Awesomesauce – Star Wars
A long time ago, in a decade far, far away …
I have a confession: our recent discussion regarding some of the coolest things about the 1980s* is incomplete. Sure, we were mostly talking about apparel, but I would be remiss if any discussion of the best stuff from the decade of Madonna and blue eye shadow didn’t include talk of the best movie trilogy of all time: the original Star Wars trilogy. (I see you, Nolan Batman Saga advocates … you are wrong.)
Why is Star Wars so excellent, you ask? Here a just a few of the many reasons.
It’s essentially every hero tale ever told
I know what you’re thinking—we’re not all literature nerds like you, Mego! Bear with me. Almost every saga ever told is the same: dude feels like he doesn’t fit in, feels like his destiny is somewhere else. He goes on an adventure, meets some cool folks along the way, saves the day (sometimes gets the girl too) and learns something about himself in the process. Hercules, Peter Parker, Superman (ok, every superhero), Luke Skywalker—they’re all prime examples of the typical code hero. We love to watch because watching the journey is the FUN part (everyone loves an underdog.) Add to that a serious case of good v. evil, and the dual nature of the force, and you’ve got yourself a saga!
Two words: Princess Leia. For the first time ever, I saw a girl on screen who wasn’t all about fainting every time bad guys got near her: when the going got tough, she whipped out a blaster and shot some Stormtroopers. Leia was seriously the best: the first time we meet her, she’s giving Darth Vader (see below) a serious piece of her mind, she’s a Senator and spy, she basically kicks some serious butt in battle for the rebels, AND when Jabba freezes her man in carbonite, instead of waiting around for a dude to take the lead, she breaks in and busts Han out herself, like a boss.
A fantastic (and nuanced) villain
Darth Vader is such a great villain in part because he’s an enigma. An imposing figure to begin with, his height, head-to-to black ensemble, and the fact that the man has his own THEME MUSIC when he walks into a room make him an imposing figure. Add the fact that he can choke you with his mind, and the fact that he has about the creepiest way of talking imaginable and you’ve got yourself one bad dude. But, that’s not all we get. Over the course of the movies, we get a peek into Vader’s motivations, watch him change, and even get glimpses of what he used to be. In the end, you’re actually sad to see the bad guy go; that’s one nuanced baddie!
The Cultural Impact
Name one person who DOESN’T know what The Force is. Unless you know a lot of five-year-olds, Star Wars has become part of the cultural consciousness. It has its own holiday in May (“May the 4th be with you!,) a Mel Brooks parody film, its own Wiki, A William Shakespeare adaptation (confession: I totally own this) and a twitter parody account to name just a few. People (ahem, Tristan) even name their dogs after Star Wars characters, and more than 30 years later, Old Navy sells t-shirts with the logo on them (“Merchandising!!”.)
I could go on for days, but you get the idea. Star Wars = the best thing to come out of the 1980’s (except US, of course!)
* OK, so technically, the first movie was from the 70s, but the other two were released in the 80s, so totally counts. Lawyered.
P.S. Han shot first.