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Old 05-22-2010, 03:16 AM
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Default 30-years for ''The Empire Strikes Back''

In thinking about the 30-years that have passed since we were all blown out of the theater by arguably the only other Star Wars film to live up to the legacy of the original, The Empire Strikes Back, a few thoughts:

People can bash and joke all they want about Star Wars, but Star Trek owes it quite a debt for bringing big-screen science fiction into financial relevance with the studios...particularly Paramount, which realized that it had its own big-screen franchise all ready to go as Star Wars profits rolled in. Likewise, Star Trek inspired storytellers, including George Lucas, to dream.

The original Star Trek TV series inspired and was a beacon of hope during one of humanity's darkest times. In one short decade we lost a President and then a civil rights pioneer, and then a potential future president. All this and we were embroiled in a quagmire in Vietnam, losing our most precious; beset with political unrest and student protests, and had our very souls challenged by civil rights crusaders. And then, somehow, in the midst of all that seeming hopelessness and injustice, we managed to land mankind on the moon and take our first steps toward the stars. It truly was ''the best of times and the worst of times.'' And somewhere in that decade, an obscure, sometimes maligned little TV show called Star Trek rose from those roots to inspire and thrive for decades.

Then, in 1977, a second phenomenon, Star Wars, a relatively obscure ''little space movie'' hit the big screens and captured the imagination of the world with classic heroic themes and a new level of realism in special effects. This was a new idea at the end of a decade of science fiction on the big screen that had brought us primarily post-Apocalyptic scenarios like Planet of the Apes, Logan's Run and Silent Running. The ''comeback'' of Star Trek as a viable franchise is directly attributable to the windfall profits Star Wars reaped worldwide,

Now for my own part, it took me a couple viewings to warm up to Star Wars, but eventually I did. I also, like many at that time, got to live for that ''one brief shining moment'' for three years, when there was just the one movie and nothing else--not the other two, and later now, the full six. There was only this classic tale of a boy on a farm who was swept up by destiny from his common roots into the heroes realm. There was only a young man with grand dreams standing on the edge of forever, bathed in golden magic, looking off toward the horizon, gazing at the twin setting suns, wanting to make a difference. This is the heart of Star Wars--the simple youthful poetry of boundless imagination, idealism and wonder at all the mysteries of a lifetime ahead.

A boy on a farm, whether in Iowa or on Tattooine, is a powerful beginning and a lasting legacy.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:02 AM
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But it's fantasy. Not Sci-Fi. A space opera, yes. ;p
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:13 AM
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I love Empire Strikes Back it's just great and the style and tone is amazing.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer Storm Pictures View Post
In thinking about the 30-years that have passed since we were all blown out of the theater by arguably the only other Star Wars film to live up to the legacy of the original, The Empire Strikes Back, a few thoughts:

People can bash and joke all they want about Star Wars, but Star Trek owes it quite a debt for bringing big-screen science fiction into financial relevance with the studios...particularly Paramount, which realized that it had its own big-screen franchise all ready to go as Star Wars profits rolled in. Likewise, Star Trek inspired storytellers, including George Lucas, to dream.

The original Star Trek TV series inspired and was a beacon of hope during one of humanity's darkest times. In one short decade we lost a President and then a civil rights pioneer, and then a potential future president. All this and we were embroiled in a quagmire in Vietnam, losing our most precious; beset with political unrest and student protests, and had our very souls challenged by civil rights crusaders. And then, somehow, in the midst of all that seeming hopelessness and injustice, we managed to land mankind on the moon and take our first steps toward the stars. It truly was ''the best of times and the worst of times.'' And somewhere in that decade, an obscure, sometimes maligned little TV show called Star Trek rose from those roots to inspire and thrive for decades.

Then, in 1977, a second phenomenon, Star Wars, a relatively obscure ''little space movie'' hit the big screens and captured the imagination of the world with classic heroic themes and a new level of realism in special effects. This was a new idea at the end of a decade of science fiction on the big screen that had brought us primarily post-Apocalyptic scenarios like Planet of the Apes, Logan's Run and Silent Running. The ''comeback'' of Star Trek as a viable franchise is directly attributable to the windfall profits Star Wars reaped worldwide,

Now for my own part, it took me a couple viewings to warm up to Star Wars, but eventually I did. I also, like many at that time, got to live for that ''one brief shining moment'' for three years, when there was just the one movie and nothing else--not the other two, and later now, the full six. There was only this classic tale of a boy on a farm who was swept up by destiny from his common roots into the heroes realm. There was only a young man with grand dreams standing on the edge of forever, bathed in golden magic, looking off toward the horizon, gazing at the twin setting suns, wanting to make a difference. This is the heart of Star Wars--the simple youthful poetry of boundless imagination, idealism and wonder at all the mysteries of a lifetime ahead.

A boy on a farm, whether in Iowa or on Tattooine, is a powerful beginning and a lasting legacy.
I've often wondered if the reason that TOS did endure was for the tumultous times it was created in.

Times that were never quite duplicated in the same way by the time of later series and the films and explaining why TOS also manages to linger and endure in a way that later elements of Trek possibly won't.

But I think you're right about both Empire and the sense of optimism that the images you refer to create.

Nice post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC-73515 View Post
But it's fantasy. Not Sci-Fi. A space opera, yes. ;p
Well, Star Trek is hardly hard and pure sci-fi either, it's always been soft sci-fi with some excursions into fantasy here and there and a nice drop into soapland and as well once in a while.

I think there's room for co-existence between the two however.
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Last edited by kevin : 05-22-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:33 AM
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Empire is my personal favorite Star Wars film.
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:25 PM
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The difference is that Wars happened a long time ago in a distant galaxy. Knights fight with swords to save the princess.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:46 PM
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The difference is that Wars happened a long time ago in a distant galaxy. Knights fight with swords to save the princess.
Yes, you are right. The Jedi Knights were based on the Knights Templar, the first religious/warrior order in Western culture. But how can you say it is not sci-fi, when it is generally regarded as the most successful sci-fi franchise in human history?
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:05 PM
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Guess who said that.
"We look at it as a different dimension. The laws of physics are different here. "Star Wars" is not science fiction at all. It's much more attuned to mythology, to psychology, to history than it is to science." - George Lucas
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:40 PM
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In any case, to quote Tarkin: "This bickering is pointless."

Happy 30th to The Empire Strikes Back, the pinnacle of the original trilogy.
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