Where to stream the Canadian short that inspired George Lucas’ Star Wars

Lucas has cited Arthur Lipsett's 21-87 as a key influence, and references to the short can even be found throughout the Star Wars films

Star Wars George Lucas

You might not have known it, but Star Wars owes a lot to Canada.

On top of Vancouver’s own Hayden Christensen playing Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the prequel films and upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Star Wars creator George Lucas actually drew heavy inspiration for his original space opera film from Montreal-born filmmaker Arthur Lipsett.

Specifically, Lucas has cited Lipsett’s acclaimed 1963 short 21-87 as a key influence on Star Wars, including the idea of “The Force.” 21-87 is an abstract montage-collage film that offers a commentary on a machine-dominated society, and Lucas has said it was “the kind of movie I wanted to make.”

References to that short can even be found in Princess Leia’s cell (No. 2187) on the Death Star in A New Hope and John Boyega’s character, Stormtrooper FN-2187 (“Finn”), in the sequel trilogy.

As part of this year’s May 4th Star Wars Day celebrations, the official Twitter account of Canada has promoted the short, as has Canada Media Fund’s Made Nous division. Additionally, the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada, which originally produced 21-87, is offering the film for streaming.

You can do so for free on the NFB’s website. Meanwhile, all six of Lucas’ Star Wars films, as well as the sequel trilogy and related media, are streaming on Disney+.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Via: @made_nous