That "R2D2" look is actually much older than George Lucas himself! Just look at any Observatory Dome, especially a time-accelerated video as it rotates to open up for the telescope inside. Between 1972 and 1973 (before Lucas made any movie), I was the dome and telescope operator for a sixteen-inch reflector in the Physics building in college (University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez Campus), and the dome was manually rotated and opened (but the telescope was motorized).
Every time I see this "dome look" I remember my college years, and "Star Wars" was a rip-off of it!
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