What would The Empire Strikes Back have looked like if it had been released thirty years earlier in 1950?
Star Wars was a product of its time when it came out in 1977, as were Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in ’83. But without question, Lucas’ beloved space opera took cues from older science fiction stories, like the serials seen in the 1950s.
A Star Wars fan cut together this “Premake” (we in the industry call them “demakes”), showing what would have happened if Empire had been a 3D sci-fi serial released in 1950. It’s incredibly camp, but it works oh-so-well – and it just goes to show you how easily Star Wars‘ interpretation of the classical “Hero’s Journey” can be molded into other flavors.
Interestingly enough, almost all of the footage comes from actual 50s serials like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Outer Limits, Forbidden Planet, and many more – as well as classic films like Metropolis. It just goes to show you how much of Lucas’ visuals for Star Wars drew inspiration from these older sci-fi stories, no?
I’m kind of happy with the ’80s version myself, but this is awesome.