Who the hell is this George Lucas rip-off merchant? For years I’ve heard people raving about his Star Wars movie as if it were the most original sci-fi concept ever.
So, I finally get around to watching it and what do you know? It turns out that the man has so few original ideas that it’s not long before he gives us that standard trope of the rip-off sci-fi genre. For “cantina scene”, read “meeting of the delegates” scene.
Admittedly, the 1960s genius of the Nation/Spooner/Camfield concept laid the ground for all copycat sci-fi that followed. But the minute that Lucas wants to convey the idea of a universe peopled by many species, he reaches for a roomful of different alien costumes as pioneered (and never bettered) in the meeting of the delegates scene in “The Dalek Master Plan”.
When will this transatlantic plagiarism of Doctor Who end? First Star Wars steals the “meeting of the delegates” idea so completely and shamelessly that the trope is now generally referred to as “a cantina scene”. Then Star Trek, not content with stealing the concept of Mark Seven for its Data character, then goes and filches the Cybermen concept for the Borg. Then Sutekh’s whole background story gets copied for the “Pyramids of Mars” sequel series, Stargate. Don’t even get me started on the obvious similarities between Firefly’s so-called Western theme and “The Gunfighters”. I only hope that Joss Whedon has enough shame to give Lynda Baron and Tristram Cary a cut of the royalties from Firefly’s theme song.
These modern shows may look very glitzy and exciting but where would their enormous, penis-substitute starships be without Doctor Who’s visionary groundwork in the field of Colour Separation Overlay? I think we deserve an answer, George!