Nerf Herders has cataloged the various influences in George Lucas’ life which shaped his magnum opus – the Star Wars movies. It has an exhaustive list of pop culture references in the movie series. Even though the original Star Wars trilogy is considered by many as the mother of all cult films, it too was inspired by various films, books, TV and legends. The list is quite exhaustive, but also very interesting.
Snip from the site:
Concentrating on influences or references utilized in films based solely on the Star Wars saga doesn’t paint a whole reference picture. Some people may be surprised that Lucas borrowed so many elements from the past. But, anyone who watches films or reads books, all genres and generations, realizes that there is nothing new in the world. We repeat and repackage themes over and over again. I, for one, am thankful there are people on the planet, like Lucas, who pay homage to ideas, story concepts and visual elements from admired and legendary foundations.
I created Reverse References to catalogue Lucas’s (and to some extent his artist’s) referential elements. Old becoming new through interpretation and presentation. Some of the influences listed are purely speculative, as there are so many books, films, etc., (especially in the science fiction and fantasy realms) that play on basic mythical archetypes, some from previous Lucas endeavors, and some entirely coincidental but the rest are truly borrowed references. Aside from this brief exposition the cataloguing will be shown quite casually with a sort of this-equals-that presentation.