Wednesday, February 15, 2012

May 25, 1977

     Where were you on May 25th, 1977?  I was a 13 year old on my way to the theater to watch a new science fiction movie that was being released that day.  That movie was STAR WARS.  I spent the next 2 hours with my eyes wide open, in awe of the scenes flying across the scene. Movies would never be the same again for me. 
     I can't count how many times over the years that I have re-watched Star Wars.  In the late 70's, you didn't have the movie come out a couple of months later on video (VHS then, and DVD or Blu-Ray now), you shelled out the ticket price for a movie again if you wanted to see it more than once.  The creator of Star Wars, in his ultimate wisdom, promised us a sequel, but we would have to wait 3 years for The Empire Strikes Back, and yet another 3 years for Return of the Jedi.  Sci-fi fans were hooked and Star Wars mania swept the country.
     What people forgot was that Star Wars original title was "Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope".  What we didn't realize at the time was that George had pre-planned to make I, II, and III, but the technology wasn't available at the time to film them in order, so we were treated to a phenomenon that started in the middle of the story.  Still, the technology he used to make the first 3 were cutting edge at the time, creating a new way of making movies.  From sound to visuals, he was a step ahead of everyone else at the time.
     After Return of the Jedi was released in 1983, George bided his time, waiting for the right moment and the advancement of computer graphics before beginning the first 3 chapters of his epic story.  In 1999 we were treated to "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace".  Another win for George Lucas.  Amazing scenes again flashing across the screen, the Pod Race being one of the most memorable.  In 2002, he then released "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones".  Armies of clones marching to war as they prepared for battle in "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" 3 years later in 2005. Awesome.  Just the scenes where Obi-Wan and Anakin are battling on the lava flow are worth the price of admission.
     I made it a point to see each of these movies in the theater, hoping to recapture the feeling that I had on that magical day of May 25th, 1977.  It always worked.  I get caught up immediately in the wonder of the moment as soon as each of the movies started.  The world around me seemed to disappear as I focused on the screen, watching all my favorite characters do their dashing deeds and saving the universe from the dreaded Sith.  Although sometimes I rooted for the bad guy.  Hey, they're just doing their job.  They just picked the wrong side.
     Anyway, Star Wars will always be one of my favorite movie series of all time.  I own all of the movies on DVD and also have some VHS stashed away for nostalgic purposes.  Who knows, maybe they'll be worth something some day.  Thanks for reading everyone.  Have a better one.

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