Rogue One was inspired by a Harrison Ford box office flop

“Force 10 from Navarone” by Guy Hamilton was a late-stage sequel to J. Lee Thompson’s 1961 war film “The Guns of Navarone”. “Guns” is a fun, if goofy, men-on-a-mission film about a group of Allied soldiers on a secret mission to destroy a pair of massive Axis guns located on the fictional island of Navarone. It starred Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn.

“Force 10” replaced Peck and Niven with Robert Shaw and Edward Fox, and picked up some loose ends from “Gun.” Most notably, the soldiers from the first film were betrayed by a Nazi secret agent, and their mission in the sequel will be to track him down and kill him. The two leads join a new cast, including Harrison Ford. Ford was fresh off the success of “Star Wars,” so “Force 10” might have felt like a step backwards anyway.

It seems that the remaining fans of “Guns of Navarone” have not left their homes to see a sequel 17 years later, as “Force 10” grossed a paltry $3.2 million against a budget of $10.5 million. It is not much talked about anymore, only the most experienced filmmakers would bring it up.

One person who does remember “Force 10,” however, is designer Christian Alzmann, known for his work on “Rogue One,” “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” and “AI Artificial Intelligence.” In the book “Art of Rogue One,” he cited “Force 10” as a primary inspiration, saying:

“If you go back in time, it was very much like ‘Force 10 from Navarone’: a motley crew of commandos, which would allow us to play with a lot of different character types and sizes.”

A direct comparison of the casts of the two films reveals Alzmann’s thinking.

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