Sunday, April 14, 2013

Watching Star Wars in 2013

Last night I introduced my 12 year old daughter to a cornerstone of nerd culture by watching the "original" Star Wars, now known as Episode IV, A New Hope.

It is 15 years since I last watched this myself so I was really surprised at how well this 1977 story has held up. I know Lucas has spent millions of dollars over the years fixing some of the hokier special effects but I think there is another reason why the movie still feels fresh and exciting. Star Wars has been so influential on just about every space opera film and video game made since that it feels incredibly familiar. Its blasters, its grey metal corridors its junk strewn depiction of alien planets have all become absolutely canonical to the genre. This struck me forcibly watching the scene where Luke and Leia are trapped on a narrow platform looking for an extending bridge while troopers try to break down the door behind them and another trooper shoots from a higher ledge. I have played versions of that scene in many video games.

We are watching the 1995 DVD release. I took the executive decision to watch the films in historical order despite my daughters puzzlement at starting with episode iv. There was no episode iv when I was a teenager!

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