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Star Wars
1977 - PG - 95 Mins.
Director: George Lucas
Producer: Gary Kurtz
Written By: George Lucas
Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones and Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Review by: John Ulmer
"I've got a bad feeling about this."
- Han Solo, Star Wars

There's no reason to have a bad feeling about "Star Wars." The film is as shallow as a donut hole and a pure masterpiece. Rarely have I seen a shallow motion picture also be a memorably exciting and visually dazzling one, also.

There's something more to "Star Wars" than just good visual effects, though. It is a fun movie, a playful movie, and it inhabits our memory. I've analyzed it many times before. I came to the realization that there is simply nothing there virtually. But was there ever anything filling up classics like "2001" or "Metropolis"? Well, maybe, but that's what seperates "Star Wars" - it's just fun. Fun with holes the size of the Grand Canyon.

To fully understand the significance of "Star Wars," you must understand the time. It was 1977, and audiences were still raving about the special effects witnessed in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." When word came out that "Star Wars" director George Lucas was borrowing the ideas of an outer space saga from Kubrick, it appeared to waiting audiences at first ot be another rip-off. But something astonishing happened. Audiences were amazed to see that Lucas had actually improved upon Kubrick's space vision of the future. This was the first film to ever show a space-projected background move with the camera. This was the first film to see hyper-speed space fighters duking it out at lightspeed. "Star Wars" was the first of its kind. It wasn't as serious as "2001," it's not even necessarily a better film, it's just a different film, and no one and nobody expected that.

To go into the plot is pointless, as (a) it really makes no particular sense and (b) it is already known by everyone around the world. I will say that the actors involved in this film (Ford, Hamill, Fisher, Guinness, Jones, etc.) all did a great job. How often do you see such a great cast make you care about their characters? Harrison Ford steals the show as Han Solo, and the robot droids R2-D2 and C-3PO have chemistry (I never thought I'd say that about robots).

The film seems to be filled to the rim with nonsense spiritual dialogue about the Force - something that is all around us and joins our spirits together - but the dialogue is so cheesy it must be so awful on purpose. The actual story behind the film is a metaphorical study of the Bible. The Force is God and Darth Vader is Satan, and all the subplots going on are very reminiscent of spiritual warfare. "Star Wars" is an updated telling of the Bible, full of hyperspace battles and lightsaber fights.

The special effects in "Star Wars" were so revolutionary that George Lucas started his own special effects company named ILM, and the film itself inspired so many rip-offs over the year it is amazing. Everyone - everyone - knows this movie. Just like "Casablanca," "It's a Wonderful Life," and so on and so forth, this is a film everyone remembers, and probably always will. And those in the future who may forget about this motion picture...well...

May the Force be with them.

Movie Guru Rating
A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic.
  5 out of 5 stars

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