Are the Valérian Comics Really a Big Influence on Star Wars?
If you’re a Luc Besson fan, you’ve likely seen at least one of the flashy trailers for his latest movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Like many big-budget movies these days, Valerian is based on a comic. If the Valérian and Laureline comics don’t ring a bell, that’s okay: you’re not alone in not knowing about the French source material.
The thing is that while the trailers for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets may look like a colourful Star Wars prequel rip-off, the reality is that the Valérian and Laureline comics were birthed a decade before the original Star Wars movie hit the big screen in 1977.
There’s been a lot of discussion about just how much of an influence Valérian was on Star Wars. It’s a controversial topic because though Star Wars creator George Lucas acknowledged many influences for his juggernaut sci-fi creation – including Flash Gordon, Toshirô Mifune, Akira Kurosawa, mythological heroes, old series and even comics – Valérian has never been mentioned. No one else who’s worked on the Star Wars movies seems to have listed the preceding adventures of Valérian as an influence, either.