Friday, May 25, 2007

Don't underestimate the Force.

Star Wars.

Were the horrible prequel triology not now a permanent part of the story there isn't a doubt on my mind that I'd want to say something today to mark the anniversary of the release of that first film thirty (thirty!) years ago. As it was I almost let the date pass. Almost. Then I read this really heartfelt ode to that wonderful first film and started to reflect and then, finally, to get quite a bit nostalgic.

I remember vividly remember seeing Star Wars as a kid. For my birthday my parents rented a van and took a bunch of my classmates and me to a showing at the now defunct Westgate cinemas. I'd seen a few movies before then but it was still unreal that we had to wait in line for over an hour just to see a movie. The sense of anticipation was crazy.

Everything after the point film started, the lights dimmed and the Twentieth Century Fox came up with those drums played and the end credits over John Williams greatest score is a blur. I remember this film as the first movie that had completely captured my imagination. At no point was I sitting there in a dirty theater with spilled pop and popcorn on the floor- I WAS in a galaxy far, far away having all sorts of adventures with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and their sidekicks. It was an out of body experience.

I had an older friend named Larry who passed away a couple of years ago of whom which we shared a mutual, and lifetime love of film. Larry had an extensive collection of hand written lists he asked people to write over the years listing their top ten films. I asked Larry one time what was the film that really hooked him on cinema and why. He answered that his favorite move "Shane" had been the first film that had really hit him when he saw it as a child and that "it was the first time I had an out of body experience."

Regardless of the lousy prequels, Jar Jar and the sad, sad decline of George Lucas I still owe Star Wars something very important to who I am. My love of film is a direct result of the imagination and effort of Lucas, Williams and company those thirty years ago. For that I am immensly greatful.

May the force be with you.

Dean

5 comments:

ladybug said...

I have to admit, I've never seen any of the 3 pre-quel movies.

I know only Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia!

I think I just never wanted to destory the powerful story of the first 3 movies.

I have to say for me, the first "out of body" experience was when I saw the French film "Diva"; Star Wars is a very close second, followed by "Powaqquatsi" - my top 3 as it were.

Don Snabulus said...

I saw Star Wars, Phantom Menace, and Revenge of the Sith and bits and pieces of the rest.

Yep, Star Wars ruled. Even as a kid I felt that at the end of the first film. I mean, blowing up the Death Star, how do you follow that? So I didn't keep the money train going gor Lukey as he would have liked.

Swinebread said...

Star Wars... Star Bores. It was great, huge, and wonderful, but like the crusades they just couldn't get it right after the 1st one.

Aaron said...

I first saw Star Wars at the Dean's birthday party; I remember it well. I can't improve on Dean's description of the event, although I will mention that Dean's parents' renting that van was about the coolest thing anyone's parents had done. It was a momentous occasion.

Seeing Star Wars again after 30 years it still seems like an inspired piece of movie making, even with its flaws. George Lucas should have left it alone.

Dean Wormer said...

Aaron,

Those were good times. I was thinking back to that and getting pretty nostalgic. I'm glad you were there with me, buddy.

:-)