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|Directed by||Arthur Lipsett|
|Produced by||Colin Low|
|Edited by||Arthur Lipsett|
|Distributed by||National Film Board of Canada|
|9 minutes 33 seconds|
21-87 is a 1963 Canadian abstract montage-collage film created by Arthur Lipsett that lasts 9 minutes and 33 seconds. The short, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, is a collage of snippets from discarded footage found by Lipsett in the editing room of the National Film Board (where he was employed as an animator), combined with his own black and white 16 mm footage which he shot on the streets of Montreal and New York City, among other locations.
Influence on George Lucas
"21-87" would have a profound influence on director George Lucas and on Walter Murch, an editor and designer with whom Lucas worked. Lucas described it as "the kind of movie I wanted to make — a very off the wall, abstract kind of film".
In response, Lucas created the pure cinema, short, 16mm movies: "6-18-67", "1:42.08", and "Look at Life". The later "Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB", an experimental science fiction short, takes place in a dystopian future on May 14, 2187. Lucas expanded the latter into THX 1138. His later works American Graffiti and Star Wars has shown "21-87"'s influence. Lucas and Lipsett would never meet.
References in Lucas's works
- In THX 1138, THX’s mate is killed and has been transformed into a fetus and will be reborn with a new name, which has 21/87 in her new name.
- In Star Wars, Princess Leia's prison cell on the Death Star is numbered 2187.
- In Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Order 66 derives from mathematical calculation 21-87.
- In Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the whole sequel trilogy, Finn's Stormtrooper designation is FN-2187.
- Hassannia, Tina (2 March 2016). "Colin Low, Don Owen and how the NFB's Unit B changed Canadian cinema". CBC Arts. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Lucas, George (Director) (1967). Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB (DVD [on the bonus disk accompanying THX 1138: The George Lucas Director's Cut]). USA: Warner Bros.
- George Lucas interview with Wired. Retrieved on 2008-12-22 from https://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.05/lucas.html?pg=3&topic=lucas&topic_set=%20Life%20After%20Darth.
- CBC article on SW. Retrieved on 2008-12-22 from http://www.cbc.ca/arts/features/starwars/.
- Wickman, Forrest (16 December 2015). "The Subtle Reference in The Force Awakens to the Art Film That Inspired Star Wars". Slate.com. The Slate Group LLC. Graham Holdings Company. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
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