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Before and after Ani Skywalker

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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Before and after Ani Skywalker Reply with quote

We didn't know it at the time, but we entered the story in the middle. There were spaceships, "princesses" (!), and robots, but it wasn't long before we met young Skywalker. Luke.

Ultimately, we learned that the "arc" of this story belonged to Ani Skywalker, more than it did to Luke (1). I started noticing, over the decades as this story unfolded, that my interest did not expand outside of our particular story. When I saw a compendium of information and stories of Jedi, Sith, etc. at the library, I was, in 2011, a third of a century later, willing to glance outside the central story. I checked out the book.

This is where I generalize. I found I had no interest in learning more about any of the story's precursors or offshoots. I think, with a few exceptions perhaps, that most of us share my lack of interest in this extended world and its characters.

I wonder why this is.



1. The transformation, incidentally, between Ani and Vader never seemed convincing. And his "tragic flaw" (as noted by Yoda) was his "fear", which also whose origin, operation and cure were equally unclear. The camera, poised to show us every moment, somehow missed really capturing those moments.
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes wish that instead of the greatest hit of the last quarter of the 20th century, Star Wars had been a colossal flop...and become the greatest sleeper cult classic ever.

I went to see Star Wars on the day it opened in New York City. My friends from Archbishop Molloy, Ted and Roger, we had just finished the last day of classes in junior high, and it was a half day so we were hanging around at Ted's house in Forest Park, Queens and checked out an ad for this new "Star Wars" sci-fi film playing at the Zeigfeld in midtown Manhattan. The Zeigfeld was one of the great, cavernous theaters that had been turned into a movie house, the size of a city block.

We jumped on the F train and made the show...finding a good seat. It was packed, but there weren't any lines (that would start a week later as it caught on). I was entranced and blown away by the film, the cinematography and most of all the music of John Williams. Ted's father was an audiophile and he had all this fantastic tube amplifiers and receivers, a Teac reel to reel and towering speakers (this was 1977!) and we all bought the album and played it at Ted's house.

But still, I remember that great first week because it was when I really loved Star Wars not as a cultural phenomenon, but as great film with a great story. I loved the story of the hero, the fast moving fights, the way it turned sci-fi from a slow plodding space opera with characters sitting at desks and enunciating every word to e-x-p-l-a-i-n h-o-w t-h-e n-u-c-l-e-a-r c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r works and just jumped right into the action.

What followed was terrible to me...the downhill slide from something that I loved and appreciated to seeing every bad TV variety hour doing a Star Wars sketch and every bad monologue ending with some R2D2 joke.

Imagine if it were a cult Babylon 5. Imagine being a real groupie, and donning all the gear and fighting with light sabers...but not having a population without any cultural knowledge to back you up! Imagine it not being a cultural clutterland and subject of mythic and mystical analysis.

But most of all, imagine a person being able to appreciate Star Wars as a film, a breakthrough in sci-fi....nothing more, nothing less.
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