It's no secret Star Wars creator George Lucas was inspired by numerous forms of storytelling, from adventure serials of Buck Rogers to the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa. According to Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill, if Lucas had his way, he would have included something extra for audiences to prep them to see his feature A New Hope back in 1977. The actor confirmed the trivia from Toon In With Me Twitter channel who originally noted, "Duck Dodgers in the 24th-and-a-half Century was ranked Number 4 of the 50 greatest cartoons of all time, by animation professionals! And did you know George Lucas requested it be shown before Star Wars in its first theatrical run. #tooninwithme".
What Could Have Been Between Star Wars and Looney Tunes
Hamill confirmed writing, "George really did want this classic Daffy Duck cartoon shown before every screening of #SW. It would've been an icebreaker to let the audience know what was coming was less than dead serious. I was disappointed when we couldn't get the rights to it & it didn't happen. #TrueStory" Duck Dodgers (1953) is a spoof of Buck Rogers originally created by Phillip Francis Nowlan adapted across several media, including comics, radio, and television. The spoof was directed by Chuck Jones, featuring Daffy as the Duck Dodgers role with Porky Pig in the straight role as his assistant battling Marvin the Martian, all voiced by Mel Blanc. The popularity of the 1953 Warner Bros cartoon spawned numerous sequels, including one with Blanc in 1980 with subsequent appearances done by different actors since his passing in 1989, including a dedicated series on Cartoon Network that ran from 2003-2005. While it would have been a treat for fans back in 1977, the lack of Duck Dodgers clearly didn't affect the success of the would-be franchise 11 films and numerous TV shows later with Lucasfilm's multi-billion dollar empire and permanent presence in pop culture history.