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Flash Gordon Influences in The Empire Strikes Back

Posted by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on May 17, 2010 at 01:16 PM CST

Friday May 21st is the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. ForceCast bud Paul Bateman from RalphMcQuarrie.com provides us with a glimpse of some striking similarities between Empire and some old Flash Gordon newspaper strips. Take it away, Paul!

Figured I'd put these together, thought I should share in case they're unfamiliar to you.

I know it's common knowledge that the Flash Gordon movie serials influenced Star Wars enormously but Alex Rayond's strips are definately the biggest influence.

Of all the movies Empire draws upon these the most.

You'll spot a few other familiar moments ie: Flash uses a stick to prop open the mouth of a monster and escape, and the famiilar animal stampede when we meet Jar Jar.

Lets start with Flash Gordon's influence on Hoth:

Flash Hoth SMALL

Then we go to Dagobah:

Flash Dagobah SMALL

And wrap things up on Cloud City:

Flash Bespin SMALL

Not to be outdone, famed comic artist Moebius illustrated The Long Tomorrow in the mid-70s. This strip was well-known for having a huge influence on another Sci-Fi classic, Ridley Scotts Blade Runner. However, it appears that a figure in the back ground of one panel was the inspiration for an iconic droid design from The Empire Strikes Back!

moebius Long Tomorrow

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