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Why Love The Star Wars Original Trilogy

Saturday, December 26, 2015

My dearest sweethearts,

If we were to name the movies that everyone knows (not necessarily watched or liked/loved), surely Star Wars would grade up high on that list. To be sure, you can even Google this out, and you will see how in the top 5 villains of all time you have Darth Vader taking his position. His screentime, his actions and his way of being demands it and it would be hard to deny it... the Force is strong within him!
I have told you a few days ago why I love the Star Wars Prequels,  despite of the hate - flow coming towards them from the people who call themselves "Star Wars fans". Today I wish to share with you why I love the original Lucas Star Wars movies. When Lucas first started out his adventure with sci-fi he first bought up the rights to Flash Gordon. That is why he was so heavily influenced by the idea... along time he came with the idea of "A New Hope". Up to this day it amazes me the fact that he thought it would be a one - time movie. He never thought of it from the start as a series... he never knew how powerful it would become. The main story was the fight between Good (Luke Skywalker - Jedi) and Evil (Darth Vader - the Emperor).
Thankfully enough people understood the potential and they flocked towards the cinema. A mass media frenzy already starting... Think of the times back then, when the first movie was released, in 1977, when there was just the beginning of the mass media we know now. Most of the promotion was based on word-of-mouth; everyone who would be at that movie would tell several others about the most epic movie of all times: an epic space opera! It was selected to become part of the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in its first year of opening as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"; at the time, it was the newest film to be selected, and it was the only film from the 1970s to be chosen. The film's soundtrack was added to the US National Recording Registry 15 years later. Today, it is often regarded as one of thegreatest films of all time, and is also considered by many to be one of the most important films in the history of motion pictures.
Nobody can deny the huge influence the original Lucas trilogy had and still has on movies, books, society at large... people quote Star Wars on a daily basis and it all works like magic! You know a fan when you meet him and you know that if you both watched the movies there is that secret bond between you that can never separate you. You will always have something in common that you love and respect. That is what Star Wars does :) it's a bridge between gaps of age/race... you name it! So here is some reasons I love the old trilogy:
1. The amazing one-of-the-kind story - nobody thought about anything even remotely similar before and George Lucas style was truly a revelation and a stepping stone in the history of movies and in the history of science fiction stories. He had the courage/madness to try to create something so completely different than what people tried until then, that people flocked to the cinema to watch and rewatch Star Wars. George give birth to the most beautiful science fiction story and the most amazing settings. He opened up a door to other movies of this genre and showed how much people can be attracted by space and "galaxies far far away" :) and I will always love him for that!
2. The space scenes never-seen-before & the fighting scenes in space - let's face it... each time I see the Millenium Falcon flying or making jumps through the hyperspace, my heart melts... every Star Wars movie, after the opening crawls, starts with an image of battleships in space - it's one of the movies trademarks. I could not live without it :) or try to imagine Star Wars "A New Hope" without the amazing (especially for that time, for 1977) fighting scenes at the Death Star. Red leader - Gold leader - stand by... they had no CGI back then so they had to do the fighting scenes with puppets and handmade x-wings and all done up to scale and shot up - close and personal so you would not see the guys maneuvering the props. They put a lot of hard work and dedication into building the original Star Wars and with a budget that now seems incredibly low. Way to go George!
3. The main story/idea that Star Wars initial trilogy tried to instill on people: Good always prevails over Evil; a person, no matter how dark he may have become, can still find his way towards the light. Darth Vader managed to come back to the light side of the Force through his son, Luke Skywalker. I love the fact that Luke, even though he finds out his father is the greatest villain in history, even though he killed so many people and is the huge icon of the Dark Side, he is still sure that "there is good in him". How he can sense it? Of course through the Force, that is a constant in the Skywalker family ;)
4. The characters - everyone loves them: Princess Leia Organa, a kick arse lady that does not need to be rescued, when needed she will fight and shoot better than any Stormtrooper; Luke Skywalker, who is such a huge contrast over what we are used to call a hero, he whines and he toils and he has moods (just like his father) and even though he is very good with flying ships (again this runs in the family) he is not the typical hero you root up for; Han Solo on the other hand... Now that is a smuggler and a good for nothing scum/villain, that you cannot help falling in love with :) it may be also due to Harrison Ford's amazing acting skills (though he was not trained to be an actor, in case you did not know); add to that 3 adorable sidekicks like Chewy (Chewbacca) - the furry mountain of unlimited love - and C3PO - "human cyborg relations" fluent in thousands of languages but unable to stay out of trouble... - and my very own favourite R2-D2 - the sweetest and kinkiest robot - why else would it go "beep beep bèeeeeep" all the time?! :p Not to mention THE ONE: Darth Vader - the ultimate evil!
5. The multitude of planets and galaxies and the idea of all the races coexisting, nobody looking odd at another person... ok maybe a bit racist when it comes to droids - as they were not allowed is Moss Aisley... but maybe there is an antecedent there we know nothing of... I love Tatooine with its rough sand and vast spaces, with the twin sun reminding me of the fact that Luke and Leia are twins as well - I see parallels everywhere! I like Dagobah even though it's swampy and damp and probably smells like hell... it's a great place to hide and I understand why Yoda chose it. Endor is probably one of my personal favourite :) you will see it in "The Empire Strikes Back" - a lovely planet, all green forest, with small and crazy (human - eating!) inhabitants. On the other side, you have Hoth, where eternal winter reigns and you have inhabitants looking like Yeti... Lucas brought it all to life and everyone became fascinated with the possibilities :)
6. The friendships developed - as unlikely as they may seem - between races and people of different ages and personalities. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are one of the most unlikely friendships / couples that you may find on screen, yet the way they bond and care for eachother is genuine; especially due to the fact that they pass through so many things together. Take even for example R2-D2 and C3PO - droids - having their very own odd, funny and adorable relationship. Take also Chewie and Han - you never hear their background story in the movies but you can see clearly the trust that they have in eachother. I truly believe Han would not fly the Millennium Falcon with anyone else! :)
7. The amazing writing aka The Epic Quotes that everyone uses nowdays (maybe even without even knowing they originate from the most epic saga Star Wars):
- “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” (Obi Wan)
- “I am your father.” - now I bet you were NOT ready for THAT twist in the story!
- “I Love You.” “I know.” - and that one was not supposed to be like that, Harrison Ford did the twist and we have him to thank for one of the most epic likes in the saga :)
- “When 900 years old, you reach… Look as good, you will not.” (Yoda)
- “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky” (Han Solo)
- “Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.” (Darth Vader)
- “You can’t win, Darth. Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” (Obi Wan)
- "Aren't you a little short for a storm trooper?" (Princess Leia)
- “If there's a bright centre to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from.” (Luke Skywalker)
- "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." (Princess Leia)
8. The amazing, deep and sometimes heartbreaking soundtrack, created by the talented John Williams - who wrote the film's famous musical score, had won an Oscar for his work on "Jaws" (and has since won four more). Star Wars often is credited as heralding the beginning of a revival of grand symphonic scores in the late 1970s. One technique in particular is an influence: Williams's revival of a technique called leitmotif, which is most famously associated with the operas of Richard Wagner and, in film scores, with Steiner. A leitmotif is a phrase or melodic cell that signifies a character, place, plot element, mood, idea, relationship or other specific part of the film. It is commonly used in modern film scoring as a device for mentally anchoring certain parts of a film to the soundtrack. Of chief importance for a leitmotif is that it must be strong enough for a listener to latch onto while being flexible enough to undergo variation and development.
9. The lightsabers - the first time I saw Luke opening his father's sword, I was completely mesmerised... Even the idea that such a tool would exist and the possibilities it would offer... the fact that it is just like a sword - and I love swords as they remind me of the old days and the old ways of knights in shining armour and fair maidens... - but actually it is better than a sword! It can cut through any material and in a fight it leaves clean cuts - take for example Luke's arm being cut off, clean shave, sterile and without blood splashing all over Darth Vader 's attire. It's a clean weapon, elegant, taking very few space... is it wrong to also thing of other ways one would use it?! Let's say... how smooth and silky would a bread cut be? Or the Thanksgiving turkey ;) just saying...
10. The Force - the best idea that came to life with Star Wars. Who would not want to be able to lift and move things with the power of your mind (actually with the power of the Force), who would not want to be excellent plane flyers or aim & shoot correctly 100% of the time? The idea that there is a power, the Force, an energy field that binds all things together... that idea is not completely new. We know we are all the same and yet different and we believe in a powerful being above us - the concept of the Force is quite similar, not talking about a person though, but about the energies penetrative all of us and keeping us bonded. Of course a lot of explaining comes in the Prequels that everyone drags in the mud, but I love them nonetheless!

How about you? Are you a Star Wars fan? What do you like the most in the original trilogy that Lucas built? What makes you tick and what makes you think "oh God! Even I could have done it better!" - do you agree with my 10 reasons to love the originals? Do you believe, like myself, that for the times then Lucas did the most amazing job one could do? I do, from the bottom of my heart!

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that loves movies and has ALWAYS loved Star Wars, since she was a wee lass, dreaming she would go on space adventures with R2-D2