Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB

Let’s go back to 1967 for this week’s Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s ongoing column dedicated to the great science fiction of the past.

What’s on the docket? Well, with ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘ coming out in just a few months, I thought we should look at one of George Lucas’ earlier works, “Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB”.

If you’re looking for an expansive universe, this is not really the film for you. It’s only 15 minutes long and even taking that into account, it still feels pretty sparse on characters or plot… yet, the overuse of overlays (something I’m sure was pretty cool in the 60s), the radio chatter that punctuates and narrate the story in confusing and harrying way, still makes it an interesting watch even if you’re not really into art films.

The story features the escape of a man with the name THX 1138 4EB being followed by security cameras as he’s running away. It’s not so much a prediction of the future, but a commentary on the Big Brother-like system that we are currently living under.

So yeah, when I say it’s short on plot, I do really mean it.

But that’s not why it’s important to the history of science fiction. Why it’s important is that impressed people enough to let George Lucas make a feature film, ‘THX 1138″, which is still hailed as a cult classic. This, of course, led to other projects, and culminated in the film franchise that would define him, ‘Star Wars’.

So if you have 15 minutes, why not see what got the sci-fi ball rolling for George Lucas?