Happiness is Star Wars
The film is an iconic pop-culture creation and touches a bazillion film goers to their very core. It can also be very useful. Useful? What the hell am I talking about? Glad you asked. What I mean is the way that George Lucas’s masterpiece contains lessons that can and should be applied to real life. The one that jumps out at me is the message of The Force and how if you stay pure and good and mentally sharp you can, in fact, conquer the Dark Side. ~ Olivia Munn, Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek
So tomorrow the latest Star Wars movie comes out and it’s time for me to reminisce a bit. I was 13 when the first Star Wars movie came out and as a science fiction nerd I of course went to see it. There were more people at the theater than normal for an opening of a science fiction film, word had started to get out even in my town that the graphics were something special. The movie blew me and everyone in the theater away. It wasn’t the story, it was good enough, but it was your typical western, bad guy in the black hat, or helmet in this case. The good guys were in their white robes and had special powers. No, the first Star Wars movie was unbelievable because the graphics were over the top many times better than anything we’d seen before. Watching that nearly forty year-old movie now that may be hard to fathom, but remember we lived in a world then where we had to walk uphill to school, both ways, in the snow!
I would go back a couple of times to see the film, that was a really new concept as well. You see before Jaws in 1975 movies came, occasionally were held over for a week and went away. Jaws changed that staying for months and shattering all records for a film being held over. Star Wars was now following in the footsteps of Jaws but there was a difference. Jaws would lead to Jaws 2, Jaws 3D etc… sequels of basically the same film over and over with a twist. Star Wars was in some ways an old-fashioned serial but on a grand scale. The other thing was the wait, you had to wait for years in between films, something that was both maddening but also helped ramp up the expectation for each film. My best friend and I would make every opening night for most of the films. Hell, we even got quoted in the newspaper while waiting online for the opening of Return of the Jedi.
Then the news from George Lucas, the original films were the middle part of a nine-part story, Star Wars nerd nirvana. We would get the first three and they seemed too commercial, a little bit tired, although I’ll watch anything with Natalie Portman in it. Personally I think George Lucas was done with his creation. Eventually he would tell us he was never going to do the last three films, and until it was announced he’d sold out the franchise to Disney it looked like the end of Star Wars on the big screen.
The Disney transfer is both a huge positive and negative in my mind. The positive is that Disney went out and got decent directors, and will give us what we have all longed for since the 80’s, Luke, Leia, Han and Chewey. A fond farewell to the characters I’m sure and a nice payday for a couple of actors who haven’t had much work in years. I’m looking forward to seeing the new film, but I will be nowhere near the theater in the first couple of weeks the movie is out. Going to the movies has changed, I love going to the theater, or I used to in the old days. People are now so used to watching movies at home that they treat being in the theater the same way, as if no one else is there but them. So they play with their phones and talk and create all manner of annoyances. It’s rude and I don’t tolerate it well, I’ve had some, shall we say interactions with people exhibiting these behaviors and it’s no fun. So I’ll wait for a matinée once the big crowds are gone.
One thing that will certainly change with Disney is Star Wars will no longer be an event you’ve waited years to see. It will no longer be a single serial story, no, will have at least one movie a year and there will be lots of movies in the Star Wars universe. Don’t get me wrong, if they are done well it will be fun, just not the same. So welcome to the new era of Star Wars with a little nod of nostalgia its past glory.
May the force be with you and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane