The force is with you

The force is with you

The first of the Star Wars films came out in 1977 and caused a revolution....

The first of the Star Wars films came out in 1977 and caused a revolution. Before George Lucas’s sci-fi masterpiece,the triage of fantasy and adventure and fun was lurching along in fits and starts: Star Wars came along and re-wrote the rules of the game.

You can now pick up all six films in the series for a nostalgic re-visit to the galaxy far,far away: the first three,Star Wars,suffixed with the tagline A New Hope,The Empire Strikes Back,and The Return Of The Jedi,and the just-out DVD box set of the other three,The Phantom Menace,Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith,which tell you the back story of Luke Skywalker,Princess Leia,Obi Wan Kenobi,Han Solo,Artoo Detoo and Threepio. And Darth Vader,the blackest,most evil villain in all the galaxies.

Watching the first episode (that’s how Lucas refers to the films,episodes,because to him they were a series of connected events which were filmed at different points in time) now,it seems quaint and dated,but you can also see exactly how it enchanted its initial audiences who had never seen anything like it before.

Sure,it is a sci-fi film,and it is set in space and in the interiors of massive spaceships (mostly),or on a planet which has a weird name like Tatooie where the action shifts inside cave-like,primitive dwellings. But it is also about characters whom we instantly connect with: what’s not to like about a pretty princess in peril,even if her hair-style consists of two sausage-like appendages over her ears? Or an ordinary farm boy with an unusual destiny who gets catapulted into a gigantic inter-galactic fight between the good Jedi knights and the bad soldiers of the Empire? Or two cute robots?

In a detailed ‘making of’ segment,Lucas talks about how he wanted to make a film which would be ‘clean’ (no sex),very little violence (limited to flashing sabres,no blood),and fit for family viewing. The films are great innocent fun (which spreads over to the second trilogy,a prequel to the first three),and benefit from the occasional flash of humour that leavens all the chasing and the fighting. I have come to rescue you,says Luke to Leia,who is tied up in a small chamber. Who are you,she asks,showing no particular hurry to join her hero. He scoops her up,makes a dash for it,and bursts out on the other side,all safe and sound. The Force is with him.