It’s impossible to overstate the impact of Star Wars. Its arrival in theaters on May 25th 1977 marked the end of one chapter in film history and the beginning of another. It’s a hinge on which film history swings. Upon its release, critic Pauline Kael derided the film as “an assemblage of spare parts-it has no emotional grip… an epic without a dream” Twenty years after its release critic Roger Ebert remarked that the film “colonized our imaginations, and it is hard to stand back and see it simply as a motion picture, because it has so completely become part of our memories.”
They’re both right. Star Wars succeeded because of its roots in film history and mythology, and its influence over generations of filmmakers can be felt in countless works that came after it. For better or worse, Star Wars engulfs the past and future of moviemaking.
Great Video Essay on the influences to Star Wars. Via Kottke. I can’t wait to go see the new one. I remember when the last 3 came out being so excited because that meant that one day they would do 7-9. (I do hope it is a family story though…We shall see soon!!!).
Last week I also happened to listen to the great new podcast TED Radio Hour’s show on The hero’s Journey. The first 10 minutes are all about Star Wars with an interview with George Locus discussing his use of the hero’s Journey, which led me to this great video snippet from Bill Moyer’s 1980’s interview with Mr. Cambell himself discussing the Power of Myth and Starwars.
My middle schoolers and I started talking about this and we have started an extra credit project researching some of the images/characters and the idea of Archetypes to make a presentation for the other students.
When we finish our project I will post the results.