The sci-fi books that inspired Star Wars

It’s remarkable how many science-fiction fans hate Star Wars. To those who like their SF grounded in science, Star Wars is reprehensible “skiffy” in the pejorative sense, a flight of fantasy cloaked in science-fiction’s clothes. For most under-40s, Star Wars is where their love of sci-fi began, but for those who remember the genre’s golden age, George Lucas’ blockbuster creation isn’t quite so original.

Edward Elmer Smith, best known as EE “Doc” Smith, was one of the early bestsellers of the pulp science-fiction era. Today it’s easy to take the familiar trappings of sci-fi – space rockets, ray guns, alien empires and more – for granted. But authors such as Smith, Leigh Brackett and Hal Clement, writing serialised fiction for Amazing Stories and other magazines, in large part created the iconography of sci-fi.

Read more @ The Guardian.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

One thought on “The sci-fi books that inspired Star Wars

  1. Scientifically speaking, there’s probably a lot wrong with Star Wars. As Interstellar showed us, you couldn’t hop around so many different planets without their being a time difference – i.e. you might stay young, but your buddies would be decades older when you get back.

    And how would it be possible to focus a laser into a sword without it escaping? And why would you even use a laser sword when there are laser guns?

    The answer – suspend disbelief and have fun. But there’s plenty of room for hard science movies, The Martian is another good one.

    But yes there were many forerunners to Star Wars. I’m sure they were great for their time. Some of them could even be updated and be fun. George Lucas was the first to figure out how to do the special effects to take it out of the realm of cheesiness and make it look cool.



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