Saturday, May 26, 2007

May the (Ambigious Mental Power) be with You

When I heard about Edward Copeland's blog-a-thon idea for Star Wars I got a little giddy.

That really isn't the best word but it's what comes to mind. But it also reminds me of my age (damn it) Star Wars was a defining moment for me as a kid and my early teens and still holds a special place in my heart as an aspiring screenwriter. Once I got older and Lucas decided he needed to pop the wonderful bubble that was Star Wars with 3 mostly forgettable prequels, my visions of being like Lucas went bye-bye.

Was Lucas a visionary in his time of Star Wars? Definitely. Was he one of the best auteurs to profit from his original idea? By all means. But with the original trilogy having a few other hands involved with the process i.e. directors and writers allowed him some distance from the whole product while he could control in the background. The prequels have Lucas' hands all over them yes he had assistance with writing but, by God, the dialogue just caused me such pain.

I didn't want to spend the whole post giving Lucas a bad time....what has me thinking about Star Wars is it's legacy. It's already endured 30 years and people are clamoring to write their experiences, feelings, insights, etc about it. It's stands in the forefront again because of the recent productions of the prequels which have put it as cool again by some of the kids today. My nephew was a huge fan of the old school trilogy and the prequels also. In fact, with all the books and other paraphernalia that has come out in the last decade regarding the Star Wars universe, that little squirt (he's not so small anymore) knows more than me about all things Star Wars.

But will it last another 30 years? Will my grand kids be talking about that old celluloid movie Star Wars as they download the latest flick on their cellphone/sunglasses? Will it have the same impact?

I hope so. Battlestar Galactica mostly got its push from the hoopla over Star Wars back in the late 70's and even though the original series (which I loved) didn't last--look at it now--the 2nd try at Battlestar is going very strong. Lucas for all the bashing I have dumped on him, tapped in something so primal with these movies that boys(and a fair share of girls) relish them and have invested themselves into the very world he thought up so many years ago. I cherish my memories I have from the original flick. I can remember replaying it in the back yard on Crocus Circle (back when kids could play outside) with me my older sisters and my cousins who were visiting during the summer that year. We traded off who could play whom but I think I got the shaft most of time cause I was the youngest.

While, I am talking about those memories who could forget the toys. Wow, figurines, and ships and blasters galore. What did SS get? I got Han Solo's blaster and one figurine ( a storm trooper from Empire Strikes Back.) My cousin, on the other hand, had a Storm Trooper's blaster. He also had Han Solo, Ben Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, a Jawa and one of the Sand People figurines (damn him hehe ) I believe he also had a kick ass poster of the Millennium Falcon escaping the Death Star with a squadron of Tie Fighters on its ass. But the toys now for Star Wars is phenom why couldn't they have thought of this stuff when I was a kid. Legos that can be built to make a actual Millennium Falcon or X-Wing. The Light Sabers are 100 times better too.

Sigh. Don't worry I'll be okay.

Check out Ralph McQuarrie's site where this piece of artwork came from here.

McQuarrie was a former conceptual design artist for Boeing who was a part of the special effects team for Lucas. (an interesting side note McQuarrie can be seen briefly in The Empire Strikes Back as Gen McQuarrie.)

McQuarrie's artwork is considered a huge factor in the reason Star Wars was able to be made.

Yesterday, my wife and I came for the holiday weekend to my parents place and my sister, her husband and the nieces and nephews were already here. Once we were starting supper I whispered to my nephew "Do you know what today is?" His active mind worked hard to think of what today could possibly be. But I told him and his eyes lit up "Yeah, I read about that in the newspaper." My brother in law (not the bagpiper) mentioned how he read about Star Wars coming out in Time Magazine and how it was something totally new for movies. My sister chimed in too. Now, my sister likes movies but she watched bits of the Making of Star Wars with my nephew so she understood alot more than someone who was a die hard fan which has always impressed me. She also talked about going to see it in the theatre and still remembers it vividly. She was 4 years older than me--my memory isn't vivid but just on the outside edges.

This movie and the ones that followed have created something I'm sure only Lucas could have dreamed of and for that small token it does give me hope that one idea I may have might spawn even the imagination and dreams it gave me as a kid growing up to some other scrawly geek of a kid. Maybe this movie in some regards will be our Casablanca--a great iconic movie which is 65 years old--for our generation, because it, along with Jaws, ushered in a new way for movies but also endeared movies for us fanatics out there who are sitting here once again remembering that little movie called Star Wars.

No comments: