Sign In

What single (Non-SW) movie from the last 30 odd years has come closest to the spirit of Star Wars?... and why?

Author
Time
 (Edited)

"What single (Non-SW) movie from the last 30 odd years has come closest to the spirit of Star Wars?... and why?"

Many producers have tried to follow that golden trail of money that GL laid down, but how many have suceeded? Can anybody suggest other Sci-Fi adventures that come close to replicating the fun, drama, action, feel, spirit, design etc of GL's OT?

- Why do you rate them?

- What makes them Star-Wars-esque?

Anything ranging from obvious SW knock-offs like 'The Last Starfighter' to perhaps even JJ's new bastard son 'Star Trek Into Darkness Star Wars'.  Anything from SW spoofs or Superhero movies, to maybe non-Sci-Fi stuff like LOTR. Maybe an old swahbuckler or vintage Harryhausen adventure?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My opinion?

David Lynch's 'Dune' (1984)

In a lot of ways it's muh darker, wierder and complicated than SW. But for me, it's that same wide-eyed fantastical voyage into another universe of imagination. Plus the music by Toto is on a totally epic scale that in places even surpasses the great JW.

I always wanted to be Luke Skywalker using the force and wielding a saber...

...but I also always wanted to be Paul Atreides, blowing sh*t up with my Wierding Module and the power of my voice.

I had it taped on VHS, I bought the official VHS, I bought the DVD, I imported the extended DVD, I bought the remastered Blu-Ray, I bought the Soundtrack, bought the Dune II PC game... sound familiar?

God just remembered that as a kid I also scratchbuilt a Sandworm vs Harvester diorama out bits of old kits and clay. It was bad ass as I remember!

btw I had zero interest in the other Dune books, prequels, TV shows etc... also sound familiar?

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

As a Whedonite I have to mention SERENITY (2005).

It has more humour than SW, but it captures the same sense of fun and action - and obviously Mal Reynolds bears more than a passing resemblance to Han Solo.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

daneditor said:

As a Whedonite I have to mention SERENITY (2005).

It has more humour than SW, but it captures the same sense of fun and action - and obviously Mal Reynolds bears more than a passing resemblance to Han Solo.

^Absolutely. 'Firefly' was probably the closest there's been to a live action SW TV show. A bunch of wise cracking and likeable characters tripping round the galaxy in a spaceship, simple really. 'Serenity' was great too.

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Either Avatar or Prometheus.

Both opened enormous doors for future story lines and possibilities. As well as they explored space and other planets, and concepts a little more than your standard big budget sci-fi/science fantasy flick.

 

Author
Time
 (Edited)

haraldo23 said:

Either Avatar or Prometheus.

Both opened enormous doors for future story lines and possibilities. As well as they explored space and other planets, and concepts a little more than your standard big budget sci-fi/science fantasy flick.

 

I highly rated Prometheus (There are a few of us lol), it was the perfect sequel to the spirit of Ridley's vision of 'Alien', just wasn't the 'Alien(s)' carbon-copy most people were expecting/wanting. But I don't see the SW connection at all.

However, I agree 'Avatar' does have a bit of a SW feel. The creatures, the exotic imaginary world, the battles, the adventure, the clearly defined Good vs Evil (With our hero caught between the two). When the sequels finally come out, it is gonna be damned exciting to see what the other moons around Pandora are like. Could they be desert, ice, fire or air worlds?!??!

Plus it's confirmed that Sigourney Weaver is returning for the sequels. Is she gonna be some sort of 'force-ghost' style forest spirit?

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

The 2009 Star Trek, for obvious reasons.  :)

Author
Time
 (Edited)

eiyosus said:

The 2009 Star Trek, for obvious reasons.  :)

That does bode well for the franchise.

*ahem*

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

In my opinion, nothing ever came close to Star Wars OT.

真実

Author
Time

imperialscum said:

In my opinion, nothing ever came close to Star Wars OT.

Probably true but I did say "Clos-est".

Come on imperialscum you must have had one other movie that was somewhere on the SW funscale...

...even if it was only 3 Deathstars out of 5 lol

 

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

imperialscum said:

In my opinion, nothing ever came close to Star Wars OT.

Yeah, I agree, but not because Star Wars is so great nothing comes close, but because Star Wars managed to perfectly capture the zeitgeist of 1977.  It was an adventure movie before adventure movies became absorbed into action movies.  It was (space opera) sci-fi before sci-fi became just another demographic target.  If Star Wars were released for the first time today, it would seem weirdly retro in a lot more ways than the special effects--the pacing, the cinematography, everything would scream 1977.

Firefly was what Star Wars would have been if it were unhitched from the 70's, swapped some adventurous spirit for character study, and given a lot better dialogue.  It's not the same thing at all, really, IMO.

Then again, maybe Star Wars is only tied to the 70's in my mind.  Someone watching Star Wars for the first time today probably gets a totally different feeling from the movie than I do.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

Author
Time

CatBus said:

imperialscum said:

In my opinion, nothing ever came close to Star Wars OT.

Yeah, I agree, but not because Star Wars is so great nothing comes close, but because Star Wars managed to perfectly capture the zeitgeist of 1977.  It was an adventure movie before adventure movies became absorbed into action movies.  It was (space opera) sci-fi before sci-fi became just another demographic target.  If Star Wars were released for the first time today, it would seem weirdly retro in a lot more ways than the special effects--the pacing, the cinematography, everything would scream 1977.

Firefly was what Star Wars would have been if it were unhitched from the 70's, swapped some adventurous spirit for character study, and given a lot better dialogue.  It's not the same thing at all, really, IMO.

Then again, maybe Star Wars is only tied to the 70's in my mind.  Someone watching Star Wars for the first time today probably gets a totally different feeling from the movie than I do.

I always thought the OT was pretty timeless, it was concieved that way. It was set in fairytale past of cowboys, knights and swashbuckling but also looked futuristic and exciting. The costumes were all fairly basic appealing styles we'd all recognise from other movie genres.

One problem with the PT was the outlandish costumes.  Padme's costumes were beautiful (I've seen them upclose at a couple of exhibts) but sometimes you can see Portman can't even move in them and there were too many costume changes too.

The only dated thing is the "Hippy" (For want of a better term) haircuts in ANH. They always date that movie and date photos of me with similar ;-). By the time ESB and ROTJ had rolled around the haircuts had become more measured with the arrival of the 80s. Luke's haircut is badass and timeless in ESB.

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Ryan McAvoy said:

imperialscum said:

In my opinion, nothing ever came close to Star Wars OT.

Probably true but I did say "Clos-est".

Come on imperialscum you must have had one other movie that was somewhere on the SW funscale...

Well I thought you wanted films that were like Star Wars.

Obviously I enjoy other films as much as Star Wars. Alien Trilogy would be one.

真実

Author
Time
 (Edited)

It's a boring answer but for me it's Raiders Of The Lost Ark (the only Indiana Jones film that works).

If has the action, the energy and that spooky awe in the Ark scenes which match the Force scenes well.

It has Harrison Ford of course (playing a character very similar to Han Solo in the first two Star Wars films) but it also has amusing but believably nasty villains.

Karen Allen is as feisty and as attractive as the princess and John Williams doing the score for both helps.

Indeed Superman The Movie comes almost as close largely to the emotional sweep in the score (Margot Kidder and Karen Allen are almost playing the same role in the same way).

I always associate Close Encounters with Star Wars but that's more to do with me seeing it the following week (Star Wars was my second cinema experience and CE3K was my third).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Ryan McAvoy said:

I always thought the OT was pretty timeless, it was concieved that way.

I don't think timelessness is an easy thing to plan.  Sure, you can avoid references to pop culture (use a classical score, don't play the Bee Gees in the cantina), but some things fall in and out of fashion that are hard to control for.

You've got two main characters who are robots.  Not little background utility robots, but central characters.  And neither of them has superhuman strength or any sort of built-in weaponry.  Clearly this film predates the nineties.

The movie is called Star Wars, but it takes about an hour for them to get off the planet and actually into the stars where said wars are happening.  Films stopped meandering this much by the eighties.

The color hasn't been manipulated very much at all.  The sky doesn't look very green, Luke doesn't look very orange.  Clearly this movie was made before The King's Speech.

The film takes place in roughly chronological order.  Postmodernism hadn't had a huge impact on film quite yet.

The above are all things I like about Star Wars.  Just because they date the film doesn't mean that they are bad.  It's a representative 70's film, IMO.  And it's great.

EDIT: Good call on Raiders, Bingo.  That's probably the closest we're going to get.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

Author
Time

For a non fantasy film, in terms of spirit and adventure I'd go for 'Midnight Run' its action packed, fast paced, funny and has some drama woven in there too. 

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Agreed Bingowings, Raiders does have the simple SW fun factor for sure. You know what I've never seen close encounters! Must rectify that soon.

CatBus, I think we kinda agree about GL setting out to be timeless. "Sure, you can avoid references to pop culture...use a classical score". This was exactly GL's intent of using JW and not say Led Zeppelin. In comparison, the 60s/70s folk influenced soundtrack to the proto-SW film 'Silent Running' is sooo badly dated it makes the film hard to watch for me.

And just because SW looks different to what's out now doesn't mean that dates it. Just that what's out now will soon date. As you said the over saturated visual eye-sore like films like 'The Kings Speech', 'Skyfall' etc will date very quickly. Digital Graders are just excited by their new toys and will learn to not tinker wih every shot til the faces are half orange/half blue in time.  They'll realise that the rich, wam and realistic palettes of 70s and 80s films like SW, 'The Godfather' and 'Raiders' are infact timeless.

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

For me the score to Silent Running is highly evocative (more than a generic symphonic suite would have been) for many years I could be found sobbing at the sound of Joan Baez's voice, not just because she sounds rather haunting (and looks just like my mum) but I just kept thinking about that poor little robot chappy *sob* tending the *weep* discarded remnants of Earth's *cry* plant life for all eternity... with his little watering can with the painting of childrens on it... *WHaaaaaaaaaa!*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

Author
Time

Hey, it's me. said:

For a non fantasy film, in terms of spirit and adventure I'd go for 'Midnight Run' its action packed, fast paced, funny and has some drama woven in there too. 

Never even heard of 'Midnight Run' will have to check it out.

It's got Yaphet Kotto in it, I'm sold!


VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

Bingowings said:

For me the score to Silent Running is highly evocative (more than a generic symphonic suite would have been) for many years I could be found sobbing at the sound of Joan Baez's voice, not just because she sounds rather haunting (and looks just like my mum) but I just kept thinking about that poor little robot chappy *sob* tending the *weep* discarded remnants of Earth's *cry* plant life for all eternity... with his little watering can with the painting of childrens on it... *WHaaaaaaaaaa!*

Maybe you had to grow up with it. I first saw it last year after I bought the new BEAUTIFULLY restored Blu-Ray of 'Silent Running' on the good doctor's reccomendation.

I didn't enjoy it at all. Loved all the BR extras though about the making of. I hate the Joan Baez song at the end in particular lol

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

Ryan McAvoy said:

Just that what's out now will soon date. As you said the over saturated visual eye-sore like films like 'The Kings Speech', 'Skyfall' etc will date very quickly. Digital Graders are just excited by their new toys and will learn to not tinker wih every shot til the faces are half orange/half blue in time.  They'll realise that the rich, wam and realistic palettes of 70s and 80s films like SW, 'The Godfather' and 'Raiders' are infact timeless.

Maybe.  I've been waiting a long time for 70's film pacing to come back, and my conclusion is it's gone for good.  Maybe a single film will get close (Lone Star had great pacing, for example).  But you're right--some of these things are certain to lose their novelty in the long run.  I just can't be sure which ones.  I certainly hope "films with more than two colors" isn't a description used in history books to describe how films from the latter twentieth century are visually unique...

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

Author
Time

Ryan McAvoy said:

Hey, it's me. said:

For a non fantasy film, in terms of spirit and adventure I'd go for 'Midnight Run' its action packed, fast paced, funny and has some drama woven in there too. 

Never even heard of 'Midnight Run' will have to check it out.

It's got Yaphet Kotto in it, I'm sold!


It's a terrific film and very entertaining. The same director previously did Beverley Hills Cop. It's just got that free spirited adventure feel that doesn't take itself too seriously that Star Wars had. For me anyway. 

Author
Time
        I'd give POTC alot of points for managing to capture the "Makin'-it-up-as-we-go, off-the-cuff" energy of the ANH characters.  It's set in a very particular time and place, so it couldn't quite have that peculiar ANH sense of timelessness.  It had a good dose of mystical, magical elements. POTC would be a good study if ever there is a female main protagonist in the SW universe.
Author
Time
 (Edited)

CatBus said:

Ryan McAvoy said:

Over saturated visual eye-sore like films like 'The Kings Speech', 'Skyfall' etc will date very quickly.

I certainly hope "films with more than two colors" isn't a description used in history books to describe how films from the latter twentieth century are visually unique...

Here's something I made,

The top two screenshots are from 2012's cutting edge digitally graded 'Skyfall, the bottom two are from colour-tinted silent films made almost 100 years ago when film was in it's infancy:

...or is that the other way around?

Let's hope films start looking like this again, sooner rather than later:

Also I did this GODFATHER 2013!!:

OH Yes! It's sooo much better!

(Rant over)

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

thejediknighthusezni said:

        I'd give POTC alot of points for managing to capture the "Makin'-it-up-as-we-go, off-the-cuff" energy of the ANH characters.  It's set in a very particular time and place, so it couldn't quite have that peculiar ANH sense of timelessness.  It had a good dose of mystical, magical elements. POTC would be a good study if ever there is a female main protagonist in the SW universe.

Yes I was gonna suggest that. I can totally see that 'Pirates OTC' could be seen as a SW like adventure romp. Probably a formula that explains it's massive box office appeal.

Keith Sparrow, Lizzie Swoon and Outlandish Bland as Han, Luke and Leia. The Pearl is the Falcon, plenty of over-the-top villains, zipping round the Caribbean/galaxy, running from the evil (British) Empire.

Thing is I hate POTC with a f*cking vengeance! So it's not quite ticking all the SW boxes for me at least lol ;-)

Produced by JB, what do you expect...

The POTC theme music is admitedly EPIC though!

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

Author
Time

Ryan McAvoy said:

CatBus said:

Ryan McAvoy said:

Over saturated visual eye-sore like films like 'The Kings Speech', 'Skyfall' etc will date very quickly.

I certainly hope "films with more than two colors" isn't a description used in history books to describe how films from the latter twentieth century are visually unique...

Here's something I made,

The top two screenshots are from 2012's cutting edge digitally graded 'Skyfall, the bottom two are from colour-tinted silent films made almost 100 years ago when film was in it's infancy:

...or is that the other way around?

Let's hope films start looking like this again, sooner rather than later:

Also I did this GODFATHER 2013!!:

OH Yes! It's sooo much better!

(Rant over)

Okay.

http://i.imgur.com/DZo4n.png

http://i.imgur.com/LkSou.jpg