6

Star Wars Redux

 

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars:  A New Hope

 

 

Seeing The Last Jedi tomorrow with my bride and kids.  I have been dutifully trooping to see the Star Wars franchise for four decades now, and I sometimes wonder why since the story lines are usually variants of what was portrayed in the initial Star Wars movie.  Inertia I assume, and the fact that the bride and kids always wish to see the latest film.  Having said that, I will never forget the immense impact of the initial Star Wars.  In the days of the anti-hero it was a return to good guys and bad guys.  The swashbuckling aspect seemed like an old Errol Flynn movie brought forward to the seventies and placed in space.  Alec Guinness, who regarded the movie as “fairy tale rubbish”, was superb in his role and added a badly needed element of good acting.   (The film made Guinness very, very wealthy, he having shrewdly negotiated for 2.25% of the gross.  The cash he raked in made him no fonder of the film.  He would toss Star Wars fan mail away unread, worried about the impact of the film on young fans who repeatedly watched it and regarded the more fanatical Star Wars fans as barking mad.) The special effects, which now seem embarrassingly dated, were rightly considered revolutionary at the time.  Sigh.  You can never step into the same river twice, and the freshness of Star Wars is only a memory for me.

 

 

 

 

1

Star Wars the Premake

 

A truly epic attempt by John D’Amico to recreate the first Stars Wars film, A New Hope, shot for shot using clips from pre-1977 films.  Some of the clips are misses but most are so on-target that it is difficult not to believe that they influenced Lucas in his crafting of a film that took a mishmash of heroic themes and archetypes and made them a huge crowd pleaser with then cutting edge technology.    The seventies prior to Star Wars was the age of the anti-hero, especially after the aging and ailing John Wayne was in the process of departing the scene.  The first Star Wars trilogy brought back heroes to cheer and villians to boo and told their tale in a coherent manner,  simple accomplishments actually, but we were then entering a period when even the simplest things, due to cultural rot, would become fouled up beyond recognition.  George Lucas is a typical Hollywood leftist, but in the Star Wars first trilogy he created a work of art that can be viewed as a deep critique of where the culture was going.