A hilarious fan-made video imagines 2001: A Space Odyssey if it had been made by Star Wars director George Lucas – and it’s a very different movie.
2001: A Space Odyssey as directed by George Lucas is nothing like Stanley Kubrick’s original masterpiece. Kubrick made movie history with his 1968 science-fiction epic 2001, a film that expanded the definition of what cinematic sci-fi could be both in terms of special effects and storytelling. And one person who happened to be watching was USC film student Lucas, who would take inspiration from Kubrick’s film and go on to craft his own history-making science-fiction movie in 1977’s Star Wars.
Now the very different sci-fi visions of Kubrick and Lucas have come together in a clever and hilarious new video posted by YouTube channel poakwood.
In 2001: A Space Odyssey Directed By George Lucas?, Kubrick’s famously glacial and brooding movie about a mission to Jupiter is transformed into a whiz-bang action movie. In this version of 2001, Dave Bowman has commandeered one of the Discovery One’s shuttles for an all-out battle against psychotic computer HAL 9000, climaxing in a moment that would make Luke Skywalker proud.
How 2001 Paved The Way For Star Wars
Science-fiction is a mostly-respected genre in today’s Hollywood, but in the 1960s, movies set in outer space were largely considered kids’ stuff by the studios. But that all changed when Kubrick unleashed 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film that not only advanced the art of special effects by leaps and bounds, but also proved that sci-fi films could tell dark and mysterious stories that tackled heady philosophical themes. And future Star Wars director Lucas quickly picked up on the messages of 2001, making his own dark and mysterious philosophical sci-fi movie in 1971’s THX 1138.
But THX 1138 would not be Lucas’ final foray into science-fiction. In 1977, the director changed the whole movie game with Star Wars, a film that embraced the effects-heavy approach of 2001 while dispensing with that film’s stately pacing and mind-expanding themes. The result was not just a singular blockbuster but a pop cultural earthquake the reverberations of which are still being felt almost 50 years later.
It can of course be argued that the audience-pleasing, Flash Gordon-inspired Star Wars represented a perversion of the sci-fi revolution Kubrick began with his 1968 masterpiece. And indeed it has been argued that Star Wars brought a symbolic end to the Hollywood Golden Age that began in the late ’60s and progressed into the ’70s, thanks in large part to filmmakers like Kubrick. But it’s also true that without 2001: A Space Odyssey establishing science-fiction as a genre studios took seriously, Star Wars never could have gotten made in the first place. Without Kubrick’s movie coming first, Lucas never could have turned space opera into the massive money-spinning genre it became.