Few movie franchises can claim as well-established a place in popular culture as the Star Wars trilogies. The first title was released in 1977 and has gone on to become phenomenally popular.
Following speculation, George Lucas, the creator of this iconic space-opera, confirmed several of the historical sources behind his most famous work. Some major historical conflicts inspired key aspects of the plots in both the original trilogy and the prequel movies.
For example, the Second World War with the Empire being heavily based on the Nazi regime. Likewise, the Vietnam War was a source of much of the action in the Return of the Jedi. In this case, it was the Viet Cong that inspired the Ewoks and their ability to use their knowledge of the terrain to defeat a larger and more technologically advanced force.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Many comparisons have been drawn between J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the events of both the First and Second World Wars. The author officially refuted those suggestions, insisting that his work was not intended to be allegorical.
However, the movie adaptation of the second installment, The Two Towers, is a different matter. Director Peter Jackson has stated WWII and the Nazi forces were a key inspiration for the ominous presence of the Uruk-hai armies. The threat of this terrifying army looms over most of the movie, with ranks of black-clad soldiers and scenes reminiscent of the Nuremberg Rallies. Although the film as a whole is a classic fantasy, the ominous presence of the Uruk-hai is made all the more powerful by the director’s willingness to tap into our collective associations with that war and the Nazis.