They are two of the most highly recognized fictional settings in the world: the Star Wars universe created by George Lucas and the Cthulhu Mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft.
Star Wars is an epic space opera series spanning dozens of movies, television specials, and television shows as well as comic books, video games, board and roleplaying games, books, plush dolls, artwork, clothing and more. The Cthulhu Mythos are a group of interconnected monsters and cults which have appeared in most of the same places… although with fewer overt television appearances, as brain-sucking monsters aren’t often prime time material.
The two worlds intersect because of one man: Alan Dean Foster.
Foster was the ghost writer for the original Star Wars novel. Due to his experience with the property, Lucas tapped him to write the outline for a sequel. The Star Wars director thought he might have a hit… but recognized that he might not. This sequel was going to be produced if the film floundered in the theaters. Therefore, he had a few requests:
Spaceships were expensive. Most of the action should take place planetside.
Try to make the setting as cheap to film as possible. Maybe a swamp.
Don’t include Han Solo, because Harrison Ford hasn’t signed on for a sequel movie yet. Take out his sidekick Chewbacca, too, because Chewie without Han would be strange (a decision proven to be correct in The Star Wars Christmas Special).
Armed with these expectations, Alan Dean Foster quickly wrote Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, a book which was ready to be turned into Star Wars episode 5. Luckily for Lucas, fans loved the Star Wars film and Splinter was set aside in favor of something closer to Lucas’ original vision for the series.
Foster was best known as a science fiction writer at the time, but he was also a fan of a then-underground author named H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft’s work was well known to the horror, fantasy and science fiction community, but to few others. Foster had written some short fiction using the Mythos, and decided it would be entertaining to include some of those creatures on the sequels’s planet. These included a Cthonian, described in the book as a Wandrella; and Cthulhu himself, renamed for the book as Pomojema.
Empire was still years away. Splinter was sitting there, ready to make some money… but risking confusion if it was taken as canon, as the real second movie would likely take the story in far different directions. Money won. Splinter was released to the public in 1978, bringing wealth to the franchise… and cementing Cthulhu’s link to the Star Wars universe.
Question of the Night : What’s your favorite Star Wars… or Mythos… related movie, tv show, game, or object?