George Lucas Throwback

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Remember back in the day, when there was that cheaply made form of entertainment that was So Bad It's Good? Pepperidge Farm Remembers. But enough about that. Nowadays, it's long ago, but wouldn't you like to bring it back?

Well, if you're in Hollywood and you have a high enough profile, you can. And you can do it better with a brand-new franchise, better special effects, better actors, a better budget and (it is hoped) better writing. If the old form of entertainment has been Deconstructed, then this work will probably feature a lot of Reconstruction.

Named for George Lucas, who has done this twice and very successfully both times. You may know the results as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, both throwbacks to 1930s Republic serials. His other big feature hit was American Graffiti, which, while not a throwback to any particular genre, is loaded with nostalgia for Fifties youth culture.

If especially successful, this can result in a game of Follow the Leader as everyone else begins mining the past (or, more frequently, ripping off the successful modern version) in the hope that lightning will strike twice. If these follow-ups are of poor quality, or if there's just too many of them (or both as is often the case), then it can result in the genre being thrown right back in the trash until someone else decides it's worth reviving.

If done especially well, it can hide the fact that it is a throwback. It is only upon reviewing its similarity to past incarnations that the connection is made. Compare Older Than They Think.

Note this should not cover instances of a specific franchise being brought back, e.g., the later incarnations of Star Trek or Doctor Who, or the Flash Gordon movie. This trope is much closer to a Spiritual Successor than an actual reboot.

Related: Affectionate Parody. Two-Fisted Tales is a subtrope. And nothing to do with Evolutionary Levels, we promise (even if his movies have gone a little downhill, that'd be too mean)

Compare Retraux

Examples of George Lucas Throwback include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Justice is Superfriends with the Camp and Token Minority Ethnic Scrappy characters removed.
  • In that vein, Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier, set in the 40s, 50s and 60s amidst the climate of the Cold War, nuclear testing and the civil rights movement.
  • Within Grant Morrisons Batman, the post-Final Crisis/Batman RIP series Batman And Robin has quickly established itself as something of a throwback to the Batman TV series.
  • Alan Moore loves these.
    • 1963, which is a sendup of early Marvel comics, especially those of Stan Lee (Moore was able to replicate Lee's Purple Prose and self-promotion abilities perfectly).
    • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen does this for several genres and periods, albeit with a darker edge.
    • The first six issues of Tom Strong each featured a flashback done as a pastiche of an earlier age of comics.
    • In Supreme Moore not only recreates the Silver Age Superman atmosphere, but also brings back all the different decades and styles including 80s grim n gritty, Captain Marvel Family and EC comics stories just to name a few.
  • In Planetary, Warren Ellis throws in pastiches of comic book genres that were popular in the 1950s (sci-fi, pulp adventure, western, horror, etc.) before being almost completely eclipsed by the superhero genre in The Silver Age of Comic Books.
  • Matt Fraction's Casanova is this for the psychedelic spy comics of the sixties.
  • Sin City is a rare example of a cross-medium throwback. The series takes its cues from Crime Noir books and films, as well as Exploitation Films despite being a comic books series. It was eventually made into a movie where the homages were perhaps more apparent.

Film[edit | hide]

Literature[edit | hide]

Live Action Television[edit | hide]

Music[edit | hide]

  • She & Him (Zooey Deschanel's band) -- '60s and '70s pop music.
  • Mark Ronson is also doing his damndest to revive Motown-era singles.
  • Composer Erich Korngold was critically panned in Europe because his music was a throwback to the lush romantic era of classical music, while his contemporaries like Stravinksy were composing aggressive, challenging pieces like "The Rite of Spring". However, he found his place in Hollywood and with his film music, defined the lush sound of the movie soundtrack.
    • In the same vein, John Williams reintroduced the sweeping orchestral soundtrack to films with his Star Wars scores in the 70's.
  • The 12-member big band-style group (they call themselves a "little orchestra" instead) Pink Martini, who play jazz, lounge music and old-fashioned pop.
  • Kat Edmonson, whose music is very reminiscent of old-fashioned, Dusty Springfield-style country ballads.
  • Also, singers such as Duffy and the late Amy Winehouse, who have thrived on their "old-fashioned" sound.
  • John Barrowman's albums recall the days of Andy Williams and Dean Martin, with showtunes.
  • Wolfmother for '70s stoner rock and Heavy Metal.
  • Brian Setzer did one for rockabilly with The Stray Cats, and later one for swing music with the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
  • Cee Lo Green's famous hit song "Fuck You!" is one towards 60's era Motown Soul music. (A throwback, not a fuck-you.)
  • Sweden’s Änglagård play a pastiche of early 70s prog rock that is surprisingly convincing, thanks in part to an almost slavish use of vintage 1970s musical instruments.

Video Games[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Secret Saturdays (1970s Saturday morning adventure cartoons)
  • Batman the Brave And The Bold is an animated throwback to the Silver Age incarnation of Batman, where instead of being a grim loner he's a somewhat cheery fellow with a dry, ironic wit, closely resembling the Superfriends incarnation. Notable is the fact that Bruce Wayne never appears, and when Batman is unmasked they go out of their way to hide his face, much like the Superfriends.
    • In the comparatively serious episode "Chill of the Night!" we actually see Bruce Wayne, face and all. He looks like his 1990s incarnation.
    • The trope is lampshaded in the Batmite episode where the little imp reads a "prepared statement" in response to some 4th wall breaking humor, explaining that this incarnation of Batman is just as legitimate and true to source material as the "tortured dark avenger crying out for mommy and daddy".
  • Venture Brothers does a bit of this and a bit of parody with 1960's action shows like Jonny Quest and such, plus a hefty dose of increased badass. Instead of lame plots about random monsters, we get genuine nightmare fuel about a dead twin-brother still living inside his twin and eventually building a robot body for itself.
  • Fillmore! takes a lot of inspiration from 70s buddy cop shows, not that any kids noticed.
    • More specifically, those made by Quinn Martin Productions.
  • The Little Mermaid took most of its inspiration from the classic Disney animated musicals of The Golden Age of Animation. It was so successful, it wound up resurrecting the entire genre and kicking off what came to be known as the Disney Renaissance.
    • More recently, after the Renaissance was over and Disney movies started sucking again, they did another George Lucas Throwback with The Princess and the Frog. Among their other efforts to go "retro," the movie was hand drawn despite the absurd cost in time and expense compared with digital drawing.
  • In Animaniacs: The Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) can be taken as a throwback to The Golden Age of Animation and other comedies of the time like those of the Marx Brothers, expecially considering that their backstory is that they were created in the Thirties. Also they stole many, many jokes from them.
  • Ren and Stimpy was like a tortured, horrifying version of Golden Age cartoons, complete with animation style and specific gags copied from Looney Tunes.