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George Lucas Reveals How Star Wars Was Influenced By the Vietnam War

In this extended segment from James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, George Lucas chats with James Cameron about the contemporary political influences behind Star Wars.

“It isn’t the science, aliens, and all that kind of stuff that I get focused on. It’s how people react to all those things,” explains Lucas, who shares how he has a background in anthropology.

Watch this Extended Interview With George Lucas

“We’re fighting the largest empire in the world, and we’re just a bunch of hay seeds in coonskin hats that don’t know nothing,” he says, referencing the American Revolution against the British Empire, and how he based the heroes of Star Wars on real-life rebellions against powerful empires.

Lucas and Cameron discuss how during the Vietnam War, America became “the Empire.”

“The irony is that, in both of those, the little guys won. The highly technical empire — the English Empire, the American Empire — lost. That was the whole point,” Lucas says.

“I think science fiction is so good at these kind of social themes,” says Cameron.

Click here to watch George Lucas and James Cameron chat about the major social influences on one of the most enduring franchises of all time.

James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction airs Mondays at 10/9c. Click here to add a reminder to your calendar.

To get more James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction extras like these extended interviews, sign up for the Insiders’ Club.

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