was some inspiration behind the 'Litany against Fear' in Dune? Perhaps some philosopher or ancient proverb? If there is no primary inspiration, were there any fundamental ...
6
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1answer
113 views

Is the Well of Ascension based on the Eye of the World?

The Eye of the World, from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and the Well of Ascension, from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, seem to be far too similar for coincidence. Here follows a lot of ...
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3answers
158 views

Is pig's ear a low quality foodstuff as claimed by the Discworld? [closed]

In the Discworld Series, pig's ear is portrayed as a low-quality foodstuff. From lspace: this is a necessity, forced upon the typical Agatean coolie when all the other more interesting bits of the ...
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2answers
263 views

Was JK Rowling inspired by IT (Stephen King)?

In the novel Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin teaches how to fight the boggarts, which are "amortal shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of the viewer's worst fear." ...
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0answers
90 views

Are the Scientological themes in FF: The Spirits Within intentional or just a coincidence?

If you know the basic idea behind Scientology, it's hard to watch FF: The Spirits Within without being reminded of it. Basically, the ghosts of aliens land on Earth and infect us with their ...
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2answers
335 views

Was Severus Snape based on a real person?

After the recent death of the much-loved actor Alan Rickman, it occurred to me to wonder: was the character of Severus Snape based on any real-life person? We know that JKR specifically chose Alan ...
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0answers
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Are there any identifiable characters from works of SF to be found on the cover of Iron Maiden's “Stranger in a Strange Land”?

The cover of Iron Maiden's single "Stranger in a Strange Land", features their mascot, Eddie, in a futuristic bar. According to Wikipedia (although uncharacteristically unsourced), Eddie's ...
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1answer
129 views

Has Star Wars borrowed from Ancient Rome?

There's some nazi borrowing in Star Wars, and perhaps a bit of George W Bush borrowing, but is there any borrowing from Ancient Rome in Star Wars? During the original trilogy, there was an existing ...
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2answers
1k views

Was Caesar Flickerman based on any real TV presenter?

In the Hunger Games books and films, Caesar Flickerman, the host of the pre-Games tribute interviews and in some ways the 'face of the Games', seems like a realistic depiction of a modern talk show ...
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1answer
1k views

Was the design of the Peacekeepers inspired by the Stormtrooper design?

The Peacekeepers of The Hunger Games and the Stormtroopers of Star Wars have many similarities: Both wear almost entirely white full-body armor. Both see out of dark, face-obscuring black glass. ...
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4answers
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Was the Hulk based on Jekyll/Hyde?

I've always wondered about the parallels between Bruce Banner and Dr Jekyll. Both are good natured men of science and both transform into questionable alter egos... Is there any evidence that Bruce ...
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1answer
201 views

Was the foresight from the spice in Dune series inspired by psychohistory in Foundation?

Foundation (by Isaac Asimov) was published in 1951, and primarily dealt with psychohistory, a branch of mathematics that laid down all the probable paths splitting off from a point and the percentage ...
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1answer
305 views

Is the resemblance between Glen and David Bowie (c. Ziggy Stardust) intentional?

In the movie Seed of Chucky, Chucky's offspring Glen/Glenda bears a striking resemblance to David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane era of his career. Beyond the physical similarities, ...
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211 views

Has George or another creative director ever stated that Jar Jar Binks' character was in anyway influenced by C-3PO?

Both Jar Jar and C-3PO utter this phrase: How Rude? It seems likely to me that Jar Jar and C-3PO serve a similar purpose: ...
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2answers
314 views

What Star Trek species are represented with mostly/all non-white actors?

It is my impression that in most Star Trek episodes after TOS (across all the series), alien species are shown as white people with bumpy heads. On TOS they are alien species mostly white people in ...
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2answers
484 views

What exactly are Sublight Engines?

In a number of Science Fiction Series such as Battlestar Galatica, Star Wars and Stargate spaceships are mentioned to have something called a Sublight Engine. in an episode of Dark Matter i remember ...
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288 views

Have any speculative answers from this site been used in any subsequent official works? If so, what was the first instance?

On this site, there are questions that are often not directly answered by anything in canon materials. Sometimes answers need to be speculative. My question is, have there been any speculative ...
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1answer
144 views

Who are the architects of the buildings on which these buildings were based?

The short story "The Woman Who Fell in Love with a Postmodern Building and Set Her Lovers’ Boat on Fire" by Thaddeus Howze features three buildings: (...) an old world church in New York, ...
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262 views

Who is the model for Callaghan in Big Hero 6?

Background: Professor Callaghan is the head of the robotics program at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. It is later revealed that He is described (decently, IMO) in the Disney Wiki as: ...
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1answer
206 views

Does Lovecraft's Color Out Of Space reference the concept of radioactivity?

I've read several interpretations and background information on "The Color out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft, which all say his goal was to create a kind of truly alien monster - a color instead of a ...
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2answers
380 views

Erebor's architectural influences?

I understand Tolkien drew heavily on real world architecture for the buildings and other physical structures in LOTR. What were Erebor's influences? I'm particularly here thinking of the recent ...
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1answer
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Is the Deep Purple song “The Mule” inspired by the character of the same name in Asimov's Foundation series?

On the album Fireball by Deep Purple, there's a song called "The Mule", which opens with the following lines: No one sees the things you do Because I stand in front of you But you drive me all ...
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1answer
357 views

Were the Observers in Fringe inspired by Marvel's Watchers?

In the Fringe universe, the Observers are bald and dispassionate and seem to do little more than observe important events throughout history. Except for once or twice when one of them can't help but ...
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1k views

Did JKR ever acknowledge being influenced by “Ender's Game”?

The whole concept seems eerily similar... a young child, groomed to be the main hope to win a war, with no adult support, and deceived about the main point of the struggle. This seems to go well ...
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5answers
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Was Hogwarts named such because of a connection to warthogs?

Was Hogwarts named 'Hogwarts' because of a connection to warthogs? Or was it named for hogs and warts separately, or something else entirely?
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2answers
5k views

Who is Gilderoy Lockhart based on?

J.K. Rowling has stated that Gilderoy Lockhart is the only character in the Harry Potter series who is based on a real person she knows. Are any of your characters based on real people? The ...
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3answers
733 views

Warp entry visual effect

This is a real-world question about the inspiration behind a visual effect. In the Star Trek: TNG series, several episodes depict a view out the windows of Enterprise D's Ten Forward as the ship ...
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1answer
212 views

Real-world origin of verse - “Ran! Tan! Terre et ciel!”

In the fantasy series "A Wizard In Rhyme" by Christopher Stasheff, the 2nd book "The Oathbound Wizard" contains the following verse: Ran! Tan! Terre et ciel! Terre et ciel, et sang vermeil! ...
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1answer
370 views

Star-wars intro inspiration

Looking at intro of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (from 01:18): And further diving into Forbidden Planet trailer (in color): ...
9
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3answers
423 views

Is James T. Kirk known to be based on Horatio Hornblower?

Kirk is known to be based on Horatio Hornblower. (from a recent answer on SFF.SE) Is there some reference showing that ("based on") to be an actual fact as opposed to inference? I'm not asking ...
5
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1answer
168 views

Has Dynabook inspired Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age?

I'm looking for evidence about Dynabook, by Alan Kay, being the inspiration for Neal Stephenson self-learning book in The Diamond Age: a young lady's illustrated primer.
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In Starcraft, are the Protoss inspired by anything special?

In Starcraft, the terrans are obviously humans, and Zerg are obviously inspired by Alien. Is there any particular inspiration source for the Protoss ? The answer would either present a source ...
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1answer
1k views

Was Half Life 1 inspired by HP Lovecraft's “Fungi from Yuggoth”?

The similarities aren't stark, but they remind me about each other so much. Yuggoth... is a strange dark orb at the very rim of our solar system... There are mighty cities on Yuggoth—great ...
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1answer
911 views

Did Jordan base the Aiel on Herbert's Fremen? [duplicate]

Were the Wheel of Time's Aiel based on Dune's Fremen? Did Robert Jordan acknowledge or otherwise address this connection?
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2answers
3k views

Did the Harry Potter movies influence JKR's later HP books?

The Harry Potter books were published in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007. The Harry Potter movies were released 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011. As can be seen, the last 3 ...
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How much was Equilibrium influenced by Fahrenheit 451?

I see some similarities between the movie Equilibrium and the book Fahrenheit 451. Does anyone know if there is actually any association? or am i just looking at the extremely basic ideas of ...