Star Wars

November 1st, 2009 DVD Reviews, Film, Penthouse

The Lowdown

You might have heard of this film, but if you haven’t, it introduces us to bored farm boy Luke Skywalker, who lives on an outlying planet in a galaxy under the thumb of an autocratic military regime a long, long time ago (etc). Two robots come into his possession, one carrying a cryptic distress call from a pretty girl, and when Luke goes in search of the enigmatic local hermit to whom the message is addressed, the old man tells Luke he isn’t quite who he thinks he is and asks the young man to accompany him on a daring mission striking a death blow to the evil galactic empire.

Nuts and Bolts

Lucas distilled millennia of heroic mythology and classic good versus evil themes into an easily digestible romp. He mixed it up with plots from the Flash Gordon serials he loved as a kid and referenced the visuals of frenetic dogfight scenes from World War II action films. Still reeling from the social upheaval of Vietnam and Watergate Americans made dark, cynical movies with immoral anti-heroes. At a stroke, Lucas cleaned the cultural slate, rebooted the moral code of good and evil and made fun okay again.

DVD Extras

The 2005 trilogy DVD release features an entire disc of extras including the two and a half hour doco Empire of Dreams, which charts the story behind the saga with archive footage and interview input from all the key players. Smaller docos highlight everything from the creative reasoning behind the lightsabre to the biggest filmmakers of today talking about how much the film(s) affected them. They’re full of snippets of information not even die hard fans know, like the now-common practice where (with little marketing support from Fox) Lucasfilm’s marketing head flogged the movie to geeks at 1977’s ComicCon.

Verdict

Films from Citizen Kane to Pulp Fiction and Jaws to Blair Witch have changed effects, genre, language or style, but Star Wars changed the movies.


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