Friday, 26 July 2013

Favourite Films: Star Wars

by Charlie Albuery
Wow, what a list we’ve got here, we’ve spanned brain-bending Inception through to bar-battling Bond, and covered two polar opposites of the begrudging boyfriend genre, but we’ve stayed decidedly earthbound. I’m about to launch this list interstellar. There’s only one film I could pick: STAR WARS!
This has been my favourite film for as long as I can remember, and it’s unique in that it has unparalleled universality; children love the Ewoks and the Jawas, adults can be hugely nostalgic and, of course, it’s simply a brilliant film for those in-between. For those of you who claim to not know Star Wars, you’re just wrong, you cannot possibly go through life without picking up a basic working knowledge of the entire Star Wars universe. Seriously, familiar with Yoda you are, I’m willing to bet.
Now for all those of you who’ve just gone ‘Sci-Fi, ick, that sounds lame’, I get that reaction, honestly I do, but Star Wars, bizarrely, plays more like a fantasy film set in space. There are no dystopian futures and all powerful hive-minds, it’s all awesome laser-swords and magic energy crossbows (that nobody really understands), and that is why I love Star Wars; it keeps what most Science Fiction lacks, a sense of adventure, a sense of childish wonderment, a sense of FUN.
Just to clarify, I’m talking about the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy: A New Hope. The short plot summary is incredibly formulaic; good and bad are in a constant battle where neither side can gain the upper hand. Then ‘A New Hope’ is born (‘he’s Luke Skywalker, and he is here to rescue you’), along with a small group of rag-tag rebels made up of Han Solo (‘he’s a scruffy looking nerf-herder, but he’s cute’), his loyal co-pilot Chewbacca (who is basically a bear) and Luke’s sister (though he doesn’t know it yet), Princess Leia, who take down the Empire and save the Universe.
What makes Star Wars special is that it isn’t the first telling of the story, but the best, which is why so much modern entertainment draws from it to this day, a prime example being JJ Abram’s new series Revolution, which is literally Star Wars with regular swords (it’s even referenced by the inclusion of a vintage The Empire Strikes Back lunchbox in the pilot. Even beyond Sci-Fi, the two leads in the ABC series Suits draw heavily from Han Solo and Luke Skywalker if, y’know, the Force was being a lawyer.
Beyond all of this, what makes Star Wars great is not what I’ve said, it’s what I haven’t said, I have spent hundreds of words discussing a 90-minute film and not mentioned Darth Vader, the most iconic movie villain of all time, or the bizarre range of eccentric alien species featured or even C3P0, the campest protocol droid ever to exist.
So, if you haven’t seen Star Wars, or even if you haven’t seen it in a long time, go and watch it and experience the magic. And, until you do, may the Force be with you.
But remember, if anyone tries to make you watch the original trilogy, IT’S A TRAP! (That was funny if you know Star Wars, I promise).

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