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Old May 18 2013, 08:23 PM   #2
Christopher
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Re: Did Star Wars cash in on Star Trek?

^Oh, yes, Lucas was definitely trying to take advantage of ST's coattails. He used ST's success to sell studios on the idea that a sci-fi adventure could be profitable (as he acknolwedged not long ago in Rod Roddenberry's Trek Nation documentary), and he consciously gave his movie a name that sounded similar to Star Trek. Not to mention cribbing terminology like tractor beams and deflector shields, and near-equivalent terms like "proton torpedoes."

It's hard to remember now, when Star Wars has become the definitive space opera for a generation, but of course before 1977 there was no SW, and ST was just about the biggest thing ever in mass-media science fiction in the United States, aside from maybe 2001 or Planet of the Apes. (Doctor Who was bigger in the UK, but had rarely been seen stateside at that point.) So it was pretty much a given that any new space opera jockeying for popular appeal would be influenced by ST.
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