Star Wars!

25 May

gehayi reminds us that today is the 30th anniversary of the opening day of the movie “Star Wars” (now called “Episode IV: A New Hope”). I was one of the little dweebs standing in those lines that wrapped around the block, waiting to see a movie that had dazzling, ground-breaking special effects even in the TV commercials. But it wasn’t the special effects that made the movie. That was icing on the cake. It was the use of mythos, of the most ancient story-telling tropes mixed in with a futuristic, sci-fi setting that made it special. Combining religious mysticism, heroes and villians, good and evil, space battles and explosions, intelligent humor, humanistic, personal character struggles, amazing cinematography, musical themes that followed each character (the “Peter and the Wolf-esque theme in the initial scenes where the droids wander Tatatooine was inspired), and a butt-kicking babe who could rescue her own rescuers…what was there not to love?

Just wanted to mark the moment, because it had a big impact on me and still does.

ETA: Oh yeah, and Han shot first. Make a note of it.

18 Responses to “Star Wars!”

  1. cornerofmadness May 26, 2007 at 2:43 am #

    Like I just mentioned in my post, this marked my entry into fandom!

  2. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 2:46 am #

    I have to say, “Star Trek: TOS” was my first fannish show, which I saw for the first time in its early ’70’s syndication. I was also nutso for “Escape to Witch Mountain”, which came out in ’75. So “Star Wars” comes in third, timing-wise for stuff I fan-girled in my wee years.

  3. cactuswatcher May 26, 2007 at 2:55 am #

    “today is the 30th anniversary of the opening day of the movie “Star Wars”
    Way to make me feel old. I went to the first showing at the theater across the street from the Ohio State Campus. No line to speak of, pretty much walked right in. By show time the theater was full though. Once the imperial cruiser appeared overhead I was hooked. There was a big line wating when we got out. About an hour later I was boring five or six people at dinner with how great it was, and how much they needed to see it. I still swear cuts were made after the first few showings that have not yet been restored.

  4. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 2:57 am #

    I remember I went to see it with my brother. When we finally got through the line into the theater, the people exiting the theater said, “It was so great! You’ll love it!” or something to that effect. Two hours later, we exited the theater and told the people waiting for the next show the exact same thing.
    *smile*

  5. cornerofmadness May 26, 2007 at 3:03 am #

    I probably would have eventually started writing Star Trek around then too (since I was in love with both Sulu and Spock) but when I saw Han Solo for my 10th birthday…wow

  6. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 3:38 am #

    Another clear memory is the WTF? moment we had when the intro blurb came at the screen, and it said, “Episode IV”. We were like, “What happened to episodes I through III?”
    It’s funny, I was only thirteen, and this was just another day like the 364 other ones at that age that I’ve totally forgotten, but I even still remember going to the bathroom in the middle of the movie that evening, it was all so unforgettable.

  7. midnightsjane May 26, 2007 at 6:34 am #

    I went to see it with a bunch of my housemates…I’d just moved back to the city after my divorce. We had to sit in about the third row from the front. I was blown away by it from the first moments. I will never forget the thrill of it all. Lordy, 30 years!! Now I feel old.
    Han totally shot first.

  8. cactuswatcher May 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm #

    I’d seen plenty of movies serials from the thirties. That the episode IV thing immediately looked like a call out to that tradition, setting the mood for a wild and woolly adventure. {Otherwise it didn’t seem to me like more than an artistic device to get you to pay attention to the scrolling text. That’s what happens when you go to grad school. ;o)}
    I was thinking last night about Star Wars LJ icons, and thought about one of Luke and Leia as they are about to swing across the Death Star ‘canyon,’ with the subtitle “Like kissing your sister.” I don’t know when I’d ever use it, but I like the concept.

  9. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 2:54 pm #

    It’s definitely one of the keystones of contemporary genre entertainment, influencing the future generation of fan boys and girls.

  10. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 2:56 pm #

    That was our other theory, that the “episode IV” stuff was an affectation.

  11. chaos_by_design May 26, 2007 at 3:30 pm #

    I feel young now. I never saw Star Wars nor Empire in the theatre. I remember my brothers getting all excited to go see Empire but my parents telling me I was too young to go. 😦 I did see Return of the Jedi in the theatre though.

  12. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 3:37 pm #

    Thems was the days when you had to go back to the theater over and over again, paying full price every time, if you wanted to see the movie more than once (up hill, in the snow. Both ways!) They’d eventually get shown on television, but it would take five years and they’d be chopped up to allow for commercials.
    I think I went back and saw it seven times, which was pretty tame. ; D

  13. arethusa2 May 26, 2007 at 4:46 pm #

    We drove in from the Katy suburbs to the Galleria. It still had a movie theater on the skating rink level then, and the line stretched from the theater all the way to the rink, and beyond. My brother had already seen it with his friends and loved it, but I was doubtful; he had thought “Zardoz” was good and I hated it.
    I loved it from the first fan-fare, while the words crawled by on a field of stars. Then the robots toddled across the screen, bad guys in futuristic armor shot laser guns, and I was totally in love.
    Now that I think about it, I had heard about the movie before I saw it, and even saw a publicity picture, when “Seventeen” ran an interview with teenage Carrie Fisher.

  14. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 5:03 pm #

    Carrie Fisher was a teenager? She always struck me as older than Mark Hamill, although I figured they were both 20-something actors.

  15. neshaffer May 26, 2007 at 5:09 pm #

    It definitely had that “something for everyone” quality, which made it not just a “guy movie” or a “chick flick” (jeesh I hate those terms and what they imply).

  16. arethusa2 May 26, 2007 at 5:29 pm #

    She was nineteen when the article came out. I think Hamel was about 24 and Ford was about 34?

  17. arethusa2 May 26, 2007 at 5:30 pm #

    I mean Hamill, lol.

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