Star Wars (continued)


I also think the Star Wars movies are terribly overrated as fantasy films. I remain a fan of the first, however, as a cultural signpost.   
It is easy to forget how very different the first Star Wars movie was from the predominately dark and so called realistic films of the 1970's, because most of them have not stood the test of time.  Too many of these films featured nude scenes by women who should have prayed on their knees to God every day for His invention of clothing.  (Glenda Jackson is a name that immediately comes to mind.)  There was also this strange idea that rape was titillating fun. Then there were the countless films about Vietnam, including a western that used Asian actors in the Indian roles just in case the audience missed the point. Even the decade's brightest critical spot was that perverse icon of the American Dream, The Godfather saga.  It was an era when it seemed the reason most people attend movies — fun and the sheer joy of escapism — had been all but forgotten by producers and directors who preferred to call their output 'films'.
In this gloomy environment, a goofy yet wholesome twist on the serial cliffhanger was indeed a breath of cinematic fresh air.  At the time, few critics or studio heads thought such a movie would have much appeal.  Lucas deserves immense credit for showing that it did. .  
I recall seeing no advance advertising barrage for the first Star Wars film.  Nor was it heralded by major critics as a must see, like The Last Tango in Paris.  I first I heard of it was when a classmate in my MBA program told us one Monday that we all had to see this movie called Star Wars.  'Never mind what it's about,' he said.  'I can't explain without sounding corny. Just go because it is so much FUN!'
If nothing else, Star Wars remains one of the few fun spots in the cultural, political and economic malaise of the Carter Administration.  It was indeed a new hope for those simply want their movies to provide a side of fun with the popcorn.
Roz Smith