MOVIES

Darth Vader’s Force Choke Is Much Deeper Than You Think

Even before he stopped making “Star Wars” movies after “Revenge of the Sith,” George Lucas wasn’t quiet about the concepts, media, and real-life events that inspired the franchise. Lucas told the Boston Globe in 2005 (via History), “I love history, so while the psychological basis of ‘Star Wars’ is mythological, the political and social bases are historical.”

From the Jedi Code mirroring the samurai’s Bushido Code to themes referencing Greek mythology and a mentor training a student to face a bigger evil, “Star Wars” is derived from many different histories and ideas. Lucas mentioned in the same Rolling Stone interview that Anakin being fatherless isn’t directly related to just Jesus Christ from Christianity but is an idea found in all kinds of religious texts and stories. He explained that similar tales can be found in Hindu, Chinese, and Middle Eastern religions.

On the media side, everything from the Akira Kurosawa film “The Hidden Fortress” to “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien to Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and the “Flash Gordon” serials from the 1930s and 1940s have been cited as inspirations for Lucas’ creation of “Star Wars.” The franchise also draws from the real world, referencing the Vietnam War, Nazi Germany, and Ancient Rome as key inspirations of war and the battle of good and evil that shaped “Star Wars.”

Ultimately, many themes, concepts, and characterizations in the “Star Wars” universe, including the Force choke and breathing related to Buddhism, come from the real world, as Lucas intentionally wore his inspirations on his sleeves.

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