A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: George Lucas
Produced By: Gary Kurtz
Written By: George Lucas
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Running Time: 121 Minutes
It is nearly impossible to discuss the cinematic landmark that is Star Wars without using the word ‘iconic’. There are few films that the word lends itself to more than George Lucas’ 1977 masterpiece that forever changed the way we experience films.
From the characters, to the score to the effects or even the overall imagery, Star Wars is synonymous with iconic qualities. Any blockbuster conceivable post-’77 is forever indebted to this picture and without it, who knows where we would be, not just in the cinematic world, but culturally as well.
For those who haven’t even seen the original picture, faces, lines of dialogue and even the music are still highly recognisable, demonstrating the immense significance of this film within all of us as a species. Few films have that level of prestige to boast upon.
A classic quest of one lonesome dreamer who relishes the possibility of adventure, Star Wars (later to be renamed Episode IV: A New Hope) sets the standard for modern storytelling, but has a lot of heavy influences to thank itself.
Simultaneously simplistic and extremely bold, the story of Star Wars is as commonplace as they come, however it is achieved with such precision and craftsmanship that is leaves others in a trail of dust.
The first shot gives a sense of scale never before seen to any audience. Mid-battle, an enormous, endless space voyager engulfs a rather sizeable ship in its own right, however contextually; it is made to feel like an ant escaping a fearsome dog.
From this moment on, an insurmountable dominance is felt within the atmosphere of the picture; the presence of Darth Vader, the antagonist who invades his first frame on screen can be felt pulsating through every scene from that moment on.
It’s difficult to observe it as a stand alone picture as Star Wars lends itself to so much more. Alluding to the past as well as the future, the story gives a rich sense of history but sets up potential narrative routes an audience would be very excited to explore.
There in lies the brilliance of the writing. It could be seen as a sequel, but then again, it could just as easily be a first in series; in the end, we got both.
Suspension of disbelief is something we activate within the theatre or at home when we watch a film, but few films activate it for us. Star Wars triggers something inside an audience and takes them far, far away.
The world building, the underlying humanity to the story and the unbelievable conception of unimaginable creatures and vessels for 121 minutes seems real.
We believe there is a Death Star, two suns on Tatooine and that The Force is a spiritual energy that enables Jedi Knights to perform extraordinary acts. An idea so profound and so masterfully executed, Star Wars quite literally blew the world into hyperspace with its impact and continues to do so nearly 40 years later.
Pioneering in so many categories of filmmaking, Star Wars is simply unparalleled in its achievements.
Not only a work of cinematic art, it’s an example of how technology has evolved; all though it was a long time ago, Star Wars was light-years ahead of its time. Besides a slightly overlong finale, Lucas’ 1977 pinnacle is without fault.
When observing how much cinema changed as a result of this single space opera, the simply is no equivalent.