French Illustrator Whose Comics “Inspired” Star Wars Finally Getting the Movie Treatment

Several years ago, we discovered what some had known for decades: That George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy had borrowed, rather liberally and without giving credit, from a French comic series called Valérian and Laureline. Talented illustrator Jean-Claude Mézières and writer Pierre Christin had produced the wildly popular sci-fi comic starting in the 1960s. Here are some of the most egregious examples of shots and concepts that sprang from Mézières’ pen and wound up, uncredited, in George Lucas’ films:

Mézières was reportedly incensed at the time of the original trilogy’s release. (Read the story, and our write-up of him and his excellent work, here.) But now Mézières and Christin, both 78 years old, have had some fantastic news: Valérian has finally been made into a live-action movie directed by fan Luc Besson! (Besson had previously used Mézières concept work for The Fifth Element.)

Here’s the trailer, which looks pretty fantastic:

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be released this summer.

In other Star Wars “borrowing” news, here’s a side-by-side look at the first movie’s climax and The Dam Busters, a 1955 British movie depicting a real-life World War II mission to destroy a German dam:

Jeez Louise!