Today marks the day that Star Wars (A New Hope) blasted its way into theaters way back on May 25, 1977. This was the day that George Lucas and everyone who worked on the film held their collective breath and waited to see if the labor of love they had worked on for so long would pay off. Well, we know the rest of the story and thankfully, Star Wars is here to stay!
Granted, I wasn’t around for the big phenomenon of 1977 but I remember in the early 80’s when I was a small lad of about five, sitting under a pillow fort and watching Star Wars on a small tube TV enclosed in a giant wooden shelf (remember it was the 80’s). I particularly remember seeing the scene where Luke, Han, Chewie and Obi-Wan approach the Death Star in the Millennium Falcon. I’m sure I had seen the films before, but this was the first time they had impacted me. For some reason, I remember seeing that exact scene from that low, kid angle on the floor, surrounded by pillows and you know what? That memory stuck with me and I will remember it vividly until the second I die.
Star Wars has obviously impacted so many different people’s lives, that everyone has a story like this. Some have bigger and better stories but what matters is how these films make us feel. That’s what art is supposed to do – make us feel something. Sure, we can argue about who shot first (Han) or that Return of the Jedi is better without ‘Jedi Rocks’ but what it ultimately comes down to is how it makes us feel.
A lot of critics of the changes that George Lucas has made to his trilogy over the years claim that George Lucas raped their childhood. Every time I hear someone say this, I argue with them that if it weren’t for George, you wouldn’t have had as great a childhood as you did. Let that sink in for a minute.
Okay? Good. All of the toys and merchandise he put out there he put out there for you. Granted, he made a ton of money off of it, but you wouldn’t have those great memories of playing with Han and Chewie in the sandbox or on top of a mound of dirt wouldn’t have happened as kid’s toys were not very movie-centric back in the 70’s and 80’s.
George Lucas shaped your childhood.
He shaped it by making it better by giving both children and adults alike a two hour spectacle that took us out of our normal lives and gave us something to be happy and excited about. He made movies fun again, and gave us a modern day mythology that will be future generations’ folklore. Star Wars went from being “just a kid’s movie” to one of the most, if not the most influential film, which has become a zenith of 20th century pop culture so its influence reaches far and wide with so many people feeling a lot of the same things about one film that broke the mold and became a pop cultural icon.
So today, we at Another Star Wars Page, wish a happy birthday to the movies that allowed us to expand our horizons to the stars and beyond and a lasting love that will last another 40 years, and most likely until the end of time.
Thank you, George for all the memories, the influence and the joy that your story still brings to many 40 years and counting!