In an alternate universe George Lucas never made Star Wars because he was able to get the rights to Flash Gordon. See, that was Lucas’ original intention, and he even went to meet with King Features Syndicate, who held the rights, to talk with them about making a movie based on the classic comic strip and movie serial space adventurer. Lucas says that King Features wanted 80% of the profits, and that they wanted Fellini to direct. Francis Ford Coppola, Lucas’ best bud at the time, thinks that they just didn’t take the movie brat seriously. Whatever the case, George Lucas was unable to make a Flash Gordon film, and so he instead filtered what he loved about Flash Gordon through other influences, including Joseph Campbell and 2001 and came up with a brand new concept that forever changed our pop culture. Could his Flash Gordon have been as seismically important? Perhaps, but it’s the synthesis of other influences that makes Star Wars special. —Badass Digest
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