George Lucas’ Work On Attack of The Clones Was Inspired By A Soviet Film Pioneer

Eisenstein is known for films promoting the Soviet State, like 1925’s “Strike,” “1925’s “Battleship Potemkin” (which you can watch for free on Wikipedia), and 1944’s “Ivan the Terrible.” He was born in Latvia, which was then part of the Russian Empire, and moved to France, then back to Russia to work in theater and, later, film. He continued to travel around the world, studying and making films and teaching at the State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. 

His creative focus was on technique in film, which he often wrote articles about. You might recognize some of his images, like that of a baby carriage rolling alone down steps from “Battleship Potemkin” or the helmet-covered faces of the foot soldiers in “Alexander Nevsky.” The latter appears to have influenced some of the costuming choices in Star Wars.

Lucas even endowed faculty chairs at his alma mater USC School of Cinematic Arts, with one of them being named after Eisenstein in 2014. During the event, according to USC’s news site, Lucas said that using Eisenstein’s name and that of film greats George Méliès and Williams Cameron Menzies was to communicate to students that they shouldn’t “forget the basics.” He continued by saying, “Don’t get enamored with new technology … it doesn’t change anything. The art of what we do is exactly the same. The goal that we have is exactly the same as George Méliès, Williams Cameron Menzies, and Sergei Eisenstein. It’s beyond technology. It’s the art of movies.”

All of the “Star Wars” prequel films are currently streaming on Disney+.

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