Star Wars :Setting

Unlike the traditional science fiction films preceding it, the Star Wars world was initially portrayed as dirty and grimy, rather than sleek and futuristic. In interviews, Lucas tells of rubbing the new props with dirt to make them look weather-worn, a concept he has referred to as "a used future." He may have been inspired by Sergio Leone, whose 1960s films performed a similar function forthe Western genre.

Each Star Wars film opens with the text, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." Lucas intended this as an allusion to the classic fairy tale opening of, "Once upon a time, in a faraway land..." To some, Lucas's allusion suggests that the films are to be interpreted as myths of the future, rather than literal events of the past. Lucas himself has intentionally left the details open to interpretation. Although the film series itself spans the events of only two generations, other stories set in the Star Wars universe (those from the so-called "Expanded Universe") cover events that span millennia.

The Star Wars films use an opening text to provide the audience with the background to the story. Lucas emulated the Flash Gordon serials by having his opening text "crawl" up the screen from bottom to top at a high pitched angle, as if the text were disappearing into the distant starscape. (Also in all Star Wars films, with the exception of Episode VI, a ship of some kind whooshes by after the crawl disappears completely.) In a May 15, 2005 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Lucas described the creation of the distinctive crawl: "The crawl is such a hard thing because you have to be careful that you're not using too many words that people don't understand. It's like a poem. I showed the very first crawl to a bunch of friends of mine in the '70s. It went on for six paragraphs with four sentences each. Brian De Palma was there, and he threw his hands up in the air and said, 'George, you're out of your mind! Let me sit down and write this for you.' He helped me chop it down into the form that exists today."


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