Arcanum of the Stars is a Dragonstar campaign first and foremost. It has been influenced by so many concepts that I sometimes lose track of what came from where. Arcanum of the Stars (abbreviated AotS) originally came for the idea of creating a senate of different worlds based on the Galactic Senate from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The group would be called the Arcanum and be to my alternate Spelljammer universe what the Senate is to Star Wars. I toyed with concepts from Spelljammer and rules from the Alternity Game System created by TSR, Inc. Somewhere during all this, the Alternity campaign I called Twilight Galaxy came into existence.
It was a very strange and interesting campaign concept, but it eventually proved to be unworkable.
Then D&D 3rd Edition came out and the gaming industry changed forever. Wizards of the Coast created the D20 System and the Open Gaming License. Companies began jumping on the bandwagon and a new type of gaming reference was soon being sold at the FLGS. The industry saw a D20 boom of product lines for gamers to choose from and Dragonstar was one of those first initial D20 product lines.
Of course, Dragonstar wasn't traditional sword & sorcery. This is what made me buy the Dragonstar Starfarer's Handbook and begin reworking Arcanum of the Stars and Twilight Galaxy into one role-playing concept, which would be influenced by both settings as well as the other gaming resources mentioned in the Forward. However, a lot of those original ideas have either spawned new ideas or will be replaced by something else, which is more compatible with the latest revision of Dungeons and Dragons (version 3.5).
Here is what has influenced AotS in the past and will continue to do so.
My idea for Arcanum of the Stars might have been inspired by Star Wars but the campaign architecture I have always had in mind for the setting was influenced by the Alternity Player's Handbook and Alternity Gamemaster Guide. Now that AotS is set in Dragonstar, which has all the core rules I need, those two books aren't as vital to the structure of the campaign. The main influence from Alternity in AotS was converting parts of my Twilight Galaxy campaign to be used in conjunction with Dragonstar. Twilight Galaxy was as much an influence on the original campaign structure as Spelljammer.
Star Drive was my favorite Alternity campaign setting and I still shudder regarding the fact that I had to sell the book to help pay my rent in 1999. However, a lot from that setting doesn't really fit into my Dragonstar campaign. That is, except for Bluefall. The world of Bluefall is important to the campaign (the map was named the Aegis Region for a reason) but will differ a great deal. Bluefall and the Regency will still be a neutral meeting place for the Outlands but its autonomy is under extreme pressure – worse than in Star Drive universe.
Beyond Bluefall, there wasn't really anything else that I must have as part my Dragonstar campaign. (I might consider bringing Insight into the campaign later on.) The main thing that is so great about Alternity was the species created for it. The fraal, especially, are a major power group in Arcanum of the Stars. And a lot of the other species were also natural choices to be integrated into the campaign – the t'sa, the sesheyans, the weren, and some of the more exotic races from Star Drive (i.e. the bhruu, the deepfallen). One of the main antagonist species from Star Drive, the klicks, are a more benevolent race in my Dragonstar campaign known as the scatti. These insectoids are known for their love of art of all types and they view war as an art form. This viewpoint has caused some friction in the past but most technological Outlanders accept the scatti.