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George Lucas says 'Star Wars' owes debt to 'Star Trek'
For sci-fi fans still debating whether "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" reigns supreme, George Lucas wants everyone to just get along.
In the new documentary "Trek Nation" (via Joblo), Lucas acknowledges that, although it was on TV and not on the big screen, Gene Roddenberry's late '60s NBC series primed the pump for a mainstream resurgence of science fiction, helping "Star Wars" rocket past mere cult status to box office dominance in 1977.
"'Star Trek' softened up the entertainment arena so that 'Star Wars' could come along and stand on its shoulders," Lucas admits. "There was an effective group of people in the beginning who accepted it...that it wasn't that far out. For the studios it was way far out, [they said] 'what is this?', but there was a fanbase out there -- primarily the 'Star Trek' fanbase -- who understood sci-fi, understood visual sci-fi, and was ready for something like this to be in the feature arena."
Naturally, Lucas' franchise returned the favor when the huge success of "Star Wars" encouraged Paramount to bring the dormant "Trek" brand to the big screen in 1979.
More recently, the two franchises have been bridged by J.J. Abrams, who resurrected "Star Trek" for the big screen in 2009 and will direct "Star Wars: Episode VII" for a 2015 release.
Live long and may the Force be with you.
"Trek Nation" is now available in DVD.