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Written by / 8/20/2018 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMAGINE IF 'BATTLESTAR GALACTICA' INFLUENCED 'STAR WARS'

Star Wars: 1977 Battlestar Galactica 1978-1979 Empire: 1980 Jedi: 1983
The original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA wasn't very original, snaking special effects and overall style, cadence and character-types from STAR WARS... But there are several elements of Galactica that would end up being used, intentionally or otherwise, in both THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI, starting with...

Stormtrooper in Hoth Gear
1) ARMORED HENCHMEN IN THE SNOW: The Cylon in the snow from an episode titled THE GUN AT ICE STATION ZEBRA, based on the classic war movie THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, which, along with THE DAMN BUSTERS, influenced the main plot of STAR WARS: blowing up a massive and powerful, highly destructive weapon...

There's something about both the chromed, primeval BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Cylon and the white-plated, deadly yet poor-aiming Stormtroopers, contrasting against the pure white snow, that looks very cool, slick and downright formidable, menacing. So as we stridently Imperial March forward with this bizarre and far-fetched premise that should be taken with a grain of Tatooine sand... that perhaps the house stole from the thief... let's continue with...

Cylons traipse through the forest with a captured Starbuck
2) ARMORED HENCHMEN IN THE FOREST: In the Galactica episode THE YOUNG LORDS, Lt. Starbuck, a cocky pilot the likes of Han Solo, goes to a forest planet and is rescued from foliage-stomping Cylons by an unlikely band of heroic underdogs...

Stormy Goes Green
Not Ewoks but ragtag kids who help Starbuck overtake the Cylons using primal and makeshift techniques they learned from surviving in this element. Also like Ewoks, they blow a horn that echoes throughout the forest in almost the same exact manner and tone. So while Battlestar might have influenced Star Wars to bring the Stormtroopers to the snow, now it's another remote location...

Also, in RETURN OF THE JEDI, while Luke becomes the main element with his fight against his father, Darth Vader, Han Solo provides the b-story: to find the generator that turns off the New Death Star's shield. In this Battlestar episode, Starbuck and the YOUNG LORDS are also searching for a weakness among the Cylon fortress within a castle. And, so, like the armed, masked villains shown against the snow, here it's the surrounding green forest: nature abhorring a villainous vacuum that seems so much more suited to the fleshy likes of mankind.

Jane Seymour, Richard Hatch and Lorne Green
3) PYRAMID SCHEME: For George Lucas, between EMPIRE and JEDI was RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK about archeologist Indiana Jones...

Digging Indy Jones
In one Galactica episode we see our usually space-set heroes literally down to earth on a planet much like Egypt, like in the yet to-be-created Indiana Jones world, and both RAIDERS and STAR WARS were based on pulp books, comics and serials: Jones epitomizes action and adventure with a confidence all his own, and yet Harrison Ford plays him just as daring, funny and vulnerable as Solo. But what's most telling about the Galactica episode (THE MAGNIFICENT WARRIORS) is what's inside a particular crypt, very much like the RAIDERS Staff of Ra: a device moving particular secret stones around is very familiar indeed. 

Starbuck chewed out by Maren Jensen's sexy Athena
4) SEXUALLY FRUSTRATED CORRIDOR SPAT: In EMPIRE, when Han Solo and Princess Leia argue in an icy corridor of the Hoth planet Rebel outpost, and at one point reluctantly fall into each others arms, a similar thing occurs in the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA movie in which Lorne Green's Adama's pretty daughter begs Starbuck to help out instead of backing out...

Starbuck, played by Dirk Benedict... who would gain even wider television fame on THE A-TEAM as a handsome mercenary named Face... is the epitome of how Galactica borrowed heavily from the STAR WARS template: That said, Richard Hatch as Captain Apollo was the Luke Skywalker main character, yet was nothing close to the Solo/Starbuck similarities. And poor Hatch never got over the fact the writers seemed to prefer the cocky womanizing hotshot over his own stalwart, dependable hero...

Something about a repressed yet mutual crush in a tight space
"Why do the girls always go for the bad guy or the naughty guy?" Hatch pondered in a Cult Film Freak interview. "I think writers love to write for deliciously bad characters or flawed characters, and when a character is kind of the, you know, good guy, they’re not as interested."

And the same can be said for a sometimes thankless Mark Hamill. Despite being the masthead of a trilogy that's always been regarded as "From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker," Han wound up stealing the show. And yet, even with a price on his head, the rogue eventually succumbs to doing the right thing for the right people. So the point here is... no matter how far, far away you go... whether in the STAR WARS or BATTLESTAR GALACTICA universe... While men might rule the universe, women control it. And may the feldercarb be with you, always.
Novelizations tie in books were also an important part of both franchises, of course started by Star Wars by Alan Dean Foster
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