The “new” Star Wars

10 Jan

The “New” Star Wars

 

I remember the television commercials for Star Wars back in 1977.

“This is hokey,” I surmised, especially when one of the featured characters appeared to be a big blanket. I had to be coerced to see the movie.

Boy was I ever wrong!

From the very beginning titles floating away in space I was transported to the days of my youth, when we all went to the Center Theater on Saturday mornings.

Cartoons on the big screen featured Warner Brothers best. Then the serials. Buck Rogers. The Cisco Kid and more. And finally the feature movie. A buck to get in and maybe three for popcorn in those red and white striped boxes, plus a huge Coca-Cola.

Everything about that first Star Wars movie struck at the familiar while offering a totally unknown, believable world! Unknown actors and robots and space ships. Echoes of “The Wizard of Oz,” and of the not-so-distant Third Reich.

Good versus Evil.

Huge panoramic camera pans of deserts, with the skeletal remains of gigantic beasts. The saloon, with its gamut of riff-raff and hoodlums.

A quest and a reluctant hero. A damsel in distress. The gunslinger in black. High-noon tension.

I admit I’ve not seen all of the various Star Wars sequels. I got a bit Star-Wars overloaded. Nothing impacted like this movie. While at the early CGI stages of cinematography and editing, that film slammed us with so many new images and sounds we spun away bedazzled.

Lucas and company had opened Pandora’s Box as far as movies go. And everything got infected.

My daughter and one of her friends and I went to see the latest Star Wars release. The Force Awakens. It is a couple of weeks since the blockbuster opened, still the mid-sized theater is relatively full.

We watch the film, occasionally whispering. “I think I know whose daughter she is,” my daughter nudges me regarding the heroine of the movie. Yeah, so do I.

On the way home Lily asked me how I liked the film.

And I thought, it’s just not the same.

Nowadays every sci-fi film incorporates the same techniques as that template-creating work. Lots of CGI, phenomenal make-up, weird aliens and beasts, action and battle scenes. Nowadays kids have been weaned on that fair.

Nothing very new in that.

Storylines that pit good and evil, weak versus strong, David versus Goliath. They’re a dime a dozen. Like zombie movies. Or Elm Street sequels. Been there. Done that.

In my mind, the original Star Wars movie was complete enough in itself to stand alone. In the jargon of medicine, NMTBD — nothing more to be done. But, we like to milk a good thing until it’s dry as a bone.

I’m not saying this film is dry as a bone. There’s a little marrow to it. But to see Harrison Ford recreate an aging Han Solo, or Carrie Fisher’s reprise of Princess Leia (Grandmother, what big hair you have!) was a bit sad.

This is like the extended versions of The Wizard of Oz. There is no place like the original. Nada. Nil. Ningún. Sequels, prequels, quels-ad-nauseam will never capture, replace, repeat, reproduce, equal the incredible impact of that film classic.

In that sense, the “new” Star Wars is not new at all. It owes everything to what spring-boarded from the first film. What it will never duplicate is the tremendous impact on both film and society. It is an older, less sparkly and more jaded version of its origin. A mutated genetic copy.

 

Copyright © Lawrence S. Marsden, 10 January, 2015

 

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One Response to “The “new” Star Wars”

  1. Outlier Babe January 11, 2016 at 1:16 am #

    Yup.

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