I always suspected it to be true, but now looking around the community and at the Dieselpunk encyclopedia project, I am solidly convinced that the Star Wars Saga is Dieselpunk - especially the prequels!
Star Wars made me want to do what I do today, and for a long time I thought there was a disconnect between my passion for Star Wars and my passion for swing-era music, fashion and pulp culture. Now, I realize that there is no disconnect at all! Suddenly my life makes perfect sense. :)
What are you thoughts about Star Wars as Dieselpunk?
The whole film is two parts Diesel-vintage SciFi serial, one part western, one part Kurosawa-style Samurai epic, one part WW2 one part fantasy epic. It certainly keeps a Diesel aestetic going in some places, and the entire mission of the films was to bring back the old Diesel Era serials feel (along with WW2 based combat - the Death Star run in the first film is taken frame-for-frame from the Dambusters docu), so it's a fair assessment! Vader's helmet looks coal-scuttle-esque for a reason
Yep, Lucas took a lot of stuff from old 1930s movies. Sometimes lifting scenes directly. It's still just space opera though.
I never really thought of it like that. I will have to rewatch them with that in mind.
I feel Star Wars has gotten far to big today for what it is.
But putting that aside it is a pot pourri of many things,and i think Mr Lucas wanted it that way.
Then again the costume character like Boba Fett, did i feel bring early Dieselpunk to the masses.
Just my two cents worth.
I'm actually working on an article for Dieselpunks that showcases the dieselpunk influences of Star Wars, some obvious and some subtle. I believe that it's most definitely and deliberately dieselpunk, and is basically a modern-day Republic serial. In fact, before he started working on Star Wars, he tried to make a Flash Gordon film, but when he couldn't get the rights, he decided to make make his own story, while still keeping the 1930s serial tropes in mind. Funny how, not long after Star Wars came out, an actual Flash Gordon film was made.
Like others have already said, Star Wars was based on the serials from the 1930's to the 50's that George Lucas grew up with. Spielberg had a similar background, which is why he and Lucas also made Indiana Jones in 1981. Not only is the WW2 influence evident, other factors like adventures taking place in far off exotic locales, taking on gangsters and the evil empire, the dirty-grit feel of the original trilogy, it had a lot of dieselpunk in it.
I really look forward to your article, Clinton. I agree with you, Salim, and others here that it's very heavy in Dieselpunk. I've long been tempted to go so far as to label it Dieselpunk on my blog. Clinton's article will help me decide before I jump into that controversy.
Don't worry about the link. Star Wars is one of those cultural phenomenon that you need to have all of your ducks in the row before you lay out your case. I recall when I made a similar determination about Blade Runner being Dieselpunk. There was strong disagreement by some, even within the Dieselpunk community.
Why wouldn't there be? If a story has elements of A, B, C, D and E, why not just say that? I'm not going to declare the story is therefore B, even if I really like B. Star Wars has elements of fairytales, samurai movies, nazi propaganda movies, 1930s serials and other things. So why just pick one thing?
For all of us Star Wars fans the passing of Ralph McQuarrie is true lost. I always loved his work.
And as a tie into the subject, look at his early renderings of the pre-production Ep 4: A New Hope and tell me if you don't see a heavy Dieselpunk look to them. Had there never been a Star Wars and if these had been made today wouldn't we likely have been using the term "Dieselpunk" to describe at least the Ep 4 illustrations?