4

I can't think of anything similar in the franchises beyond "bad guys wear black." There was no supernatural power (that I recall), no elite superheroes. Heck, there was no hyperdrive!

Does anyone know what George Lucas thought was stolen from Star Wars?

12

Per the legal case (based on Lucas' acquisition of a 1978 script for Battlestar Galactica)

Appellant Fox argued in its brief that a comparison of the two works discloses at least 34 similarities. For illustrative purposes only, we list 13 of the alleged similarities:

(1) The central conflict of each story is a war between the galaxy's democratic and totalitarian forces.

(2) In Star Wars the young hero's father had been a leader of the democratic forces, and the present leader of the democratic forces is a father figure to the young hero. In Battlestar the young hero's father is a leader of the democratic forces.

(3) The leader of the democratic forces is an older man, displaying great wisdom, and symbolizing goodness and leadership, with a mysterious mystical ability to dominate a leader of the totalitarian forces.

(4) An entire planet, central to the existence of the democratic forces, is destroyed.

(5) The heroine is imprisoned by the totalitarian forces.

(6) A leading character returns to the family home to find it destroyed.

(7) The search by the totalitarians and the liberation attempt by the democratic forces are depicted in alternating sequences between the totalitarian and democratic camps.

(8) There is a romance between the hero's friend (the cynical fighter pilot) and the daughter of one of the leaders of the democratic forces.

(9) A friendly robot, who aids the democratic forces is severely injured (Star Wars) or destroyed (Battlestar) by the totalitarian forces.

(10) There is a scene in a cantina (Star Wars) or casino (Battlestar), in which musical entertainment is offered by bizarre, non-human creatures.

(11) Space vehicles, although futuristic, are made to look used and old, contrary to the stereo-typical sleek, new appearance of space age equipment.

(12) The climax consists of an attack by the democratic fighter pilots on the totalitarian headquarters.

(13) Each work ends with an awards ceremony in honor of the democratic heros.

etc.

Ultimately the script was re-worked and the case was dropped with both sides accepting their own legal liability. This gentleman's agreement seems to have been contingent on Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic providing the special effects for the Galactica pilot and series.

  • 2
    Plot lines? Darn good thing Flash Gordon didn't sue Lucas! Ming=Vader, Evil Planet=Death Star, etc... – Vogon Poet Oct 2 '19 at 23:03
  • On the face of it, it does seem very similar. Sufficiently so that the 9th Circuit referred it for a jury trial. In the end it never made it there, presumably because both sides weren't sure that they'd win – Valorum Oct 2 '19 at 23:04
  • "In Star Wars the young hero's father had been a leader of the democratic forces, and the present leader of the democratic forces is a father figure to the young hero" I'm confused. Was the case claiming that Obi-wan was a leader for the Rebellion? Cause that seems to be a bit of a stretch. Great answer tho – DariM Oct 2 '19 at 23:10
  • @DariM - I think the implication is that in the original BSG script (originally known as "Battle for the Stars"(!), Adama was more of an Obi-Wan like mentor figure – Valorum Oct 2 '19 at 23:14
  • Everyone should be sued by Joseph Campbell ... – David M Oct 3 '19 at 0:23

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