Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in Star Wars.
The greatest piece of filmed escapism ever!
The movie that effected our culture. The movie that became a part of our culture. I have, in fact, met people with whom this is their culture. They believe the "Force" exists, and the movie series in a sense is their Bible. With Star Wars creator George Lucas their supreme deity.
As all true classics do, this film continues to attract new audiences with every generation. It probably helped that it has been released to theatres several times and has had scenes and special affects added since its initial release.
This film introduced many memorable characters. The three that standout in this first installment are C3PO, R2D2 and Darth Vader. The droids bickering were the comic relief and stole many scenes as good comic reliefs are supposed to. Darth Vader was a true villain; emotionless, determined, commanded your attention and made a great entrance. Yes I know I have left out many other great characters but remember I am only talking about Star Wars. The rest of the cast shine more in the sequels. Now I know that you probably know the plot, but did you ever realize that in so many ways this is just an old style adventure film. Luke swinging across the chasm and the light saber duel are reminiscent of swashbuckling movies of the 30s. The space ship dogfight like so many old war movie airplane dogfights. Rescuing a princess. Can anybody count how many times Disney has done that one? And true to the tradition of all westerns; the good guy, Luke, wears white and the bad guy, Vader, wears black.
So in my opinion Star Wars is just old fashioned movie clichés put into a futuristic setting. With likable heroes, the greatest villain in filmdom, plenty of action, visually stunning scenes, some philosophy, and a damsel in distress.
Perhaps more current film makers should watch old movies.
Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, Alec Guiness and Harrison Ford in Star Wars.
As Eric mentioned, to many people this movie is more then just a movie. I am one of those people.
I don't obsess about it, or dress up like some of the characters, or tell people, "May the force be with you." (Well not anymore.) To me, this is more than a movie, because it defines my childhood. I was 8, 12, & 14 years old when the original three Star Wars movies opened. The perfect age to see these movies for the first time.
Star Wars combines all the right elements of high adventure, science fiction, action, humor, great characters, and of course, the special effects. Special effects that stand up quite while over 25 years later, even without the updating done for it's anniversary release.
And, yes, there are movie clichés here, but this movie isn't about complex plots. For depth and deeper characterization, watch The Empire Strikes Back. This movie is about fun and basic devices, like good vs. evil and pursuing your dreams.
Watching this movie will help you relive your childhood, or help make new memories with your own kids.
Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford in Star Wars.
As far as Star Wars is concerned I think Eric mentioned the key word, ESCAPISM. This movie takes the viewer farther than any other; to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Most film makers tell a story, some create their own world, but only George Lucas has given us an entire galaxy.
If Star Wars was just an old fashioned, coming of age, adventure story it would almost certainly still be a treasured classic; the fact that this brave new galaxy so beautifully blends all that we know about outer space and the cosmic future, along with the historic and fanciful perspective of middle-earth, elevates it to legend. No other movie mixes Sci-Fi and fantasy as completely.
Lucas, who has long since become a national treasure, was then the original Sci-Fi computer geek who beat the odds. And it shows in the details. Only someone very introverted and obsessed could not only conceive of, but actually bring to the screen such an intricate and vast imaginary environment.
Put simply, this movie is the perfect, innocent, adolescent male fantasy.
Photos © Copyright Lucasfilm Ltd. (1977)