Star Wars Origins - Forbidden Planet
Flash Gordon
Kurosawa films
Joseph Campbell
Personal Myth
Lord of the Rings

2001: Space Odyssey
Forbidden Planet
The Wizard of Oz
E.E. "Doc" Smith

The Droids
Imperial Walkers
Other stuff
More other stuff

Storytelling Lessons
Other Science Fiction
Message Board

LEFT: Morbius uses Krell technology to project a hologram of his daughter Altaira. RIGHT: R2-D2 projects a hologram of Princess Leia.

Released in 1956, Forbidden Planet is among the most influential science fiction films ever made. The first-rate script is a remake of Shakespeare's The Tempest, and the special effects were revolutionary. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey twelve years later, Forbidden Planet taught the mainstream that science fiction can be a lot more than campy Flash Gordon stuff.

Star Wars seems to borrow strongly from Forbidden Planet, including the Energy Monster burning through a Krell door (Qui-Gon burning through the Trade Federation door) and Robbie's red force-screen (the red force-screen in Phantom Menace). This isn't one of those "historically important" scifi films which are dubiously educational but boring - this is a well-made, hugely entertaining film that stands up against the best films made today. (So go see it, already!)

TOP: Theed generator station, from The Phantom Menace. ABOVE: City of the Krell, from Forbidden Planet. Notice the long walkways, hollowed-out circular platforms, bottomless chasms and crackling pillars of energy.

Star Wars created by George Lucas, © LucasFilm Ltd.
Star Wars: Origins © 1999-2006 by Kristen Brennan,
part of the Jitterbug Fantasia webzine.