Star Wars (1977)

StarWarsIt only takes a ripple to make a tidal wave, and “Star Wars” is one of the greatest cinematic tidal waves to ever hit America. It’s no secret that George Lucas’ science fiction epic was inspired by classic movie serials, and was generally looked down upon by studios who thought it would barely strike a chord as it was being made. What’s surprising is that many decades later, in whatever form you enjoy it, “Star Wars” is still a fantastic and flawless space adventure. Lucas masters the art of telling his own self contained tale that would open the door for future films.

Not only does “Star Wars” have its own ending, but you can watch it feeling as if you’ve witnessed something whole and worthwhile. Among the original trilogy, “Star Wars” is my favorite from mythology, reveling in classic fictional tropes without being bogged down in narrative pitfalls and corny cliches. “Star Wars” is set long ago in a galaxy far, far away where the evil Galactic Empire has ruled over various planets and star systems. By chance, two very important droids carrying top secrets plans for the destructive war weapon, the Death Star, end up in the ownership of farm boy Luke Skywalker, who learns of the plans accidentally.

The droids are linked to Luke’s friend Ben Kenobi, who reveals to Luke a long and dark history that Luke is inevitably pulled in to. Drawing upon influences left and right from the cinematic, historic, and comic books, Lucas injects a sense of wonder and awe in a decade steeped in cynical and dark cinema. “Star Wars” was just the shot in the arm that the world needed, and it helped build a new base for fiction that would be often imitated but rarely duplicated. “Star Wars” despite garnering some of the aesthetic of the seventies, is still a raucous and excellent beginning to a massive saga, that spends time establishing characters and exploring the dynamics between our rag tag group of mismatched heroes.

Luke is the willing student of the mystical force hoping it can help him understand the hope of good and the senselessness of evil, Han is the long traveled and cynical scoundrel made to believe in the power of good, and Leia is the determined young princess whose goal is to save her people, and help prevent another massive genocide as the one she experiences in the beginning of the film. Lucas’s cast are still magnificent all around, with even Alec Guiness giving a rousing and crucial turn as mentor and wise warrior Obi Wan Kenobi, despite famously despising the film. “Star Wars” remains a personal favorite of mine. It’s a near timeless milestone in cinema that lives up to its legacy as a simple, exciting, and fun science fiction fantasy.