How a Note From George Lucas Saved a ‘Star Wars’ Parody

by Jeremy Spirogis
How a Note From George Lucas Saved a ‘Star Wars’ Parody

Many Star Wars followers have combined emotions on George Lucas. He undoubtedly performed an integral function within the creation of the primary three Star Wars movies — probably the most universally beloved movies of the collection. On the identical token, some followers dislike the prequels and really feel the whole franchise consists of problematic content material.

In spite of the controversy surrounding Lucas, he has sometimes caught up for by-product artwork impressed by Star Wars. One instance is Mad journal’s parody of The Empire Strikes Back. The creators of the parody might need been in authorized bother if not for Lucas.

George Lucas | Jim Wilson/New York Times Co./Getty Images

George Lucas and a basic humor journal

Mad was an enormous pressure in American comedy for a very long time. In its pages, folks satirized popular culture, politics, relationships, and quite a few different matters. The journal was significantly well-known for its film parodies, which satirized the plots of movies in a visible fashion just like comedian books, with phrase bubbles, panels, and so forth.

The relationship between Lucas and Mad started earlier than the appearance of the Star Wars franchise. Before the discharge of the unique Star Wars movie, Lucas was most identified for his coming-of-age comedy American Graffiti. The poster for the movie was drawn by Mort Drucker, and artist who created many caricatures for Mad.

American Graffiti poster | Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images

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The Empire Strikes Back was an enormous deal when it was launched in 1980. {A magazine} like Mad, which derived a lot of its humor from spoofing Hollywood, virtually needed to parody it — they usually did. The cowl of Mad’s Empire parody featured Yoda with the face of Mad’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.

George Lucas and his attorneys react to a ‘Star Wars’ parody

Lucas appreciated the parody. According to the e-book Mad About Star Wars, he despatched Mad a be aware praising their work. Newsweek stories the be aware praised among the artists behind the parody. “Special Oscars should be awarded to [Mort] Drucker and [Dick[ DeBartolo, the George Bernard Shaw and Leonardo da Vinci of comic satire. Their sequel to my sequel was sheer galactic madness.” In addition, Cinema Blend stories Lucas supplied to purchase the unique art work used within the parody.

George Lucas | David Livingston/Getty Images for AFI

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Lucasfilm’s attorneys, nevertheless, weren’t impressed. They felt Mad was utilizing Star Wars characters to promote magazines. They despatched the journal a stop and desist letter asking them to cease utilizing Star Wars characters. In addition, they stated Mad ought to have over the entire income of their Empire subject.

Why was Mad getting totally different responses from Lucas and Lucasfilm’s attorneys? At the time, Lucas had little or no to do with Lucasfilm’s attorneys. Lucas had no clue the attorneys despatched Mad a stop and desist letter simply because the attorneys have been unaware of Lucas’ be aware. Ultimately, Mad’s writer, Bill Gaines, despatched the attorneys a duplicate of Lucas’ be aware and the 2 events by no means got here into battle once more. Thanks to Lucas, the world obtained many extra Mad spoofs set in a galaxy far, far, away.

Also see: ‘Star Wars’: How Albert Einstein Inspired Yoda

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