A Look Back at the Movie Phenomenon That Started it all (and a glimpse of how it equates to rock music!)
STAR WARS : EPISODE 4 /A NEW HOPE was the dawn of a new era on its release. It injected a sense of youthful energy to Cinema and a universe of new possibility in story telling, special effects and innovation in general. The likes of James Cameron and Peter Jackson were inspired and awakened by seeing the film. Tom Cruise watched it, repeatedly. Its sense of innocent awe, fairy-tale like worldview and sheer scope for new mythologies was genuinely a once in a generation thing.
The legacy continues, with prequels and sequels and spin offs. But the first movie back in 1977 from George Lucas? That’s the source, the well, the standard for all. Unbeatable. Like a rock and roll band in Cinema, bursting to the scene. Indeed: an entire sub-genre of Internet speculation has presented the Star Wars universe in alternate reality album covers. See here for details.
And as part of our ongoing STAR WARS appreciation series in the build up to ROGUE ONE, Frank Mengarelli takes a look back at the masterpiece that is A NEW HOPE. Take it away, Frank!
Good or bad, STAR WARS is that film that not only has changed almost everyone’s life, but also changed the film industry forever. With a group of unknown fresh faces and a handful of iconic heavies, wrapped with glorious special effects,and new worlds, George Lucas assembled a film that no one had ever seen prior.
Lucas, like any creative genius, used familiar elements and made them his own. The farm-boy, the princess, the cowboy, the samurai, the lovable monster, the sinister Nazi military, and the masked bad guy. While each character is based on a classic thematic archetype, Lucas transitions each one of them into their own uniquely organic being.
To this day, decades and decades later, the special effects, the men in suits, and the world of STAR WARS still holds absolutely strong. Even some of Lucas’ more obnoxious updates to the original trilogy does not dampen what he originally created because he created something so much bigger than himself.*
STAR WARS is the one thing that millions, if not billions, of people around the world can say is their favorite thing ever. Over the years, it not only has become a money maker, but it has also become synonymous with our mainstream, regardless of the latest fad, STAR WARS will always find its way into our reality. William Friedkin said it best when he said STAR WARS became a religious belief. Amen.
*My biggest complaint about Lucas’ changes is not Greedo shooting first, that is a moot point. But seriously, George, where the FUCK is Chewie’s ceremoy medal?
Everybody relax, Frank’s here! After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, FRANK MENGARELLI decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank’s favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone, Abel Ferrara, Lars von Trier, Steve McQueen and Spike Lee.
Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT (1992), THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS.