Thursday, May 25, 2006

Good Vs. Evil: Star Wars Edition

On this day in movie history... way back in 1977 Star Wars or, Episode IV: A New Hope if you will, opened. Though I am now loathe to admit this, I'm all about exhibitonist sharing herein and George Lucas was kinda my idol for awhile in the early 80s. I even read a book about his life. I think it was called Skywalker or something (?). I don't care to look it up now. For the force works in mysterious ways and Mr. Lucas definitely went to the dark side. It turned out autobiographical-like only he was Vader rather than Skywalker.

From the mid 70s until the early 80s George Lucas was a young movie god. He didn't actually direct much but he along with Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg were the bearded young turks who were going to change the movies. They did. But George's impact proved the least film related. Other than the behemoth SW franchise his impact lies in special effects and merchandising: mastering the ways in which you can milk the most out of your fans whilst providing the least actual product which with to do said milking.

Contrary to what younger moviegoers may believe the George Lucas backlash did not begin with The Phantom Menace it begin with the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Up until Princess gold-bikini Leia choked Jabba the Hut (one of the great screen villains if you ask me) everyone was having a ball. Those teddy bears felt like jumped sharks to a lot of folks back then. Not me really. But what did I know?

Like a good portion of the world's population I got more than a little excited and nostalgic when the Phantom Menace trailer arrived. But you have to be careful what you wish for. For Lucas had most definitely become a Sith Lord. When you start giving the world Jar Jar Binks and over-explaining beloved myths and destroying Natalie Portman's ability to act, you are most definitely horned and betailed and at home in the fiery pits of hell.

[Ewok image drawn by Bob McLeod -ed]

tags: Star Wars, George Lucas, movies, film


Pfangirl said...

Well, um, er... I liked the ewoks.

I don't necessarily think they were a bad move on Lucas's part, unlike the horribly silly, slapstick Jar-Jar.

The ewoks' 'cuteness factor' hooked me, and my sister, as children of the 1980s. We also loved their surprisingly mature cartoon show.

Ultimately, Return of the Jedi made we want to go back and rediscover the rest of the original Star Wars series.

Anyway, yahoo... going to see X-Men tonight. I so hope I'm not in for a disappointment after the superb trailers (much like I was with Troy).

Neel Mehta said...

The Ewoks get such a bad rap. Unlike Jar Jar, those cute, fuzzy, highly marketable creatures served a purpose to the story. The Rebels needed every weapon and ally at their disposal to get the job done. No shark jumping at all.

Han Solo said it best: "Short help's better than no help at all."

adam k. said...

That was CALLISTO!? Whoa, I totally didn't get that at all... but I did get that those people underground were the Morlocks, so you'd think I wouldn't picked up on it. Oh well.

adam k. said...


...oh, you know what I mean.