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Topic: STAR WARS: The 40th Anniversary! (May 25, 1977) (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 25 May 2017 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 1  

The UA Cinema 150 in Seattle, where I saw STAR WARS back in 1977, is long gone... And the local Dolby Atmos Experience theater (where I saw ROGUE ONE) would now completely eclipse it in picture clarity, sound quality, screen size, and seat comfort (getting really spoiled by reserved recliner seats in my "old age")...

However, I still miss that old place, because of all the happy memories of seeing STAR WARS there.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 25 May 2017 at 4:21pm | IP Logged | 2  


Best educated guess is that I more than likely saw STAR WARS during the 1st week of July, roughly a month before my 5th birthday.  It was the last film my father took me to see before he ended-up in a horrendous motorcycle wreck that kept him in & out of hospitals and casts for the next 5 years... because of his serious condition, and the fact that my parents were already divorced at the time, I didn't get out to see the film a second time until the 1979 re-release (this time, for my 7th birthday)--in fact, we didn't get out to the movies at all for a whole other year!

Saw it at the West Springfield, MA. Showcase Cinemas, with my father, 3-year old sister, and a friend or two of my Dad's... line was around the corner of the theater house, and I thought we would NEVER get in.

To say the movie blew me away is an understatement:  For me, it was sensory overload.  I flew out of the theater la-la-la'ing and da-da-da'ing the theme music, and when my father dropped us back at our Mom's, I tried to explain what I'd just seen and couldn't-even.  I tried to get my father to recount the entire film for my mother, but he was already running late for an evening shift at work.  My mother always tells the story of how I drove her bonkers by humming the music all week long!

Yup, STAR WARS pretty much ruled by childhood from then-on, until around 1984, when I thought I'd outgrown it... of course, once the nostalgia factor hit my 20's (when the film was celebrating its 20th anniversary), that was all she wrote.  I had to admit it was in my blood for good.




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Doug Centers
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Posted: 25 May 2017 at 5:22pm | IP Logged | 3  

"...this was the way I revisited the film over and over again. "

...

I revisited with the Topps trading cards. As a matter of fact I had some cards before I finally got to see the movie in the fall of '77.

I used to carry a rubber banded stack of cards with me to school. One fateful day I was caught looking at them during class ,and my 7th grade math teacher took them away. I didn't get them back until the end of the school year. Damn your all seeing eyes Mr. Ragland!





Edited by Doug Centers on 25 May 2017 at 5:27pm
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 25 May 2017 at 6:15pm | IP Logged | 4  


Such a simpler, more innocent time back then, Doug... during that summer, if you wanted to relive the film (outside of the theater), you pretty much had the paperback novelization; the Marvel comics (and Treasury Edition #1); the soundtrack LP; the mass-produced Hildebrandt poster; the MECO disco single perhaps?; maybe that storybook mentioned by Peter Martin; and those wonderful Topps trading cards.

The real merchandising onslaught didn't truly start until the Kenner figures in the winter/spring of 1978 and afterwards... if STAR WARS was everywhere in 1977, it was positively inescapable by the next year!





Edited by Shaun Barry on 25 May 2017 at 6:43pm
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 12:18am | IP Logged | 5  

Another memory is my dad getting us some Star Wars
Letraset transfer sets,Mos Eisley and Millennium Falcon
Escape from the Death Star scenes with which to put the
transfers on...trouble is not having seen the film,i put
Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader fighting together against the
Stormtroopers!
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 4:54am | IP Logged | 6  

Another memory is my dad getting us some Star Wars
Letraset transfer sets,Mos Eisley and Millennium Falcon
Escape from the Death Star scenes with which to put the
transfers on...trouble is not having seen the film,i put
Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader fighting together against the
Stormtroopers!

***

I had some birthday money and for under 6 I bought six figures: Luke, Ben, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and a Sandman, as I called him. I also had not seen the film and whilst I knew that I had three villains and three heroes, I had no sense of how they fitted into the narrative. Indeed, I can recall playing with them on our stairs casting Chewbacca as the lead hero speaking in a gruff English voice.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 4:57am | IP Logged | 7  

Also, I've never thought of the Hildebrandt (or Jung) artwork as "sexualized" (heck, the only one flashing cleavage in the Hildebrandt piece is Luke!)... more like glamorized or idealized.

***
Forgive me for having sounded prudish; however, there can be no doubt that the portrayal of Luke and Leia is far sexier than they are seen in the films. It wasn't until Jedi that Leia really came across in that way, and largely down to one scene, whilst I've always seen Luke as quite asexual.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 7:14am | IP Logged | 8  

Sorry, but anyone who does not see that Hildebrandt painting as "sexualizing" the characters is being deliberately obtuse. I cannot imagine any other reason to ignore the added acres of chest and thigh.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 9  


 QUOTE:
...whilst I've always seen Luke as quite asexual.

Among the great many missteps of the two sequels, de-sexualizing Luke is notable. Although the love triangle was picked up early in EMPIRE, it soon disappeared for good (and ill).

Luke's youthful exuberance expressed also as a matter of healthy inexperienced sexuality added to his immense appeal in STAR WARS.

Feh! on the sequels!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 10:46am | IP Logged | 10  

Of course, there's the whole bit with Leia kissing Luke to make Han jealous in EMPIRE (as well the deleted first half of that scene, with Luke and Leia nearly kissing for real, before the droids interrupt them, which would have given extra resonance to the actual kiss). EMPIRE ends in an interesting place, with Leia having declared her love for Han, and Luke perhaps not even being aware of that, but also being committed to rescuing him. 

The mild love triangle was still there in EMPIRE, and then JEDI totally dropped the ball, and also added in the retroactive "ick" factor.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 11  

Hey, it's a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. If we look at our own human history, we notice that as we go back thru the generations the number of our ancestors increases geometrically, while the actual population count drops. (At the time of Julius Caesar there were an estimated 250,000,000 people in the world while, according to the math, I had 1.547425049107e26 ancestors.)

We pretty much all have sister-boinkers somewhere in our family trees!

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 12  

I was just re-reading the beginning of Rinzler's Making of Star Wars last night. There are quite a few what if? kind of possibilities in just those first few pages. What if Lucas had been given an attractive deal when trying to obtain the rights to Flash Gordon? What if United Artists had liked the script for American Graffiti and had chosen to plough on with their option for a 'second movie'?  What if the studios had picked up Lucas' proposed Apocalypse Now, which he wanted to make more than Star Wars?
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 13  


 QUOTE:
EMPIRE ends in an interesting place, with Leia having declared her love for Han, and Luke perhaps not even being aware of that, but also being committed to rescuing him.

Not really. The early kiss Leia planted on Luke, even in that scene apparently to rile Han and nothing more, immediately assumed irrelevance, while the film pretty much beginning to end showed us that the only fire was between Han and Leia. There's not a hint that I can recall of any potential problems between this triumvirate because of Luke's passion, in even the slightest romantic way, for Leia. All Luke seems to do is whine in gender-neutral fashion to Yoda about his "friends." 

I hardly know anything about the decision-making behind EMPIRE. Perhaps the love triangle at some point had been considered a subplot but then in executing the film dropped? If so, it was dropped so much it might as well never have been even mildly touched upon.

And in STAR WARS, Luke's farm-boy puppy crush on the Princess was decidedly mild -- and in fact no less absurd than somebody a little too short to be a Stormtrooper would have accompanied the great Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi to rescue Leia, secure the plans to destroy the Death Star, and free the galaxy. But it wasn't silly. We could laugh with Han about Luke being so youthfully "ga-ga" over Leia, but that didn't make Luke a ridiculous character in any way at all, and instead was part of his character to believe he could over-achieve if he got the chance.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 14  

Sorry, but anyone who does not see that Hildebrandt painting as "sexualizing" the characters is being deliberately obtuse. I cannot imagine any other reason to ignore the added acres of chest and thigh.

***

Thank you.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 2:05pm | IP Logged | 15  


"Forgive me for having sounded prudish; however, there can be no doubt that the portrayal of Luke and Leia is far sexier than they are seen in the films." 

"Sorry, but anyone who does not see that Hildebrandt painting as 'sexualizing' the characters is being deliberately obtuse. I cannot imagine any other reason to ignore the added acres of chest and thigh."

Okay, yes, the painting portrays "sexier" versions of Luke & Leia... but the term "sexualized" seemed stronger and more negative to me, as if we should be seeing bulging groins and exposed breasts in the piece.

If the original intent of the Hildebrandt Brothers was to make a "sexier" version of the characters, I think they still were able to do it in a very classy way, without being gratuitous.  The exposed chest of Luke, and Leia's bare leg, didn't phase me when I first saw that poster (long before puberty, when I was 5!), and I suppose I still see it through rose-colored lenses today.  It reminds me of a more innocent time, and my first thought whenever I look at it is not, "Oooooh, baby."





Edited by Shaun Barry on 26 May 2017 at 2:09pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 3:04pm | IP Logged | 16  

Not really. The early kiss Leia planted on Luke, even in that scene apparently to rile Han and nothing more, immediately assumed irrelevance, while the film pretty much beginning to end showed us that the only fire was between Han and Leia. There's not a hint that I can recall of any potential problems between this triumvirate because of Luke's passion, in even the slightest romantic way, for Leia. All Luke seems to do is whine in gender-neutral fashion to Yoda about his "friends."




I hardly know anything about the decision-making behind EMPIRE. Perhaps the love triangle at some point had been considered a subplot but then in executing the film dropped? If so, it was dropped so much it might as well never have been even mildly touched upon.
++++++++++++++++++

Yes, the mild love triangle originally factored into EMPIRE, but ended up a casualty of editing. Luke and Leia have a chat in the medical center, and nearly kiss, but Artoo and Threepio enter the room and ruin the moment. Then, Han and Chewie come in, and Leia kisses Luke to mess with Han. The idea was that Leia was trying to sort out her feelings for both of them, and ended up falling for Han over the course of the film.

I love the contrast between their saying goodbye to each other at the beginning of the film (bitter arguing with an undercurrent of romantic tension) and the end (a declaration of love from Leia, followed by Han's typically smug-yet-charming response).

Anyway, Luke then goes off to doing the whole Jedi training thing, and any potential romance for him gets shuffled off to the side, with the Han/Leia relationship moving to the forefront. My point is that JEDI could have done something interesting with that--Luke finds out after the fact that Han and Leia are in love--but the love triangle was dropped in favor of quickly wrapping up the "other" subplot by making Leia into Luke's sister.

STAR WARS, of course, features Luke going a bit ga-ga over Leia, but its all more for fun than anything else. A puppy-dog crush that lends itself more to humor than something serious, which Han then uses to get a rise out of him.

I'd rather not see STAR WARS become overly sexualized. The romance in the prequels wasn't exactly well-received, and the characters in TFA are friggin' sterile.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 17  

Hey Bill, I still have my Letraset sets. I dug them out about a week ago to have a look. There were also sets given away with Shreddies cereal, I've got them as well.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 18  


Started watching it again last night, and finished it tonight...

Struck again at how easygoing the rapport is between all the main actors, and how the humor is very natural and unforced... there's no schtick going on in the original, compared to what started to creep into EMPIRE with some Yoda bits; got really silly in JEDI at Jabba's palace and with the Ewoks; and then of course became insufferable in the Prequels.

And in terms of dialogue, it's also the best out of all the other STAR WARS films.  Maybe there's a stilted line here or there, but for the most part, it's surprisingly straightforward and unpretentious, with great lines and exchanges throughout.

Made me smile all over again.



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 9:25pm | IP Logged | 19  

A few more thought, carried over from the MOVIES section...

While STAR WARS has pretty much become the victim of its own success, I am still able to divorce myself from all of the follow-ups and fallout, and just enjoy the movie

I do find myself wondering what its ultimate fate will be, though. I had a conversation with a very young coworker, today. She's never seen the film. She went on a school field trip to see THE FORCE AWAKENS when it came out, and didn't like it at all. I offered to lend her STAR WARS on DVD, and explained that it doesn't require a scorecard to enjoy, and she declined, saying that she doesn't watch old movies, and just doesn't care. I'll gonna keep at it, but she's stubborn. And it's not the first time I've encountered this attitude. I know a number of young people who have never seen STAR WARS, and have no interest in seeing it whatsoever. Some of them have even answered "yes" when I've asked "Have you ever seen STAR WARS?", and then clarified by saying that they watched TFA.

I can't help but wonder if STAR WARS, and, indeed, the subsequent sequels and prequels, will slowly fade into the background, since today's generation is now raised on CGI extravaganzas, and editing far more complex and fast-paced than what Lucas blew minds with in 1977. Now that Disney has effectively retold the story of the film and reinvented the series for a new era, the original has perhaps become even more obsolete than the Lucas-era sequels and prequels had already made it. The novelty has long since worn off.

Yes, STAR WARS is immensely popular, today. But...is it STAR WARS the multimedia franchise, STAR WARS the Disney film series, or STAR WARS the classic 1977 film and its follow-ups? Sometimes I wonder.

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Bill Collins
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 9:46pm | IP Logged | 20  

James,well done for keeping them so long,mine ended up
on my bedroom wall.
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Thom Price
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 10:01pm | IP Logged | 21  

I can't help but wonder if STAR WARS, and, indeed, the subsequent sequels and prequels, will slowly fade into the background, since today's generation is now raised on CGI extravaganzas

***

It's not really all that surprising; STAR WARS is now approximately as old as CASABLANCA was when I was a kid and I didn't know too many 10 year olds watching Bogie movies.  The division of "old" may not be as obvious as black-and-white versus color. but it's inevitable that with each passing year more people will view the original STAR WARS as an old relic.

I saw TFA with two younger groups; 'tween' nephews and some friends in their twenties.  They all loved TFA -- more so than I did, and I mostly liked it.  None of them were nearly as impressed with the original.  When my friends watched the original, she fell asleep and all he said was "it was okay".  (I suspect he was being polite, and he never watched any others.)  For my nephews, they more or less enjoyed the originals, but they always watched them with a degree of mockery -- the result, I imagine, of being familiar with FAMILY GUY parodies before ever seeing the films themselves. 

So yes, I think it's very likely that the original/OT will shrink in importance as the years go by, except among the smaller segment of the audience who likes 'old' movies.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 10:02pm | IP Logged | 22  


Or Greg, to use the last 40 years as a timeline gauge:

In 1977, 40+ years ago meant films like KING KONG, SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS and THE WIZARD OF OZ.

That's how old the original STAR WARS is today, to kids in 2017!



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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 May 2017 at 11:28pm | IP Logged | 23  

Shaun, when I was 7 years old I liked every one of those films. I even hated the new KING KONG film that came out in 1976 because I loved the original one so much.

But then again, those films were on tv all the time.

Oh, wait.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 May 2017 at 12:24am | IP Logged | 24  

In 1977, 40+ years ago meant films like KING KONG, SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS and THE WIZARD OF OZ.

That's how old the original STAR WARS is today, to kids in 2017!

++++++++

Ageist twerps have mocked me for my love of old movies and TV shows, but they forget that many of the movies and shows I love are either from before I was born, or when I was too young to watch and/or appreciate them. The original STAR TREK and the original STAR WARS were both long over and done, by the time I came along. But, here I am, a superfan and a purist who loves to dig into all of that ancient history.

I like to think I simply have good taste and a discerning eye. There's been a major shift in the quality of mainstream genre films, and very little of the modern stuff does anything for me. I more often feel like an archaeologist than an explorer of brave new worlds, when it comes to studying films. I often feel like Kang the Conqueror--living in a time of amazing technological achievement, but strangely hungering for the joys of simpler times.

Kids! No sense of history, I tells ya!
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 27 May 2017 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 25  

Look at this way Greg: The kids that mock the originals we loved, will have to put up with the same thing from the generation(s) that follows them. ;)

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