So the story goes that George Lucas originally wanted to do a movie version of Flash Gordon. When he couldn’t secure the rights to Flash Gordon he decided to create his own series Star Wars. Of course, after the success of Star Wars, a bad Flash Gordon film was made in the 1980’s which I finally watched for the first time recently and talked about briefly my podcast.
Although I didn’t love the 1980’s Flash Gordon it inspired me to go back and watch the original 1930’s serials that had inspired George Lucas for films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I enjoyed these more than the 80’s film. Think of the serials as TV before there was TV. Short little stories that would play before the main feature films that would last about 20 minutes in length and then continue the next week. The serials are fast-paced and full of action and adventure that take the main characters from one dangerous situation to another. Sure the budget was low and the special effects were cheesy, but they were still a lot of fun and contain many of the elements George Lucas would incorporate in Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
If dig old movies and want to see some of what influenced Star Wars the Flash Gordon serials can be found on YouTube and are a quick and easy binge-watch.
P.S. I absolutely love the posters for the Flash Gordon Serials seen above.