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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Songbird Salutes the 70's: Star Wars

With all the hype lately about "Star Wars:The Force Awakens", opening this weekend, it's hard to remember a time before "Star Wars" existed.

But in 1977, science fiction and fantasy was dying as a movie genre.  And then, that summer, science fiction was reborn.    A hero, dressed in white, all innocent and pure.  A princess in need of rescue.  A lovable scoundrel.  A mysterious mentor.  And a villain, all in black, representing pure evil.  Typical space opera, done on a grander scale, with special effects that were amazing, dazzling, magical.

It spawned two sequels (arguably better than the original), three prequels (not my favorites), tv specials, cartoons, tons of merchandise, and one helluva parody -- Mel Brooks' "Space Balls".  It gave new life to the genre -- "Star Trek:The Motion Picture" was released two short years later.

And it became a cultural phenomenon.  Can you imagine life without these phrases:

"Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."

"These are not the droids you are looking for."

"Use the Force, Luke."

"Do or do not, there is no try."

"Luke, I am your father."

"I love you" and the response, "I know."

And, of course, 

"May the Force be with you."

In "Men In Black 3", Will Smith tells Josh Brolin "Don't use that Jedi mind trick on me", and we all know what he means, no one has to explain to us what a Jedi mind trick is.

I saw the first "Star Wars" movie in the then-brand-new, state-of-the-art, multiplex theater at Sunrise Mall, with my then-boyfriend, a science/engineering major at a local college (I was terribly impressed with his credentials, I was still in high school).  I was a science fiction geek, I read Asimov and Clarke and Heinlein and Bradbury, and I was immediately drawn into the excitement of a space epic.

And history was made.

I am so looking forward to the new movie.

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