Star Wars and Horror
In celebration of May the 4th, let’s look at some of the connections between Star Wars and Horror.
Casting Carrie and Star Wars
Brian De Palma and George Lucas held auditions for Carrie and Star Wars at the same time. A lot of the young actors’ auditioned for both films. According to Carrie Fisher, De Palma interviewed the actors instead of Lucas. It has been long rumored that De Palma wanted Carrie for Carrie. But she would not do the nudity, Carrie Fisher denied this rumor. William Katt (Tommy Ross) almost got the part of Luke Skywalker. But the role went to Mark Hamill instead.
Frankenstein and the Monster
Star Wars, not the first time Peter Cushing and David Prowse worked together. They had both been in Hammer Studio’s Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) Cushing portrayed Frankenstein and David Prowse was the monster.
Exorcist II and Star Wars
1977 was the same year James Earl Jones did his first voice as Darth Vader in Star Wars and portrayed Older Kokumo in Exorcist II. Now imagine James Earl Jones in the recording studio doing his voiceover in Star Wars in the Kokumo costume. Scary!
“When Linda Blair did the girl in The Exorcist, they hired Mercedes McCambridge to do the voice of the devil coming out of her. And there was controversy as to whether Mercedes should get credit. I was one who thought no, she was just special effects. So when it came to Darth Vader, I said, no, I’m just special effects. But it became so identified that by the third one, I thought, OK I’ll let them put my name on it.” James Earl Jones
Star Wars got Alien made
Riding high off the success of Star Wars 20th Century Fox needed a Sc-Fi follow up and the next script on the table was Alien. Ridley Scott himself revealed how Star Wars forced him to make Alien.
“I never saw or felt audience participation like that, in my life. The theater was shaking. When that Death Star came in at the beginning, I thought, I can’t possibly do Tristan and Isolde, I have to find something else. By the time the movie was finished, it was so stunning that it made me miserable. That’s the highest compliment I can give it; I was miserable for week. I hadn’t met George at that point, but I thought, Fu*k George. Then, somebody sent me this script called Alien. I said, wow. I’ll do it.” – Ridley Scott – Deadline
Count Dooku, Count Dracula
Christoper Lee turned down the role of Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars, that went to his good friend Peter Cushing. The both of them starred in Hammer Horror films together as Count Dracula and Van Heising. It is clear George Lucas was a fan of their work.
Phantasm, Captain Phasma
When J.J Abrams first saw Captian Phasma’s design, he felt it reminded him of the 1979 horror film Phantasm. Going so far to name the character in reference to the movie. Abrams being a fan actually helped with the 4k restoration of Phantasm.
It was a blast to look at some of the connections between Star Wars and Horror and if you think we missed something. You would be wrong we got lots more for another time. May the 4th be with you!