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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Star Wars (1977)

In a galaxy far away, there is a civil war going on and one of the rebel leaders Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is captured with some very important plans on her person. She sends a droid with a message to a former Jedi master (Alec Guinness) asking for help. I hadn't seen STAR WARS in some 20 years and the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher this week was a good enough reason to revisit the movie that became a cultural phenomenon and, for better or for worse, changed the landscape of Hollywood film making and the introduction of the blockbuster mentality (though some would say JAWS (1975) was the film that started it). Written and directed by George Lucas, so much has changed in the ensuing years that the film's impact is lessened but its sincere eagerness to please retains much of its appeal. Using Kurosawa's HIDDEN FORTRESS as a template, Lucas has created a space swashbuckler of sorts with light sabers replacing swords and space smugglers replacing pirates but it's mindlessly entertaining with an innocence not yet corrupted by the calculating blockbuster mentality that it spawned. With Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Peter Cushing and James Earl Jones providing the voice of Darth Vader. 

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