Mark Hamill — aka Luke Skywalker — confirmed a stunning bit of “Star Wars” trivia on Twitter on Monday: The series’ famed creator, George Lucas, wished a “Looney Tunes” brief to play prior to the first film.
Specially, Lucas preferred the Warner Bros. short “Duck Dodgers in the 24th-and-a-50 % Century,” a clip of which can be viewed underneath, to accompany theatrical showings of the 1st Star Wars motion picture, now identified by its subtitle “A New Hope,” which came out in 1977.
Starring Daffy Duck as a area hero, Porky Pig as his sidekick and Marvin the Martian as the antagonist, the 7-minute cartoon was originally released in 1953 and directed by animation legend Chuck Jones.
Hamill verified this obscure factoid after the Twitter account Toon In With Me shared photos from the small and pointed out that it experienced been rated fourth in “The 50 Biggest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Industry experts,” a e-book revealed by cartoon historian Jerry Beck in 1994.
“George definitely did want this typical Daffy Duck cartoon proven prior to each individual screening of [Star Wars],” Hamill wrote. “It would’ve been an icebreaker to allow the audience know what was coming was less than useless really serious. I was let down when we could not get the legal rights to it & it didn’t take place.”
Lucas’ interest in the limited was formerly verified in a 1983 job interview between Jim Korkis, yet another animation historian, and Jones himself.
“Well, Lucas stated that he noticed ‘Duck Dodgers’ the 12 months it arrived out, when he was 8 many years previous and he said that it impressed him so significantly that he determined he needed to make videos,” Jones instructed Korkis. “At minimum, that’s what he explained in interviews at the time … Who genuinely is aware of? Evidently, it had some affect. I know he liked the layouts carried out by [background artist] Maurice Noble. Who would not? They were breathtakingly wonderful.”
Lucas apparently even expressed motivation that a “Duck Dodgers” sequel be proven ahead of the 1980 theatrical release of “The Empire Strikes Back again,” but the timeframe just was not possible, Jones claimed, because the theatrical animation division at Warner Bros. “had been shut for many years.”
Jones did finish up assembling users of his outdated workforce for an eventual sequel (“Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24th-and-a-fifty percent Century”) and it aired on tv in 1980 as portion of the CBS unique “Daffy Duck’s Many thanks-for-Offering Distinctive.”
Although Lucas’ motivation for a Looney Tunes cartoon to accompany his movies could feel unusual now that “Star Wars” has become these types of a major franchise, the unique inspiration for the place saga came from the pulpy serials of Lucas’ youth — like “Buck Rogers” and “Flash Gordon” — which have been reasonably light and fantastical in tone.
An early draft poster for “A New Hope” even instantly referenced these inspirations, listing Luke Skywalker as a fashionable edition of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, and insisting that “Star Wars” would “make you feel like a child yet again.”
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