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September 23, 2010
George Lucas Pirated Chewbacca's Image
...but that's OK. This is the conclusion of a long essay in The Binary Bonsai blog
. The blog has extensive source material but the gist is that the visual representation of the character we saw on-screen as Chewbacca in 1976 was taken quite directly from an illustration for a George R R Martin story that was published the previous year.
This is an age-old debate that periodically pops up in this blog as well: if we're going to protect the creations of artists and others it's important to understand the sources and methods that go into those creations. Do I think Lucas and his film team "stole" Chewbacca and should be punished? No, of course not. But I do think they should be more up-front about the ways in which their creations are based off the work of others, and be a lot less hostile to the derivative works created by fans and others who've taken from the film's material, in much the way that Ralph McQuarrie did.
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