Star Wars (Sci-fi Movie Week) [Review by Garrett]


scifiweek

You honestly can’t have Sci-fi Movie Week without the most famous Science Fiction film of ALL-TIME, that being Star Wars. Now I always have a tough time reviewing the big, well-known movies as I never feel like I know what to write. That is not the case with Garrett’s review. This is wonderful. For those who don’t know, Garrett runs Cinema Train, a great website that features great reviews and other posts. Be sure to check out Cinema Train, you will not be disappointed.

Star Wars

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For as long as I have loved movies, I have loved “Star Wars.”  I grew up with it and I always assumed that it was a film that I would never be able to review.  I thought (and hoped) that I would never be capable of seeing the flaws in it because my judgment would be clouded by nostalgic recollections of my childhood experiences.  Revisiting “Star Wars ” recently (for the first time in years, I might add) I realized more than ever how true Ebert was when he said that “it’s as goofy as a children’s tale, as shallow as an old Saturday afternoon serial, as corny as Kansas in August…”  The dialogue is stale, the costumes are weird, many of characters have little depth, and some of the performances are poor.  But I guess I should finish Ebert’s sentence: “…and a masterpiece.”  Yes, “Star Wars” is all of these things, undeniably flawed, but somehow it is simultaneously one of the greatest examples of escapist entertainment in the known universe.

Fans of “Star Wars” are everywhere.  It is one of the most popular movies of all-time.  It is a classic science fiction film, but you don’t have to be a sci-fi nerd to fall under its spell.  People have studied the philosophy behind it.  Lesser films have tried to recreate its magic.  Children have raced across backyards while engaged in violent duels with plastic light sabers (I don’t think I was the only one!).  IMDb members have voted it to number 16 on the site’s famous “Top 250.”  The world has made “Star Wars” its own.

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It is astounding that such a “corny,” “shallow” movie has captured the hearts of so many audiences.  The success of “Star Wars” is simply a testament to the magic of great filmmaking.  The film becomes a real place to those enchanted by it; that’s why movies such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Shining,” “The Godfather,” and “Casablanca” are beloved classics.  They all take us away from the very start.  Here, the first words we see are: “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”  Like much of the Star Wars universe, the words make little sense, but the audience simply goes with it.  Who are we to say it didn’t already happen?  The film marches forward to the triumphant sound of an iconic John Williams score.  The opening scene introduces two droids, C3-PO, a gold-plated robot that provides most of the movie’s best lines, and R2-D2, a little, childlike robot.  Then come the Stormtroopers, clad in identical glossy, white armored suits and armed with laser blasters.  Rebel soldiers rush forward to oppose the Stormtroopers with helmets resembling oval-shaped bowls tightened onto their heads by chinstraps.  Next, Darth Vader, one of the most unforgettable villains in science-fiction, steps through a cloud of smoke.  The excitement and the urgency of this first scene is vital to pulling us into Lucas’s imaginary world, but like any great adventure film, “Star Wars” moves on to better scenes and more fascinating characters and locations.
However simple-minded the plot or shallow the characters, Lucas and company seem to never run out of ideas.  Make no mistake, “Star Wars” has its corny moments, but there is definitely genius present as well.  Its story, partly inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress” is straight-forward and easy enough for a child to follow; this fact surely added to the popularity of the film.  The sets are wonderful and varied, ranging from the sand dunes of Tatooine to the slick, black innards of the Imperial space station, the Death Star.  Furthermore, the art direction and of course, the special effects, are fantastic and help the Star Wars galaxy earn a permanent place in our memory.
If I had the time and the initiative that it would require, I feel like I could write a small book on “Star Wars.”  I would probably fill the book by listing the many reasons why it is a good movie, dissecting each scene, setting, plot twist, and character until no stone is left unturned.  Next, I would probably discuss its enormous influence on cinema and why so many viewers have fallen in love with it.  Then I would recall my boyhood fantasies in which I was a Jedi knight.  I would remember how captivated I was by its universe and how unpredictable and exciting it was compared to where I was growing up.  I would look back upon those days of innocence and imagination and become fully convinced of the true greatness of “Star Wars.”
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36 thoughts on “Star Wars (Sci-fi Movie Week) [Review by Garrett]

  1. Actually just watched a New Hope last night. We had great fun dissecting the movie and laughing at it … but at the same time, there was no doubt that we all loved the movie to pieces. The original trilogy is just epic. Is it bad of me that, when I meet someone who doesn’t like Star Wars (or flat out hates it), I kind of have a harder time connecting with them than I otherwise would have?

  2. See – now it makes sense why I chose the movie I did for my review. The big ones were more or less taken. While I never liked Star Wars (I’m a Star Trek person), I liked the review. Good stuff!

  3. As a Trek I pick at Star Wars when I can, but deep down I have strong feelings for them as well. As a sci-fi fan I know how much these films have meant to the genre. Not just the effects and the characters either. If you look back at sci-fi in the 70’s before Star Wars came out there were so many films about the future being negative and sometimes accepting it. Star Wars made sci-fi with a potentially positive outlook and it doesn’t always get credit for that.

  4. Pingback: Darling Illustrations of Star Wars Imperial Walkers Reimagined as Buses and Taxis | Musings of a Mild Mannered Man

  5. Nice review and loved Ebert’s quote dropped in there. The story is so simple yet compelling. Couple that with one of the greatest villains ever and an “every-man” kind of hero and what’s not to love?!? Very well written review.

  6. Pingback: Oblivion, the Lammy Awards | filmhipster

  7. I grew up w/ two brothers who are huge SW fans and though I haven’t become a huge fan like them, I did enjoy the films and am always astounded how this franchise has stood the test of time. We’ll see where Disney will take this one in the future.

  8. Pingback: Oblivion, the Lammy Awards and a little Filth | filmhipster

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